Be sure to check out the video blog for an update. We made it to Ed Smith stadium today and I was impressed. I had heard that it was not very nice and that Bradenton was nicer. Not true. The folks in Bradenton were a lot more fan friendly, though, allowing kids to line up for autographs, etc. The Sarasota folks were very strict. We had to throw out our bag of peanuts and two waters before we could get in. And they wouldn't let kids down on the fence without a ticket for the section, and they wouldn't let people stand anywhere.
I mentioned the anthem situation on my video, which I thought was funny. In Bradenton, none of the crowd sang along, but a good bit of the crowd sang in Sarasota. I figured it was because they did the Canadian anthem first, which drew quite a few singers, including me. (I love Oh Canada. I hadn't sung it with a group like that since college when the guys in my dorm tried to learn it when Reagan invaded Grenada.) I think the Americans didn't want to be upstaged.
I had read last night that the Blue Sox' Travis Snider was having some pain in his knee so I figured we might not see him today, and I was right. Neither he nor Adam Lind (former Bue Sox, current Water Buffalo) played. Snider was one of the guys I was most excited to see in person. He is a rookie of the year candidate if he starts in left field, and everyone seems to think he will and that he's ready. The Blue Sox also have rookie of the year candidate (again, if he wins the job) Elvis Andrus, so it could be a second straight year for the Blue Sox (Longoria in '08).
Former prospect and current fifth-starter hopeful Ricky Romero pitched for the Jays. I was hoping to see Jessie Litsch, but knew that was a long shot. Halladay would have been cool, too. The couple that sat behind us was from the Cape Cod League. They were there to see Brad Emaus and Curtis Thigpen both of whom they knew from the Cape Cod league. Emaus has no shot at making the team, but Thigpen could, backing up Barajas.
Turning to the Reds, we did get to see Votto, Bruce, and Dickerson, but still haven't seen Edwin or BP. Hopefully, those guys will all play on Wednesday against the Red Sox. Dickerson looked good. He had two hits and a walk, all off of a Romero, who was tough on the other lefties, striking out Bruce and Votto three times total. Votto did manage an rbi single off of him. Dickerson also stole a bag, and threw a guy out at the plate in the first. That's the closest either the Jays or the Pirates have come to a run off of the Reds staff. Volquez and Harang combined for ten innings, 4 hits, 9 strikeouts, and only 4 walks. They've also had seven different relievers throw a scoreless inning of relief.
By the way, Curt Schilling announced his retirement today. I'm watching Luis Gonzalez win game seven of the '01 series on espn classic, which they're re-running because of Schilling's 7 + inning effort in that one, although the Unit got the win in relief.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
3 weeks ago