© Chuck Duboff
Cars with license plates from Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado, Saskatchewan, Ontario and all over North America will begin rolling in this week. Ballplayers from Venezuela and Hawaii will begin arriving in Winnipeg, hoping that they will be a part of the 2016 Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Training camp begins next Saturday morning at 11:00 AM at Shaw Ballpark. Manager Rick Forney and hitting coach Tom Vaeth will put the 25 ball players invited to camp through a couple of hours of drills. Additionally, May 7th will be the Goldeyes Annual Open House, where fans get to watch training camp, take tours of the ballpark, win prizes, grab some free hot dogs, drinks and chips… and overall, just enjoy the ballpark atmosphere.
This should be a really interesting camp for Forney and Vaeth; with lots of players retiring at the end of last season and moving onto other teams through trades, there will only be six players returning from the 2015 season. Edwin Carl, Reggie Abercrombie, Jalien Peguero, Kyle Anderson, Casio Grider and Adam Heisler will be hoping to lead the new comers to a 2016 championship.
Forney has brought in 15 pitchers, hoping to piece together a solid pitching staff, while at the same time looking to fill holes at 1st, ss, 3rd, catcher and the outfield. The biggest challenge facing the skipper will be the brief training camp before the season starts. It’s got to be difficult to evaluate pitchers after just one outing and a few bull pen sessions; many hitters take a few weeks to get their swing down, so the short camp puts pressure on all of the position players to quickly produce. Forney will use the first road trip to evaluate his team and by the time the Goldeyes return home on May 30th for their season opener, he and Vaeth should have a good feel for the team.
Program sales will be brisk early in the season, but knowing how devoted Goldeyes fans are, by mid-summer the new players will be saying what a great place Winnipeg is to play ball in.
Only 29 more days till the home opener Goldeyes fans!!! Let’s Play Ball!!!!
The Goldeyes Report will be a regular weekly post on Chuck Eclectic Blog. The reports will include discussions on how the team is playing, player stats, fan experiences at the ballpark and hopefully some interviews with players, fans, coaches and Goldeyes staff.
As well, if any of the great Goldeyes fans who read this would like to write a Goldeyes blog, just get in touch with myself through e-mail, facebook, text, twitter or at the ballpark. Additionally, if you have any ideas for this weekly report, just let me know. This will be an evolving adventure.