© Chuck Duboff
I went to the Ol’ Professor Mickey Steen last night, as the Goldeyes were not playing their best baseball. I asked Mickey what is it about the first game back from a successful road trip; Mickey: “Every time the team comes home from a good road trip, they struggle the first game back; I have no idea why!! If I did, I’d be very rich.” Another long time fan of the Goldeyes sat their shaking his head; Rick said: “watch tomorrow, they’ll be a different team.”
Along with 5,584 fans watching the Goldeyes last night, that sure didn’t look like the team that had just won ten in a row. Starting pitcher Kevin McGovern was not sharp. His last few outings had been outstanding, yet last night he gave up 5 runs in the first three innings. The Goldeyes showed some life, after falling behind early, and took a 4-3 lead; but the bullpen, and some sloppy play, ultimately led to a 9-7 loss. There was some good news last night, as Laredo also lost, which meant the Goldeyes maintained their two game lead in the wild card race.
The Goldeyes are going to have play much better baseball the next week, as they have three more with first place Wichita and then have a five game home stand with division leader St. Paul. It doesn’t get any easier and the boys need to get back to playing sound baseball.
Some thoughts heard around the ballpark last night:
“We’re a really good team, playing with a lot of confidence.” Goldeyes RF Josh Romanski
“How you doin little man?” Goldeyes CF Reggie Abercrombie to my grandson Ben.
Ben and I visited with Casio Greider before the game. I was wearing my Jackie Robinson jersey. I asked Casio what he thinks of when I mention Robinson; he paused, got a little emotional, and said:
“Jackie Robinson, man, what can you say about him…”
Ben proudly told Casio that he had recently read a book about Jackie Robinson and Casio told him he was really proud of him. That lit Ben’s face up with a big smile:
“I’ve been taking care of the field here at Shaw Park for 18 years; I was involved in the planning of the field the year before it was even started. We needed to get the rocks and concrete out of here.” I asked Don Ferguson, better known as Fergy, how they get those designs in the outfield grass: “it’s actually pretty simple, most teams use a stencil and all you really have to do is adjust the blades on the mower.” Though I knew Fergy couldn’t specifically reveal state secrets, I mentioned how Earl Weaver of the Orioles used to give specific directions to the grounds crew about how long he wanted the grass and how he wanted the dirt along the first and third baselines to be set. All Fergy could say was: “I get my directions from Rick.”
“It’s so great being able to talk to veterans like Willie Cabrera who have all sorts of great stories about their time in major league organizations.” Dan Perron.
“Though I’m a Southern California boy, I sure do love your city; you guys have a nice little niche up here.” Josh Romanski.