The Game In A (Non Run-On) Sentence
The Jays and Twins play something resembling a baseball game in Dunedin, at least for portions of nine innings– otherwise… who knows?
After multiple, albeit brief, torrential downpours in the hours before the game, the weather held off– just as Carol insisted it would– and as nearly the full crowd sang along to the pre-recorded instrumental version of O Canada, the sun peeked through the clouds for the first time, and held strong thereafter. Before he left with a sore throat, Dirk Hayhurst took this picture of an area we were standing in, and I assure you, it got much worse before it got better. So it turned into a gorgeous day for baseball-ish– though the Jays could have been a little more watchable after the first inning, when Emilio Bonifacio led off with a double, and Adam Lind put the home side up 3-0 with a moonshot off of Mike Pelfrey.
It’s hard not to, but I think it would be slightly cruel of me to put Ricky Romero’s effort on the day down in the “ugly” category, especially since it’s still damn February, and his struggles are supposedly due to the fact that he was trying to throw sinkers– a pitch he went away from considerably in 2012, as Brandon Morrow supposedly pointed out to him, via Brooks Baseball. Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the Globe and Mail says as much in his piece on the lacklustre outing, though the Globe’s own Jeff Blair gives a slightly different take, seeming as though he’s trying to pull back from the edge of sounding too many alarms, but evoking 2012 Brett Cecil and the “it’s early, everything is fine” song and dance that went along with his spring struggles a year ago. Of course, it is too early to portend doom for anybody, but rather than divert us from a simple sub-par outing, my sense is that the flimsy excuse-making coming from the Jays probably makes us focus undue attention on a relatively meaningless spring debut. Because, I tell you what, I was sitting directly pretty behind the plate, and if Romero was throwing sinkers all day, by the end they sure as shit weren’t sinking– they weren’t real close to the strike zone either, from my vantage. I can buy that explanation for the lack of velocity for now, but for me it’s certainly going to put more scrutiny on his next outing, not less. Though I guess that was inevitable anyway.
Hey, maybe next time he’ll try throwing all cutters– apparently Mark Buehrle is teaching him one.
I’m not complaining– it was baseball in the sun, and the expectations in the Grapefruit League naturally have to be lower– but just the whole game was a little damn sloppy. Bad throws, misplays in the outfield, pitchers not terribly sharp. It was almost like they’ve only barely started playing games.
The Additional Thoughts
I’ll have some more Dunedin stuff down the line, but that’s about it for today. Check-out time!