Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Training Live - Observations & Musings From My Time At Yankees Camp

Finally.......VELARDEWASINNOCENT has come back..... to the FSE!

On Thursday I had the opportunity to visit Knology Field, the Spring home of the Blue Jays. I arrived at the park around 10 AM. During this time the Jays were taking BP. Once I realized how large Frank Thomas really was I was in Awe. The next thing I did was try to locate my arch nemesis Scott Rolen. I watched the infield take grounders and saw the third basemen struggling so I knew it was him.

During BP a lot of good things happened. The master of the mustache, Mr. Sal Fasano was kind enough to toss some balls to some of my kids (Image above) and even had a conversation with us.

Later during the BP session Lyle Overbay started practicing at first base and some one asked me who he was and all I could say was , " That's Lyle Overbay, he was supposed to be good."

As the Jays finished up BP, the Yankees arrived and all of a sudden it was like the Beatles were arriving. 40 year old women and young boys all rushed to the corner of the stadium to watch the Yankees stretch on a make shift practice field. As I watched the Yankees stretch with bands around their trainer(not named Mcnamee) I found it comical when Joba Chamberlain shot his band at the trainer once the session was done.

I ran back to my corner in right field and hoped for some more foul balls to come my way. I received a list of the Yankees traveling roster for this game and realized that I wouldn't be seeing Jeter or A Rod. Luckily for me I would be able to see Cano and Joba.

During the Yankees BP, I realized that not everyone in the world hates Kyle Farnsworth. It appeared that he and Chris Britton were actually friends. Also during this time I was not shocked when Farnsworth threw three balls to me and missed me all three times!

The game began and Ian Kennedy let up a taser down the line to Eckstein who was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple. Ian settled down and was solid in 5+. Robbie Cano continued to sting the ball all over the stadium and Wilson Betemit hit an absolute bomb to right field that still hasn't landed yet.

A special thanks must be given to Blue Jays staff for allowing myself and some of my kids onto the field to throw the first pitch of the game. I stood along side the Jays during both National Anthems and even was within three feet of my arch fantasy nemesis, Scott Rolen. He is much bigger in person! Frank Thomas was nice enough to give me a, "what's up?" as I walked by him. Overall the Spring training fantasy experience was one to cherish. If you ever have the chance to get down to spring training I suggest you go. It's baseball how it is supposed to be, up close and personal.

Fantasy Notes

Robinson Cano - He had 3 hits that were all hard line drives. He is absolutely stinging the ball this spring.

Ian Kennedy - Was extended a little more this outing and looked pretty sharp after the first inning. He faced the real Jays line up and had no problem through 5 innings.

Joba Chamberlain - I may be wrong but he dominated the inning and only threw 10 pitches and didn't allow a ball in play. He is the real deal!

Observations & Wonderings

- Yogi Berra was in attendance.

- The Yankees allowed someone to wear jersey number 21 not named O'Neill.

- Wilson Betemit played 3 different positions during this game.

- Jeremy Accardo has some nasty stuff and broke several bats.

- Konolgy Field is a great facility and the girls from The Wing House are way out of my league.

- Not a bad seat in the house!

- Bobby Meachem did not stop smiling the entire and game and needs to work on his fungo skills.

- All the Players were great with the fans, Cano joked around with us and so did Joba.

- Peter Gammons snubbed me and Jayson Stark is not very tall.

- Sal Fasano was nice enough to take pictures with fans!

- I'm back in miserable New York counting down the days until my next "Opening Day Blog from Yankee Stadium"


Roger said...

Snubbed by Gammons. I love it. Sounds like you had a good time. Thanks for the recap. I've always wanted to go to Spring training.

VelardeWasInnocent said...

I suggest everyone go down once and check it out, be sure to bring your sunscreen.