Sunday, April 08, 2007

Baby it's cold outside

I made the trek to Cincinnati on Friday to take in a Pirates-Reds game played in bitter cold weather. That was two days ago, so I will avoid the basic recap that you've probably already read. I will just give you a few of the thoughts that came to mind as I huddled under a blanket in section 112:
  • Great American Ballpark is a joke. Brandon Phillips hit a lazy flyball in the 1st inning that just carried into the right field bleachers. Also, it almost killed Xavier Nady. While Phillips' homerun was pretty cheap, Jeff Conine's blast in the 3rd was very legitimate.
  • In the top of the 2nd, Jose Bautista led off with a double. That brought up Jose Castillo. He quickly struck out on three pitches. With Freddy Sanchez returning today, there is little chance of Castillo getting back a starting spot.
  • The defense was terrible in this game. Maybe it was the cold weather. Maybe it was the players on the team. Either way, it was difficult to watch. Bautista made a sweet stop to save a run in the 1st, and apparently Chris Duffy made a nice catch in the 5th (I missed this play and have been unable to find a replay of it anywhere). Other than those two instances, it was like watching my church softball team chase the ball around. And if any of my teammates happen to be reading, please don't take offense to that remark. I am including myself when I say that.
  • I felt the same depressing feeling during this game that I often felt last season. Embarrassing defense and zero hits over the final seven innings gave us very little to cheer for while sitting in an opponent's stadium. Hopefully we can have a bit more success during the Yankee Stadium visit in June.
  • Josh Hamilton is clearly a fan favorite in Cincinnati. The former top pick received a nice ovation when he entered the game as a late-inning defensive replacement, and the crowd was on its feet when he came to the plate in the 8th inning. It was nice to see the city get behind this young man who has gone through some very difficult times in recent years. This was my fifth trip to a Reds game, and from what I've seen during my limited time there, it is a very classy city. That goes for Reds' fans anyway. I can't really speak for the rest of the city.
  • As I stood in front of my seat after the final out, staring blankly across the Ohio River, I glanced to my left. A young man that had noticed my Pirates jersey held up a sign he was holding so that I could see. It read, "Jason Bay kicks puppies." Priceless. I could only laugh.
  • This last point has nothing to do with Friday's game. Freddy Sanchez is playing today, and he looks exactly like the Freddy Sanchez of 2006. I like what I see.
  • Happy Easter to you all.

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