Around the Bases: Spring, Snow, & Baseball

One of several delays on Opening Day 2007 in Cleveland. A quick burst of snow & the crew running out to clear the field.

The Tigers and Blue Jays have not been the only victims of cold weather so far. The AL Central has now seen three games that I know of which were cancelled due to winter weather conditions. A Twins-White Sox game in Chicago was called before first pitch, and just last night an Indians-Mariners game from Cleveland was called in the fifth inning, when the Tribe was just a strike away from putting a Seattle batter away and making the game an official finish. Instead, the teams will start over and play a makeup game on Sunday at 1:05 pm. Now that the season has began, I have to say, maybe it’s a good thing I did not secure any Tigers tickets for the month of April, because it is far too cold, even for baseball.

  • The complete collection of Tigers-affiliated minor league rosters has been set. Cameron Maybin starts out the season in the outfield for the Lakeland Tigers, but should move up to the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps once the weather warms up, which as it stands may take awhile. Andres Torres, who you may remember from the 2003 Tigers, is on the roster for the Double-A Erie Seawolves.
  • As someone who thoroughly enjoys any opportunity to take in a game in Comerica Park and downtown Detroit (except perhaps in 30 mph winds and 20 degree temperatures), it is always interesting to hear the perspectives of outsiders visiting the city. Mop Up Duty was on hand for the Tigers-Jays series and was somewhat unimpressed by the dining options around the park, and also noted the absence of people to crowd those streets. Overall, however, they agree that CoPa is an enjoyable experience.
  • In the spirit of all things interesting, a new kind of pitcher is emerging — the switch pitcher. Pat Venditte from Creighton University is able to throw the baseball with both hands, thus giving him the ability to switch arms depending on which side of the plate the batter is on. Over 18 appearances this season, he has a 3.29 ERA, which I just find incredible. Being left-handed myself, I can throw a baseball right handed, however not with any sizable portion of the accuracy or velocity of my dominant hand, let alone have enough feel for the baseball to throw strikes and blow pitches by batters. I would imagine that Mr. Venditte is quite the baseball attraction.
  • The new caps this year are black underneath, which may have already busted Francisco Rodriguez for cheating. K-Rod was seen touching a foreign substance under his cap several times while closing for the Angels, however MLB today said the white substance was a buildup of resin resulting from Rodriguez’s use of a rosin bag on the mound. I’m not entirely convinced, however if Kenny Rogers just had a clump of dirt, I suppose I can accept a tad of resin.
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