Or the computer, as it were. It may not seem much to you fine folks that have been able to watch a game or two this spring training season, but if you were me, you were quite excited yesterday to see your first as-it-happened action of the year. The first part of the game had to be watched intermittently (thanks, work) but the final 6 innings were watched in all their Cactus League glory. It was a sight to behold. Things I’ve heard on the radio, things I’ve read such far, well it all pretty much matched up with what I saw but there were bits and pieces of note.
Hopefully I simply caught him on an off day, but Gordon Beckham seemed mighty comfortable with his swing and miss while looking completely over-matched at the plate approach that I’ve watched in disgust over the last couple seasons. This type of thing is bothersome to me. I know he’s had some games where he came up with some hits, but it’s Spring Training. Making outs in Spring Training is not a problem. Looking completely overmatched is. I really hope this was just the game I saw or we’ll be seeing a ton of Brent Lillibridge in the lineup by June.
Alex Rios hits ball! Hard! Rios isn’t hitting well so far this spring and it makes me much happier than it should to have watched him line a double. It came on the first pitch after AJ had just gone yard, which is a prime time to guess fastball from a pitcher a little irked at himself for having just given one up but it shows he’s thinking and it shows he still does have the ability to make some solid contact. I’m getting excited because the guy hit a double; it’s like watching a kid in little league finally making contact. Also it’s not lost on me how often I relate Alex Rios to incidents involving kids. He’s childish in so many ways.
Defensively Dylan Axelrod and Zach Stewart combined with “ok” appearances. Showing nothing excessively fancy but managing to survive without looking terrible. Dayan Viciedo appears to be having some issues in left field. He was bobbling and kicking balls as though that was the point of him being out there in the first place. I’m certain it’s more of an overall outfield issue than anything specific to left field. To have that bat potential in the lineup it’s got to be paid for somewhere. In a losing effort, it was still nice to see the fellas in action. Progress? Kind of.
Other things l learned yesterday:
Robin Ventura wears a watch. Not newsworthy? Well it seems strange, no? A manager wearing a digital watch in the dugout? I guess it’s possible everybody does it, but I’ve never noticed and it strikes me as strange.
Donnie Veal is Kevin Johnson’s cousin. Remember KJ? My favorite KJ moment was when Horace Grant blocked his shot in ’93 to cement the Bulls 3rd straight title. Good times. Not good times: Upon entering the game Donnie Veal promptly gave up 3 runs including a bomb to that Jose Lopez guy.