Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Game Report: All Neftali All The Time

It was a big night in Frisco. The Rough Riders front office probably couldn't tell from the normal sparse Monday attendance, but I knew it right away. Normally when I watch a Frisco pitcher throwing in the bullpen before a game there are maybe two, or at the most three, other people who are truly interested and know who is warming up. By my count there were about fifteen people watching number 25 throw, and for once I wasn't the only one taking pictures.

Yes indeed it was a roll call of the big guns sitting in the stands at Dr. Pepper Ballpark: Kevin McBrayer, Jason Cole, Mike Hindman blogging live for the DMN (thanks for mention and link!) Josh Boyd, Jim Sundberg, Nolan Ryan and a whole raft of scouts with radar guns - but the most important ones in attendance: my buddies Jamey and Max Newberg (pictured on the right).

There are excellent game reports on RHP Neftali Feliz's first AA start from Jamey on the Newberg Report website and Mike on the Dallas Morning News blog - there's no reason for me to try and add to that.

Click HERE to see my very short photo gallery of Neftali from Monday night.

There are a few Neftali and non-Neftali related items in the Blue Notebook: After two Travelers stole 3rd and then 2nd at the top the fifth off Feliz, in the bottom of the fifth Riders CF Julio Borbon singled and then promptly stole 2nd and 3rd - as if to say "do unto others" - well you know the rest of the saying - however, Neftali really, really does need to get better at holding runners on... the Rough Riders need to think about a new scoreboard for the radar gun readings in CF - the current one only shows two digits - when Neftali threw 100 and 101 the scoreboard showed 00 and 01 - just a little decieving.... I am so digging this season's Elvis Andrus hairstyle - pictured on the left - it has Oscar Gamble (circa late 1970's) potential - if you click on the pitcure you'll get the large image and the full effect...The big bats may have been called up to the majors from the Riders- but they've been replaced by a track team - even Nolan Ryan stayed for a while after Feliz was done for the night to watch CF Julio Borbon, SS Elvis Andrus and 2B Jose Vallejo at the top of the order - trust me on this one -watching them run - it's worth the price of admission...I actually stayed for most the rest of the game, and it was ugly: throwing errors by Vallejo and pitcher Brennan Garr allowed four runs to score, followed by some painful pitching from Joselo Diaz (single, double, walk, grand slam HR, another walk, two more singles) five more runs scored - Diaz was done for the evening and so was I - the final score Arkansas 12, Frisco 5.

I've learned not to predict the future of the prospects who get a little more ink than others, some of them are successful (Ian Kinsler) some are not (Juan Dominguez). Every summer there are prospects who move up the ladder that create a little more excitement for the hopelessly geeky minor league followers like me - it's just another reason I love baseball

Watch out for Juan Moreno! (Just kidding Jamey) -- Marla Hooch