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Hammond Notes - March 26

Posted by ashbury , 26 March 2015 · 1,268 views

Special jetBlue Edition!

We took a break from Hammond Stadium for a day, and visited the Red Sox spring facilities for a game.

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Before we went inside, we wandered in their minor league area. I was initially annoyed, because we went in what I thought to be an obvious direction but were stopped by one of the senile highly experienced hard of hearing stadium personnel, and directed toward the other side of the complex. At first I was thinking it looked like a wild goose chase (or snipe hunt) and there was to be no access to minor leaguers at all. But it turned out to be just a long walk, and it's about as free (once you pay parking of course) and open as at the Twins facilities. Here is a typical view, with fields on either side.

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We walked further, essentially circling around almost to where we were denied entrance. This ended at a No Man's Land separating the major league practice field from the clubhouses. Well, "some" Men and their families were apparently allowed access, probably wealthy fans who had paid some kind of premium to rub elbows with luminaries like Brock Holt. Oh well, next lifetime. We contented ourselves watching pitchers take batting practice, specifically working on their bunting, specifically working on overcoming their instinct to flinch (as I interpreted some of their reactions to facing a pitching machine and having to expose fingers and thumbs). Turns out the BoSox open their season in a National League park, so it figures. Here are manager John Farrell and coach Torey Lovullo overseeing matters.

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Here we happened to meet up with John Bonnes, and TD member eLee612. We chatted a bit, as drills concluded, then headed toward the main ballpark entrance.

When inside, you have your starting lineups.

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Someone in the Game Thread asked whether the park has a Green Monster. Here is their equivalent of it, but it has seating (within, and on top) for fans.

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We were seated in Reserved Lawn seating. Here is yours truly and Mrs Ashburyjohn in a typical tourist pose that dozens of other tourists replicated on their respective cameras.

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So. The game. John Bonnes wrote up a good summary here so there is little value in my repeating much the same.

Escobar homered in the second, and in the fourth also drove in Plouffe on a sac fly after Arcia had driven in Hunter. Fryer drove in Arcia in the seventh with a single after the latter had tripled to right. I can't bring photos that illustrate any of this. Instead, I will offer you an unfair and cherry-picked reason why Shane Robinson would not be on the team if I had any say:

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I jotted down typical pitch speeds from the radar gun display. Here is Tommy Milone throwing either an 87 MPH changeup or his 81 MPH fastball - I can't tell the difference, and I'm not sure the batters really can either.

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Here is Tim Stauffer throwing something from his similar 88 MPH (or slower) arsenal:

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On the Twins, a really good fastball is the true change of pace. Here is Mark Hamburger throwing what might be his 85 MPH slider (guessing from his fingers) - big as a beachball don't you think? - to the Red Sox' on-deck hitter. No, not really that far off the plate, but Mark was pretty wild at times, but effective, with his mostly 95 MPH fastball.

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And finally, here is young prospect Jake Reed throwing a 95 MPH fastball to Allen Craig, the batter he did retire (on a popup). I put my camera away in time to not capture the pitch resulting in second batter Rusney Castillo's home run off the wall in left that ended the game in the 10th inning, 5-4.

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  • Willihammer likes this

Nice picture with Mrs. Ashburyjohn!
stringer bell
Mar 27 2015 03:56 AM
Good report and nice photos.
She looks remarkably younger than you! :) :)


She looks remarkably younger than you! :) :)

Yep, I robbed the cradle with that'un. A good 14 months younger. But in fairness, being married to me would be a fountain of youth for any woman.

Halsey Hall
Mar 27 2015 07:31 AM

A bunch of empty seats there in the 10th. 

Good observation about the crowd thinning out as the game pictures progressed. Some people probably made the assumption that a tie in the ninth would end the game. Lots of families with young children, in our area of the park, had already left as well; but we were in the cheap seats so that might not be representative of those in the picture. I dunno, traffic getting out of jetBlue tends to be horrendous considering the park holds only, what, 10K fans, so maybe it's a tradition there like in LA to arrive late and leave early to beat the traffic. Some older folks just want a head start in any case.