Posts Tagged With: spring training 2014

Major league dream come true

Tom Makowski 1975 www.ootpdevelopments.com

Tom Makowski 1975

The smell of a broken-in leather glove and fresh-cut grass; the crack of the ball hitting the sweet spot; the rough feeling of calluses formed from that same bat and the taste of dirt in your mouth after sliding into home.

This may not sound appealing to everyone, but for baseball players it appeals to the senses.

Aspiring players dream of experiencing these sensations in spring training. Tom Makowski is one of those players who got to live that dream. Continue reading

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Baseball royalty made their marks in the books

sportsillustrated.com photo

sportsillustrated.com photo

Jeter might have gone 0-5, but the Royals won 12-0.

While Derek Jeter was making his MLB debut on May 29, 1995, the Royals were making another tally in the win column.

The Royals had a victory over the Texas Rangers that day, while the Yankees fell to the Seattle Mariners in extra innings.

At that time, most of the current Royals roster was still in elementary school, and a couple of the players had probably just

baseball-almanac.com photo

completed potty training. Outfielder Johnny Damon was a few months away from making his MLB debut with the Royals.

Pitcher Tom Gordon got the win that day for Kansas City improving his record to 3-1, and Vince Coleman had a .301 batting average.

— Anna Ciesla

 

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Injuries-1, Royals-0

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Yahoo! Sports photo

According to a Yahoo Sports article, the Royals right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar is out for the first two months of the season.

Hochevar was finishing up his outing against the Chicago White Socks Monday night when he felt a twinge in his elbow.

On Tuesday an MRI revealed that he has a sprained ligament in his right elbow.

According to the Royals manager Ned Yost, Hochevar won’t throw for two-to-three weeks and probably the best-case scenario would be a return at the end of May or early June.

-Anna Ciesla

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Down and out in the sixth

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman took a line drive to the head Wednesday night during the sixth inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals, according to an MLB.com article.

After being taken to Banner Del E. Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., tests determined that Chapman has fractures above his left eye and nose.

mlb.com photo

The teams had been playing at Surprise Stadium when Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a line drive off of Chapman in the bottom of the sixth inning.Trainers at the field and Surprise Fire Department paramedics immediately rushed to help. Coaches, players, medical help, and even Chapman’s father who have been in attendance gathered on the mound.

After the injury the umpires had decided to call the game. Crew chief Chris Guccione said that the players were “too rattled” to continue playing, and the coaches agreed with the decision.

The Royals would get the win in the record books with a score of 6-3.

– Anna Ciesla

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Barry Bonds returns to the Giants

Infamous player Barry Bonds  put on a Giant’s uniform for the first time since 2007.  However, this year Bonds dawned the threads as a hitting instructor, not a player.

Bonds had a very individualized coached style.  His goal was to make sure that every player was comfortable with where they were as a hitter.  So, for one week the Giants not only got to pick the brain of one of the greatest hitters to play the game,  they also received one-on-one instruction from him, which Bonds prefers.

He was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News saying, “It was more trying to get each individual where he wanted to be comfortable. Picking my brain isn’t going to help you none.”     So does this mean that San Francisco is going to be the best hitting team in the league this year? Maybe, but probably not.

Bradley Wigsten

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Jupiter, Fla. (Marlins)

The Square Grouper Tiki Bar

The Square Grouper Tiki Bar

The Marlins are in Jupiter, but there was no need for a rocket ship. Roger Dean Stadium is only about an hour and 20 minutes from Marlins Park.

With about 55,000 people,  Jupiter, Fla., is  is the perfect spot for baseball players to train, but with seven beaches, golfing and local bars like the The Square Grouper Tiki Bar and the Thirsty Turtle, it’s easy to be distracted.

When Miami Marlins players, as well as the other players in the Grapefruit League, aren’t playing ball, they have been known to relax on the beach or sit by the pool.

When it’s time to get serious, they head over to Roger Dean and suit up for their games. The stadium seats 7,000 fans. There are suites, sky box seats and even a party deck where 30 to 300 guests can have a pre-game lunch and hang out. Some fans can revert back to the old days by bringing blankets and watching the games from the Berm seating. Any way or where you watch, this stadium is a great facility for spring training.

Berm Seating in Roger Dean Stadium

Berm Seating in Roger Dean Stadium

Roger Dean Stadium is also the only stadium in Florida that hosts two MLB teams — the Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. There are activities and promotions that support the community and charities throughout spring training and the rest of the year. One such charity is The Cardinals/Marlins Fund, which seeks to provide financial assistance to local non-profit organizations that encourage the participation of young people in sports and other physical fitness activities. Roger Dean is a great spot to spend time with the family for spring break, and it’s bringing a little charity to America’s favorite pastime.

Sam Arena

 

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