What was beautiful was the raw athleticism of Oscar Tejeda, born in the Dominican Republic, in 1989. Among all the high numbered jerseys on the field over the last few games in Florida, Oscar is making his name, going 5 for 7, with two triples and 6 RBIs.He batted .344 in Salem with 67 RBIs.adding 11 homers from a 6’1″ slender frame.With the riches of our farm system (Iglesias, Middlebrooks, Pimental, Linares, et.al), one wonders how much money we can keep and spend on our own talent rather than on free agents. We look at the upcoming season with great anticipation, but the near as well as the distant future is inspiring. In the mean time, Lynchburg Hillcats fans can go their own way, we’ll go ours, down Yawkey Way.
There are many farms down here in Virginia, but there is also a long tradition, as you know, of minor league baseball.Since I was staying twenty minutes down the road from Lynchburg, I decided to catch the Salem Red Sox when they visited the Hillcats, who recently became a Cincinnati farm team after serving Pittsburgh, and many years ago, the Sox.
99 Degrees on the field at game time at Calvin Falwell Field. and country singer Sarah Darling handled the heat while giving a great pre-game set, including a terrific cover of U2’s 90’s hit, “With or Without You.”
Pitcher Pat Ryan stopped by the corner of the dugout to see family members who have been traveling this summer to watch him play.
Oscar Tejeda warming up.
Ryan Dent, Oscar, and Stomy Pimental lined up during the National Anthem also sung by the Hillcats’ guest, Sarah Darling.
Alex Hassan leading off after one of his two hits.
Miquel Gonzalez throwing some of his own heat as the sun went down.
Drew Hedman on deck.
What would a minor league game be without a dancing mascot. The Hillcats’ “Southpaw” showing his moves over the visitor’s dugout.
The beautiful Virginia sunset, with the temps diving all the way down to 89. .
The seventh inning stretch lacked some participation, but it was followed by “Sweet Caroline.” A generous nod to the Sox from the Hillcats?
My Official Carolina League Ball, signed by Oscar Tejeda, along with my Salem hat
Photos by Thomasox
Right of the Pesky Pole Notes:
One of the more impressive things on the field, besides some of the real power in the line-up, which delivered an 11-2 win, is the powerful arm of third baseman, Will Middlebrooks. Also quite revealing in person is the quickness of Tejeda’s hands at the plate. This is an attribute that seems to display itself much clearer at a live game, especially from the first row. Oscar has great potential and reminds me of Alfonso Soriano. 2009 20th round pick Alex Hassan impresses with a strong swing. The power of 2009 50th round pick, Drew Hedman is more than apparent. Hedman looks to me like a draftee of much higher value.
Attendance is up this year at Minor League ballparks and I was truly happy to be a part of it. Next stop? Maybe the Iron Pigs when the Pawsox arrive in Allentown.
The lines from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Texas Flood” are much more damning than the way we ought to feel right now. Three out of four hurts, but not bad enough to report that the” dark clouds are rollin in and man I’m standin out in the rain,” I saw SRV and Double Trouble once. It was a blistering two hour set, where the man never took his fingers off of his guitar. Inside the RPI Fieldhouse in Troy, New York, where the sound was passable, something in the high range of his guitar left my ears ringing for several days.
I was thinking that yesterday was double trouble, Lackey against Lee. There are those times that Lackey simply bears down, and I think he can do that as the season moves into August and the games increase in meaning. I know they are all meaningful now, but I am not ready to turn the season in until I see Beckett, Pedroia and Clay back on the field. As we all know, Lee is pitching for a team that plays in a park where his ERA is the highest of any other. He lost two games in row as a Ranger, but that is what our offense can do when it’s pressed, especially Youk. You may have noticed (or maybe not since there were no comments on the Top Ten List) that Youk didn’t make it on the top highlights of the first half. I will add the comeback and walk off hits to the list of the second half, if I have to. What I am hoping for is that there will be so many other important and wildly terrific moments in August & September, that this series will drift in a pleasant amnesia. Maybe the kind that gives us 7 wins out of the next ten.Those are my numbers.
I had to miss this afternoon’s game(still waiting for that potent phone) as I was driving to Virgina for 6 hours. Professor Abraham said that he hoped the Sox could keep last night’s mojo going. I listened to Mojo by Tom Petty several times, having the same hopes. Even with Cameron’s monster seat shot, another comeback was washed away. But the music of Petty and Vaughn can remind us that a few dark days can easily turn into clearer skies, where “baby, the sun shines every day.”
Down on the Farm:
Later in the week, I will catch the Salem Red Sox against the Lynchburg Hillcats I hope to have a few photos for you.