The IronPigs are 2-2 after an opening series where weather and wooing played a role. Kram has some thoughts…
- Winning. We’ve seen some bad teams around here over the past nine seasons, but we all know this isn’t one of them. Not now, anyway. After losing the first two games I wasn’t worried at all. Still settling in, some talented players still finding their in-season, cold-weather legs. Some sloppy play. They’ll clean it up. And they did in sweeping the double-header yesterday. For many years we didn’t ever have a hope of taking both ends of a two-fer. Yesterday it seemed easy. Good to see big wins by the Phantoms, Steel FC and the SteelHawks this weekend as well.
- Scoreboard. The new scoreboard setup is getting mixed reviews. At this point, I urge patience. Already over three days of game play I’ve seen improvement in font size and background to improve readability. I like seeing the lineup up there but I know it can’t always happen with the advertising that’s been sold. I’ll have more thoughts on this later because it’s important, but I think I’ll give them through the next home-stand to work out some of the kinks. Oh, I’d like to see the radar reading a little quicker and more consistent, though.
- PigsFoodFinder.com I wrote about it the other day, but it is wonderful and it is useful. It’s good to know where all the beers and specialty food items are before trekking around the park and standing in line. DiPro says he has it memorized. I’d still like to see the prices on there, if for no other reason than so that you can give the kids enough money–but not too much because I’ll never see it again–when they go up to the concessions.
- “Always Be Closing.” A lot of talk and thought about closers this morning. Jeanmar Gomez was anointed the closer in Philly to start the season, but has looked
horriblepretty shaky so far. Quickly, here are my thoughts:
- I agree with naming him before the season. He was good to start last season, and although he doesn’t have great stuff, he has veteran experience and the confidence to get the job done. I feel like the closers role is 90% confidence and the other half physical. Is that a Yogi-ism?
- But how much confidence can he have right now? I doubt he remains the closer, but if he does I feel like his one advantage is now lost.
- Benoit and Neshek are veterans who can close games. I don’t know if I’d have the leash quite as short as Gomez’ was, but I think each can work in that role and if not then it’s no problem to try the other.
- Our old friend Hector Neris has the best stuff of all of them. And, I’m not saying that he doesn’t have the confidence or bravado to succeed in that spot; I don’t know. But if you’re ready to hand him that job I don’t think it can be on a short leash. If he has “growing pains” going from 8th inning to 9th inning guy, you’re going to have to live with it because you might not be able to just slot him back into 8th inning without some repercussions. That’s my take on it anyway.
- Oh and one more thing: The answer is not in Allentown. Dusty Wathan already told us that the relievers around here will be asked to always (except, you know, doubleheaders) do more than just three outs. None of them will be closing games in Philly probably, so he’s getting them ready for other roles. And that confidence thing? I think that’s why Luis looks some much less-good in Philly compared with the all-time saves leader swagger he has around here.
- WOO! Look, for the love of all things baseball, can we stop? OK, OK, if folks want to let out the occasional “woo” of exuberance at the ball game I’m fine with it. If it catches on and many folks are spontaneously into it, like at hockey, I can deal with that too. But please, please ops guys and gals, please stop playing the recorded version at full blast in the bottom of the first inning of a doubleheader. Can we work up to that–and the “stand up and shout” and the Great Adventure theme song and all that? Nobody is standing up and shouting. Nobody. Not at that point in the game. We want to settle in and enjoy the baseball and eat our snacks and sip our beverages. Pipe in other music or the fake clapping or whatever (can I get some organ music?) but don’t try to whip the crowd into a frenzy in the first inning. That’s not baseball. Also, anti-woo people shouting “shut up!” doesn’t help matters, either. Just say ‘no’ to the woo.
See you at the park,