Just got back to The Dutch, otherwise known as Dutchess Stadium in scenic Wappingers Falls, New York. I’m gearing myself up for tonight’s grudgematch between the 1st place Brooklyn Cyclones and the 1st place Hudson Valley Renegades. That’s no misprint, both teams are tied atop the McNamara Division of the New York Penn League with identical 9-4 records.
Manager Rich Donnelly has his team’s six-man starting rotation firing on all cylinders. The bullpen is starting to gell, and the hitting which had been uneven at the start of the year has been gaining some steam lately thanks to the vigilant work being put in with the players by hitting coach Bobby Malek.
The enthusiasm amongst the players on the Cyclones is noticeable when you talk to them about this year’s team. They know they have the pitching to take them a long way but now that the hitting is coming around, optimism is running high. I was at the cage and saw third-baseman Dimas Ponce coming towards me after hitting some. I said “Dimas, let me get a photo.” He did a little baseball card pose for me.
After I snapped this shot, the guys on the bench to my right started laughing a little bit so I said, “Hey if you guys want your picture taken come on over here and take a pose. It’s for MetsMerizedOnline.com.” next thing I knew they started grabbing hats and bats and jumping up to get their photo taken by the official MMO photographer….me!
First it was Jorge Rivero the infielder. I said “nice to meet you Jorge, I remember you from last year, hope you have a great year this season.” He thanked me and I snapped his photo. Next up was Cyclone right-fielder Eudy Pina who had his game face on. And last I got a great shot of left-fielder Stefan Sabol, this year’s 17th round draft pick of the Mets. And he is one strong looking guy. Remember that name because he is going to be something special. So far in the first 34 at-bats of his pro career, his slash line looks like: .324/.465/.412.
I’m getting psyched for the game tonight, It starts in just a few minutes from now, and phenom Luis Mateo is pitching tonight for the Cyclones. It will be great to see him close-up and I will be getting some great pictures of him in action to post on MMO.
Pre-game warm-ups are starting so I’m gonna go grab some dinner, I’ll leave you with one more photo of number 28, shortstop Phillip Evans taking some swings in the cage. He is a remarkable player and seems to get better each day. He never looks awkward, makes all the plays around shortstop, and makes it look easy. He can hit too, and is on his way to a very productive season.