Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Giddyyup going and went

This was the next to the last home game for the Rivercats. Had things been different it would have been an exciting end to a tumultous season. The Cats, about a week ago, were closing in on 5 games down, playing the hapless Fresno Grizzlies. The Sidewinders were in first, but their lead was diminishing. Now a little more than a week later Tuscon has won 9 in a row and we've lost the first three of the last home series. Tacoma also faded. For the games in this series the Cats have been listless. I guess I can understand the feeling. A minor leaguer has two options at the end of the season. If the team goes into playoffs they and the player is not called up they continue to get their monthly pay (which is less than $2200 per month). There may be some side payoffs for winning but not much. If the player does not go to the bigs on the September 1 call up date (and this year the As are likely to call a couple of Cats up - ideally Thomas, McClain, Johnson, and Flores and Windsor) then a couple of days after the start of the month they are done and can go home or to the Fall leagues in sunnier climes. So for most of these three games the Cats seem to have had their mind on other things.

As I think I said earlier in the season, when they were far behind. This has been a season for character building. Their lack of pizazz in the last few games has been pronounced. Tonight, the umpires sucked. No other word for it, they sucked. The homebase guy who should be doing the judging for dog shows, had a strike zone that was variable. Sometimes it was about six feet wide at other times it was less than two - what's more he could vary his zone by pitch not by batter. The first base guy was even worse. In one call that went against the Cats, our guy beat out a throw to first, the Sidewinder first baseman actually stepped off the base and the moron still called him out. The crowd in our section was downright surly to that call. Officiating in this season has not been ideal - but then as I commented, this has been a character building season and even without those lousy calls, the Cats did not have enough moxie to produce runs and stop the opponent's runs.

The picture, by the way, is earlier in the season,before Dan Johnson made his trip to the bigs. The white spot at the right side of the picture is the ball coming to him.

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