(Portland ME) Beautiful weather at Hadlock as the Sea Dogs closed out their 4-game series with the Trenton Thunder on Wednesday afternoon.
The noon start helped pack the place. It seemed to me that every camp and recreation department in the area was on hand. A sea of bright camp-shirt colors gleamed in the sun.
I noted that one of the recognized groups on hand was from Amesbury (MA). I live there part of the year.
The weather was nice but I go to Sea Dog games to try to photograph the up-and-coming players. This time around that meant 20-year-old Manuel Margot.
Since Xander and Mookie moved past Portland, the Sea Dogs have been short on rising stars. Don’t take my word for it, look at the Eastern League standings. Portland has the worst record (35-63) in the entire EL.
But now Manuel is on hand and maybe Rafael Devers and Yoan Moncada will get there soon or at least start the 2016 season together with Portland. That would be a remarkable trio.
Manuel hit the gap for a double in his first at bat. No question he’s fast and can play the field. Baseball America, according to the Sea Dogs Notes, listed Manuel as the fastest baserunner and best defensive outfielder in the Red Sox farm system. That’s high praise.
I was able to get a few decent shots of the 20-year-old. That bright sunshine puts shades on the players and getting them without the glasses is a challenge.
I thought that Manuel was too aggressive at the plate a couple of times. He seemed unaware of the Red Sox at the higher level taking pitches. He also had some communication problem with leftfielder Aneury Tavarez on a hit in the gap. It looked like they were dancing out there!
But Boston’s #7 prospect has tremendous potential in centerfield, on the bases, and at the bat. I wonder if he’ll finish 2015 at Portland.
The Sea Dogs lost, 5-1. Their lone run was a line drive HR by Aneury Tavarez that gave Portland a brief 1-0 lead.
Portland starter Danny Rosenbaum walked two and gave up two doubles in the 4th inning that led to three runs for the Yankees farm team and the Dogs were down and out.
Slugger is a personal favorite. I go to these games hoping he will end his life-time losing streak. Today they put him in against a little speedster in an orange shirt. On his best day I’m not sure that the aging mascot could have kept up with a kid like this. It didn’t really matter because, as usually is the case, Slugger found trouble on the base paths. Sometimes he falls down or stops for a chat. This time he had to jump out of the way of one of the Trenton infielders. Instead of just side-stepping the infielder, Slugger went airborne and got completely turned around. That foolishness ended any chance he had of putting any pressure on his young opponent. The finish wasn’t close. From my view it looked as if the youngster went into a taunting strut as he crossed the plate. Slugger was a class act not to get riled up over the in-your-face loss.
Seriously, I had a good time and got the pictures I wanted to get. Chris Cameron (media director) made the greatly appreciated arrangements for me.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)