(Portland ME) Plenty to see at Hadlock Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Field of Dreams Show.
The last game (most likely) at Hadlock this season.
And Slugger doing a flip?
Sunny skies with an accompanying breeze made being at the park pleasurable for all of us.
The Field of Dreams Show is special. It’s the Sea Dogs’ biggest event. Why? Folks know the movie and the players are dressed in older uniforms. Also, the crowd gets shown some love.
Pre-Covid the players would go up into the stands after they had wandered in from the cornfield in center. Today, they lined up along the foul lines and applauded the crowd.
Plenty of photo-ops for everyone.
The opponent today was the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. They’re in the New York Mets system.
There was a total of sixteen top-thirty prospects on the rosters of the two teams. Only FOUR of them (Hayden Senger & Carlos Rincon for Binghamton and Jay Groome and Ronaldo Hernandez for Portland) actually were in the game. A bit disappointing.
But Boston’s prospect #8, Jay Groome, was pitching for Portland. I hadn’t seen him in action before. Today he looked very good.
The 23-year-old was drafted in 2016 by the Red Sox in the first round (#12). It has taken Jay a while to get to AA with Tommy John surgery a key part in the delay. Jay pitched his first AA game last week in New Hampshire and had ten strikeouts. Today it was nine K’s.
In Portland’s (10-3) win this afternoon, Jay pitched the first six innings and allowed just two hits. The 6’6” lefty had batters struggling to make contact for most of the time.
It may be rushing things, but I wonder how far away the next levels are for a lefty who strikes people out. Might Jay start at Portland next April before quickly moving on to Worcester?
The Sea Dogs are on the road in Hartford (CT) next week to finish the regular season. There is still a chance they could make the two-team, Northeast League playoffs. They’ll need “help” from teams ahead of them to get it done. I’m not counting on it happening, but you never know.
It has been nice to have games to attend. Being back, but being kept off the field, has been a struggle for picture taking but I do have a 600mm lens! I have also learned that I could get some pretty good shots through the backstop mesh.
One of the league changes that was implemented this year has teams playing in one place Tuesday-Sunday and then traveling (if needed) on Monday. It must save money for the teams. The league will use the same format next season.
Assuming there are no Hadlock playoff games, Triston Casas won’t be seen in AA again, in my opinion. Boston’s #2 prospect should start in AAA Worcester next year if not at Fenway. He’s that good with stats to confirm it!
Triston is a powerful, dedicated athlete. In every game I’ve been at I’ve seen Triston as the most driven player when it comes to pregame activities. He’s all business.
The 2018 first-rounder did not play today but I found him in the Field of Dreams Show. He was the one carrying a cellphone and taking pictures.
Triston didn’t stay in the dugout during the game. I did get a (final) picture of him leaving the park for maybe the last time?
I have always been Slugger’s top fan. (I may have been the only one giving him a chance in his each-game race against young fans.) I’ve missed that racing activity this season. However, the big guy has been in the crowd regularly glad-handing and posing for pictures in 2021.
I have worried that Slugger might be getting out of shape minus his every-game racing. It’s easy to slough off when the season is over.
I’m pleased to report that Slugger has kept in shape. He came out between two of the innings this afternoon and did a very active dance routine. The highlight, however, was the big guy doing a backflip. It looked dangerous and I was worried for him as he attempted it. But, not to worry, over he flipped with a great landing! I’m proud of him.
I was hoping to get a look at the Mets #2 prospect (Brett Baty) but couldn’t find him. He was listed as wearing #22 but I discovered, unfortunately, that another player (Manny Rodriguez) was also listed as wearing #22. And I thought that high school rosters were confusing!
I did see Mets’ prospect #24, Carlos Rincon. Carlos was picked up in a trade with the Dodgers this year. Today, Binghamton’s DH had a three-run homer.
I also saw Mets’ prospect #21, catcher Hayden Senger. Hayden was selected by the Mets in the 24th round in 2018. He has been a big surprise so far with his quick progress in the Mets farm system.
Ronaldo Hernandez (Boston’s 22nd prospect) was in action today as a DH. He had a part in Portland’s five-run second inning today.
Continued thanks, from me, to my friend Chris Cameron for his part in arranging my visits to Hadlock. Things always seem to work without a hitch with him in charge.
I have finally figured out where to park to avoid the $10 close-to-the-stadium parking. I also need the exercise!
Looking forward to more time at Hadlock in 2022.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)