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Scenes from Spring Training: Few people, good seats

Mar 1, 2011, 4:19 PM EDT

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Despite it being perhaps the most beautiful day since I’ve been down here, it’s a near-empty ballpark today.  I guess you’ll have that when it’s the Royals and the Padres, neither of which are what you’d call national draws.

But the good thing about it was that I was able to wander down to a seat in the front row right behind the dugout and take the game in like a civilized human being.  It helped me get pics like that one of Luke Hochevar. And here’s one of Mat Latos:

I’m surprised he didn’t break my camera, because he was ugly. He threw 34 pitches. Only 15 for strikes. He walked four guys in the first inning, but avoided giving up a run thanks to a nice diving grab by Aaron Cunningham in right field and thanks to Nick Hundley throwing a guy out stealing. Who was probably safe, but don’t worry your pretty little head about that because it’s still spring training for the umps too.  Latos left after an inning and a third. Didn’t allow a hit, though, so I’m going to pretend it was the first no-hitter I’ve ever seen in person.

And here was something else fun to see from my seat on the first base line:

Dave Roberts, yo. Back from cancer treatment and manning the box.  Glad to see him there.

The game is still early, but it’s very spring trainingy so far. The pitchers don’t quite have a lock on the strike zone.  The base running has been fun, though, with the Royals trying to steal almost every time they get on.  I just popped back into the box to post this and got a pretty good explanation for it. Seems that Billy Butler was the only Royal to have stolen a base before today and he was crowing to everyone who would listen that he leads the team in steals. People wanted to shut him up, it seems.

It’s the top of the fourth. Time to head back to my good seats.

  1. 4d3fect - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    JEALOUS.

  2. stairwayto7 - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Your in Surprise and no one lives there!

  3. bloodysock - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Craig, do you own more than one pair of shoes?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:40 PM

      Somehow I don’t see Craig as a shoe guy. If I were a bettin’ man, I’d say he has 4-5 pairs of footwear and all were specifically obtained for utilitarian purposes after careful deliberation. Aesthetics be damned. I would also wager that he has a funny set of slippers that he received on Father’s Day somewhere in his basement.

    • yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:41 PM

      Mo. but at least he cleans them between “games”.

  4. apbaguy - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    I don’t know. Hard shoes and dark socks with blue jeans. Not acceptable South of the Ohio. But I think it’s a law school thing. My best friend, also a lawyer, showed up in Florida with dark socks, hard shoes, and shorts. He claimed his baggage was lost by the airline, but we found him in contempt anyway.

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    They’re actually soft/casual shoes. Nothing you’d wear with a suit.

    And Heyward hit it: I’m not a shoe dude. I use these when I travel because they’re light and versatile. I also have a pair of black Dr. Martens boots that I wear a lot. I don’t wear athletic shoes except for working out. I also don’t do sandals unless I’m wearing shorts, and I try very very hard not to wear shorts.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      Of course I did, I’m in your closet with a laptop right now quietly humming the theme song to ‘The Wire’ while whitening the teeth on your Franceour voodoo doll. You gotta keep the devil down in the hole, Craig. Down in the hole.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        Hey, El Bravo; leave him a hat made of extra spicy mesquite jerky while you’re there. He’ll thank you for it by September.

      • Reflex - Mar 1, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        Any plans of coming out of that there closet, Jason?

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      “…and I try very very hard not to wear shorts.”

      And your friends and relations thank you for this, Vlad.

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