May 8 and 9
- Lugnuts 2 games, Wizards 0 games
- Lugnuts are 17-16 (.515)
- Third place, 3.5 games behind the Battle Cats
- The division now spans 8.0 games from the Battle Cats to the Wizards.
- DL: Beltran and Sanders. Bernal and Schafer are back on the roster; Matos got sent down to extended spring training.
[Jose] Cepeda’s hitting streak ended at 28 games.
These games were sorry excuses for baseball, with little to recommend them except Lugnut victories. The weather was wet and the defenses, for both teams, were pretty sad. Starter Todd Thorn pitched really well on Wednesday, and Manuel Bernal (back from the DL) had a good relief stint on Thursday. The Wizards protested Wednesday’s mud.
[Juan] Rocha’s been really hot at the plate for the past few days. [Manager Brian] Poldberg’s moved Melito to the second batting slot (he’d been batting Mark last). The ballpark crowd’s developing a personality, and that personality has interesting edges.
A quirk of the MWL’s scheduling practices is that by year’s end many of us are going to know the Wizards quite well; they’ll be dropping in for a couple games every month. Here’s our chance to watch a really young team grow; most of these players are around 20, and many were playing in high school last spring.
They’ve got a lot of growing to do, though.
I’ve located my Olds Park brick. At home, I’m now waiting for the lilacs; generally speaking, the garden’s doing well.
As things turned out, that hitting streak was the high point of Jose Cepeda‘s career. He’d eventually play a handful of games at the Triple-A level before being released by Atlanta early in 2000, after which he’d catch on with Aberdeen in the independent Atlantic League for the rest of the season.
Jose’s an interesting case. He was an athletic guy who made contact and got on base fairly well. He had a bit of speed but absolutely no power. While he was with Lansing he showed a powerful, but erratic, throwing arm–a couple times a week he’d completely miss the first baseman. He mostly played third base, but everywhere he played he was used as a utility infielder.
Honestly, I expected him to improve, as you’ll see further along. He did, but not really enough.
Luis Matos was the first Lugnut to be released, though we didn’t know it at the time. He never again played professionally.
The city of Lansing sold bricks in the walks approaching the ballpark gates to help fund the park outside those gates. Mine looked like the heavenly line score that decorates every page of A Fan’s Guide to the Midwest League. In fact, it still looks that way, but it’s worn to unreadability.
No, it’s not a specific game. It’s an opinion.
In the event you’ve just stumbled onto this entry, here’s an explanation of what I’m up to.