20 June 2012
More From The Boys Of Summer
While our friends and acquaintances in the Washington DC area play with each other in the kind of games illustrated above, the normal people out here in flyover land are paying attention to more important games like rookie league baseball in Montana and nearby states: Colorado, Utah and Idaho. The good folks in Casper WY have been saddened by the departure of their Pioneer League franchise but since the team was owned by the big guys in Denver, their departure to Grand Junction was probably inevitable. This must be one of the most spread-out leagues we have in this country though I suppose some of those in higher divisions might come close. I know that AAA teams tend to travel by plane and A teams by bus. I don't know what the AA teams do. The teams that make up the AA Texas League, the Eastern League, and the Southern League may well be closer to each other than some of the A league teams. Now that I think about it and look at a map, it looks like the move to Grand Junction makes the southern division of the Pioneer League a little more compact.
In any event the branch of the Boys of Summer here in Billings are celebrating their 60th year here with their usual hoopla and funny old-looking off-white uniforms. One wishes that they would bring their hitting clothes too. In two games so far I counted less than a dozen hits and that included a few doubtful scoring interpretations like the winning stroke last night that most shortstops would have scooped up and thrown out the guy going home.
Pitching was absent Monday night with a lot of wildness and fortunately the 13-3 loss could have been worse but the boys from Missoula were swinging at most anything. When the ball got close to the plate it was usually spanked to the outfield or over it. Last night the pitchers seemed to have their stuff and the home plate umpire changed his mind often enough on the shape of the strike zone to give them the upper hand. Young Bob Stephenson looked good for 5 innings and a couple of big left-handers looked pretty good after that too.
More later. Let us hope our pitchers keep their control and our hitters start withholding their swings at balls more than 6 inches off the plate.