Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 2 in Mesa Cubs Vs Giants

Cubs vs Giants

Yesterday, I dove out to Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa to watch the Cubs host the Giants. This is the last year the Cubs will be at Ho Ho Kam (Don't ask me where the name came from.) Next year, they move into a new facility that is supposed to resemble Wrigley Field. Ho Ho Kam looks pretty good to me. I would rather see  them put the money into getting a few stars to win the pennant, know what I mean?

Much like Chicago, the Cubs are charging their fans whatever the market will bear. Seven bucks to park your car on a grass field. The gift shop is loaded with junk-everything you can name with a Cubs logo on it. What is really outrageous is that a polo shirt that costs 55 bucks at the Reds/Indians gift shop in Goodyear is 68-78 bucks at Ho Ho Kam.  The Goodyear shop was much nicer. and cheaper.

Before the game, there was a table with a bunch of ex-ballplayers signing autographs. The headliner was Ferguson Jenkins, the Cubs' hall of fame pitcher. Also in attendance were Gaylord Perry (unrecognizable in a white beard) Darrell Evans, Jodie Davis, Willie Wilson and Peter Lacock.

Yes, Peter Lacock. If memory serves me correctly, he is the son of Hedy Lamarr, the actress.

Or was it Lorraine Day? I hope not because that might mean he was the son of Leo Durocher.

Anyway, the deal was for 20 bucks you could get a baseball pre-autographed by two hall of famers (Jenkins and Perry?) and another ten bucks would get you a picture with "your favorite ballplayer".  I didn't see the ex-players signing anything so I presume the balls were already signed and who knows-by a facsimile machine for all I knew. I decided to spend my 20 bucks on a hot dog and beer. Besides, I don't collect autographs anyway.

And the Cubs played perfect hosts to the Giants. I left after the 8th inning and the Giants were up something like 9-3.

As for the Cubs team this year, it seems to be playing out like this. Third base is unknown though it seems the Cubs will have depth in the infield with Alberto Gonzales and Luis Valbuena. They can both play the position until Ian Stewart gets back for his final shot. Steve Clevenger can catch or play third or first. He gets his bat on the ball. Navarro hit a homer against the Giants and will be the back-up catcher to Wellington Castillo.

Aside from Soriano, don't expect much offense in the outfield from DeJesus, Schierholtz or Hairston. Hitting will be Soriano, Rizzo and Castro. Barney will provide great defense at 2nd and hopefully raise his average a bit from last year's 254.

Pitching-wise, Chris Rusin, a leftie, was impressive against the Indians 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He may win a spot in the rotaion if one of the others falters. Travis Wood was less than impressive against the Giants.

This will be another transition year as the Cubs continue to develop their young guys in the minors, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Alberto Almora (who has a wrist injury) and a few others.


Findalis said...

Did you expect anything else from the Cubs Gary? I have no expectations from this team and doubt they will even get to the playoffs.

elwood p suggins said...

Ho Ho Kam in AZ sounds a lot like Hohokus in NJ, believe it most likely is Indian/Native American, no??