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Me, Elsewhere: Driving to Portland

My latest Hardball Times article recounts the recent road trip Mrs. Ducksnorts and I took up I-5 to Portland. It expands on the little nuggets I provided last week and, like the trip itself, wanders all over the place.

We examine some former and current Padres farmhands, a forgotten minor-league star, Portland’s great 1964 rotation, Stephen Strasburg and Brian Matusz, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare, Willie McCovey and Jeff Bagwell… One of my favorite baseball moments from the trip came courtesy of a certain speedster:

Portland center fielder Luis Durango, whose offensive game calls to mind Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre, tripled in the second inning. Durango hit a ball to left-center that Fresno center fielder Eugenio Velez cut off in the gap. When Velez got to the ball, Durango appeared to be pulling up at second base but instead kicked into another gear and beat the throw to third. I don’t know a lot of guys who even try for the extra base there, let alone make it.

I remain skeptical of Durango’s ability to parlay his one fantastic skill into a material big-league career, but the guy is fun to watch.

Anywho, I’m still sifting through my notes, so expect more tales at some point (gotta justify that tax writeoff). Meanwhile, to learn just how awful Josh Geer’s 2009 performance was (although you already have some clue), which popular sitcom from the ’70s and ’80s reminds me of Twelfth Night, and more, check out the first fruits of my labor.

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2 Responses »

  1. Planning on checking out a Beavers game next month. It will be my first minor league game ever. Will the dead crowd spoil or distort my impressions of the typical minor league game experience?

  2. Eric, I have caught minor-league games at more than 20 venues. With the exception of the Arizona League, which does not promote itself to fans, I have never seen anything like what I saw at Portland. If you can, I highly recommend getting to Eugene for an Emeralds game. That is much more representative of the minor-league experience.