Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yes, he really lost a ground ball in the sun

Some of the things that happen on minor league baseball fields simply wouldn't be believed if not seen. Take last night's Florida State League game between Tampa and Jupiter, during which Hammerheads first baseman Gaby Sanchez lost a ground ball in the sun.

In the top of the second inning, Tampa's Marcos Vechionacci smacked a ground ball to first. It took a bit of an unexpected hop as it got to Sanchez, causing the first baseman to pop the ball into the air. As Sanchez attempted to corral the ball, the setting sun temporarily blinded him. Sanchez to lost sight of the ball while attempting to shade his eyes. The ball bounded over his shoulder, allowing Vechionacci to reach on an error.

A pitcher pretty much knows it's not going to be their day when the first baseman loses a ground ball in the sun. Former first round draft choice Chris Volstd took the loss, falling to 3-5 on the season.

A Flag of a Different Color: There's plenty of fun at Space Coast Stadium, home of the Brevard County Manatees (See lead story on, but there is also a good dose of pragmatism.

A couple of weeks ago one of the clips used to attach the American flag to the flagpole beyond the outfield wall broke. The Manatees made numerous phone calls to the city of Melbourne, which operates the park, only to be told the city was too busy to fix it. During one game a member of the Palm Bay fire department offered to fix the connector.

The next day the Palm Bay fire department drove their fire truck the 20 or so miles up I-95 and performed the repairs. Then they asked Brevard County General Manager Buck Rogers if they could fly the City of Palm Bay flag on an adjacent pole (photo, right). Grateful that Palm Bay was able to accomplish something his own city couldn’t - or wouldn’t - Rogers gladly agreed.

Word is that Melbourne is pretty mad at Rogers, but has yet to send out a truck to take down the Palm Bay flag. The Dugout commends Rogers and the City of Palm Bay for their actions. And Melbourne, if the flag is that unimportant to you, don't complain when yours is replaced.

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