Saturday, May 17, 2008

Even bad baseball is worth a night at the ballpark

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The Dugout is currently enjoying watching the worst team in minor league baseball struggle through another tight contest.

The Florida State League’s St. Lucie Mets have lost nine straight, and tonight’s game against Daytona closes out a 14-game home stand that has produced just one victory. Pitching had been the Mets problem – a month into the season they posted the worst team ERA in baseball. At 5.19, their current team ERA has improved, but it won’t be winning any titles soon.

Lately hitting has been a bigger problem. In their 12 losses on this home stand, the Mets have scored more than two runs just four times.

Despite an 8-33 record the Mets have a pretty decent crowd tonight. The bottom of the third inning is currently being delayed by one of the Zooperstars! routines, so that probably helped attendance.

It’s also 70s night here. All the staffers are dressed in leisure suits and the like, but aside from a few KISS fans, the crowd doesn’t seem to have bought into the theme.

For much of the season St. Lucie was locked in battle-stinkale with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for the worst record in baseball. The Iron Pigs are on a bit of a hot streak lately, winning six of seven before last night’s loss. The Dugout will be in Lehigh Valley next weekend as part of a four-city trip. Can’t wait to compare.

Independent Update: The Northern League, United League and American Association – all independent leagues – started their seasons within the last week. The Frontier League begins on Sunday. The Can-Am and Golden leagues throw their first pitches on Thursday, May 22, while the four-team Continental League waits until Friday.

After that, fans hunting for opening day festivities will need to wait until the middle of June for the start of short-season leagues.

Egg-cellent: Hagerstown is hosting the fourth annual National Egg Toss Championship tomorrow (Sunday, May 18). The winning team last year successfully tossed (and caught) their egg 44 feet, 8 inches. Anyone at the ballpark is invited to compete. There is no entry fee. The winner receives a prize package from the Maryland Egg Council.

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