News Columns & Blogs

We're All Set

It’s opening day at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. How do I know? When I walked into the press box this afternoon, the game notes and statistics were placed neatly near my seating area, and my trusty fan was aimed right at my chair. Steve Schuster, who organized these luxuries, is the man. But we’ll see if that’s still happening in July.

I’m not gonna lie, I feel way behind. In past years I’ve been able to come to spring training on many days and talk with a lot of players, and at least be seen by the ones I don’t get to chat with. That hasn’t been the case this year. My employment schedule hasn’t allowed me to spend much time around the team, and with the Wingnuts starting on the road, I’ve lost more chances to be hanging around.

I know what you’re saying — your EMPLOYMENT schedule? Doesn’t that involve covering the Wingnuts? It does, but there are other things going on, too.

I guess that means I just don’t know what to expect, even though I’ve been to two Wingnuts exhibition games. If the first road trip is any indication, I’ll be seeing a lot of offense.

I don’t want to give away the findings of 10 minutes of exhaustive research, but the Wingnuts, outside of Nick Singleton, who has two wins (one in relief), haven’t pitched well. They’ve scored more than eight runs a game but allowed more than seven. It’s likely neither of those numbers will hold up, but the long-term success of the team hinges more on the pitching improving than the offense sustaining.

The Wingnuts have hit, though, scoring at least 12 runs in four of their first seven games. Ryan Patterson, Jorge Delgado and Wichita Eagle sports-cover subject Juan Richardson all have 12 hits and are each batting .400 or better. Jorge Cortes isn’t off to quite as hot of a start but is two hits shy of 1,000 in his professional career. Is that redundant? I think it is. Somewhat surprisingly, the Wingnuts have hit just two home runs, by Delgado and catcher Edwin Bellorin.

I kind of expect another slugfest tonight. El Paso has averaged nine runs in seven games but has allowed even more than that. We could be here a while. But no complaints, right? Baseball is back.