Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wet Trip To Lexington & the End of the Season

Took a road trip with the family to Lexington to try to catch the last two games of the season.  Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate.  I got to spend about 4 hours at Whitaker Bank Ballpark but didn't get to see any baseball.  However, their grounds crew pulled the tarp impressively. 

Sunday night was rained out and they planned a double header to start at 11:00 on Monday.  Monday, we were able to chat with a few players while waiting out the rain delay. For guys who are away from home, sometimes a familiar face can make them smile.  Several of the former G'ville players recognized us and chatted.  We chatted about the weather and how their seasons had gone. We talked about home.  One of the players heading to instructs said he was going to get 12 days at home before he had to report.  He was trilled with the idea of time at home. 

However, as a family, we had decided that 2:30 would be our departure time for G-ville.  Sure enough, 1st pitch of the double header was shortly after 2:30 PM.  We were already on the road and were able to listen to a few of the innings via radio. 

When I got home, I hated we had to leave.  The box score showed a good showing by former G-Stros in the double header sweep.  In game 1, Hector Rodriquez went 1-2 with an RBI, Emilio King went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Jorge De Leon got his 16th save. In game 2, former G-Stros accounted for all three RBI (King, Nash & Sosa), the win (Alaniz), a hold (Gouvea) and the save (Streinlein).

Thanks to Ryan (@eFIVE Tweets) for all his help during the trip.  It is great that you can travel to an unfamiliar place and have some one who makes sure you have a great time regardless of the weather.

Hopefully next season we can make a visit for an actual game.

The End of the Season
Baseball America today put the end of the season well:
The final day of a minor league season feels a whole lot like the last day of the year at a college.
Bags are packed, some parents are milling around to help load up cars. Goodbyes are given along with promises to keep in touch.
And the reality is that some of the players heading home may never be back. For six months, a baseball team is a large family. They travel together, eat together and spend hours wiling away the dead time before games or during rain delays. Then at the end of the season, everyone heads to their respective homes. Some will be back together again next year. But others will be traded, or sign elsewhere as minor league free agents, or get released.
It makes for one of the stranger days of the season. Players who have been grinding their way through a 140-game season and more than six months away from friends and family understandably are excited about the idea of heading home.
By an hour after the game, the bags are packed and the clubhouse is beginning to look like a ghost town. Players are used to traveling light, so with a couple of duffel bags and bat bags loaded up, most of them are ready to hit the road.
The Legends had last place locked up, to them the games were meaningless.  However, they impacted the standings and the league office said they must be played.  Sometimes those of us who follow minor league baseball forget these players are humans with families and friends they miss.  There is nothing worse that expecting to be home by a certain time and getting delayed.  It doesn't matter if that delay is via travel conditions, weather, demanding bosses or the league office saying you have to play a game.

The Legends were supposed to have a 12:00 start time on Sunday.  Those driving home could have been on the road by 4:00.  Several of those flying had 5:30 fights.    Due to having to play both halves of the double header, their plans changed. By the time they played both games, it was after 6:30. Some were frustrated by the events.  Yet, several of the players still took time out to talk to fans.  My son left with a few extra souvenirs.  He also got to spend time with some guys who put their frustrations aside to make an 11 year olds day.  So today we give a special thank you to Hector Rodriguez, Domingo Santana, Ben Heath, and Jhonny Medrano for going above and beyond on a cold wet day when their thoughts were on home. 

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