He’s got it, the Wright stuff

Today’s Clearwater Threshers game against the Brevard Manatees felt long overdue for me, so I can’t imagine how it felt for Austin Wright.

Austin was scheduled to start on Friday night in Lakeland against the Flying Tigers. Ross and I made the 70 minute trip over to Lakeland. We were early since there was little to no traffic coming through Tampa. We decided to stop at the Steak n Shake for dinner and it was lucky that we did. We barely sat down and it started to pour…and pour…and pour.

We took our time eating. We kept looking at the radar and we really expected it to move on and the rain to stop…but very strangely, this blob of rain just kept “feeding itself” and didn’t let up. After sitting almost an hour and a half we decided to head home, because at that point, even if the rain had stopped it would have taken and hour or two just to prep the field.

So Wright’s start was pushed back until Saturday, again against the Flying Tigers. Ross and I watched the radar intently and realized that there was no way for it to stay dry…and we were right. Wright’s game was again rained out.

So today we headed over to Brighthouse for Bark in the Park and were pleasantly surprised by getting to see Justin De Fratus pitch the first inning in a rehab assignment. This was great since we missed him last week, again because of rain. (See my blog post De Fratus, De Layed).

Justin De Fratus

He pitched a strong inning, only gave up one hit.

Next up was Austin Wright.

Austin Wright, he's got the right stuff, may be we should call him Austin Powers?

Austin was really good. He struck out eight of the first ten batters and ten overall. (If you want specifics as well as Baseball Ross’ opinion of Wright, CLICK HERE )

It’s like he was able to not only recharge his batteries with the extra days off, but super-charge them. I agree with Ross, I think this kid’s going to be going places, and I think those places are up, up, up.

He also seems to be quite a happy guy, most every time I’ve seen him when he’s in the stands charting/running the radar gun, he’s got a smile on his face. With an attitude like that, you can’t help but root for the guy.

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Bark in the Park–a HOWLING good time!

Today was the Clearwater Threshers’ Bark in the Park, a day when you can bring your dog to the game. My shih tzus Maggie who’s 11 and Veronica who’s 5 LOVE going to baseball games. If you’ve been reading my blog, You’ll know we’ve taken them to the BITP in Reading last year.  They absolutely love this special day.

I wish I had taken video of them when I told them we were going to “baseball”. Their ears went up and they cocked their heads, then burst into activity. Maggie ran in circles and Veronica ran around the living room, jumping on and off the furniture. You’d have thought we would have told them they were getting steak for dinner the way they reacted.

I put on their little pink baseball jerseys (sadly, Veronica’s matching baseball cap was packed away in storage so she didn’t get to wear it.) and off we went.

I have to say that the people who bring their dogs to these events really seem to know their dogs. You don’t have aggressive ones, there is some barking but it’s more of a “Hi how are you?” sort of bark and it’s amazing how well they all get along.

Maggie and Veronica meet "Harry" and I don't know if they knew what to think of that big "dog"

The four of us (Baseball Ross came too) walked the concourse then took our seats. The girls shared a seat between us.

Baseball Ross with the "Baseball Dogs" (Maggie next to Ross Veronica next to my empty seat)

They seem to try to watch the game. I don’t know if it’s the movement of the ball, the sound or just that there are people in front of them but they real seem to keep an eye on the field.

Baseball Dogs watch the game
Wow! Look at that De Fratus pitch!

Of course that doesn’t mean that Veronica didn’t check out the crowd once in a while…

Veronica Loves Baseball

After a while, they did get sleepy…

Sleepy Baseball Dogs

Eventually, they got warm so we took off their jerseys and they took refuge in the shade under their seat…

Baseball Dogs have it made in the shade: Maggie in back, Veronica in front

It was a wonderful day. Our girls enjoy being out and being “a people” for a day. They get to share a hotdog, may be a bite of pretzel and watch baseball. It’s a great day for everyone!

The Baseball Family enjoying the game, Baseball Ross, Maggie, Veronica and Baseball Betsy

De Fratus, De Layed

Today was the day pitcher Justin De Fratus was to return to the mound to continue his rehab.

Unfortunately, it appears that it will not happen today. For the first time in weeks we have had a substantial rain shower. Additionally, the National Weather Service was calling for heavy showers and the potential for thunder storms.

Despite the rain, Ross and I made our way to the Carpenter Complex. It seemed that no one was around and the bus for the visiting team was not there.

I’ll keep my ears open to see when he might get his next chance.