June 20, 2007
The Subway Series Moves South
I want to live in Keyspan Park. I went out to Coney Island last night for the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones home opener against the Staten Island Yankees, and that's one pretty place to watch baseball. You can't see it very well in this photo -- it was sort of hazy, and twilight -- but there's the ocean just past the field. And the Parachute Jump, of course. It's convenient walking distance from Nathan's and Ruby's and the Freak Show, so what more do you need?
I can't say I recognized many names on either roster, but a few were familiar: the Cyclones' starting right fielder is Ender Chavez, brother of Endy (and of Eneider -- I have a feeling I would really hit it off with Mr. and Mrs. Chavez). He's bigger than Endy, though who isn't, and at one point he slid for and missed a line drive that Endy totally would've had, but used a similar cannon to get the runner at second. Ender's manager is Edgar Alfonso, brother of ex-Met Edgardo. There was also an infielder named Micah Schilling, who wears #38, like Curt, but as far as I can tell is no relation... so I'm glad I didn't boo him, I guess.
The game itself wasn't always pretty -- the talent gulf between A-ball and the majors is enormous -- but it was a ton of fun, and this was their first-ever game together as a group, plus the first professional game of any kind for a lot of them. In other words, you cut them all the slack in the world. The SI Yanks out-hit the Cyclones, but couldn't get anybody home most of the night, and Brooklyn got the winning runs on a homer from J.R. Voyles.
Now, I'm no scout, but I can tell you that J.R. Voyles is a pretty solid baseball name. So is DJ Hollingsworth, which is what one Staten Island outfielder goes by, and I expect good things from them both. (Hollingsworth especially, because he looked about 5'4" and could totally become one of those "gritty" little hustling Eckstein-type players that sports writers love. One day you may well be reading column upon column about how DJ has a tiny body -- but an enormous heart.)
I also discovered that Cyclones games are broadcast on the radio, and while apparently that station only reaches about three square blocks, you can listen on the web. I haven't heard it yet, but I assume this can only be awesome.
A few more photos...
Here, observe the Cyclones' mascot, Sandy, moments before it devoured a small child:
Maybe they're not the future of the franchise, but the SI Yanks were all perched on the top step for the entire game, as were the Cyclones:
Ceci n'est pas Paul O'Neill:
C'est Braedyn Pruitt. (Sadly, not a very good baseball name. Sorry kid.)