There’s nothing quite like the ocean-sized parking lot outside of Miller Park. Beer. Brats. Happy Midwesterners. It’s about as close to heaven a boring, baseball loving guy like me has ever been.
But there’s a dark underbelly lurking:
Team officials say scalpers are using increasingly aggressive tactics,
stalking potential buyers, pestering families as they enter the stadium
and hopping on tour buses as they arrive at the park. They say they
receive complaints nearly every game about the activity, which hurts
their attempts to provide a fan-friendly experience.
Lots of fraud too, as scalpers there routinely use tickets to go in and get free giveaways, leave the park and then resell the used (and now worthless) tickets to unsuspecting Wisconsinites. (Query: wasn’t it great when they used to actually tear tickets?).
Scalpers are already supposed to stay in a single designated area, but they always break that rule and usually evade any penalties for it due to loopholes and lax enforcement. All of this has the Wisconsin legislature moving to heel the scalpers.
Good for them. Now if they’ll pass some law that keeps those happy Midwesterners from screwing up perfectly good tailgating by complaining about some Packers’ playoff loss six months ago, the place would be perfect.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.