Despite it being perhaps the most beautiful day since I’ve been down here, it’s a near-empty ballpark today. I guess you’ll have that when it’s the Royals and the Padres, neither of which are what you’d call national draws.
But the good thing about it was that I was able to wander down to a seat in the front row right behind the dugout and take the game in like a civilized human being. It helped me get pics like that one of Luke Hochevar. And here’s one of Mat Latos:
I’m surprised he didn’t break my camera, because he was ugly. He threw 34 pitches. Only 15 for strikes. He walked four guys in the first inning, but avoided giving up a run thanks to a nice diving grab by Aaron Cunningham in right field and thanks to Nick Hundley throwing a guy out stealing. Who was probably safe, but don’t worry your pretty little head about that because it’s still spring training for the umps too. Latos left after an inning and a third. Didn’t allow a hit, though, so I’m going to pretend it was the first no-hitter I’ve ever seen in person.
And here was something else fun to see from my seat on the first base line:
Dave Roberts, yo. Back from cancer treatment and manning the box. Glad to see him there.
The game is still early, but it’s very spring trainingy so far. The pitchers don’t quite have a lock on the strike zone. The base running has been fun, though, with the Royals trying to steal almost every time they get on. I just popped back into the box to post this and got a pretty good explanation for it. Seems that Billy Butler was the only Royal to have stolen a base before today and he was crowing to everyone who would listen that he leads the team in steals. People wanted to shut him up, it seems.
It’s the top of the fourth. Time to head back to my good seats.