Scenes from Spring Training: Welcome to Phoenix Municipal Stadium

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I’m in the press box of Phoenix Municipal Stadium.  I can’t say for sure how long I’ll be here, however, because real estate is at a premium.  Most of these boxes have two rows. The first row is for the beat writers who cover the team every day, the official scorer and people like that.  The second row has spaces for reporters covering the visiting team and a few empty slots. I usually slide into an empty slot.

Here the second row — a full 15-20 spaces, which is large for Arizona — is dedicated to the Matsui Brigade. As in, the Japanese media covering Hideki Matsui.  I’ve heard tell of the size of that contingent, but seeing the kind of real estate theyoccupy is something to behold.  For now I’m in a visiting media slot.  There a five of them. The Indians are the visitors, so I may be safe.  If Paul Hoynes or Jordan Bastain kick me out of my slot, I’ll have no reason to complain.

Get a load of this stadium, though.  It was built in 1964.  That poured concrete facade is the tell.  It reminds me of a government building in Brasilia or something.  Which isn’t a criticism, because I rather like government buildings of that era for some strange reason.  They can be hideous in their Brutalism, but they’re comforting to me.  They remind me of elementary school. Heck, they remind me of Denney Hall on the Ohio State campus, where I probably spent most of my in-class time as an undergrad.  I’m digging Phoenix Municipal.

Oh, and this doesn’t hurt:

I’m heading down to the clubhouse. I promise to not to tell you if I see anything interesting.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.