Jack Magruder reports that Diamondbacks’ third baseman Melvin Mora was struck from behind in car accident and will miss a couple of days because of it.
This is not major news, but I pass it along so I can put up two random spring training observations I didn’t get around to making last week:
1) Some scouts hanging around the Dbacks-Giants game I went to talked about Melvin Mora fitting in on the Diamondbacks. They kept saying stuff like “he’s a ballplayer and Gibson likes ballplayers,” and “yeah, he likes to play the game. He’s a player.” I actually was around a lot of scouts while I was down there and most of them had really insightful things to say, be it about baseball specifically or life in the game in general. I got a lot of laughs and learned some stuff from them. Those two guys, however: not so much. I have no idea what “he’s a ballplayer” is supposed to mean.
2) Accidents happen everywhere, but I must note that while everyone tends to complain about drivers no matter where they are — people always think that where they live has “the world’s worst drivers!” — I must say that people in the Phoenix area drive quite well. Not too fast and reckless, not too slow and pokey. People merge properly. People are generally courteous, but not so much that they back up traffic just to let you in. It’s square in the sweet spot of drivability. I’m not sure if there is a cultural geographic reason for this, but one does a lot of driving in Phoenix, and for nearly 10 days I was in constant comfort and easy on the roadways, and I can’t say that about most places I’ve been.
That is all.
Mike Matheny tried to have his own son picked off at first base
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a son, Tate, who was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Missouri State University. Tate, an outfielder, spent the 2015 season with Low-A Lowell and last year played at Single-A Greenville.
Now in spring camp with the Red Sox, Tate is trying to continue his ascent through the minor league system. On Monday afternoon in a game against his father’s Cardinals, Tate pinch-ran after Xander Bogaerts singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Mike wasn’t about to let his son catch any breaks. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Yes, the moment Tate Matheny pinch-ran at first base, Mike Matheny called for a throw over in an attempt to pick him off. #Cardinals#RedSox
MESA, AZ — Over the past couple of seasons we’ve, more or less, gotten used to the sight of metal detectors at major league ballparks. And the sight of long lines outside of them, requiring us to get to the park a bit earlier or else risk missing some of the early inning action.
Beginning this year, Major League Baseball is mandating that all spring training facilities use some form of metal detection, be it walkthrough detectors like the ones shown here at the Giants’ park in Scottsdale or wands like the one being used on the nice old lady above at the Cubs facility in Mesa.
I asked Major League Baseball why they are requiring them in Florida and Arizona. They said that the program was not implemented in response to any specific incident or threat at a baseball game, but are “precautionary measures.” They say that metal detection “has not posed significant inconvenience or taken away from the ballpark experience” since being required at big league parks in 2015 and believe it will work the same way at the spring training parks.They caution fans, however, that, as the program gets underway, they should allow for more time for entry.
And that certainly makes sense:
I took this photo a few minutes after the home plate gate opened at Sloan Park yesterday afternoon. As I noted this morning, the Cubs sell out every game in their 15,000-seat park. That’s a lot of wanding and, as a result, it could lead to a lot of waiting.
But the crowds here all seemed to get through the line pretty quickly. Perhaps because the wanding is not exactly a time-consuming affair:
Not every security guard was as, well, efficient as this guy. But hardly anyone walking through the gate was given a particularly thorough go-over. I saw several hundred people go through the procedure soon after the gates opened and most of them weren’t scanned bellow the level of their hip pockets. I went back a little closer to game time when most people were already in the park and the lines were shorter. The procedure was a bit more deliberate then, though not dramatically so. This is all new for the security people too — spring training just started — and it’s fair to say that they are trying hard to balance the needs of their new precautionary measures against the need to keep the lines moving and the fans happy.
On this day at least it seemed that fan happiness was winning. I spoke with several fans after they got through the gates and none of them offered much in the way of complaint about being wanded. The clear consensus: it’s just what we do now. We have metal detectors and cameras at schools and places of work and security procedures have been ratcheted up dramatically across the board. That we now have them at ballparks is not surprising to anyone, really. It’s just not a thing anyone thinks to question.