March 8, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
Mesa, AZ. A boozy fan shouted, “Hey, Charlie,” over and over, his voice floating on top of the organist’s breezy tune at Sloan Park just moments before Len Kasper took the mic for The Cubs broadcast (no Dodger broadcasts ‘till Saturday). It could have been any year after 1850, any small ballpark. Ahhh, the spring sounds of baseball. Speaking of organists, we’re certainly going to miss Nancy Bea Hefley at Dodger Stadium this year (we’d rather hear a rollicking version of “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top” from Oklahoma than Ozzy any day). Although, not all walk-up songs stink. Zack Greinke’s chosen track, Wham’s “Careless Whisper” was one of the funniest things we’ve ever seen at Dodger Stadium. Hey, how about that suave Rick Monday (see attached) pic! It’ll be great to have Charlie Steiner and Rick back on the Dodger broadcast airing this coming Saturday. Thankfully, Cubs radio was far from the stomach-churning experience rascalsoftheravine had with the audio sadists The Cleveland Indians employ (although the feed did go bye-bye for an inning or two…and there were a lot of Chicago commercials with a Fabulous Thunderbirds-like soundtrack).
How’d They Pitch?
King Kersh pitched three innings, giving up one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts. Blanton pitched two, coughing up a home run ka-pow to Kris Bryant (his first of the spring). Baez rolled in afterward and was the last Dodger pitcher to give up a run in the contest, Frias (2 innings) and Rhame (a speedy 1-2-3 ninth) mopped it up in Mesa.
How’d They Hit?
Ethier went 2-3 on the day and scored a run. Hernandez managed a RBI in the fourth on a ball lost in the blinding Arizona sun. Utley ripped a RBI and Puig went 1-3, with a walk in the fifth. Ellis went 2-4, scoring two runs. After several sub-zero at bats, Trace Thompson clobbered a 2-RBI triple in the seventh. Kyle Farmer also scored on a ball-four wild pitch in the same inning. Mercy, Mesa, mercy! Was this a playoff preview? Rascalsoftheravine sayz yayz!