I had to go on a business trip requiring me to fly into Orlando and I was able to see a game while I was there. The closest team that was at home was the St. Lucie Mets, so I thought that would be a good place to go.
I knew I was cutting things close with my trip after work and I arrived just before game time. I didn’t realize that the stadium was being renovated and that half of the seats were off limits. I was definitely surprised to see the construction work that was visible from outside of the stadium.
Normally, I arrive at least an hour before the game starts to take pictures, get a good look at the stadium, and maybe get some autographs. But since I walked up right as the national anthem was playing, I didn’t have that same opportunity. I was able to get my obligatory pictures though. The official attendance was 580, so there were plenty of seats and chances to walk around and take pictures wherever I wanted.
I was excited to see Tampa CF Estevan Florial, the Yankees #1 prospect, in his third game of the season after coming off of the injured list. Although he went 1-4, he continued his hit streak in every game of this season.
The Mets scored first on a home run by 3B Blake Tiberi and put up 3 more in the 5th. Mets starting pitcher Tony Dibrell looked good going 5 1/3 striking out 5 without giving up a run. The Tarpons made it 4-3 in the top of the 7th thanks to a home run by 3B Angel Aguilar. But the Mets added 3 in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-run single by CF Jacob Zanon and a home run by DH Carlos Cortes, ending as a 7-3 Mets win.
The Florida Fire Frogs will be relocating after the 2019 season as the site will be turned into a soccer complex. There has been no official announcement about where the team will move to, but one would have to think that an option would be the Braves new spring training facility in North Port, FL. Since this is the only Braves affiliate that the major league team does not own, they may be looking to change that.
The Omaha Storm Chasers have extended their player development contract with the Royals to 2022. Omaha has the third longest affiliation with the same club, as they have been with the Royals since 1969. Only Lakeland with the Tigers and Reading with the Phillies are longer.
The Las Vegas 51s have changed their name to the Las Vegas Aviators. I think that it’s a much better choice and a more reasonable name than many of the other new choices. I didn’t like 51s since it was a tribute to Area 51 which is close to Las Vegas and not a being. Although when people think about Las Vegas, I don’t think the first thought is about the aircraft testing that is done in the area.
This year, baseball betting has become legal in more states than just Nevada, including some near where I am just outside of Philadelphia, as Delaware and New Jersey now allow for legal sports betting. This was a long time coming, in my opinion, as many state governments are interested in their cut of the profits from legal sports betting. This means it is also legal to do sports betting online if you are in one of these states.
While baseball betting may not be as popular as some other sports, it is still a fun activity. I think that one of the reasons that baseball doesn’t seem to attract the same level as attention as some other sports is that they have 162 games and each one isn’t as significant in the big picture. Every game does count and does allow for an opportunity to take a look at the pitching matchup, which generally drives the betting line, and is an opportunity to see if you can make some money based on your knowledge. Fine, I know that it is a good amount of luck, in addition to the skill that you have, but in the long run, if you know what you are doing, you should come out ahead.
Things are getting a little more difficult now to determine how to place your baseball bets with the trend of “bullpenning” that some teams are using nowadays. This puts less emphasis on the starting pitcher and more on the ability of the team to match up their pitchers against the opposing team’s hitters. It was one thing when you could see the pitching matchup and make a determination of which one matched up better against the other’s offense. Now you would need to figure out which bullpen will prevail against the other team’s line up, not really knowing which pitcher they will be facing when. Ultimately what this does is remove the factor of the starting pitcher and matches up two teams as a whole against each other. So I would assume that if there was a case where all of the same pitchers were available two days in a row and there wasn’t a designated starter on either team, that the betting line would be the same each day. Things haven’t gotten to that point yet, but it’s interesting to think about.
Anyway, I do encourage you to do some research on baseball betting and if it is legal where you are, I would recommend you give it a try.
The new Pioneer League team in Colorado Springs, which is relocating from Helena, will be known as the Rocky Mountain Vibes. I thought that the Colorado Springs Sky Sox was a pretty good name, but they wanted to go in a new direction with the new team. Since their name isn’t a tangible object, they have lots of room for interpretation on how to incorporate a vibe into their identity. I do wish that they had kept the Colorado Springs name rather than Rocky Mountain, although I don’t think that Colorado Springs Vibes would have been an option.
The new AA Texas League team in Amarillo which is relocating from San Antonio will be known as the Amarillo Sod Poodles. It is disappointing that another team picked a nickname for a local animal that few outside of that area would have any idea what they were talking about. But it must check all of the boxes for the minor league teams that take this approach.