February 26, 2014 - 6:36 PM
By Mike Harrington
It's freezing outside and it's freezing inside the First Niagara Center as I get set for tonight's Sabres-Bruins game. I'm also five days away from heading to Florida to cover the Sabres' trip there -- but while they're in Dallas on Monday I'll be at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa watching the Yankees and Nationals.
So anything to get some baseball out of my system on a freezing cold day, I present this to you:
The Catch of the Year competition is over. On the first day of play in the Cactus League.
Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick did it with this incredible Spiderman act on the right field wall against Mike Morse of the Giants today in Scottsdale. You cannot be serious about this one. An Instagram user (JLaff21) got a copy of the video iff MLB Network because the game was not televised.
The A's have now released a view that includes the crowd reaction and the San Francisco Chronicle has posted it.
Check them out below:
The Bisons' season opener is less than a month away, as it's April 7 at Coca-Cola Field against Syracuse. And the 13-game spring training schedule in Florida opens Thursday when the Herd meets the New Orleans Zephyrs at the Florida Marlins' complex in Jupiter.
All games start at 1 p.m. and the opponents will be either New Orleans, Memphis (St. Louis) or Syracuse (Washington). Memphis shares the Jupiter complex with the Marlins while the Nationals' complex is in Viera, near the Kennedy Space Center. Seven games are at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie.
I get a lot of inquiries about this every year from folks heading to Florida. There is usually no admission charge to minor-league games. They're usually on back fields (e.g. maybe a couple rows of bleachers and no scoreboards, etc). Don't look for Bisons uniforms because the players are all wearing uniforms of the big-league clubs. Be wary of a game at the same time as a major-league game because that's when you can usually get hit with parking or admission charges to the complex.
It's awesome to get an up-close view of a game from behind a screen but stay alert for foul balls! And if you're looking for autographs, you can often get them as soon as a game is over. But don't go poking near the dugout trying to get them during a game. Major fan fail.
The spring training schedule opens today with the Braves and Mets at 1:10 from Port St. Lucie, Fla. Check it out on SNY beginning at 12:30 but be wary: Lots of Twitters on the Mets beat that it's raining hard down there. If they play, 2009 Bisons star Nelson Figueroa will throw the first pitch of the spring for the Mets.
(11:30 a.m. update: Looks like they'll play although Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News reports a very Bison-like lineup that includes possible 2010 Herdmen Jesus Feliciano, Mike Hessman, Ike Davis, Chris Coste, Jason Pridie and Luis Hernandez).
Now that the calendar has flipped to March -- and even though we have the NHL trade deadline staring us in the face tomorrow -- we'll be starting to crank up ye olde Inside Pitch blog as well. Mets/Bisons chatter, Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, Blue Jays and whoever else meets our mind.
Today's game is the only one on the schedule matching two big-league teams. Action really heats up Wednesday (including the Yankees' opener in Tampa against the Pirates) and Thursday, when everyone plays and the schedule is highlighted by CC Sabathia starting against Roy Halladay in a Yankees-Phillies World Series redux in Clearwater. Wonder if any Phillies will go down as payback from some of the plunkings A-Rod took last October, er, November.