Colvin’s Slam Not Enough

Marmol in 9th
Today continued the great weather here in Mesa as we had 75 degrees and abundant sunshine. The Cubs played a split squad Colorado Rockies team and ended up on the losing end of a 6-4 score in front of 11,318 at Hohokam.
Attendance at Hohokam like the rest of the Cactus League (except for the Diamondbacks/Rockies new stadium) has been down this season. A final weekend game at Hohokam would likely have in the past  brought a full house or close to it. However, the Cubs 11,318 today was 2,300 fans more than the next closest Arizona Cactus League game. I say in Arizona because the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played San Diego at the Big A and drew 28,000. The Angels  finished their Arizona Cactus league play yesterday and are closing the exhibition season playing in California. The Dodgers are also done in Arizona as of today and will play three games in California before opening day. I’ll take a closer examination into the Cactus League numbers after the Cubs close the exhibition season.

As for today’s game, Cubs opening day starter Ryan Dempster pitched decently allowing 3 runs on 5 hits but only threw 4 innings. James Russell followed Dempster retiring 7 in a row before allowing 2 runs in the 7th inning. John Grabow pitched the 8th and allowed 1 run on 2 hits with a strike out and a walk. Carlos Marmol came in for the 9th and put the hammer down 1-2-3 striking out the final 2 Rockies.

Colvin’s grand salami

The only real Cubs offense of the day came in the 8th when Tyler Colvin hit a grand slam accounting for all the Cubs runs.

It is interesting to note that Cubs minor leaguers Brett Jackson and Bryan LaHair started today’s game but instead of their usual jerseys and numbers they ended up with numbers 85 and 95 respectively. This was due to their uniforms already being shipped out of AZ. Alfonso Soriano struggled in the outfield, so much so that he received some boos after one of his defensive efforts and again when he stepped to the plate later. It should be noted that he did have an outfield assist throwing out  at third base.

One of our ceremonial first pitches was tossed by Arizona children’s show legend Bill Thompson better known as Wallace from the Wallace and Ladmo Show. Wallace and Ladmo was a well known Arizona kids show from 1954 to 1989. Another Arizona figure in attendance today was former Grand Canyon State Governor Rose Mofford. Mofford played a vital role in keeping the Cactus League in Arizona during the late 80s and early 90s when Florida made a push to lure teams East. She appointed a task-force chaired by Dwight Patterson (as in Dwight Patterson, Field Hohokam Stadium) that eventually saw new AZ stadiums built propelling an even more successful Cactus League that has now reached 15 teams.
Rose Mofford at 88 years young, with Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

In the 7th inning I was given a note at the last second saying that former Governor Mofford was going to circle the park in a golf cart  I didn’t know exactly what that meant until I saw Governor Mofford and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and driver whipping around  the field on the warning track.  This must have been an impromptu event because there was no game break for it and Aramis Ramirez was stepping to the plate when Mofford came whizzing by in the golf cart.

Photos by Boys of Spring’s photographer John Antonoff.

Soriano misses on this effort

Brett Jackson to Starlin Castro to A-Ram nails Jose Morales
Tim

Tim

Tim Sheridan is a Cubs fanatic who also happens to be the Cubs spring training public address announcer at Sloan Stadium and your tour guide here at boysofspring.com.
Tim

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