They didn't have fireworks night at Joe Bruno Stadium Monday, but they nearly sold out the joint just the same.
The lure was a local boy who made good---so far. Jamie Schultz, who was a high school star at Maple Hill High in Schodack, started for the Hudson Valley Renegades vs. Tri-City on Monday. Schultz had a huge following of his own, a combination of family & friends from home and Renegades fans who made the pilgrimage from Wappingers Falls, where the Renegades play their home games. Unfortunately, things didn't end well for Schultz, who was lifted after three innings. His only mistake was a 2-run HR by Valleycats outfielder Jon Kemmer in the 2nd inning, which put the hosts up for good. Schultz was tagged with the loss as Tri-City prevailed despite a hour-long rain delay in the bottom of the 8th after a leadoff walk to Kemmer.
Schultz is just the latest "homegrown" product to play at "The Joe", all but one for the opposition. The others:
Casper Wells (Schenectady High): Drafted by Detroit, now plays for the Chicago White Sox, his 4th team this year alone.
Joe Mahoney (Catholic Central): Drafted by Baltimore, now in the Miami chain.
Chris Salamida (Watervliet): Drafted by Houston, pitched one season for the 'Cats before moving up the ladder. However, Houston cut him, and at last check, Salamida was back home, pitching in the Albany Twilight League.
Here's to hoping Schultz eventually joins ex-Valleycat Ben Zobrist with the Tampa Bay Rays and gets on the main stage.
They may be 11 games out of first in the NL East, but I'd venture to say that if the Mets continue to play as they have of late, we could be hearing network pundits saying other teams are sleeping on the Amazin's.
Despite losing to Atlanta Monday, the Mets had picked up two games in the standings on the first-place Braves as they won 2 of 3 from the hated Philadelphia Phillies while Atlanta stumbled against the White Sox, whom the Mets had split 4 games with earlier this season. Bear in mind, too, that the Mets' 8-2 record against the AL this season may be among the best in the NL. I wouldn't write them off just yet.
More than a year and a half after avoiding a 50 game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs (PED's), Milwaukee's Ryan Braun had his season end Monday when he was suspended by Major League Baseball for 65 games. The league office said the ban would also include any postseason games the Brewers would play, but, in all honesty, that's a pipe dream at present. The New York tabloids are so sure that injured Yankees slugger and tabloid magnet Alex Rodriguez is next on Commissioner Allan (Potato Bud) Selig's hit list. The New York Daily News, for example, declared on their front page today, "You're Next, A-Roid!".
The tabloid media in New York turned on Rodriguez a while ago, but can't stop writing about him. He was supposed to be activated Monday, but is still on the DL due to a strained quadricep muscle suffered over the weekend. MLB may as well just go right ahead and drop the hammer on Rodriguez, just so the tabloid jockeys can find someone/something else to write about obsessively. Rodriguez has the biggest contract in the game, plays in the biggest media center in the country, and has youth baseball players in the area turning on him as well, according to an article in the Daily News. What better example can be made?
The lesson is simple. If you can't succeed on your own skills and abilities, you just need to work harder. You know the old homily. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.