Posted on 27. Feb, 2009 by in General Baseball.



No matter how the game went, Toronto starter Matt Clement was just happy to be on the mound.  Clement was making his first start since 2006, and has missed the past few seasons with injuries.  He held the Detroit Tigers to one run in two innings as the Blue Jays won the game 6-4.

Blue Jays reliever Brad Mills would work two innings replacing Clement and earned the victory, as Toronto scored four runs off Tiger Dontrelle Willis.  Seven different Blue Jays would record hits and outfielder Jason Lane would hit his second homer in as many days.  The Tigers would out hit Toronto 11-7, but could only manage four runs.  Fielding mistakes proved to be costly as the Blue Jays would score two unearned runs leading to the difference in the ballgame.

-    Both the United States and the Canadian National Anthem were played before the game. I noticed the large number of fans signing the USA Anthem very loud.
-    Toronto wore their black spring training jerseys, with no names on the back and black spring training hats.
-    The Detroit Tigers wore there road grey regular uniforms with their home navy hat with the old English “D” on it.
-    Gary Sheffield received a large ovation from the home crowd when he stepped to the plate for his first at bat.
-    There were a lot of Ontario license plates in the parking lot as many fans from Canada make the trip to Dunedin.
-    Toronto scored a run in the 1st inning without the benefit of a hit.
-    Dontrelle Willis took the mound to start the bottom of the 3rd to a lot of “ohs” being heard in the crowd.
-    Dontrelle Willis loaded the bases in the bottom of the 4th before recording an out and was pulled by Manager Jim Leyland to a lot of “ohs” being heard in the crowd.  Willis’ line, 1 inning, 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, 1 walk.  Also missing is the strange windup that Willis used earlier in his career, when he was having success.
-    Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Adam Loewen made a routine catch into a snow cone catch in the top of 5th to a lot of laugher from the crowd. Give the guy a break, he is in his first year of transition from a pitcher to an outfielder.
-    There were a few between inning contests for fans to take part in. The lamest was the “Sunburn contest” where fans cheered who was the most sunburn.  Silly thing is if you are not sitting within ten feet of the dugout, how are you supposed to tell?
-    Detroit Tiger rookie shortstop Cale Iorg had a rough day, throwing the first two groundballs he fielded into the stands beyond first base. He received a large cheer a few innings later when he finally made a routine play.  And then he went on to add a third error of the game.
-    Toronto Blue Jay infielder Joe Inglett popped a pitch straight behind him, that hit a bird and fell straight down. Don’t worry animal activists, the bird kept on flying.
-    Take Me Out to the Ballgame was performed in the seventh inning by the beerman standing on top of the dugout and performing without music accompaniment.

STADIUM QUIRKS- Dunedin Stadium
-    Luckily I found a street parking spot for free about ½ miles from the stadium.  There was plenty of parking available from $5 to $10.  The stadium sits in a residential/commercial area, so most parking spots are peoples business or homes.  Only parking passes are let onto the stadiums main lot.
-    At the start of the game, there is not a lot of shade to be found.
-    The Toronto Blue Jays home dugout is located on the first base side.
-    Dunedin Stadium is only a one level stadium without a second deck.
-    The food at the stadium was poor, with not a very unique selection.  The best thing they over is a stuffed pretzel with cream cheese.
-    The batting cages are behind the bullpen, which is located behind the right field wall.  The cages are not visible for fans to watch any action.
-    There is a ½ field for workouts located behind the center field fence. This field was viewable from outside the gates when you walk around.
-    The Blue Jays offices and clubhouse are located in right field.
-    There was a long line to get in the front gate as that is the only line for the general public to use. There is a season ticket only line in right field that I talked my way into since no one was waiting.
-    You cannot bring any food into the stadium, so I was made to sit outside and eat my Black and White cookie that I wanted to bring in with me.
-    Found it odd that the umpires dressing room is located in the concourse and they had to walk through a group of fans to take the field.
-    The visiting bullpen is down the left field line, and the players sit inside the batting practice cage to keep the sun away.
-    The sound system at the stadium was very poor and the scoreboard was always nothing to look at.
-    There was no WIFI available at the park.
-    There is on radar gun visible for fans to see.
-    There are no lawn seats at Dunedin Stadium.
-    There is a Budweiser Select Lounge that season ticket holders can go in underneath the stadium for a drink or two.
-    All of the American League team flags fly above the stadium lining the roof behind home plate.
-    BATTLE OF THE SODAS: Pepsi is sold.

Tomorrow I will venture to George Steinbrenner Field to see the New York Yankees take on the Minnesota Twins.  I drove by the stadium tonight in Tampa to get a quick look, and at first impression, I feel like I will like the stadium.  Check back tomorrow for more updates from Spring training as I get closer to reporting for work at Minor League Camp in Sarasota with the Cincinnati Reds.

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