Thursday, April 7, 2011
I realized something rather strange last night. I went up to Bradenton to meet the new crop of Bradenton Marauders at a special event at Desoto Square Mall. All in all we have a group of nice kids to be proud of this year. Most were promoted from Low A West Virginia Power and some from the short season State College Spikes. Seven (including five pitchers) are returning from last year's Marauders.
As I talked with some of these guys I felt strange because they weren't "the" Marauders - kids like Qunicy Latimore or Brock Holt or Jeremy Ferrell or Eric Fryer, all of whom were promoted to AA level Altoona Curve this year. I guess its because of the familiarity that developed cheering those guys on through 68 home games and 6 away games and the Division championship series. I miss that team. All last summer fellow Marauder fans and I would debate and discuss who on the 2010 team should be promoted to AA or AAA level or why they hadn't been promoted already. Now that exactly what we discussed has come true for them, I find myself selfishly wishing it hadn't happened.
I talked with Joel,the "voice" of the Marauders who announces all their games and who maintains the blog "Its Deep and Might Not Be Playable" about the Marauders. He told me that this year's Marauders hit more home runs at West Virginia last year than "we" did. "We" being the 2010 Marauders. Maybe Joel was feeling the same way.
It will probably get better in a few weeks when seeing Benji Gonzalez at shortstop this year is as natural as seeing Brock Holt there last year, or watching outfielder Evan Chambers knock balls out of the park becomes as common place as watching Quincy Latimore do it 19 times last summer.
Right now, however, its weird not having "our" Marauders around any longer.