Pre-Game Meal: Staten Island (8/20/12)

by: Evan Valenti (@EvanValenti)

Hey everyone! I know Matt is gone, but because of the overwhelming popularity of this “segment” on ‘Cats Corner I have decided to try and continue “Pre-Game Meal”.

The team had to axe batting practice outside this afternoon because of the inclement weather, but I still have a few tidbits to share with you.

1.) There is an article about Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen hanging in the clubhouse. The article details how, despite his superstar status, McCutchen is one of the Major League’s best hustlers. Most hitters, no matter who it is, when they hit a sharp ground ball to the infield give more of a “courtesy jog” than a full-out sprint. Andrew McCutchen is not one of those players. He runs out everything using at least 95 percent of his speed. He understands his speed is one of his biggest tools, and that by running out ground balls he puts pressure on the infield to make clean plays to try and get him at first. You can see that Manager Stubby Clapp is trying instill that kind of mentality onto his players. Hustle out everything, because you never know what can happen on a measly ground ball.

2.) Ping pong has to be the most popular game played by the guys in the clubhouse, and Aaron West seems to be the king of the table. Juri Perez and Vincent Velasquez have had some matches, however, that should be shown on ESPN Classic or ESPN 8 “The Ocho”. And the two players have significantly different attitudes when they play. Perez is laid back, usually barefoot, and is listening to music, while Velasquez is more focused and vocal. Jarrod McKinney has clearly found a loop-hole in the rules (well, the rules the team plays by). When facing game point, the server cannot lose if the serve does not hit the table. McKinney will keep on serving until his serve just barely hits the corner, making it almost impossible to return it. I had the pleasure of playing Stubby Clapp in one match. He cleaned my clock, 21-10. Hey, at least I scored in double digits. The rematch is coming.

3.) It is Derek Jeter Bobblehead Giveaway Night here at “The Joe”, which officially kicks off our Capital Region Baseball Heritage series. Jeter played here in the Capital Region in 1994 as a member of the Albany-Colonie Yankees. He played in 34 games for the Yankees, who played their home games at Heritage Park in Colonie from 1985-1994. People started lining up outside the gates at around 1 PM. Here’s the picture of what it looked like outside the gates at 5 PM, 45 minutes before the gates opened.

Here is tonight’s lineup:

Sclafani – SS

Elkins – 2B

Tucker – RF

Cokinos – C

Batista – 1B

Gulbransen – DH

McKinney – LF

Dineen – 3B

King – CF

RHP – Brady Rodgers (6-2, 2.37 ERA)


Good job Evan. Keep this excellent blog going. Thanks.

I’ll do my best, Jim. Thank you for your kind words. This feature is very fun to write. Just have to find time to do it.

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