Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Beauty of Florida Afternoons in the Spring

It’s time to dust off the keyboard and get back on track. After a two week break I feel like posting again. With the weather finally warming in the TBA, thoughts are turning away from the ice rinks and towards the ball fields. The recent, dismal play of the Lightning also leads ones attention to the hope eternal that Spring Training provides.

In that vein I took a little trip to Sarasota last week. Being unemployed does tend to give one time to take little excursions like this. So into the Mini Cooper I hopped and drove across the Big Bridge. Guided by Mapquest (and delayed momentarily by my inability to discern left from right) I found myself at the new home of the Baltimore Orioles – Ed Smith Stadium.

I joined as assorted band of retirees, vacationers, young kids and work-dodgers for a 1.05pm tilt between the O’s and the Rays. Despite it being an official home game for the Baltimore nine, the crowd was decidedly pulling for the boys in blue.

The O’s fielded a team of minor leaguers and on the bubble veterans while the Rays went with what should evolve into their starting nine. Young Chris Tillman took the mound against Jeff Neimann in a battle of future aces for the two second tier American League East clubs.

I lasted until the 6th inning, having to leave early to beat traffic at the home front. However, I did stay long enough to snap a few pictures.

Hey Tom Foley – How goes it?

The Once and Future Shortstop?

Jim Palmer, the Hall of Fame PITCHER, discusses the finer parts of HITTING with Papa Joe Maddon and Dave Martinez.

"Cakes" still has it. Actually, I think he bounced this one in.

Evan Longoria awaits a pitch. He would rip the next one into the gap for a run scoring double.

Cla Merideth delivers one from the side.

Longo had a good day in the field as well, making a nice play on an attempted bunt by rookie (and recently demoted) outfielder Matt Angle.

BJ Upton dives back into the bag on an attempted pick off.

The Orioles were unsuccessful in their quest for victory. I, however, was successful in my quest to enjoy the weather and a little bit of baseball.


Jeremy said...

Those are cool photos. Thanks for posting them up. I'd love to go take a short road trip to some spring games sometime. Unfortunately, I live several hundred miles from any spring training camp.

Justin G. said...

Jeremy - thanks for the nice words. I've been messing around with photography since high school and have been taking a lot more shots since I have all this free time.

Floriday does have its perks....which I'll be living behind soon!

Jeremy said...

Photography is a lot of fun. Do you mind telling me what kind of camera you are using? I'm always curious as to what kind of cameras people own.

Justin G. said...

I made the switch to digital about 5 years ago. I shoot with a Canon Rebel XT. I have a couple of Sigma lenses, along with a dirt cheap Tamron 70-200mm (which I use for sports events).

Once I start working again I'll probably start buying some new equipment, but I have enough now to get in trouble with :)