I had the pleasure of being at MCU Park (formerly known as KeySpan, but the name was changed because KeySpan no longer exists) tonight to see the Brooklyn Cyclones open their home season against the rival Staten Island Yankees.
The park was mostly filled, and the game was just the second game for most of the players (the Cyclones beat the Yankees the night before at Staten Island), as the Cyclones play in the New York-Penn League, which is rookie league, short-season. The game was no thing of beauty, but the Cyclones did win, 9-6. There were 7 errors ( 5 by SI) and 6 hit batters (4 by the Cyclones). But, a win is a win.
A few observations: The Cyclones have a pitcher named Pedro P. Martinez, who also pitched with them in 2009. And yes, he wears number 45. I don't believe he's any relation to the future Hall of Famer. But if he's on the Cyclones two straight seasons, he can't be as talented. The Cyclones also have a shortstop named John Franco. I have no idea if he's related to the former Mets pitcher.
The Staten Island Yankees manager is an old Red Sox infielder. Remember Jody Reed? Good ballplayer in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And the Cyclones batting coach is Benny DiStefano, a Brooklyn-born former MLB infielder who is best known for breaking up a no-hitter David Cone was pitching at Shea in 1992 while with the Pirates.
It was also a pleasure to see my old friend Kyle, who does a juggling act at the park while selling peanuts in the crowd. He's really talented, and even juggles pins while riding a unicycle on the Cyclones dugout.
I only caught about three innings of the Red Sox-Dodgers game on Fox before I left for the game. Red Sox made four errors, Manny Ramirez went deep (as did Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis), but Dustin Pedroia sent everyone home happy with an RBI single in the ninth to give the Sox a 5-4 win. I followed that game on my cell, in the middle of a four-run fifth inning for the Cyclones.