Spring Training Day 1: Hello, homeland

So, you may have noticed that this blog has gone fallow over recent weeks and months. As the season gets rolling again, hopefully that will no longer be the case. I’m intending to blog every day over the course of my Spring Training travels, a trip that will cover most of the next three weeks.

Today’s game in a nutshell: Rays beat the Red Sox, 6-3, behind excellent relief pitching and a couple of “crooked numbers” in the early innings. Ryan Roberts’ two-run single was the big hit.

Quote of the day: “I’m just here to tell you, all those… broadcasters that always say, ‘that play never works,’ had no idea what was going on with that play. I thought it was a relevant play. Now it’s something that hopefully we can utilize to our benefit.” – Joe Maddon, on the fake-to-third, throw-to-first move

Player of the day: Rays veteran right-hander Jamey Wright, vying for a spot in the bullpen. Wright, who I covered when he was briefly a Cardinal in 2002 (!), faced three batters. He struck out Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino, and got Jonny Gomes to ground out to third base.

Miles traveled: 52 so far today, 212 total on the rental car.

Diet sodas consumed: 1 (2 total for the trip)

Up next: Weather permitting, I’ll be filling in for Jenifer Langosch on the Cardinals beat for a day (heaven help me if I can’t handle THAT gig!). They’re playing the Red Sox in Fort Myers, with Jaime Garcia set to take the mound.

And, finally, the playlist:

New Order/Moby, “New Dawn Fades”
Depeche Mode, “Rush”
Pet Shop Boys, “Opportunities”
Camouflage, “Love Is A Shield”
Nine Inch Nails, “Sanctified”





So great to have you back for a day Matthew! I was never someone who followed game recaps or beat reporters writing, but as a Cardinals fan I started to look forward to your writing. I guess you hooked me and now I try to read all your columns on MLB.com. Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for opening my eyes to the fantastic writing that is done following a baseball team.

Thanks very much. I really appreciate it.

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