Down on the Farm: Brooklyn Cyclones
Yesterday, after watching the Mets lose seven straight games, I decided to take a little break, and spend the day with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the short season A affiliation of our New York Mets. The Cyclones are one of four professional sports teams that have never had a season in which their record was below 500. This season the Cyclones have won four out of their first six games, and have an impressive roster filled with very young talent. The Cyclones have five players on their roster who just came out of colleges, including David Thompson, a fourth round pick from the University of Miami, who made his professional debut last night.
The Cyclones staff were all very courteous, and the stadium itself is holding up very well. MCU Park was built in 2001 as Keyspan Park; the field surface was originally grass, but was changed to artificial turf after Hurricane Sandy. I checked into the stadium at around 5pm EST, and got onto the field to take some photos at around 5:30, during which, I saw the Cyclones opponent for yesterday’s game, the Connecticut Tigers, finishing up batting practice.
Once I headed back up to the Press Box for the game, I was surprised to hear that the radio announcer Stu Johnson was doing his radio-cast directly to my left! One thing unique to Brooklyn is the presence of an outdoor press box. Yes, an outdoor press box. Since this team only plays in the Summer, it is actually pretty cool, and gives us great views of the field.
Game time was at 7pm, and the Cyclones got off to a early 3rd inning lead. Branden Kaupe, the Cyclones SS, hit a ball over the center fielders head, by the time he got to it on the warning track, Kaupe was five steps from third base. His speed ws really diminished by then and you could tell that the 5-8 Kaupe was tired. So, halfway to home plate, with the ball in the second baseman’s glove in shallow right, he retreats to third. The problem was, he was closer to home than he was third, so he almost got picked off retreating to third. While Kaupe did have a inside the park home run in the bag, he got home on a sac fly by Will Fulmer, the Cyclones 3B.
The Cyclones starter was Tyler Badamo, a Right handed hurler who played on the GCL Mets previously. He pitched 6.2 innings, with five strikeouts, giving up two earned runs in the fourth and the sixth respectively. The Cyclones offense was non-existent after Kaupe’s triple, their only chance was in the ninth inning, when right fielder Michael Bernal struck out, but got on first base thanks to a passed ball. The next batter was Zach Mathieu, who hit a slow roller to shortstop, the infielder charged hard, and barely threw Mathieu out by a stride, Bernal, the runner on first, decided to play very aggressive and swipe third, hoping the first baseman wouldn’t notice, but how would you not notice him running to third if he is right in front of your vision? That’s a immature play that all minor leaguers have. It’s a learning moment for not only Bernal, but for the Cyclones and the C-Tigers. The game promptly ended on a broken bat ground out to the pitcher by Jeff Diehl.
Buy and large the Cyclones are a promising team with players that are getting their first exposure to the “Big City”. The fact that the Mets have an affiliate in Brooklyn is great for the fans, and the players. It’s a viewers assumption that it helps relieve pressure once (and if) they get to the big leagues.
Thanks to the whole Cyclones press crew, including Billy Harner. And the nice folks I got to meet up in the Cyclones Press Box.