Fireworks, Cowboy Monkeys AND Manny Machado in Wilmington tonight - the best $9 I ever spent.
While the fireworks, the monkeys riding collies, and the simple fun of minor league baseball are good enough reasons to head to a game, the chance to see Machado in the flesh, and he did not disappoint. Only 1 for 3, but the 1 was a double with the bases juiced in the 2nd that put the Keys on top for good. He also made two good plays at short. Well, one good play, and one GREAT play. Good was taking a risk to get a runner at 3rd when there was no play anywhere else on a grounder.
But the really special play was in the 7th; ground ball deep into the hole by Van Statten. It was a great play just to get to the ball, but the jump throw to get the runner was spectacular. Absolutely looked like a big league arm there, and Machado played some very deep SS. Looked liked he can pull it off. Unfortunately he landed badly and left the game, but word is it was precautionary for hip flexor tightness, nothing about knees or ankles.
Joe Flacco came out to watch his brother Mike make his debut for Frederick. Sat in the stands like a regular dude, was very gracious once people recognized him and started approaching him for autographs, didn't see him turn anyone away. I thought about buying him a beer but then I remembered that he makes more money in a season than I will in a lifetime (not that he doesn't earn it, just saying, the man doesn't need my charity).
Also it was Cowboy Monkey Rodeo Night. If you don't already know what that is, get thee to youtube.
Other notes: Steven Bumbry was impressive as a leadoff man. Two walks, a hit, SB, 2 runs. His minor league numbers show him getting on base at a decent clip, but I'm guessing his SLG is going to keep him away from the majors unless he can play a good CF (he was playing RF tonight and showed a decent arm). Schoop also took two walks, and didn't look bad in the field.