Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And more pics...

When they start the game, they don't yell, "Work ball." They say, "Play ball."

~ Willie Stargell

Wow... the Ems are on a real skid. They got blown out last night after holding a 5 run lead for the first 5 innings of the game. 13 - 6... ouch. I feel for the boys, I really do. But one must keep things in perspective after all. The Ems are the rookie short season A league team and they've had over 50 roster changes this season. Catcher Mitch Canham is already gone in a short stay here in Eugene. Ray Stokes has been out since early on in the season...

These young men are learning at a level beyond anything they've encountered to date and it is an intense experience where baseball happens virtually every day... its a tough grind and I'm sure team chemistry is a tough thing to maintain when guys keep coming and going with such regularity.

The Emeralds are a farm team of the Sun Diego Padres and the Pads are in 2nd place in the Nat'l League west. Salem Keizer, NorthWest League leaders, a farm team of the SF Giants, lead the NWL and have had very few roster changes... of course the Giants are in the cellar of the Nat'l League West, 12 games behind Sun Diego... so... hey, its hard to argue with the successful end results at the top of the chain. Lets see... hmmm... short season, A league champs or contenders in the MLB race? Tough choice for a professional sports organization.

There is just about a week left of baseball for the Ems and I'm going to be posting many more pictures in the next few weeks (I figure I've shot well over 2,000 images for the Emeralds this season and there are plenty I haven't posted here, some real good stuff. So here is today's offering, enjoy (and if you're interested in reprints, allan_e@efn.org):

"Voice of the Ems" Russ Eisenstein's last hurrah as he leads the 7th inning stretch singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in his last game at Civic Stadium before heading to Idaho to be the "Voice of Idaho State" & Matt Latos multi-tasking... chewing gum and running the radar gun...

Joe (top) from the groundskeeping crew races his brother Matt (maybe thats why Latos has the radar gun?)

Greg Riddoch and Jose Flores... thanks you two for making me feel at home while I've sat perched with camera in hand on my step by the dugout! It truly is my pleasure to have made both your acquaintances. Kellen Kulbacki in a play at 3rd that is about as close as it gets.

Seth and Katrina

(L to R) Lexia, Frankie, Tanya, Angie, and Coleton...

Nate Stewart, Ems' athletic trainer

And finally, the Knights of Columbus color guard... thanks gentleman.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mat Latos...

" What are we at the park for except to win? I'd trip my mother. I'd help her up, brush her off, tell her I'm sorry. But mother don't make it to third."

~ Leo Durocher.

At 6' 6" Mat Latos is a formidable figure on the mound, even at only 19 years of age. At 215 pounds he's got some weight to throw into those pitches as well when he launches a fastball with a velocity that is consistently in the mid 90s. He's one of the top pitchers for the Ems and another in a team full of fan favorites.

Mat's stats don't show what he is capable of... with an ERA currently at 4.05 and a zero in the win column he has been impressive most of the time, a couple of bad games hurt his ERA and some missed bullpen support have cost him games in which he should have been able to record the W. In just over 46 innings he has 60 strikeouts and only 17 walks... His arm is solid, he's one of the Padres top picks and he has a bit of a reputation for his sense of humor.

A right-hander, Mat was an 11th round draft pick of the Padres in last years draft.

Here's Mat viewed through his pitching motion:

As always all images are copyrighted, permission is required to reproduce, either through me, MadFriars or the Eugene Emeralds. I am more than happy to sell any prints of any images posted here to Ems fans. Contact me at: allan_e@efn.org