I’m going to skip any Disney clichés here. But based on cheering, I’d say the visitors to the Braves Spring Training park at Disney were a good portion of Yankees fans. And they had much to cheer about. Zolio Almonte’s first at-bat was a 2-run home run. Robinson Cano blasted a 5th inning solo home run. Prospect Slade Heathcott, who entered the game in the 6th, seemed to find every fly ball near center field. Six pitchers helped David Phelps get the first win of the season.
And the battle begins today for the starting catcher position and the two players today had each excelled at two different aspects of the plate. Francisco Cervelli’s throw to 2nd to throw out a runner trying to steal was spot on, while Austin Romine batted a 2 RBI single to widen the Yankees lead.
The disadvantage of Spring Training is that they have to rotate everyone around so much that it’s hard to get a real grasp on consistency, at least from a viewer’s standpoint. These guys have to try their hardest to prove their worth in just a few short innings (pitchers often get only one) per day. At the same time, they are learning to work as a team, which (like I’ve said a million times) is the key to a winning team.
Now, the Braves’ defense was arguably not as tight as one would expect, 3 fielding errors by the 3rd inning, which seem to have attributed to an easier victory for the Yankees’ first game this year. But one cannot argue with the Yankees fan base — the cheering, the laughter, the celebrations were a pleasure to hear in what should have been Braves territory.
Great start to the season then. First home game tomorrow against Toronto, behind Adam Warren. With all the talk this year about the Blue Jays, this should be a glance into how the teams will do to battle for the AL East title this year.