I am going to miss Maryland's return to the College Cup Final Four and the Georgetown derby sited in Alabama on Friday. I also missed Maryland's game against George Mason Sunday, missed our first home game tonight (against UMES), and will miss the South Carolina State game Saturday.
But even on vacation I cannot stop trying to find a sporting event to attend. Thanks largely to a useful post on Puerto Rico Day Trips, we made it out to the Carolina Gigantes/Cangrejeros de Santucre game tonight at Roberto Clemente Stadium.
The stadium is, indeed, big, beautiful, and well-maintained. We got ourselves a bit turned around getting out to Roberto Clemente, as (coming from the west) we needed to take a U-turn at the intersection of PR-3 and PR-857, then missed the turn to the parking lot (north on PR-853) and ended up back on PR-3 heading west. Correcting the mistake was easy, parking cost only $2, and admission was free. Scott Kazmir was on the mound for Carolina with Kyle Blanks in left field, the opposition featured Neftali Soto, former Nat/Oriole Luis Matos, and former Nat Felipe Lopez, and the stadium was gorgeous, so I kept looking for reasons to spend money to even out the experience.
Because Kazmir was on the mound, a number of scouts were in the stand. At the game, I did not realize that he was back on the radar of major league clubs and, from tonight's performance, I do not think you would have reasonably guessed that this was the case. Kyle Blanks, on the other hand, is striking. I had not seen him play before. At 6'6" and 270 pounds, he stands out without having to swing a bat. He hammered a couple of balls tonight. Given the level of talent there, I hope Blanks will finally be able to string together a full season of good health.
I did not expect to enjoy going to a winter league baseball game as much as we did tonight. Definitely a family-friendly environment, with the added benefit of very easy access by car to Carolina's stadium from San Juan.