With the Owlz – Day Two

Robert Fish started Sunday afternoon for Orem against Casper.

If you’re looking for action on a Sunday, Happy Valley isn’t the place to look.

I’m not up on all the fine details of the Mormon faith, but apparently one practice is that Sunday should be a day of rest and worship.

When the Helena Brewers moved to Utah County for the 2001 season and became the Provo Angels, they were allowed to use the Brigham Young University ballpark until they found a permanent facility, but only under certain conditions. One was that no games would be played there on Sunday.

This caused complications with the Pioneer League schedule, and it wasn’t unusual to see the Provo team scheduled to play a one-game road trip in Ogden, on the north side of Salt Lake City, 70 miles up the road.

When the franchise moved six miles west in 2005 to become the Orem Owlz, Utah Valley State College was far more tolerant, and Sunday games were scheduled.

But just because you schedule it, that doesn’t mean they’ll come.

Chris Rosenbaum homered in the third inning for Orem.

So a sparse crowd was on hand for today’s 4 PM game against Casper.  The announced attendance was 1,032, which includes tickets sold.  I’d guess the actual number of bodies was probably around 500.

Owlz manager Tom Kotchman seemed to be in a playful mood.

When it came to exchange lineups with Casper manager Tony Diaz, both managers stepped out of their dugouts, glared, and then ran to home plate, where they had a good laugh.  The two umpires looked rather perplexed, but I’m sure they’ve seen worse.  And will.

Later in the game, right fielder Donato Giovanatto swung and missed at a pitch.  The bat got loose from his hands and helicoptered down the third base line past Kotch, who was coaching third base.  Kotch took the bat and tossed it the same distance back at Giovanatto, as if to say, "Two can play that game."  The crowd roared.

The Owlz won 7-3.  Chris Rosenbaum, Jerry Gonzalez and Giovanatto all homered.  I have video of Gio’s homer and will post it when I get the chance.

Jerry Gonzalez homered in the 4th to give Orem a 4-1 lead.

Angels scout Jeff Scholzen is here for a few games substituting for regular hitting coach Francisco Matos.  "Frankie" went home on a personal matter, nothing bad I’m told.

Tomorrow night’s game is "Christmas in July," with Santa Claus scheduled to make an appearance.  Another wacky minor league promotional idea …

On a personal note, I went for a jog this morning along the Provo River Trail. Just a reminder, running at 4,500 feet is not the same as running at 100 feet, wheeze, gasp …

And yes, more bug bites.

UPDATE July 9, 2007 8:15 AM PDTClick Here to watch video highlights from Sunday afternoon’s Orem-Casper game. Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection required.


One comment

  1. russ@lifeonthebeat.com

    From UncleCharlieYacker, I stopped by yesterday to say hello and I was happy to have the chance. As you noticed I had a special pass allowing me to be on the field before the game. Although, I don’t use that on a frequent basis, I do come see a lot of games for free!

    I stopped by tonight, saw the two run homer in the early innings, but then had to run, if you know what I mean.

    As I left a man and a woman were asking a young man if they could have the homerun ball he just caught. The kid was freaked! They tried to let the kid know that they are the host family for the guy that hit it and it’s his first professional home run ever! The kid started to run away, so I jokingly told the kid they’d trade him the ball for “several” items. At that point, the kid was certain we were all kidnappers and he scurried off into the crowd. I don’t know if they ever got that ball. Though, I was laughing. I felt the pain for the family as they desperately wanted that ball. I’ll have to ask how that went.

    Anyway, great to meet you, I hope to stop by tomarrow. Not sure what time you arrive at the park, but I’ll swing by anywhere from 3-7, hopefully to say hello one more time before you leave town.

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