Shivering Red Wings are happy to hit the road


April 13, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Playing in Rochester, N.Y., during April and May can invite some adventuresome weather, so the Triple-A Red Wings can't be blamed for eagerly awaiting a southern swing to Norfolk, Va., and Charlotte, N.C., starting tomorrow.

Two of the team's first four games were postponed by snow and cold. Friday, a water-main break in the stands flooded the first base side of Silver Stadium and the pipes froze in the visitors' clubhouse.

The tally of the first series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons thus read: Red Wings 2, Mother Nature 2.

There were about 3,000 no-shows in the announced attendance of 7,775 for Friday's rescheduled opener when the temperature was 33 degrees at the 3:05 p.m. starting time. Only 500 showed at Game 2 on Saturday.

"I thought I was going to freeze to death," said pitcher John DeSilva, who two-hit the Red Barons through six innings of a 2-1 victory.

Finished Bowie home is sweet

For the Double-A Bowie players, some of the changes at now-completed Prince George's County Stadium are uplifting.

"The difference in comfort is like night and day," said Jose Millares, one of two current Baysox who played all of 1994 at Bowie when the park was operated with a lot of makeshift facilities.

"Last year management did everything they could for us to make us feel at home despite the circumstances. We never had any complaints even when we were in those trailers [dressing quarters]. But now, we know this is the best park we're going to play in," said Millares.

From a player's standpoint, the biggest improvement is the finished clubhouses, which include a batting cage on the home side.

"The playing surface is essentially the same," said Millares. "But in our clubhouse, we have beautiful handmade lockers, a big training room, a lot of space and weights and the batting cage is perfect.

"I'd like to be at Rochester, but I am so happy to be here, too. I didn't want to go through Bowie without getting a taste of this finished park." The major-league strike delayed Peter Kirk's plans to put a Single-A team in Salisbury this season, but construction on the ,, new park is forging ahead now that Bowie's season is under way.

"We've cleared the site and started work after slowing for the winter," said Kirk. "We're ready to start back up full blast. For once, I'd like to get a park built on time."

That would mean for 1996. Kirk said "we'll have a team for next year, and I would anticipate some announcements soon."

The team is almost assuredly going to be in the South Atlantic League, which also has the Hagerstown Suns, a Toronto affiliate.

Rochester budget eyed

Rochester's stadium construction has hit a snag -- the lack of passage of the New York state budget.

Although a $15 million grant for the downtown park has been approved by the New York state assembly and state Senate, the budget has to be passed before the money for the project can be distributed.

It is expected to be a formality, but any long delay could prevent the Red Wings from opening at home next season.

Around the horn

Red Wings manager Marv Foley played every non-pitcher except Bobby DeJardins in the first two games. . . . The Scranton postponements were rescheduled as part of doubleheaders May . . . Rochester's Shane Hale, who had Tommy John-like elbow surgery, was scratched from his first start because of an inflamed left shoulder. . . . Bowie lost its first opening series in three years of existence, to Norwich. In their first two years, the Baysox swept opening series on the road at London, Ontario, and Canton-Akron. . . . Kinston's 20 hits at Frederick on Saturday was an all-time high against Keys pitching. . . . Pitcher David Dyess, a 12th-round pick last year, will join the Keys as the fifth starter next week after starting in extended spring training. . . . High Desert (Single-A, California League) opened with four straight road wins.

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