Life in Eugene
Two days into our exodus in Eugene, Ore., and it is hard for me to believe that the State of Oregon is struggling as bad financially as the news reports have been saying. Or maybe I should change the statement to say, the State of Oregon is struggling, but the University of Oregon’s football program is flourishing. (Click Here for Saturday night’s Boise-Eugene Game Notes)
When we arrived at PK Park on Thursday, the first thing we noticed is that we were being housed in a temporary clubhouse, a bit closer to the ballpark. Instead of a 1/2 mile walk around Autzen Stadium (the Ducks’ football home) – and being housed in the visiting football locker room, we have a 1/4 mile walk from a football storage room that has been converted into a clubhouse. The new clubhouse is equipped with six outdoor portable showers (I had never seen portable showers before), with a very small training room. The showers were interesting when it is storming on Thursday night, as after getting out of the shower, the players had to walk through the rain back to the clubhouse.
Maybe people have mentioned that the playing surface at Memorial Stadium plays very slowly – which it does. I honestly think the artificial surface at PK Park is even slower – it is as if George Horton and the Oregon baseball team put down extra rubber pellets in the FieldTurf to slow balls to the gaps. As I mentioned on the broadcast last night, the foul lines are raised from the rest of the turf, as when a slow bunt hits the “chalk” it rolls back into fair territory.
Last night was a great effort by Rock Shoulders, setting a season-high for the team with eight total bases, including his fifth home run of the season. It was the highlight in a downer of a night, as the Ems used a pair of safety squeezed to plate three runs in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie in a 7-2 win. The loss dropped the team to 12-23 on the season (four games behind the worst 39 game mark in franchise history) and just 2-14 on the road – a combined 12-42 away from Memorial Stadium the past two season.
Tonight will be an adventure, as with Izaac Garsez still out and Trey Martin needing a day off, Stephen Bruno will make his first start in center field tonight. On the flip side, Dong Yub Kim will return to the line-up for the first time since being hit in the head last Saturday against Vancouver. To say that the fellas are a bit tired is an understatement.
I do love Eugene’s mascot Sluggo – best looking mascot in the league (sorry Humphrey). Mark Johnson’s son Will came up to the booth on Thursday and got to meet the furry green thing.