August 25, 2005
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North Shore 5, New Jersey 0

Refactoring MapPane::Layout went well yesterday, so I took a couple of hours off and dropped in on the North Shore Spirit again. Walked up to the turnstile, got 3rd row seats directly behind home plate.

Playing second for New Jersey was Benji Gil, last seen with the World Series Angels. He's 32 or 33 now; Baseball Reference.com has him with the Mariners system this year. But apparently things went bad, and here he is playing second for the New Jersey Jackals in the Can Am League.

It's impressive to see that a guy who is not far from the show is playing in this league and scrapping for a hit. I'd been impressed with the pitching, but I seldom see a major league fastball from closer than left field. These guys aren't the Sox and Cubs, but they're closer than you think.

I'd like to know why he's here. The bus rides must be long, and going 0-3 doesn't sound like tons of fun. A lot of these players are here because Sears Sucks, Crash. Some are here because it's A Shot, or because they get paid to come to the park. (But Gil had something like 10 ML seasons -- he came up as a 20-year-old phenom -- and though he never was a star that means he still cashed some nice checks) Maybe he really likes to play, and these are the best games he can find this time of year.

I'd like to know. I'm tempted to drop in again tonight and ask.