Wait ’til, well, wait ’til tonight!
After another roller-coaster off-season of development dreams and disappointment for Coney Island, the area is born again because there’s new grass on the field of Keyspan Park.
The Cyclones are back!
Brooklyn’s mini-Mets will being their 2009 season with a home opener against the hated Staten Island Yankees at 7 pm.
The rivalry is as intense as ever. Last year, the Cyclones didn’t even make the New York-Penn League playoffs, falling to the baby Bombers in the McNamara Division by four games. And the Cyclones haven’t won it all since their inaugural season in 2001.
This year, the slate is clean, with an entirely new coaching staff — manager Pedro Lopez, hitting coach Jack Voight and pitching coach Rick Tomlin — leading the Clones’ quest for glory. That glory will be sought without 2008 ace Brad Holt, who has taken his 100-mph heater to Double-A Binghamton, and ’08 wins leader Scott Shaw, who was promoted to St. Lucie in the Florida State League.
Ain’t it always the case in minor-league ball?
General Manager Steve Cohen says the Cyclones will miss their former stars, but he’s confident Brooklyn’s new skipper, who’s in just his second season with the Amazin’s, has what it takes.
“Pedro is a great manager and a good baseball person,” Cohen said. “The Mets organization sent him here because he’s a good teacher.”
Make no mistake, sports fans; a trip to Keyspan Park is not akin to walking into a middle school and watching algebra lessons.
The level of play in Class A (even the Cyclones’, short-season Class A division) is far closer to major league ball than it is to college level.
The pitchers throw 90-plus heat, the infield turns double-plays smartly, and the outfielders gun down runners trying to score from second on a single.
Oh, there’s one major difference between Class A ball and the big leagues: these players care.
If the sight of a baseball player running out a groundball makes your heart beat faster, the Brooklyn Cyclones are for you.
Brooklyn Cyclones at Keyspan Park [Surf Avenue at W. 19th Street in Coney Island, (718) 507-8499]. Opening night is Friday, June 19. Tickets, $8–$15.