Johann Geltzenheimer - Cobb Times Herald
Pawtucket is buzzing about tonight’s game against the Charlotte Dogs. Mom’s are running out to the grocery store and Dad’s are loading up on beer. Nearly everybody is making specials plans to watch the game. No, it’s not a playoff game but everybody in Pawtucket agrees that tonight marks the beginning of something special. Former Pawtucket catcher and native Peter Griffin laughed “We have seen so much interest in baseball in our little town since 1981 when the Rochester Red Barons had to come back to Pawtucket months later finish their 32 inning marathon which went on to become the longest game in baseball history.”
Why the excitement? Part of it is due to the acquisition of Dean Hernandez, brought in by trade yesterday. He will anchor the already stellar staff that is already touting aces Albert Franco and Kory Burrell. Manager/GM J Geltz in an interview was asked why he would trade one of his best minor league bats and two good young ML arms for another starter. “Frankly, we’re trying to do something special here in Pawtucket. We’re not looking to make the playoff’s, we’re looking to win it all. We liked our chances a lot better when we can run one of those three guys out there for each playoff game.”
Hernandez has already put up great numbers in his young career, but the expectations for him have only grown since moving to Pawtucket. Steelforge in his good bye speech to Hernandez said “You’re going to go on to do great things. I see Cy Young awards in your future, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to jump start the rebuilding process.” Dean was humbled when he arrived in Pawtucket. “When I look around the room and see the guys who will be playing behind me, I know that all that I need to do is keep the ball in the park and they’ll catch it.”
As if Pawtucket was not already vibrating with excitement from Hernandez, J Geltz decided to also call up hot catching prospect Reggie Serafini to catch Hernandez. J Geltz explained “I envision those two playing catch together for the next decade. Reggie has been tearing up AAA this season and I thought it would make the transition easier for both of them to become accustomed to just one catcher right away.”
Only time will tell if the game lives up to the hype, but no doubt the excitement surrounding the game will be remember for a long time.