Got The Off-Day Blues?

Thursday, May 05 2005 @ 05:30 PM EDT

Contributed by: Rob

So the Blue Jays don't have a game tonight. Looking for your baseball fix?

Try some Syracuse SkyChiefs baseball, in this, the first Batter's Box Minor League Game of the Week. Syracuse's Scott Downs, last year's Pacific Coast League Pitcher Of The Year as a member of the Edmonton Trappers, faces off against ex-White Sock James Baldwin of the Ottawa Lynx at 6:00.

The Game Of The Week is a new feature at Batter's Box -- we can't listen to every game, every day. And everyone knows you can't get all the information from a box score and game log.

So the minor league crew thought of the Game Of The Week, a way to focus on one game and give it more attention than we normally would.

Think of it as our version of Sunday Night Baseball.

Anyone can participate, of course. However, while minor league play-by-play -- usually referred to in these parts as BBRadio -- is valuable for all our readers, we have the regular Minor League Update for those seeking to post or read quick updates on the Syracuse game today, or any of the minor league games for that matter. Please, feel more than welcome to contribute here if you wish to provide a running play-by-play.

For this thread, we'll be listening to the WFBL feed out of Syracuse. There are four things we're looking for tonight -- some questions of interest for not just minor league reporters, but fans of the big club as well. You can't get a lot from the radio broadcast, but whatever we can hear, it's more than we would get from a boxscore.

The Four Points for today:
1. Is Aaron Hill's defense up to SS standards? His reputation is a future third or second baseman due to his range, but he has a strong, accurate arm. If you're listening to today's game, tell us what you think.
2. What's up with Gabe Gross, hitting .236 with little power? This is a player who, last month, drew comparisons to Babe Ruth, if in name only.
3. Scott Downs has had two good starts and three terrible starts in AAA this year. Is he better than his ERA or worse than his strikeout rate?
4. Finally, if Jason Arnold pitches tonight, anything noteworthy about his conversion to the bullpen is welcomed.

We have a few Bauxites, including fellow minor league crewmember Jordan Furlong, attending this game in our nation's capital and we await their first-hand thoughts. In fact, if Jordan and 19 others show up, it would be Ottawa's largest attendance in three years.

So, game time is 6:05. Your lineups for today:
Anton French, CF
Bryant Nelson, 2B
Gabe Gross, RF
Chad Mottola, DH
John-Ford Griffin, LF
Aaron Hill, SS
Jason Alfaro, 3B
Eric Crozier, 1B
Andy Dominique, C

And for the Lynx:
Bernie Castro, 2B
Tim Raines Jr, CF
Walter Young, DH
Alejandro Freire, 1B
Napoleon Calzado, RF
Enrique Wilson, SS
Bobby Darula, LF
Sal Fasano, C
Ed Rogers, 3B

Once again, it's Scott Downs for the Chiefs and James Baldwin for the Lynx.