Rowley: Saturday in the park, at the Boras Classic

From SABR member Meg Rowley at FanGraphs on March 19, 2020:

Moms are scattered throughout the bleachers, using umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun; the rains that had flooded the outfields of Corona Del Sol High School and caused the cancellation of the first three days of the Boras Classic have passed, leaving the umbrellas free to resume their usual Arizona purpose. It’s almost just another March Saturday.

A few feet from the home plate stands, a group of teen girls huddle in short denim shorts and yoga pants, pony tails perched high on their heads, the day’s light reflecting back from sunglasses. Their grouping doesn’t seem especially concerned with the next pitch. Instead, they chitter about school gossip that is about to meet its own disruption.

On an adjacent soccer field, a group of boys, all of whom occupy that odd time in life when it is hard to tell exactly how old they are, goof around with a Wiffle bat and ball. One of those assembled comes set and pitches in; the batter he’s facing mimics charging the mound, but peels off a few feet before he reaches his friend. After all, their game isn’t serious.

Hand shakes pervade the scene, but they carry with them the air of habit, or good manners, rather than one of defiance. A few offer an elbow or a fist — “No one knows what to do” is uttered in an amused tone by one scout — but submit to an open hand offered by less bothered compatriots moments later.

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Originally published: March 19, 2020. Last Updated: March 19, 2020.