Bears through 13 games: There’s hope

June 28, 2012 by  

“Here’s what I think,” I told Jimmy Comerota, sitting down near the Bears’ all-star infielder and unofficial captain. “I’ve watched a lot of baseball here (I have) and I’ve done some extensive research on the rest of the league (I haven’t).
“And from what I’ve seen here and elsewhere, I’ve got this team finishing 71-5.”
Another Bear, at a nearby locker, looked quickly in my direction and said with a semi-startled smile, “Wow.”
Comerota, having known yours truly far too long to hardly ever take me seriously, continued his work on a postgame sandwich Sunday and nodded.
“Or maybe 70-6,” he said. “That would work.”
Yakima has since won two of three at Tri-City, so Comerota’s 70-6 finish makes more sense.
All kidding aside — and we were kidding — I saw things during Yakima’s recently-concluded five-game homestand that I’ve rarely witnessed during nine-plus years of covering the team.
For one thing, no one — including those familiar with the franchise since its modern-era inception here in 1990 — can remember an opening-day Bears roster with no players younger than 21. That changed when Blake Perry, a 20-year-old pitcher, arrived here last week.
Still this Bears team is older and more experienced, either at the professional level or in the college ranks, than any of its predecessors.
Also, many Yakima teams I’ve watched have had conspicuous gaps in their lineups. Meaning players, usually 18 or 19, who usually hit in the No. 9 position, who were simply overmatched at the Northwest League level. A successful at bat for them was putting the ball in play.
So far this year, no one at the bottom of manager Audo Vicente’s lineup — be it infielder Kevin Medrano or outfielder Danny Poma — does not resemble an automatic out.
The defense is solid if unspectacular and the pitching, with the exception of a few late-inning hiccups, has been stellar.
So even if 70-6 isn’t realistic for the Bears’ last season here, the team has a chance to post its third winning record since 2000.


Things haven’t totally clicked for us yet. When they do, it could get exciting.”
— Jimmy Comerota

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