Tuesday Evening: Here it comes.
It’s the Minneapolis Millers at the Toledo Mud Hens, the St. Paul Saints at the Columbus Senators, the KC Blues at the Indianapolis Indians, and the Milwaukee Brewers at the Louisville Colonels, as the American association’s 1904 season gets underway.
The Journal reports that Watkins has been drilling his men in teamwork, and that the team is in good shape for the coming fray. There is speed (of course), and there is pitching. The one weak spot, our reporter admits, might be with the stick. The Millers did not exactly light up the scoreboard during the exhibition season. But our reporter says that Watkins doesn’t much care about results in the spring games; he’s been busy teaching his men the fine points of the game, the placement of their drives, the advancement of the runners, the bunt, the hit-and-run. Watkins doesn’t need a lot of hits, apparently. He will manufacture runs. In half their games this spring, the Millers had more runs than hits. That tells you something right there.
Looking around the league, our reporter says that many are picking Louisville to finish first, and admits that they do look like a good club. Indianapolis also ought to be in the first division without trouble. St. Paul is not so good as last year, when, as you may recall, they were the champions. Milwaukee looks strong. Columbus looks good “on paper” – “but the team contains several men whose presence is not conducive to perfect harmony, notably Yeager of the 1903 Millers.”
(Makes me curious about Yeager and the ’03 Millers. What went on there?)
Kansas City and Toledo look plainly like second division prospects, though Toledo is looking stronger than last season.
The Minneapolis club won it’s third victory at Fort Wayne yesterday, 5-3. “Daring base running in the eighth inning, which befuddled the Fort Wayne infield, saved the Millers from defeat.”
But the game is of little note. All eyes are on the future, the regular season. President Watkins has released to the press the opening day lineup (more or less) for the Toledo game on the morrow:
Al (or Lee) Demontreville, 3b
Billy Fox, 2b – Captain
Billy Maloney, rf
Denny Sullivan, cf
Cy Coulter, lf
Andy Oyler, ss
Dan Lally, 1b
William Ludwig or Mike Roach, c
Frosty Thomas or Gus Munch, p