By: Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
DUNEDIN, Fla. _ There was a rare sighting at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
A team showed up wearing orange and blue.
Yep, it was the New York Mets, the 2015 National League champions.
Now the Mets have not been seen in these here parts since Saturday, March 18, 1989 and it was a memorable game. After all how many times in the spring have you seen the benches empty?
Twice in one inning?
Mets right-hander Ron Darling plunked Jesse Barfield in the fourth inning. Barfield, who had homered in the second, started toward the mound. The benches emptied as Barfield was held back.
Two innings later Jeff Musselman hit Darryl Strawberry in the back with a pitch. Strawberry chased down the lefty, back peddling toward third. Catcher Pat Borders and third baseman Kelly Gruber tackled Strawberry about the same time as 70-odd players from the expanded spring rosters spilled onto the field again.
Musselman was ejected. A few batters later Strawberry reached third. He and Gruber began chirping each other. Third base coach Sam Perlozzo held back Strawberry as both benches emptied again.
The Jays won 7-5 when Cambridge’s Rob Ducey hit a walk-off, three-run homer off Randy Myers in the bottom of the ninth.
Toronto sent Musselman to the Mets on July 31 for outfielder Mookie Wilson.
And with one out in the fourth, right-hander Bartolo Colon plunked Troy Tulowitzki in the right knuckles of his first and second fingers. X-rays proved negative, but he has a bone bruise.
Tulowitzki walked to first base.
This time the benches did not clear.
And the Jays won again as a back-up outfielder, Ezequiel Carrera hit a walk-off, three-run homer.