The new Joplin Blasters played their final exhibition game in Joplin last night. The first regular season game is Thursday. The city of Joplin has spent about five million completely redoing the stadium, which is probably best known as the place Mickey Mantle played in 1950. The tornado did not damage the stadium but it was pretty run down before the renovation, which consisted of bulldozing it and starting over. The local college, MSSU, also built a new stadium this year, so we are well set up around here. The MSSU field, by the way, is 100% artificial turf, even the batter's box and pitcher's mound. Very odd looking.
The new stadium is very nice, though no fancy beers like Kauffman.
Robinson Tejada pitched the first two innings, looking strong. He faced seven batters, striking out two and giving up one infield hit.
I don't know how the Blasters plan to use him. Their closer is apparently Winston Abreu.
This is part of the American Association of Independent Baseball, so it's not a franchise at all. I have no idea how to equate the level of play with organized baseball. The fielding was very good, the players seem experienced. I have heard some people say it's about like double A, but I don't know.
My blog post on it is at blastersfan.wordpress.com, which includes my box scores, which are unofficial.