Posted: Jun 18, 2012 12:03 PM by Derek Buerkle - KPAX Sports
MISSOULA- The Missoula Osprey throw out the first pitch of 2012 Monday night in Billings and held their first official practice as a team over the weekend in Missoula.
The players are all still trying to get to know each other, but they say that once they get on the field the game will come naturally. The coaches, who need to figure out a lineup, pitching rotation, and much more on a few days notice, sound a little more stressed out.
"Is it tough from a coaching perspective? Heck yeah. It's tough to get eight, nine or 10 guys that just show up on your doorstep and you're sticking them in a game the next day. There's a lot to go over in these next couple days before that first game comes. But we'll hit the ground running as hard as we can. And we'll be consistent in our effort and our energy all year. That much I can promise," Manager Andy Green told us.
"There's a few we haven't even seen yet. You know, a lot of the pitchers we haven't even seen throw. So, you kind of got to go on the fly, and see how it goes. A lot of the draft picks that are here, we're really not allowed to mess with them too much until they kind of get their feet wet and get going, and see what the scouts saw first," added hitting coach J.R. House.
Green is in his first year at the helm of the Diamondbacks affiliate, but should be a familiar name to fans. He played in Missoula back in 2000 when the squad played over at Lindborg-Cregg Field and he says he can't wait to lead his team at Ogren Park.
"The city is still as beautiful as it was 10 years ago. I guess it's almost twelve, thirteen years ago now. The ballpark, you couldn't ask for a better atmosphere than this. At this level this is unbelievable. I remember the double-wide trailers we had at the old ballpark at the legion ball field out there. And this is more than you'd expect. And this is coupled with the city, probably the best place to play rookie ball in the country."
The Osprey play a four-game series in Billings to begin the year and return to Missoula for the Ogren Park home opener this coming Friday night.