Cyclones right home in rain
by Grace Carmen
Jun 24, 2009 | 6158 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ralph Henriquez (sweater), shares a laugh with teammates from inside the Cyclones' dugout on Sunday.
Ralph Henriquez (sweater), shares a laugh with teammates from inside the Cyclones' dugout on Sunday.
Sitting in the home team dugout Sunday afternoon, catcher Ralph Henriquez promptly asked, “Does it always rain in Brooklyn?” A valid question from the Key West native, as opening weekend for the Brooklyn Cyclones’ 2009 season came during less-than summery conditions.

Rain drops pushed the start time back fifteen minutes on Sunday, and the first score for Brooklyn came just as the skies opened back up. After the delays, the Cyclones pulled off a 5-2, rain-shortened victory over the Staten Island Yankees. With a win 6-2 on Friday and a rainout Saturday, Sunday’s game seemed to be a mix of the two, as the teams braved four rain delays and played only five and-a-half innings.

Sunday’s game marked the 100th regular season meeting between the two teams; the Cyclones lead the series 52-48. (The Cyclones also hold a 4-3 post season edge over the Yankees.)

Since the roster contains only three returning players, the second game at Keyspan saw many players start to get a feel for each other. The feeling in the dugout was like the first week of high school, with conversation starters like, “Where are you from…is that where you were born?” and “Do you speak Spanish? Yeah, me neither but I’m trying to learn.”

Pitcher Jim Fuller echoed these sentiments before the game. “We just got a bunch of guys in so we’re just trying to bond as a team,” he said. The second-year Cyclone got hurt last year and spent his off-season trying to get his arm back. Prior to being drafted by the Mets, the Malborough, MA native led the nation with 145 strikeouts.

As far as the team’s strengths, Fuller says they have a “lotta pitching” and “speed on the base paths.” His expectations are that they have a “pretty good team so I think we’re gonna have a successful season.”

And despite the black clouds overhead, the stands were full. 11-year old Azi Lederman came to the game with his dad and younger brother and sister. He doesn’t have a favorite player, but what he does have is even better- season tickets. When asked for his pick for the win, Lederman confidently responded, “Cyclones!” His brother agreed, while his sister gave a respectfully unbiased shrug.

Like the Ledermans, many fathers brought their families to the park on Sunday. This Father’s day the Cyclones offered fathers a special treat. The rain held off long enough that they had the chance to play catch with their kids in the outfield before the game.

The Cyclones followed with a 3-2 loss on Monday night at Hudson Valley.
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