All Star game just another step toward success for Fuego
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
SANTA FE — The one thing the Fuego couldn’t do in 2012 is win, and that’s one thing manager Bill Moore is hoping to improve on in 2013. But whether or not those victories on the field materialize, Santa Fe is guaranteed another solid season off the field.
As the town has gotten to know the team, the crowds are expected to be bigger and better and in early July, fans from around the league are expected to descend on the City Different, as the Fuego host the All-Star game.
“I think that’s going to be awesome,” said Yvonne Encinias, a team mom and big Fuego supporter. “That’s huge for the city. It’s going to bring so much to the city. It’s huge for the economy. It’s just the fact it’s our second year here and we have the all-star game. It’s exciting.”
“I’m glad (league commissioner Andrew Dunn) gave it to Santa Fe,” said Santa Fe city councillor Ron Trujillo. “Because you have a lot of people working hard to make the All Star game a fun weekend. And I can guarantee this, too. As a member of the city council, I’m going to make sure that ball park is in pristine shape. Not only all season long, but definitely for the All Star game. We want to show people throughout the league, who come to watch the game in July, what Santa Fe has to offer and let them know Santa Fe is going to be a baseball destination.”
Dunn said he chose Santa Fe because of its location, and its status as a destination city.
“Santa Fe just basically is a place people just really want to go to,” Dunn said. "That's the one location where we can truly get everybody, in all all these different cultures, these different area codes, different time zones, different states, together.”
"Pretty exciting, huh?" was Moore’s reaction to the decision, but with the extremely short right and centerfield fences, he had a suggestion for Dunn.
"Andrew needs to bring about 10 dozen baseballs to that game,” he laughed. "That home run derby, he might use 10 dozen in that home-run derby."
But while he can joke about the All Star game, Moore is confident the season both before and after that festive occasion will be much improved.
"Every day,” he said. “All summer long last year we kept on working on things, and we got better as it went along, but we were never as good as what I envisioned us being."
Moore said he’ll be bringing back a few familiar faces from last year — Joey Garcia and Trent Evins are currently showing on the roster — but expect a different look.
“We're going to be a different face,” Moore said. “We've made a lot of changes on the roster, and I'm still working on the roster. It's nowhere near done. There's a few faces coming back, but for the most part, in particular position-player guys will be quite different."
And, he said, he might be looking for players with that short right and center porch in mind.
"Well, pitching, I don't think there's a whole lot you can do with it,” he said. “They can keep the ball down, and if you get your choice between a ground ball pitcher and a fly-ball pitcher, you're going to take the ground-ball pitcher. But mistakes happen. Guys get the ball up a little bit. A routine fly ball to center field is a point."
But even with the as-yet unset lineup and the number of balls that could be hit out of the park, Trujillo is willing to go out on a limb about how the Fuego will do.
“Santa Fe is going to contend this year for the league title. I can guarantee that,” he said.
While whether or not that prediction pans out is yet to be seen, but Encinias voiced what many in Santa Fe can agree with.
“I believe baseball’s here to stay, definitely. And I think it’s just going to get bigger and better.”
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