While Winnipeg sports fans haven’t had much to cheer about over the past few months, as seasons have been stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the city’s pro teams is set to play its first game back Friday night — although it’s under unusual circumstances.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes begin their 60-game season July 3 against an opponent they will see a lot of — the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.
The Goldeyes are the lone Canadian team in the independent minor-pro American Association. The league announced in June that it will be running a six-team season based around hubs in Fargo, N.D., Milwaukee, Wis., and Sioux Falls, S.D. — which means Fish fans won’t have a chance to see their team at home in Winnipeg.
The Goldeyes and their longtime rival Redhawks are not only sharing Fargo’s Newman Outdoor Field as a ‘home’ stadium, but they’re going to playing against each other a whopping 24 times, including Friday’s debut matchup.
Goldeyes coach Rick Forney will go with Mitchell Lambson, as his opening night starter, and the 2019 AA Pitcher of the Year told 680 CJOB’s Sports Show that nothing about preparing for this season has been normal.
“The last couple of weeks, just getting here to Fargo and getting together with the team and practicing has been the closest to normal that I’ve experienced,” he said.
“Leading up to it, this whole spring… everything’s just been crazy.”
“We’ve really had to adapt and go with the flow, and luckily we’re here in Fargo and we get to play.”
Lambson is coming off one of the best pitching performances in the history of the Goldeyes, but he said he’s already put last season behind him.
“I’m not trying to one-up anything. Last year was great and it’ll always be special to me… but that was that season. I just want to come in and compete and give us a chance to win the first night,” he said.