The snow globes finally made it to Canal Park.
Francisco Lindor did too, although not in time for the Aeros’ 12-4 victory over the Erie SeaWolves on Monday.
For those who have no idea what that means, you obviously haven’t been paying a lick of attention to the two biggest headlines of the season involving the Aeros — both coming over the last few days.
Lindor is the most hyped Indians prospect to join the Aeros since first baseman/outfielder Matt LaPorta drew an overflow media crowd at Canal Park in the middle of a nasty summer storm back in 2008.
Looking back on the night, perhaps it was an omen as to what was ultimately in store for LaPorta, the key player the Tribe received from Milwaukee when the Indians shipped reigning Cy Young award winner CC Sabathia to the Brewers at the July trading deadline.
LaPorta never really made it. So just forget about how that awesome trade turned out, that’s not the point anyway.
What is important is that Lindor, who as the Tribe’s No. 1 pick in 2011 could be worth all the attention, kept the media and everyone else at Canal Park on Monday at bay for most of the night.
That’s because it was more important to the 19-year-old shortstop to bring his car to Akron than it was for him to get here in time for the game.
Thus, instead of taking the easy flight to Ohio after participating in Sunday’s Futures Game in New York, Lindor instead requested to fly back to high Class-A Carolina (located in Zebulon, N.C.) to retrieve his car and then he and an older sister left at 2 p.m. to begin the 8½-hour drive to Akron.
“I’ve been texting with him here and there, checking to see how he’s doing,” Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez said before the game. “Not sure when he’ll get here.”
After the long drive, Rodriguez didn’t plan to play Lindor even if he’d arrived in he middle of the game. At best, he would have simply hung out in the dugout and offered moral support.
Instead, Lindor arrived in the clubhouse just as his teammates did from the field and high-fived a handful of them.
“My sister was driving most of the time,” said Lindor, whose blood-shot eyes gave away how tired he was. “I drove like, three hours, then I was like, ‘You know what? It’s your turn.’ [Later] she said it was my turn, and I was like, ‘Nope, nope, nope, too tired!’
“I’m good to go. Definitely [ready to play today] … I’m excited, I’m here, ready to go and pumped.”
Turns out, the Aeros didn’t need Lindor’s help Monday night.
Lindor’s soon-to-be-teammates did plenty of pounding to claim the first game of the three-game series.
One thing the Aeros learned over the last few days is that in the minor leagues, hype sells.
That’s why the club’s marketing folks already had plenty of Lindor T-shirts being hawked in the Aeros team shop Monday, even though Lindor himself had yet to even try on one of his own.
That’s also how something as random as snow globes enters this conversation.
Saturday, fans flocked to the park in hopes of being one of the first 1,000 through the gates in order to claim the Roger Dorn (an even longer story for another day) globe giveaway.
But similar to the Lindor situation, the snow globes arrived a day late due to a shipping delay.
The Aeros promptly remedied the situation and since then, fans have been retrieving the trinkets with specially numbered vouchers.
As for Lindor, the media and fans will be waiting with baited breath for him today, first during a 3:15 p.m. news conference and then later when he finally suits up for the first Double-A game of his young career.
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Aeros blog at http://www.ohio.com/aeros. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/sports.abj.