Changes – September 19, 2014

Interesting day in the Midwest League on Thursday:

Kane County Chronicle: Cubs cutting ties with Cougars

Chicago Sun-Times: Why the Cubs moved from Kane County to South Bend

Thursday morning, the Cubs and South Bend announced a new PDC that runs through 2018. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein realizes the decision might not be popular with area fans.

“I don’t think in this industry you can avoid looking like bad guys,” Epstein said. “So you just have to roll with it and make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons. In this case, we have to come back to what’s best for our prospects and move forward and try to handle the matters with as much professionalism as possible.”

South Bend already has started major renovations to their facility, including a new playing surface, and also has worked out a deal with the Cubs to change their name from the Silver Hawks and change their logos and colors. A news conference in South Bend is scheduled for next Thursday to announce the changes.

South Bend Tribune Column: Cubs fans in South Bend can cheer. Finally.

It’s not often that a Cubs fan gets good news in September.

Let’s face it, even when things seem promising — postseason success, one victory away from the World Series and a chance at the club’s first title since dinosaurs roamed the Earth — well …

But that fails to discourage me, a South Bend native and supporter since the late 1970s of the team that plays on Chicago’s North Side. Those weren’t exactly the team’s glory years — you’d have to go back a century or so for that — but  through the magic of WGN-TV, I was pretty much hooked after the first game. What was not to like about a lineup featuring Jerry Martin and Dave Kingman? (Yes, I thought they were impressive, but I was young).

South Bend Tribune News Story: South Bend: Cubs town

Andrew Berlin, owner of the South Bend franchise for the past three seasons, made good on a promise he made when he took over the club. He has given downtown a shot of energy and enthusiasm.

That mission was put into play when the Chicago Cubs signed a four-year deal with the South Bend franchise as their Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, ending the 17-year partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The new affiliation also ends the Cubs’ partnership with its now former Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Ill.

In the Brewers system, there’s a new Triple-A affiliate:

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Brewers settle for Colorado Springs as AAA Host

The game of minor-league musical chairs finally came to an end Thursday, with the Milwaukee Brewers agreeing to a two-year player development contract with Class AAA Colorado Springs.

It was the culmination of a crazy 24 hours that saw the Brewers’ former Class AAA team in Nashville dump them for the Oakland A’s, leaving Milwaukee with Colorado Springs and Fresno as alternatives. The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, left Colorado Springs for a new deal with Albuquerque.

When Fresno and the Houston Astros announced earlier Thursday they had agreed to a two-year deal, that left Colorado Springs as the only Class AAA team without a parent club and Milwaukee as the only major-league team without a top affiliate.

Colorado Springs Gazette News Story: Sky Sox sign two-year affiliation deal with Milwaukee Brewers

“That’s how it works sometimes in this process,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “Nashville decided to go in a different direction after we were there for a lot of years, like the Rockies did. We are confident we can make this a good fit.”

Any Brewers concerns were eased because they are familiar with the Sky Sox’s Elmore ownership group, which also owns the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, the organization’s rookie-level club. The Elmores will do what a MLB club needs for its players, Melvin said.

Colorado Springs Gazette Column: Sky Sox rescued from Rockies clueless tyranny

Over the past few days, I’ve heard Colorado Springs voices bemoan the dissolving of the Sky Sox’s 21-season association with the Rockies. These voices wonder what Colorado Springs could have done to keep the Rockies happy.

I have a different response to the departure.

Hallelujah. It’s time to celebrate.

The Sky Sox just concluded a catastrophe of a season. They collected a mere 53 wins to go with a staggering 91 losses. They were atrocious on the road (26-46) and befuddled at home (27-45.) That’s consistency. They lost nine of their last 10 games.

Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial: Conspiracy theorists thought Colorado Springs mayor was wrong about Rockies

Bach hoped a serious stadium plan would encourage the Rockies to stay while helping revitalize downtown. The stadium could also help with plans by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to add NCAA Division II baseball in several years.

The mere idea of a stadium became instant fodder for pseudo conservatives and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. The Rockies would never leave, they said. Bach merely wanted to line pockets of “crony capitalist” developer friends. Most notable among the instant opponents were a handful of freshman politicians who had just been sworn to the Colorado Springs City Council.

Alumni Report (International League Pitchers):
Phillippe Aumont (’08) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-3, 3.93ERA, 35 games, 55.0IP, 39BB, 65K

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
2-2, 3.89ERA, 17 games, 4 starts, 39.1IP, 11BB, 35K

Cesar Jimenez (’03) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-2, 3 Saves, 1.45ERA, 38 games, 2 starts, 49.2IP, 15BB, 46K

Mark Lowe (’05) Columbus/Indians:
4-3, 17 saves, 5.62ERA, 41 games, 41.2IP, 17BB, 47K

Shaun Marcum (’12) Columbus/Indians:
1-0, 2.35ERA, 8 games, 1 start, 15.1IP, 6BB, 10K
IMG_8576
JC Ramirez (’08) Columbus/Indians:
1-3, 2 saves, 3.45 ERA, 25 games, 31.1IP, 11BB, 15K

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
1-0, 5.14ERA, 12 games, 14.0IP, 3BB, 11K

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.20ERA, 12 games, 1 start, 15.0IP, 4BB, 9K

Juan Sandoval (’03) Durham/Rays:
0-1, 1 Save, 3.12ERA, 14 games, 1 start, 26.0IP, 14BB, 15K

Fabian Williamson (’07) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.50ERA, 1 game, 2.0IP, 2BB, 2K

2014 Rummage Sale Items

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will be hosting a rummage sale on Tuesday, September 23 from 4pm until 9pm.  The rummage sale will take place in the Fox Communities Credit Union Fox Club during the Pick-A-Seat Event.

There will be plenty of closeout merchandise available in addition to the items that appear in this post.  EVERYTHING in the Snake Pit Team Store will be 25% off.  Great Deals abound at the rummage sale!

Some of the items that will be available for you to pick up at the rummage sale include:

Banners!
Sept_17_-1

All of the banners that featured Rattler Alumni and were on the front of Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium will be available in the rummage sale.

Come on out to the rummage sale to see all of the selections.

Come on out to the rummage sale to see all of the selections.

2012 BP Tops!

These were last worn during Game Four of the 2012 MWL Championship Series.

These were last worn during Game Four of the 2012 MWL Championship Series.

2013-2014 BP Tops!

Aug1_Build_Burger_062

There were no nacho cheese stains to get out of these BP tops.

Before continuing with other items…There are many pairs of baseball pants available at this rummage sale, too.  Get your softball pants for next year!…Back to the catalog.

2005 MWL Championship T-Shirts?

These were printed, but never sold.  Consider these the Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI Championship T-shirts of the MWL.

These were printed, but never sold. Consider these the Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI Championship T-shirts of the MWL.

Scorecards!

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Locker tags!

IMG_4414

Nameplates!
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Bases & Plates

Some are team signed.

Some are team signed.

Home Jerseys!
Aug13_144

Action Photos!

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See you at the Rummage Sale!

All-Stars and Affiliations – September 18, 2014

Baseball America named two Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to their Low-A Classification All-Star Teams.

Clint Coulter was named the catcher and Taylor Williams was named one of the starting pitchers.

At least I think it’s Taylor Williams.

Trevor, Taylor, Tyler...we know who they meant.

Trevor, Taylor, Tyler…we know who they meant.

The Fort Wayne TinCaps have renewed their affiliation with the San Diego Padres.

“We’re ecstatic to extend our terrific partnership with the Padres,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “Our relationship with San Diego has been an essential part of the success we’ve had over the years as an organization in Fort Wayne.”

The two-year deal between the TinCaps and Padres will see their affiliation reach 18 years, tying it for the longest-lasting Minor League Baseball affiliation in San Diego history. Of the 16 teams in the Midwest League, currently, only the West Michigan Whitecaps have had a longer tenure in the league with their parent club, the nearby Detroit Tigers.

“The Midwest League is an important level for our player development, where players become first acclimated to a full season of professional baseball,” Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller said. “We are fortunate to have such a strong, long-term relationship with Fort Wayne.”

That leaves Kane County, Beloit, and South Bend for the Cubs, the Athletics, and the Diamondbacks.  I expect announcements soon.  I was surprised there were no announcements yesterday after the Fort Wayne/San Diego release.

The Brewers will have a new Triple-A affiliate in 2015.

The Triple-A Nashville Sounds, Milwaukee’s top farm team since 2005, will have a new affiliation in 2015 along with a new ballpark. The Sounds informed the Brewers on Wednesday that they were cutting ties and going with a new parent club.

The decision elicited a strong reaction from Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, whose top affiliate will play in either Fresno, Calif., or Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning in 2015. Melvin said a resolution should come within 10 days.

Melvin delivered the Nashville news to reporters a few hours after the Brewers announced extensions of their player development contracts with two other clubs. It’s a four-year extension with Double-A Biloxi, which is bringing along the Brewers from Huntsville, Ala., into a new stadium at some point next season, and a two-year extension with Class A Advanced Brevard County. The Brewers had previously announced an extension with rookie-level Helena, and are already under contract with Class A Wisconsin beyond this year.

The new Triple-A affiliate will be either Fresno or Colorado Springs.

Speaking of Triple-A.  Here’s a look at Timber Rattlers alumni who played at the Triple-A Level this season.  To break this up, I am just going to look at former Rattlers who played in the Mexican League.  International League will be Friday.  Pacific Coast League on Saturday.

Jonathan Arias (2008) Sultanes de Monterrey:
1-1, 4 Saves, 1.46ERA, 25 games, 24.2IP, 9BB, 26K

Juan Sandoval (2003) Diablos Rojos del Mexico:
9-1, 4 Saves, 2.00 ERA, 35 games, 36IP, 9BB, 27 K

Johan Limonta (2006) Piratas de Campeche:
27 games, .305/.345/.533; 6HR, 15RBI

Israel Nunez (2008) Leones de Yucatan:
43 games, .310/.375/.405; 0HR, 11RBI

Oscar Ramirez (2000) Acereros del Norte:
77 games, .259/.361/.407; 5HR, 36RBI

Mike Wilson (2005) Acereros del Norte:
30 games, .304/.391/.598; 9HR, 21RBI

Mike Wilson hit 19 taters in the regular season and three in the postseason during 2005.

Mike Wilson hit 19 taters in the regular season and three in the postseason during 2005.

No birthdays or MLB debuts for Timber Rattlers alumni occurred on September 18.

Projects – September 17, 2014

Making holes (aka Aerating) in the outfield:

September 17 2014 001

Patching holes in the parking lot:

September 17 2014 002

Preparing to Paint on the concourse:

September 17 2014 003

Congratulations to former Appleton Foxes manager Brian Poldberg and the Omaha StormChasers on their win over Pawtucket in the Triple-A Championship game.

That’s a home run by Brett Hayes to break a 2-2 tie.  More at the link up top.

Look for some dominoes to fall in the MWL Affiliation Shuffle today. As of now, Kane County, South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Beloit are at the end of their contracts.  There won’t be any new teams from the South Atlantic League because everything is set over there now.

Timber Rattlers Alumni Birthdays for September 17:
Teodoro Medrano (1996) – 39
Cheyne Hann (2008) – 30
Victor Roache (2013) – 23

Timber Rattlers MLB Debut for September 17:
Adam Moore (2006) – September 17, 2009

Moore was the starting catcher for the Mariners in a game against the Chicago White Sox.   He went 0-for-5 and Kenji Johjima pinch hit for Moore with a runner at first in the bottom of the 14th.  Johjima was hit by a pitch and Ichiro knocked in the winning run as the next batter.

Speaking of Timber Rattlers alumni…It’s time to take a look at home some former Rattlers outside the Brewers system did this year.  Today it’s a look at the players from Double-A and below:

AA (Team/Parent Club/League):
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (New Hampshire/Blue Jays/Eastern):
17 games, 12 starts; 6-4, SAVE, 3.16ERA; 74IP, 12BB, 57K

JC Ramirez (Akron/Indians/Eastern):
10 games, 1-0, SAVE, 2.08ERA, 13IP, 8BB, 14K

RJ Seidel (Tulsa/Rockies/Texas):
5 games, 1 start, 0-1, 6.57ERA, 12.1IP, 6BB, 9K

Fabian Williamson (Pensacola/Reds/Southern):
50 games, 2-6, SAVE, 4.03ERA, 58IP, 28BB, 66K

Daniel Carrol (Mississippi/Braves/Southern):
19 games, .149/.317/.149, 0HR, 3RBI

Cutter Dykstra (Harrisburg/Nationals/Eastern):
96 games, .274/.349/.391, 6HR, 49RBI

Mitch Haniger (Mobile/Diamondbacks/Southern):
8 games, .333/.433/.458; 0HR, 5RBI

Erik Komatsu (Arkansas/Angels/Texas):
20 games, .179/.266/.339, 2HR, 5RBI

Bryan LaHair (Akron/Indians/Eastern):
101 games, .234/.324/.332, 5HR, 60 RBI

Alex Liddi (Chattanooga/Dodgers/Southern):
36 games, .216/.303/.336, 2HR, 22RBI

Joel Pineiro (Tennessee/Cubs/Southern):
4 games, 4 starts, 0-1, 4.43ERA, 22.1IP, 4BB, 10K

A-Advanced:
Daniel Carrol (Lynchburg/Braves/Carolina):
63 games, .201/.319/.307, 3HR, 18RBI

Robbie Garvey (Rancho Cucamonga/Dodgers/California):
114 games, .229/.290/.361, 7HR, 45RBI

Ryan Gibbard (Modesto/Rockies/California):
9 games, 9 starts, 0-5, 6.44ERA, 36.1IP, 26BB, 20K

Efrain Nieves (Dunedin/Blue Jays/Florida State):
44 games, 4 starts, 3-5, SAVE, 86.1IP, 21BB, 57K

Cody Scarpetta (Lynchburg/Braves/Carolina):
12 games, 11 starts, 3-6, 4.50ERA, 58IP, 29BB, 52K

Other:
Anthony Banda (South Bend/Diamondbacks/Midwest):
6 games, 6 starts, 3-0, 1.54ERA, 35IP, 7BB, 34K

Daniel Carroll (Rome/Braves/South Atlantic):
10 games, .342/.409/.447, 0HR, 6RBI

Cutter Dykstra (Auburn/Blue Jays/New York-Penn):
5 games, .389/.500/.556, HR, 3RBI

Reminders – September 16, 2014

The Pick-A-Seat event will be one week from today.  It will be held from 4pm to 9pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  There is a Rummage Sale, too.

Here is the 2015 Timber Rattlers schedule:  2015 Timber Rattlers Schedule

In case you missed it, here is Clint Coulter on Fox Sports Wisconsin from the September 13 game at Miller Park.  There is some news in there:

As mentioned, Coulter will be participating in the advanced instructional league.  @BrewersPD has the Brewers minor league players that will be participating:

 

@BrewersPD also had the players that will be in the Brewers Instructional League:

There is one more MiLB game left in the season. The Triple-A Championship Game is being held tonight at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina. International League Champion Pawtucket will face Pacific Coast League Champion Omaha. The game will be shown on NBC Sports Network starting at 6pm CDT. MiLB.com has a preview article here.

If you are looking for a rooting interest in this game, Carlos Peguero – a Timber Rattlers outfielder in 2009 – led Omaha with 30 home runs.  But, he is up with the Royals now and won’t be with Omaha tonight.

photo by Wm. Glasheen
BUT, Brian Poldberg is the manager at Omaha.  Poldberg was a coach of the Appleton Foxes in 1987 and the manager of the Foxes from 1988 through 1989.

1989PoldbergGo, StormChasers!

No alumni birthdays today.  But, there is one anniversary of an MLB debut for September 16:

Shawn Estes, a first round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1991, was a Timber Rattler in 1995.  He also spent all of 1993 and part of 1994 in Appleton as a member of the Foxes.

Shawn Estes as an Appleton Fox in 1993.

Shawn Estes as an Appleton Fox in 1993.

The Mariners traded Estes – along with Wilson Delgado, another Timber Rattler – to the San Francisco Giants for Salomon Torres on May 21, 1995.  Estes made his MLB debut with the Giants on September 16, 1995.

Estes made the start at Pittsburgh on that date and took the loss.  He allowed five runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 5-1/3 innings pitched.  Estes had a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, but gave up the tying run before leaving with the bases loaded.  All three runners he left on base would eventually score against the San Francisco bullpen.

Former Timber Rattlers pitching coach Chris Hook came on in relief later in that game for the Giants, too.

Getting back into the swing

Welcome to the offseason, Timber Rattlers fans.

Clint Coulter and Jimmy Nelson were presented with awards as the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Year and Minor League Pitcher of the Year on September 13 before the game between the Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.

A few photos from the day:

Clint Coulter meets with the media before the game.

Clint Coulter meets with the media before the game at Miller Park on September 13.

Clint Coulter and Khris Davis talk before the game at Miller Park on September 13.

Clint Coulter and Khris Davis talk before the game.

Joe Block interviews Clint Coulter at Miller Park.

Joe Block interviews Clint Coulter at Miller Park.

The Coulter family talks with Bob Uecker before the game.

The Coulter family talks with Bob Uecker in the Brewers dugout before the game.

Nelson, Reid Nichols, Shawn Whalen, Ron Roenicke, and Coulter after the awards were presented.

Nelson, Reid Nichols, Shawn Whalen, Ron Roenicke, and Coulter after the awards were presented.

I’m working on a few things from the day for the website.  I should have it tomorrow.

A couple of projects were given to the interns this season.  They were to go through for the birthdays and MLB debuts of the Timber Rattlers.

Happy Birthday on September 15 to:
Matt Thornton (’99, ’00) – 38
Chris Dennis (’09, ’10, ’11) – 26
Liam Ohlman (’09) – 28
Brian Harris (’08) – 31

The lone MLB debut by a Timber Rattler on September 15 belongs to:
Jaime Bubela (’01) entered the game between the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners on September 15, 2005 at Arlington as a pinch runner for Greg Dobbs (’02) in the top of the ninth inning.

I’ll be adding these features in during the offseason and adding a few more things to a daily post.  Eventually, I’d like to get to the posts that will go up once a week….That is something that still needs a little thought.  But, it’s good to be back.

Lineup and Game Notes – September 4, 2014

Win and play tomorrow.  Game time tonight is 6:00pm.
September 4 2014 003
Broadcast Information:
Radio:
AM1280, WNAM – Pregame 5:40pm
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
September 4 Lineup
Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Preston Gainey
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Duane Underwood

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotes September 4 2014

Postgame Post – September 3, 2014

Kane County leads Best-of-three first round series 1-0.

Kane County 7
Wisconsin 3
Boxscore | Gameday | Game Recap
Sept3_055
To continue their season, the Rattlers need to go to Kane County and take two straight from the Cougars.  Kane County was 54-17 at home in the regular season.

Postgame Comments (Jon Feyen):
David Denson:

Johnny Davis:

Matt Erickson:

Photos (Ann Mollica):
Sept3_030

Sept3_034

Sept3_054

Highlights:

Lineup and Game Notes – September 3, 2014

Great Night for PLAYOFF BASEBALL! Game One against the Cougars starts at 6:35pm.
September 3 Ballpark

A little music from the production crew to get you ready!

Broadcast Information:
Radio:
AM1280, WNAM – Pregame 6:15pm
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio
Internet Video: MiLB.TV

Timber Rattlers Lineup:

September 3 lineup

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Clint Terry
Kane County Starting Pitcher: Jen-Ho Tseng

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotes September 3 2014
Kane County Game Notes: 9-3 at WIS (TSENG)

Lineup and Game Notes – September 1, 2014

The Rattlers are in the playoffs Order tickets here for Game One on Wednesday night when the Rattlers host the Kane County Cougars at 6:35pm.

YES!
Yes

Yes….BUT…There is one more game left in the regular season. That would be today at 2pm at Beloit.
September 1 Ballpark

Broadcast Information:
Radio:
AM1280, WNAM – Pregame 1:40pm
Internet Audio: IHeartRadio

Timber Rattlers Lineup:

September 1 Lineup

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Zach Quintana
Beloit Snappers Starting Pitcher: Joe Michaud

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotes September 1 2014

YES!

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day So satisfied, I’m on my way.

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