October 2010

Miracle League slideshow

The Timber Rattlers have had a pretty good relationship with The Miracle League of the Fox Valley.  They completed their first season this past summer.

Follow this link to see a little slideshow of some of their highlights.  Be on the lookout for Timber Rattlers personnel.

Then, maybe go over here to learn a little bit more about Miracle League of the Fox Valley.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of October 15, 2010

MLB PLAYOFFS:

Yankees 6 @Rangers 5

NYY:
Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, ’94): 1-for-5, RUN, 2 RBI

Arizona Fall League:

@Mesa 8, Surprise 7 (11)

Surprise:
Hunter Morris (’10): 1-for-4, RUN, 3B, RBI

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Lara 7, Zulia 3

Lara:
Luis Valbuena (’06): 1-for-4, RUN
Alex Liddi (’08): 1-for-3, 2 RUNS

Caracas 11 @Aragua 0

Caracas:
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 1-for-5, 3 RUNS

Magallanes 3 @Margarita 0

Margarita:
Blake Ochoa (’08): 0-for-3

Boardwalk and Baseball

This week’s Friday Flashback mainly deals with the attendance for the Appleton Foxes at Goodland Field for the 1987 season (as of mid-July).  BUT,

There is a bit in there about the Kansas City Royals, the Foxes parent club at the time, moving their Spring Training site to the new Boardwalk and Baseball theme park.  I don’t know about you but when I hear the words Boardwalk and Baseball, my thoughts run to this place.

I

Run away.  Run away!

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of October 14, 2010

Arizona Fall League

Mesa 11 @Surprise 6

Surprise:
Dan Merklinger (’09): 2IP, 3H, R, 5K
Jeremy Jeffress (’10): IP, 0H, 0R, BB

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional:

@Zulia 5, Lara 3

Lara:
Oswaldo Navarro (’05): 0-for-3
Luis Valbuena (’06): 0-for-3
Alex Liddi (’08): 2-for-4, RBI
Caesar Jimenez (’03): IP, H, R, 2K

LaGuaira 5 @Caracas 1

Caracas:
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 0-for-1

Top 10 Plays of the Year

Have you caught this video yet? 

You may want to check it out to see the top 10 plays by the Timber Rattlers from the 2010 season as chosen by the production crew.

Categorizing

This entry is for the new wave stats readers and for those who may want to learn more about these new metrics.

I’ll let Jim Breen over at Bernie’s Crew set it up for you, since he did all of the hard work – you know, math & stuff – in this post to categorize pitchers in the Brewers Minor League system.

Without delving into hardcore statistical analysis, I found that the
strikeout rate was the only major factor that changed between minor
league levels.  The average and median strikeout rate decreased as one
went up the prospect ladder.  Walk and groundball rates, though, seemed
to remain remarkably steady.

Therefore, I opted to alter the average strikeout rate depending on
the level, but kept the walk rate and groundball averages similar to
the big league averages.  Take these numbers with a grain of salt, as
they are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but here are
the averages I used per level:

K/9  –  8.00 K/9 in A, 7.50 K/9 in High-A and AA, and 6.75 K/9 in AAA

BB/9  –  3.00 BB/9

GB%  –  46%

And here are the results for Brewers prospects that threw at least
70 innings in 2010 (and remember, these should be used as a jumping off
point for discussion, not as a hard-and-fast rule for good/bad
pitchers).

So keep that in mind when you go over to the link and see one of your favorite Rattlers in a spot lower than what you thought he might be on a list like this.

To act as a Rosetta Stone for those of you who may not know…

K/9 = Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (High # is good)
BB/9 = Walks per 9 innings pitched (High # is bad)
GB% = Percentage of ground balls (High % is good)

Click through and take a look at another way to rate pitchers.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of October 13, 2010

Arizona Fall League

Peoria Javelinas 7 @Surprise Rafters 4

Surprise:
Michael Fiers (’09): 1.2IP, 5H, 5R, BB, 2K, Loss

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional:

Lara 5 @Zulia 2

Lara*:
Luis Valbuena (’06): 0-for-2, RUN
Alex Liddi (’08): 1-for-4, 2B, 2RBI
Juan Ovalles (’04): .2IP, 3H, R, K
*-Jaime Navarro is the pitching coach for Lara. He was the Wisconsin pitching coach in 2008.

@Margarita 5, LaGuaira 4

Margarita:
Blake Ochoa (’08): 1-for-3, RUN

Ken Phelps! Ken Phelps!

You know of what I speak.

But, why would that particular Seinfeld clip pop into my head this morning?

There was this blog post by Kirby Arnod of the Everett Herald that showed up on my google news reader and I thought ‘Nice tie-in.’


Before the Fall League begins, the Mariners’ magnificent seven [players participating in the Arizona Fall League] went through something this afternoon that the organization takes seriously – a two-hour session of media training presented by Mariners baseball information director Tim Hevly and public information director Rebecca Hale.

What happens in a media training session?

Their program was held in the multipurpose room at the Mariners’ spring training complex in Peoria. It included advice and tales of personal experience by former Mariner Ken Phelps, who lives in the Phoenix area; a few video clips of how to (and not to) conduct a postgame interview; and a discussion with a couple of real, live baseball beat reporters, Shannon Drayer (of ESPN 710 radio) and me (of The Herald).

Phelps warned the guys that anything they say or do, can and will appear in print and online. He told them that nothing they say is ever off the record, even if they think they have an understanding with a reporter that it’s off the record. He told them to never criticize their teammates, to be humble in their success, to be honest and be themselves.

And….And…


After Phelps, the players saw video of two postgame interviews. One was a young Mariner who’d gotten his first big-league hit last month and said all the right things to Brad Adam of FSN.

“Anything stand out in that interview?”

Rebecca Hale asked the group. I’m not sure who responded, but one of the guys uttered two words: “His chew.”

Exactly. Spit it out when the cameras are on, even if you’ve just put it in.

But, I thought there was no tobacco in minor league baseball.

Interesting read.Click the link for the whole post.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of October 12, 2010

MLB PLAYOFFS:

Rangers 5 @ Rays 1

TB:
Rafael Soriano (’00): IP, 3H, 2R,

PAN AN GAMES QUALIFIER:

Dominican Republic 7, USA 2

USA:
Andre Lamontagne (’10): 2.1IP, 4H, 2R, BB

PAN AM GAMES QUALIFIER STATS (Links to team pages):

USA: Lamontagne

Canada: Taylor Green, Phillippe Aumont, Jim Henderson

Venezuela: Rene Cortez

Puerto Rico: Hiram Burgos, Efrain Nieves

A friend steps down

I have known John Rodgers since I first came into the Midwest League in 2000.  John had been with the Cedar Rapids Kernels as their Radio Announcer since 1996.

Yesterday, John stepped aside to move on to the next chapter of his life.


Arguably the most colorful play-by-play announcer in professional
baseball is leaving the Cedar Rapids Kernels broadcast booth. John
Rodgers, the dean of Midwest League announcers, is calling it quits
after 15 years with the Kernels.

“John is the most likeable, entertaining, and sincere individual you’ll
ever meet” said Jack Roeder, the retiring General Manager of the
Kernels. Roeder said that, “when it comes to John’s broadcast style, it
is truly unique, entertaining, and memorable. There will never be
another John Rodgers”.

Jack has that right.  When I first met John – being the cynical and bitter person that I am – the thought going through my head was, No one is this nice.  No. One.

Now, I don’t admit mistakes very often, but in this case I will.  John is that nice and that positive and that upbeat and…Well, if you’ve ever heard me interview John on the radio, you’ll have an idea of what I speak.  The person that he is on the air is the same person as he is off the air. He hasn’t changed in the 11 seasons that we have crossed paths.

The Kernels beat writer for the paper in Cedar Rapids got in touch with me yesterday and wanted a couple of quotes.  I provided them with stories and a few quotes.  I’ll have a link over on my twitter feed when it is available online.

For now, I wish John well and tell him to get some rest. He has earned it.

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