November 2010

Familiar Faces

There will be a few familiar faces – to me and long time Timber Rattlers fans at least – when the Clinton LumberKings visit Time Warner Cable Field in late April.

To the LumberKings website!

The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners, have announced the LumberKings’ coaching staff for the 2011 season. Former Pulaski manager Eddie Menchaca will become the 44th manager in Clinton franchise history and will be joined by former Everett pitching coach Rich Dorman and trainer Jake Naas. Hitting coach Terry Pollreisz is the only returning member of the 2010 staff.

Terry Pollreisz managed the Timber Rattlers in 2008.

Rich Dorman pitched for the Timber Rattlers in 2003.

Eddie Menchaca played for the Timber Rattlers (along with four other teams in the Seattle system) in 2002.  Menchaca also came back to fill in as hitting coach for a few games in 2007.

The Stadium in (almost) Winter

No. No snow covering the outfield.  Thank, DiMaggio.

Instead here are a couple of pictures of an improvement project going on at Time Warner Cable Field.

001.JPG

002.JPG

What do you think that could be?

Dave Nilsson in Brisbane

David Nilsson was a catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.  Now, he is managing his hometown team of Brisbane in his home country of Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has the story..although the story seems more focused on why Nilsson isn’t playing for the Bandits instead of on how he is as a manager.

AUSTRALIA’S greatest baseballer, David Nilsson, might have played in
the resurrected local professional competition if he had been asked.

Brisbane-born Nilsson played catcher for the Milwaukee
Brewers from 1992 until 1999, and became the first Australian selected
for the Major League Baseball All-Stars.

He is now 40, and hasn’t played high-level baseball since representing Australia at the World Baseball Classic in 2006.

Nilsson is instead managing the Brisbane Bandits, who
lost to the Sydney Blue Sox yesterday in a rain-shortened game at
Blacktown Olympic Park.

The new Australian Baseball League is largely funded by
America’s rich MLB competition, and when it was launched last month, ABL
chairman Mark Peters said of Nilsson: ”We’d love for him to strip off
and play, but, as he says, he’s probably not quite in that shape at the
moment.”

Nilsson told the Herald: ”If they were serious
they would have approached me [but] they never approached me. I think
it’s just good banter. If they were serious about it they would have
approached me 12 months ago and given me an opportunity to [get into
shape] but they weren’t serious.”

Remembering Leslie Nielsen

Sad news with the passing of Leslie Nielsen. He made me laugh in many roles. This is the most obvious baseball tie-in.

Don’t forget that he started out as a serious actor:

Try to pick him out of the crew before he is identified.

Ben Hill threw out a challenge for a “Salute to Leslie Nielsen” Night promotion. What do you think that would entail?

Rattlers Alumni Report

Venezuela (11/28)

@Lara 7, Magallanes 2

Lara:
Luis Valbuena (’06): 1-for-4, RBI
Michael Saunders (’06): 1-for-4
Oswaldo Navarro (’05): 0-for-4, RUN
Edilio Colina (’06): 2-for-2, 2RBI
Caesar Jimenez (’03): 1.2IP, H, 0R, BB

@Caribes 2, Caracas 1 (12)

Caracas:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 1-for-5
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 2-for-4, RUN

Caracas 6 @Caribes 2

Caracas:
Cabrera: 1-for-4, RBI

Puerto Rico (11/28):

Carolina 6 @Ponce 0

Carolina:
Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 0-for-4, RBI

Dominican Republic (11/28):

Aguilas 12 @Licey 1

Aguilas:
Edward Paredes (’08): IP, H, 0R, BB, 2K

Licey:
Carlos Peguero (’08): 0-for-1, PH
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 0-for-1

Australia:

(11/26)
Perth 9 @Adelaide 3

Adelaide:
Jamie McOwen (’07): 2-for-5, RUN

11/27:
@Adelaide 4, Perth 2

Adelaide:
McOwen: 1-for-2

Thursday Program cover post (1975)

Happy Thanksgiving from Rattler Radio!

To celebrate, here is the minimalist 1975 cover and a few bonus pages from the inside of that year’s program.

75Cover.jpgI don’t think that the umpire is set up properly to call the pitch a ball or a strike.

Your 1975 Appleton Foxes Radio crew and their schedule!

75Radioteam.jpg

The full schedule and ticket prices for the 1975 Appleton Foxes.75Schedule.jpgHere is what is at 729 W. College Avenue now.

What am I most thankful for? That I get to do more than 17 games in a season and that I get to go on the road.

What do I want for Christmas? Bob Lloyd’s microphone…or a reasonable facsimile.

Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving to all!  I’ll be back on Monday!

Khris Davis: Statistically

Bernie’s Crew has selected Khris Davis as their Brewers Minor League Player of the Year.  And they back it up with statistics.

Khris Davis began the season under-the-radar due to his injury issues that kept him from playing more than 10 games in his first professional season.  The Brewers drafted him out of Cal State Fullerton, which has traditionally churned out quality bats year-in and year-out.  In fact, Davis and Komatsu both played together at Cal State Fullerton — so the hitting pedigree there is easy to see.

2010 marked a record breaking year for Davis in Appleton.  The long balls kept coming and coming all season.  He set the record for most home runs hit by a Timber Rattler in one season with 22.  The 22-year-old also won the Home Run Derby in the Midwest League All-Star Game.  Both were impressive power performances and firmly vaulted him into the eyes of the Brewers’ faithful.

The young man hit .278/.396/.497 in one of the toughest environments in all of the minor leagues.  For example, the average hitter in the Midwest League hit .255/.329/.373 in 2009.  Davis obviously blew those numbers out of the water, especially the power numbers and the OBP (the two factors that most directly create runs, getting on base and clearing the bases).

Davis brings two specific tools to the table that are particularly valuable in a corner outfielder, power and patience.

Though barely tasting professional baseball the season before, he began the season on a tear and never turned back.  Davis finished the year with a .219 ISO and a .893 OPS — both of which are well above-average offensively, even for a corner outfielder.  As an example, Prince Fielder posted a .209 ISO in 2010 for the Brewers.  The pure power is there and legit.

ISO is isolated power.  Here is the wiki on that. I thought a good idea to compare Davis to Fielder would be a look at Fielder’s ISO and OPS from his 2003 season in the Midwest League.  Now, granted, Fielder was 19 years old at the time, but it seems like a decent comparison.

Prince Fielder’s 2003 OPS: .935
Prince Fielder’s 2003 ISO: .285

.285?  Did I do that correctly?  If so…that’s, um, that’s, well…wow.  Even when you take into account the 8-foot high fence and that it’s only 380 feet to center field at Pohlman Field that’s…good…right?

Head over and read the rest of the case for Khris Davis at Bernie’s Crew.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of November 24, 2010

Venezuela:

Caracas 6 @Lara 1

Lara:
Michael Saunders (’06): 0-for-4
Alex Liddi (’08): 0-for-3
Luis Valbuena (’06): 0-for-3
Caesar Jiminez (’03): .2IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, BB

Puerto Rico:

@San Juan 7, Carolina 4

Carolina:
Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 1-for-4

San Juan:
Rene Rivera (’03): 1-for-4

Dominican Republic:

Toros 4 @Estrellas 0

Estrellas:
Ryan Ketchner (’02): 4.2IP, 8H, 2R, 3BB, K, Loss

Australia:

Perth @Adelaide 7

Adelaide:
Jamie McOwen (’07): 2-for-4, 2 RUNS, 2B, HR #3

Participation journalism – Australian Style

George Plimpton started it with Out of My League, Paper Lion, Open Net, & The Bogey Man.  I dabbled a bit in it with my base running, and pitching exhibitions on Timber Rattlers Field Pass. 

Participatory journalism continues in Australia with this bit from Ken McGregor of the Adelaide Advertiser as he faces Clinton LumberKing Brandon Maurer.  First the video.

<p><a href=”http://video.adelaidenow.com.au/1648864305/Facing-the-fast-ball”>VIDEO: Facing the fast ball</a></p>

Gotta love the public domain version of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’. Also, that is a camera attached to his helmet.  An excerpt from the story:

When The Advertiser editor Mel Mansell asked me to go to
Adelaide Bite training and face a pitch from one of the baseball team’s
star US recruits, I thought, why not?

As I stepped up to the plate
to face 196cm Brandon Maurer, who hurled thunderbolt after thunderbolt
at me, I thought of several reasons why I should have let the offer
slip.

My first thought was for my elbow and the possible agony if one of the 20-year-old, 100kg, Californian’s pitches went astray.

After
facing a few balls, Maurer had perfect control of where the ball was
going and the only thing in danger of being hurt was my ego.

How very Plimptonesque.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of November 23, 2010

Venezuela:

Magallanes 5 @Caracas 3:

Caracas:
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 0-for-3

Puerto Rico:

@Carolina 6, Mayaguez 3 (10)

Carolina:
Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 2-for-5, RUN

Mayaguez:
Martin Maldonado (’09): 2-for-4

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