November 2010

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of November 21, 2010

..with a few from 11/20 and 11/19


@Zulia 5, Lara 1 (5)

Michael Saunders (’06): 0-for-2
Luis Valbuena (’06): 1-for-1, RBI

Dominican Republic:

@Aguilas 6, Licey 5

Carlos Triunfel (’07): 1-for-4, RUN, RBI

Puerto Rico:

@San Juan 5, Ponce 3

San Juan:
Rene Rivera (’03): 1-for-2, RBI

@Ponce 2, San Juan 0

San Juan:
R. Rivera: 0-for-2

Carolina 2 @Mayaguez 0

Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 3-for-5, RUN

Johan Limonta (’06): 0-for-4

Carolina 13 @Mayaguez 6

Dominguez: 2-for-6, 2 RUNS

Limonta: 2-for-5, RUN, 2 RBI, HR #1
Martin Maldonado (’09): 1-for-4, RUN
Mumba Rivera (’05): IP, 0H, 0R, K


Sydney 2 @Brisbane 0

Craig Anderson (’00): 7IP, 6H, 0R, BB, K, WIN #1

Adelaide 4 @Perth 3

Jamie McOwen (’07): 3-for-5, 2 RUNS, RBI, HR #2

King Felix and the Cy Young Award

Felix Hernandez was a Timber Rattlers pitcher for two starts late in the 2003 season.

On August 24 he pitched at home against the Burlington Bees.  He gave up a grand slam in the first inning, but those were the only runs he allowed in that game.  For the day, Hernandez gave up six hits, walked two, and struck out eight over seven innings.  The Rattlers rallied to win the game and Hernandez received a no decision.

On August 29 at Kane County, Hernandez pitched seven shutout innings, allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out 10.  The Rattlers offense did not score in that game and Hernandez received another no decision.

Had the Rattlers forced a Game Three in their first round playoff series against Beloit in 2003, Hernandez would have been the starter.  He would have faced Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks in a playoff game.  That would have been something to see.

Why the walk down memory lane?

Felix Hernandez is the 2010 American League Cy Young Award Winner…despite going “only” 13-12.  Larry Stone explains:

Some would say the Baseball Writers’ Association of America came of age Thursday, as well. No question this year’s AL Cy Young vote was being viewed as a referendum to see if the head-in-the-sand dinosaurs of the BBWAA were ready to join the 21st century.

As a card-carrying tyrannosaurus — but one who tries to keep his head above ground — I fretted over the repercussions if CC Sabathia or David Price, with statistics inferior to Hernandez in virtually every aspect except victories, had pulled out the Cy Young.

The grudging acknowledgment of growth the BBWAA had earned last year for giving the Cys to Zack Greinke and Tim Lincecum — with 16 and 15 wins, respectively — would have surely boomeranged.

But score one for progress, as Hernandez received 21 of the 28 first-place votes from two BBWAA members in each American League city (including, in the interests of full disclosure, myself. My five-person ballot read: 1, Hernandez; 2, Price; 3, Cliff Lee; 4, Jon Lester; 5, Sabathia).

Look back up at that start at Kane County on August 29, 2003.  Seven scoreless innings, 10 Ks, no decision.  I guess the minor leagues do prepare you for the majors.

No need to quantify again the historic ineptitude of the Mariners’ offense except to point out that Hernandez received a grand total of seven runs of support in his 12 losses.

You want more? How about this from an excellent post at Big League Stew:

Hernandez’s 13 wins are the lowest for any starting pitcher that has ever won the Cy Young award over a full season (Fernando Valenzuela had 13 in strike-shortened 1981), but an overwhelming majority of the electorate realized that wins aren’t under the pitcher’s control. Felix didn’t get wins 12 times he surrendered two earned runs or less and received a paltry average of 2.4 runs of support a game during his 34 starts.

Let me repeat and bold that last part for emphasis:

Felix didn’t get wins 12 times he surrendered two earned runs or less and received a paltry average of 2.4 runs of support a game during his 34 starts.

For the record, other Appleton Professional Baseball players to have won the Cy Young Award:

Dean Chance (Foxes, 1960): MLB, 1964
Sparky Lyle (Foxes, 1964): AL, 1977
Pete Vuckovich (Foxes, 1974): AL, 1982
LaMarr Hoyt (Foxes, 1978): AL, 1983
Doug Drabek (Foxes, 1984): NL, 1990

Flashback Friday Supplement for 11/19

No-no November continues this week with a look back at R. Wayne McCauley’s no-hitter for the Foxes against the Quincy Cubs on June 17, 1972.  The gem occurred in the first game of a doubleheader at Goodland Field.  There will be a link to the Flashback on the main website when the story is posted.  (AND HERE IT IS!)

The best picture that I could find of McCauley is at the bottom of this post on the 1970’s All-Decade Team.

Here is the boxscore from his no-hitter game.

Quincy – 0

..................AB R H BI
Gonzalez, SS.......2 0 0 0
Corey, CF..........2 0 0 0
Watson, 2B.........3 0 0 0
DeMichele, LF......3 0 0 0
Crews, 1B..........2 0 0 0
White, RF..........2 0 0 0
Aranzamendi, 3B....2 0 0 0
Gaudioso, C........2 0 0 0
York, P............2 0 0 0

Appleton – 2
..................AB R H BI
Rourke, 3B.........3 0 1 0
Buskey, SS.........3 1 1 0
Bridges, 2B........1 0 0 1
L. Johnson, 1B.....3 0 2 0
J. Johnson, LF.....3 0 0 0
Norton, CF.........3 0 1 0
B. Johnson, RF.....3 0 0 0
Reynolds, C........3 1 1 0
McCauley, P........2 0 1 1

.....................R H E
Quincy...000 000 0 – 0 0 2
Appleton 000 011 x – 2 7 0

E – Aranzamendi, 2
2B – Reynolds, McCauley
DP – Quincy 1
LOB – Appleton 4, Quincy 1
SB – Bridges
..........IP H R ER BB..K
McCauley 7.0 0 0..0..2 10
York.....6.0 7 2..1..1..5

TIME: 1:36
ATTN: 1,817

The story of Choo

Shin-soo Choo was a Timber Rattlers outfielder in 2002.  He has reached the status of “Player of the Verge” over the past two seasons with the Cleveland Indians.

He has a little added incentive as he plays for South Korea (and leads them to the Gold Medal game) in the Asian Games. has the story.

Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and his teammates on South Korea’s national team are one step closer to winning gold at this year’s Asian Games. A medal, however, is hardly the only thing at stake.

The home run that Choo launched in a 7-1 victory over China on Thursday also helped put the South Korea players closer to being exempt from required military service. South Korea will face the defending champions from Taiwan in the gold medal game on Friday in Guangzhou, China.

According to Korean military regulations, athletes will receive an exemption from 30 months of military conscription if they capture a gold medal in the Asian Games. All able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve two years in the military by the end of their 30th year. Choo, who turned 28 in July, is using his bat to escape that obligation.

And the latest – a spoiler from the bottom of that story – is that South Korea beat Taiwan in the Gold Medal Game by a score of 9-3.

From the Korea Herald:

South Korea won the baseball gold medal at the Asian Games here Friday, defeating Taiwan 9-3 in the final.

Third baseman Kang Jung-ho belted two home runs and drove in five runs. Major League Baseball outfielder Choo Shin-soo had two runs batted in, and South Korea hammered Taiwan pitching for 17 hits.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of November 18, 2010


@Surprise 3, Phoenix 3 (7)

Hunter Morris (’10): 1-for-3

That ends the regular season in the AFL.  The stats for the ex-Rattlers:

Hunter Morris: 17 games .242/.292/.348; HR, 11 RBI

Mike Fiers: 5 games, 2-1, 4.82ERA, 18.2IP, 3BB, 17K
Jeremy Jeffress: 10 games, 0-0, 3.09ERA, 11.2IP, 12BB, 14K
Dan Merklinger: 6 games, 1-1, 3.77ERA, 14.1IP, 6BB, 16K


Caribes 8 @Lara 1

Oswaldo Navarro (’05): 1-for-4, RUN
Alex Liddi (’08): 0-for-3
Luis Valbuena (’06): 0-for-4

Puerto Rico:

@Caguas 3, Mayaguez 2 (Game one)

Martin Maldonado (’09): 0-for-2

@Caguas 2, Mayaguez 1 (Game two)

Johan Limonta (’06): 0-for-3
Hiram Burgos (’10): 3.2IP, 4H, R, 2BB, 2K

@Ponce 4, San Juan 3

San Juan:
Rene Rivera (’03): 1-for-3, RBI
Efrain Nieves (’10): 4IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, Loss

Dominican Republic:

@Aguilas 3, Estrellas 1

Edward Paredes (’08): .1IP, H, 0R, K

Gigantes 7 @Licey 2

Mike Wilson (’05): 0-for-3, RUN
Carlos Peguero (’08): pinch hitter 0-for-1


Adelaide @ Perth

They are still playing as of 8:30CST and tied 4-4 in the 11th.

Jamie McOwen (’07) is 2-for-5 for Adelaide.  He singled with one out in the top of the 11th, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Will update later…maybe…

@Perth 6, Adelaide 4.  The Heat win on a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th by Ronnie Welty!

McOwen did not get another plate appearance after the 11th.

Thursday Program cover post (1989)

This week, the cover is from 1989.  At this point in Foxes history, the covers appeared to be inspired by the work of LeRoy Neimen.

Here is the 1989 cover which was created by Paul Birling.

89Cover.jpgHere is Neiman’s portrait of Mickey Mantle:

This is a print by Birling called “Baseball Classic


A few changes

There are a few projects around the ballpark that are moving right along.

The first thing you will notice as you approach the stadium is the new brickwork going down in place of the grass.
This is the spot in front of the pro shop.  There is a similar spot going in over on the side of the ticket windows.

You may not notice it right away next season, but the players will see that there are new benches in the dugouts.


Obviously not finished yet.

Mail Call and on the 40

@Brewercom reported that there have been a few additions to the Milwaukee Brewers 40 man roster.

2B Eric Farris, LHP Dan Merklinger and RHP Wily Peralta added to the #Brewers 40-Man Roster.

Merklinger and Peralta were both Timber Rattlers in 2009.

Also, Adam McCalvy took a look at what was in his e-mail.  There are questions about trading Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun (BRAUN!?!?!?!!…oh, don’t worry.); Possibility of getting Cliff Lee or Jorge de la Rosa; New manager Ron Roenicke, and an interesting bit about Maryvale and what the future holds for a Spring Training site for the Brewers.

The excerpt from Adam’s column for this post deals with Brett Lawrie (’09):

Will we see Brett Lawrie in the bigs next year? Seems to be on the Braun/Rickie Weeks/Fielder track, but he’s blocked by Weeks at second base.
— Mark, Madison, Wis.

Lawrie is tough to figure out. He can hit, but word is that he still has some things to learn about professionalism and being a good teammate. In a perfect world, I think the Brewers would like him to play a full season at Triple-A before they consider him as a September callup. What happens with Weeks — who, like Fielder, has one arbitration season remaining before he hits free agency — will determine what happens with Lawrie.

Here’s another scenario we shouldn’t forget: If the Brewers are unhappy with their offers for Fielder, perhaps they would consider fielding interest in Lawrie. I could see him landing a pitching prospect in return.

Im trying real hard to be the shepherd.

ESPN, The Magazine has a movie issue coming up soon.  Former Timber Rattlers pitcher Felix Hernandez (’03) will be featured as Jules, the Samuel L. Jackson character from Pulp Fiction. Of COURSE there was a behind-the-scenes video.

Bonus for the “Royale with Cheese” banter.

Also, Felix finds out today if he wins the AL Cy Young Award.

There are quotes from former Timber Rattlers pitching coach Rafael Chaves at that link.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of November 17, 2010

Puerto Rico:

@San Juan 4, Caguas 1

San Juan:
Rene Rivera (’03): 0-for-1

Mayaguez 6 @Carolina 5 (10)

Martin Maldonado (’09): 0-for-2
Johan Limonta (’06): pinch runner; 0-for-1, RUN

Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 0-for-4

Dominican Republic:

Toros 4 @Licey 3

Mike Wilson (’05): 1-for-4, RUN
Carlos Peguero (’07): defensive replacement


Adelaide 7 @Perth 3

Jamie McOwen (’07): 1-for-4, RUN, RBI, HR #1

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