December 2010

100 Days

Short post.

Believe it or not, there are 100 days until April 7, 2011.

That is Opening Day for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Get here soon!

Old Hoss

I have been taking it easy during the last few days.  But, I found these old photos as I was arranging them for a work project today and needed to post them.

O’Brien Field, the home of the Peoria Chiefs, has a series of frames with old photographs, newspaper articles, programs, and various other miscellany in its second level hallway.

Twitter star Old Hoss Radbourn is prominently featured in one of the frames.

I’ll work on getting better pictures next season, but these should give you an idea of the man.  For right now, click on the images for a larger, um, image: 

Here is the poster in full from an angle.  He is sharing the frame with Iron Joe McGinnity.
Next is the photo of the man himself:
The caption of the photograph mentions that Old Hoss pitched for the Peoria Reds in 1878.  Here is the caption in full:
I would say that I don’t believe the bit about the ball disappearing around the corner, but I do not feel like being challenged to a duel today.

Thursday Program cover post (1971)



and here is the schedule page from the 1971 program:


My love of rip-roaring banjo and honky-tonk piano music started at a Shakey’s Pizza.

Notice when the season starts?

The Maritime Tavern is still there.

You know what commercials I miss.  The ones with Murph and the gang from Union 76.

Nick was kind of a goof, I can believe that Murph, Jr went to college to work at dad’s 76 station, and yes. I had a crush on Jill.

Sadly, the Spirit of 76 can no longer be found on the corner of Meade and Glendale in Appleton.

Season two, Episode three of The Offseason

There ain’t no episode like a Christmas episode, cause a Christmas episode don’t stop.

A video Christmas Card

This video was originally shot in April, 2010.  Thought it would be a good idea to post it again today.

Worth the read

Jim over at Bernie’s Crew has this piece that is worth the click. And seeing as how he was the guy who broke the story on the Greinke trade…oh, just go ahead.  Here is the title:

Melvin and the Brewers Not Ignoring the Future Health of the Organization

Sometimes, when passionately following a Major League Baseball
organization, one tends to overvalue that team’s players and talent.

It causes the best of us to buy into unrealistic hype surrounding
prospects.  It also causes us to demand a king’s ransom in return for
any of our prospects/players.  Ultimately, that hometown bias results in
fans positing “plausible” trade packages such as Parra/Gamel for Matt
Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays.

I found myself nudging myself further into that cozy trap on Sunday, lamenting the loss of another top prospect in Jake Odorizzi — as well as the promising trio of youngsters in Cain/Escobar/Jeffress.  Zack Greinke
is obviously a treat, but I wanted to argue the return was not worth
the overall risk to the organization due to the gutting of the minor
league system.

After 48 hours of sleeping on this trade, however, I realized the
true root of the discomfort surrounding the trade:  The discomfort was
not so much due to the fact that the Brewers were surrendering any
sure-fire stud players in the trade.  It was that the Brewers were
trading away everything they had remaining in the system.

In a pure talent-for-talent evaluation of the trade, the Brewers did
quite well.  They acquired one of the top pitchers in all of baseball
for a group of players that have been dubbed as “big league average”
again and again by scouts.  Various scouts prefer one of the four over
another and each will have his favorites, but the Brewers needed
top-flight talent to make the postseason in 2011 or 2012 — and that was
not about to come in the form of Cain/Escobar/Odorizzi/Jeffress.

No offense meant to any of the prospects mentioned above.  A
postseason berth was simply not about to happen on the backs of those
four, and that is just common sense.

Go read it all.

So, did anything happen this weekend?

I am kidding, of course. 

Jim Breen at Bernie’s Crew broke the story on Saturday:

A source informed me earlier today that the Milwaukee Brewers have come to a preliminary agreement with the Kansas City Royals for a deal that would send pitcher Zack Greinke to Milwaukee.

The rumored agreement would send shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, and right-hander Jeremy Jeffress to Kansas City in return for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and approximately $2M.

The extra $2M is to offset a portion of the $31M that would come to Milwaukee in the trade.  Coincidentally, Betancourt’s buyout for the 2012 season is $2M — so that number could make a good deal of sense, if the Brewers have no intention of keeping the shortstop.

Jim and Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel analyzed it:

First, Jim:

As the dust settles from the Zack Greinke acquisition, it has become clear that Doug Melvin is planning on winning now. While the Brewers have the rotation of a contender, they did create some concerns in the everyday lineup by trading away likely starters at shortstop in Alcides Escobar and centerfield in Lorenzo Cain. While neither of these players was likely to be an offensive force in 2011, both are likely to play solid defense and offer at least some offensive upside.

The Brewers should be able to squeeze something out of Carlos Gomez, who avoided arbitration on Friday by taking a one year deal worth 1.5 million. Gomez does play a plus centerfield and has a bit of offensive upside left. The Brewers also have Chris Dickerson as a possible platoon-mate for Gomez. If Dickerson’s offensive numbers rebound back towards career norms and/or Gomez is able to improve his on base percentage, the team should be passable in centerfield.

Now, Tom:

“This is what I call a ‘now’ trade,” said [Brewers GM Doug] Melvin, who was in Chatham, Ontario, visiting his parents when the six-player swap came together.

“I told Zack that I felt like I acquired CC Sabathia again, but this time for two years and maybe longer.”

The trade came at great expense for the Brewers in terms of young, talented players. They sent shortstop Alcides Escobar, centerfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress to the Royals for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and $2 million in cash.

“It was a costly trade,” said Melvin. “We gave up a lot of good, young players. This is a credit to our scouting and player development people to have the kind of young players it takes to make a trade like this.”

Also, here is the Kansas City perspective by Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star:

“I know every one of these kids except Odorizzi,” said [Royals manager Ned] Yost, who was the Brewers’ manager during 2003-08. “The first time I laid eyes on Alcides Escobar, the impression I got was this kid is going to be an All-Star.

“This kid will probably be our most athletic player, and Cain is right behind him. Escobar will knock your eyes out defensively. He’s a kid who is still developing his offensive capability, but he’s going to hit.

“Lorenzo Cain is the same type of player, and he’s really starting to come into his own. He and Escobar have great speed and great instincts on the bases. They’re going to add to our offense just with their legs alone.”

John Axford is enthused!

Looks like #SundayBoredom turned into #SuperAwesomelyCrazyExcitementRumoursNowTruthSunday! My twitter has been blowing up like woah!

By the way, at one point, that second hashtag was trending on twitter.  Also, that hashtag reminds me of the line super karate monkey death car from Japanese title of Jimmy James autobiography: Jimmy James, Macho Business Donkey Wrestler.

Brew Crew Ball has a few thoughts. Head over their to read them because there is plenty of good stuff and I can’t just pull out one bullet point.  To sum it up: They are excited.

Also, to get an idea of the prospects in the Brewers system, head over to this thread at

Minor League Blog had this tweet:

Following the trade, the #Royals have 7 prospects who are all better then the Number 1 ranked prospect in the #Brewers organization.

Anonymous Eagle had this awesomely accurate response to someone when he saw that above update re-tweeted by one of the people he follows:

Crap. We’re totally xxxxxx when we play Prospect World Series in Neverneverland.

Lastly, I only point out that the Fans’ choice bobblehead by Timber Rattlers fans in 2009 was Brett Lawrie; the Fans’ choice bobblehead in 2010 was Jake Odorizzi; and one of the rehab bobbleheads the Rattlers did in the ’08-’09 offseason was Lorenzo Cain.

Please, be careful in selecting the Fans’ choice bobblehead in 2011.  Thank you.

Flashback Friday Supplement for 12/17

This week’s Flashback Friday column will be up is now available at the main site in a little bit.  The story of first game of the 1940 Appleton Papermakers is the main column.  There is an additional column that in today’s newspaper business would be called a ‘sidebar’.

There is a picture of Papermakers’ player-manager Eddie Dancisak beating out a base hit at the link, but there were a couple of neat things that I wanted to share here.

Apologies in advance for the quality.  They are pictures of  images as shown on a microfilm reader.Click for a larger image.

First, here is the full-sized picture of the first hit in Papermakers history.  Dancisak, won prizes from Appleton merchants for being the first Papermaker to reach base with a hit.  He also received gifts from merchants for scoring the first run in team history.

FirstPapermakersHit.jpgThis is Spencer Street Stadium – as the stadium was known before it was renamed Goodland Field.  Notice that there is no roof over the grandstand and there is not much of a screen to protect the fans from foul balls.  More on this in the NOTES section of the Flashback.

The is the boxscore of Opening Day, 1940.  I really like the headline above the boxscore.  More on this in the NOTES section of the Flashback, too.
Opening Day 1940 Boxscore.jpg

This is an ad from the Post-Crescent for O.R. Kloehn Co., a used car dealer on Morrison Street in Appleton. A ’32 NASH Sedan for $50 down!?!?!! AND a free season ticket to the Papermakers! Sign me up!  Also included are some of the classified ads…Six-Room House AND an ACRE OF LAND for $2,750?  The patch of berry bushes in the garden space closes it for me!
1940 ad.jpg

Highly recommended

I had a lot to do yesterday and did not have time to put anything up about watching the rebroadcast of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series.

You have got to see it.  The Pirates beating the Yankees 10-9 on a Bill Mazerowski homer in the bottom of the ninth, Bob Prince and Mel Allen as the announcers, Bob Prince doing some very interesting post-game interviews with the Pirates, and so much more.

Additionally, many old Pirates – and the widow of the great Roberto Clemente – were in attendance as the game was shown to a packed theater in Pittsburgh.

As my friend and colleague Nathan Baliva of the Peoria Chiefs said on twitter after the show: every championship team should get a 50 yr event/party & tribute in all sports like the 1960 Pirates just got on #MLB Network.

If you have MLB Network, you really need to see it.  If you have a netflix account, you may want to put it in your cue…If you are a Pirates fan, you probably already have this for Christmas.

To learn more about the 1960 Pirates, head over to this special 50-year Tribute section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here is the home run (as put together by newsreel footage) that beat the Yankees.

Rattlers Alumni Report: Games of December 16, 2010


Caracas 9 @Zulia 5

Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 1-for-3, RUN, 2 RBI

@Lara 3, Aragua 0

Luis Valbuena (’06): 0-for-3
Edilio Colina (’08): 0-for-1

Puerto Rico:
@Caguas 2, Mayaguez 1 (Game one)

Johan Limonta (’06): 1-for-3
Martin Maldonado (’09): 1-for-3

@Caguas 2, Mayaguez 1 (Game two)

Limonta: 0-for-2, RUN

Sydney 5 @Adelaide 0

Jamie McOwen (’07): 0-for-3

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