October 2011

Beloit won’t be the same

A new chapter in The Neverending Story.

 Vohs leaves Snappers after 11 years

Jeff Vohs worked his way up from intern to general manager of the Beloit Snappers in just four years, then hung onto the job for seven more seasons.

Wednesday, however, came the news Vohs will step down and leave baseball for the world of banking.

“It’s been fun,” Vohs said. “It’s always been a challenge and that’s what I liked about the job. In terms of my family, however, it was time to move on. I’m glad I’m staying in the area. Beloit has definitely grown on me.”

The Snappers also announced Wednesday that Assistant GM Matthew Bosen has been named the organization’s 10th GM in its 30-year history.

“Over the last four years, I’ve learned a great deal about the proper way to run the Snappers from Jeff (Vohs), I appreciate all the knowledge that he’s passed on to me that he’s picked up throughout his 11 years,“ said Bosen. “I’d like to thank the Board of Directors for giving me this chance to run the organization.”

I’ve know Jeff for a long time and I wish him the best of luck.

New Stadium?  Stadium news?

“The Board keeps working on that project,” Vohs said. “I’ve always focused on what needs to be done here. Since we have a small front office, we can’t commit time to that project and make sure we stay viable in our current ballpark situation. I hope things get better in the economy and something gets done with a new stadium. But Matt will have to do the same thing I did — focus on Pohlman Field.”

In other news, I see that winter baseball has begun in Venezuela.

Ex-Rattlers in action so far are:

Alex Liddi (’08)
Oswaldo Navarro (’05)
Michael Saunders (’06)
Luis Valbuena (’06)

Carlos Maldonado (’99)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06)

Lorenzo Cain (’09)
Bryan LaHair (’04)

Mike Wilson (’05)

Busy day in the IBAF World Cup on Thursday with doubleheaders all around.

Canada 7, Venezuela 0

Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 1-for-3, RUN, 2 RBI, HR

Brock Kjeldgaard is greeted at home plate after another homer in the World Cup

Canada 4, South Korea 0

Kjeldgaard: 0-for-3

Netherlands 2, Australia 1

Kalian Sams (’07): 0-for-3

Netherlands 4, Cuba 1

Sams: 1-for-3, RUN, 2 RBI, HR

Kalian Sams (No. 35) is congratulated by his teammates after a home run against Cuba...HOME RUN...AGAINST CUBA!!


According to this, the Dutch are through to the Gold Medal game.  Either Canada or Cuba will face them for the Championship.  How big of a deal is that?  According to this…The Netherlands is the first team from Europe in 73 YEARS to compete for the Gold Medal at the IBAF World Cup…73 YEARS!


Surprise 6, Phoenix 2

Nathan Adcock (’08): 3IP, H, 0R, BB, 7K

Mesa 6, Peoria Javelinas 3

Scooter Gennett (’10): 0-for-4, RUN
Daniel Meadows (’09): IP, 2H, R, 2BB

A good day in the Arizona Fall League

MLB.com has a story on yesterday’s win by Peoria over Mesa.

After the Solar Sox scored twice in the bottom of the second, the Javelinas picked up the pace in the fourth and fifth opposing reliever Bruce Pugh (Twins), who was tagged with his first loss. Kentrail Davis (Brewers) tripled home Zelous Wheeler (Brewers) and Juan Lagares (Mets) plated Scooter Gennett (Brewers) with a two-run homer.

Gennett and Davis, Milwaukee’s No. 4 and 6 prospects respectively, went a combined 5-for-8 at the plate. Gennett is batting .421 through four AFL games.

For Wednesday’s game, Gennett went 3-for-5 with a double and a run and Davis was 2-for-3 with a triple, a run, and an RBI.

There was a file photo of Scooter Gennett that went with the story.

Scooter Gennett rounds third after a home run in the Arizona Fall League. MLB.com photo by James Garner...no...not that one.

If you are looking for an update on the World Cup down in Panama, don’t. The entire Wednesday schedule was rained out.  It looks like there are doubleheaders scheduled for today and tomorrow.  All of the games are scheduled for seven innings.

A few things for today

The Milwaukee Brewers family suffered a loss yesterday.

Gary Vanden Berg spent his career watching grass grow.

The specifics were actually much more involved, because Vanden Berg was responsible for the grass at Miller Park – and earlier at County Stadium.

He began as head groundskeeper in 1989, after the sudden death of his predecessor, Harry “Pops” Gill. Vanden Berg was working as a golf course superintendent in 1981 when Gill plucked him from obscurity and brought him into the major leagues.

He realized that his job was about a lot more than just grass. It was about baseball.

“You’d think you’d get tired of it,” he said in a 2008 interview, “but I never get tired of watching baseball.”

Vanden Berg died of cancer Monday. He was 59.

“Gary was one of the most loved individuals in this organization, and this is a tremendous loss for everyone connected to the Milwaukee Brewers,” Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement Tuesday.

“Gary was one of the most dedicated and positive persons that we will ever know,” he said. “We were fortunate to have Gary as a member of the Brewers family, and we all feel a tremendous sense of sadness today.

You will see a “GV” patch on Brewers uniforms for the rest of this postseason. That would be for Gary Vanden Berg.

The postseason continues tonight with Game Three of the NLCS against the Cardinals.  Yovani Gallardo gets the start for Milwaukee.

Gallardo does enter this matchup with the confidence he has gathered while going 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his past six starts, including the two NLDS outings. The streak began immediately after he allowed the Cards eight earned runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings on Sept. 1.

As bad as Gallardo might have been on that night, he had been every bit as dominant when he limited the Cardinals to one hit over eight scoreless innings at Busch Stadium on May 7. The lone hit he surrendered that day was Daniel Descalso’s eighth-inning leadoff single.

Click that link for the tale of the tape between Gallardo and Chris Carpenter, tonight’s starter for St. Louis.

Former Rattlers in action yesterday:


Peoria Javelinas 3, Phoenix 2

Tyler Thornburg (’11): 2IP, H, 0R, BB, 2K, WIN
Santo Manzanillo (’10): IP, H, R, 0BB, 0K, HR, SAVE
Adam Moore (’06): 1-for-4


Netherlands 5, South Korea 1

Kalian Sams (’07): 1-for-3, RUN, HR, 2 RBI

Australia 7, Canada 0

Nick Bucci (’10): 2.2IP, 4H, 2R, ER, 3BB, 3K
Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 0-for-3, HBP, K


Nick Bucci as a pitcher for the Timber Rattlers in 2010. (Photo by Patrick S. Blood)

Pool play has concluded in the IBAF World Cup in Panama.  Seven former Rattlers participated in Pool play.  Only four are moving on to Round two.  Canada and the Netherlands are both through to the round that starts today.  Puerto Rico and Taiwan are heading home after round one.

Here are the stats for the ex-Rattlers who played in this international competition:

Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 6-for-24 (.250), 3 2Bs, HR, 3 RUNS, 6RBI, 10BB, 12K
Nick Bucci (’10): GS, 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K, 1-0, 0.00ERA
Jim Henderson (’09): 3Gs, 4IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 2K, 0-0, 0.00ERA, SAV

Puerto Rico:
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 5-for-21 (.238), 2 2Bs, 2 RUNS, 2RBI, BB, 2K
Efrain Nieves (’10): 2 GS, 9.2IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, 6BB, 15K, 1-1, 3.72ERA

Kalian Sams (’07): 2-for-11 (.182), 2 RUNS, 3 BB, 4K

Kuo Hui Lo (’07): 7-for-23 (.304) 2 2Bs, RUN, 2RBI, 3K

Canada plays Australia today, South Korea tomorrow, & Venezuela on Thursday
The Dutch have South Korea today, Australia tomorrow, & Cuba on Thursday

The Netherlands and Canada both play at 2pm today.  Here is a link to the round two schedule and scoreboard.  To follow the play-by-play of a game, click on the GTK link next to the game.

In non-Rattler news at the World Cup, USA plays Cuba tonight at 7:30pm.  Click that link and check that one out to see how the US does in that big game.

The Arizona Fall League is in its second week.  The Peoria Javelinas are 2-4 in their first six games.  Ex-Rattlers for the Javs are:

Kentrail Davis (’10): 4-for-15 (.267) RUN, 2 BBs, 5K, 2 SB
Scooter Gennett (’10): 5-for-14 (.357) 3 RUNS, 2 HRs, 6 RBI, BB, 4K, SB
Adam Moore (’06): 1-for-7 (.143) RUN, RBI, 2 BB, 4K

Santo Manzanillo (’10): 2 games, 1.2IP, 2H, 3R, ER, 2BB, K, 0-1, 4.50ERA
Daniel Meadows (’09): 2 games, 3IP, 2H, R, 0ER, BB, 2K, 0-0, 5.40ERA
Cody Scarpetta (’09): GS, 2IP, 2H, R, 2BB, 3K, 0-0, 4.50ERA
Tyler Thornburg (’11): G, 1.1IP, H, 2R, 2BB, 0-0, 13.50ERA

Game #7 for the Javelinas is today at 2:35pm CDT against Phoenix.  Click here for the scoreboard and follow along on gameday.

Brock’s big day

The IBAF World Cup continues today, but there was some big news involving a former Timber Rattler yesterday.

Brock Kjeldgaard of the 2009 Timber Rattlers bashed Canada to a win over the United StatesThe 6-1 win by Canada has pushed the US on the brink of elimination.

Brock Kjeldgaard put Canada en route to the win with a three-run homerun in the second. He later added a RBI double to cap a three-run ninth, providing some insurance.

O, Canada!

Brock took a page out of that other Brock’s book.

Also, that writeup from the IBAF website seems a bit, um, dry.  But, the Baseball Canada, from where the above picture of Brock was taken, mostly focuses on the performance of starting pitcher Shawn Hill.

After that win, Canada was 6-1 in seven games and is on to the next round.  Kjeldgaard is 6-f0r-24 (.250) with 3 doubles, a homer, 3 runs, 6 RBI, and 10 walks. He has struck out 12 times in seven games.

If I understand the website, the US needs to beat Panama…..PANAMA!…today to advance to the next round.

As of this posting, the US is up 5-0 in the 7th. Follow the rest of the game on GameTracker.

Greetings from Miller Park

Yovani Gallardo records a strikeout at Miller Park in game one of the 2011 NLDS.

Sorry for the late posting today.  I decided to wait until I got down to Miller Park  to start posting. Yes, I have a media pass for game five of the Brewers-Diamondbacks series.

The Brewers won the first two games at home.  The Diamondbacks won games three and for down in Arizona.  Now, an entire season comes down to this one game.  Yovani Gallardo against Ian Kennedy.  Game time is 4:00pm.

Time Warner Cable Field will host another Brewers Watch Party today.  The gates open at 3:00pm.  Parking & admission are both free.  The game will be shown on the big video board and on the televisions in the Lenie Lodge.  There is a $10 All-You-Can-Eat offer and a concessions menu available.

There have been some very nice crowds for the Watch Parties.  Even for the games that didn’t start until 8:30 CDT.  If you are up in the Fox Cities area, feel free to stop out and enjoy the game today.

The Brewers a game five situation twice before in their history.  They lost game five of the 1981 ALDS against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.  They won game five of the 1982 ALCS against the California Angels at County Stadium.

But, that was years ago.  It was so long ago, that neither of the stadiums at which that those game fives were played are still around and the Angels aren’t called the California Angels anymore.

Drawing parallels between what happened 30 years ago and today would be like trying to connect meaning between what happened in Game Seven of the World Series for the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers and the 1957 Milwaukee Braves.  A fun exercise and an interesting article for the offseason.

However, looking back to Brewers game fives from 30 years ago & 29 years ago sheds no illumination on what is going to happen today.

So, what IS going to happen today? (Aside from the roof being closed….roof closed? Really?)

I like the Brewers chances.  They are at home.  Gallardo has been outstanding and his start in game one against the Diamondbacks was him stepping up his game while the Brewers offense got to Kennedy just enough to support Gallardo in game one.

I expect game five to play out in a similar fashion to game one and Milwaukee advancing to the NLCS.

Time for this Milwaukee Brewers team to make more of its own history.

To the Alumni report for games on Thursday!

MLB Playoffs:

Detroit 3, New York 2

Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, ’94): 0-for-4, BB, 3K
Rafael Soriano (’00): 1.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K

Arizona Fall League:

Phoenix 10, Peoria Javelinas 4

Kentrail Davis (’10): 1-for-4, RUN
Tyler Thornburg (’11): 1.1Ip, H, 2R, 2BB, 0K

IBAF World Cup:

Netherlands 5, Puerto Rico 0

Puerto Rico:
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 1-for-3

Canada 4, Taiwan 0

Nick Bucci (’10): 5IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 0-for-3, BB

Kuo Hui Lo (’07): 0-for-4

Where the MWL rates…offensively

I keep forgetting to link to this Baseball America blog post by Matt Eddy.  Well, I guess I didn’t forget today.

He takes a look at the league averages for all of the leagues in minor league baseball.  And – sit down, because this may come as a shock – it turns out the Midwest League is a bit of a league for pitchers.

If you take a look at the first table that is provided at the link, you’ll see what I mean.

Of the ten full season (Scheduled for 140 or more games) leagues  in MiLB, the MWL is 10th in five of the 10 categories provided.  The MWL is ninth in three of those ten categories.  Here are the categories, the stats, and the rankings.

Average: .250 (T-9th)
On Base Percentage: .323 (9th)
Slugging Percentage: .370 (10th)
Runs per 9 innings: 4.50 (9th)
Walks %*: 8.4 (7th)
Strikeouts %*: 20.6 (10th)
Isolated Power: .120 (10th)
Batting Average for Balls in Play: .306 (9th)
Home Runs: 85 (10th)
Runs: 606 (10th)

Another table to study is the one down at the bottom of the post.  It provides a comparison between the Midwest League and the South Atlantic League in all of those categories…and two bonus categories…from 2007-2011.

The bonus categories?  Average age of the hitters and the pitchers.

Average Age of Pitchers:
MWL: 21.8
SAL: 21.9

Average Ave of Hitters:
MWL: 21.5
SAL: 21.6

*-The walks and strikeouts stats have been taken as a percentage of plate appearances.  If I read the stat correctly, that would mean that 20.6% of all plate appearances in the Midwest League ended in a strikeout and 8.4 percent of all MWL plate appearances ended in a walk.**

**-Does not include intentional walks.

Wednesday’s Rattlers Alumni Report

MLB Playoffs:

Arizona 10, Milwaukee 6

JJ Putz (’00): IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K

Taylor Green (’09): 0-for-1

St. Louis 5, Philadelphia 3

Raul Ibanez (Foxes, ’94): 0-for-4, 3K

Arizona Fall League:

Peoria Javelinas 13, Salt River Rafters 7

Scooter Gennett (’10): 3-for-2, 2 RUNS, 2 RBI, HR
Daniel Meadows (’09): 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
Santo Manzanillo (’10): IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K

There was one game in the IBAF World Cup on Wednesday.  No former Rattlers in action, but USA!  USA! USA!

USA 7, Japan 3

Tuesday in Timber Rattlers Alumni Action

MLB Playoffs:

Arizona 8, Milwaukee 1

JJ Putz (’00): IP, H, 0R

New York 10, Detroit 1

Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, ’94): 2-for-4, RUN, RBI
Rafael Soriano (’00): 1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K

Arizona Fall League:

Salt River Rafters 12, Peoria Javelinas 9

Adam Moore (’06): 0-for-5, RBI
Kentrail Davis (’10): 1-for-4, BB

IBAF World Cup:

Canada 12, Greece 2

Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 1-for-4, 2 BBs

Netherlands 5, Japan 2

Kalian Sams (’07): pinch runner

Panama 4, Puerto Rico 2

Puerto Rico:
Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 0-for-3

USA 15, Taiwan 1

Kuo Hui Lo (’07): 2-for-3

World Cup of Baseball Report

The IBAF World Cup of Baseball started over the weekend.  Check out this Baseball-Reference.com page for the full details.  Here is the IBAF site for the tournament.

Yes. There are a few former Rattlers in the event.   From Sunday, for instance:

Canada 9, Puerto Rico 1

Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 1-for-3, 2 RUNS, 2 BB

Puerto Rico:
Efrain Nieves (’10): 2.2IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 7K, Loss
Jeffrey Dominguez (’06): 1-for-2, 2B

Netherlands 2, Taiwan 1

Kuo Hui Lo (’07): 1-for-4

And for Monday:

Canada 3, Japan 1

Kjeldgaard: 0-for-3, BB
Jim Henderson (’09): 1.1IP, H, SAVE

Netherlands 19, Greece 0

Kalian Sams (’07): 1-for-1
Shawn Zarraga (’09):  1-for-1

Puerto Rico 8, USA 4 (10)

Puerto Rico:
Dominguez: 0-for-3, RUN

Panama 14, Taiwan 8

Lo: 3-for-5, run, 2 2Bs, 2 RBI

Tuesday’s games start at 2:00pm and 7:30pm in Panama….PANAMA!*

Game of the night for Ex-Rattlers may be Canada v. Taiwan at 7:30pm.

Follow the scoreboard and game trackers

*-This is also 2pm and 7:30pm in the Central Time Zone!

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