Author Archive

Jersey What Now? – November 13, 2014

Today seems like a good day to recap a video from the production gnomes.

Keep your eyes on @TimberRattlers and the Timber Rattlers facebook page for details on Jersey Chaser from Monday, November 17 through Friday, November 21.

Alumni Birthdays for November 13:
Chad Robinson (’10) – 27
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05) – 29
Andy Augustine (’95) – 42
Ben Lee (’87) – 47
Leslie Davis (’52) – 83

Ben Lee

Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera as a Timber Rattler in 2005.

Survey Says! – November 12, 2014

A few notes for today:

The Timber Rattlers have a brief online survey that I thought would be a good idea to share here.  If you have time, please click the link and answer the questions.  There is an opportunity to win a Suite at a Timber Rattlers game for you and up to 19 of your friends.  So, fill it out and be kind.  Be honest, but be kind.

2014 Timber Rattlers Survey


The deadline to have it filled out is Friday, November 14.

If you are so inclined, individual tickets for the Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game go on sale today.  Beginning at 10:00 am you may use this link to order your tickets.

Jordy Nelson WEB

Alumni Birthdays for November 12:
Josh McNulty (’03) – 34
Gary Thurman (Manager ’00-’02) – 50
AJ Hill (’77, ’80, ’81) – 56



Veterans Day and All-Stars – November 11, 2014

Photo is from the excellent Baseball in Wartime website.

306th Bomb Group

306th Bomb Group in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

This link is to Those Who Served and were baseball players.  Thank you to all who served. has been announcing their All-Stars for each Major League organization for the last few weeks.  Yesterday, they announced the Brewers organizational All-Stars.

Ten of the twelve positions were filled by players who played with the Timber Rattlers.  Yes. Twelve. The eight defensive positions, a utility position, right-handed starting pitcher, left-handed starting pitcher, and relief pitcher.

Click the link for the whole list and for comments on each player from Reid Nichols, the Director of Player Development for the Brewers.  I’ll excerpt the write-ups on the players who were Timber Rattlers in 2014.

Catcher — Clint Coulter, Wisconsin (126 games): After an injury-plagued 2013, Coulter improved across the board, playing in 56 more games than the year before while boosting his OPS by 216 points. The 2012 first-round pick led the organization with 22 homers and 89 RBIs while batting a solid .287 for the Timber Rattlers.

“He made a big improvement,” said Reid Nichols, the Brewers’ director of player development. “I think he’ll make more next year. He was a little more selective at the plate. He’s learning how to slow it down. He was a little too firm and hard on his stride and he’s learned to soften it up a bit, and it’s really helped him.”

Though there’s a good chance you’ll see the Brewers’ No. 7 prospect on this list next year, it almost certainly won’t be at the same position, Nichols indicated.

“His catching didn’t get a whole lot better and we moved him to right field for now,” he said of Coulter, who has continued his season in the Arizona Fall League. “He’s working in the outfield and he’s made a pretty good adjustment.”

Second baseman — Chris McFarland, Wisconsin (100 games): Repeating at Wisconsin, McFarland increased his batting average by 46 points and saw his OPS rise from .656 to .719. The 21-year-old also increased his stolen base total from seven to 30, tying for 12th in the Midwest League.

“I really think he came in more focused,” Nichols said. “Different approach at the plate, more business-like. I think he started getting a bit more serious about his job.”

Nichols attributed the rise in steals to an organizational emphasis.

“We [used to have] a roving baserunning instructor and we went without one this year, and I think everyone took it to heart that it was their job, too,” he said of the coaches at each level. “Our teaching was to be more aggressive on the basepaths — we didn’t care if you got thrown out, we just wanted to see if you could steal or not. I think it’s paid off. We were happy with the improvement in the basestealing, although that’s not the focus; we just want the guys to be more aggressive.


Chris McFarland running the bases for the Rattlers in 2014.

Outfielder Michael Ratterree, Wisconsin (125 games), Huntsville (seven games): After winning Pioneer League MVP honors in 2013, Ratterree made the jump to full-season play and showed promise, despite a .228 average. The 23-year-old tied for second in the organization with 19 homers and tied for fourth with 76 RBIs. Ratterree helped balance out his low average with patience at the plate, drawing 79 walks, including 75 at Wisconsin to rank second in the Midwest League. He also received some postseason hardware, earning a Minor League Gold Glove.

“Anytime you get a young hitter who can take walks, he’s gonna do something later,” Nichols said. “While he didn’t have a really good batting average, his on-base was good and that will turn into a good batting average later, in my opinion. And he won a Gold Glove for the Minor Leagues, which is kind of cool. Same as all these guys — focus up the middle and be selective at the pitches you swing at early in the count. It’s kind of the formula for hitting in general. He’ll get it.”

Alumni Birthdays for November 11:
Michael Cox (’04) – 34
Jose Herrera (’01) – 35
Jim Horner (’97, Manager: ’06, ’07) – 41
Kyle Towner (’95) – 42
David Lawson (’93, ’94) – 42
Ryan Smith (’94) – 43
Chuck Hernandez (’83) – 54
Kim Girkins (’76) – 60
James White (’63) – Would have been 74




Alumni Report – Through games of 11/9/14

“With a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather.
A quiver in my voice as if I might cry.”

That's not white paint.

That’s not white paint.

And so it begins….Spring and Opening Day 2015 can’t get here fast enough.

Let’s start thinking Spring by looking at how Timber Rattlers alumni are doing in the Winter Leagues:

Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (11-15-1, 3rd place West):
Clint Coulter (’13): 6 games, .200/.273/.350; 1HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’12): 17 games, .238/.314/.413, 3HR, 8RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 19 games, .237/.293/.276, 0HR, 6RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 8 games, .333/.438/.333, 0HR, 3RBI
Brooks Hall (’11): 7 games, 2 starts, 1-0, 4.02ERA, 15.2IP, 2BB, 11K
Mike Strong (’13): 9 games, 0-0, 1 save, 1.59ERA, 11.1IP, 3BB, 12K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 8 games, 0-1, 1 save, 8.03ERA, 11.1IP, 6BB, 12K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 5 games, 5 starts, 2-0, 1.50ERA, 18.0IP, 2BB, 9K

Australian Baseball League:
Sydney Blue Sox (5-3, T-1st):
Craig Anderson (’00): 2 games, 2 starts, 1-1, 3.75ERA, 12.0IP, 5BB, 11K

Melbourne Aces (1-3, T-5th):
Kyle Heckathorn (’11) 2 games, 0-1, 3.86ERA, 2.1IP, 4BB, 3K

Dominican Republic:
Aguilas Cibaenas (10-7, 2nd):
Edward Paredes (’08): 4 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 1.1IP, BB, K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 9 games, 0-0, 2.70ERA, 10.0IP, 4BB, 9K

Estrellas de Oriente (8-8, 4th):
Juan Diaz (’08): 10 games, .323/.344/.387, 0HR, 5RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 4 games, 3 starts, 1-1, 3.55ERA, 12.2IP, 6BB, 3K

Gigantes del Cibao (11-7, 1st):
Carlos Peguero (’07): 7 games, .391/.548/1.043, 5HR, 6RBI

Tigres del Licey (7-10, 5th):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 8 games, .091/.167/.182, 0HR, RBI

Puerto Rico:
Cangrejeros de Santurce (3-2, 2nd):
Omar Garcia (’14): 3 games, 0-for-3
Yadiel Rivera (’12): 5 games, .222/.263/.389, HR, 5RBI
Joel Pineiro (’98): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 5.59ERA, 9.2IP, 0BB, 4K

Criollos de Caguas (3-4, 4th):
Efrain Nieves (’10): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 7.36, 7.1IP, 3BB, 5K

Gigantes de Carolina (5-2, 1st):
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 7 games, .167/.286/.167, 0HR, RBI
JC Ramirez (’08): 5 games, 0-0, 1.42ERA, 6.1IP, 0BB, 6K

Indios de Mayaguez (4-3, 3rd):
Jorge Lopez (’13): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 2.84ERA, 6.1IP, 4BB, 7K

Aguilas del Zulia (19-6, 2nd):
Eric Marzec (’11): 6 games, 4 starts, 2-0, 2.31ERA, 23.1IP, 2BB, 16K

Bravos de Margarita (8-19, 7th):
Tyler Cravy (’12): 5 games, 5 starts, 0-4, 5.40ERA, 20.0IP, 6BB, 16K
Greg Holle (’11): 10 games, 0-0, 1 Save, 3.86ERA, 7.0IP, 4BB, K

Cardenales de Lara (10-17, 6th):
Jose Escalona (’08): 5 games, 0-0, 8.44ERA, 5.1IP, 3BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 5 games, 5 starts, 1-2, 3.93ERA, 18.1IP, 4BB, 18K

Caribes de Anzoategui (20-6, 1st):
Orlando Arcia (’13): 24 games, .277/.358/.532, 5HR, 18RBI

Navegantes del Magallanes (12-13, 4th):
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 12 games, .206/.357/.294, 0HR, 4RBI

Tigres de Aragua (16-8, 3rd):
Renee Cortez (’03): 10 games, 1-0, 0.87ERA, 10.1IP, 5BB, 4K

Alumni Birthdays for November 10:
Ryan Fasano (’13) – 25
Sheldon Fulse (’00, ’01) – 33

Pick up your We Energies Cookie Book from our Parking Lot on November 8

The annual tradition returns! WE Energies has published their 2014 Cookie Book and, if you are in the Fox Cities, you can pick up yours in the Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium Parking Lot on Saturday, November 8.

cookie book
You should be able to click on that flyer to see a larger version.  But, just in case, the pick up times are between 9am and 1pm.   This is usually a pretty big event so be there and be patient.

Alumni Birthdays for November 7:
Danny Santin (’04) – 30
Reggie Patterson (’81) – 56

Reggie PattersonAlumni Birthdays for November 8:
Sean Parnell (’00) – 37
Shane Halter (’92) – 45
Allard Baird (Hitting Coach ’88, ’89) – 53

Shane Halter, 1992.

Shane Halter, 1992.

Alumni Birthdays for November 9:
Dustin Houle (’13) – 21
Dave Bush (’09) -35
Richard Tetrault (’61) – Would have been 73

Dave Bush after his July 10, 2009 rehabilitation appearance with the Timber Rattlers.

Dave Bush after his July 10, 2009 rehabilitation appearance with the Timber Rattlers.

Australian Cheering Guide – November 6, 2014

When it comes to the Australian Baseball League, Timber Rattlers fans have had a cheering interest in the Sydney Blue Sox, due to former Rattler Craig Anderson (’00) being a mainstay in their rotation for a long time.

In the Claxton Shield Era of the ABL, the Perth Heat had former Timber Rattler Dan Floyd (’01, ’02).  Floyd had the final hit of the Claxton Shield Era and it was a big one.

The Heat won back-to-back Claxton Shield titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, it won the Southern Division with an 8–4 record and swept New South Wales in the best-of-three semi final series in Sydney. In 2009, the Heat finished the regular season with the best record, at 12–4, and came back from losing the first game to beat New South Wales in three games in the Grand Final. The WA side led the deciding third game throughout but blew a 2–0 lead in the top of the ninth inning. With the game set for extra innings, outfielder Daniel Floyd hit a walk-off single to deliver back-to-back titles for Perth.

Jamie McOwen (’07) played for the Adelaide Bite in 2010-11 and he was The Helms Award Winner (Most Valued Player) that season as he helped the Bite to reach the Finals before falling in the Finals to Perth.

Another alum of the Timber Rattlers is joining the ABL this year and he will be with the Melbourne Aces:

Heckathorn Melbourne

Photos from the Melbourne Aces Facebook Page:

Heckathorn Melbourne2
That’s Kyle Heckathorn (’10) wearing #45.  Melbourne’s season begins at 7:35pm on Friday in Australia.  That would be…at…2:35am in the Central Time Zone…if I am doing my math right.

Alumni Birthdays for November 6:
Stephen Peterson (’12) – 27
Ricky Orta (’07) – 30
Jorge Candelaria (’86) – 47
Leo Garcia (’81, ’82) – 52
Harold McClain (’71, ’72) – 62
Rudy Okleson (’42) – Would have been 93


Stephen Peterson

Golden Era Ballot – November 5, 2014

The MOST IMPORTANT THING for today?  Timber Rattlers Director of Tickets Ryan Moede is taking part in Movember!

In the time that I have known Ryan – over a year, maybe well over two years – I have never seen him with even the beginnings of a mustache.  As soon as I can dig up some of the gold buried in one of the coffee cans in my backyard and convert it to cash, I will be donating to Ryan’s page.  Please think about doing the same at some point this month by clicking on that link.

NOTE: I will not be participating in Movember this year.  I am no longer allowed to grow a mustache….It’s….complicated.

Hat Tip to Kyle of BrewFrostyMug (which has a new WordPress Home, by the way) for a link to this story on Tyler Wagner (’13) on his two perfect innings of relief for the Glendale Desert Dogs yesterday in an Arizona Fall League game.

The Saguaros weren’t any more comfortable facing Wagner, the Brewers’ No. 14 prospect. He struck out one batter and needed just 20 pitches to complete two perfect innings. He induced four groundball outs, a product of his sinker-slider combination.

Tuesday was the first time Wagner had pitched since he got just one out and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on six hits and two walks last week at Salt River. He said he didn’t do anything differently between appearances and credited better fastball command for the turnaround.

“I just kept going with my game plan, which is to get early, weak-contact ground balls,” Wagner said. “My last outing I was up in the zone. That happens sometimes. You just have to make adjustments to throw the sinker down in the zone.”


Center fielder Tyrone Taylor, the Brewers’ top prospect, added a hit and a walk. He also helped out on defense in the first inning. Peterson attempted to stretch his double into a triple, but was thrown out at third base by Taylor.

Wagner has played with Taylor the last two years, first at Class A Wisconsin and then at Class A Advanced Brevard County this season. He said he wasn’t surprised to see Taylor make a big play on defense.

“Every day he comes in with the mindset of winning the day,” Wagner said. “That’s what makes him so successful and consistent with what he does well.”

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced ten finalists on their 2015 Golden Era Ballot.

I took a look at the names to see if there were any Appleton Professional Baseball ties, but the only one with an even tangential tie to the area is Billy Pierce, a left-handed pitcher with the Tigers, White Sox, and Giants.  Pierce spent his post-playing days with the White Sox as a scout and some of the players he signed and scouted eventually wound up with the Appleton Foxes.

There is an Appleton affiliation on the committee.  Hall of Famer Pat Gillick, who pitched for the Fox Cities Foxes in 1960, is on the committee.

Alumni Birthdays for November 5:

Ron Garth (’06-’08) – 30
Bryan LaHair (’04) – 32
Jim Koehler (’93) – 44

Bryan LaHair at the plate during a 2004 game.  LaHair hit 15 home runs in Venezuela during the regular season of the winter league.

Bryan LaHair at the plate during a 2004 game. LaHair hit 15 home runs in Venezuela during the regular season of the winter league.

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Rattler Radio Podcast: Matt Erickson – November 4, 2014

Welcome to the inaugural Rattler Radio Podcast.  In the first episode, Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson discusses the World Series, Fall Instructional for the Brewers minor league players, possible 2015 Timber Rattlers, and much much more.


Rattler Radio Podcast with Matt Erickson (Part 1):

Rattler Radio Podcast with Matt Erickson (Part 2):


Alumni Birthdays:
Ben Hudson (’01) – 35
Clint Chrysler (’98, ’99) – 39
John McCormick (’89) – 48
Dave Kinsel (’83) – 55



Timber Rattlers Alumni Report – Games through 11/3/14

Working around the ballpark to get ready for the 2015 season.

November 3 2014

The Australian Baseball League and the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico both kicked off their seasons this past weekend.

Before getting into the body of this post, a couple of add-ins to past posts on the blog.

I missed Orlando Arcia (’13) playing in Venezuela for Caribes de Anzoategui. That link goes some video of a few defensive gems by Arcia…ARCIA!

The Independent Minded post missed Tony Butler (’07, ’10) who pitched in seven games – five starts – with the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League.

Thank you to Jim at for the tips on those two Rattler alumni.

The Arizona Fall League had their All-Star Game (aka: Fall Stars Game….no…really!)

The East defeated the West 6-2.  The former Timber Rattlers to play for the West were Tyrone Taylor (’13), who went 1-for-2 as the starting centerfielder, and Tyler Wagner (’13), who entered to start the sixth inning and allowed a run on a hit and a walk in 1/3 of an inning.

Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (9-11-1, 1st place West):
Clint Coulter (’13): 5 games, .176/.263/.353; 1HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’12): 14 games, .204/.259/.389, 3HR, 7RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 15 games, .233/.292/.283, 0HR, 4RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 6 games, .300/.417/.300, 0HR, 0RBI
Brooks Hall (’11): 5 games, 0-0, 3.12ERA, 8.2IP, BB, 6K
Mike Strong (’13): 7 games, 0-0, 1 save, 2.25ERA, 8.0IP, 2BB, 8K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 6 games, 0-0, 1 save, 10.80ERA, 8.1IP, 6BB, 5K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 4 games, 4 starts, 2-0, 2.08ERA, 13.0IP, BB, 4K

Australian Baseball League:
Sydney Blue Sox (2-2, T-1st):
Craig Anderson (’00): 1 game, 1 start, 1-0, 4.50ERA, 6.0IP, 3BB, 5K

Dominican Republic:
Aguilas Cibaenas (6-6, 4th):
Edward Paredes (’09): 3 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 0.1IP, BB, K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 6 games, 0-0, 2.70ERA, 6.2IP, 2BB, 7K

Estrellas de Oriente (7-6, 3rd):
Juan Diaz (’08): 8 games, .280/.308/.320, 0HR, 4RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 4 games, 3 starts, 1-1, 3.55ERA, 12.2IP, 6BB, 3K

Gigantes del Cibao (8-4, 2nd):
Carlos Peguero (’07): 1 game, 0-for-2

Tigres del Licey (4-9, 6th):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 8 games, .091/.167/.182, 0HR, RBI

Puerto Rico:
Cangrejeros de Santurce (2-0, 1st):
Yadiel Rivera (’12): 2 games 2-for-7, HR, 2RBI
Joel Pineiro (’98): 1 game, 1 start, 0-0, 1.80ERA, 5IP, 2H, 0BB, 2K


Criollos de Caguas (1-2, 4th):
Efrain Nieves (’10): 1 game, 1 start, 0-1, 8.10 3.1IP, BB, 0K

Gigantes de Carolina (2-1, 2nd):
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 3 games, 2-for-9, 0HR, RBI
JC Ramirez (’08): 2 games, 0-0, 2.2IP, 0BB, K

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Indios de Mayaguez (2-2, 3rd):
Jorge Lopez (’13): 1 game, 1 start, 0-1, 3.00ERA, 3IP, BB, 3K


Aguilas del Zulia (15-5, 2nd):
Eric Marzec (’11): 5 games, 3 starts, 1-0, 1.56ERA, 17.1IP, BB, 8K

Bravos de Margarita (8-13, 6th):
Tyler Cravy (’12): 4 games, 4 starts, 0-3, 3.18ERA, 17.0IP, 5BB, 14K
Greg Holle (’11): 9 games, 0-0, 1 Save, 4.50ERA, 6.0IP, 4BB, 0K

Cardenales de Lara (6-15, T-7th):
Jose Escalona (’08): 4 games, 0-0, 3.60ERA, 5.0IP, 2BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 4 games, 4 starts, 0-2, 5.40ERA, 13.1IP, 3BB, 11K

Caribes de Anzoategui (18-3, 1st):
Orlando Arcia (’13): 20 games, .266/.348/.532, 4HR, 16RBI


Navegantes del Magallanes (8-11, 5th):
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 10 games, .148/.324/.185, 0HR, 2RBI

Tigres de Aragua (11-7, 3rd):
Renee Cortez (’03): 8 games, 0-0, 1.17ERA, 7.2IP, 5BB, 4K

Alumni Birthdays for November 3:
Jeff Ellena (’02) – 35
Daniel Meadows (’09) – 27
Darrell Pruitt (’85) – 51

Baseball Halloween – October 31, 2014

A little cool and breezy today at the ballpark.  The weather seems appropriate since Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.

Ballpark October 31 2014Cool looking sky though.

This has been out there for awhile, but I don’t think I have posted it here yet.  The 2015 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers schedule is set.  Game times for the home games are on the schedule here:  2015 Schedule

Individual game tickets won’t be available until about March of 2015, but you can find out about and purchase group outings, miniplans, and season tickets at this link.

To get into the spirit of Halloween, but to also keep in mind that Baseball is the main reason for this blog, how about a scary baseball movie?

The website won’t let me embed the trailer and this movie must be really obscure if it’s NOT on YouTube. So here is the trailer to NIGHT GAME!

Night Game

Okay…maybe not scary…but, that trailer is a really good time capsule of the weird ’80s vibe most popular culture had going at the time. Yes…That is the Astrodome….and those are the Astros.  The synopsis?  This is from Wikipedia, but I won’t link it or reveal the ending.

A number of young women are found dead on or around the beaches of Galveston and the one thing they all have in common is that they were murdered when Houston Astros ace pitcher Silvio Baretto (an amalgamation of real-life pitchers Bob Knepper and Juan Agosto) pitches and wins a night game at the Astrodome. Additionally, each victim had their throats slashed by some sort of knife or hook.

Scheider plays former minor league baseball player turned Galveston homicide detective Mike Seaver. Seaver is a staunch Astros fan and is the only person on the case who begins to realize the coincidence of the deaths coming after Sil Barretto’s night game wins in the Dome.

No. Seriously. This was a movie.  MLB must have needed the licensing $$$$ at the time to allow a movie to be made with a pitcher for the Astros to be a murder suspect.  What can I say?  The ’80s were an odd time.

Plus, I love how Mike Seaver (No, not THAT Mike Seaver) is apparently the only Astros fan on the police force.

This was not the most ridiculous plot for a Roy Scheider movie.  That award would go to The Fourth War, followed closely by Blue Thunder and Chain of Command.  Night Game barely makes the top five…only because I can’t include entire episodes of the second season of SeaQuest.

Night Game is also notable for the film debut of Renée O’Connor…best known for her role in this 90’s action TV show.

To bring this entry even more around to the purpose of this blog Juan Agosto?…He pitched for the Appleton Foxes in 1980.

Alumni Birthdays:
October 31:
Anthony Varvaro (’07) – 30
Andy Hargrove (’07) – 33
Chad Dunavan (’94) – 42
Dave McNally (’64) – Would have been 72


November 1:
Bryan Sabatella (’06) – 30
Bob Wells (’98) – 48
Jack McGowan (’60) – Would have been 78
Charles Smiley (’61) – 79

November 2:
Taylor Green (’09) – 28
Pat Rice (Pitching Coach ’96, ’97) – 51
Jorge Morales (’93) – 44
Steve Hoeme (’89, ’90) – 47
Travis Jackson (Manager ’52, ’53) – Would have been 111

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And watch out for hooks!


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