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Ex-Rattlers as MLB Opening Day starting pitchers

There are a pair of former Timber Rattlers pitchers who will be getting the start for their Major League teams on Opening Day, 2015.

Chris Tillman (’07) will get the nod for the Baltimore Orioles.  It will be his second straight Opening Day start.

“It means a lot,” Tillman said. “I think when we’ve got five guys who are capable of doing it, that makes it that much more special. And I think every guy in here thinks the same way. We really do have five guys. There’s only Opening Day, the first game, once and then the rest of the season it’s our best guys going that night. I think as a group we all feel that way and I’m just excited to get this thing underway.”

No surprise that Felix Hernandez (’03) will be the Opening Day starter for the Seattle Mariners.  It will be his seventh Opening Day start.

It will be the club-record seventh Opening Day start for Hernandez, and sixth in a row — both marks breaking the former franchise benchmarks set by Randy Johnson.

“Not bad,” Hernandez said, a smile creasing his face. “He’s a great pitcher, he’s going to be a Hall of Famer, so it’s good to be there.”

There are some who question why Hernandez has stayed so loyal to a team that has yet to reach the postseason during his nine years in the Majors. But he’s never wavered, despite frequent conjecture from national media and fans who ponder his place in the Pacific Northwest.

“Everybody says that,” Hernandez said. “But I’m happy here. I’m not going to leave. Don’t worry.”

Felix Hernandez pitches against the Burlington Bees on August 24, 2003.

Felix Hernandez pitches against the Burlington Bees on August 24, 2003.

Chris Tillman was a Rattler in 2007.

Chris Tillman as a Rattler in 2007.

Alumni MLB Debuts for April 2:
Aquilino Lopez (’00) – 2003 w/ Toronto

Alumni Birthdays for April 2:
Michael Garciaparra (’03) – 32

Michael Garciaparra 03

They’re Here!

Not all of them…Just some of them.

Delievery 1

Delievery 2

Them? Bobbleheads!

Lorenzo Cain Bobblehead - April 24

Lorenzo Cain Bobblehead – April 24

Mike Fiers Bobblehead - May 3

Mike Fiers Bobblehead – May 3

Hank the Dog Bobblehead - May 17

Hank the Dog Bobblehead – May 17

Jonathan Lucroy Bobblehead - April 12

Jonathan Lucroy Bobblehead – April 12

The season is coming!

Delievery 10

Alumni Birthdays for April 1:
Mark Esser (’77, ’78) – 59
Joel Perez (’77) – 60
Tony Komadina (’74, ’75) – 62
Ronald Ellis (’67) – 68
Ted Sadowski (’58) – Would have been 79
Romey Quinn (’46) – Would have been 91

A workout….with food

The Timber Rattlers food & beverage department gave a workout to their new Steak, Rattle, & Grill stand at lunch on Monday.

Here is the grill on the day after the workout..

Cooling down.

Cooling down.

It was a busy place as the front office gave it a try.

Behind the grill.

Behind the grill.

 

Getting in line.

Getting in line.

I wasn’t going to have anything yesterday, but the tempting smells from the grill were driving me to distraction.  So, I had the Chicken Philly and asked for bacon on my sandwich…After a moment of hesitation, they complied…because Mehring is always….I mean, the customer is always right!

It was delicious and I recommend that you try anything from the grill when you come out to a game this season!

Steak, Rattle, & Grill is located on the first base concourse, just before the Brew City Grill!

Cooling down.

Make your plans!

Alumni Birthdays for March 31:
Brett Lorin (’08) – 28
Randy Robinson (’86) – 48
Andrew Latchic (Manager, ’47) – Would have been 92

Andrew Latchic, 85, of Allentown, passed away Thursday, March 26, 2009 in his home. He was the husband of Marie (Gabler) Latchic for 63 years. Born in Cambridge, Ohio, he was the son of the late Andrew and Mary (Saltis) Latchic.

Andy was a professional baseball player and played for the Boston Red Sox organization and Philadelphia Phillies organization.

After his baseball career, he worked as a sales rep for the former Horlacher Brewery and retired as a sales rep from Rueben H. Donnelly.

Taylor Williams Map Cover

In case you missed it over the weekend, Taylor Williams is a cover guy!

2015baseballtravelmap-cover3_300

That’s on the Baseball Travel Map published by Hedberg Maps.  You can pick one of these maps up at the Snake Pit Team Store at the stadium or on-line at this link.

Buy one…then, get a photo of Williams with it after he autographs it for you…Make sure to tag @TimberRattlers!

Alumni Birthdays for March 28:
Michael Wagner (’07) – 30
Jerry Bertolani (’85) – 50
Mike Morse (’81) – 52
Harry Sylvester (1911, 1912) – Would have been 126

Alumni Birthdays for March 29:
Joe Dunigan (’08) – 29
Scott Atchison (’99) – 39

Alumni Birthdays for March 30:
Thomas Keeling (’11) – 27
Greg Wooten (’96) – 41
Wayne Shuckert (’81, ’82) – 54

Hey! Those are new!

New safety features were installed at the ballpark while I was away. Railings in the aisles for the sections behind home plate:
Railings

Railings 2

Railings 3

 

This reminds me of a host segment from the Space Mutiny episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000:

TVTropes has a whole page on Railing Kill.

So….be careful out there….which was the point of installing those things.

Alumni Birthdays for March 27:
Jake Odorizzi (’10) – 25
Jaime Navarro (Pitching Coach, ’08) – 48

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Happy Birthday, Jake!

This is a test of the Timber Rattlers Gameday Yard Sign System…

Had this been an actual Timber Rattlers gameday, you would have seen these signs around town and been given ticket information.

It also would have been sunny.

It also would have been sunny.

And the grass would have been greener.

And the grass would have been greener.

If you would like to be part of the Timber Rattlers Gameday Yard Sign Network, there will be a table in the Fox Communities Credit Union Fox Club during FanFest on Tuesday, April 7 that will have all the information for this free program.

Alumni Birthdays March 26:
Chadwin Stang (’11, ’12) – 26
Orlando Hernandez (’00) – 36
Doug Nelson (’88) – 50

Happy Birthday, Chadwin!

Happy Birthday, Chadwin!

 

Matt Erickson Interview & Spring Training Photos – March 24, 2015

Mehring From Arizona: The Final 2015 Chapter is on the main website with a recap of the day’s action.  Also, here is a link to Jonathan Mayo’s piece from Brewers camp late last week.  A taste:

Breakout candidates

During his full-season debut, No. 21 prospect David Denson took his fair share of lumps. He looks the part of a big, strong left-handed-hitting first baseman. But some holes in his swing were exposed and he didn’t tap into his considerable raw power consistently. Denson will be just 20 for all of this season, so there’s time yet for him to adjust.

“I think he’s going to come around this year,” Nichols said. “We’ll see the adjustments he makes. He was at a higher level, probably, than he should’ve been, and he battled some injuries. He has a tremendous eye and big-time power. With that combination, I think he’s going to have a breakout year this year.”

Nichols also is expecting a big year from Brandon Woodruff, the system’s No. 30 prospect and an 11th-round pick from last June’s Draft. His combination of command and game plan intrigue the Brewers.

“I think you’re going to see something from him,” Nichols predicted. “He pitches inside with a fastball. He can pitch in on purpose. He has an idea of what he’s doing. His mechanics are clean. He’s not grunting and groaning out there. He might be in Brevard, he’ll maybe skip a level.”

There is also a three questions segment with Kody Medeiros, a possible Rattler in 2015.

Here’s today’s interview with Matt Erickson, Wisconsin’s manager.  We discuss Devin Williams, Milton Gomez, Jake Gatewood, and Dustin DeMuth…and a few other things.

Photos from today:

Defense

Defense

Catchers.

Catchers.

He caught it.

He caught it.

Gary Lucas watches Devin Williams warmup in the bullpen before the game.

Gary Lucas watches Devin Williams warmup in the bullpen before the game.

Nice View.

Nice View.

Offense at Camelback.

Offense at Camelback.

I got a little of the fence in this one.

I got a little of the fence in this one.

March 24 2015 016

That will do it from Arizona. Back to Wisconsin tomorrow.  Can the season start yet?!

Gary Lucas Interview and Spring Training Photos – March 23, 2015

The latest Mehring in Arizona column is available on the main website.

Here is a brief interview with Gary Lucas, the new pitching coach of the Timber Rattlers.

Photos from today’s game over at Hohokam against the A’s.

The Cubs used to play here.

The Cubs used to play here.

JB Kole, Milwaukee's 8th round pick out of Villanova, was the starting pitcher for Wisconsin.

JB Kole, Milwaukee’s 8th round pick out of Villanova, was the starting pitcher for Wisconsin.

Luis Aviles scores Wisconsin's first run of the game.

Luis Aviles scores Wisconsin’s first run of the game.

Shade!

Shade!

Ironically, there was a bad hop single in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Ironically, there was a bad hop single in the bottom of the fifth inning…right after this happened.

Matt Erickson coaches Luis Aviles at third base.

Matt Erickson coaches Luis Aviles at third base.

Aviles scores on a Greg Munoz sacrifice fly.

Aviles scores on a Greg Munoz sacrifice fly.

Josh Uhen on the mound for the Timber Rattlers on Monday.

Josh Uhen on the mound for the Timber Rattlers on Monday.

Harvey Martin is about to get out of a jam.

Harvey Martin is about to get out of a jam.

Matt Erickson Interview and Spring Training Photos – March 22, 2015

Check out the Mehring in Arizona column over on the main website for details on the action today in Minor League camp.

For the blog content: I had an opportunity to interview Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson after the game today.  Click to hear it as we discuss….stuff:

Sunday’s Photos:

I love this view.

I love this view.

Drills.

Drills.

Infield/Outfield

Infield/Outfield

Teaching

Teaching

First inning action with Jonathan Broxton on the mound for the Rattlers.

First inning action with Jonathan Broxton on the mound for the Rattlers.

Gilbert Lara drives in a run for Wisconsin.

Gilbert Lara drives in a run for Wisconsin.

Jim Henderson also pitched an inning for the Rattlers on Sunday.

Jim Henderson also pitched an inning for the Rattlers on Sunday.

This isn't a bad view either.

This isn’t a bad view either.

Brandon Diaz heads home after a Lara RBI single in the fifth.

Brandon Diaz heads home after a Lara RBI single in the fifth.

Alan Sharkey drives in the tying run with a SAC FLY in the 9th.

Alan Sharkey drives in the tying run with a SAC FLY in the 9th.

Sthervin Matos has his bat flip in mid-season form after his single in the ninth put the Rattlers up 5-4.

Sthervin Matos has his bat flip in mid-season form after his single in the ninth put the Rattlers up 5-4.

David Goforth pitched the ninth ining of the Brewers win in the big league stadium.

David Goforth pitched the ninth ining of the Brewers win in the big league stadium.

This isn't a bad view either!

This isn’t a bad view either!

 

 

 

 

Photos from Spring Training – March 21, 2015

The wrap on the Rattlers Saturday action is up in the new Mehring in Arizona column.

Popup day during practice:

Look up!

Things are looking up!

March 21 2015 002

March 21 2015 006

Tucker Neuhaus scores on a wild pitch.

Tucker Neuhaus scores on a wild pitch.

Marcos Diplan on the mound.

Marcos Diplan on the mound.

Nice view

Nice view

PIGEON!

Pigeons have lost their fear of humans! We are so screwed!

Pigeons have lost their fear of humans! We are so screwed!

Final play of the game.

Final play of the game.

 

Approximately 432' from home plate.

Approximately 432′ from home plate.

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