Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

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

94dunavan

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!

They Might Be Giants – October 30, 2014

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, World Series Champions of 2014.

That was their third Championship in the last five years. The last time the Giants were this successful was back in the early 1920’s. John McGraw managed the New York Giants to four straight National League pennants from 1921-1924 with wins over the New York Yankees in 1921 and 1922 and losses to the Yankees (1923) and Washington Senators (1924).

There is a slight Appleton tie to that Giants dynasty. Travis Jackson played for the Giants briefly in 1922 and saw more playing time in 1923 and 1924.

Jackson, who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, managed the Appleton Papermakers in 1952 and 1953.

Jackson Travis Plaque 258__0

Managed the Appleton Papermakers in 1952 and 1953.

The SABR biography on Jackson is a good read, too.

During the 1920s and 1930s the New York Giants captured seven National League championships. While they had great outfielders like Mel Ott and Ross Youngs as well as solid pitching, most prominently Carl Hubbell, it was their infield that anchored the team in its success. George Kelly, Fred Lindstrom, and Bill Terry each had a hand in many of the successful Giants campaigns during this era. They, along with several other prominent teammates including Frankie Frisch and Rogers Hornsby, were recognized for their play; each was selected to the Hall of Fame. 

Over time, recognition of how the Giants arrived at their success gained a different perspective. It dawned on those invested with selection to the Hall of Fame that these Giants infielders had one factor in common from the early 1920s through the mid-1930s: their shortstop, Travis Jackson. That realization, almost belatedly made, crystallized in 1982 when the Veterans Committee elected Jackson to the Hall. While a solid hitter, Jackson was not in the mold of a Hornsby or Terry, but he was considered by his peers as the defensive anchor for his team and one of the best at his position, if not the best.

Unfortunately, Timber Rattlers fans – along with the rest of the fans in the Midwest League – have not had a chance to see many of the Giants players when those players were in the minor leagues.  The Giants have not been affiliated with a Midwest League team since 1996 when they wrapped up a two year deal with the Burlington Bees.

According to MWLGuide.com,  The San Francisco Giants were affiliated with a MWL team from 1956 to 1996.  They were with the Michigan City White Caps (1956-59), Quincy Giants (1960-61), Decatur Commodores (1962-74), Cedar Rapids Giants (1975-79), Clinton Giants (1980-93), and Clinton Giants (1994).

There was also one year (1954) when the Giants were affiliated with a MWL team by the name of the Danville Dans.

For a more local – as in Northeastern Wisconsin – flavoring of Giants baseball, look back to the old Wisconsin State League.  The New York Giants were affiliated with Oshkosh’s WSL franchise in 1942 and – once the league restarted after World War II – again from 1946 through 1953, when the WSL folded.

The Oshkosh Giants won the Wisconsin State League title in both 1949 and 1950.

Speaking of the old Wisconsin State League, here is another photo of that Papermakers Pen that was mentioned in yesterday’s post.

This is great!

Boost the Home Team….That is great!

Alumni Birthdays:
Corby Heckman (’95) – 31
Manny Parra (’11) – 32
Craig Anderson (’00) – 34
Tom Poquette (Manager, ’92) – 63
Mark Tanner (’73) – 64

Craig Anderson ('00) is pitching well in his homeland.

Craig Anderson (’00) is with the Sydney Blue Sox for the Australian Baseball League this season. They open the season tomorrow.

Tom Poquette, the manager of the Foxes in 1992.

Tom Poquette, the manager of the Foxes in 1992.

Always a hit! – October 29, 2014

IMG_0267

I’ll explain in a bit.

The Royals forced a Game Seven in the 2014 World Series with their 10-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

Lorenzo Cain (’09) played his part:

It also shouldn’t be surprising to Timber Rattlers fans that Yordano Ventura pitched as well as he did last night. Ventura was a member of the Kane County Cougars in 2011 and was 4-6 in 19 starts. But, in his two starts against Wisconsin Ventura had no record, but allowed no runs on four hits with two walks and 15 strikeouts in nine innings.

It also wouldn’t surprise Rattlers fans that Mike Moustakas is hammering the baseball out of the yard in the World Series. Moustakas was a Burlington Bee in 2008 and in 16 games against the Timber Rattlers he was 22-for-61 (.361) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, and twelve RBI. Plus, he walked ten times while striking out eleven times.

Still playing a little catch up from the hiatus and this story has been sitting in my inbox for a bit.

The Country Today, a newspaper based out of Eau Claire, did a story on the Timber Rattlers Vegetable Garden.

A new stream of fresh vegetables is flowing to a Fox Valley food program thanks to a triple play by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball organization, GreenStone Farm Credit Services and the Freedom FFA.

As of Aug. 20, volunteer efforts of those three groups had made possible the donation of 79 pounds of fresh vegetables through the “Grow a Row for St. Joe” project from a 30-by-20-foot garden behind the left-field bleachers at Neuroscience Group Field of the Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton.

“We’ll keep on doing it throughout the fall too as long as vegetables are to be harvested,” said Jerrad Radocay, corporate marketing manager for the Timber Rattlers, a Midwest minor league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The St. Joseph Food Program is a nonprofit that for 32 years has made weekly distributions of fresh food and non-perishable items to the elderly, working poor and temporarily unemployed in the Fox Valley.

Vegetable Garden

The team is looking at expanding the garden for 2015.

Circling back to the opening image of the post. That is a pencil giveaway from the Appleton Papermakers in either the 1940’s or 1950’s…It’s all sorts of cool.

I'll explain in a bit.

Or is that…All sorts of coal!?!?!?

Great giveaway.

Great giveaway.

If you have something like this – or any piece of Appleton Professional Baseball meorabilia in your basement, storage unit, attic, garage, or…I don’t know…. kitchen???…. feel free to bring it into the ballpark.  We can either take a picture of it to document it and share on the blog, or find a place to display it at the stadium.

Start searching!

Alumni Birthdays:
Marcus Sturdivant (’94) – 41
Kerwin Moore (’90) – 44
Bill Gilmore (’87) – 51

Kerwin Moore

sturdivant94

Independent Minded – October 28, 2014

I have been waiting for awhile to use the material in this post.  Today seemed like a good day.

First, a brief time lapse video of the grounds crew prepping the field.

My choice of music for that video would have been Yaktey Sax…but that’s just me. Either selection works.

The other section of this post is material that was collected by Jay Grusznski in the second half of the 2014 Timber Rattlers season.

Jay did a lot of searching through the pages of the teams in the different independent leagues and came up with a list of former Timber Rattlers playing in those leagues.

Some of these players spent time in both affiliated ball and the independent leagues this season. If I had a heart, these guys would hold a special place in it. Why? Because – as some of you may remember – I spent three seasons as a radio announcer for the Duluth/Superior Dukes in the Northern League of Professional Baseball. Maybe one day I will share some of my photos of the stadiums of the league at the time.

American Association:
Kansas City T-Bones:
TJ Mittelstaedt (’11)
Bryan Sabatella (’06)

That time TJ Mittelstaedt pitched for the Timber Rattlers in 2011.

That time TJ Mittelstaedt pitched for the Timber Rattlers in 2011.

St. Paul Saints:
RJ Seidel (’09)

Wichita Wingnuts:
Brent Dean (’13)
Alan Williams (’11, ’12, ’13)

Laredo Lemurs:
Gerardo Avila (’06, ’07, ’08)
Seth Lintz (’11, ’12)

Avila_040108wag

Grand Prairie AirHogs:
Tom Keeling (’11)

Atlantic League:
York Revolution:
Johan Limonta (’06) – All-Star
BROCK! Kjeldgaard (’09)
Zack Braddock (’11)
Cody Scarpetta (’09)

Sugar Land Skeeters:
Travis Scott (’06)
Dan Meadows (’09)

Somerset Patriots:
Jeff Dominguez (’06)
Mike Wilson (’05)

Long Island Ducks:
Brett Lorin (’08)

Bridgeport Bluefish:
Denny Almonte (’08)
Emiliano Fruto (’02)

Camden Riversharks:
Joe Dunigan (’08)
Kalian Sams (’07)

Dunigan_040108wag

Can-Am League:
Les Capitales de Quebec:
Sebastien Boucher (’05)

New Jersey Jackals:
Joe Dunigan (’08)

Rockland Boulders:
Taylor Mangum (’13)
Chad Robinson (’10)

Taylor Mangum for the Timber Rattlers.

Taylor Mangum for the Timber Rattlers.

Frontier League:
Evansville Otters:
Chad Robinson (’10)

Lake Erie Crushers:
Juan Sanchez (’09)

Rockford Aviators:
Kyle Dhanani (’09, ’10)

Kyle Dhanani in 2010.

Kyle Dhanani in 2010.

Joliet Slammers:
Managed by Jeff Isom (’09, ’10)
Adam Giacalone (’13)
Tyler Roberts (’11, ’12, ’13)
Chadwin Stang (’11, ’12)
Santo Manzanillo (’10, ’12)

Stanger!

Stanger!

United League:
Fort Worth Cats:
Jose Duran (’09)

Not Independent League, but this seems like a good place to mention these players

Japan Central League:
Yokohama Bay Stars:
Jorge Sosa (’01)

Yakult Swallows:
Wladimir Balentien (’04)

Alumni Birthdays for October 28:
Andy Collett (’96) – 41
Lister Lespier (’72, ’73) – 61

Winter League Alumni – For games through October 26, 2014

Fall/Winter Baseball is almost in full swing now. Arizona Fall League, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Mexico are all going strong. The winter leagues in Puerto Rico and Australia both start their seasons on October 30.

Time to check in on Rattler alumni.

Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (7-8-1):
Clint Coulter (’13, ’14): 3 games, 3-for-11, HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’11, ’12): 11 games, .167/.222/.405, 3HR, 5RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 11 games, .289/.347/.333, 0HR, 4RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 5 games, 5-for-17, 0HR, 0RBI

Tyrone Taylor (2013)

Tyrone Taylor (2013)

Brooks Hall (’11): 4 games, 0-0, 1.50ERA, 6.0IP, BB, 4K
Mike Strong (’12, ’13): 5 games, 0-0, Save, 3.00ERA, 6.0IP, 2BB, 7K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 5 games, 0-0, Save, 2.25ERA, 8.0IP, 4BB, 5K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 3 games, 3 starts, 2-0, 2.00ERA, 9.0IP, BB, 3K

Tyler Wagner (2013)

Tyler Wagner (2013)

Venezuela:
Aguilas del Zulia (12-2):
Eric Marzec (’11): 4 games, 2 starts, 1-0, 1.93ERA, 9.1IP, BB, 6K

Eric Marzec (2011)

Eric Marzec (2011)

Bravos de Margarita (5-11):
Tyler Cravy (’11, ’12): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-2, 7.36ERA, 7.1IP, 3BB, 6K
Greg Holle (’11): 6 games, 0-0, Save, 4.50ERA, 4.0IP, 2BB, 0K

Cardenales de Lara (2-13):
Jose Escalona (’06, ’08): 4 games, 0-0, 3.60ERA, 5.0IP, 2BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 3 games, 3 starts, 0-1, 7.56ERA, 2.1IP, 2BB, K

Jose Escalona with Lara

Jose Escalona with Lara

 

Navegantes del Magallanes (5-8):
Carlos Maldonado (’97, ’98, ’99): 7 games, 3-for-20, 0HR, 2RBI

Tigres de Aragua (8-4):
Renee Cortez (’02, ’03): 6 games, 0-0, 1.59ERA, 5.2IP, 3BB, 4K

Dominican Winter League:
Aguilas Cibaenas (5-2):
Edward Paredes (’08): 3 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 0.1IP, BB, K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 4 games, 0-0, 5.40ERA, 3.1IP, BB, 2K

Estrellas de Oriente (4-3):
Juan Diaz (’07, ’08): 5 games, 6-for-18, 0HR, 4RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’02, ’03): 2 games, 1 start, 0-0, 3.60ERA, 5.0IP, 3BB, 3K

Tigres del Licey (1-7):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 5 games, 1-for-7, 0HR, 1RBI

No Rattler alumni are playing in Mexico this winter….yet.

Alumni Birthdays:
Marwin Vega (’06) – 28
Denny Stark (’97) – 40
Pete Vuckovich (’74) – 62
Lee Stange (’59) – 78

Pete Vuckovich in 1974 with the Foxes.

Pete Vuckovich in 1974 with the Foxes.

Notes and Highlights on a Friday – October 24, 2014

Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis take a look at the Brewers prospects in the Arizona Fall League with a special focus on former Timber Rattlers Tyrone Taylor (’13) and Clint Coulter (’13, ’14):

Check the daily game notes for the AFL here.

Glendale, the team with the Brewers prospects, are 7-6-1 and leading the West Division. Glendale hosts Salt River today at 2:35pm CDT. According to the scoreboard page, Mike Strong (’12, ’13) is a scheduled reliever for Glendale today. Click that link later today for the rest of the starting lineup.

I’ll have a more complete winter league update on Monday, but looking at yesterday’s action in the AFL saw Glendale win 2-1. Wei-Chung Wang (’14) earned the win. Tyler Wagner (’13) got the save.

Time to take a look at the Timber Rattlers Alumni as batters with the Brewers.

Khris Davis (2010): 144 games, .244/.299/.457, 22HR, 69RBI

Scooter Gennett (2010): 137 games, .289/.320/.434, 9HR, 54RBI

Carlos Gomez (2012): 148 games, .284/.356/.477, 23HR, 73RBI

Jonathan Lucroy (2012): 153 games, .301/.373/.465, 13HR, 69RBI

Martin Maldonado (2009): 52 games, .234/.320/.387, 4HR, 16RBI

Jason Rogers (2012): 8 games, 1-for-9, 0HR, 0RBI

Marco Estrada (2013): 3-for-32, 2RBI

Mike Fiers (2009): 1-for-17

Jimmy Nelson (2011): 3-for-21 with a double off Clayton Kershaw?!

Alumni Birthdays:
October 24:
Hunter Brown (’02) – 35
Eric Morgan (’95) – 42
Daryl Robinson (’88, ’89) – 47

October 25:
Tyler Roberts (’11, ’13) – 24
Clint Nageotte (’01) – 34
Gerald Eady (’98) – 39
Kevin Hickey (’79) – 58
Don Eddy (’69) – 68
Richard Hunt (’60) – 74

October 26:
Robbie Dominguez (’08) – 29
Chad Fillinger (’04, ’05) – 32
Harry Chappas (’76, ’78) – 57
Alan Kristowski (’66) – 71

Draft report card – October 23, 2014

What do you think of my new office/summer home?

Not sure if it has cable yet.

Not sure if it has cable yet.

Earlier this week, Baseball America released their 2014 Draft Report Card for the Milwaukee Brewers.  The details are behind the paywall.  But, I wanted to share their rankings for some of these potential future Timber Rattlers.  For the full report on each player, subscribe to BA:

BEST PURE HITTER: OF Monte Harrison (1s)
BEST POWER HITTER: SS Jacob Gatewood (1s)
FASTEST RUNNER: OF Troy Stokes (4)
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Harrison needs reps but has a chance to be a young Torii Hunter caliber defender in center field.
BEST FASTBALL: RHP Brandon Woodruff (11)
BEST SECONDARY PITCH: The best-case comparison for Medeiros, a strong-bodied, athletic, low-slot lefthander, is Madison Bumgarner.

BEST PRO DEBUT: Harrison hit .261/.402/.339 and led the AZL with 32 stolen bases, being caught just twice. Stokes hit .262/.363/.331 there with 19 steals in 22 tries. C Greg McCall (9) hit .326/.375/465 in 86 at-bats at Rookie-level Helena.
BEST ATHLETE: Harrison
MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Medeiros and RHP Cy Sneed (3)
CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: The Brewers hope to develop the younger Sneed as a starter but were judicious with his innings after he was Dallas Baptist’s ace in the spring, tossing 104 innings.
BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Woodruff

The city of Appleton finished 5th in all of MiLB cities as one of America’s Best Minor League Baseball Towns.

GRAND CHUTE, WI – SmartAsset.com recently rated all of the cities that host a minor league baseball franchise and released their Top 25 Minor League Baseball Towns in America. Based on the criteria surveyed, Appleton – home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers – was rated as #5 out of all minor league baseball.

There were five factors SmartAsset.com used to rate quality of life in each minor league city: Violent Crime per 100,000 residents; Property Crime per 100,000 residents; Disposable income – difference between average income and average monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment; Unemployment rate; and Dining & Entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents.

Three factors were also taken in to account for the baseball experience in each city: Team winning percentage during 2014 season; Stadium Experience – the rating of the home ballpark on StadiumJourney.com; and Minor League Class – the level at which each team plays.

Appleton and the Timber Rattlers finished fifth in the rankings behind only Portland, Maine (Portland Sea Dogs); Alexandria, Virginia (Potomac Nationals); Pearl, Mississippi (Mississippi Braves); and Frisco, Texas (Frisco RoughRiders). 

You may have noticed I left the Brewers out of the MLB Alumni Reports that were done by division.  I wanted to save those for later in the offseason…Like right now.

Here are the pitching alumni who were on the mound for the Brewers in 2014.  Hitting alumni will be added in tomorrow.

Marco Estrada (Rehab, 2013): 7-6, 4.36ERA, 39 games, 18 starts, 150.2IP, 44BBs, 127K

Mike Fiers (2009): 6-2, 2.13ERA, 14 games, 10 starts, 71.2IP, 17BB, 76K

Jim Henderson (2009): 2-1, 7.15ERA, 14 games, 11.1IP, 4BB, 17K

Jeremy Jeffress (2010): 1-1, 1.88ERA, 29 games, 28.2IP, 7BB, 25K

Martin Maldonado (2009): 0-0, 0.00ERA, 1 game, 1IP, 0BB, 0K

Jimmy Nelson (2011): 2-9, 4.93ERA, 14 games, 12 games, 69.1IP, 19BB, 57K

Wily Peralta (2009): 17-11, 3.53ERA, 32 games, 32 starts, 198.2IP, 61BB, 154K

Tyler Thornburg (2011): 3-1, 4.25ERA, 27 games, 29.2IP, 21BB, 28K

Alumni Birthdays:
Cip Garcia (’02, ’03) – 36
Pat Bailey (’87) – 50

Back to Work – October 20, 2014

This was the most horrifying thing I saw on my vacation:

Giant Papier-mâché heads of Don Shula & Dan Marino.

Giant Papier-mâché heads of Don Shula & Dan Marino.

Great trip.  Great view of the game…well except for this one:

Sit DOWN, sir!

Sit DOWN, sir!

Totally worth it:

Whoops.  How did THAT get in there?

Whoops. How did THAT get in there?

That's more like it.

FOOTBALL!

Now…on to baseball.

The World Series is the Kansas City Royals vs. the San Francisco Giants.  There are no former Timber Rattlers/Foxes on the Giants.  As for the Royals: Raul Ibanez played for the Foxes.  Mike Jirschele coached the Foxes. Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP in 2014, was a Timber Rattler in 2009:

I guess it’s “Go, Royals!”

I left off on the regular season alumni report after the NL Central. So, here are the Timber Rattlers alumni to play in the NL East in 2014.

Hitters:
Washington:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 49 games, .229/.312/.389, 5HR, 21RBI

Miami:
Greg Dobbs (’02): 15 games, .077/.077/.077, 0HR, 0RBI

Washington:
Greg Dobbs (’02): 21 games, .214/.233/.250, 0HR, 2 RBI

Pitchers:
Philadelphia:
Philippe Aumont (’08): 5 games, 0-1, 19.06ERA, 5.2IP, 5BB, 6K

Philadelphia:
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 16 games, 0-0, 1.69ERA, 16IP, 7BB, 8K

Washington:
Rafael Soriano (’00): 64 games, 4-1, 3.19ERA, 32 Saves, 62IP, 19BB, 59K

Washington:
Matt Thornton (’00): 18 games, 1-0, 0.00, 11.1IP, 2BB, 8K

Atlanta:
Anthony Varvaro (’07): 61 games, 3-3, 2.63ERA, 54.2IP, 13BB, 50K

Alumni Birthdays for October 20:
Parker Berberet (’12, ’13) – 25
Fabian Williamson (’07) – 26
Harvey Pulliam (’87) – 47
Joe Costello (’64) – 69

Happy Birthday, Parker Berberet!

Happy Birthday, Parker Berberet!

Back on October 20 – October 7, 2014

The Arizona Fall League begins today.  The Milwaukee Brewers Prospects will be playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs.

The former Rattlers on the Desert Dogs roster include:

Pitchers:
Brooks Hall
Mike Strong
Tyler Wagner
Wei-Chung Wang

Tyler Wagner in 2013

Tyler Wagner in 2013

Catcher: Shawn Zarraga

Infielder: Nick Ramirez

Outfielder: Tyrone Taylor

Tyrone Taylor in 2013

Tyrone Taylor in 2013

Pitching Coach: Chris Hook

Glendale hosts the Mesa Solar Sox today at 2:35pm CDT.  According to this boxscore, Taylor will leadoff and play center and  Nick Ramirez will bat seventh and play first base for Glendale.

The Arizona Fall League will be used as a laboratory for the new Pace of Game Initiative.  Click that link to read the full story.  A few of the rules:

A hitter must keep one foot inside the batter’s box throughout his plate appearance. Exceptions include a foul ball or a foul tip, a pitch forcing the batter out of the batter’s box, a request for time out being granted, a wild pitch or a passed ball and several others.

Intentional walks will no longer include the pitcher lobbing four balls outside the strike zone. Instead, the manager will signal to the home-plate umpire and the batter will take first base.

Each team will be permitted three “timeout” conferences covering any meeting involving pitchers and catchers, managers, coaches and batters. Timeouts during pitching changes and those that result from an injury or other emergency will not be counted toward the limit.

More at the link.

As someone who had some experience with a pitch clock – many years ago in the Northern League -this is all well and good…But, it all comes down to enforcement.  And as someone who has experienced the “Keep One Foot In” rule….oh, brother…From Top Five Tuesday: Weird Endings…

1.) April 30, 2007 – Backstory: Before the 2007 began, Minor League Baseball tried to initiate some policies that would speed the game. Umpires, players, and coaches were informed before the start of the season that if a batter needed a little time between pitches, they could only move one foot out of the batter’s box. If a batter walked completely outside the box with both feet, a strike would be called. Now, let’s fast forward to the bottom of the ninth inning at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in late April of 2007.   Leury Bonilla, who had homered in the bottom of the seventh inning off Dragons reliever Pedro Viola, stepped to the plate with Wisconsin trailing 3-1. Bonilla was the tying run in the bottom of the ninth due to Ogui Diaz reaching first on a two-out error on Dayton third baseman Juan Francisco. Bonilla was down in the count 0-1 to start. Plate umpire Alex Ortiz called the next pitch from Viola a strike to run the count to 0-2. Bonilla thought it the pitch should have been called a ball. He decided to collect himself instead of saying anything to Ortiz. Unfortunately, Bonilla took a couple of steps out of the right-handed batter’s box as he walked up the third base line. Ortiz immediately called a strike on Bonilla. That strike just happened to be strike three. The final out of the game came on a called third strike that was never even thrown to the plate.

Yeah. Let’s NOT have that happen again.

I am going to be taking some time off from work.  I will be gone the rest of this week and all of next week.  The next post on the blog will be on Monday, October 20.  Some of the features on the website will be returning that week, too.

The Timber Rattlers alumni in the NL Central (Not including Brewers):
Hitter:
Cubs:
Luis Valbuena (’06): 149 games, .249/.341/.435, 16 HR, 51 RBI

Pitcher:
Reds:
Manny Parra (’11): 53 games, 0-3, 1 Save, 4.66ERA, 36.2IP, 18BB, 34K

Alumni Birthdays:
Henry Pawlowicz (’65) – 68
Danny Rourke (’69-’71)- 67
Dan Head (’01, ’02) – 36
Hunter Morris (’10) – 26

Hunter Morris rounds the bases after one of his nine home runs with the Timber Rattlers in 2010. (Credit: PSB Photo)

Hunter Morris rounds the bases after one of his nine home runs with the Timber Rattlers in 2010. (Credit: PSB Photo)

I, for one, welcome our new overlords – October 6, 2014

The Royals and Orioles completed sweeps in the ALDS setting up an ALCS matchup that is interesting.  Imagine, if you will, it’s 1976 to 1983.  Imagine how much fun an Orioles-Royals ALCS would have been in that timeframe.  But, they were never opponents.  The Royals won the AL West from 1976-1978 (losing to the Yankees each time), again in 1980 (Beating the Yankees), and in 1984 (Losing to the Tigers).  The Orioles won the AL East in 1979 (Beating the Angels) and 1983 (Beating the White Sox).

Hail, Royals

Hail, Royals

Cain_Lorenzo

Lorenzo Cain as a Timber Rattler in 2009

Adam Jones as a Rattler in 2004

Adam Jones as a Rattler in 2004

Lorenzo Cain (’09) had a some great catches – again – to help the Royals move on with their Game Three win over the Angels:


Meanwhile, the Orioles beat the Tigers 2-1 to gain the ALCS.  Adam Jones (’04) loves it! BUT, he also realizes that they aren’t done yet.

In news involving more recent Timber Rattlers, The Baseball America Chat about their Top 20 Prospect for the MWL was held on Friday (Link is behind subscriber wall).  There was only one question involving a 2014 Timber Rattler and it was about pitcher Taylor Williams, who did not make the list:

Curious (Wisconsin): What did evaluators see that kept Taylor Williams off this list?

J.J. Cooper: He might have made the list in a thinner league. Just the depth of the league. He’s a future power reliever in a league where relievers have a real tough time making the list.

That’s…interesting.

Clint Coulter is still making news in Instructional League:

In instructional league this fall, the Brewers have begun a long-discussed position change for Coulter. Director of player development Reid Nichols said Coulter has settled into right field and has also seen time at first base and third base.

One of Coulter’s best tools has always been his strong arm, which Nichols said is one of the reasons a switch to right field can work.

“He’s picked it up well,” Nichols said. “He gets good jumps on balls off the bat, which is unique for a guy going out there for the first time.

“He fits the best there of everywhere we’ve seen him.”

There is more at that link on some possible future Timber Rattlers players.

Here’s a look at Timber Rattlers Alumni who played in the NL West this year:

Hitters:
Padres:
Adam Moore (’06): 9 games, 2-for-10, 2B, 0HR, RBI

Padres:
Rene Rivera (’03): 103 games, .252/.319/.432, 11HR, 44RBI

Dodgers:
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 12 games, 2-for-15, HR, RBI

Pitchers:
Diamondbacks:
JJ Putz (’00): 18 games, 1-1, 6.59ERA, 13.2IP, 6BB, 14K

Padres:
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 6 games, 0-0, 4.91ERA, 7.1IP, 4BB, 9K

Alumni Birthdays for October 6:
George Weimer (’70) – 65
Randy Goodenough (’88) – 49
Derrick Gutierrez (’01) – 36
Andy Barb (’07) – 30
Victor Diaz (’14) – 21

Victor Diaz

Victor Diaz

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers

%d bloggers like this: