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Timber Rattlers Training Camp Notes – Day 1

Photos at the top.  Game recap in the middle.  Quotes from Matt Erickson at the end.  More on Timber Rattlers website.

Practice started out on Field Six of the Maryvale Baseball Complex with a meeting:

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 001
and moved to stretching.

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 002on to a bullpen session

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 004then, rundowns

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 005

on to defensive drills:

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 007and on to Batting Practice:

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 009

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 010
After a lunch break there was a game on Diamond #7.

The Timber Rattlers Starting Lineup:
Johnny Davis – CF
Nathan Orf – 2B
Taylor Brennan – 3B
David Denson – 1B
Clint Coulter – DH
Charlie Markson – RF
Jose Pena – LF
Dustin Houle – C
Steven Halcomb – SS

Starting Pitcher: Tristan Archer

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers lost to the Dayton Dragons on Friday afternoon by a score of 8-2.  Dayton jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and – by my count – the Rattlers were held to three hits.  (Note: Johnny Davis could have been given a hit by a homer official scorer on a tough hop right at the second baseman in the first.)

I’ve gone back and forth on how to do this report and I thought that this  was where I was going to put the .mp3 of postgame interview I did with Matt Erickson.  BUT, I don’t quite have the hang of this new recorder…So, I transcribed his answers about some of the players in the game….Which took a lot of time.  WOW.

So, a brief recap of the game with some photos.  Then, Matt on some of the players AND why today was a big day in the Erickson house back in Appleton.

Tristan Archer.

Tristan Archer.

Dayton scored three runs off starting pitcher Tristan Archer (21st round, Tennessee Tech) in the first inning.  The leadoff batter had a double that looked foul, but it wasn’t worth the argument in March.  The next batter blooped in a triple down the line in right.  The third batter had a sacrifice fly.  The clean-up hitter – Aristides Aquino (#24 Prospect in Reds Organization) – followed with a home run.  Aristides Aquino is tall:

6'-4"

6′-4″

The Rattlers loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning but could not score against Nick Travieso (Reds #8 Prospect).  Dayton added a run in the second on a lead-off triple and the Rattlers being unable to turn two to get out of the frame on a slow grounder to short.

The Rattlers did get a run – without a hit – in the third.  Travieso hit Nathan Orf, walked David Denson, and walked Clint Coulter to load the bases with one out.  Charlie Markson drove in Orf with a sacrifice fly to right.

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 017

Chris Razo, who came out of the bullpen in the top of the third to escape a jam, pitched a scoreless fourth, but allowed two runs on a bunt single, a double, and a bloop double by Aquino.

Devin Williams got into the game in the top of the sixth for the Rattlers:

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 020He allowed an unearned run over one inning of work with one hits, no walks, and no strikeouts.

The Rattlers got back on the scoreboard against a pitcher by the name of Austin Muehring…not related…

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 023

Omar Garcia walked, went from first to third on a single by Francisco Castillo, and scored on a wild pitch by Muehring.

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 024
The Dragons added one more run in the top of the ninth as a runner from third scored as the Rattlers were unable to turn an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.  I tried to get a photo of the high leg kick of Rattler pitcher Scott Lieser, but…I couldn’t time it right.

After the game, there was another meeting:

March 21 2014 Timber Rattlers Spring Training 030

And after the meeting I talked with Matt Erickson.  The first part of our conversation were about the camp so far, what kind of team the Rattlers will be, and a few of the players who may be in Wisconsin  if not at the start of the season – at some point during the season.  Those quotes can be found in this story on the Timber Rattlers website.

The second part of our conversation turned to the game against the Dragons and certain players.

Erickson on the game: Today [Dayton] swung the bats really well.  They not only put the ball on the barrel, they bled us to death…Usually you can survive one or the other, but not both.  So they did a nice job with the bats.

Our pitching has been pretty solid for the most part of keeping us in ballgames and getting us ground balls.  But, today [Dayton] found a lot of barrels.

Erickson on Tristan Archer (2.2IP, 5H, 4R, 2BB, 0K):  Tough first inning.  Right off the bat there was a ball hit down the left field line that may have been foul…who knows?…The he got a blooper down the right field line and before you know it it’s 1-0.  Then, I thought he threw a pretty good breaking ball to their clean-up hitter…the ball was down in the zone, but [Aquino] put a good swing on it and hit it out of the ballpark.  So, [Archer] was down 3-0 before you knew it.  But, he did a nice job of continuing to compete on the mound and going after hitters and making them swing the bat…I thought he did a nice job of keeping his composure and trying to continue to command the strike zone.

Erickson on Devin Williams (IP, H, R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K): I’ve only seen him one other time.  He’s been jumping around from group to group.  But, he’s an athletic body.  When we do our PFPs in the morning, he bounces off the mound.  He’s got a loose body, a nice arm, and the ball comes out nice.  I think he’s learning right now to try to create more tilt to his fastball so he can command the bottom of the zone.

The other day he did a nice job of getting ahead and what I liked was that his missed were down – not up – in the zone.  If he can – at an early age – consistently get that tilt to his pitches, I think he’ll be alright.

He’s one of the guys we’ve been talking about, but I’m not sure if he’ll be on that [Timber Rattlers] Opening Day Roster or not.

Erickson on Taylor Brennan (0-for3, BB, K):  He had a nice day.  He’s a guy who – last year – was a defensive project.  He’s got big time power in his bat and he’s cleaned up some of his batting practice of being able to hit the ball to all fields and not just swinging as hard as he can.  He’s working on his hitting ability and not just his power.  I thought he did a nice job of that today.

Some of his earlier at bats, I thought he took some out of control swings in hitter’s counts.  But he was able to cut it down and drove two balls to both gaps in the game today.  He showed some good glove work on a backhand and a diving play.  He is somebody we’re excited about and hopefully we get more chances to look at him in Appleton.

Erickson on Clint Coulter (0-for-2, BB, K): I talked to him a few days ago in the dugout and – just in conversation – he was letting me know how much more comfortable he feels.  Not only physically in his lower half, but also just going through a spring training once before and having a better idea of what it’s all about.

Everything was really new to the young man last year and he’s admitted that it was really fast and he wasn’t sure what to expect.  I think right now he is slowing it down a little bit and he’s got a ways to go – there’s not doubt about it, but I think about four days ago he had seven innings behind the plate and I looked over at [Trainer Jeff Paxson] and I said, “Hey! That’s the best I’ve seen him catch in a year and a half.”  So there’s some definite improvement to what he’s doing.

He’s a tough kid, a strong kid, and he’s going to get more chances.

Erickson on Jose Pena (2-for-3):  He’s a guy – the last couple of years – who has shown some power in Helena and down here in Arizona.  I’m pretty sure we’re going to get a look at him in Appleton this year.  He’s probably earned that opportunity with some of the offensive numbers that he’s put up.

He’s a guy that we are trying to get him better in the outfield as far as his lower half and his athletic ability out there.  But, he’s got an absolute cannon for an arm.  So, I think he can probably play either [right or left].  We have him projected in left field right now, but if there’s a need in right field he definitely has the arm to do that as well.

Erickson on MERCER vs. DUKE:  Go Bears!  When [the bracket] came out, I sent [my wife Julie ] a text and I said, “Hey! Mercer’s in the tournament!  Unfortunately, they got Duke in the first round”. {NOTE: Julie is a graduate of Mercer}

We talked about it over the last few days and she was all gung-ho.  Yesterday she said that she picked Mercer in the pool…She’s putting Mercer shirts on the kids and she was locked in today all day during the game.

We were getting updates through Pax.  Then, we were getting updates through our training room.  Charlie Greene, our field coordinator, is a die-hard Duke fan and – unfortunately – this morning I came in and said, “I think the Mercer Bears are gonna get ‘em.”…Not really believing it>

But, that’s what ‘s awesome about sports.  That’s why we play the games.

I texted back to my wife and said, “Make sure you use that as a teaching moment for our son.”

Nobody in the world thought that Mercer had a chance except – obviously – Mercer.  It’s a great win for that program and my wife and here alumni friends are pretty excited.

Friday Prospect Information

For the past few Fridays, I have had some photos of the field to give you a view of how the melt is going.

This Friday, that is impossible.  I am in Arizona…where the only snow is in the mountains…probably…

I will be reporting from Minor League Camp on past and future Timber Rattlers.  I will also reporting from four Timber Rattlers Spring Training Games.  There should be reports on the Timber Rattlers website, here on the blog, and @CMehring throughout the weekend and into Tuesday morning when the eventual tweet: “Missed my plane…damn.” will be seen.

By the way, yesterday’s post on the 2014 Specialty Jerseys got a lot of traffic – more traffic than the traditional Walkup Music post, but not as much traffic as a Snow in April post.  Since WTMJ’s WI-Sports & Uni Watch have both posted links…traffic is heading that way again today.  Thank you for the clicks!

The Timber Rattlers front office was busy with field stuff while I was on the plane out of the Fox Cities yesterday. Just call them “Two Tarps”:

Making progress with 13 days to go.

There were a few Brewers Prospect stories that were published this week and – in case you missed them – I thought this would be a good place to share:

MLBPipeline rates their top 20 Brewers Prospects

Plenty of former Timber Rattlers on this list.  Jimmy Nelson and Tyrone Taylor are 1-2.  Click that link for the full list AND scouting reports on all 20.

Bernie Pleskoff asks How do Brewers’ prospects fit Milwaukee’s needs?

Jim Callis notes Brewers banking on wealth of prospects at lower levels.  In which he has three questions with Victor Roache, notes that his camp standout this season is Mitch Haniger, and his breakout candidate is Orlando Arcia.

Jim also has more Brewers coverage on his blog with notes on possible future Rattlers Tucker Neuhaus and David Denson.

The Brewers also announced releases yesterday and – unfortunately – there were a lot of former Rattlers on this list.

Jersey Thursday – 2014 Timber Rattlers Specialty Jerseys

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have worn many jerseys since 1995. There have been throwbacks, pinks, camouflage, batting practice, sleeveless, the regular ones that were worn for most games, and a few that you may have forgotten. This feature is to take a look at those jerseys.

This week, instead of looking back, we look ahead to some of the jerseys that will be worn on specialty nights by the 2014 Timber Rattlers.

Salute to Cows Night – June 12

Moooooooooooo!

Moooooooooooo!

Star Wars Night – June 28

Heading to the Dark Side with this one.

Heading to the Dark Side with this one.

Military Appreciation Series – July 1 through July 3

Always Faithful.

Always Faithful.

Outdoors Night – August 1

You can go hunting in this jersey this fall.

You can go hunting in this jersey this fall.

Past Posts on Jerseys:

2006 Throwbacks

2007 Throwbacks

2008 Throwbacks

BP Tops 2004-2009

Pinstripes and BP Tops of 1995-1997

Sleeveless 1998-2002

1997 Throwbacks

2012 Military Appreciation

2010 Mother’s Day

2013 Outdoors Night

2008 Stars & Stripes

2009 Star Wars

2008 Star Wars

2010 & 2011 Star Wars

2012 Star Wars

2013 Star Wars

2009 Brewers Sunday

2010 Brewers Sunday

2011 Brewers Sunday

2012 Brewers Sunday

2013 Brewers Sunday

2011 Mother’s Day

2013 Mother’s Day

Wild Card Wednesday – San Francisco Giants

Oh, San Francisco Giants.  Candlestick Park was horrible.  Your jerseys were…odd.  But, you had some good players.  Let’s take a look.

Bobby Murcer was an American League All-Star with the Yankees in 1974.  That’s why he has the AL ALL-STAR star on his 1975  card for the Giants….and Yankee Stadium is in the background….and the Giants hat is 1975-photoshopped onto his head.  Take a look at that Gary Thomasson card in the middle.  We’ll come back to that pose later.

I ruined more Bobby Murcer cards to make sure he played for the Cubs.

I ruined more Bobby Murcer cards to make sure he played for the Cubs.

A few Giants over three seasons.

Disappointed

Disappointed that Randy Moffitt didn’t carry over the 1975-1976 pose over to 1978.

Larry Herndon’s cards couldn’t be more different.  The close up on the TOPPs card makes him look eight feet tall.   The FLEER card looks like it was taken by a stakeout team with their biggest telephoto lens.  Derrel Thomas makes those glasses glasses look gooooooood.

Le

Is Allen Ripley the ancestor of Ellen Ripley from the Alien movies? Read the book.

GIANTS!

Rennie says, "Hello, ladies."

Renie Martin says, “Hello, ladies.”

This panel could also be known as: HE played for the Giants?

Doyle Alexander was a Giant?

Doyle Alexander was a Giant?

Don’t even get me started on the Giants’ warm-up jackets as Johnnie LeMaster shows in the final card on the right.

Johnnie

Why is Johnnie LeMaster setting up in the stretch in the middle card?

Who’s behind those Foster Grants?  Gary Lavelle!

Huge Gary Lavelle fan!

Huge Gary Lavelle fan!

Look at the 1978 card on the right.  That is the 1977 team photo…and yes…that is a Cable Car.  You can’t do that on a field that isn’t astroturf.  Serious question….How many team photos after 1978 had a Marlboro sign in it?

That's when it clicked.

Not many.

Former Brewer time.

Former Brewer.

Did he have that big of a leg kick?  I don’t remember that.

Hall of Fame time.  I always liked Willie McCovey.

Hall of Famers!

Hall of Famers!

Remember that pose I mentioned in the first panel?  Let’s take a look at it again.  Pretty popular pose for the 1978 Giants, yes?

Variation

Probably the same spot of the stadium, too.

Past Wild Card Wednesdays:

New York Mets

Seattle Mariners

Toronto Blue Jays

Montreal Expos

Pittsburgh Pirates

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago White Sox

Baltimore Orioles

Kansas City Royals

Philadelphia Phillies

Atlanta Braves

Oakland A’s

Minnesota Twins

Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Dodgers

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

California Angels

Houston Astros

Texas Rangers

San Diego Padres

Tater Tuesday – Nick Ramirez (2012)

Welcome to Tater Tuesday on the blog. Each week I’ll take a look at home runs or – as the Great George Scott called them – taters. Usually, this will be home runs by a Timber Rattlers player.

Nick Ramierz 2012
Nick Ramirez hit three home runs in just over a month with the Timber Rattlers in 2011.  He looked like a sure thing for Wisconsin’s opening night lineup as the first baseman in 2012.  But, he had a late start to his 2012 season due to a broken hamate bone late in spring training of that year.  He healed and when he got the Midwest League in mid-May, it was time to start hitting home runs.

HR #1
Date: May 15
Opponent: Kane County Cougars
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Brooks Pounders
Inning: 5th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Kane County 9, Wisconsin 4
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Kane County 9, Wisconsin 5

HR #2
Date: May 28
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Austin Reed
Inning: 9th
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 2, Peoria 1
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 3, Peoria 1

HR #3
Date: June 4
Opponent: Beloit Snappers
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Tim Shubuya
Inning: 3rd
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Beloit 5, Wisconsin 1
Type: GRAND SLAM!
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 5, Beloit 5

HR #4
Date: June 12
Opponent: Clinton LumberKings
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Brett Shankin
Inning: 2nd
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Clinton 0, Wisconsin 0
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 1, Clinton 0

HR #5
Date: June 29
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Yao Lin Wang
Inning: 8th
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Peoria 7, Wisconsin 6
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 7, Peoria 7

HR #6
Date: July 3
Opponent: Quad Cities River Bandits
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Robert Stock
Inning: 6th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 2
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 5

HR #7
Date: July 4
Opponent: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: RJ Alvarez
Inning: 8th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 8, Cedar Rapids 7
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 10, Cedar Rapids 7

HR #8
Date: July 6
Opponent: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Logan Odom
Inning: 6th
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin 2
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 3, Cedar Rapids 2

HR #9
Date: July 15
Opponent: Fort Wayne TinCaps
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Dennis O’Grady
Inning: 7th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 6, Fort Wayne 2
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 7, Fort Wayne 3

HR #10
Date: July 18
Opponent: Great Lakes Loons
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Raydel Sanchez
Inning: 1st
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Great Lakes 0, Wisconsin 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Great Lakes 0

HR #11
Date: July 22
Opponent: Lansing Lugnuts
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Phil Brua
Inning: 7th
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Lansing 7, Wisconsin 2
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Lansing 7, Wisconsin 3

HR #12
Date: July 29
Opponent: Clinton LumberKings
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Jeremy Dobbs
Inning: 7th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 5, Clinton 4
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 8, Clinton 4

HR #13
Date: July 30
Opponent: Clinton LumberKings
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Seon Gi Kim
Inning: 3rd
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 3, Clinton 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 5, Clinton 0

HR #14
Date: August 5
Opponent: Beloit Snappers
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Mason Melotakis
Inning: 9th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Beloit 8, Wisconsin 1
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Beloit 8, Wisconsin 2

HR #15
Date: August 15
Opponent: Beloit Snappers
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Zach Jones
Inning: 9th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Beloit 13, Wisconsin 9
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Beloit 13, Wisconsin 10

HR #16
Date: August 31
Opponent: Beloit Snappers
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Jason Wheeler
Inning: 2nd
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Beloit 0, Wisconsin 0
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 1, Wisconsin 0

POST SEASON TATERS:

HR #1
Date: September 7
Opponent: Burlington Bees
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Drew Granier
Inning: 4th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 1, Burlington 0
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Burlington 0
Note: Followed a Ben McMahan home run for back-to-back homers

HR #2
Date: September 9
Opponent: Clinton LumberKings
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Seon Gi Kim
Inning: 1st
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Clinton 2, Wisconsin 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Clinton 2

HR #3
Date: September 13
Opponent: Fort Wayne TinCaps
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Colin Rea
Inning: 4th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Fort Wayne 1, Wisconsin 0
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 1, Fort Wayne 1

HR #4
Date: September 15
Opponent: Fort Wayne TinCaps
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Frank Garces
Inning: 4th
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Fort Wayne 3, Wisconsin 1
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Fort Wayne 3, Wisconsin 2

NOTE:
In the regular season, Ramirez hit 13 of his home runs on the road and just three at home.  In the playoffs, he hit three homers at home.

Tater Tuesday Archives:
Wladimir Balentien – 2004

George Scott – 1975

Matt Hagen – 2003

Khris Davis – 2010

Ron Garth – 2006-2008

2012 Postseason Homers

David Ortiz – 1996

Mike Wilson – 2005

One Homer Rattlers – 2009-2013

One Homer Rattlers – 2000-2008

Juan Silvestre – 1999

Justin Leone – 2000

Shawn McCorkle – 2000

John Castellano – 2001

Sean Peless – 2002

Jon Nelson – 2003

Adam Jones – 2004

Hank Aaron – 1975-1976

Marshall Hubbard (2005)

Joe Dunigan (2008)

Brock Kjeldgaard (2009)

Chris Dennis (2009-2011)

Mike Walker (2011)

Monday Grab Bag

First up, a field update:

The Sun is supposed to heat the tarp which will melt the frost on the infield...in theory.

The Sun is supposed to heat the tarp which will melt the frost on the infield…in theory.

Better than Friday, yes?

A few Rattler Alumni highlights from Brewers games last week in Arizona:


And a few stories on former Rattlers:

The son also rises: Davis set to star for Brewers

Arizona is a special place for Khris Davis.

The state is home to Davis’ high school baseball career, first professional baseball game and Spring Training for the Brewers, the team that took him in the seventh round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Davis returned to the Valley of the Sun for Spring Training as the favorite to win the starting left-field job for the Brewers in 2014, a thrilling prospect for Davis and his father, Rodney, who moved his family to Arizona in 1994 while working for the Mariners organization.

“We are thankful he’s a Milwaukee Brewer,” the elder Davis and current member of the MLB Scouting Bureau said. “For him to be drafted by the Brewers and to be able to enjoy Spring Training as a family, we are very grateful.”

The younger Davis played high school baseball at Deer Valley High School, about 11 miles from Milwaukee’s Spring Training facility.

“It’s exciting to work alongside the best players in baseball with family and friends [in attendance],” Khris said.

Rowland-Smith Excited for busy weekend in Australia

Ryan Rowland-Smith figures to be a busy man next week both on and off the field.

The Australian-born left-hander will pitch for Team Australia on Thursday against the Dodgers, and then Friday he will pitch for the D-backs against Team Australia. Those two exhibition games will take place just before the D-backs and Dodgers open the regular season March 22-23 in Sydney, Australia.

“Honestly, I told my wife I think it’s going to be overwhelming for me once it happens,” Rowland-Smith said.

Rowland-Smith, 31, was born in Sydney and raised two hours north in New Castle and has family and friends there.

“To see my friends and family and pitch in my backyard is special,” Rowland-Smith said.

Rowland-Smith wore the Team Australia jersey in the 2004 Summer Olympics and came home with a silver medal. He also played for Australia in the World Baseball Classic in ’06 and ’09.

“Anyone who gets to represent their country it’s a special thing,” Rowland-Smith said. “That’s more than just a team, that’s a country. We won a silver medal and that’s the most pride I’ve ever felt, and that always sticks in my mind every time I get to put that jersey on, because that was a special time for me.”

The D-backs signed Rowland-Smith to a Minor League contract last November that included a Spring Training invite.

17 Days.

20 Days until Opening Day

In a place you only dream of, where your soul is always free
Silver stages, golden curtains, filled my head plain as could be
As a rainbow grew around the sun, all my stars above, who died
Came from somewhere beyond the scene you see
These lovely people played just for me

Now if I let you see this place where stories all ring true
Will you let me past your face to see what’s really you
It’s not for me I ask this question as though I were a king
For you have to love, believe and feel
Before the burst of tambourines take you there

Green grass and high tides forever
Castles of stone, soul and glory
Lost faces say we adore you
As kings and queens bow and play for you

- The Outlaws, Green Grass & High Tides

P1070177

Before getting started, click here to see what the field looked like last week.

Here’s the pile of snow this week:

P1070166

The view from the top:

P1070168

I can see the warning track!!

P1070167

Left Field Berm:

P1070169

Behind home plate:

P1070170

From the Club seats:

P1070172

Right Field Berm:

P1070174

Camera platform in center:

P1070175

How many days?

P1070176

This is one way to clear the snow.

P1070171

This is another:

P1070178

Play us out, boys:

Jerseys of the Rattlers – Mother’s Day 2013

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have worn many jerseys since 1995. There have been throwbacks, pinks, camouflage, batting practice, sleeveless, the regular ones that were worn for most games, and a few that you may have forgotten. This feature is to take a look at those jerseys.

This week, the Mother’s Day Jerseys from 2013.  These had a lot more pink in them compared to the 2011 Mother’s Day.

IMG_4257

Plus, the scarves were a really nice accent.

IMG_4338

A close-up on the team-signed jersey that was up for auction.  Plus, you can see the pink bat in the background.

IMG_4234

Did I mention the pink sanitary socks yet?  Oh, the pink sanitary socks were part of the uniform, too.

IMG_4465

However, there were no pink undershirts.

IMG_4342

I don’t know about you, but Under Armour should donate some pink undershirts to teams that wear pink jerseys.  Maybe at least sell at a deep discount?

IMG_4553

Mike Garza prepares for a action.

IMG_4564

Here’s Orlando Arcia in action.

IMG_4586

and Arcia preparing to throw.

IMG_4608

Tyrone Taylor rounds third and heads for home.

IMG_4646

Mike Reed takes a lead.

IMG_4693

Adam Giacalone takes a moment at the plate.

IMG_4697

This dugout photo was the only one that I found with a number in it.  Matt Erickson’s #8 is in black.

IMG_5373

Fang still wears that scarf around the office 0ccasionally….and to tell the truth, so do I.

IMG_4451

Past Posts on Jerseys:

2006 Throwbacks

2007 Throwbacks

2008 Throwbacks

BP Tops 2004-2009

Pinstripes and BP Tops of 1995-1997

Sleeveless 1998-2002

1997 Throwbacks

2012 Military Appreciation

2010 Mother’s Day

2013 Outdoors Night

2008 Stars & Stripes

2009 Star Wars

2008 Star Wars

2010 & 2011 Star Wars

2012 Star Wars

2013 Star Wars

2009 Brewers Sunday

2010 Brewers Sunday

2011 Brewers Sunday

2012 Brewers Sunday

2013 Brewers Sunday

2011 Mother’s Day

Wild Card Wednesday – San Diego Padres

Let’s move on to the San Diego Padres for Wild Card Wednesday.  I’ll say this about them.  They had decent players and their uniforms got progressively worse throughout the run of my collection.

Oh, the uniforms weren’t bad at the start.  The interlocking SD on the cap and the mustard & brown colors weren’t bad at the start.  Just ask Randy Hundley.  That’s a smile, right?

Right

Dave Tomlin just threw a pitch.  He totally did!

But just look at the Mickey Lolich & Jay Johnstone cards.  That is a lot of yellow.  Dave Cash with the veteran move of wearing his warm up jacket to cover his jersey.  Oscar Gamble…The world would be a better place if everyone could get their hair styled like Oscar Gamble at least one time in their life.  Gene Tenace….and…..WHAMMY!

Aka: Guys who had more success elsewhere.

Aka: Guys who had more success elsewhere.

Right around here is where those jerseys took a turn for the awful.  You know how most teams have the nickname on the front of their home jersey and their home city on front of their road jersey.  Look at the Gene Richards 1981 FLEER card.  The one that says San Diego and Padres on the front.  A bit excessive if you ask me.  Also, Four Tim Flannery cards?  Come on!

Gene Richard looks thrilled to be wearing that brown monstrosity.

Gene Richard looks thrilled to be photographed in those last two.

Here are some Padres over a couple of different seasons.   Positioned like they are, Randy Jones and Steve Mura look like they are sharing a joke about those 1981 FLEER cards.  Probably about how no one names their kid “Tucker” anymore.

Terry Kennedy was the Derek Zoolander of baseball cards.  This pose was his Blue Steel.  He’s been working on Magnum, but it’s not ready yet.

Padres legend!

Padres legend!

Former Brewers Kurt Bevacqua and Rollie Fingers.  Bevacqua gave Padres fans their one World Series highlight with a home run against the Tigers in 1984.  Rollie Fingers spent four seasons with the Padres and had 108 saves (as opposed to four seasons and 97 saves with the Brewers.  But, he just doesn’t look right in that San Diego uniform.

Former Brewers!

Former Brewers!

Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield were teammates from 1978-1980 – and Fingers was there from 1977-1980.  Three future Hall of Fame Players on the same roster and….the Padres finished above .500 one time and their best finish was 4th place in the NL West.

FLEER printed a Dave Winfield Padres card for 1981 even though he signed with the Yankees as a free agent on December 15, 1980.  TOPPS printed an Ozzie Smith Padres card for 1982 even though he had been traded to the Cardinals on December 10, 1981.

How did the Padres not win more games?

How did the Padres not win more games?

Bruce Bochy became the Padres’ manager in 1995, took the team to the World Series in 1998, and stayed there through back-to-back NL West Championships in 2005 & 2006.  Bochy is now the manager of the San Francisco Giants and has won a pair of World Championships with them.

From John McNamara to Alvin Dark in two years.

From John McNamara to Alvin Dark in two years.

Remember this Tito Fuentes card?  The 1978 Detroit Tigers one that was featured in Wild Card Wednesday a few weeks ago?  Here is his 1976 card from the Padres.  The headband was a thing with him…apparently.

His name is TITO!

His name is TITO!

Past Wild Card Wednesdays:

New York Mets

Seattle Mariners

Toronto Blue Jays

Montreal Expos

Pittsburgh Pirates

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago White Sox

Baltimore Orioles

Kansas City Royals

Philadelphia Phillies

Atlanta Braves

Oakland A’s

Minnesota Twins

Cleveland Indians

Los Angeles Dodgers

Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers

California Angels

Houston Astros

Texas Rangers

Tater Tuesday – Mike Walker (2011)

Welcome to Tater Tuesday on the blog. Each week I’ll take a look at home runs or – as the Great George Scott called them – taters. Usually, this will be home runs by a Timber Rattlers player.

This week:  Mike Walker (#33), Timber Rattler.  Walker led the Timber Rattlers in home runs in 2011 with 15.

Walker's Walkoff HR against the Chiefs.

Walker’s Walkoff HR against the Chiefs.

I will never NOT use that picture when writing about Mike Walker.  He had some pretty big homers that season.  Let’s take a look.

HR #1
Date: April 12
Opponent: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: AJ Schugel
Inning: 8th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 4
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 7, Cedar Rapids 5

HR #2
Date: April 17 (Game one of doubleheader)
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Jeff Anitqua
Inning: 5th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 3, Peoria 2
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 6, Peoria 2

HR #3
Date: April 17 (Game two of doubleheader)
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Eduardo Figueroa
Inning: 7th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Peoria 1, Wisconsin 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Peoria 1
Note: Walkoff home run!

HR #4
Date: April 27 (Game one of doubleheader)
Opponent: Quad Cities River Bandits
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Zach Russell
Inning: 1st
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 0, Quad Cities 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Quad Cities 0

HR #5
Date: May 2
Opponent: Quad Cities River Bandits
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Zach Russell
Inning: 1st
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 0, Quad Cities 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Quad Cities 0

HR #6
Date: May 9
Opponent: Quad Cities River Bandits
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Trevor Rosenthal
Inning: 3rd
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Quad Cities 1, Wisconsin 1
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 4, Quad Cities 1

HR #7
Date: May 21 (Game two of doubleheader)
Opponent: Burlington Bees
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Mike Hart
Inning: 5th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Burlington 8, Wisconsin 3
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Burlington 8, Wisconsin 4

HR #8
Date: May 23
Opponent: Burlington Bees
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Tyler Vail
Inning: 6th
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Burlington 3, Wisconsin 2
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 4, Burlington 3

HR #9
Date: May 24
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Yohan Gonzalez
Inning: 4th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 7, Peoria 0
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 10, Peoria 0

HR #10
Date: June 2
Opponent: Bowling Green Hot Rods
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Victor Mateo
Inning: 3rd
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 1, Bowling Green 0
Type: Solo
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Bowling Green 0

HR #11
Date: June 14
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Larry Suarez
Inning: 8th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 8, Peoria 5
Type: Grand Slam!
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 12, Peoria 5

HR #12
Date: June 27
Opponent: Peoria Chiefs
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Alvaro Sosa
Inning: 8th
Outs: 0
Score Before Homer: Peoria 15, Wisconsin 4
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Peoria 15, Wisconsin 7

HR #13
Date: July 1
Opponent: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: PJ Jang
Inning: 2nd
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 2, Cedar Rapids 1
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 4, Cedar Rapids 1

HR #14
Date: July 6
Opponent: Kane County Cougars
Home or Away: Home
Opposing Pitcher: Chas Byrne
Inning: 9th
Outs: 2
Score Before Homer: Kane County 10, Wisconsin 4
Type: Three-run
Score After Homer: Kane County 10, Wisconsin 7

HR #15
Date: July 20
Opponent: Lansing Lugnuts
Home or Away: Away
Opposing Pitcher: Sean Nolin
Inning: 1st
Outs: 1
Score Before Homer: Wisconsin 0, Lansing 0
Type: Two-run
Score After Homer: Wisconsin 2, Lansing 0

NOTES:
Walker hit only two solo home runs out of his fifteen.

Also, Walker was hit by a pitch on July 30.  He played on July 31 and August 1, but went on the disabled list on August 2.  He stuck with the team and did get back into the lineup in the last game of the season, September 5 at Beloit.

Tater Tuesday Archives:
Wladimir Balentien – 2004

George Scott – 1975

Matt Hagen – 2003

Khris Davis – 2010

Ron Garth – 2006-2008

2012 Postseason Homers

David Ortiz – 1996

Mike Wilson – 2005

One Homer Rattlers – 2009-2013

One Homer Rattlers – 2000-2008

Juan Silvestre – 1999

Justin Leone – 2000

Shawn McCorkle – 2000

John Castellano – 2001

Sean Peless – 2002

Jon Nelson – 2003

Adam Jones – 2004

Hank Aaron – 1975-1976

Marshall Hubbard (2005)

Joe Dunigan (2008)

Brock Kjeldgaard (2009)

Chris Dennis (2009-2011)

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