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Mehring in Arizona Interview – Chuckie Caufield (March 28, 2016)

The main article on Monday’s 10-2 win over the Lake County Captains is available at the Timber Rattlers website.

Here is the full interview from today’s postgame with Chuckie Caufield from the field staff.  The wind makes a special appearance, too.

And we did that interview OUT of the wind.  Honest.

The main article is about the Timber Rattlers offense on Monday and why not.  According to that interview, the team is averaging seven or eight runs per outing this Spring.  They forced the Captains to roll* a pair of innings, including the first inning.

I wanted to put a few notes on the blog about the pitching, especially that of David Burkhalter.  You can watch his third inning starting at about the 10:00 mark of this Periscope video.

Burkhalter, who showed improvement from the first half to the second half of the 2015 season with the Timber Rattlers, mixed his stuff well on Monday.  He allowed an unearned run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.  I am pretty sure that he will return to the Timber Rattlers at the start of 2016.

The rest of the pitchers on Monday were:

  • Freddy Peralta (2IP, 2H, R, BB, 4K!)
  • Quintin Torres-Costa (IP, H, 0R, K, Pickoff)
  • Scott Grist (2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K)

Peralta came over to the Brewers from Seattle in the Adam Lind trade in December, 2015.  In the Arizona League last year, Peralta struck out 67 and walked eight in 57 innings.  He is 6-0 and only 168 pounds.  Additionally, he will not turn 20 until June.

Torres-Costa was a 35th round pick of the Brewers in the 2015 draft.  He pitched for the University of Hawaii before signing with the Brewers.  He split time between Maryvale and Helena last season and walked eight while striking out 43 in 32 innings.

Grist was Milwaukee’s 38th round pick in 2015 out of Texas State.  He walked four and struck out 30 in 31-1/3 innings pitched for Maryvale.

All four pitchers showed a little something during their time on the hill on Monday.

Here is the full starting lineup from Twitter:

A few photos from today:

Monte Harrison approaches the plate after a 3-run home run on Monday.

Monte Harrison approaches the plate after a 3-run home run on Monday.


David Burkhalter warms up before the fourth inning on Monday

David Burkhalter warms up before the fourth inning on Monday


A look at the Cleveland minor league field at Goodyear.

A look at the Cleveland minor league field at Goodyear.

Goodyear 2 3282016

This link is to the periscope of most of the third inning of Monday’s Game.

Apologies for the sideways angle on the video of Harrison’s homer on this tweet. I never said that I was a camera operator. I will remember this for next time…Landscape for Photos….Portrait for Video:


The team will be back at Goodyear again on Tuesday, but they will be playing the Dayton Dragons on the Cincinnati side of the complex.

*-Roll means the pitcher was out of pitches in the inning and the frame ended before three outs were recorded in the inning.  Pitching changes during an inning are very rare in the Spring on the minor league side.

Mehring In Arizona Interview – Matt Erickson (March 27, 2016)

I’m back in Arizona and the recap of Sunday’s day at camp is on the Timber Rattlers website.

Over here on the blog, I wanted to share the full interview with Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson.  We talk about Sthervin Matos, Trent Clark, Trey Stokes, Isan Diaz, “Inventory”, and much much more.

Here is a link to almost 11 minutes of footage via the Timber Rattlers Periscope App.   The video includes a single and a steal by Clark and an RBI single by Stoke.  It would have been the whole inning, but my phone overheated on its first day in the desert sun.  Also, no audio because…. ??? ….  I’m working on it.  The plan is to use Periscope during the season for Batting Practice and other things on the road to give fans a taste of life in the Midwest League.


Trent Clark at bat on Sunday afternoon.

Trent Clark at bat on Sunday afternoon.


Jonathan Oquendo at bat on Sunday afternoon.

Jonathan Oquendo at bat on Sunday afternoon.

Flashback Friday Supplemental: March 18, 2016

The main Flashback is over on the main website.  It is the game story about the Foxes pennant-clinching victory in Game Three of the 1967 Midwest League Championship Series.  The Supplemental Flashback is the notes column on that game from Tim Petermann.  But, FIRST!…some photos!

Game 3 1967 MWL Championship Series Photo 1 POST-CRESCENT PHOTO

A Happy Band of Appleton Foxes whoop it up after the team nipped the Wisconsin Rapids Twins, 3-2, for Appleton’s second consecutive Midwest League title Saturday night. At the left, catcher Chuck Brinkman hugs winning pitcher Durant Cooper after the last out, while Carl Champion (far left), Pedro Rivera, George Hunter, and Tom Rowe (street clothes) offer congratulations.

Game 3 1967 MWL Championship Series Photo 2 POST-CRESCENT

Bob Mewes (far left) bathes manager Alex Cosmidis in champagne while Willie Hooker (with bottle) contemplates joining in the fun. Shaking hands with Cosmidis is Durant Cooper. Roy Radmaker and Karl Simon light up victory cigarettes while Orville Hollrah (over Hooker’s shoulder) and Al Fitzmorris (to right of Hooker) look on.

‘It Was a Real Team Effort,’ Says Cosmidis
‘2 Years, It’s Skill,’ Quips Hooker

“I don’t know what to say,” a happy but not overexuberant Alex Cosmidis said amidst the joyous shouts of his Appleton Foxes in the locker room following their 3-2 comeback conquest of Wisconsin Rapids for their League pennant.

“It was a real team effort,” the congenial skipper finally managed to say, “Cooper was great in relief.  He was really blowing them.”  After a slight pause he quipped, “I got to go with those Carolina boys.”  (Both Cooper and Cosmidis are from North Carolina.)  He also noted “Radmaker hit the ball hard.”

Cooper admitted to it being his best game ever saying that he felt real good.  He added that he was nervous once and that was when Wisconsin Rapids cleanup hitter and ML batting champion Chuck Manuel came up.

Uses New Bat

Roy Radmaker, who came up with hits his last two times up Friday night and had two straight hits Saturday night noted that he broke out a new bat just Friday.  He and Cosmidis both felt that his last hard shot at Twins’ shortstop Emil Gove, which was ruled an error, should have been a hit, giving him five in a row.

Player-coach “Deacon” Jones was flowing with praise for Jose Ortiz.  “I couldn’t say enough about Jose,” said the 13-year veteran who has now played on 12 championship teams.  “He was directing traffic out there in the outfield, telling me where to play.  And that catch (Jose’s grab of Manuel’s smash at the fence with a man on second in the sixth) was fantastic.  I’m so happy they won, the kids won,” the beaming veteran stated.  “They beat a good club.  It was the crowning touch…my second and maybe final year in Appleton.”

Karl Simon, who was brushing his teeth when this writer finally cornered him in the locker room mumbled that the 400-foot-plus home run he hit was a fast ball a little outside.

Wily Willie Hooker, one of four veterans (Hooker, Jones, George Hunter, and Al Fitzmorris) that have been on both Foxes playoff championship teams was the man of the hour when he shouted aloud during the champagne showers, “One year, it’s luck; two years, it’s skill.”

Boxscore from Game Three of the 1967 MWL Championship Series

Game 3 MWL Championship Series Boxscore

A look at the first four Timber Rattlers Bobbleheads of 2016

While I was recording the podcast with Kyle Lobner yesterday, the rest of the front office was taking delivery – in the driving rain – of the first four bobbleheads the Timber Rattlers will be giving away during the 2016 season.

The hard-working ticket department pulled out one of each bobblehead to allow me to take photos and share them with you here on the blog.  As always, click on the image for a full-size look.  Also, click on the links in red above each photo to order tickets to the games.

Group shot:

2016 Bobbleheads 1

Reminder of the dates and the sponsors:

2016 Bobbleheads 2

Here is the All-Fan Opening Day Bobblehead of Fang & Whiffer that will be given away  on April 9:

2016 Fang and Whiffer April 9

This is the Matt Erickson Bobblehead for April 17.  That is him in his Appleton West jersey.

2016 Matt Erickson April 17

Jason Rogers may have been traded away from the organization, but he is #TRatNation4Life.  His bobblehead is scheduled for April 30:

2016 Jason Rogers April 30

Fang & Hank is scheduled for May 15:

2016 Hank and Fang May 15

Last photo is a reminder to #VoteFang or #VoteWhiffer with a schedule of the remaining bobblehead giveaways during the 2016 season.  There is still time to purchase a bobblehead package that will guarantee your souvenir on these dates!

2016 Bobblehead Schedule

Rattler Radio Podcast – March 16, 2015

Kyle Lobner & I got together to record the final podcast of this offseason.

The main topic this week is his latest Frosty Microbrew on the main website, which is about Trey Supak, David Denson, & the changes in the Brewers organization.

We also discussed the state of the field after the renovation. Despite all the rain, there is no standing water on the grass.  Here’s a picture:

Looking Green....Looking Good.

Looking Green….Looking Good.

Here’s the podcast:

Flashback Friday Supplemental – March 11, 2016

The main Flashback is the game story by John L. Paustian about Game Two of the 1967 Midwest League Championship Series.  It may be found on the main Timber Rattlers site.  The supplemental Flashback is a notes column on the game by Tim Petermann.

Game 2 MWL Championship Series

(Post-Crescent Image)

Cosmidis Proud of Foxes’ Comeback
Twins’ Winning Streak Ends at 7

“I was proud of the way they came back,” Appleton manager Alex Cosmidis stated in the locker room following his Foxes’ 8-5 victory over Wisconsin Rapids in the second game of the Midwest League playoffs.

With their backs to the wall, having lost the first game of the best-of-3 series, the Foxes halted the momentum of a 7-game Wisconsin Rapids win streak to even the series at one game apiece.  The Twins have now lost only three of their last 15 games, but all three defeats have been administered by the Foxes.

Cosmidis said that he felt before the game “we would win”.

The mild-mannered first-year skipper could not single out any individual stars for the Foxes, noting that everyone contributed something.  Cosmidis did state that Jose Ortiz is the key to the offense and has been all year.  “When he gets on base we win,” Cosmidis related.  The Puerto Rican speedster was on base all five times he was up.

Wisconsin Rapids pitchers also showed great respect for the Foxes’ speed merchant, who established a club record with 64 stolen bases, as over a dozen throws were directed to first to keep him close to the bag.  He was finally picked off once.

After making the statement, “We need more hitting out of our Np. 3, 4, and 5 men,” following Thursday’s loss, Cosmidis was pleased to point out that “Deacon” Jones, George Hunter, and Roy Radmaker (the No. 3, 4, and 5 men) had six hits between them to account for half of the Foxes total.

Cosmidis also praised the veteran Willie Hooker for his “superb job” of relief, one of his longest relief stints of the year.

Hooker was a littler perturbed with himself after the game for walking three Twins in the final frame but stated that he was not the least bit tired.  When queried about what appeared to be a control problem, Willie said he was “choking his curve ball.”

Hooker administered a little teasing to teammate Pedro Rivera in the locker room after the game because Pedro looked “a little tired.” Rivera replaced Hooker in the ninth with two out and threw one ball, a screwball, which was hit back to him and he threw the runner out to end the game.

‘Hardest Part’

In explaining his decision to take Hooker out, Cosmidis said that this is the hardest part of managing because he has one guess while everyone in the stands can second guess him.  He added that in tonight’s game the decision will be even harder with almost the entire Appleton staff available, yet he doesn’t want to pull a pitcher before he gets in the groove.

Cosmidis not only directed praise to his own team but he also directed some to the Twins.  He credited them with not giving up and being in the game right up until the end.

Player-coach “Deacon” Jones showed the same respect for the Twins.  He stated that Ray Bellino has done a good job with the Twins and they have always had good hitting.  He added that they are all a bunch of hustlers.

Both also agreed on another thing – that the Foxes had mental lapses in the field and gave the Twins a couple of runs.

Jones might have mixed feelings about his eighth inning hit off Twins’ veteran Ollie Brantley.  Brantley and Jones were roommates several years back in triple A ball.

Game Two Boxscore:

MWL Championship Series Game 2 Boxscore 9 1 67

It won’t just be tickets on sale this Saturday

Just a friendly reminder that single game tickets for the 2016 Timber Rattlers season will be on sale this Saturday starting at 10:00am.

You will be able to order tickets online or over the phone at (920) 733-4152 or (800) WI-TIMBER.

If you have already ordered ticket packages for the 2016 season, you can come out to the stadium and get them.

But, you probably know this already.  This post is to tell you something that you don’t know until you read it here.

These will be for sale on Saturday from 10:00am to 3:00pm on a first come, first serve basis.

On Sale 4

Trust me…there will be more than one of each available.

The Timber Rattlers are replacing the lockers in the home clubhouse and several of the old lockers will be available to fans for $50 each:

On Sale 3

The team is also replacing some of their picnic tables and several of the old picnic tables will be available to fans for $20 each:

On Sale 2

See you Saturday!

Rattler Radio Podcast – March 8, 2016

Spring is almost here!  Here’s today’s field photo, which shows a lot less snow than yesterday.

Field Photo 1 3 8 16
Spring Training is here!  In the latest edition of the Rattler Radio Podcast, Kyle Lobner and I talk early results for the Brewers and how some former Timber Rattlers are contributing to the Cactus Crew in Maryvale.

Mehring Monday in Pictures: Almost Snow Free

Good Monday!  And it is a good Monday! Why?

It is currently 47° and the high temperatures are scheduled to be in the 50s all week long.  The snow that fell last week is nearly gone.

Let’s take a look:
Field Photo 1 3 7 16

Field Photo 2 3 7 16
Field Photo 3 3 7 16

Field Photo 4 3 7 16

Field Photo 5 3 7 16

Field Photo 6 3 7 16

The forecast is calling for rain for the next few days, but that will be just fine as it will help get rid of the snow in the stands and everywhere else.   Individual tickets go on sale March 12 at 10am and the April 9 – the home opener for the Timber Rattlers – is in sight!!

Opening Day Get Here soon!

Flashback Friday Supplemental – March 4, 2016

The main Flashback is over on the main Timber Rattlers web page.  It is about the Game One loss by the Foxes at Wisconsin Rapids in the 1967 Midwest League Championship Series.

The supplemental Flashback is a quick notes column from Tim Petermann that appeared in the September 1, 1967 edition of The Post-Crescent.

Cosmidis Keeps His Confidence Despite Opening-Game Defeat

“We got the men on base, we just didn’t hit with them on,” a disappointed but not entirely disgusted Alex Cosmidid stated Thursday night after the Appleton Foxes had dropped the first game of the Midwest League Playoffs to Wisconsin Rapids.

“We need more hitting out of our No, 3, 4, and 5 men,” said the skipper.  We got it from our No. 2 and 7 men.”  (Usually heavy-hitters “Deacon” Jones and George Hunter were hitless for the night while leaving eight men on base between them while Stu Singleton and Chuck Brinkman had five of Appleton’s eight hits.)

Cosmidis further commented, “The boys might have been trying a little too hard.  Tomorrow night might be different.”

Other than the fact that the Foxes might have had a few mental lapses in their base-running, Cosmidis admitted the team played a good game.  He noted especially that it was the Foxes’ second-best pitched game in Wisconsin Rapids (Steve Kokor limited the Twins to six hits and three runs in Witter Field in July) and was a good pitched game all around.

Remains Confident

Despite the setback, Cosmidis remained that the Foxes will win the playoffs.  He admitted the Twins had the momentum coming into the game and still have it going for them.  (Wisconsin Rapids has now won its last seven games in a row and 12 of their last 14, losing only to Appleton).  He added that the Foxes have got to snap out of their hitting slump.

Cosmidis lauded the performances of 18-year-old Stu Singleton and Chuck Brinkman.  Brinkman also sparked defensively in addition to his hitting as he picked off a runner at first and threw out another stealing.

Al Fitzmorris, who was victim of the two Wisconsin Rapids home runs, said afterwards that both pitches were sliders, the one to Robinson was inside and the one to Nordberg got away with him.

Although getting off to a shaky start (he threw 11 balls and 14 strikes in the first inning to account for over one quarter of the pitches he threw in seven innings).  Fitzmorris admitted it was one of his better performances in his last several outings and he felt pretty good.

George Hunter, the Foxes usually productive clean-up hitter admitted that he had been trying to “hit one out” and probably accounted for his hitless night.  He had two towering fly balls that he felt might have gone out had he not hit them so high.

Game One Boxscore

Game 1 MWL Championship Series BOXSCORE


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