Results tagged ‘ MWL News ’

From Hawks to Cubs – September 26, 2014

The South Bend Silver Hawks are now the South Bend…Cubs.

Creativity and a local connection may have taken a hit, but there’s something to be said for the brand.

South Bend Cubs. Say it again: South Bend Cubs.

Kind of a nice ring to it, right? Give it awhile, it’ll catch on.

It’s all Part of the Plan.

Along with unveiling the new name and logo of the South Bend Cubs, Epstein and Jason McLeod, the team’s vice president for player development and amateur scouting, cleared up several questions the media – and the people of South Bend – had regarding the four-year agreement.

Yes, Epstein is open to bringing the Major League club to South Bend for an exhibition sometime – possibly just before the season begins – if the schedule works out.

Yes, sending Major League players to South Bend on rehab assignments is a possibility, though Triple-A Iowa is usually a more desirable destination because the competition is better. Kane County had just one Major Leaguer visit this past season.

Bitter Editorial Comment: And one in the playoffs, too.

Missed the last few days of posts due to…well, stuff.

Alumni Birthdays for September 24:
Ivan Blanco (’05) – 31
Denny Almonte (’08) – 26

Alumni Birthdays for September 25:
Joel Pineiro (’98) – 36
Pat Barnes (’01, ’02) – 35
Korey Feiner (’08) – 33

Alumni Birthdays for September 26:
Keith Stewart (’97) – 41
Kuo Hui Lo (’06, ’07) – 29
James McOwen (’07) – 29

Alumni MLB Debut Anniversary:
Anthony Varvaro (’07) made his MLB debut on September 24, 2010 for the Seattle Mariners in a road game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Varvaro entered in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Mariners down 5-3. Varvaro struck out the first two batters he faced – Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce – before walking BJ Upton. Varvaro ended the inning when he got Jason Bartlett to ground into an inning ending force play.

Closing out our look at Triple-A Alumni, here are the hitters in the PCL who played with the Rattlers earlier in their career.

Nashville Sounds

Player (Last Year w/ Rattlers) (PCL Team/MLB Organization)
Leury Bonilla (’08) (Tacoma/Mariners):
90 games, .234/.291/.320, 2HR, 27RBI

Juan Diaz (’08) (New Orleans/Marlins):
131 games, .278/.310/.418, 12HR, 63RBI

Juan Diaz in 2008.

Juan Diaz in 2008.

Erik Komatsu (’09) (Salt Lake/Angels):
7 games, .067/.176/.133, 0HR, RBI

Alex Liddi (’08) (Albuquerque/Dodgers):
44 games, .219/.313/.397, 6HR, 16RBI

Adam Moore (’06) (El Paso/Padres):
91 games, .298/.360/.484, 12HR, 34RBI

Carlos Peguero (’07) (Omaha/Royals):
104 games, .266/.349/.563, 30HR, 76RBI

photo by Wm. Glasheen

Michael Saunders (’06) (Tacoma/Mariners):
15 games, .327/.479/.473, 1HR, 9RBI

RJ Seidel (’09) (Colorado Springs/Rockies):
1-for-2, 0HR, 0RBI

Carlos Triunfel (’07) (Albuquerque/Dodgers):
89 games, .223/.256/.330, 4HR, 40 RBI


The Neverending Story Continues again


Snappers ponder downtown site

Beloit Snappers officials were among those listening intently
Thursday as author and University of Notre Dame Professor Philip Bess
spoke on the value of urban baseball stadiums during a City Center

Bess, author of “City Baseball Magic” and a key advisor
in the “Save Fenway Park” movement a few years ago, said the merits of
an urban stadium — whether in a Major League setting in Boston or
Chicago or a minor-league one in Beloit — can’t be overlooked.

His message obviously struck a chord.

“He was invited here because he says if you are interested in a
city center or urban ballpark, there are issues or principles you need
to consider,” said Jeff Adams, Professor of Economics at Beloit College
and member of Beloit 2020. “He gave us a lot of things to think about
in the context of what makes for a great city. I loved his lecture.”

seminar by Bess was particularly relevant since Snappers Chairman of
the Board Dennis Conerton revealed the Snappers are now considering a
downtown site for the new stadium they hope to build to replace outdated
Pohlman Field.

Conerton said the site is available on a 20-acre tract of land on the Ironworks campus alongside the Rock River.

went from having no site and no funding to a site in the Gateway
without funding to two sites without funding,” Conerton said. “At least
we have options to evaluate and people are talking.”

I really do want this to be done and in a positive manner for the Snappers.

Conerton said the possibility of a downtown ballpark fosters a number of new questions, not the least of which is funding.

is an element of the process we’re going through,” he said. “Is it
better funding potential at this site, the Gateway site, or does it make
any difference? We also have to look at income potential, sponsorship,
naming rights, all kinds of things.

“We’re on a short time frame. We’ve brought in a consultant to analyze both sites and we’ll get an objective opinion.”

Eight Imperatives
of a Downtown Ballpark from Mr. Bess:

1. Think always of ballpark design in the context of urban design.

2. Think always in terms of mixed-use neighborhood rather than entertainment zone or cultural district.

3. Let site as much as program drive the ballpark design — not exclusively, but more.

4. Treat the ballpark as a civic building.

5. Make cars adapt to the culture and physical form of the neightborhood instead of the neighborhood adapting to the cars.

6. Maximize the use of pre-existing on- and off-street parking, and distrubute rather than concentrate any new required parking.

7. Create development opportunities for a variety of activities in the vicinity of the ballpark, including housing and shopping.

Keep the ballpark footprint smaller and more neighborhood-friendly by
locating non-ballpark specific program functions in buildings located
adjacent to rather than within the ballpark. For example, team offices.

It is mentioned that Professor Bess has worked on Fenway Park preservation.  He also worked on designing a downtown site to replace Milwaukee County Stadium, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, and Old Comiskey Park in Chicago.

I will leave the final word to Jeff Vohs, the GM of the Snappers, who brings up a couple of good points regarding a downtown stadium:

“Our surveys have shown that a large percent of our attendance is
from outside Beloit,” he said. “So is our sponsorship. If the park is
downtown, how does that impact our long-term viability? Would people
drive into Beloit to see a game? How would traffic be handled on a
fireworks night downtown? How about parking? Those are all things we
need to consider.”

Award for the league president

Midwest League President George Spelius has been awarded the Warren Giles, um, award.

The Giles Award annually honors outstanding service as a league president. Spelius, one of the original investors in the Beloit (Brewers) Snappers, has led the Midwest League for 24 of its 64 seasons.

“I felt very honored in 1997 when I received this award for the first time and I am humbled to receive it again,” Spelius said. “I accept the Giles Award on behalf of the many fine owners and general managers in my league, who have provided me with great support over my 24 years as president. This award is as much for them as it is for me.”

In 2010, Spelius welcomed two new teams to the league, the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Lake County Captains. The Hot Rods and Captains transferred their membership from the South Atlantic League to address concerns over travel and to provide better geographical alignments for the two Class A leagues.

Spelius’ 16 teams attracted 4,184,483 fans this season in setting a regular season attendance record for the fourth consecutive year. The league would have eclipsed its 2009 figure, even without the additions of Bowling Green and Lake County.

The award will be presented at the Winter Meetings in Orlando this December.

News round up of the last few weeks


There is a new Midwest League ChampionThe Lake County Captains beat the Clinton LumberKings in Game Five and captured the MWL Pennant in their first season in the league.  Here is the final out of the Midwest League season.

Depending on how you look at it, that may have been Game Six.  Why? Because Game Two in Clinton went 18 innings.

The Kansas City Royals are now the parent club of the Kane County Cougars.

The Oakland Athletics are now the parent club of the Burlington Bees.

It is noted that this is not the first time Burlington has been affiliated with the Athletics.

The A’s were the Bees’ affiliate from 1963-74. During that time,
Burlington won its first league championship in 1965 and saw a number of
future big leaguers play at Community Field, players that became part
of the nucleus of the A’s three World Series titles from 1972-74.
Included in the list of future major-leaguers Vida Blue, Sal Bando, Rene
Lachemann, Chet Lemon and Claudell Washington.

See. History.

MWL Executive of the Year? Clinton’s Ted Tornow.

Brewers Farm System News:

Helena Brewers are the Pioneer League championsTeam chemistry was important.

The Brewers are staying affiliated with Huntsville in the Southern League and with Nashville in the PCL.

Alumni News:

Jeremy Jeffress (’10) picked up his first MLB win and Lorenzo Cain (’09) hit his first MLB home run.

Anthony Varvaro (’07) and Greg Halman (’07) have made their MLB debuts with the Seattle Mariners.

Shin-soo Choo (’02) has been on a roll.

The Tacoma Rainiers won the PCL Championship.  Mike Wilson (’05) was the series MVP.  Ryan Feierabend (’04) had a lot to do with it, too.  But, the Rainiers lost to Columbus in the Triple-A Title game.

Tacoma got through the first round of the PCL playoffs thanks to a really, really weird play.

one out and Mike Wilson on first base, Jose Yepez hit a grounder that
Sacramento shortstop Eric Sogard dived for and snagged, flipping to
second baseman Corey Wimberly, who then threw to Everidge at first.

But the umpire had called Wilson safe at second, something Everidge failed to notice.

it was an inning-ending double play, Everidge flipped the ball into the
crowd. By rule, a ball that goes out of play allows a runner to move up
two bases.

In this case, Wilson trotted home with what turned out to be the game-winning run.

I saw Tommy throw the ball in the stands, the shortstop said, ‘Well, I
guess that’s it, you might as well go to home plate,’ ” Wilson said.
“That’s when I found out what actually happened. That’s a first.”

Yep. Weird.

The Arizona Fall League starts on Tuesday, October 12.  The Brewers are sending their players to the Surprise Rafters.  Former Rattlers Pitching coach Brad Holman (’02-’05) will be working with Dan Merklinger (’09), Jeremy Jeffress (’10), and Mike Fiers (’09).  Brett Lawrie (’09) is also slated to play for the Rafters.

Brad Holman spent the summer with the Hickory Crawdads and that Texas Rangers affiliate lost to Lakewood in the Northern Division Championship Series in the South Atlantic League.

Brad also performed his song for the Crawdads fans…

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