M's Stay in Tacoma

In a move that surprised almost no one, the Mariners signed on to remain as the parent club of the Tacoma Rainiers, their Triple-A affiliate since 1995.

The new two-year extension will run through the 2008 season, equaling the longest affliation tenure in Tacoma’s Pacific Coast League history (Oakland Athletics, 1981-1994).

”The Seattle Mariners relish the opportunity to extend their player development agreement with our neighbors, the Tacoma Rainiers. Tacoma continues to provide the an excellent venue to showcase the up and coming prospects in our organization to Seattle Mariners fans in the Pacific Northwest,” said Frank Mattox, Seattle Mariners Director of Player Development.

So, the Mariner affiliates for 2007 and 2008 are:

Peoria (AZ) Mariners (Rookie -- Arizona League)
Everett AquaSox (Short Season-A -- Northwest League)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low-A -- Midwest League)
High Desert Mavericks (High-A -- California League)
West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (Double-A -- Southern Leauge)
Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A -- Pacific Coast League)

There will be updates to the links on the left.

Notes from the Mariner Home Page

There are a couple of stories about Rattler alums on the Mariner home page.

First, an update on Mark Lowe (WI '05):

Right-handed pitcher Mark Lowe will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, the Mariners announced [Friday].

Lowe, who was placed on the disabled list on August 20, had an MRI exam on Wednesday.

Lowe, 23, should be ready to participate in Spring Training with the Mariners in February.

Next, a story about Greg Dobbs (WI '02) and his role as the top pinch hitter for the M's this season.

"In this role, you're either a hero or a goat, and it's easy to feel that way," Seattle's Greg Dobbs said. "If you get a hit, you feel great. If you don't, you feel terrible. It can get to you a little bit."

Dobbs has been Seattle's top pinch-hitter this season, even though he spent most of the season with Triple-A Tacoma. He's hitting .357 with five hits in 14 at-bats -- including his current streak of four consecutive pinch-hits.

No other player on the Mariners active roster has more than two pinch-hits.

Finally, former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez is a Heart and Hustle nominee

Created in 2005, the Heart and Hustle Award recognizes current players who demonstrate a passion for the game and who best embody its values, spirit and traditions. The award will be presented in November.

David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals was the inaugural winner in 2005.
Statistics aside, Ibanez would much rather be known for being a good teammate than simply a good run producer.

"That' a huge deal to me," he said. "I enjoy the camaraderie here, finding out what might help a guy. Sometimes, guys just need an ear ... or an earful."

Officially in the (High) Desert

SBsun.com reports this morning:

Mariners head to High Desert

The Mavericks signed with the Mariners, after the Royals left Adelanto after two seasons and got a high Single-A affiliate in the Carolina League.

"We're ecstatic," new Mavericks Vice President/General Manager Derrel Ebert said. "They're in the AL West, and they're a proven winner at this level."

The 66ers won the 2006 Cal League championship and two in the last four years as a Mariners affiliate.

"To be completely honest, we had our eyes set on Seattle," Ebert said. "The Royals made it clear they simply wanted to be back in the Carolina League."

There wasn't anything on the Maverick web site or at the Victorville Daily Press. If there is, I'll get a link and some excerpts.

Baseball History (September 30)

The complete entry for September 30 at BaseballLibrary.com is HERE.

There are a few dates of interest. The final Twins game at Metropolitan Stadium in 1981 and the final Sentators game ever -- notable for the Senator fans swarming the field with two out in the top of the ninth inning causing Washington to forfeit to the Yankees in 1971.

But, today's Highlighted entry is an easy choice:

During a 5–0 win over the Mets, the Pirates'
Roberto Clemente doubles off Jon Matlack in the 4th inning for his 3,000th—and final—career hit in regular-season play.

From sportsencyclopedia.com

Rattler Alum of the Day

Brian Fuentes, Colorado.

Save #30 of the season for Fuentes comes at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

Mariner Game (9/29)

Seattle (MAJ: 76-84; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 6-5 to Texas. Ryan Feierabend (WI '04) pitched five innings, gave up two runs, and left with a 4-2 lead. But, Emiliano Fruto (WI '02) allowed four runs in just over an inning for the loss. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez homered and scored twice for the M's. Seattle has lost three straight.

Texas (Vincente Padilla 14-10) at Ryan Feierabend (0-1) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


If I had just gone to their site....

That last post would have had the correct information...

The JetHawks have partnered with the Red Sox:

“This is very exciting for the JetHawks and the Antelope Valley,” says JetHawks owner Peter Carfagna. “The Red Sox are one of the most popular teams in all of baseball and they have a nationwide fan base. The Red Sox front office has dedicated themselves to building through their minor league system and we are confident we will see some of the top prospects in the minors come through Lancaster in the next two seasons.”
The move returns the Red Sox to the Cal League for the first time in 50 years. Boston maintained a farm club in San Jose, the San Jose Red Sox, from 1947-1955. The Red Sox high Class A affiliate for the last two seasons was the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Carolina League. This past season, the Blue Rocks won the Carolina League Northern Division’s first half championship and qualified for the Carolina League playoffs.

OK. That means a lot of former Rattlers from 2006 to High Desert for next season.

Well, forget what I heard...

The Diamondbacks are going to be in Visalia.

VISALIA, CA - The Visalia Oaks are pleased to announce the signing of a Player Development Contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona's best prospects will don Oaks uniforms for the 2007 and 2008 baseball seasons.
"The Oaks are very happy to have the Diamondbacks as our new affiliate," said General Manager Jon Peterson, "they are a class organization with a farm system loaded with prospects who can put a winning team here in Visalia. Oaks fans, many of whom are also Giants or Dodgers fans will be able to see their team's future stars create NL West rivalries here in the California League."

That leaves the High Desert Mavericks or the Lancaster JetHawks as the only High-A teams without an affiliate.

It has been stated elsewhere that Lancaster used to be the Cal League affiliate of the Mariners. This should be final shortly.

Another New Rattler Minor League Cousin

The Mariners are out in Inland Empire. The Dodgers (those guys again) are in with the 66ers.

Dodgers are coming back to SB

SAN BERNARDINO - The Dodgers are back in town.

After six years away from San Bernardino, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced a new affiliation agreement on Thursday with the Inland Empire 66ers.

"I think the key is that our fans in the Inland Empire are really part of the base they want to market to," Sixers co-owner Dave Elmore said. "I think it's a natural fit.

"I talked to every team that wanted to come to San Bernardino, and they understood that we were looking at the Dodgers first."

The Dodgers were affiliated with Single-A California League baseball in San Bernardino from 1995-2000, winning three league championships.
The Dodgers also changed another of their affiliates to Midland, Mich.

"San Bernardino and Midland are ideal partners for strong minor league developmental organizations and we look forward to long-term relationships with these communities," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a news release. "This also will be a nice opportunity for Dodger fans to see some of our younger players in action."
The Dodgers' arrival in San Bernardino leaves three California League teams unaffiliated: High Desert (in Adelanto), Lancaster and Visalia. An Arizona Diamondbacks official told the Los Angeles Newspaper Group that the Diamondbacks would be headed to Visalia. That leaves the Seattle Mariners, the Sixers' former parent club, and the Boston Red Sox as franchises that have not yet announced high Single-A affiliations for 2007.

Diamondbacks to Visalia? That's not what I heard.

MWL Top 20 Prospects

Baseball America did their Top 20 Prospects List for the Midwest League yesterday. No Rattlers. The top five were:

1. Jay Bruce, of, Dayton (Reds)
2. Cameron Maybin, of, West Michigan (Tigers)
3. Justin Upton, of, South Bend (Diamondbacks)
4. Colby Rasmus, of, Quad Cities (Cardinals)
5. Nick Adenhart, rhp, Cedar Rapids (Angels)

This is how those five guys did against the Rattlers in 2006:

Bruce -- 8 games; 4-for-31 (.129) 1 HR, 5 RBI
Maybin -- 7 games; 9-for-23 (.391) 0 HR, 5 RBI
Upton -- 7 games; 5-for-28 (.179) 0 HR 3 RBI
Rasmus -- 8 games; 8-for-28 (.286) 1 HR 5RBI
Adenhart -- 1 game; 1-0; 7IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 7K

Go to the link for the complete list.

There was a chat for BA.com subscribers with Jim Callis after the list was revealed. I know J over at Mariner Minors does this, but here is the one question about the Timber Rattlers in that chat yesterday:

Q: Jill from New Orleans, LA asks:No Mariners prospects? Anyone close?

A: Jim Callis: No, not really. The Wisconsin team was pretty barren. The best prospect was second baseman Luis Valbuena, and he wasn't close to the Top 20 at all.

Also, Wisconsin native Erik Cordier, who played for the Burlington Bees had a question asked about him:

Q: Paul from Kansas City asks:Erik Cordier only made a handful of starts in the league, but does he still rate high as a prospect? And do you have any info on his medical status?

A: Jim Callis: Cordier didn't pitch long enough to qualify for the list. But he's fully healthy, finally, and one scout saw his fastball sit at 93-94 mph and touch 97 late in the year. He's back and is one of the Royals' top pitching prospects.

2006 Individual Highs & Lows

Longest Hitting Streak: 12 – Jeffery Dominguez (6/5 –6/17: 15-for-48; .313)
Most Hits, Game: 5 – Adam Moore (8/18 @DAY)
Most Runs, Game: 3 – Several Players (Last: Saunders 7/21 @BUR)
Most Doubles, Game: 2 – Several Players (Last: Flaig 8/30 @PEO)
Most Triples, Game: 1 – Several Players (Last: Posluszny 8/18 @DAY)
Most Home Runs, Game: 2 – J.B. Tucker (4/11 @ BEL) & Johan Limonta (7/21 @BUR)

Most Total Bases, Game: 10 – Johan Limonta (7/21 @ Burlington)
Most RBI, Game: 4 – Nick Prosise (5/27 @ KC); Jeff Flaig (7/12 @PEO); Luis Valbuena (7/16 vs. QC); & Johan Limonta (7/21 @BUR)

Most Stolen Bases, Game: 3 – Luis Valbuena (5/10 vs. QC)
Most Innings Pitched, Start: 9.0 – Paul Fagan (vs. Kane County 6/24)
Most Innings Pitched, Relief: 4.0 – Nick Allen (vs. KC 6/7 GM 2); Lance Beus (@BEL 7/28)

Most Strikeouts, Game: 10 – Ruben Flores (vs. Peoria 6/26)
Most Walks, Game: 6 – Paul Fagan {3x} (Last: 7/15 vs. Quad Cities); Harold Williams {2x} (Last: 6/9 vs. Kane County); & Ruben Flores (6/12 @Lansing)

Low-Hit, CG: 5 – Paul Fagan (5/17 @ Kane County – 5-2/3 innings)
Low-Hit (Combined): 3 – vs. BUR (Escalona, Woerman, Guaramato, Asher)
Longest Winning Streak: 3 – Jose Escalona
Longest Losing Streak: 7 – Jose Escalona

2006 Timber Rattler Highs & Lows

I was just putting the finishing touches on an article for the Timber Rattler e-mail newsletter and relized that I had not done a post that I have been meaning to do for about three weeks. I kept track (tried to keep track?) of team highs & lows and individual highs. There is a lot of info to it, so I'll split it up into two posts. First the team:

Longest Winning Streak: 5 – 6/1-6/5
Longest Losing Streak: 9 – 6/29 – 7/7
Most Runs, Inning: 7 – 4th vs. Southwest Michigan (4/20)
Most Runs, Game: 16 – vs. Quad Cities (7/16)
Most Hits, Inning: 7 – 4th vs. Beloit (8/6)
Most Hits, Game: 19 – vs. Quad Cities (7/16)
Most Doubles, Game: 8 – @ Peoria (7/12)
Most Triples, Game: 2 – {5x} Last: vs. South Bend (7/25)
Most Home Runs, Game: 3 – {3x} @BEL (4/11); vs. BEL (8/5), vs. BEL (8/6)
Most Extra Base Hits, Game: 10 – @ Peoria 7/23 (8 2Bs, 3B, HR)
Most Stolen Bases, Game: 4 – @ Fort Wayne (4/28)
Most Left on Base, Game: 15 – vs. Burlington (5/21)
Most Errors, Game: 5 – {2x} @BEL (4/11); vs. PEO (8/16)
Most Strikeouts, Game (Rattler Hitting): 17 – @ Dayton (8/18)
Most Strikeouts, Game (Rattler Pitching): 14 – {4x} Last: vs. Peoria (6/26)
Most Walks, Game (Rattler Hitting): 12 – vs. Southwest Michigan (4/20)
Most Walks, Game (Rattler Pitching): 11 – vs. Kane County (6/23)
Longest Game by Innings: 14 – @ DAY (8/18)
Longest Nine Inning Game (by Time): 3:49 – @ Kane County (5/27)
Longest Extra Inning Game (by Time): 4:19 – @ Dayton (8/18)
Shortest Nine Inning Game (by Time): 1:48 - @ Quad Cities (6/18)
Largest Crowd (Home): 7,065 - vs. Peoria (8/15)
Smallest Crowd (Home): 438 - vs. West Michigan (5/1)
Largest Crowd (Road): 9,318 - @ Lansing (6/10)
Smallest Crowd (Road): 299 - @ Beloit (7/31)
Biggest Deficit Overcome in Win: 4 runs {4x} – Last: Trailed DAY 4-0 after top of 1st 8/21; won 5-4
Largest Lead Lost: 5 runs – Led DAY 5-0 after top of 2nd on 8/20; lost 8-7

Baseball History September 29

The complete entry for 9/29 is at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

The highlighted entry is maybe the biggest home run of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewer season:

Ned Yost's 3-run home run in the top of the 9th gives Milwaukee a 6–3 win over Boston. Milwaukee is four games in front of Baltimore with just four to play.

That home run was also Yost's only home run of the season. It was a lineshot into the screen above the Green Monster. That home run was the subject of this story in at jsonline.com on August 12, 2002.

But timing, as they say, is everything.

Yost, a reserve catcher, hit a three-run shot off Boston's Mark Clear in the ninth inning at Fenway Park on Sept. 29, lifting Milwaukee to a 6-3 victory.

"That home run is probably the biggest homer in Brewers history," said Tom Flaherty, the longtime baseball writer for The Milwaukee Journal, now retired and living in Red Lodge, Mont.

Is Red Lodge, Montana where baseball writers go to retire? Is that where Mark Clear is today?

Yost hadn't played in 18 days before the historic shot, and didn't expect to play in the final days of the season. He didn't even bring any bats on the trip east. But he found himself strapping on his shin guards after starting catcher Ted Simmons left in the eighth inning for a pinch runner.

In the top of the ninth, Yost borrowed a bat from Charlie Moore, and the rest is history.

I hope that he teaches the current Brewers to always bring a bat...or to always borrow Charlie Moore's.

Jackson Reaction

The Jackson Sun has their article on the Mariners becoming the new parent club for West Tennessee. Highlights:

Seattle brings to Jackson a strong minor league system. Stocked with Mariners prospects, the Missions qualified for the Texas League playoffs in four of the last five seasons. The Inland Empire 66ers, Seattle's High-A affiliate, won the California League championship this year, and many of those players will be suiting up for the Jaxx in 2007.

"We're going to put a competitive team on the field; I can guarantee you that," said Frank Mattox, Mariners director of player development.


The Mariners do have at least one local tie. Former Jackson State pitcher George Sherrill is the Mariners' left-handed specialist out of the bullpen.

Expect Seattle to create more ties. One of Mattox's selling points to the Jaxx is that community involvement is an important part of the development process. That means that many of the Jaxx will be made available for speaking engagements, charity events and hospital visits.

Rattler Alum of the Day...

This one is going to be vacant today. Mariners were off; Red Sox were off; White Sox were off; and Choo, Sledge, and Fuentes didn't play.

Mariners (9/28)

Seattle (MAJ: 76-83; 4th AL West): The Mariners were off on Thursday. They start their final series of the season tonight against the Rangers.

Texas (Vincente Padilla 14-10) at Ryan Feierabend (0-1) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Odds and ends...

There is an Arizona Instructional League Notebook at milb.com. Nothing about former Rattlers, future Rattlers, or various Mariner farmhands participating. If there is anything in the future, I'll have a link.

Here is the official release from the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx site about the new affiliation with the Mariners.

“The Diamond Jaxx are excited to become a part of the Seattle Mariners family and look forward to seeing first-hand their commitment to developing future Major Leaguers from around the world right here in Jackson,” said Diamond Jaxx general manager Jeff Parker. “The leadership of the Mariners organization comes from a rich tradition of Major League Baseball and we look forward to having them as part of our community. One of the commitments the Mariners have made is to involve their players in our community. They guaranteed us that the future Mariners will be a strong presence in the West Tennessee community and we look forward to reaching out to our communities with them.”

“We are very excited to bring our players to West Tennessee,” said Frank Mattox, the Director of Player Development for the Mariners. “We look forward to bringing a championship back to Pringles Park in the near future.”

No. Really. The name of their stadium is Pringles Park. Look at the logo on the right of the picture below.

I've got a Fever. The Fever for the Flavor of a Pringles!

Ever wonder what Tommy LaSorda would look like wearing a Great.Lakes.Loons. hat? Wonder no more.

From loons.com

Their release announcing the partnership with the Dodgers is HERE. The newspaper story is HERE. A sample of what the writing is going to be like out of Midland next season:

Mid-Michigan and Los Angeles. The Great Lakes and Hollywood. The Tridge and Disneyland. Not things you normally would group together – until today.

Tridge? What's a tridge? This is a tridge.

"The Tridge" is the formal name of a three-way footbridge located above the joining of Chippewa and Titabawassee rivers in downtown Midland.

Back to the article. Ever wonder what Tommy LaSorda would say at a press conference announcing a partnership between the Dodgers and the Great.Lakes.Loons.? Wonder no more.
"I’ve spent little time in middle America. You are the heartbeat of the country. I bring words from our owner, Frank McCourt. He is very proud to put his team here," said ex-Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, who was on hand at the press conference.

Did he say "little time"? Did he mean (or did he actually say) "I've spent a little time in middle America."? one letter kind of makes a big difference, eh?

I guess they're going to Jackson

Jackson, TN that is....

From, ballparkdigest.com:

The West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (Class AA; Southern League) and the Seattle Mariners have signed a two-year working agreement, making the Diamond Jaxx the Double-A affiliate of the Mariners.

The Diamond Jaxx website is HERE.

The Jackson, Tennessee paper is the Jackson Sun. That link is to their sports section.

I'll try to have more later, but there are a few appointments this afternoon. Plus, there is a 6pm softball game at which I'll need to embarrass myself.

Rafael Soriano Update

M's Notebook has this about Soriano (WI '00) with it titled Soriano: "I don't want to be scared":

At least Rafael Soriano can joke about the after-effects of a line drive that hit him in the head.

The Mariners relief pitcher spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since being hit Aug. 29 by a drive off the bat of Los Angeles Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero. Upon seeing how many reporters awaited him in the dugout, he quipped to a team official: "Not too much, I've got a headache already."

But his ordeal has been no laughing matter for Soriano, who has resumed throwing on flat ground and hopes to play winter ball in his native Dominican Republic. Soriano remembers feeling surprised that his pitch to Guerrero drifted to the outer part of the plate rather than staying inside. He also saw the liner coming his way, but "only at the last second."

He talks about wanting to make the starting rotation in 2007. Read it all.

Baseball History (September 28)

Complete entry for 9/29 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Today's highlighted entry is:

In Philadelphia, Roy Campanella belts his 33rd homer but Brooklyn blows a 3–0 lead to lose 4–3 as the Phils score the winner in the 9th inning. The Phils tie the game in the 8th on Andy Seminick's 2-run homer, his 1st in seven weeks. The race is now tied (94-58) between the Giants and the Dodgers.

How about that?

New Double AA cousin?

mysanantonio.com reports the following:

The Missions have scheduled a news conference today to announce the club is signing a player development contract with the San Diego Padres, a source close to the team said Wednesday.

The decision ends a six-year affiliation with the Seattle Mariners that produced two Texas League pennants and four playoff appearances, with a regular-season record of 428-404.


The affiliation decision marks the return of the Padres to the Texas League after a 12-year absence. They last were in the Texas League in 1987-94, when they had an agreement with the Wichita Wranglers. The Missions never have been affiliated with the Padres.

The Mobile BayBears of the Southern League have been the Padres' Double-A affiliate since 1997.

The only Double AA teams left without an affiliate are Mobile and West Tennessee. Both teams are in the Southern League and neither website has anything about an announcement today. Neither newspaper has anything yet either. Will update later if there is any news.

Rattler Alum of the Day...

Going to have to pass on this one today.

Tough day for JJ, Meche, Pineiro, and the rest of the alums in Seattle. Terrmell Sledge was 0-for-4 with 3 K's for the Padres. Choo was 0-for-3 with two K's and an error for the Indians.

If I wanted to stretch, Ortiz was 0-for-1 with three walks for the Red Sox. But, I'm not that flexible.

Mariner Game (9/27)

Seattle (MAJ: 76-83; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 7-6 in ten innings to Oakland. The A's scored twice in the ninth off JJ Putz (WI '00) to tie the game and once in the tenth off George Sherrill. Gil Meche (WI '98) made the start and gave up three runs on six hits with five walks and seven strikeouts over five innings for a no decision.

Seattle -- OFF DAY
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Today at Fox Cities Stadium

The new field was being set down at Fox Cities Stadium today. Here are some shots from the almost the same spot taken at different points during the day:






I had to back up a bit. It rained, really, really, really hard for about twenty minutes today. This picture was taken during the downpour. Don't worry, it stopped after I got in my car...and rolled up the windows.

Baseball in Paradise

BaseballAmerica.com has the tentative rosters for Hawaii Winter Baseball up HERE and a story by Chris Kline about the league HERE.

Cutting to the chase, the Waikiki Beach Boys have several former Rattlers on their roster. They are:

Catcher - Jeff Clement
Outfielder - Sebastien Boucher
Pitcher - David Asher
Pitcher - Joe Woerman

Current Mariner farmhand -- but not a former Rattler -- Reed Eastley is also a Beach Boy. The season opener for Waikiki is October 1 against the Honolulu Sharks. Game time is 3pm in Hawaii, 8:00pm CDT.

Baseball History (September 27)

Complete entry for September 27 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

There are some good ones today. Like Lou Gehrig's first major league home run in 1923 and Phil Niekro's last major league appearance. But, today's highlighted entry is about the end of a franchise.

The St. Louis Browns play both their last game in Sportsman's Park and the last game in the franchise's 52-year history. Fittingly, they lose 2-1 to Billy Pierce and the Chicago White Sox in 10 innings for their 100th defeat of the season. Reserve 1B Ed Mickelson drives in Johnny Groth in the 4th inning for the last run of the Browns franchise.

Ah, the Browns. The team that became the Baltimore Orioles. The team that gave us Eddie Gaedel, Pete Gray, and gave the Yankees countless AL Pennants.

Here are a few tidbits from the BaseballLibrary.com entry about the Browns.

The old expression about the St. Louis Browns was, "First in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American League." In their 52-year history, the Browns finished in the cellar 14 times, and seventh 12 times. They made only a dozen appearances in the first division. Once, in 1944, they treated their fans to a pennant.

After the 1901 season, the Milwaukee Brewers, charter members of the American League, moved to St. Louis and became the Browns.

The 1922 Browns excited their owner by almost beating the Yankees to a pennant. The club was boasting the best players in franchise history, including future Hall of Famer George Sisler, and an outfield trio - Ken Williams, Baby Doll Jacobson, and Jack Tobin - that batted .300 or better in 1919-23 and in 1925. [Owner Phillip] Ball confidently predicted that there would be a World Series in Sportsman's Park by 1926. In anticipation, he increased the capacity of his ballpark from 18,000 to 30,000. There was a World Series in Sportsman's Park in 1926 - with the Cardinals upsetting the Yankees. St. Louis had been considered a "Browns' town" until then.

If the Cardinals blow the NL Central this year, it could be a Browns' town again.

SportsEncyclopedia.com has a nice entry on the Browns broken down year-by-year. I found the 1952 section very interesting:

With the Browns still struggling, Bill Veeck attempts to move the team to Los Angeles. However, since no other American League team played on the west coast travel would have been too much for the other teams to handle. In addition owners hated Veeck so any decision made buy allowing him to move his team had a tinge of spite to it, as the Browns finished in 7th Place with a 64-90 record.

If the owners liked Veeck, there would have been an LA Browns? Also at SportsEncyclopedia.com is this about how the final move to Baltimore happened.

This time AL Owners could not use the excuse of excessive travel to reject the move. Instead owners flat out demanded the only way the move be allowed is for Veeck to sell his interest in the team. Veeck relented and the team was sold.

Boy, they really didn't like Bill Veeck.

Maybe it was the change of the logo from this:

To this:

Rattler Alum of the Day

David Ortiz, Boston.

3-for-4 with home run number 54 and three RBI.

Mariner Game (September 26)

Seattle (MAJ: 76-82; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 12-3 to Oakland. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez homered for Seattle, but the win by the Athletics and a loss by the Angels meant that Oakland clinched the AL West title.

Oakland (Barry Zito 16-9) at Seattle (Gil Meche 11-8) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Dodgers in, Rangers stay.

BallparkDigest.com is reporting that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the parent club of the Great.Lakes.Loons.

The site is also reporting that the Texas Rangers will be back in Clinton with the LumberKings. Nothing at either teams official site and nothing in the Midland or Clinton newspapers.

One other note on Class A affiliates: It looks like Brewer fans will have to travel to West Virginia to see their Low-A prospects play. BallparkDigest.com reports that the affiliation between the Brewers and the Power will continue.

Take a look at their affiliate dance card for up-to-date info on the affiliate movement.

Liddi in World Juniors

I got a tip...Well, I didn't get it...It came in from Parma, Italy to the Timber Rattler general e-mail account and was passed along to me to do something with it. (That's usually what happens when stuff that nobody knows what to do with winds up there) Here is the tip:

Dear Sirs,
one of your players (Alex Liddi) hit 3 homers for Italy National Team at World Juniores Championship in Cuba.
I think it could be a good opportunity also for the Timber Rattlers to give visibility to this performance.

Best regards
Massimo Casorati
Parma - Italy

No idea against whom or on which date that Liddi had his three homer game, but if Massimo says it happened, it probably happened.

Seriously, though. There is no English language website with box scores that I can find. There is a Spanish language site that is HERE for the XXII Campeonato Mundial AAA de Beisol.

Searching through the links and navigating the language...Apparently (Beisbol is Spanish for Baseball. Huh? Who'da thunk?) If found a link to the box score of Monday's game against South Africa. That box score shows Liddi 3-for-3 with two homers, a double, three runs scored, and five RBI.

Must have been pent up frustrations let out after an 18-0 loss to the US on 9/21 and a 10-0 loss to Canada (Canada?) on 9/22.

For the tournament (Estadisticas is statistics? Really?) Liddi is hitting 7-for-16 (.438) with three homers for the tournament and a slugging PCT of 1.188. He has some RBI and it looks like there are nine, but I can't be sure and I have a couple of appointments to get to this afternoon so no time to go through this much longer.

Baseball History 9/26

Complete entry for September 26 at BaseballLibrary.com is HERE.

Today's highlighted entry was a tough one to pick. Nolan Ryan pitched his fifth no-hitter on September 26, 1981. The Cubs clinched the NL East at Montreal on September 26, 1989. But today's entry is:

In the last big league games at Jarry Park, the Phillies beat the Expos, 4–1, in the first game of a doubleheader to clinch the National League East title. Philley takes the nitecap, 2–1. Following the 2nd game,
Dick Allen jumps the team in protest of the fact that veteran Tony Taylor is not listed on the post-season roster.
Jarry Park. At certain times, the sun shone directly into the first baseman's eyes so that he couldn't see throws from the left side of the infield. Towels would be placed over the railing of the first base dugout to shield the players from the bright sunshine. There also was a swimming pool beyond the right field fence. This was way before Chase Field in Phoenix.

Photo Credit: ballparkwatch.com

It is a good thing that the Expos moved into Olympic Stadium. How did they do this year?

The NL East title was the first of three straight for the Phillies. Too bad they ran into the Big Red Machine in '76 and the Dodgers in '77 & '78.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Photo Credit: Mark Harrison/Seattle Times

Greg Dobbs, Seattle.

2-for-2 with a pinch hit in the eighth and an RBI single to tie the game in the ninth.

Mariner Game (September 25)

Seattle (MAJ: 76-81; 4th AL West): The Mariners beat Oakland 10-9 in ten innings to snap a 15 game losing streak to the Athletics. Seattle trailed 9-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but tied the game. Greg Dobbs (WI '02) drove in the tying run with a two-out single and the M's won the game with a run in the bottom of the tenth. JJ Putz (WI '00) got the win with two scoreless innings. Cesar Jimenez (WI '03) made his first major league start and gave up five runs on eight hits over four innings.

Oakland (Rich Harden 3-0) at Seattle (Jake Woods 6-3) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Speaking of Emotion in Sports

How much fun did this guy look like he was having yesterday?

Photo Credit: JSOnline.com/Joe Koshollek

Baseball History (September 25)

Complete entry for September 25 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Today's highlighted entry is one of the more exciting pennant clinching games.

Houston's Mike Scott pitches a 2–0 no-hitter against the Giants at the Astrodome, clinching the National League West title for the Astros. It is the first time a pennant has ever been decided by a no-hitter, and the 3rd consecutive game in which Astros pitchers have allowed two hits or less.

This picture below, taken just after the final out of the clincher shows the emotion that keeps us coming back to sports.

Photo Credit: AstrosDaily.com

If they only could have won Game Six of the NLCS against the Mets, Scott would have been the Game Seven starter. He was so far in the head of New York hitters it was hilarious.

Side note: It's a good thing that he didn't go by Michael Scott, or he would have been telling outdated jokes and making inappropriate comments for a paper company in Scranton, PA.

Jimenez Starts for the M's Tonight

For the second game in a row, a former Timber Rattler will make his first major league start for the Mariners; Jimenez makes first big-league start in opener

Cesar Jimenez gets the ball for Seattle in the first game of a series at Oakland. This will not be his first start in a major league stadium though.

Back in 2003, when the Beloit Snappers were still an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Rattlers and Snappers met in a game at Miller Park. Jimenez got the start in that game. He took the loss facing players like Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, and Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Good luck, Cesar.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Brian Fuentes, Colorado.

Save #29 on the season for Fuentes officially knocks the Atlanta Braves out of playoff contention.

Mariner Game (9/24)

Seattle (MAJ: 75-81; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 12-7 to the White Sox. Ryan Feierabend (WI '04) gave up five runs on eight hits (three homers) over five innings for a loss in his first major league start. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez hit a homer for the Mariners.

Seattle (Cesar Jimenez 0-0) at Oakland (Estaban Loaiza 11-8) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Sunday Reading

Larry Stone asks something that Mariner and Brewer fans would love to know; How'd the Twins do it?

The crowd at Safeco Field on June 7 had little reason to suspect what riches lay ahead for the Minnesota Twins.

By all accounts, they were a team in tatters. Minnesota dropped a tough 10-9 decision that night on a walk-off home run in the 11th by Carl Everett (the name rings a bell), falling to 25-33 for the season.

The Twins were buried in fourth place in the five-team American League Central, 11-½ games behind the upstart Detroit Tigers.


The big-picture upshot is that the Twins, from that June 7 nadir in Seattle, went 65-30 to surge past the Indians and White Sox and move, by this week, within a half-game of the Tigers before falling to 1-1/2 games back.

Barring a '64 Phillies-like collapse, they're safely into the playoffs as the year's feel-good story, an overachieving mid-market team righting itself from the brink of disaster.

Tom Hardricourt goes through the reasons that the NL Central is called Comedy Central

The St. Louis Cardinals didn't win the National League Central Division this season (they haven't clinched yet, but they will) as much as the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers lost it.

If you don't believe that, consider the records of those four clubs in the second half of the season, entering weekend play:

St. Louis: 32-32
Houston: 31-32

Cincinnati: 29-34
Milwaukee: 26-37


As discouraged as Brewers fans are over the plight of their club, it doesn't approach the level of frustration experienced in Cincinnati. On Aug. 24, the Reds were tied for first in the division with the Cardinals and had a comfortable 3½-game lead in the wild-card race.

Then came a disastrous 2-8 trip to the West Coast and the Reds never recovered. It didn't matter that general manager Wayne Krivsky acquired every relief pitcher with a pulse in an effort to stop the bleeding.

As an added bonus in the column, Hardricourt has a reaction to the reporters in San Francisco who are facing jail time for refusing to reveal their source for leaked grand jury testimony in the Barry Bonds case while Bonds is free to pursue Hank Aaron's home run record. It's one of those comments where you go, "Tell us what you really think, Tom."

Hardricourt also has an interview with Brewer owner Mark Attanasio; Keeping the bar high

Despite the setbacks suffered by the Brewers this season, many related to injuries to key players, Attanasio said he is committed to fielding a team next season that will compete for the playoffs. Asked whether he thought that goal was realistic, Attanasio didn't waver.

"Yes, and we're not just saying that," Attanasio said in an interview Saturday afternoon with the Journal Sentinel. "We thought we could have this year, too. You'd say we were mistaken but we'll never know. We're not going to use the injuries as an excuse, but for any team, you have to have some measure of health.

"We're trying to get the bar up so that there's always a fundamentally competitive team out there."

Attanasio readily admitted he was disappointed that the Brewers fell out of the post-season picture during a 10-game losing streak in late August and early September. But he said he stood firmly behind both general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ned Yost, the latter of whom became the target of fans' ire when the team collapsed.

"The manager is always the lightning rod for that," said Attanasio. "I feel like we have a strong management team in place with Ned and Doug and Gord (Ash). You rely on that management team to fix things.

Read it all.

Mariner Minors did a little checking and notices that there have been a few changes to the Arizona Fall League roster for the Peoria Javelinas, the team that has Mariner prospects.

Bobby Livingston and Ryan Rowland-Smith, both members of the 2003 Rattlers, are on the list. Eric O'Flaherty is off the roster.

AFL opens on October 10. The Javelinas play Grand Canyon Rafters.

One other winter league that some of you have asked about is the Hawaii Winter Baseball League. That season opens on October 1. I saw that former Rattler hitting coach Dana Williams is going to be a coach for the Waikiki Beach Boys. Cool note for the Brewer fans, former Brewer Lenny Sakata is the manager of the Beach Boys.

I haven't seen any rosters yet, but I have heard that a few former Rattlers are scheduled to be in this league. I'll keep an eye open.

Packers in an hour. Go, Pack, Go!

Baseball History (September 24)

Complete entry for September 24 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

The highlighted entry is pretty obvious today.

Rick Sutcliffe pitches a 2-hitter in a 4–1 win over Pittsburgh to clinch the National League East title for the Cubs, who will be making their first post-season appearance since 1945. The win is Sutcliffe's 14th in a row. Sutcliffe strikes out nine Bucs, including Joe Orsulak for the final out.

I hurried home from football practice to watch every second of that game. Harry's "CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!" was so good to hear that night.

Little did I know that clinching game was setting me up for something horrible.

Feierabend to start today

Ryan Feierabend is making his first major league start today. That merits a mention in the M's Notes today; M's Notes Feierabend glad to get the start

Photo Credit: Dean Rutz/Seattle Times

The lefty out of Ohio was 9-7 with a 3.63 ERA on a not very good Rattler team in 2004. He was one of only two Rattlers to make the MWL All-Star Game that season.

He has made a rapid ascent through the system and made his major league debut earlier this season for the M's. Since going up to Seattle, he has appeared in two games and allowed no runs on one hit with four strikeouts.

Feierabend's first start as a Timber Rattler was not a good one. He lasted only one inning against Clinton on bitterly cold April 10 at Fox Cities Stadium. He gave up four hits, walked four guys, threw a wild pitch, and allowed five runs. His ERA was 45.00 after that one inning. In his very next start, he gave up one run on four hits over 7-2/3 innings against Peoria. His next time out was a seven inning, complete game, four-hit, shutout against Burlington. He ran off four straight wins after that first appearance as a Rattler and walked six over 20-2/3 innings during that streak.

His record that year should have been much better. Eight times he allowed one earned run in a start. He lost two and had six no decisions in those eight starts.

Quick story about Ryan. That year we traveled through the night to get to Dayton. He had the seat on the bus behind mine and the closer we got to Ohio, the more he perked up. Once we got within sight of the "Welcome to Ohio" sign he said something to the effect of, "Ahhhh, God's country."

Good luck, Ryan.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Shin-soo Choo, Cleveland.

1-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored for the Indians in a 6-3 win over the Rangers.

Just checking on Choo, he is hitting .270 with two homers and eighteen RBI in 43 games for Cleveland.

Mariner Report (9/23 Game)

Seattle (MAJ: 75-80; 4th AL West): The Mariners lost 11-7 to the White Sox. Seattle had a 7-2 lead after the bottom of the fifth, but the White Sox rallied with nine unanswered runs after a lengthy rain delay. Felix Hernandez (WI '03) pitched five innings and struck out six with no walks and two runs. Eric O'Flaherty (WI '05) was hit for four unearned runs on five hits over 2/3 of an inning after the rain delay. Joel Pineiro (WI '98) took the loss by allowing four of the five Chicago runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Seattle (Ryan Feierabend 0-0) at Chicago (Freddy Garcia 15-97) 1:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Look who else is in the show...

There are a number of former Timber Rattlers who recieved a September call to the Mariners.

But, there is someone with Appleton baseball ties who has been called up to the Royals; Jirschele grabs seat on KC bench

KANSAS CITY -- When the time came for manager Buddy Bell's surgery, the Royals needed a bench coach to assist interim manager Billy Doran.

Luckily, the right guy was already here: Triple-A Omaha manager Mike Jirschele.

Jirschele, who arrived with pitching coach Tom Burgmeier after the O-Royals' season ended, was supposed to lend a hand with the expanded September roster. But now he's helping Doran make his managerial decisions.


Bullpen coach Fred Kendall figures it's a natural transition for Jirschele.

"Half your team is playing here anyway," Kendall said.

Indeed, Jirschele in his seven years as Omaha manager has handled most of the players who came up through the Royals' organization.

Before the Rattlers, there were the Appleton Foxes. Before the Mariners bcame the parent club in 1993, the Royals were the major league affiliate of the Foxes. The Kansas City era lasted from 1987-1992.

Mike Jirschele was on the coaching staff of the Foxes in 1990 and 1991 and managed the Rockford Royals in 1993.

I should go through rosters and see who else with Appleton ties is up in the majors right now. Great another project.

On, Wisconsin!

Badgers at Michigan are starting soon. This is an uphill battle for Wisconsin against an excellent Michigan team.

A win would be great, but just keep it closer than the Fighting Irish did last week.

Please. I know a few Michigan fans.

How did you spend your Friday night?

The exciting life of a radio announcer after the season ends. The trailer got a much needed cleaning, but I had to stop at times to watch the Brewers game against the Giants.

Both teams batted around in the first inning and the Brewers were up 5-4 when the dust finally settled. The Brewers were up at one point 9-4 and 10-7, but the Giants went up 12-10. Somehow, the Crew rallied with three runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on for a 13-12 win.

Bonds hit a homer and drove in six, but there were some plays in left that he couldn't make and the Brewers got some runs off that.

During the telecast, I heard Daron Sutton talk about an documentary about Hank Aaron's summer in Eau Claire, Wisconsin as a member of the Eau Claire Braves in the Northern League. The name of the documentary is Henry Aaron's Summer up North.

I went to the website and it looks interesting. After going around the independent Northern League for a few summers with the Dukes, there are traces of Aaron everywhere. The stadium in Sioux Falls had a sign with his name and the year that he played in the Northern League. There are stories in Duluth about how Aaron broke a leg there and a doctor had to set it. I haven't been to Carson Park in Eau Claire, but there is a statue of Aaron in front of the Stadium.

Photo Credit: BallparkDigest

I think I have my Christmas present.

To wrap up the exciting start to the weekend, Baseball Tonight had the live coverage of Chris Young's near no-hitter for the Padres. ESPN used the Pirate announcers for the top of the eighth inning and after the first out, the Pirate announcers sounded like they were reading right out of the Padre media guide all the facts about Young. How many teams he had been with, who he was traded for, where he went to college.

A little secret, I do that to...occaisionally. I just try not to make it sound like I am.

Then, they switched to the Padre announcers for the top of the ninth. They were openly talking about the no-hitter and the fact that the Padres have never had a no-no in there history.

I have had the good fortune of calling two no-hitters for the Rattlers. JJ Putz in 2000 and Derrick Van Dusen in 2001. I mentioned the no-no both times, but in an oblique manner. Mainly as a intro to the inning in which the opponents were batting: The linescore heading into the bottom of the seventh is: Rattlers 3 runs on five hits with no errors; Kernels with zeroes across the board. Derrick Van Dusen will face hitters 2-3-4 in the inning and has struck out five while walking just two.

But, the one time the Rattlers have been no-hit in a nine inning game (at Burlington in 2004) and it has been close a few times. From about the sixth inning on, I'm talking about the opposing pitcher's bid at the no-hitter.

Does that make me a homer? Pretty obvious, isn't it?

Baseball History -- September 23

The complete entry at BaseballLibrary.com for September 23 is HERE.

A pair of highlighted entries again today. Both are similar. First the 1908 entry:

Giants P Christy Mathewson and Cubs P Three Finger Brown battle in the most controversial game ever played. The score is 1-1, with two outs in the last of the 9th. The Giants' Harry McCormick is on 3B, and Fred Merkle (19, and making his first start of the year, is subbing for the sore-legged veteran Fred Tenney), on 1B. Al Bridwell singles, scoring McCormick. Halfway to 2B, Merkle turns and heads for the clubhouse in CF. Johnny Evers secures a ball (Joe McGinnity swears he picked up the ball that was in play and threw it into the stands) and touches 2B as the crowd overruns the field. Umpire Hank O'Day at 1B claims he didn't see the play, but that evening he rules the run does not count, and the game ended with a tie score. (Years later, in an interview, Merkle will describe it this way: "When Bridwell shot that long single, I started across the grass for the clubhouse. Matty was near me. When Evers began shouting for the ball, he noticed something was wrong. Matty caught me by the arm and told me to wait a minute. He walked over toward 2B, and Matty spoke to [Bob] Emslie. ‘How about this, Bob, is there any trouble with the score of the play?' ‘It's all right,' said Emslie. ‘You've got the game. I don't see anything wrong with the play.' Matty then took me by the arm and we walked to the clubhouse confident that we had won the game.")
The Giants didn't win the game. The Cubs and Giants ended the regular season tied and the Cubs won the pennant with a 4-2 victory in a one game playoff on October 8, 1908. Everyone should remember that the Cubs went on to win the World Series that year. Merkle, who was born in Watertown, WI, played for sixteen seasons in the majors. He played for the Giants, Brooklyn, the Cubs, and the Yankees. He hit .273 in his career and appeared in five World Series. However, he would always be remembered for that one play.

Now the 1998 entry:

Sosa breaks an 0–for–21 slump, hitting his 64th and 65th home runs as the Cubs build a 7–0 lead over the Brewers. Milwaukee fights back, however, and scores three in the last of the 9th when Chicago OF Brant Brown drops a routine fly ball with the bases loaded and two out in the 9th to allow three Brewers to score. Rod Beck is on the mound when the Merkle–like error occurs (Fred Merkle's boner occurred exactly 90 years ago). Milwaukee wins, 8–7, and the Cubs remain tied for the wild card spot with the Mets, who lose to Montreal, 3–0. With his eight total bases, Sammy has now topped the 400 mark.

This one really stands out. I had just started with the Gamblers and was moving into my new apartment listening to Bob Uecker's call of the game on the car radio. I couldn't believe the play when I heard it, but as usual Uke nailed it.

Then, I flipped over to the Cubs announcers. Ron Santo was on suicide watch and Pat Hughes was trying to console Santo. Then, I heard the game-ending play from the Cub perspective. Let's just say that I can never hear the words, "Oh, no!" and not think of this play.

I can't find the Cub audio of this play. It was a brief look around the web. If I have time later, I'll post a link. But, there is a lot to do before the Badgers take on Michigan.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Emiliano Fruto, Seattle.

Two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts for the win over the White Sox.

Mariner Report (9/22 Game)

Seattle (MAJ: 75-79; 4th AL West): The Mariners beat the White Sox 11-6. Richie Sexson hit a pair of home runs, drove in three runs, and scored three runs to lead the M's offense. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez had three hits for Seattle. Emiliano Fruto (WI '02) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief.

Seattle (Felix Hernandez 11-14) at Chicago (Mark Buehrle 12-13) 12:25pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Ballpark Digest Notes of Interest

And the Ballpark Digest link pays off immediately with this story about a possible parent club for the Great. Lakes. Loons.

The Battle Creek team was affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but that agreement has expired.

Five major league teams are still looking for a minor league affiliation at that level, and one of those is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers are one of the most respected and revered franchises in all of sports. The organization is not renewing it's affiliate agreement with a minor league team in Georgia, and may have its eye on the new franchise in Midland.

Why the Dodgers? you may ask.

Former major league manager Terry Collins is a Midland native and currently happens to be in charge of player development for a baseball organization's minor league system. That organization is the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has a big say on where it's Low A minor league affiliate agreement will go, and at the top of his list is Midland.

The Dodgers in the MWL would be pretty cool. According to mwlguide.com, the Dodgers haven't been in the Midwest League since 1979, when they were the Clinton Dodgers.

The other story from Ballpark Digest has to do with where Timber Rattler alums may be playing next season at the Double-A level; BayBears' options are down to three.

The Mobile BayBears will play baseball at Hank Aaron Stadium again in 2007. But the team that will supply the BayBears with players won't be known for a few more days.

Mobile could wind up staying with the San Diego Padres, or become an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks or Seattle Mariners, as those are the available teams.

The Chicago Cubs -- mentioned in recent months as a possible new affiliate for the BayBears -- signed a new two-year deal Thursday with the Tennessee Smokies. The Cubs were affiliated with West Tenn.

"We talked with all four clubs -- the Padres, Mariners, Diamondbacks and Cubs -- about a possible affiliation," said BayBears president Bill Shanahan. "We have ongoing dialogue with the three clubs remaining and sometime next week we'll make a decision on what major league team the BayBears will be affiliated with in 2007."

A quick link without any excerpts about the Indians moving back to the Cactus League for Spring Training; It's official: Indians agree to Grapefruit League move

Now, Major League is back to being an accurate representation of Indians Spring Training.

New Link on the Left

On a recomendation, I have added Ballpark Digest to the blogroll. This site has been on top of the annual shuffle of minor league affiliates, new stadiums, and new teams.

Check it out.

Fox Cities Stadium Extreme Makeover

Fox Cities Stadium is getting a new field. The old field has been taken out. The new field isn't on yet. These pictures are for those of you who may be curious to see what a baseball field looks like without the sod.

As the sod is put on, I will update.

Baseball History for September 22

Complete entry for September 22 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Two highlighted entries with the common thread of why it is okay to dislike the Yankees.
One night after scuffling with a patron in the bar of the Yankees' Baltimore hotel, manager Billy Martin has his right arm broken by pitcher Ed Whitson in an early-morning brawl in the same bar.

Billyball! George Mitterwald was the manager of the Dukes when I worked in Duluth. He played for Martin when Billy was managing the Twins. George had a bunch of Billy stories. He also said that Billy Martin like kids and old people. But, he hated everyone else.

A crowd of 413, a record low for Yankee Stadium, sees the White Sox beat New York 4–1. Yankee broadcaster Red Barber insists that TV cameras show the empty seats, a decision that will cost the legendary play-by-play man his job.

If I remember this incident, Barber wanted the empty seats on camera to show how far the yankees had fallen and how much work the front office had to do to get back to the heights they once held. And for that, they fired him.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Photo Credit: Jim Davis/Boston Globe

David Ortiz, Boston.

A pair of homers in a win over the Twins to set a new record for home runs in a season by a member of the Red Sox. He has 52 now.

The Boston Globe website has a photo gallery Walkoff wonder of the 15 game winning hits Ortiz has had in his career with the Sox. Photos like this one:

Photo Credit: Jim Davis/Boston Globe

Registration may be required at those Boston Globe links.

Mariner Report (September 21 Game)

Seattle (MAJ: 73-79; 4th AL West): The Mariners won 9-0 at the White Sox. Adrian Beltre homered and knocked in four runs for Seattle. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez homered and knocked in three runs for the M's. Jake Woods got the win with seven shutout innings.

Seattle (Gil Meche 11-8) at Chicago (Jose Contreras 13-8) 7:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Baseball History (September 21)

Complete entry for September 21 at BaseballLibrary.com is HERE.

The highlighted entry today is:

Playing against the Royals at
Anaheim Stadium, outfielders Fred Lynn and Brian Downing crash through the LF fence while trying to catch a fly ball. Lynn makes the catch and it is ruled an out, the umpires reasoning that it is the same as if he had tumbled into the seats. California wins, 2–1, when Daryl Sconiers singles home the winner in the 9th.

Can you hear the closing music to This Week in Baseball? One of the greatest catches ever.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Chae Seung Baek, Seattle.

Another nice outing for Baek in a win over the Rangers.

Mariner Report (September 20 Game)

Seattle (MAJ: 72-79; 4th AL West): The Mariners won 6-3 at Texas. Cha Seung Baek (WI '00) pitched 6-2/3 innings and gave up two runs on four hits with five strikeouts for his fourth win of the season. Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez homered and JJ Putz (WI '00) got the save for the M's.

Seattle (Jake Woods 5-3) at Chicago (Javier Vazquez 11-9) 7:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Baseball History for September 20

Complete baseball history entry for September 20 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Two entries today:

Cal Ripken Jr. takes himself out of the Orioles lineup prior to the game with the Yankees to end his major league record consecutive game streak at 2,632. The Orioles lose the historic game by a score of 5–4. Ryan Minor, Ripken's replacement at 3B, gets one hit in four at bats.

If you click on the Cal Ripken, Jr. link above, you will find this interesting note about that game:

Diminishing power number in 1998 (14 home runs and 61 RBI) reopened the debate about whether a day off would benefit the Ripken. On September 20th he settled the matter for himself, informing manager Ray Miller shortly before game-time that he wouldn't be playing that night. When young prospect Ryan Minor trotted out to third base to start the game, few people understood what was happening. After the first out, however, the visiting Yankees gave Ripken a standing ovation from the top of the dugouts steps, and the Camden Yards fans quickly followed suit. 53 outs later, baseball's longest consecutive games streak officially ended at 2,632.

Jim Bunning, in relief, strikes out Johnny Roseboro in the 9th to preserve the Phils 3–2 win in Los Angeles. The win comes after two straight losses and leaves the 1st place Phils in front of the National League by six 1/2 games with 12 to play. When they return to Philley in the early morning, 2,000 fans including Mayor James Tate are on hand to greet the team.

How could the Phillies possibly blow that lead?

Inland Empire Season Ending Story

Sixers win against all odds

Now, when I think of against all odds, I think of the 1984 movie starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward, James Woods, and Alex Karras. The movie, which is a kind of remake of the Robert Mitchum classic Out of Past, had the 1980's mandated Phil Collins song on the soundtrack, too.

Pete Marshall of sbsun.com has a different idea

"This team overcame the odds, but the thought was, maybe it spent all of its odds overcoming the odds," said Sixers broadcaster Mike Saeger, a witness to all five titles. "Of the five league champions, I think this team had a little bit more to overcome."

The Sixers won the first-half South Division title in dramatic fashion. The schedule didn't have every team ending the first half on the same day. When the Mavericks, after their 70th game, held a half-game lead over the Sixers, the Sixers thought they were out of the playoffs based on a tiebreaker.

But the league changed its ruling and determined that ties had to be broken on the field. The Sixers won one game against the Mavericks to force the tie-breaker game, then won another to win the first half. Both of those games were at Arrowhead Credit Union Park, where the 2006 team set record for home wins (46).

It helps just a little bit to fight back against the odds when the league office changes a ruling.

By the second week in July, the Sixers had lost four everyday position players: (outfielder Mike Wilson, first baseman Marshall Hubbard, second baseman Yung Chi Chen and shortstop Matt Tuiasosopo), plus standout starting pitchers Robert Rohrbaugh and Julio Santiago, and the backbone of the bullpen: Stephen Kahn, Mark Lowe and Eric O'Flaherty. Key veterans like Erick Monzon, Matt Rogelstad, and Luis Oliveros, who spent time in San Bernardino, also were gone.

In all, 54 players put on an Inland Empire uniform this season.

Rattler Alum of the Day

Adam Jones, Seattle.

Two run single in the top of the tenth inning to give the M's the win.

Mariner System Report (Game of 9/19)

Seattle (MAJ: 71-79; 4th AL West): The Mariners won 9-7 at Texas in ten innings. Seattle trailed 7-5 heading into the ninth inning, but rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie the game. Adam Jones (WI '04) drove in a pair of runs with a single in the top of the tenth to knock in the winning runs. JJ Putz (WI '00) pitched a scoreless tenth for the save.

Seattle (Cha Seung Baek 3-1) at Texas (Robinson Tejada 4-3) 7:05pm CDT
Tacoma -- Season Over (74-72)
San Antonio – Season Over (60-78)
Inland Empire - Season Over (Cal League Champions)
Everett -- Season Over (31-45)
AZL Mariners – Season over (25-30)


Baseball History September 19

Complete Entry of September 19 at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Highlighted Entry today is:

During a 12–11 win over the Cubs, the Pirates' 38-year-old, lead-footed Willie Stargell attempts to steal 2B. The Cubs' SS waits with the ball as Stargell slides 10 feet short of the base, signaling "time-out." The Pirates led 11–2 in the 7th, but the Cubs rally and tie it in the 9th. Dave Parker homers in 11th off Bruce Sutter to give the Bucs their 7th straight win and 30th in their last 38 since August 12. Besides his two homers, Parker adds two run scoring singles.

From sportsencyclopedia.com

Thanks, Pops. For everything.

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