4/30/2008

Today's Rattler Starter (4/30)

RH JAKE WILD: Seattle’s 26th round pick out of the University of the Pacific in the 2007 draft.

NO SOX: Wild was a 17th round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2004 draft after he spent a year at Bakersfield College.

THE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD: In his first season (2004) at Bakersfield College, Wild picked up seven saves and earned honorable mention on the Western States All-Conference team. In his second year with the Renegades, Wild earned First Team recognition on the Western States Conference All-Conference team with an ERA of 2.42 in 89.1 innings pitched.

BASEBALL PACIFIC: Wild was 1-9 with a 7.07 ERA and two saves in 28 games (three starts) for the Tigers in 2007. He struck out 41 strikeouts in 49.2IP.

2007 AS A PRO: Wild appeared in 17 games (4 starts) for the Arizona League Mariners after signing with Seattle. He was 3-2 with two saves and a 1.88ERA. He struck out 62 batters in 48 innings during the regular season.

VS. WEST MICHIGAN: Wild is making his first appearance against the Whitecaps today.

VS. DETROIT: He is also making his first appearance against an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

LAST START: Wild got the start for the Arizona League Championship Game against the Arizona League Giants on August 30, 2007. He pitched eight innings, struck out 14, allowed one run on four hits, and walked one for the win.

LAST APPEARANCE: Wild pitched 1/3 of an inning and took the loss at South Bend on April 21. He allowed a run on two hits with a walk.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 8.0 (vs. AZL Giants 8/30/2007)
STRIKEOUTS: 14 (vs. AZL Giants 8/30/2007)

April 30 Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers beat the West Michigan Whitecaps 7-5. Ron Garth had three this and drove in a pair of runs for the Rattler offense.

LEAD #1: The Rattlers jumped out to a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first, second, and fourth innings.

COMEBACK #1: The Whitecaps scored three runs in the top of the fifth and one run in the seventh to go up 4-3.

COMEBACK #2: The Rattlers scored three times in the bottom of the seventh inning to retake the lead.

TO ERR: West Michigan committed eight errors last night. That tied a franchise record for errors in one game.

ANATOMY OF A RALLY: Alex Liddi was at second with one out in the bottom of the seventh trailing 4-3. He took off for third base on a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Jordan Newton’s throw went into left field and Liddi scored the tying run. Juan Diaz, who was at the plate when Liddi made his dash for home, drew a walk later in the at bat. Garth singled to left with two outs and the ball got by left fielder Joe Tucker. Diaz scored to put the Rattlers up 5-4. Garth would scored the third run of the inning when shortstop Audy Ciriaco threw wildly to first on a grounder off the bat of Blake Ochoa.

NAILED DOWN: Shawn Kelley picked up his third save in three attempts this season by getting the final three outs.

UP TO TEN: Edilio Colina went 1-for-5 last night and extended his hitting streak to ten games.

NUMBER NINE*: Calvin Beamon had a pair of hits last night and moved his hitting streak to nine games.

WHERE THOSE STAND: Evan Reed of South Bend has the longest current hitting streak in the Midwest League. He is at 18 games. Adrian Ortiz is next with an 11 game hitting streak. Colina has the third longest active streak in the MWL. Beamon has the fourth longest streak in the loop.

WALK THE LINE: Eddy Hernandez drew a walk in the fifth inning last night. He has drawn a walk in three straight games.

ALL-TIME HIGH (for the season): The Rattlers scored seven runs to set a new high for the runs in a game this season.

A COUPLE OF FIRSTS: Last night was the first night game of the season won by the Rattlers. It was also the first time Wisconsin has won a game in which they allowed five or more runs.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The West Michigan Whitecaps are the Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. In 2007, the Whitecaps had the best record in the league 83-57. They also went on to win the Midwest League Championship, their second straight league title and their third in the last four years. The last team to win consecutive Midwest League Championships was the Appleton Foxes. The Foxes won three straight titles from 1982-1984.

WHITECAPS IN 2008: West Michigan is off to a 14-10 record to start this season. They are tied for first place with the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. In their most recent series, the Whitecaps dropped two out of three games at Cedar Rapids. West Michigan is 7-8 on the road in 2008 under their first-year manager Joe DiPastino.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: West Michigan is hitting .259 as a team. They have scored 120 runs (5.2/game) and have hit seven home runs. The Whitecap pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.18. Wisconsin has a team batting average of .238 and have scored 67 runs (3.2/game) with three homers. The Rattlers have a staff ERA of 3.92.

WEST MICHIGAN PITCHER: Lauren Gagnier was a 10th round pick of the Tigers in the 2006 draft out of Cal State-Fullerton. In his final season with the Titans, Gagnier went 14-5 with a 2.80ERA in 21 games (19 starts). He was 1-1 with a 0.70ERA in nine games (one start) for Oneonta of the New York-Penn League in 2006. Last season, Gagnier was 5-11 with the Whitecaps in 28 games (22 starts) and had an ERA of 4.57. He has made one start against the Timber Rattlers. On April 24, 2007, Gagnier got the win against Wisconsin at Fifth Third Ballpark. He allowed three runs on two hits over five innings. In his last start this season, Gagnier took the loss at Cedar Rapids on April 25. He gave up seven runs (five earned) on six hits with four walks and a hit batsman over 4-2/3 innings. He did strikeout five Kernel batters in the game. Gagnier has 25 strikeouts in 19-1/3 innings this season.

*- The Beatles were different

Daren Brown, Company man...

In that article by Larry Stone that I linked to below in the Wladimir Balentien post, there was a flashback to when Daren Brown, the current manager of the Rainiers, was the manger of the Timber Rattlers. Here is what triggered that flashback:

For the first time all season, Clement was not in the starting lineup at either catcher or designated hitter Tuesday for Tacoma's game with New Orleans.

Nor was outfielder Wladimir Balentien, who just happened to have hit three home runs in Monday's game.

Odd time for a benching, unless, of course, the duo is Cleveland-bound to join the Mariners. Their absence from the lineup was interpreted here as a huge red flag that something was brewing.

I stuck my head in the office of Tacoma manager Daren Brown after batting practice and asked whether there was anything to read into the suspicious omission of Clement and Balentien from his lineup card.

"No, but I wouldn't tell you if there was," he said pleasantly, ever the company man. "It was cold last night. They need a day off."

Classic Brownie.

The Great Balentien

No, not the comedy magician (which was spelled Ballentine anyway*). The ex-Rattler Wladimir Balentien. He is the subject of Jason Churchill's farm report in at Seattle P-I.com.

Outfield prospect Wladimir Balentien, 23, has performed well at every level of the minors and turned his game up a notch last season at Triple-A Tacoma. He has always had middle-of-the-order power, but was more of a slugger than a hitter until the 2007 season.

"He was a free swinger, really," said one American League scout. "Not really all-or-nothing, but close. Lots of problems making contact and his swing was longer than ideal."

Balentien came into 2007 having posted 300 strikeouts over the previous two seasons. The power remained, but the whiffs were holding him back. And then he flipped the switch.

"It just looked like it started clicking for him, not one thing in particular," said the scout. "He began to stay off that breaking ball away and put himself into better counts."

And that has continued:

"Wlad has made strides in all areas the past year or so," said Rainiers hitting instructor Alonzo Powell. "He's putting together good at-bats, grinding them out, and he gets good pitches to hit more often than he was before.

"He's not a swinger, he's a hitter, and that's what we've worked on since day one. He has a chance to be a really good run producer."

...in the major leagues....shortly.

*-sorry about the video quality. And yes. that is Peter Graves as the emcee.

Fan mail

This popped into the inbox last night during the broadcast. I have removed the name of the player and the e-mailer's relationship to the player...
Quit being such a hater on my _________ (__)!!!!!
Five exclamation points????? Really????? And I thought that _____'s _____, _______ had a decent game last night!!!!!

First, this is a record for the latest into a season I have ever received an e-mail like this. Usually, it arrives about 10 games into the season and usually after a particularly bad loss. Game 21 shows improvement on my part and I am extremely happy about that!!!!!

Sometimes players are going to have bad at bats or pitching performances. I have to mention that or I'm not doing my job. I also have to recap what has happened in the game in case someone is tuning in late too the broadcast and is wondering how the game got to be the way that it is. If it seems like I'm dwelling on the negative, well, I'm not. Just reporting the facts.

I want to see all of the players on the team succeed and move on to the highest level of baseball they can reach. I have worked hard over the last few seasons to be less negative on the radio. The fact that players and coaches were still talking to me during the 14-game losing streak last year should stand as a testament to that.

One last thing. I'm an old man. Can someone explain what 'being such a hater' on someone means?????

A Haiku to wrap this up:

The sun shines brightly
exposing my failure to all
At least it is warm

HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!!! THERE'S BASEBALL TODAY!!!!!

Rattler History...Since 2000

Here is how the Rattlers have fared on April 30…since 2000

2000: The Rattlers beat Kane County 4-2 at home. Craig Anderson got the win. Chris Snelling drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer.

2001: The Rattlers split a doubleheader with Quad City at Black Hawk Community College. Wisconsin won game one 6-1. The Bandits won game two 7-6. John O'Donnell Stadium had been flooded out since the start of the season.

GAME ONE: Jamal Strong, Chuck Lopez, and Jamie Bubela each had three RBI and Kevin Olore allowed one run on six hits for the win.

GAME TWO: The Rattlers had a 6-3 lead after the top of the fifth inning. John Castellano had a couple of RBI for the Rattlers. BUT, Justin Morneau – yes, that Justin Morneau – homered in the fifth off Tim Burton to start a comeback for the River Bandits. The game was tied 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh and got the walk-off win on a Luis Maza RBI single. Burton set a record for the longest water cooler toss after the game.

2002: Another doubleheader with the River Bandits? Yep and this one at John O’Donnell Stadium was a sweep for the QC. Quad City beat the Rattlers 3-2 in 12 innings and 2-0.

GAME ONE: The game was tied 2-2 after the Rattlers scored twice in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles by Miguel Villilo and Shin-soo Choo. Mike Kesten tossed five innings of scoreless relief, but back-to-back doubles in the twelfth gave the Bandits the win.

GAME TWO: Colby Miller, the Rattler Killer, pitched a 4-hit complete game shutout. Joe Mauer was 3-for-3 with an RBI in the game.

2003: The Rattlers game at Clinton was rained out.

2004: The Rattlers won 6-3 in 17 innings at Fort Wayne. Wisconsin took a 2-1 lead with two runs in the top of the eighth on a two RBI single by Oswaldo Navarro. But, in the top of the eighth, Brian Wahlbrink homered in the bottom of the eighth……………Hey, in the 14th, Eval Bastida-Martinez drove in Chris Collins for a 3-2 lead, but Rattler closer Brian Stitt allowed a two-out walk and an RBI double in the bottom of the inning…………….to the 17th! Adam Jones – yes, that Adam Jones – drove in a run with a two-out single and Chris Collins blasted a two-run homer. Bryan Heaston, the eighth Rattler pitcher of the game, worked a scoreless bottom of the inning and a Rattler win!

2005: The Rattlers won 3-0 at South Bend. Aaron Jensen got a complete game 4-hit win. Yung Chi Chen, Brandon Green, and Mike Wilson drove in runs for the Rattlers.

2006: The Rattlers and the Whitecaps were rained out in Grand Chute.

2007: The Rattlers lost 3-1 to Dayton at home. This was one of the weirder endings to a game…ever.

Dayton was up 3-1 with two outs and a runner at first. Leury Bonilla was at the plate with an 0-1 count as the tying run. He took a called strike and did not like the call by home plate umpire Alex Ortiz. Bonilla stepped out of the box to collect himself. Problem! The new rule instituted at the start of the season called for the umpire to call a strike on the batter if they stepped all the way out of the box without calling time. Ortiz enforced the rule and called strike three on Bonilla to end the game.

The Rattler record on April 30 is 4-4…since 2000. There are plenty of weird games and events in here to make this a great day in Rattler history.

Midwest League Action (Game of 4/29)

April 29 scoreboard.

@Wisconsin 7, West Michigan 5: Party on, Garth!

Fort Wayne 2, @Kane County 0
@Kane County 1, Fort Wayne 0: Shutout split!

Lansing 3, Quad Cities 1 @Clinton: Lugs stop Bandit streak.

Cedar Rapids 7, @Burlington 5 (14 innings): A story about a baseball marathon written by someone who has done a triathlon.

@Beloit 3, South Bend 2 (10 innings): Snappy is dancing...well, not in the story, but he probably was after an extra-inning win.

@Clinton 4, Great Lakes 2: First rounder Blake Beavan's first start for the L-Kings is a win.

Dayton 3, @Peoria 2: Painful loss for the Chiefs.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/29)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 13-14 3rd American League West): The Mariners beat Cleveland 7-2. Seattle broke a 2-2 tie with five runs in the top of the ninth inning. Adrian Beltre hit a three run homer in the decisive inning. Mark Lowe (’05) got the win in relief.

TACOMA (AAA: 13-11, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers lost 7-3 to New Orleans. Brian LaHair (’04) had a double and two RBI as a few big bats sat out the game for Tacoma.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 16-10, 3rd Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 7-1 at Carolina. West Tennessee picked up four hits in the loss.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 13-13, 2nd California League South Division): The Mavericks beat San Jose 8-5. Leury Bonilla (’07) had three hits, scored three runs, and drove in a run. Joe Kantakevich (’07) got the win with 1-2/3 innings of scoreless relief as the Mavs rallied from a 5-0 deficit.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Seattle (Jarrod Washburn 1-3) at Cleveland (Cliff Lee 4-0) 6:05pm CDT
New Orleans (Adam Bostick 2-1) at Tacoma (Ryan Feierabend 3-1) 9:00pm CDT
West Tennessee (Rich Dorman 3-1) at Carolina (Ryan Tucker 1-1) 6:15pm CDT
San Jose (Kevin Pucetas 3-0) at High Desert (Alfredo Venegas 1-0) 12:35pm CDT

4/29/2008

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (4/29)

LH EDWARD PAREDES: Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic by Seattle in May, 2005.

DSL: Paredes started his pro career with Seattle’s team in the Dominican Summer League in 2005 with a 3-0 record, a save, and a 2.02ERA in 12 games.

REPEAT: In 2006, Paredes went back to the DSL and was 3-3 with 14 saves and a 2.63ERA in 24 games.

WHAT A WAY TO START: Paredes came on in relief for Tacoma (PCL) on June 14, 2007 for his first appearance in the US. He pitched five no-hit innings with a walk, a hit batsman, and five strikeouts vs. Tucson on June 14. Paredes would get a no decision in the game as the Rainiers would lose 3-1 in twelve innings.

UP IN EVERETT: Paredes went 7-6 in 16 appearances (15 starts) for Everett in 2007. He led the Northwest League in wins and innings pitched (85.2). He was named to the Northwest League All-Star squad. Paredes was also honored as the Most Valuable Pitcher on Everett by Seattle.

RATINGS: Baseball America ranks Paredes as the #22 prospect in the Seattle Mariner system.

LAST START: Paredes retired the first nine South Bend batters he faced at Coveleski Stadium on April 23. But, he gave up eight runs on six hits while retiring only two batters in the fourth inning. For the game, Paredes walked two and struck out five, but took the loss as the Hawks beat the Rattlers 10-2.

LAST WIN: Paredes earned the win against Dayton in the first game of a doubleheader on April 13 in Grand Chute. He allowed one run on five hits over five innings with three walks and four strikeouts.

VS. WEST MICHIGAN: Paredes is making his first appearance against the Whitecaps tonight.

VS. TIGERS: Paredes is making his first appearance against an affiliate in the Detroit system tonight.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 7.0 (4x – Last: 8/21/07 vs. Spokane)
STRIKEOUTS: 8 (7/31/07 @ Vancouver)

April 29 Game Notes

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: West Michigan beat the Timber Rattlers 4-3. Kody Kaiser’s RBI single, his third hit of the night, in the top of the eighth inning broke a 3-3. Both starting pitchers – Juan Ramirez for Wisconsin and Alfredo Figaro for West Michigan – had nine strikeouts, but neither was involved in the decision.

FIRSTLY: The Rattlers got on the board first with a second inning RBI single by Gerardo Avila. The Rattlers have scored first in the first four games of this home stand.

RAAAAAMIIIIIIREZZZZZZZ: The Rattler starter retired the first ten batters he faced last night, but ran into trouble in the fifth inning. An RBI single by Joe Bowen tied the game 1-1 and an RBI single by Kyle Peter put the Whitecaps up 2-1. Ron Bourquin knocked in the third run of the game off Ramirez with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. On the evening, Ramirez set a new professional high for strikeouts with nine.

NOTHING COULD BE FEINER: Rattler catcher Korey Feiner hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game 3-3. Feiner has hit both Timber Rattler home runs at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium this season. He also threw out two of four would be base stealers in last night’s game.

THE CLOSER: Russ Darrow retired all six Rattlers he faced over the final two innings for his second save.

GOOD EYE! GOOD EYE! Eddy Hernandez drew a walk in the bottom of the second inning. It was the second plate appearance in a row in which the Rattler outfielder drew a walk. He had not coaxed a walk from an opposing pitcher in his first 37 plate appearances of 2008.

AND ONE: Rattler outfielder Calvin Beamon doubled in the first inning to run his current hitting streak to eight games. Beamon is 9-for-31 (.290).

BLUE MAN GROUP: Wisconsin had a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Juan Diaz fouled a pitch off the arm of home plate umpire Nathan Thompson. Thompson would need treatment and left the game. A fourteen minute delay occurred as base umpire Brandon Misun went back to the umpire’s clubhouse to put on the gear to work behind the plate and Timber Rattler front office intern Trevor Van Schindel got into the blue uniform to work the bases. After Mark McBratney was hit by a pitch in the top of the fifth, Thompson emerged from the first base dugout, took over as the base umpire, a sent Van Schindel back to his intern duties.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The West Michigan Whitecaps are the Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. In 2007, the Whitecaps had the best record in the league 83-57. They also went on to win the Midwest League Championship, their second straight league title and their third in the last four years. The last team to win consecutive Midwest League Championships was the Appleton Foxes. The Foxes won three straight titles from 1982-1984.

WHITECAPS IN 2008: West Michigan is off to a 14-9 record to start this season. They are in first place and have a one game lead over the Lansing Lugnuts for first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. In their most recent series, the Whitecaps dropped two out of three games at Cedar Rapids. West Michigan is 7-7 on the road in 2008 under their first-year manager Joe DiPastino.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: West Michigan is hitting .260 as a team. They have scored 120 runs (5.2/game) and have hit seven home runs. The Whitecap pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.09. Wisconsin has a team batting average of .240 and have scored 60 runs (3.0/game) with three homers. The Rattlers have a staff ERA of 4.03.

WEST MICHIGAN PITCHER: Manny Miguelez was Detroit’s eighth round pick in the 2007 draft out of the University of Miami. He was 1-2 with a 5.60ERA in 14 games (10 starts) in his final season with the Hurricanes. Most of his first pro season was spent with the Gulf Coast League Tigers where he was 2-4 with a 4.20ERA and 38 strikeouts over 45 innings pitched in 10 games (nine starts). Miguelez made two starts for Oneonta in the New York-Penn League late in the season and was 0-1 with a 4.91ERA. In his last start for the Whitecaps, Miguelez got a no decision against Beloit on April 23. He allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over 6-2/3 innings pitched. This is his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Pitching Matchups

Slight change in the pitching matchup for Wednesday's afternoon game against the Whitecaps.

WED: RHP Jake Wild vs. RHP Lauren Gagnier

Here are the matchups for the series in Lansing Thursday through Saturday:

THU: RHP Nathan Adcock vs. RHP Kyle Ginley
FRI*: LHP Donnie Hume vs. LHP Nate Starner
SAT: RHP Michael Pineda vs. LHP Brad Mills


*-Phillippe Aumont should pitch in relief in this game.

Look who's coming to town

The purple one himself has this video:



Reggy! will be at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium on May 17 and May 18. Tickets still available.

Too see the entire Timber Rattler promotional calendar for the 2008 season, head over here.

MWL Notebook

Stephanie Storm's Midwest League Notebook was up yesterday.

Here are the entries for Lansing and Great Lakes, the next two opponents for the Rattlers.

Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays)

WHO'S HOT: RHP Kyle Ginley earned his fourth victory of the season in a 6-1 win over Clinton Saturday, lowering his ERA to a stingy 0.89 ERA. The 7 2/3 outing, in which he gave up just one unearned run while scattering five hits, marked his third consecutive start without allowing an earned run.

WHO'S NOT: LHP Luis Perez is 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA. In 13 2/3 innings, he has given up 16 runs -- 14 earned -- on 23 hits and 15 walks and three hit batters.

DID YOU KNOW: C Jonathan Jaspe was suspended 50 games Friday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The 23-year old was batting .341 with a home run and 12 RBIs in 12 games.

Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers)

WHO'S HOT: RHP Justin Miller combined with a pair of relievers on a two-hitter in a 2-0 shutout of Peoria April 20. In five starts he is 2-2 with a measly 1.11 ERA, having limited his opposition to three earned runs while striking out 19 in 24 1/3 innings.

WHO'S NOT: 1B Jamie Ortiz is batting just .146 (6-for-41) with 14 strikeouts in 12 games.

DID YOU KNOW: In a 1-0 win over Kane County Tuesday, the Loons stranded 14 baserunners -- including leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, sixth and ninth innings.

MWL Awards

The Midwest League Pitcher and Offensive Player of the Week awards have been announced.

Lansing teammates Kyle Ginley and Nate Starner are co-pitchers of the week.
Kyle Ginley, Lansing
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 10 H, 2R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
Outside of a minor 13-run debacle on April 25, the Lansing Lugnuts pitching staff was brilliant last week, allowing just nine runs combined in the club's other five games. As a result, Lansing walks away with a pair of Pitcher of the Week recipients. Our first hero, Kyle Ginley, set the tone on Monday allowing Peoria just an unearned run over five innings to grab his third win of the season. Ginley would bookend the accomplishment on Saturday, helping the team rebound from its 13-2 loss by limiting Clinton to one unearned run in 7 2/3 innings -- and shrinking his season ERA to 0.89.

Nathan Starner, Lansing
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 SO
In Lansing's land of anything you can do, I can do better, it was hard to pick a winner, as Nathan Starner treated opponents to a nasty one-two combination pitching the day after Ginley. The southpaw was flawless, working six scoreless innings April 22 and seven of the same five days later, and collecting seven strikeouts on both occasions. Starner has now allowed just six singles to left-handed hitters this season as they are managing a mere .366 OPS against him.

Ginley is scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Rattlers and Starner is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Rattlers.

Jason Taylor of Burlington is the offensive player of the week.

Jason Taylor, Burlington
.471 (8-17), 8 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 3 SO, 4 SB, 1.118 SLG
A big week was precisely what the doctor ordered for Taylor, as the former second-round pick was mired at .167 eight days ago. As the temperature heated up in Iowa, though, so did Taylor's bat, with his OPS jumping 300 points on the week. Taylor came out smoking as he homered twice, stole two bases and scored three runs in a 5-2 win to open a road series with Quad Cities. He would reach base at least once in every game on the week, homering again on Saturday, and adding a triple in the Bees' 2-0 win over South Bend. With the climate having cooled in the Midwest, it will be interesting to see if the Virginia Beach native can keep his bat warm.

We had visitors

Peter of The Houses that Erik & Peter Built was at the doubleheader on April 26. Here is his trip report.
Being so close to the field at a minor league game, and with the temps being so cold which produce a lot of broken-bat foulballs, I also had to concentrate on not getting hit in the face, which proved exceedingly difficult while also eating cheese fries out of a helmet and drinking a 152-oz beer. I make it sound like it was a horrible time, and I'll admit it was ridiculously uncomfortable being in 40-degree weather with strong winds (we actually left in the 7th), but its minor league baseball, and you can never go wrong with that. It's always fun to identify amongst yourselves which prospects look really promising and which will be working at a car wash in a month. The starting pitcher for the T-Rats, Josh Adcock, stood out most in my mind, as he seemed to command the plate well. There were so many seeing-eye singles in the game that I couldn't really say if any position players really jumped out at me. Overall it's a great park and Nick and I look forward to returning when it warms up a bit.
We look forward to having you back...and so does Nathan Adcock. Thanks for stopping by.

Rattler History...Since 2000

Here is how the Rattlers have fared on April 29…since 2000

2000: The Rattlers split a double header with the Kane County Cougars in Grand Chute.

GAME ONE: I’ve written about this game before. JJ Putz tossed a no-hitter, the first in Timber Rattler history, in a 6-1 win. He walked five and struck out four. A spectacular diving play behind second by shortstop Ruben Castillo in the sixth inning kept the inning alive. Justin Leone put the game away with a two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth. Putz walked the bases loaded and forced in a run with another walk in the top of the seventh, but he got the final out for the 7-inning no-no.

GAME TWO: The Cougars beat the Rattlers 5-0. Jorge Cordova and Kevin Gordon combined on a two-hit shutout. Luis Ugeto had three hits, two RBI, and a run scored to lead the Kane County offense.

2001: The Rattlers lost 2-1 at Quad City. Terry Tiffee singled in a run to break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh.

2002: The Rattlers had a scheduled off day, but played an exhibition game against the Seattle Mariners at Fox Cities Stadium. I was not at this game due to a Green Bay Gambler playoff game in Sioux City, Iowa.

2003: Wisconsin won 5-1 at Clinton for their sixth win in a row and to get them to 11-11 on the season. Rene Rivera hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning for his third home run of the series against the LumberKings. Oddly, he was hit by a pitch in his next at bat. Bobby Livingston allowed only a first inning run and got the win. Renee Cortez got the final eight outs for the win.

2004: The Rattlers win 5-4 at Fort Wayne. Michael Cox homered in his second straight game. Wisconsin led 5-2 into the bottom of the ninth. Closer Brian Stitt allowed a single to Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. and a homer to Greg Bochy, the first two batters of the game. A single and a walk later in the inning put the winning run on base. But, Stitt got out of the inning for his fourth save.

2005: South Bend beat the Rattlers 11-2 at The Cove. Josh Womack homered with one out in the first inning to give Wisconsin a short-lived 1-0 lead. South Bend got a two-run homer from Carlos Gonzalez in the bottom of the first; three more runs in the second, and four more in the third. Mark Lowe allowed nine runs on ten hits in 2.2IP to take the loss.

2006: The Rattlers lost 2-0 at home to West Michigan in a rain-shortened game. A lead-off single by Michael Saunders in the bottom of the fifth inning was the only hit Wisconsin had off Ramon Garcia.

2007: Fort Wayne beat the Rattlers 11-10. The Wizards had an 11-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Rattlers got a run in the seventh. In the eighth, the first five Rattler batters reached base. All five would score to get the deficit down to one run. In the ninth, Carlos Triunfel had a one-out single. But, he would be stranded there to end the game.

A 3-5 record would make this a crummy day, but a no-hitter by JJ Putz makes it a push.

Midwest League Action (Games of 4/28)

April 28 scoreboard.

West Michigan 4, @Wisconsin 3: There was a game and a good one.

Fort Wayne @ Kane County: PPD

Cedar Rapids 5, @Burlington 3: Three run homer for Kernels.

Dayton @ Peoria: PPD

South Bend 7, @Beloit 1: Three hits for Snappers.

Quad Cities 4, Lansing 3 @Cedar Rapids: Six people were in the stands when the first pitch was thrown. If they stuck around, they would have seen two in the bottom of the ninth for a Bandits win.

@Clinton 10, Great Lakes 3: LumberKings are in first.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/28)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 12-14 3rd American League West): The Mariners were off on Monday.

TACOMA (AAA: 13-10, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Tucson 15-9. Wladimir Balentien (’04) hit three homers and drove in five runs for Tacoma. Bryan LaHair (’04) and Charlton Jimerson also homered for the Rainiers.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 16-9, T-2nd Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 8-6 at Tennessee. West Tennessee had a 5-4 lead after scoring twice in the top of the eighth. But, the Smokies scored four times in the bottom of the eighth and held on for the win.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 12-13, 2nd California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 10-3 to Bakersfield. Leury Bonilla (’07) hit a solo homer in the second inning for a 2-0 lead. But, Anthony Varvaro (’07) allowed six runs on eight hits over three innings.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Seattle (Carlos Silva 3-0) at Cleveland (Fausto Carmona 3-1) 6:05pm CDT
New Orleans (Brian Stokes 2-2) at Tacoma (Sean White 1-0) 9:00pm CDT
West Tennessee at Carolina 6:15pm CDT
San Jose at High Desert (Kyle Parker 2-0) 9:05pm CDT

4/28/2008

Tonight's Rattler Starting Pitcher (4/28)

RH JUAN RAMIREZ: Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Nicaragua by Seattle in July 2005.

DOWN IN VENEZUELA: Ramirez made his professional debut pitching for the Aguirre in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2006. He went 5-1 with a 1.66ERA in 14 games (13 starts)

ON TO EVERETT: Ramirez made 15 starts for Seattle’s Northwest League affiliate in 2007. He was 3-7 with a 4.30 ERA for the AquaSox.

STINGY: Ramirez allowed three or fewer earned runs in 12 of those fifteen starts.

LAST START: Ramirez got the start against the South Bend Silver Hawks on April 22. He did not allow a run in the first five innings and the Rattlers held a 3-0 lead. The Hawks scored three runs off Ramirez in the sixth inning as he retired one of the four batters he faced. Ramirez gave up five hits over 5-1/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts in a no decision. The Silver Hawks scored eight times in the sixth inning and won 8-4.

VS. WEST MICHIGAN: Ramirez has never faced the Whitecaps.

VS. TIGERS: Ramirez has faced a co-op team of Detroit and Florida minor leaguers in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2006. On July 22, he got the win with five shutout innings and seven strikeouts.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 9.0 (7/27/06 vs. VSL Reds)
STRIKEOUTS: 8 (2x – Last: 7/11/07 @ Eugene)

April 28 Game Notes

ABOUT SUNDAY: The Timber Rattlers lost 5-3 to the Beloit Snappers. Wisconsin had a 2-0 lead through five innings, but Beloit scored all five runs of their runs in the top of the sixth. Chris Parmelee’s grand slam put the Snappers up 4-2. The Rattlers loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but managed one run before Matt Williams got the final out for the save.

GOOD START: Michael Pineda made his first start as a Timber Rattler in Sunday’s game. He pitched five scoreless innings and allowed four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

A PAIR: Wisconsin broke a scoreless tie with a pair of runs off Beloit starting pitcher Michael Berlind in the bottom of the fifth. Juan Diaz and Eddy Hernandez collected hits to start the rally. A sacrifice fly by Korey Feiner and an RBI double by Rob Garth plated the runs in the inning.

FIVE-SPOT: Rob Harmon relieved Pineda to start the sixth inning. The right-hander allowed a lead-off single, a strikeout with a wild pitch that allowed the next batter to reach, and a hit batsman to load the bases. Parmelee lifted a 2-1 pitch to right-center for the grand slam. The next batter walked and would eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Greg Yersich.

TAKING A RUN: Spencer Steeedley pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Snappers and turned the game over to Charles Nolte in the bottom of the ninth. An error, a walk, and a hit batsman loaded the bases with no outs and drove Nolte from the game. Williams entered the game an got a popout and a strikeout to hold that 5-2 lead.

KEEPING THE STREAK ALIVE: Rattler second baseman Edilio Colina was 0-for-4 in his first four at bats of Sunday’s game. He stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth. His infield single extended his hitting streak to nine games and drove in a run. Colina is tied with Gavin Dickey for the longest hitting streak on the team this season.

ENDGAME: Williams got a strikeout to end the Wisconsin rally and the game.

KEEP ON ROLLIN': Calvin Beamon had two hits on Sunday to give him a seven game hitting streak.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The West Michigan Whitecaps are the Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. In 2007, the Whitecaps had the best record in the league 83-57. They also went on to win the Midwest League Championship, their second straight league title and their third in the last four years. The last team to win consecutive Midwest League Championships was the Appleton Foxes. The Foxes won three straight titles from 1982-1984.

WHITECAPS IN 2008: West Michigan is off to a 13-9 record to start this season. They are currently tied with the Lansing Lugnuts for first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. In their most recent series, the Whitecaps dropped two out of three games at Cedar Rapids. West Michigan is 6-7 on the road in 2008 under their first-year manager Joe DiPastino.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: West Michigan is hitting .261 as a team. They have scored 116 runs (5.3/game) and have hit seven home runs. The Whitecap pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.13). Wisconsin has a team batting average of .240 and have scored 57 runs (3.0/game) with two homers. The Rattlers have a staff ERA of 4.03.

2007 SEASON SERIES: The Timber Rattlers were 2-6 against the Whitecaps last season. Wisconsin dropped three out of four at West Michigan in late April. The Rattlers and Whitecaps met in Grand Chute August 11-14 last season. West Michigan won three of four games in that set. Two of the games went to extra innings with the Rattlers winning in ten innings on August 12 and the Caps winning in eleven innings on August 14.

PROSPECTING: Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook has no active members of the Whitecap roster on their list of the Top 30 prospects in the Tiger organization. Only Charlie Furbush, a pitcher on the West Michigan disabled list, is rated by BA. He is ranked at #21.

OUT OF THE DRAFT: There are seven members of the 2007 Detroit draft class on the active West Michigan roster. Pitcher Manny Miguelez of the University of Miami was an 8th round pick and infielder Justin Henry of Ole Miss was a 9th round pick for the only top ten picks from ’07 to be with the Caps. Other draftees from last year are: Pitcher Noah Krol (17th), pitcher Andrew Hess (19th), pitcher Jon Kibler (30th), pitcher Paul Nardozzi (31st), and outfielder Kyle Peter (34th).

VETERANS: Six current Whitecaps spent at least a part of 2007 in West Michigan. Pitchers Kelvin Cedeno, Lauren Gagnier, and Ramon Garcia; catcher Jordan Newton; and infielders Audy Ciriaco, and Joe Tucker were Caps in ’07.

WEST MICHIGAN PITCHER: Alfredo Figaro was picked up as a minor league free agent by the Tigers in 2005 after he was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Figaro pitched for the Tigers team in the Dominican Summer League in 2005 and their Gulf Coast League team in 2006. Figaro made 11 starts for the Oneonta Tigers of the New York-Penn League in 2007 and was 4-2 with a 3.38ERA and 40 strikeouts in 53.1IP. He also made five appearances (four starts) for Lakeland in the Florida State League where he was 0-2, with a 4.76ERA. In his last start for the Whitecaps, Figaro picked up the win over Beloit on April 22. He allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts over six innings. Tonight is his first appearance against the Rattlers.

It was either those guys or Limp Bizkit. Either choice shows how out of touch I am.

Three Iowa cities in three days

The Mississippi River is flooding Davenport and the River Bandits will have to play the Lansing Lugnuts away from home over the next three days.


The Quad Cities River Bandits will play out the remainder of the current homestand away from Modern Woodmen Park, as the flooding Mississippi River has continued to extend its reach past the railroad tracks on S. Gaines St. and has surrounded the ballpark.

While the field and stadium themselves are well protected, access to Modern Woodmen Park has been cut off. The Midwest League deemed the conditions surrounding the stadium unsafe, prompting the relocation of the remainder of the homestand.

Quad Cities will play their three-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts at a series of different locations. Monday will feature a 7:00 p.m. contest at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. The series will shift to Alliant Energy Field in Clinton for a Noon start on Tuesday, while Wednesday's game will be played at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City at 6:00 p.m.

The ballpark in Iowa City is the home of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Discounted tickets will be available at all three sites.

In 2001, the River Bandits were flooded out of a lot more than three games and the water got inside the stadium. I want to say they lost almost the entire first half of the season's home schedule.

Plan number one was to play games at Black Hawk Community College in Moline, Illinois. The lack of a warning track, seating, and clubhouses ended that after a few games. The Twins didn't like the fact that Justin Morneau was patrolling an outfield that had no warning track and a downslope to the outfield fence.

I may also be mistaken on this, but, they played a four games in Dayton as the home team.

One thing that I am not mistaken about is that the Rattlers had to play a three game series against the River Bandits in Clinton. All three games were rescheduled as day games so that they would not have to pay for the lights being turned on, but bus troubles, a rain delay, and a very long day forced the lights to be turned on in all three games. I'll cover these games in more detail when they come up in Rattler History...since 2000.

Two other things about those games in Clinton. The only people in the stands on those three games were Jamie Bubela's grandmother, mother, and sister. After the game, the players said that they could hear me on the field as I was calling the game from the radio booth.

Yes? You up at the chalkboard?

You had something to add?

4/27/2008

Rattler History...Since 2000

Here is how the Rattlers have fared on April 28…since 2000

2000: The Rattlers lost 7-5 at Kane County. I was not at this game because of a Green Bay Gambler playoff game.

2001: The Rattlers won 5-0 at Clinton. Rett Johnson pitched a complete game 5-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. He beat LumberKing pitcher Luke Lockwood. Remember this pitching matchup. Guillermo “Bill” Martinez had three hits and two RBI to lead the offense.

2002: The Rattlers beat the Snappers, but I was not at this game due to a Green Bay Gambler playoff game.

2003: Wisconsin won 14-13 at Clinton in eleven innings. The Rattlers scored seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to go up 13-8. Clinton scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. In the eleventh, Carlos Arroyo tripled and Corey Harrington singled to drive in the go-ahead run. Bryan Heaston gave up a lead-off double in the bottom of the inning, but got out of the jam for the save. Rene Rivera went 4-for-6 with two homers and five RBI for Wisconsin.

2004: This was a scheduled off day for the Timber Rattlers.

2005: The Rattlers won 12-6 at South Bend. Brandon Green, Mike Wilson, Marshall Hubbard, and Yung Chi Chen each had two RBI. Mumba Rivera allowed three runs (one earned) over seven innings to run his record to 3-0.

2006: Wisconsin won 6-3 at Fort Wayne. Ron Garth had four hits for the Rattlers. Justin Thomas allowed one run over seven innings for the win.

2007: Fort Wayne beat the Rattlers 9-3 on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Wizards scored five runs in the top of the second inning. Wisconsin had ten hits, but scored single runs in the fourth, sixth, and eighth innings.

April 28th's record is just 4-3 since 2000, but that 14-13 extra inning game at Clinton in 2003 was one of the most amazing regular season games I've seen in this job. April 28 is a pretty good day in Rattler history...since 2000.

Midwest League Action (Game of 4/27)

April 27 scoreboard.

Beloit 5, @Wisconsin 3: SLAM!

Dayton 7, @Kane County 0: DRILL!

Fort Wayne 7, @Peoria 2: CHIP!

@Quad Cities 5, Great Lakes 1: SWEEP!

@Clinton 2, Lansing 1: WALK-OFF!

@Burlington 3, South Bend 2: STING!

West Michigan 9, @Cedar Rapids 2: ROUGHED!

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/27)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 12-14 3rd American League West): The Mariners lost 4-2 to Oakland. Felix Hernandez (’03) had a 2-0 lead after seven innings, but allowed four runs in the top of the eighth and took the loss. He struck out ten in the game.

TACOMA (AAA: 12-10, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers lost 4-0 at Tucson. The Sidewinders scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning off RA Dickey. Tacoma had three hits in the game.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 16-8, T-2nd Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx beat Tennessee 4-0. Adam Moore (’06) had three hits, a homer, an RBI, and two runs scored for West Tennessee. Chris Jakubauskas pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed four hits for the win.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 12-12, 2nd California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 5-2 to Bakersfield. Leury Bonilla (’07) and Carlos Peguero (’07) each had an RBI for High Desert. Keith Renaud (’07) walked five and allowed four runs over five innings for the loss.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE (4/28)
Seattle – OFF DAY
New Orleans at Tacoma 9:00pm CDT
West Tennessee (Ryan Ketchner 1-0) at Tennessee (Tanner Wilson 0-0) 6:15pm CDT
Bakersfield at High Desert 9:05pm CDT

A little on a Sunday night

I have a lot to do in the morning....Believe it or not.

So, I'm going to post a few things now, update them with a few links when I can, and maybe get to a few others in the afternoon tomorrow.

Brick takes a stab at Haiku

I don't know why Carl and Mehring asked me to try this. I hate poetry almost as much as I hate bad weather. But, apparently, my defeat of Captain Cold yesterday allowed the Rattlers to get both games in yesterday.

Not that anyone is superstitious over here or anything. I hate superstition (not the Steve Wonder song. That wrocks) almost as much as I hate bad weather.

Anyway here I go:

Winter's chill lingers
But the sun is out for now
baseball game today

Not terrible.

Today's Rattler Starter (4/27)

RHP MICHAEL PINEDA was signed as a non drafted free by the Mariners out of the Dominican Republic on December 12, 2005.

SUMMERTIME: In his first professional season, Pineda pitched for Seattle’s team in the Dominican Summer League. He was 2-1 in eight games (three starts) with a 0.44 ERA during the 2006 season.

DR REDUX: Pineda repeated the DSL in 2007 and went 6-1 with a 2.29ERA over 15 games (12 starts). Pineda struck out 48 and walked 11 over 59 innings pitched last year.

MVP: Seattle named Pineda the Most Valuable Pitcher of their Dominican Summer League affiliate for his performance last season.

SIX IN A ROW: Pineda won six consecutive decisions from June 19 through August 4 last season.

LAST START: Pineda picked up a no decision in a start against the Dominican Summer League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 20. He pitched 2-2/3 innings without allowing a hit. Pineda walked two, hit one, and struck out two in the game.

LAST APPEARANCE: Pineda made a relief appearance at South Bend on April 21. He worked three innings and allowed one run on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

VS. BELOIT: Today is Pineda’s first appearance against the Snappers and against an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

2008 SO FAR: Pineda won his first two appearances for the Rattlers. He picked up a win in relief in the first game of a doubleheader at Quad Cities on April 5 and another win with two innings of scoreless relief against Fort Wayne on April 16.

PROFESSIONAL BESTS:
INNINGS PITCHED: 6.0 (vs. DSL A’s 2 7/9/07)
STRIKEOUTS: 6 (vs. DSL A’s 2 7/30/07)

April 27 Game Notes

ABOUT SATURDAY: The Timber Rattlers split a doubleheader with the Beloit Snappers. The Snappers won game one 6-5. Wisconsin won game two 3-0.

GAME ONE RECAP: The Rattlers built an early 5-1 lead with a pair of runs in the first inning and three more in the second. But, Beloit starting pitcher David Bromberg allowed two hits over his final three innings and allowed the Snapper bats to get going. Beloit scored twice in the fourth on an RBI single by Steve Singleton, who had three hits in the game. Beloit tied the game with two runs in the fifth. Chris Cates singled in the go ahead run in the sixth. Loek Van Mil shutout the Rattlers over the final two innings for the save.

GAME TWO RECAP: Donnie Hume and Phillippe Aumont combined on a four hit shutout to earn the split. Wisconsin scored a run in the first inning on a passed ball, a run in the fourth on a Juan Diaz RBI single, and a run in the fifth on an RBI double by Calvin Beamon. Hume worked the first four innings. Aumont allowed one hit over the final three innings for the win.

FIVE: The Rattlers are 0-9 in games in which they have allowed more than five runs. Game one yesterday was the first game that the Rattlers lost in which they scored five or more runs.

DOUBLE SIXES: Nathan Adcock got the start in game one yesterday. He struck out six and walked six over 4-2/3 innings. The six walks in a start is a high for a Timber Rattler pitcher this season.

TRUCKIN’: Edilio Colina had two hits in game one and a double in game two to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Colina is 11-for-30 during the streak. Calvin Beamon also got a hit in both games. His current hitting streak is at six games.

ALL BY MYSELF: Rattler first baseman Gerardo Avila turned a pair of unassisted double plays in the first game of the double header.

SHUTOUT TANDEM: The Timber Rattlers have tossed three shutouts this season. Hume and Aumont have pitched in all three. Aumont was the starter in the first game of a doubleheader at Quad Cities on April 5. Hume was the starter and winner in the second game of that doubleheader against the River Bandits.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Beloit Snappers are the Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. They were 79-61 last season and made it to the playoffs as the first half western division champions. Beloit made it to the Midwest League Championship Series, but lost in five games to the West Michigan Whitecaps.

SEE YOU IN THE SECOND HALF: Today is the final meeting of the first half between the Rattlers and Snappers. Wisconsin and Beloit renew acquaintances in Grand Chute July 5-7; in Beloit July 19-21; and back in Grand Chute July 26-28.

SNAPPERS IN 2008: The Snappers are 7-15 in the first 22 games of 2008. In their most recent series, the Snappers were swept in a three-game series with the West Michigan Whitecaps in Comstock Park, Michigan. They are 3-7 on the road this season under new manager Nelson Prada.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: Beloit is hitting .245 as a team and has scored 80 runs (3.6/game). They have hit 16 home runs this season. Beloit’s pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.04. The Timber Rattlers are hitting .242 as a team; have scored 46 runs (3.0/game); and have hit two home runs this season. Wisconsin’s pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.97.

2008 SEASON SERIES: The Rattlers are 3-2 in five games against the Snappers in 2008.

BELOIT STARTING PITCHER: Daniel Berlind was the 7th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2007 draft out of Pierce (CA) Junior College. He went 6-2 with a 1.93ERA in 11 games (nine starts) for the Gulf Coast League Twins in his first pro season. Today is his first appearance against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. In his last start for the Snappers, Berlind allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with three walks and no strikeouts over four innings at West Michigan on April 22. Baseball America rates him as the #26 prospect in the Minnesota organization.

I did it. And I'd do it again. Just be glad it wasn't the Celine Dion version.

Rant of all rants

Larry Stone has a piece today on the 25th Anniversary of the Lee Elia rant.

"I can guarantee you it was on every continent on the planet within a week," said Les Grobstein, the radio reporter who happened to have his tape recorder aimed at Elia the afternoon of April 29, 1983. Elia, early in his first full season as Cubs manager, went off, and off, and off, after a tough 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

Elia laid a hammer to Cubs fans in a three-minute screed that was almost poetic in the scope of its profanity. One phrase in particular has become as much a part of Cubs lore as Steve Bartman and the Billy Goat: "Eighty-five percent of the world's working; the other 15 come out here."

That's with the expletives deleted, of course. Grobstein, who still has the original copy of the tape "in a place no one will find it," has done the math: 54 profane words, including 45 that begin with F.

Elia, who is now in the Seattle organization, is using the anniversary for a good cause.

Elia, now 70, has accepted that the Wrigley rant will be his legacy. Rather than fight it, he's using the silver anniversary to explain some of the story behind the incident, which probably had a lot to do with his firing in August 1983.

More important, Elia is using the media exposure to raise money for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, through sales of an autographed baseball that contains a sound chip in which Elia parodies his tirade with a positive message to Cubs fans. More information can be found by calling 1-800-581-8661 or visiting www.leeunplugged.com. Elia is a survivor of prostate cancer.

Kevin Capie of the Peoria Journal-Star spoke with someone who was there.

Chiefs manager Ryne Sandberg led off that day and went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI in the loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The players heard the tirade in which Elia criticized the fans for getting on the players because of the Cubs 5-14 start to the 1983 season.

“It was fairly cramped quarters, as every thing pretty much is at Wrigley Field,” Sandberg said. “We could hear every word. I haven’t really thought too much about since then.”

Although Elia’s tirade was directed towards the fans - calling them essentially unemployed and dumb - the message got through the thin walls to the players.

“It was my second year, and I took it personally,” Sandberg said. “It was really a reflection of how we were playing as a team.”

One last note about

Curtis Granderson's rehab for West Michigan.

Bus Leagues Baseball had this post by One More Dying Quail that points elsewhere to get this story out.
Granderson was in the area for a rehab stint with the local minor league club, the West Michigan Whitecaps, and apparently chose to make himself available to any public schools that were interested in having him speak for a few minutes on Tuesday afternoon. His Riverside talk centered around the importance of teachers, education, and teamwork. Granderson’s parents and sister are teachers.
Follow that link within the above paragraph for the full story. But here is a good bit to share here:
"Those friends in your class, they're your teammates," Granderson told students at a surprise assembly today. "And when you need help in math, turn to your teammates for help and you can work things through together."

Rattler History...Since 2000

Here is how the Rattlers have fared on April 27…since 2000

2000: The Rattlers won 3-1 at Kane County. I was not at this game because of a Green Bay Gambler playoff game.

2001: The Rattlers won 10-5 at Clinton. Dan Floyd, Chuck Lopez, and Jake Daubert all had three hits. Lopez drove in three runs.

2002: The Rattlers beat the Snappers 4-1 at home in a rain shortened game. Wisconsin scored three runs – two on a double by Luis Oliveros – in the bottom of the fifth. There was a steady rain throughout the game, but it became really bad in the seventh. The game was deemed over after the final out of the top of the seventh.

2003: Wisconsin earned a four game sweep of South Bend with a 13-12 win in 10 innings. TJ Bohn had a really, really, really good day. The game was already interesting enough with a 7-7 tie after six innings. The Silver Hawks scored five runs in the top of the eighth. Wisconsin rallied with five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Bohn hit a three-run homer, his third hit of the game to make the score 12-11. An error and an RBI double by Matt Hagen tied the game. Bohn led off the bottom of the tenth with a solo homer off Enrique Gonzalez for the game-winner. Bohn had five RBI in the game.

2004: The Rattlers won 7-3 in Beloit. Josh Womack, who had started the previous two games in the series with a homer, started this game with a single. Michael Cox, the second batter of the game, hit the homer for the Rattlers 2-0 lead. Ryan Feierabend pitched six strong innings for his third win of the season.

2005: The Rattlers had a scheduled off day.

2006: The Rattlers beat Fort Wayne 11-6. Michael Saunders hit a three-run double in the fifth inning and JB Tucker hit a three run homer in the seventh to provide most of the offense.

2007: Wisconsin beat Fort Wayne 12-4 at home. The Rattlers scored seven runs in the bottom of the third inning and the Wizards committed seven errors in the game.

The Rattlers are 7-0 on April 27 since 2000. Even I would call that a pretty good day.

Midwest League Action (Games of 4/26)

April 26 scoreboard.

Beloit 6, @Wisconsin 5
@Wisconsin 3, Beloit 0: Split.

@Kane County 7, Dayton 1
Dayton 7, @Kane County 5: Split.

@Quad Cities 6, Great Lakes 4
@Quad Cities 4, Great Lakes 0: Bandit sweep!

@Cedar Rapids 8, West Michigan 7 (11 innings): How 'bout them Kernels?!

Fort Wayne 5, @Peoria 3: Wizards!

@Burlington 2, South Bend 0: "Yesterday happened. Nothing's going to change. We're not going to win yesterday's game so we just came today and tried to win today's. We did."

Lansing 6, @Clinton 1: Ginley is 4-0.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/26)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 12-13 3rd American League West): The Mariners beat Oakland 5-3. Erik Bedard allowed two hits over 6-2/3 shutout innings for the win. Greg Norton had three hits and three RBI to pace the offense.

TACOMA (AAA: 12-9, 2nd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers lost 17-14 at Tucson. Matt Tuiasosopo (’05) and Bryan LaHair (’04) each had three hits and two RBI for Tacoma. The Sidewinders broke an 11-11 tie with six runs in the seventh inning.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 15-8, T-2nd Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx beat Tennessee 7-2. Prentice Redman hit a grand slam as part of a five run eighth inning. Mike Wilson (’05) added a two run homer in the ninth for West Tennessee. Marwin Vega (’06) pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the win.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 12-11, 2nd California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 7-3 to Bakersfield. Johan Limonta (’06) had three hits and drove in two runs for High Desert, but the loss dropped the Mavs into second place.

MARINER SYSTEM SCHEDULE TODAY
Oakland (Joe Blanton 1-4) at Seattle (Felix Hernandez 2-0) 3:10pm CDT
Tacoma (RA Dickey 1-1) at Tucson (Matt Scherzer 0-0) 2:00pm CDT
West Tennessee (Chris Jakubauskas 2-0) at Tennessee (Mitch Atkins 1-1) 5:00pm CDT
Bakersfield at High Desert 5:05pm CDT

4/26/2008

Today's Rattler Starters (4/26)

Game one is Nathan Adcock. That link takes you to the post for last night.

Game Two:

LHP DONNIE HUME: Selected by the Mariners in the 8th round of San Diego State University.

AZTEC: Hume was 4-2 with a 3.07ERA in seven starts in his final season at SDSU. That season ended after surgery to remove a small bone spur in his pitching elbow on May 7.

PRE-AZTEC: Pitched two seasons at Long Beach State before transferring to SDSU. Was 1-1 with a 2.37ERA as a freshman and 3-3 with a 3.59ERA as a sophomore.

FAMOUS ALUM: Hume played for Vacaville High School and earned All-Monticello Empire League honors as a senior. Major leaguer Jermaine Dye also went to Vacaville High School.

ON THE CAPE: Hume was a member of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2006. Was 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA for the Sox.

FIRST PRO START: Hume is made his professional debut as the starting pitcher in the second game of the doubleheader against the Quad Cities River Bandits on April 5, 2008

IT WAS A GOOD ONE: Hume pitched five shutout innings for the victory in the 2-0 Rattler win. The only hit he allowed was a one out double in the bottom of the fifth. He struck out five and walked a pair for the win.

LAST START: Hume picked up his second win of the season with a victory over the Beloit Snappers on April 20. In that start, he allowed three runs on five hits over five innings with four walks and seven strikeouts. Wisconsin scored three times in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-3 lead and Hume picked up the win as the bullpen held that lead to the end.

VS. BELOIT: The start on April 20 Hume’s first appearance against the Snappers.

VS. TWINS: The start on April 20 was Hume’s first appearance against an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHS
INNINGS PITCHED: 5.0 (3x – Last: 4/20 @BEL)
STRIKEOUTS: 7 (4/20 @BEL)

April 26 Game Notes

Abbreviated version. Most of the stuff is still valid from the April 25 version.

HOW MANY? Last night’s game between the Rattlers and the Snappers was rained out. Friday marked the sixth time this season a Rattler home date has been lost to the weather. Nine home dates were lost over the entire 2003 and 2007 seasons.

HEADING FOR THE LIGHT: The Rattlers 6-3 in nine day games this season.

BELOIT STARTING PITCHER GAME ONE: David Bromberg was the 32nd round pick of the Twins in the 2005 draft. He was selected out of Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California. Bromberg spent 2005 with the Gulf Coast League Twins (3-3, 2.66ERA) and 2006 with the Elizabethton Twins (9-0, 2.78ERA) in the Appalachian League. His last start for the Snappers was his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers. On April 19 at Pohlman Field, Bromberg allowed two runs on two hits with four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings. He left the game with the Snappers leading 3-2, but the Rattlers rallied for a 5-3 win.

BELOIT STARTING PITCHER GAME TWO: Michael Tarsi was the 12th round pick of the Twins in the 2007 draft out of the University of Connecticut. Tarsi went 6-4 with a 3.70ERA in his junior season with the Huskies. Tarsi pitched for the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League after signing his pro contract. Tarsi was 5-2 with a 2.22 ERA in 11 starts for Elizabethton. He is 0-4 with a 9.78ERA in four starts for the Snappers this season. In his last appearance, Tarsi allowed two unearned runs on six hits over eight innings in a loss at West Michigan on April 21. He walked one and struck out three. This is his first appearance against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

The Traveling Wilburys rocked!

Who's going to stop me?

The Flash has been defeated!
Who can stop Captain Cold and get these games in today?

I will, you frozen freak!
Brick, the Bad-weather hating Bactrian has
two humps full of justice for you!
And my friend, Mr. Cub, is with me on this. Right, Ernie!

LET'S PLAY TWO TODAY!

Rattler History...Since 2000

Here is how the Rattlers have fared on April 26…since 2000

2000: The Rattlers had a scheduled off day.

2001: The Rattlers beat Clinton 7-2 in Iowa. Dan Floyd and Pedro Liriano each had homers for the Rattlers. Erik Grunwald gave up an unearned run on four hits in five innings for the win.

2002: Beloit beat the Rattlers 4-3 at Fox Cities Stadium. The Snappers broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the top of the sixth. A passed ball scored the first run and a three-run triple by Chris Barnwell made it 4-0. Former Brewer prospect Mike Jones allowed two-hits over seven shutout innings. Wisconsin got a run in the eighth and two in the ninth, The tying run was at third and the winning run was at second, but Chris Saenz struck out Harvey Monte to end the game.

2003: Wisconsin beat South Bend 7-6. The Rattlers scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally from a 6-4 deficit. Rene Rivera knocked in the go-ahead run with a single. Bryan Heaston worked around a walk and a single in the top of the ninth inning for the save.

2004: The Snappers beat the Rattlers 7-6 in Beloit. For the second game in a row, Josh Womack started the contest with a home run. But, the Rattlers trailed 7-4 heading into the ninth. Chris Colton homered and an RBI single by Adam Jones brought Wisconsin to within a run. But, with the bases loaded and two out, Ty Taubeneim got the final out to seal the win for the Snappers.

2005: Beloit beat the Rattlers 5-3 in eleven innings at Fox Cities Stadium. Josh Womack tied the game 3-3 with an RBI double. Yung Chi Chen started the bottom of the tenth with a triple, but he was left stranded. Trevor Plouffe had a two-run single in the top of the eleventh for the game-winning hit.

2006: The Rattlers won 7-3 at Fort Wayne. Wisconsin scored five runs in the top of the fifth to break a scoreless tie. Jose Escalona pitched five hitless innings, had to leave after throwing 82 pitches. He walked five, including three – along with a hit batsman – in the fifth.

2007: Fort Wayne beat the Rattlers 3-1 at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Rattlers got a run in the first inning, but that would be it for the night. Nathan Culp allowed four hits over eight innings and got the win for the Wizards.

A 3-4 record on April 26. Meh.

Midwest League Action (Games of 4/25)

April 25 scoreboard (what there is of it).

Beloit @ Wisconsin: PPD

Dayton @ Kane County: PPD

Great Lakes @ Quad Cities: PPD

@Peoria 4, Fort Wayne 3: 2-1/2 hour delay at the start. Down 3-1, the Chiefs score three in the bottom of the ninth for the win.

South Bend 8, @Burlington 4: Silver Hawks stay hot.

@Cedar Rapids 7, West Michigan 3: Fuller day for the Kernels.

@Clinton 13, Lansing 2: Gac homers again; L-Kings win.
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