Remembering 1982

Since the Brewers are in the Playoffs for the first time since 1982, Rattler Radio is looking back at that year. Yesterday in song. Today...in movies.

Here is a top ten list of 1982 movies from Film.com.

Again, Rattler Radio challenge: Guess the film from the YouTube freeze frame.








Bonus #4




A look from Between the Green Pillars

But, the post at this SportsBubbler.com blog isn't about the Brewers playoff run.

Now For Something Completely Different...

Playoff euphoria has taken over the city of Milwaukee.

It's taken over this writer.

Still, I think it's time to take a step back and look at something that was in the news last week, the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers low class A ball team will be the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the next four years.

On one hand, this is great for the franchise. It makes it easier for those of us living in the Milwaukee area to get out and see the younger players in the Brewer system earlier. It also helps deepen the connection between the Fox River Valley and the major league club in Milwaukee, which can't hurt ticket sales.

There is one major downside, however. The pitchers who will be coming through Appleton for long stints will by and large be on the young side, as Low A is where pitchers fresh from high school tend to go the year after they're drafted. Young pitchers are particularly susceptible to injury and pitching in cold weather is often cited as a particularly dangerous practice to engage in.

That second link goes to a Baseball Prospectus article. There's a chart there and everything so, it's science!

Sorry, that was a little too flip.

I'm just skimming that BP article -- because, well I have to be to work in a little bit -- and did not see anything in there about cold weather being cited. Go read it if you have time, but here is the conclusion.
We have already discussed how the first of the three physiological elements of injury risk--the intrinsic strain that the pitching motion requires--is of greatest concern for very young pitchers. Indeed, based on a limited sample of MLB injury data reviewed by Under the Knife, pitchers under the age of 24 are especially likely to experience injuries to their elbows and shoulders, those body parts that are put under the greatest stress by the pitching motion. However, it may be more proper to associate the pitching motion itself with the underlying risk of injury observed among pitchers of all ages.

The relationship between age and fatigue is more ambiguous. Our attrition rate study focused only on performance in the most recent season, rather than fatigue accumulated over the course of the career. However, from what specific data we do have available, it appears that fatigue-based injuries are more likely to afflict older pitchers. According to MLB data, while the risk of tears and fractures decreases with age, the risk of strain and inflammation increases. So too does the risk of injury to body parts that are secondary to a pitcher's motion, such as his back, knee, and hamstrings. Fatigue-based injuries such as these may account for the gradual slope upward in injury risk after the age of 25.

It is the final factor--mechanics--that may be responsible for the high incidence of injuries among very young pitchers. It is likely that pitchers with inherently poor mechanics are weeded out very early in their careers. Our attrition rate data suggest that injury risk is very high even for 21- and 22- year-olds who have pitched successfully in the major leagues. One can imagine that it is higher still for pitchers who have not yet turned professional, and for pitchers whose mechanics are sufficiently poor that they do not develop the command necessary to reach the major leagues at all.

There is no ready statistical metric to evaluate a pitcher's mechanics, and even case-by-case observation can obscure the physiology unique to each pitcher. Thus, the most powerful measure of the efficiency of a pitcher's motion may simply be the passage of time without his encountering serious injury. The so-called injury nexus does appear to be a real phenomenon, but it occurs before the age of 23, a younger age than some previous studies have suggested.
The writer at BtGP looks at a little data and...
Of course no one can say for certain that this will cause any problems. It's not like the Brewers moving their Low A team from a Wisconsin locale to a warmer climate (Beloit to West Virginia) a few years ago led to a noticeable decrease in injuries to pitchers in the system, at least on the surface. So maybe this will all come to nothing in the long run. Young pitchers do tend to get hurt in general, so it's not really going to be possible to pin point injuries as "weather related."

With the success the Brewers have had developing players in general, it seems reasonable to assume they considered all factors and made this decision with open eyes and decided the risk was worth the potential reward. Still, with top flight and fresh from high school pitching prospects like Jake Odorizzi and Seth Linz likely ticketed for the Rattlers early next season, there is good reason to be at least a little concerned here.
Emphasis added.

Let me just wrap this up with an observation*. I don't know the Brewers player development people. But, if there was anything in a pitcher in the Mariner organization that even hinted at arm problems -- be it on a 40 degree night in April or an 80 degree night in August -- that pitcher would either be shutdown or things would be taken very easy with him.

There are pitch limits in games, but there were also innings limits in seasons.

Teams invest a lot of money on young pitchers and I can't see the Brewers making a kid throwing a 9-inning complete game in April. The Brewers, heck every team, will be very careful with their prospects, but very careful with their pitching prospects.

Besides, the way this off-season has started in Appleton, it's going to be the warmest April ever when Opening Day 2009 rolls around.

*-Full disclosure for those of you new to the blog. The author of Rattler Radio is an employee of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Brewers had...

a pep rally yesterday.
JSOnline.com Photo Credit: Jeffrey Phelps
Wearing everything from throwback jerseys to wild-card T-shirts while waving white towels and chanting, “Let’s go, Brewers,” fans jammed the Miller Lite Oasis at the Summerfest grounds to cheer on the Crew before the team left for Philadelphia, bound for a first-round matchup with the Phillies that begins Wednesday afternoon.

The Brewers said 14,188 people attended the rally.

The crowd roared as the Brewers took the stage about 5:15 p.m., the fans releasing 26 years of pent-up frustration capped by one final month of nerve-rattling baseball.
See who is starting Game One of the NLDS?
“I’m going to try my hardest (to stay calm),” Yovani Gallardo said Monday after being informed by interim manager Dale Sveum that he would be starting Game 1 of the National League Division Series against Philadelphia at 2 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies...The Phillies...I seem to remember a Brewer series in Philadelphia...and so does Anthony Witrado.
On Sept. 11, the Brewers walked into the [Citizens Bank Park] for a four-game series holding a four-game lead in the wild-card standings. Their terrible final month of the season was already under way with a 3-7 home stand, but they didn’t lose much ground because the Phillies, the team chasing them, weren’t playing much better.

Philadelphia’s fortunes changed with that series. The Phillies swept the Brewers — Milwaukee’s second four-game sweep of the season — to pull into a tie for the wild card.

At the completion of that series, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio phoned general manager Doug Melvin to broach the subject of firing Yost. As the story goes, the two slept on the thought, but the next morning, Yost was removed from his post and Dale Sveum became interim manager.

It was a surprise firing for nearly everyone involved. The hope was that the shock of the move would spark a fire in the team. It did, but not until the Brewers returned home last week to win five of their last six games to clinch their first playoff berth in 26 years.

Now, the Phillies await them for a best-of-five series. And the Phils like their chances.

They are 5-1 against the Brewers, and that four-game sweep helped turn Philadelphia into a division champion. The Phillies went 13-3 in the final 16 games of the season but are saying that the uplifting sweep of the Brewers is a distant memory now that everyone is 0-0.
Tenuous Timber Rattler tie-in: Philadelphia pitcher Jamie Moyer was traded by the Mariners to the Phillies on August 19, 2006 for Andy Baldwin and Andrew Barb. Barb was the Timber Rattler closer in 2007 and pitched in the Midwest League All-Star game.

Thinking about getting a ticket to Game Three on Saturday?
“If they split the two games in Philadelphia or win both, tickets for Saturday or Sunday will be very hard to find,” said Don Vaccaro, who runs Ticketnetwork.com, a company that sells ticket software to secondary ticket brokers. “As far as ticket prices are concerned, there will be a huge demand in Milwaukee.”

The Brewers have largely worked out the logistics for season-ticket holders, but some fans have had to be relocated to other areas of the ballpark.

The reason is simple. As is the custom with most playoff games, Major League Baseball reserves approximately 10,000 seats for its own use. Those tickets are allotted to other major-league teams, MLB executives, broadcast media partners and key sponsors.

The rest, for the most part, are left to the Brewers.

Rick Schlesinger, executive vice president for business operations, said season-ticket holders were taken care of first.

Wither the Mariners? (Pt V)

Geoff Baker's five-part series on what's ahead for the Seattle Mariners concluded with, um, part five.

Most of it is about the interim manager Jim Riggleman, but the new General Manager search is in there, too.
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong has said he'd like to have a GM chosen by late October. He and Lincoln have a list of roughly 20 candidates and will begin seeking permission from other clubs to interview them this week.

Armstrong will speak Monday with baseball commissioner Bud Selig about exactly how he plans to go about approaching teams. In some cases, Armstrong admitted, he expects to be told that some candidates won't be allowed out of their current contracts.

His first round of interviews could include proven veterans such as Brian Cashman, Kevin Towers and Gerry Hunsicker. Not to mention past GMs John Hart and Randy Smith. There will also be a bevy of potential first-timers, assistants such as David Forst of the A's, Al Avila of the Tigers, Kim Ng of the Dodgers and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays.

Cashman has yet to confirm he's headed back to the New York Yankees next season, and sources say he'd be the leading candidate here because of his successes and experience at handling a higher payroll. On the Yankees' most recent road trip to Seattle this month, Cashman also took the unusual step — for him — of accompanying the team.


Instructional Leagues in Arizona have started. Jay at Mariner Minors has a list culled from BaseballAmerica.com at this post. The list is reproduced below with ex-Rattlers highlighted.

Pitchers: Phillippe Aumont, Luke Burnett, Nolan Diaz, Nolan Gallagher, Chris Kirkland, Bobby LaFromboise, Taylor Lewis, Brett Lorin, Fray Martinez, Brandon Maurer, Blake Nation, Junior Nunez, Aaron Pribanic, Juan Ramirez, Leonardo Rodriguez, Justin Souza, Kenta Suda, Walter Suriel, Jean Tome, Jose Valdivia, Marwin Vega

Catchers: Jonathan Arias, Juan Fuentes, Travis Howell, Hassiel Jimenez, Thomas Johnson, Travis Scott, Guy Welsh

Infielders: James Davenport, Jharmidy De Jesus, Juan Diaz, Jetsy Extrano, Alex Liddi, Matt Mangini, Mario Martinez, Gabriel Noriega, Luis Nunez, Anthony Phillips, George Soto, Nate Tenbrink, Carlos Triunfel.

Outfielders: Denny Almonte, Dwight Britton, Jarrett Burgess, Daniel Carroll, Joe Dunigan, Tyson Gillies, Maximo Mendez, Julio Morban, Efrain Nunez, Dennis Raben, Robert Rodriguez, Mario Yepez

Rattler Alums (9/29)

@White Sox 8, Tigers 2:
Matt Thornton ('00): 1/3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K

Aquilino Lopez ('00): IP, 2H, 2R, ER, 0BB, 2K


Remembering 1982

in song.

The top 10 songs of 1982 according to this list. Please note, that it is not the Billboard Top 10 for that 1982. Despite the inclusion of Quarterflash on the Billboard list, I'm going to go with the listmaker's choices.

Rattler Radio Challenge: Can you name the songs without clicking on the link and by just looking at the freeze frame of the YouTube video?

Playoff reaction

The reaction around the America's Dairyland sports blogosphere had the same thought I did after the Brewers made the playoffs. A really crummy weekend (Badgers blow a 19-0 halftime lead at Michigan, Packers lose at Tampa, a certain Jet QB tosses six TDs in a game) was redeemed.

The Bucky Channel
Suddenly, It Wasn't That Bad of a Weekend After All (Or, How The Brewers Made the Playoffs)
Up until around 4pm on Sunday, this was shaping up to be one of the worst weekends in Wisconsin sports history. Not only that, I was having just a terrible weekend in general. In order to explain to you how much it meant to me that the Brewers clinched a playoff spot today, I have to describe to you the whole weekend. All the posts I missed this weekend will be covered in this article. It's probably going to be a long one, and I'm writing it after a bottle of champagne, but I hope you stick around.
Also, Thanks to winks for grabbing this video from Awful Announcing.

The awesomely named Chuckie Hacks

Well, that makes up for a ****** sports weekend
At 3:15 PM, what was shaping up to be the worst sports weekend in my life took the greatest turn it could have ever taken. Who ever said Ryan Braun is not clutch? I have been hanging on every pitch since Thursday. The 80 year old guy standing next to me in the right field corner was crying after Braun's slam on Thursday. On Friday I got to enjoy the victory and Weeks HR with some of my best friends. Then came Saturday. The Mets win, the Brewers look relatively lifeless against the Cubs JV squad, and the Badgers loss was one of the most vomitious (that should be a word) second half collapses I have ever seen. Today, I stopped watching the Packers at halftime. Was flipping between the Brewers and the Mets game on TBS. I thought of leaving to go hit some golf balls because I was way too worked up. When Beltran hit that homer, my stomach sank.

And there is this honesty:
May 8, 2008: Brad says that the Brewers are done. Brewers record: 16-18.

The Brewers then proceed to go 61-38. Until....

August 27, 2008: Brad says that the playoffs are a lock. Brewers record: 77-56.

The Brewers then proceed to go 7-13.

September 18, 2008: Brad says that the Brewers are done, version 2.0. Brewers record: 84-69.

The Brewers then proceed to go 6-3.
Right Field Bleachers skips over all that depressing football stuff with Twenty-Six Years

When Ryan Church flied out to end the Mets’ season, I was moved to tears. It might just be the Wild Card and, yes, this feat only marks the beginning of a quest for something much greater. But I wasn’t alive in 1982, and I grew up cheering for a losing team. To many of us these sensations and the concept of baseball in October are foreign.

Remember today as the first time in 26 years when the last day of the season marked the eve of another season’s beginning. Savor this moment and hold it tightly, wrap yourself in it – don’t blink. I’ve never seen champagne showers in Brew City, and it may be a long time before it happens again… but I’m not thinking about that right now, I’m not thinking about the Philadelphia Phillies or Ben Sheets likely having thrown his last pitch in a Brewers uniform.

Right now, I’ll just be thinking about today – the day the Milwaukee Brewers became a playoff team. A day I will never forget, a day that took 26 years to get here.

And here are a trio of Brewer Blogs from Sportsbubbler.com
Bernie's Crew

This win also is a culmination of all the great things that happened in Brewers baseball in 2008. Remember Russell Branyan's mammoth pinch-hit, game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning? How about Ryan Braun's walk-off grand slam against the Pirates the other day? Do you remember the controversial one-hitter thrown by CC Sabathia? The jump in ticket sales once CC officially became a Milwaukee Brewer? Gabe Kapler's walk-off home run late, late in extra innings?

The lists can go on and on, but the moment cannot. Cherish the exuberance felt by Brewers fans all over the globe. Many younger folks like myself have not even sniffed October baseball, much less experienced it in real life. I cannot even imagine what the atmosphere will be like on Wednesday.

The Junkball Blues

Let me first say that I couldn't be happier right now. Today was the best day I've ever had as a baseball fan, and the most fun.

-Mets/Brewers: Since I moved to Chicago, the Crew have an awful record in televised games that I have access to. I believe I have only watched 2, maybe 3 victories on TV since I moved. So today after supporting the PAWS walk at Montrose Park, my partner and myself sat and watched the Shea game with Uecker on MLB Radio -- it worked out because she also believe that she is bad luck when the Crew are on TV, so we made every effort not to jinx the game.

It was so much fun watching the games because not only did the season come down to the last day, but it came down to the last day and 7+ innings!

Between the Green Pillars
So now that the Brewers are in, as the result of a rather improbable run to get there. They fired their manager, had to basically shred their rotation and had to win on a bunch of walkoffs and late rallies to make it in. The team must be feeling a bit of amazed disbelief at this point.

The talk about the guys not being "just happy to be there" is already going, and I wouldn't want it any other way. But you have to think there is a feeling of nothing to lose amongst the players, and that is a good thing. More than any other obstacle in September, the Brewers were having trouble with the pressure.

Well, the pressure that was on the Brewers is gone now. It will certainly be replaced by a whole different sort of pressure, that of trying to take the next step. But they were playing for a group of fans with a 26 year monkey on their backs, and now that is gone. They were playing with the fear of failure and now that is all gone.
Brew Crew Ball put up a picture after the game and I believe they are still having a party. I wish The Wisconsin Sportsbar was still open.

Hey, look what started

Hawaii Winter baseball began on Saturday. There are ex-Rattlers playing for the Waikiki BeachBoys. Their games this weekend:

Honolulu 8 @ Waikiki 4
Box Score | Game Story
Johan Limonta ('06): 0-for-4
Rob Harmon ('08): IP, 0H, 0R, K

Honolulu 7 @ Waikiki 2
Box Score | Game Story
Jamie McOwen ('07): 1-for-3, 2 runs
Johan Limonta ('06): 0-for-4

The BeachBoys and the whole HWB are off today.

Kane County renovations

Cougars stadium expansion nearing one-third completion

A Kane County Cougars stadium expansion that will deliver new amenities and a long-term home for the team is about a third of the way done, team officials say.

The goal of the Elfstrom Stadium expansion is to keep the team competitive with other minor league attractions and vault the Cougars into baseball fans' hearts as the alternative attraction to Chicago Cubs and White Sox games for fans sick of the rowdy crowds, sluggish traffic and high prices.

"Our fan base will drive well over an hour to see a game and not have to pay a ton to park and catch a game, a fireworks show and run the bases," Cougars spokesman Shawn Touney said. "That's kind of what we're all about."

There are pictures at the link. What are the renovations?

The prime skybox is called the "super suite" by Cougars staff. It's located right behind home plate and is large enough to host a homecoming dance or business seminar, an addition that will make the stadium a year-round moneymaker.

Stealing a page from Wrigley Field fans, the stadium also will have two new rooftop party areas along either baseline at the ends of the upper deck.

The upper deck itself will be an amenity fans can enjoy even if they aren't inside any of the skyboxes. The skyboxes will act as an open-air roof that will cover the concourse for the first time and bring shade and cooler temperatures to a previously sun-drenched game experience. It also will add an important weather shield that will keep fans in the park, and near the concessions, whenever it rains.

Sounds like a plan.


Brewers are now...

the National League Wild Card.

JSOnline.com photo credit: Jeffrey Phelps

JSOnline.com photo credit: Benny Sieu
Game story

After 25 years of stumbling through the baseball wilderness, the Milwaukee Brewers emerged on the other side Sunday into bright daylight. Well, as bright as daylight can be when the roof is closed at Miller Park.

The 26th year did the trick. Welcome back to October baseball, Brewers fans. And welcome to the wild card, which didn't exist the last time Milwaukee made the playoffs.

"I like parties. If they're every 26 years, I guess that makes them all the more exciting," said coach Robin Yount, who played on the last Brewers team to spray champagne in the clubhouse on the final day of the season.

On a magical day in which the post-season stars finally aligned for the Brewers, the two things that had to happen actually happened. First, the Brewers took care of business by pulling out a tense yet electrifying 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs before an overflow bipartisan crowd of 45,299.

Box score

Thanks to the Marlins 4-2 win over the Mets.

Brewer Radio Network Wrapup which was been posted at Sportsbubbler.com. Click on that link and you will hear why Bob Uecker is in the hall of fame.

I'll add the picture and JSOnline story to this post in the morning. (Added)

Tenuous Timber Rattler tie-in: The Brewers will be playing the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL Divisional series. The General Manager of the Phillies is Pat Gillick.

Gillick pitched for the Fox Cities Foxes in 1960 and went 11-2 with an ERA of 1.91 and 135 strikeouts in 114 innings. Just mentioning that Earl Weaver was the manager of that Foxes team. Gillick was inducted into the Appleton Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

If I understood the crawl on Baseball Tonight, game one is 2:00pm CDT on Wednesday, October 1 at Philly.

Rattler Alums (9/28)

Blue Jays 10 @Orioles 1:
Adam Jones ('04): 0-for-3

@White Sox 5, Indians 1:
Asdrubal Cabrera ('05): 0-for-2, BB

Matt Thornton ('00): IP, 0H, 0R, K

@Cardinals 11, Reds 4:
Ryan Franklin (Foxes, '94): IP, 0H, 0R

Pirates 2 @ Padres 1:
Cha Seung Baek ('00): 2-1/3IP, H, 0R, 2BB, 0K, No Decision

Yankees 6 @Red Sox 2 (Game one):
Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, '94): 2-for-4, RBI run
Damaso Marte ('97): 0.0IP, H, 0R

David Ortiz ('96): 1-for-4

Game two between the Yankees and Red Sox is still going on, but A-Rod and Big Papi were not in the starting lineup. If they pinch-hit, I'll update this in the morning.

M's 4, Athletics 3

Last Seattle game of 2008

OAK...4...10 .1

Box score

Game story in the morning.
A nightmare Mariners season had barely just ended, and Raul Ibanez was already talking about how he'll help a teammate try to better himself next year.

Ibanez puts himself through a series of torturous workouts just north of his Miami-area home each winter. This offseason, he'll be bringing along shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who had the decisive two-run triple in the team's final 2008 game.

Betancourt struggled at the plate and in the field throughout much of 2008 and was one of several reasons the Mariners, touted as contenders, wound up losing 101 games. The biggest question Ibanez faces after the Mariners wrapped up the season with a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday is whether he'll stick around to help this franchise pick up its shattered pieces.

"I love this franchise, I love the fans here, I love the city," Ibanez said. "We'll see what the future holds. Sure, I'd love to be here, but I'd love to be in a competitive environment."

Ex-Rattlers for the Mariners
Raul Ibanez (Foxes, '94): 0-for-4, RBI
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 1-for-4
Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 1-for-3, RBI
Rob Johnson ('05): 0-for-4
Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-4, run
Cesar Jimenez ('03): 1/3IP, H, 0R
JJ Putz ('00): IP, 0H, 0R, 3K, Save #15

Seattle ends 2008 61-101

Brewers are once again....

tied for the wild card.

JSOnline.com photo credit: Bennie Sieu

Game story
The Brewers' tumultuous, now-you-like-them, now-you-don't season comes down to one final plot twist today: Win, and guarantee at the least a one-game showdown with the New York Mets for the National League wild-card berth.

"It's been a roller-coaster ride," said interim manager Dale Sveum. "But when we started, if you would have said, 'If you're tied after 161 (games), would you take it?' All 30 teams would have taken it."
Box score

The last time the Brewers were tied for a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season was October 3, 1982. Milwaukee and Baltimore were tied for the AL East lead with 94-67 records. That turned out alright for the Brewers as they beat the Orioles thanks to Robin Yount's two homers and Cecil Cooper's three RBI.

It's quite different in 2008. The Brewers are tied with the Mets, but Milwaukee isn't playing at Shea today. The Mets host Florida with former Fort Wayne Wizard ('01) Oliver Perez pitching for New York against Scott Olsen for the Marlins. The Brewers have the Cubs at Miller Park today.

One similarity that jumps out to say, "Hello!": Milwaukee's starting pitcher with the 1982 season on the line was picked up in a mid-season trade, Don Sutton. Milwaukee's starting pitcher with the 2008 season on the line, C.C. Sabathia.

Sutton's opponent in 1982 was Jim Palmer. Sabathia's opponent today: Angel Guzman.

Tenuous Timber Rattler tie-in: Guzman pitched with Lansing during the 2002 season and with Peoria in 2005.

Guzman made a start against the Rattlers on May 13, 2002 and picked up a win as he allowed two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts over seven innings. He only made two appearances for the Chiefs in 2005 -- neither against the Rattlers.

Rattler Alums (9/27)

Royals 4 @ Twins 2:
Gil Meche ('98): 6IP, 7H, 2R,ER, 3BB, 7K, Win (14-11)

Indians 12 @White Sox 6:
Shin-soo Choo ('02): 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR #14; now hitting .309/.397/.549
Asdrubal Cabrera ('05): 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBI

Matt Thornton ('00): 1/3IP, 2H, 0R, 0K; allowed three inherited runners to score

@Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1 (7 innings):
Adam Jones ('04): 1-for-3

M's 7, Athletics 3

Saturday's Mariner game


Box score

Game Story
As his young starter closed his case for a starting job on the day before the nightmare ended, catcher Kenji Johjima continued to make use of every second left in this season.

No Mariner finished 2008 better than Ryan Rowland-Smith, who pitched another quality start, his eighth straight, in a 7-3 victory over Oakland on Saturday and left little doubt in the Mariners' minds that he deserves a spot in the rotation next season.

But his veteran catcher has given the organization something to think about, too. Johjima's three-run homer finished off a six-run first inning for the Mariners, their best first inning in more than five years.
Ex-Rattlers for Seattle:
Raul Ibanez (Foxes, '94): 0-for-4, run
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 1-for-4, run, 2 RBI
Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 0-for-3
Rob Johnson ('05): 0-for-3
Ryan Rowland-Smith ('03): 6-2/3IP, 9H, 3R, 2BB, 5K, Win (5-3)

Sunday's Mariner game:
OAK: Josh Outman (1-1)
SEA: RA Dickey (4-8)
3:10pm CDT


We aren't the only ones

The Midwest League Champion Burlington Bees can't wait for 2009 either. Here is Jared's take:
Three things really stand out to me when looking at the schedule. Number one, the season starts nearly a week later than last year. Opening Day will be April 9th compared to April 3rd. Secondly, the Bees will have only nine home games in the month of April. We had 16 home games in April this past season. Hopefully for you fans, this means less 40 degree games. The third thing I noticed is the balance in weekend games. In 2008, we went through a five-week stretch without any Friday or Saturday home games. With the new schedule, we will be able to spread out the different promotional nights like Jimmy Buffett Night and Cubs-Cards Night.
Sounds like a plan to me.

Parts III & IV

Geoff Baker has Part III and Part IV in his series of what's ahead for the Mariners.

Part 3: Mariners' pitching future promising

The most stunning development on the mound for the Mariners this season didn't come from Brandon Morrow getting within five outs of a no-hitter.

Nor from Erik Bedard throwing five innings on America's birthday, then calling it a season. Or J.J. Putz blowing as many saves in the first week as he did in the first four months of last year.

Instead, the most eye-opening sight was very likely the sustained success as a starting pitcher enjoyed by Australian left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith. While Morrow is still feeling his way, Bedard faces season-ending surgery today and Putz still has plenty of questions to answer, Rowland-Smith just keeps on getting hitters out.

And while the steady approach by Rowland-Smith failed to generate the headlines of those hurlers, his ascent to a starting job, seemingly out of nowhere, appears to have given the Mariners some depth they hadn't planned on. Seven consecutive strong outings by Rowland-Smith, against teams like the Yankees, Angels, Twins and Indians, have the Mariners feeling they've made the equivalent of a good midseason trade without giving anything up.

"He's been a pleasant surprise," said Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, who has worked with his share of good pitchers. "When we sent him down [to Class AAA], we thought he was struggling a little bit with command of his fastball. He's come around very well. To me, he's very dependable now."


All of a sudden, this organization's starting pitching could be deeper than imagined. To the point where a pitcher like Ryan Feierabend, only two years from being a "can't miss" prospect at age 21, could have trouble cracking this rotation — even if Bedard's Seattle career is over.

The depth that Rowland-Smith potentially brings, if he repeats this success, allows the Mariners to trade lefty Jarrod Washburn, even if Bedard does not return. Seattle will still have Carlos Silva around for three years, $36 million and one more season of Miguel Batista at $9 million.

With Feierabend possibly around as a second lefty, on a rebuilding team, it's doubtful Washburn would be brought back at $10.3 million.
Part 4: Owners not among changes
A rumor all summer claims that Mariners minority owner Chris Larson has been negotiating to buy a controlling stake in the team.

The way it lays out is that Larson, the media-shy, somewhat-reclusive, 49-year-old former Microsoft executive, would purchase the controlling-interest shares held by Nintendo of America — which assumed technical control of Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Yamauchi's stake in the team in 2004 — as well as those of Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln. In turn, Lincoln would vanish and team president Chuck Armstrong would step aside so that Larson could hire former Mariners general manager Pat Gillick to replace him.

There's only one problem with the entire scenario: The fact that Larson insists it's pure fiction.


"I don't anticipate any change in the ownership structure," Lincoln said, adding that the only ownership change since Yamauchi acquired the Mariners in 1992 came when minority shareholder John Stanton bought out John McCaw's stake for about $5 million in 2001.

And make no mistake, Lincoln added, he and Armstrong will be the only ones picking a new GM.

"This is a decision that's going to be made by Chuck and by me," Lincoln said. "But let me make it very clear that, having said that, we're certainly going to be, as we have been all summer, keeping our ownership group apprised of what we've been doing and where we're headed."

Brewers are one game up...

in the wild card race.

JSOnline.com photo credit: Benny Sieu

Game Story
“It’s good to be a Brewer right now,” proclaimed reliever Seth McClung.

Indeed it is.

Just six days after falling 2 ½ games behind New York in the National League wild-card race, the suddenly surging Brewers pulled one game ahead Friday night by pulling away to a 5-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park.

The Brewers’ fifth consecutive victory, combined with the reeling Mets’ 6-1 loss to Florida, reduced Milwaukee’s magic number to two for clinching their first playoff berth since 1982. A Brewers victory and Mets loss today would settle matters without it going to the final day of the season.
Box score

Tenuous Timber Rattler tie-in: Rickie Weeks hit a three-run homer last night for the Brewers. Weeks had three RBI in five games against the Timber Rattlers in 2003. His only Midwest League home run was at Cedar Rapids on August 23.

Rattler Alums (9/26)

Yankees 19 @Red Sox 8
Alex Rodriguez (Foxes, '94): 1-for-3, RBI

Blue Jays 3 @Orioles 0 (7 innings)
Adam Jones ('04): 0-for-2

Indians 11 @White Sox 8
Shin-soo Choo ('02): 1-for-5, 2 runs, 2RBI
Asdrubal Cabrera ('05): 2-for-5, 2 runs

@Phillies 8, Nationals 4
Greg Dobbs ('02): 1-for-3, run

@Cardinals 7, Reds 6
Ryan Franklin (FOxes, '94): 2/3IP, 3H, 2R, Blown Save, Win (6-6)

M's 10, Athletics 8

Last night's Seattle game.


Box score

Game story

But instead of contending for a division title, the Mariners club that beat Oakland on Friday, behind two home runs from Jose Lopez and another from Rob Johnson, has the worst record in the majors.

A crowd of 24,662 at Safeco Field watched Morrow leave the game down 6-5 after five innings, having allowed six hits, five walks and a pair of rocket home runs to Jack Cust and Travis Buck.

But Morrow, who threw 114 pitches, kept the game close by striking out eight. Seattle then erupted for five runs off A's starter Sean Gallagher and reliever Jerry Blevins in the bottom of the inning to give Morrow the victory.

Raul Ibanez (Foxes, '94): 1-for-5, run, RBI
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 0-for-1, pinch-hitter
Luis Valbuena ('06): 3-for-4, 2 runs, RBI
Rob Johnson ('05): 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Mark Lowe ('05): 3IP, 2H, R, BB, 3K

Saturday's Game:
OAK: Greg Smith (7-15)
SEA: Ryan Rowland-Smith (4-3)
3:10pm CDT


Good luck, Dave

And so another member of the Midwest League Announcer Alumni Association is added to the club.

Whitecaps' radio announcer Skoczen steps down
Just like an inspiring Class A professional baseball player hoping to move up in the minor league system and eventually to the Major Leagues, West Michigan Whitecaps play-by-play radio announcer Dave Skoczen inspires to do the same.

That's why after eight seasons announcing at the Single-A level, the past four with the Whitecaps, Skoczen, 30, has decided to leave the organization to pursue his dreams.

Friday will be Skoczen's last day as a member of the Whitecaps' organization. He plans to pack-up his family (wife and two boys, 3 and 1) and head to California in the coming days.

"It wasn't an easy decision (to leave the Whitecaps) because this is one of the best places to work in the minor leagues," Skoczen said. "But how long do you stay here, career wise, when you're dreams and thoughts are to announce at the Triple-A and hopefully the Major League level?

Dave called me a couple of weeks ago....at 7:00am CDT, by the way. The discussion started out about the decision to give Burlington the Championship after the rainouts in South Bend. We talked for a while about the season and a few other things. Then, at the very end, he said something like: Oh, by the way, my last day is September 26. We are moving back to California.

To say I was speechless would be an understatement.

Dave has been great to work with over the last four seasons. He had good stories, odd questions, and was always helpful with information about the Whitecaps.

He was even helpful with the sales end of things because in the off-season Dave and I are both cold call warriors. If there was an idea to talk about or a possible client to discuss, he was always willing to call back...Not listen to the message that I left...but he would call back.

Good luck to you and the family, Dave.

It's hard not to feel sorry for you, though. You're still a fan of the Cleveland Browns. No one should have to go through that. Two Midwest League Championships don't quite make up for that.

Follow up

Yesterday, there was this post that included this excerpt from this Seattle Times story.
And it was a clubhouse in need of some direction, given the problems engulfing it as the season came undone. When it came to Ichiro, who got off to a typically slow start in April and part of May, the internal turmoil nearly hit its boiling point.

"I just can't believe the number of guys who really dislike him," said one clubhouse insider. "It got to a point early on when I thought they were going to get together and go after him."

The coaching staff and then-manager John McLaren intervened when one player was overheard talking — in reference to Ichiro — about wanting to "knock him out." A team meeting was called to clear the air.

It was a repeat of May 2007, when Mike Hargrove was in charge and a team meeting had to be called during a series at Tampa Bay because of clubhouse bickering over Ichiro being a "selfish" player.

Today, there was reaction to that story in the Times.

"I've had talks with everybody on the team, at some time or another, about something in their game — whether it's a pitcher or whether it's a position player," [Manager Jim] Riggleman said. "Almost everybody on the team, at some time or another, I've said 'I'd like to see you do a little more of this, a little less of that.'

"Some of that is based on vibes you're getting from the team, that maybe they feel like somebody should do more of this or more of that. And you're somewhat in agreement. You try to nip it in the bud. You don't want the sniping. And I've talked about it with just about everybody on the team at one time or another. But has there been a meeting to address that? No."

[J.J.] Putz told reporters: "People have a lot of differences of opinion on a lot of things, but to say something like that in the paper and not fess up as to who it is, whoever said it is a coward."

USS Mariner had a few things to say yesterday.

Teammates Hate Ichiro, We Hate Teammates

Quick Question

A brief comparison of Ichiro and Ibanez

Jim Riggleman is Awesome

The larger issues

Some excerpts from the above posts:
Yep - the explanation given is that teammates want to “knock him out” because he plays when he’s less than 100% healthy. What a bastard. How could he possibly garner the respect of his teammates when he’s selfishly hurting the team by playing at a diminished level and keeping guys out of the line-up who could have helped the team win? If only he would learn how to be a clubhouse leader, such as Raul Ibanez, who would never struggle through pain, costing the team valuable runs in a playoff race while a ready replacement was waiting in the wings.

Oh, wait, that’s EXACTLY what Raul Ibanez did last year.
If clubhouse access allows reporters with press passes advanced insight and a perspective unavailable to the masses, why weren’t issues like the clubhouse-versus-Ichiro reported at the time, when they happened?
Shouldn’t the conversation have gone more like
Anonymous clubhouse coward: “Hey, so yeah, we all hate Ichiro and in May we were going to kick his ass because he wasn’t hitting.”
Baker: “Okay, but he was hitting, he started off May on an amazing streak and was stealing bases two a game.”
Anonymous clubhouse coward: “Uh, never mind.”
And then this is just tremendous:

Rats are the first one of the ship. When the ship is sinking the rats are the first ones off. They’re the ones scavenging everything on the ship when it’s floating good and going good, but when it’s sinking the rats are the first ones to abandon the ship.
We’re a week away from the end of the regular season, and we haven’t read a good GM article in ages. Who’s on the list? Who’s available, and what other options are out there for candidates? That’s the kind of thing that’ll matter to the franchise. Because when they’re winning again, Ichiro will go back to being the weirdly-dressed, funny and sometimes foul-mouthed leader-by-example, all of this will be forgotten, and we won’t have to wonder which team personnel are fighting a proxy mud flinging contest in the press.

All of which is reason enough to hope they get this ship turned around.

Brewers are still tied

for the wild card lead.

JSOnline.com photo credit: Benny Sieu

Game story
Then, with one sweet swing that kept a playoff berth within the grasp of his team, Braun momentarily erased the mental and physical suffering he had experienced.

“I didn’t feel it at all,” he said.

That’s what a walk-off grand slam will do for you and your team. Braun’s bases-loaded shot with two down in the bottom of the 10th off reliever Jesse Chavez gave the Brewers an electrifying 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh before a crowd of 40,102 at Miller Park.
Box score

Rattler tie-in: Mitch Stetter was the winning pitcher for the Brewers last night as he got the final out in the top of the tenth.

Stetter's final game in the Midwest League was July 26, 2004 at Fox Cities Stadium. He made the start and went six innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked two, and struck out four. Stetter gave up a two-run homer to Wladimir Balentien in the fifth inning.

Stetter got a no decision in the game, a 3-2 Rattler victory. Wisconsin won the game on a walk-off single by Chris Colton in the bottom of the ninth. Colton's single was off Tim Dillard.

Rattler Alums (9/25)

@Twins 7, White Sox 6 (10 innings):
Matt Thornton ('00): 1-2/3IP, H, R, K, Hold

@Cardinals 12, Diamondbacks 3:
Joel Pineiro ('98): 7IP, 3H, 3R, 2BB, 7K, Win (7-7)

Rockies 3 @Giants 1:
Brian Fuentes ('97): IP, H, 0R, BB, 2K, Save #30

Angels 6, M's 4

Last night's Seattle game

SEA.. 4...8...0

Box score

Game story

Mariners closer J.J. Putz was trying to keep the game tied when he faced Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero with a runner on first base and one out.

Guerrero swung at the first pitch, a fastball that was darting in on his hands, swung mightily and somehow had the strength to hit the ball over the left-field fence for a home run that saddled the Mariners with a 6-4 loss in front of 16,939 at Safeco Field.

Ex-Rattlers for Seattle:
Raul Ibanez (Foxes, '94): 1-for-4, RBI
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 1-for-3, RBI
Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 1-for-3
Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-4
Caesar Jimenez ('03): 3-2/3IP, 2H, R, 3BB, No decision
JJ Putz ('00): IP, 2H, 2R, BB, 2K, Loss (6-5)

Tonight's Seattle Game:
OAK: Sean Gallagher (5-6)
SEA: Brandon Morrow (2-4)
9:10pm CDT


And another thank you

There was a nice little fax from the Huntsville Stars that arrived at the Rattler front office the other day. Just a little Welcome to the Brewer Family message from the folks in Alabama.

Thanks, Stars. Happy to be a part of it.

Bonus Episode

One of my duties is hosting Timber Rattler TV on Time Warner Cable Sports. I thought we were done after one of the worst episodes I have ever done. If this were Star Trek, it would have been Spock's Brain.

That bad and I thought that would be the last chance until next March or April. Interviewing the field? What the heck was I thinking?

However, the show has been redeemed. With the big announcement on Monday, Dennis Krause came up and grabbed interviews with all of the participants.

I just did the intro and outro segments this morning for a bonus episode of the show. Hopefully, it will be edited and available on Time Warner Cable channel 32 and On-Demand Channel 1111 soon.

Thank you, RFB

Just wanted to thank Jared at Right Field Bleachers for the mention this morning.
- For a lot of in-depth reaction and info surrounding the Brewers affiliation with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, check out this great Timber Rattler fan site: Rattler Radio. (Note: It’s now been pointed out to me that the site is not exactly a fan site, it’s actually run by Timber Rattlers broadcaster Chris Mehring, which means there is even more inside insight. Nice.)
Well, I don't know about inside insight, but I'll try. Right Field Bleachers can now be found over on the blogroll.

If you have a Brewer Blog or if you know of a Brewer Blog, please let me know and I'll add you to the blogroll.

Along those same lines, I thought that I found the MVN Brewer minor league site at A Sprig of Barley. However, that site hasn't been updated since 2/9/08.

Rob Johnson's biggest booster

From The Missoulian in, um, er, ah....Missoula?

JOHN SMITHERS: Rock-solid Montanan needs to be played, traded
Rob Johnson is a chunk of granite, carved from the rough-hewn hills of Butte, America.

Rob Johnson is also in the difficult position of trying to earn a permanent job in major league baseball as a catcher for the Seattle Mariners.

Somewhere between that rock and the hard place is a soft-spoken guy who deserves a break.

It's a break Johnson has been working diligently toward for years - from his days on the Little League fields in Butte, to hours upon hours on college and minor league diamonds scattered across the country.

Unfortunately, Johnson is toiling away for an organization that doesn't have a clue.

The Mariners - one loss from becoming the first team in baseball history to lose 100 games with a $100 million payroll - have a backlog at catcher.
Backlog is cataloged. Then:
At 25, Johnson is getting long in the tooth for a minor leaguer, despite credentials that would have him holding down a roster spot - at least as a backup - on many major league rosters.

He was named the 2008 Pacific Coast League defensive catcher of the year for the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, and his .305 batting average led all regular starters.

Despite Johnson's breakout year with the bat, it's his work behind the plate that has earned him rave reviews from managers and scouts across baseball.

In March, I spent a week in Peoria, Ariz., at Seattle's spring training complex. Then-M's manager John McLaren said if Johnson could hit at the major league level, he would “start for 10 years.” Even if Johnson couldn't hit, McLaren said, his outstanding defense should earn him a backup role for just as long.

Now, however, if Seattle chooses to keep Johnson in the organization for the 2009 season, he could be looking at yet another year in Tacoma.

And that would be a shame.
There's more at the link about Johnson, the Rattler catcher for 77 games during the 2005 season.

The next destination

Some of this year's Timber Rattlers will be heading out to High Desert in the California League for 2009. Seattle has re-signed with the Mavericks.
The Mavericks announced in a press release on Wednesday that the Mariners renewed their player development contract, keeping them with the franchise for two more seasons.

“Renewing the contract with Seattle will allow the Mavericks to have more continuity next season since we’ll get a lot of the players back here next year,” said Mavs GM Tim Altier in a press release. “We won’t have to field a whole new team like we did after 2004 and 2006. And since we lost a few of our best players to injury last season, getting some of them back could mean more wins in ’09.”

High Desert, which has been affiliated with the Mariners over the last two seasons, has gone a combined 112-168 during that time.

Bless you, RRS

Ryan Rowland-Smith ('02, '03) was one of the more interesting characters in my first few years with the Timber Rattlers.

Example, his Australian accent was noticeable but never really thick. Until we were in Fort Wayne and he really broke out the Down Under speak during dinner at an Outback Steakhouse. Not sure if he was trying to impress the waitress or get a free meal, but it was funny.

I may have mentioned his blog in the past. The below-mentioned Geoff Baker, mentions it today and points out this post...
Hi Friends,

Sorry I have taken way too long to write another blog. I didn’t have my computer on the long road trip. Yes, very long 0-12. No fun whatsoever, trust me. Plus, I want to make it worth reading and hopefully shed some light on this very dark season in Seattle.
There are a few of his ideas for how to make 2009 better. Sign Raul Ibanez...Healthy Adrian Beltre...Let the kids play...
In my last blog I mention there was a youth revolution on its way. Well, we have some young guys who can seriously make an impact, I just hope we all get our chances next year, and there is some trust in our abilities– not just getting our feet wet, I mean letting us pitch through a jam to show that we can get through it. Or, not getting pinch hit late in the game. There are some kids with a big point to prove in their careers, including myself, so I just hope they don’t freak out in the off season and feel like they have to sign older guy. And by the way, don’t forget, our ace next year is 23 opening day!
That would be Felix Hernandez ('03)...I don't think RRS is 23.

Back to the post....Leadership...Don't Panic....Keep on Grinding...
As cheesy as it sounds, I want to see the rotation fight to stay in the game with 110 pitches, the hitters run every fly ball out hard. Sac guys over, the bullpen pick each other up and have 25 guys play with some heart. Stop feeling sorry for ourselves, making excuses, and keep grinding through the sh*tty times.

There is a lot to look forward to next year, a lot of great pieces in this organization, some fun guys to watch I promise we will put up a fight no matter what negativity you read. If I am wrong you can boo me every time I take the field.
I don't see the money quote to which Baker refers in his post about the RRS post. The title of Baker's post...Ryan Rowland-Smith: Mariners should "grow some balls!'' Balls is an Australian slang term for...well, I'm not sure what it's slang for in Australia. But, the sentiment is clear.

Wither the Mariners?

It has been a trying season for the former parent club of the Timber Rattlers. Geoff Baker, the M's beat writer at the Seattle Times, is working on a five-part series about this and where they go from here.

Part One has some interesting stuff. Mainly contracts, but Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn are parts of the article, too.

Part Two begins with former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez.
There is one distraction Raul Ibanez has been unable to block out as he puts together one of his finest seasons.

Ibanez compares himself to "a racehorse with blinders on" because of the way he can focus on nothing more than the task ahead. It's part of the mental training techniques he picked up from renowned sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman, and explains Ibanez's continued production while everything around him is falling apart.

Yet as successful as Ibanez has been at shutting out questions about his pending free agency, the position he'll play in 2009 and the firings of his team's manager and general manager, he has been unable to completely zone out when it comes to the Mariners' losing ways. The embarrassing nights endured by the team have taken their toll on its top offensive star, to the point where it could become the No. 1 issue for Ibanez when he decides where to sign what will likely be his final big contract.

"It's been miserable," Ibanez said. "It's been embarrassing. It's been difficult. It's been emotional. It's been dull. There have been some exciting moments, but on the whole, it's been very difficult."

The fate of Ibanez, and veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, will dictate just how dramatic the reshaping of the Mariners will be. While the Mariners would like to bring back Ibanez under certain financial conditions, it's the player who will ultimately make the final call.

Jeff Clement ('05) gets a brief mention here.
Without Ibanez, the team will need a slugger, preferably left-handed, to fill the first base or DH power void. There have been suggestions that catcher Jeff Clement, bothered by sore knees, would be a prime candidate.

But much of that will depend on other factors, like whether catcher Kenji Johjima can pick his game up off the scrap heap. If Johjima sticks behind the plate, the club could go with a Johjima-Rob Johnson tandem at catcher and move Clement to another position.

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05) and Carlos Triunfel ('07) also get a mention later in the article. The whole thing makes for interesting reading...Especially this part.
Along with Beltre, Ibanez also spent much of this season quietly filling a clubhouse leadership void as one veteran after another was shipped off. While not as outwardly vocal as some would like, Ibanez and Beltre are the everyday players who did the most talking to younger Mariners about how to play the game right and go about their business off the field.

And it was a clubhouse in need of some direction, given the problems engulfing it as the season came undone. When it came to Ichiro, who got off to a typically slow start in April and part of May, the internal turmoil nearly hit its boiling point.

"I just can't believe the number of guys who really dislike him," said one clubhouse insider. "It got to a point early on when I thought they were going to get together and go after him."

The coaching staff and then-manager John McLaren intervened when one player was overheard talking — in reference to Ichiro — about wanting to "knock him out." A team meeting was called to clear the air.

It was a repeat of May 2007, when Mike Hargrove was in charge and a team meeting had to be called during a series at Tampa Bay because of clubhouse bickering over Ichiro being a "selfish" player.
Wow. Part Three tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in Davenport

Phase Two begins at Modern Woodmen Park.
On Wednesday, the "You Pick the Improvement" contest enters Phase Two. Between now and Wednesday, October 15, fans will have the opportunity to go online to www.ModernWoodmenBank.com/RiverBandits and cast their vote for one of these six finalists:

* Backs on the bleacher seats
* Permanent playground for kids
* An LED ribbon board along the outfield wall
* Water feature beyond the outfield fence (waterfall/fountain/pond)
* Misting system covering one part of the concourse
* Tent/canopy over the Party Plaza down the right field line
Let's see....Windows that open in the visting radio booth...Windows that open in the visiting radio booth....Nope. Mine didn't make the list. Maybe in 2010.

Change in Dayton

This caught me a little off-guard today...

Scott not coming back to Dragons
Donnie Scott, whose tenure as manager of the Dayton Dragons lasted five years, will not return for a sixth.

This week, Scott was informed he would not be rehired by the parent Reds organization, for whom he has worked the last 19 seasons, usually as a manager of one of their low minor-league teams.

"I loved Dayton; it was a blast," said Scott from his Tampa-area home on Wednesday, Sept 24. He managed the Class A Midwest League Dragons from 2001-03, plus the past two seasons. Four of his teams made the playoffs, although none reached the championship round.

"Terry Reynolds (Reds director of development) called me, and he didn't talk very long," Scott said. "That's the decision they made. I've got to move on."
Scott said he didn't know if the brawl his team had with Peoria (Ill.) on July 24 had anything to do with his dismissal, although new Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty picked that day to get his first in-house glimpse of the Dragons.

"I don't know if that had anything to do with it," Scott said. "I think they just wanted to make a change."
Dragon beat writer Marc Katz has this column on-line.

Reds let go of minor league manager
He could be short-tempered and occasionally volatile, but Donnie Scott did the best he could with what the parent Reds sent him.

I never heard him curse about a ballplayer, and Donnie Scott cursed quite a bit.

He saw his job as nurturing the young hopefuls along as manager of the Class A Dayton Dragons, and that meant leaving a starter in when he was in trouble, allowing a left-handed hitter to bat against a left-handed flame-thrower and not pinch-hitting a .220 hitter with the bases loaded, trailing by a run with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

The idea was, find out if a guy can do it in the minors before he gets a chance to do it in the majors.

Still, I can't say the Reds did the wrong thing by letting him go, as they did this week following Scott's 19 years with the club in various minor league duties.

I can't tell you he did a bad job, either. I can tell you the Reds did — have done — a bad job.

Their minor league teams seldom win. When the teams are good, they move players before they win anything, teaching them individual development is much more important than winning as a team — a trait those players seem to carry with them to the major league level.
I often tried to get him to rip the Reds for doing something stupid — forcing him to play a guy who obviously couldn't perform, wondering why a guy was promoted and leaving the Dragons to figuring out how to replace him or asking why a player was drafted in the first place.

He always — always — told me he didn't have the master plan, that the Reds did, that they were doing what they thought was right.

He was a company man, and now he'll have to find a new company. That's too bad. Then again, maybe the Reds did him a favor. The rookie teams supported by the Reds this year didn't have any top 20 prospects as selected by Baseball America. Those are teams that feed the Dragons next season.
Quick Donnie Scott story. Back in 2001, the Timber Rattlers and the Quad City River Bandits (as they were known at the time) were fighting for the first half wild card spot. The Rattlers kept winning, but needed the Dragons to beat Quad Cities just once. Dayton didn't hold on to a late lead and the Rattlers wound up not getting into the playoffs in the first half due to the Bandits holding the tie-breaker.

During that game, I mentioned the score of the game and reported that the Dragons had blown another lead with something like the words, "I think I'm gonna be sick."

When Dayton visited Grand Chute in the second half, Donnie was in the first base dugout and saw me go over to talk to Mike VanderWood, the Dayton announcer. Woody introduced me to the manager of the Dragons. Just before he shook my hand, he started to laugh.

Then, he said, "I know you. We're fighting for our playoff lives against Michigan and lost to Quad Cities, so I tune in to your game and the first words I hear were, 'Dayton blew another one. I'm gonna puke.' We weren't trying to lose, but it was the funniest thing I've heard."

I didn't use the word 'puke' on the radio or the internet and tried to tell him that. But, if he thought is was funny, I'll go with it.

Good luck, Donnie.
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