Post game post (4/30)

I haven't done a post game post this season. Still trying to figure out how to fit it into the whole schedule thing...I do need at least fifteen minutes of sleep here and there.

But, the end of Monday's game needed a post.

Here is how it will read to someone who just checks the game log will see this for the last out of the game:
Leury Bonilla strikes out swinging

But here is how I wrote up the ending in my game story on the main Rattler site:
Viola's first pitch was strike one. Bonilla took a close pitch for strike two. He did not agree with the call of home plate umpire Alex Ortiz and took a couple of steps out of the batter's box. Because of his brief walk away from the plate, Bonilla was in violation of a rule that does not allow batters to step all the way out of the box after called strikes. The rule is not new, but is being strictly enforced at the start of the 2007 season. The penalty is a called strike. Diaz rang up Bonilla for strike three and that was how the game ended.

That's the way a game ends for a team when it is 4-16.

Get 'em tomorrow.

Game Notes -- 4/30

ABOUT SUNDAY: The Rattlers took a 4-1 lead over the Fort Wayne Wizards on a Greg Halman three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth. The Wizards erased that lead with a seven run sixth inning and eventually took an 11-4 lead. The Rattlers rallied with a run in the seventh and five in the eighth to get to within 11-10. The Rattler put the tying run on board in the bottom of the ninth, but RJ Rodriguez got the final two outs of the game for the save. Fort Wayne took three out of four from the Rattlers.

NICE START, MAN: Wisconsin starter Chris Tillman allowed one run on six hits over five innings. He struck out four and walked one.

ANOTHER ONE? The Rattler bullpen was charged with another blown save yesterday. It was their fifth of the season.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN? Rob Harmon relieved Tillman to start the top of the sixth. The Wizards had a runner at first and one out when Jesus Lopez tripled in the first run. An error allowed Lopez to score. Javis Diaz singled in the tying run. A throwing error on a stolen base attempt put the go ahead run across the plate. Daryl Jones singled in a run and Sam Carter drove in two more with another single (this one off Rollie Gibson) for an 8-4 Wizard lead.

COMING BACK: Wisconsin scored five times in the bottom of the eighth inning on just three hits.

HALMAN UPDATE: Halman extended his hitting streak to nine games with his 2-for-4 day on Sunday. Halman is 13-for-38 during the streak. He has collected at least one hit in fourteen of his last fifteen games.

TRU BELIEVER: Carlos Triunfel had his first three hit game of his pro career yesterday with two singles and an RBI double.

FORE! Juan Beltran had the first four hit game by a Rattler player this season with his 4-for-5 game.

GOING DEEP: Halman and Alex Liddi both homered yesterday for Wisconsin. Sunday was the first time this season the Rattlers have hit two home runs in a game.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds. Last season, the Dragons were 67-73 and missed the playoffs. This season is a different story for Dayton. They currently have the best record in the Midwest League 15-4. They lead the second place Lansing Lugnuts by two games in the Eastern Division. Dayton is managed by Donnie Scott. He was the manager of the Dragons from 2001-2003 and returns to the Dayton bench this year.

LAST YEAR: The Timber Rattlers and Dragons played eight times in 2006. Dayton won the season series 5-3. The Dragons took three of the four games that were played here. Wisconsin split the four game series in Dayton.

PROSPECTING: BASEBALL AMERICA has placed seven members of the current Dragon roster on their top 30 list of Cincinnati Red prospects. Outfielder Drew Stubbs is the highest rated Dragon at number five. He is followed by pitcher Sean Watson at number seven. Shortstop Chris Valaika is number ten on the list and was the MVP of the Pioneer League while playing for the Billings Mustangs in 2006. Pitchers Daryl Thompson (#18), Jordan Smith (#23), and Rafael Gonzalez (#28) are on the list. Third baseman Juan Francisco (#26) is on the list.

OPPOSING STARTER: Travis Webb was the 8th round pick of Cincinnati in the 2006 draft out of Washington State University. He was 4-0 with eight saves in 21 relief appearances in his final season with the Cougars. He struck out 31 in 29 innings pitched and recorded an ERA of 2.17. Webb pitched for Billings in the Pioneer League after signing with the Reds. He was 5-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 13 games (seven starts) for the Mustangs. In Webb’s last start for the Dragons he received a no decision against the Burlington Bees on April 24. He pitched five innings, allowed two runs on four hits, and struck out eight with no walks. This is Webb’s first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and his first appearance against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Ran out of time

Apologies. The day just got away from me with a bunch of stuff. For the Mariner system report head over to Mariner Minors. Short story: M's and Rainiers win. Diamond Jaxx and Maverick lose.

Appleton alum of the day: Baek at the Major League level. Yes, I know it was a no decision, but he gave the M's a chance to win it. He's the only one today.

I don't want to just throw together a Know your Appleton Alumni post today. Will have one tomorrow.

Game notes for tonight are posting shortly.

Pitching probables for Dayton series

MON: RHP Kyle Parker (’06 Everett: 0-3, 3.94) vs. LHP Travis Webb (1-0, 3.14)
TUE: RHP Nathan Adcock (0-2, 3.21) vs. RHP Sean Watson (2-0, 3.70)
WED: RHP Anthony Varvaro (1-1, 5.50) vs. RHP Jordan Smith (1-2, 3.93)
THU: LHP Tony Butler (0-2, 5.14) vs. RHP Daryl Thompson (4-0, 0.39)

Post Lunch Post

The sales/grounds crew part of the job had some things that needed to be taken care of this morning. Just getting to the updating part on some of this broadcasting part. Regular posting will continue in about an hour.

In the meantime...

The latest Mehring Monday is up on the Rattler website. I try, really try, but mostly fail not to be bitter in a good bye letter to the month of April.

Also, the latest Midwest League Notebook is up at the Midwest League home page. This is what it has to say about the Dayton Dragons, the opponents for the next four days for the Rattlers.
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) WEEK IN REVIEW: The Dragons are 14-4 and in first place in the Eastern Division.

WHO'S HOT: RHP Daryl Thompson improved to 4-0 and raised his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 20 in an 11-1 victory Saturday. In four games this season, he owns a 0.39 ERA. Over 23 innings, he has limited opponents to one run and struck out 19 batters while issuing just one walk.

WHO'S NOT: IF Jason Louwsma is batting .213 (10-for-47) in 14 games with 11 strikeouts.

LEAGUE HONORS: SS Chris Valaika and RHP Daryl Thompson swept the Midwest League's Player and Pitcher of the Week awards, respectively, on Monday. Valaika had an 11-game hit streak that raised his batting average from .360 to .423 while hitting .481 for the week with four
multiple-hit games. Thompson led the Dragons to a pair of shutout wins in his two starts.

DID YOU KNOW?: The Dragons dropped back-to-back games for the first time all season Friday, aided by four Dayton errors.

The Dragons are 15-4 after their win on Sunday. Thompson is pitching Thursday against the Rattlers. Which reminds me, I haven't posted the pitching matchups for this series have I?

Braves: April 30, 1957

The '57 Braves went into the Polo Grounds to take on the New York Giants on April 30. They were shutout by Johnny Antonelli. The Giant starter struck out nine and drove in a pair of runs in the game.

Milwaukee starting pitcher Bob Buhl gave up a two-out single to Red Schoendienst in the fourth inning. Dusty Rhodes homered. 2-0 Giants. You know, this Schoendienst guy would look good in a Brave uniform at some point this season.

Antonelli hit a two-run homer off Ray Crone in the seventh. He allowed seven hits and kept the Braves scoreless for the first time in the '57 season.

Complete play-by-play and box score are HERE.

The Braves loss dropped them to 9-2. They are one game up on Brooklyn in the National League race. The series continues on May 1 at the Polo Grounds.

Scheduled starters 5/1
MIL: Warren Spahn
NY: Curt Barclay

Brewers: April 30, 1982

The '82 Brewers played their first ever game in the Metrodome on April 30. It did not go well. They lost 7-4, but the game was never in doubt.

Minnesota scored three times in the first inning off Moose Haas. The first two runs scored on a Kent Hrbek triple...A Kent. Hrbek. Triple. He scored on a sac fly. Gary Gaetti homered to start the second for the Twins and it was 4-0.

Ted Simmons scored on this play in the Brewer half of the 5th:
Simmons reached on an error by Hrbek [Simmons scored (error by Wynegar) (unearned) (noRBI)]

Simmons chugging around the bases on a little league home run must have been a sight to remember.

Minnesota scored three times in the seventh, with a two run homer by Ron Washington off Dwight Bernard the highlight.

The Crew scored three times in their half of the eighth off Roger Erickson and Ron Davis. An RBI single by Jim Gantner and a two-run double by Robin Yount accounted for the runs and that's how the game ended.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The '82 Brewers are now 9-8. They are in third place and trail Boston by 2-1/2 games.

Game two of the series with the Twins is on May 1.

Scheduled starters 5/1/82
MIL: Pete Vuckovich
MIN: Brad Havens

Mariners: April 30, 1997

The '97 M's ended their series at Yankee Stadium with a 3-2 loss. David Wells struck out nine over 7-2/3 innings for the win. Dennis Martinez allowed two runs (one earned) over seven innings and got the loss.

Tim Raines homered off Martinez in the bottom of the first. Seattle ties the game in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Rich Amaral.

Bernie Williams scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth, the second error of the inning by Seattle. The Yanks added a run in the eighth on a home run by Tino Martinez.

Jay Buhner homered off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth, but that was it for the scoring.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The '97 Mariners are off on May 1. They return to action on May 2 back at the Kingdome with to start a series with the Brewers.

Baseball History -- April 30

Complete entry for April 30 is at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Highlighted entry:
Dr. S. B. Talcott‚ superintendent of the State Lunatic Asylum in New York‚ declares in the New York Clipper that "I believe that baseball is a homeopathic cure for lunacy. It is a kind of craze in itself‚ and gives the lunatics a new kind of crazing to relieve them of the malady which afflicts their minds."

Works for me...sometimes.


Game Notes -- 4/29

ABOUT SATURDAY: The Wizards scored five times in the top of the second inning on their way to a 9-3 win over the Rattlers. Sam Carter hit a two-run homer, Tom King drove in a pair with a double, and Cedric Hunter knocked in the final run of the inning. Fort Wayne knocked out fifteen hits in the win.

IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY: After Carter’s home run, Timber Rattler starting pitcher Tony Butler got the next two outs and the Rattlers were only down 2-0. The next batter was Matt Stocco, the ninth hitter in the Fort Wayne lineup. Stocco was hitting .083 going into yesterday’s game. Butler walked Stocco on a 3-2 pitch. Javis Diaz followed with a double. King doubled in both runners, and Hunter singled in King to run the score to 5-0.

SCATTERED: Fort Wayne starter Andy Underwood allowed seven hits, walked two, and hit one in his six innings. But, the Rattlers scored just twice off Underwood.

TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER A STREAK: The Rattlers have followed up each of their four wins this season with a loss. Each loss after a Rattler victory has been followed by at least one loss.

HALMAN UPDATE: Greg Halman had a pair of singles on Saturday to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Halman is 11-for-34 during the streak. He has also collected at least one hit in thirteen of his last fourteen games.

GOING THE EXTRA MILE: Kalian Sams doubled and tripled in Saturday’s game. Sams has ten hits this season – four of them are for extra bases.

CLEAN SHEET: The Rattlers did not commit a fielding error yesterday. The game was just the fourth in which Wisconsin was not charged with an error this season.

HOME WOES: The Rattlers have started the season 2-6 at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. That was the exact same home record they had after eight games here in 2006. Last season’s Rattler team was 29-40 at home.

OPPOSING STARTER: Orlando Lara was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Padres out of Mexico in 2005. He was 2-1 in sixteen games (ten starts) for Eugene in the Northwest League in 2006. In his last start for the Wizards, Lara took the loss against Quad Cities. Lara allowed three runs on nine hits in four innings. This is his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers. He faced Everett, Seattle’s Northwest League affiliate, four times (three starts) in 2006. He had no record and an ERA of 2.31. Lara struck out sixteen and walked three in 11-2/3 innings against the Sox last season.

Know your Appleton Baseball Alumni (4/29)

Rich Severson, Appleton Foxes, 1967

Rich Severson was signed by the White Sox in 1963 as an non-drafted free agent out of high school.

I can't find any minor league stats on Severson, a middle infielder. But, he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the minor league portion of the expansion draft.

The Royals were the team with whom Severson made it to the big leagues. He played 77 games in the 1970 season in the second season of Royals baseball. His first major league game was on April 11 and he entered as a pinch hitter and flew out in the fifth inning. He got his first major league hit later in the game with a single in the eighth.

Severson hit .250 in those 77 games for the Royals. He played just 16 games in the 1971 season and retired at the end of the year.

Rich Severson BaseballAlmanac page (Card is from there)

Rich Severson Baseball Cube Page

Rich Severson Baseball-Reference Page

Rich Severson Retrosheet Page

Sunday reading

Starting with RattlersReport...Gavin Dickey and the Rattlers honor Jackie Robinson today on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
"Jackie Robinson was the first baseball player that I really took a liking to," Dickey said. "He was actually born 30 minutes away from where I live, so I did a lot of research on him as a little kid."

The 23-year-old will get yet another chance to honor his hero today when the Rattlers celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at Fox Cities Stadium.
Held in conjunction with Wisconsin's scheduled Midwest League matchup against Fort Wayne at 1:05 p.m., the celebration will feature a pregame ceremony and commemorative program.

Players will also be wearing a special decal on their helmets in recognition of Robinson, who 60 years ago this month became the first African-American to play in the major leagues.

"I can imagine, him being from the south and growing up in the south, what he went through," said Rattlers hitting coach Dana Williams, who played in eight big league games with Boston in 1989. "I appreciate him. Not that I know what he went through, but it paved the way ffor a lot of great big league players."
Baseball Beat at jsonline.com opens with a headline about a former Appleton Fox: A-Rod will cash in again. Then, there is a little on the latest injury to Ben Sheets.

The Man Behind the Mask says the Cougars are Ready to Break Out.
After the Burlington series, the road trip continued to Lansing, Mich., for a four-game series against the Lugnuts. The weather was a little chilly for the first couple of games, but warmed up for the last two. We suffered four tough losses but were very competitive in all of those games.
During the series against Lansing, we got a boost from two newcomers who were called up to Kane County, pitcher Craig Italiano and Larry Cobb, a little spark plug who can play in the infield or outfield.

Light reading for you today. Sorry.

Midwest League Action -- 4/28

Complete Saturday Scoreboard is HERE.

Fort Wayne 9, @Rattlers 3: It was Carter Country for the Wizards yesterday.

@Quad Cities 10, Burlington 9: Wild game at the JOD goes to the QC.

Dayton 11, @Beloit 1: Snappers lose for the first time at Pohlman Field this season. Daryl Thompson had a lot to do with it.

@Cedar Rapids 9, Lansing 3: That's a win for your first place Kernels!

@Kane County 6, South Bend 1: That's a win for your eighth place Cougars!

Great Lakes 11, @ Clinton 9: Loooons win fourth straight. They only needed five runs in the top of the ninth.

@Peoria 4, West Michigan 2: The Chiefs have now outscored West Michigan 5-2 in the first two games of the series. They've won both.

Appleton alums of the day

Major League: Gil Meche (WI '98), Kansas City. Yes, he gave up ten hits and three unearned runs. But, he got the win against his old team.

Minor League: Jeff Clement (WI '05), Tacoma. Six RBI is the reason why.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/28)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 9-10; 3rd AL West): The Mariners lost 9-3 to Kansas City. The Royals scored six first inning runs off Jeff Weaver. Gil Meche (WI ’98) allowed three unearned runs over six innings and got the win for the Royals.

TACOMA (AAA: 10-13; 3rd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Las Vegas 15-1. Jeff Clement (WI ’05) had three hits, a grand slam home run, and six RBI to lead the offense. Wladimir Balentien (WI ’04) also had three hits and drove in three runs.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 9-14; T-4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx beat Chattanooga 3-2. Marshall Hubbard (WI ’05) homered and drove in two of the runs for West Tennessee. Robert Rohrbaugh (WI ’05) pitched six scoreless innings and struck out eight for the win.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 8-15; 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks beat San Jose 6-4. Jeff Dominguez (WI ’06) drove in a pair of runs for the Mavericks. Paul Fagan (WI ’06) allowed two runs on three hits over 6-2/3 innings and struck out seven for the win.

Mariner system schedule for 4/30
Kansas City (Brian Bannister 0-0) at Seattle (Cha Seung Baek 0-3) 3:05pm CDT
Tacoma (Justin Lehr 1-0) at Las Vegas (Hong Chih Kuo 0-0) 2:05pm CDT
West Tennessee (Doug Fister 1-1) at Chattanooga (Sam Lecure 2-0) 1:15pm CDT
High Desert (Jon Lockwood 0-1) at San Jose (Ronnie Ray 2-0) 4:00pm CDT

Braves: April 29, 1957

The '57 Braves had an off day on April 29. They head to New York to take on the Giants in a series that starts on April 30.

Scheduled starters 4/30/57
MIL: Bob Buhl
NY: Johnny Antonelli

Brewers: April 29, 1982

The '82 Brewers had an off day on April 29.

Next up is a series at the Metrodome against the Twins.

Scheduled starters 4/30/82
MIL: Moose Haas
MIN: Roger Erickson

Mariners: April 29, 1997

The '97 Mariners rallied and then held on for a 7-5 win over the Yankees in New York on April 29. Russ Davis played a big part in the game.

New York had a 2-0 lead on a pair of runs off Jamie Moyer in the bottom of the fourth. Seattle got to within 2-1 in the fifth on an RBI single by Russ Davis. Then, Davis tied the game with a sac fly in the seventh.

Seattle plated five runs in the top of the eighth. Rich Amaral singled in the first two runs. Davis singled in the next two. Jeff Blowers knocked in the final run with a sac fly for a 7-2 lead.

There were two on with two out in the bottom of the ninth when Norm Charlton came into the game. Bernie Williams doubled in a both inherited runners and Tino Martinez singled in Williams. Norm got Paul O'Neill to ground out to end the game.

Complete play-by-play and box score are HERE.

The Mariners were 16-10 after the win. They remain in first place 1-1/2 games in front of the Rangers.

Final game of the series at Yankee Stadium is April 30.

Scheduled starters 4/30/97
SEA: Dennis Williams
NY: David Wells

Baseball History -- April 29

Complete entry for April 29 is at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Hghlighted entry:
Twenty-three-year-old Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens strikes out 20 batters in a 3-1 win over Seattle‚ breaking the ML record of 19 shared by Nolan RyanSteve Carlton‚ and Tom Seaver. Clemens doesn't walk a batter‚ allows just 3 hits‚ and ties the AL record (Ryan and Davis) with 8 consecutive strikeouts in the middle innings.

Gorman Thomas had one of the three hits for Seattle and hit a home run off Clemens for the only Mariner run. Box score and play-by-play are HERE.


Game Notes -- 4/28

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers had their biggest offensive output of the season as they beat the Fort Wayne Wizards 12-4. Fort Wayne helped out with seven errors in the game. Anthony Varvaro and four Rattler relievers combined on the victory.

BIG INNING: The Rattlers scored seven times in the bottom of the third inning. The most runs that Wisconsin scored in a game this season had been six. The offense had five hits and took advantage of two Fort Wayne errors in the frame. Wisconsin jumped its lead from 2-1 to 9-1 with the outburst.

THIS COULD BE A HABIT: Wisconsin did not score a first inning run in their first fifteen games of the season. They have scored in the first in each of their last two games. Last night, Greg Halman singled, stole second, went to third on an error, and scored on an RBI grounder by Luis Nunez.

HALMAN STAYS HOT: Halman is currently on a seven game hitting streak (9-for-29). He has at least one hit in twelve of his last thirteen games. His stolen base in the first inning ran his Midwest League leading total to ten.

RED STORM: Rattler starting pitcher Anthony Varvaro picked up his first professional victory last night. The former St. John’s University hurler allowed two runs (one earned) over five innings and struck out a professional high seven batters. Varvaro, a 2005 draft pick of Seattle, did not pitch as a pro in 2005 after Tommy John surgery. He worked only eleven innings for the Arizona League affiliate of the Mariners in 2006 and was 0-2.

GRAND SLAM OF RELIEF: Four Rattler relievers: Justin Souza, Rob Harmon, Rollie Gibson, and Andrew Barb each worked one inning last night. They combined to allow two runs (one earned) on five hits with five K’s.

ROSTER MOVE: Rattler first baseman Gerardo Avila was placed on the disabled list before yesterday’s game. Pitcher Kyle Parker will take Avila’s spot on the roster.

MEET THE NEW GUY: Parker was the 24th round pick of the Mariners out of the University of Washington in the 2006 draft. Parker was 0-3 with a save in sixteen relief appearances for the AZL Mariners last season as a pro. He also made one relief appearance for Tacoma. Parker is scheduled as the starter for the Rattlers on Monday against Dayton.

OPPOSING STARTER: Andy Underwood was the 5th round pick of the Padres in the 2006 draft out of Fresno State University. He was 12-3 with a 3.40 ERA for the Bulldogs. After signing with San Diego, Underwood made his pro debut for the Eugene Emeralds in the Northwest League. He went 0-2 with a 3.74ERA in seven games (three starts) for the Emeralds. He took the loss in his previous start for the Wizards. On April 22 against Quad Cities, the Swing got to him for five runs on eight hits over 3-1/3 innings. This is his first appearance against the Timber Rattlers. He faced Everett, Seattle’s Northwest League affiliate, once in 2006. In a relief appearance on July 8, the Sox got to him for three runs on three hits in 2-2/3 innings.

Know your Appleton Baseball Alumni (4/28)

Marv Foley, Appleton Foxes (1975 & 1977)

Foley was a catcher and selected in the 17th round of the 1975 draft by the Chicago White Sox out of the University of Kentucky. Foley signed and was sent right to Goodland Field. He played just six games for the Foxes before being sent to Knoxville.

He spent 1976 with Knoxville in AA, but in 1977 he came back to Appleton. Foley would hit .242 in 48 games with three homers for the Foxes. He would head back to Knoxville and eventually Triple A Iowa later that season.

Foley began the 1978 season with Iowa and got the call from the White Sox as a September callup. On September 11 at Comiskey Park, Foley pinch hit for Mike Colbern for his first major league appearance. He would get into eleven games that season and pick up 12 hits in 34 at bats.

For the next two seasons, Foley bounced back and forth between Iowa and Chicago. In 1981, he spent the entire season with Edmonton in Triple-A. Then, in 1982 he appeared in just 27 games for the Sox. At the end of that season, he went the free agent route to the Rangers but did not play in Texas until 1984. He made his final major league appearance as a pinch hitter for Curt Wilkerson on September 30. He grounded out to end the game, a 1-0 Texas loss to the Angels. But, that was a history making out. It was the last out of Mike Whitt's perfect game.

After his playing days were over, Foley went the managerial route in the minor leagues. He won league championships for Rochester (and won Manager of the Year) in 1997 in the International League. He was the Iowa Cubs manager when they won the American Association title in 1993. Vancouver won the PCL title in 1989 with Foley at the helm

Foley also played in the Senior Professional baseball league in 1990.

Most recently, Foley has managed Newark in the Atlantic League and Colorado Springs in the PCL. At last report, he is the roving catching instructor in the Rockies organization.

Porch shots

Where could this shot possibly be taken from?

The new Miller High Life Home Run Porch.

Also, this picture was taken to prove that it is possible to have nice April weather for a Timber Rattler home game.

The team in red

Pictures from the radio booth of Friday's game and the throwback jerseys of the Foxes, er, Rattlers.

Not the best, but you get the general idea. I think the shadow from roof over the third base concourse makes it tough to get a decent shot. Maybe later in the season.

Midwest League Action -- 4/27

Complete Friday night scoreboard is HERE.

@Rattlers 12, Wizards 4: Rattlers have a good day.

@Peoria 1, West Michigan 0: Chris Cody did, too. But he took the loss thanks to an unearned run.

South Bend 3, @Kane County 2 (F/12): Kane County getting frustrated? Cougars rallied to tie the game in the ninth, though.

@Beloit 3, Dayton 2: It's only two games, but do the Snappers have Dayton's number?

Quad Cities 5, @Burlington 3: One inning was all the SWING needed.

@Cedar Rapids 4, Lansing 3; @Cedar Rapids 4, Lansing 0: Kernels Sweep!

Great Lakes 4, @Clinton 2; Great Lakes 7, @Clinton 4 (F/9): Loooooooooons Sweep!

Appleton alums of the day

Major League: JJ Putz (WI '00), Seattle. Back-to-back saves for the Mariner closer.

Minor League: Jon Nelson (WI '03), Tacoma. Four RBI night in a win for the Rainiers.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/27)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 9-9; 2nd AL West): The Mariners beat Kansas City 7-4. Adrian Beltre drove in three runs for Seattle. JJ Putz (WI ’00) got the final five outs of the game for his third save. The win was Seattle’s fourth straight and got them back to .500.

Tacoma (AAA: 9-13; 3rd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Las Vegas 6-4. Jon Nelson (WI ’03) drove in four runs for Tacoma. Ryan Feierabend (WI ’04) got the win by allowing just one run over six innings.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 8-14; T-4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 5-1 at Chattanooga. Rene Rivera (WI ’03) drove in the only West Tennessee run. The Jaxx managed just four hits off Lookout starter James Avery.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 7-15; 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 4-3 at San Jose in eleven innings. Johan Limonta (WI ’06) doubled in the tying run with one out in the top of the ninth. Nick Allen (WI ’06) got the start and allowed one run in five innings for a no decision. The Giants scored on a two-out hit in the bottom of the eleventh for the win.

Mariner system schedule for April 28
Kansas City (Gil Meche 1-1) at Seattle (Jeff Weaver 0-3) 8:05pm CDT
Tacoma (Jorge Campillo 1-2) at Las Vegas (Eric Stults 2-0) 9:11pm CDT
West Tennessee (Robert Rohrbaugh 2-1) at Chattanooga (Camillo Vazquez 1-2) 6:15pm CDT
High Desert (Paul Fagan 1-2) at San Jose (Paul Oseguera 1-0) 7:00pm CDT

Braves: April 28, 1957

The '57 Braves completed a three game sweep of the Cinicinnati Reds with a 3-2 win at Crosley Field on April 28.

Hank Aaron drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the top of the third. The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the third when Frank Robinson grounded into a double play and Wally Post scored from third.

Milwaukee got a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Billy Bruton and Del Crandall had back-to-back doubles to get the first tally. Brave starting pitcher Taylor Phillips got his first major league hit with a bunt single. Danny O'Connell's sac fly scored Crandall for the 3-1 lead.

Phillips did not get out of the fourth inning though. He retired the first two batters, but walked the next two. Manager Fred Haney did not mess around. Phillips was out and Red Murff relieved.

Murff kept the Reds at bay until the ninth. He walked the leadoff batter and gave up a single to Johnny Temple. An error by O'Connell on a ball off the bat of Wally Post allowed the runner from third to score. Murff got out of the frame though. Gus Bell grounded into a force out and Robinson grounded into a game ending double play.

Murff picked up the win, his first major league victory.

Complete box score and play-by-play HERE.

The '57 Braves run their record to 9-1 with the win. They are two games up on Brooklyn in the NL race.

Milwaukee is off on April 29. They return to action on April 30 with a visit to the Polo Grounds for a series against the New York Giants.

Brewers: April 28, 1982

The '82 Brewers bounced back from their 11-2 loss to the White Sox on April 27 with a 2-1 victory on April 28. Mike Caldwell and Rollie Fingers teamed up to beat former Appleton Fox Britt Burns. Burns tossed a complete game and allowed just four hits, but it wasn't enough.

The Crew took the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Ben Oglivie hit his fifth homer of the season with one out.

The White Sox evened the game with a run in the top of the fifth off Caldwell. Aurelio Rodriguez walked with two out. Bill Almon tripled and just like that the game was 1-1.

The team that would become Harvey's Wallbangers, played a little small ball to score the go ahead run in the bottom of the seventh. Gorman Thomas walked. Don Money sacrificed him to second. Mark Brouhard flew out, but Jim Gantner came through with the two-out hit to drive in Thomas.

Fingers, who replaced Caldwell with one out in the top of the seventh, retired eight of the last nine hitters he faced. Only Harold Baines reached and that was on a one out single in the ninth.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The '82 Brewers are 9-7 after the win over Chicago. They are in third place 1-1/2 games behind the Red Sox and Tigers.

The Brewers are off on April 29. The return to action on April 30 when they visit the Metrodome in Minneapolis for the first time.

Mariners: April 28, 1997

The '97 Mariners started a series at Yankee Stadium on April 28. They built a 5-1 lead, but wound up on the losing end of a 6-5 decision.

Edgar Martinez broke a 1-1 tie with a two run homer off Kenny Rogers in the top of the third. In the fifth, Jeff Blowers had an RBI double and an error allowed another run to score and Seattle had their lead against the defending World Series champs.

Jeff Fassero, who was 4-0 coming into the game, got into trouble in the bottom of the sixth as he loaded the bases with two out. Tim Raines (ed. Raines? Really?) doubled in two runs and the lead was cut to 5-3.

Greg McCarthy came on for the seventh. He walked Bernie Williams and gave up a single to Tino Martinez. That was all for McCarthy as Bobby Ayala relieved. Cecil Fieldeer doubled. Williams scored, but Martinez was out at home. Pat Kelly pinch ran for Fielder and scored on a single by Paul O'Neill.

Joe Girardi hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth and this Mariano Rivera guy pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save.

Complete box score and play-by-play HERE.

The loss dropped Seattle to 15-10. They reamined in first place 1/2 game in front of the Rangers in the AL West.

The series in New York continues on April 29.

Starting pitchers 4/29/97
SEA: Jamie Moyer
NYY: Ramiro Mendoza

Unwritten rules (Updated)

Last night Rattler shortstop Carlos Triunfel noticed that he was not being held on by the Fort Wayne first baseman. So, he attempted to steal second base. No big deal, right? Well, he tried to steal second in the bottom of the eighth inning...with the Rattlers leading 11-3. Leury Bonilla grounded out on the pitch and Triunfel made it to second.

You could see what was coming next. Fort Wayne pitcher Derek McDaid's next pitch was at the ribs of Jair Fernandez.

Fernandez got out of the way and the ball went to the screen for a wild pitch. Rattler manager Jim Horner greeted Triunfel and began telling him why that is something that you don't do while the home plate umpire was giving a warning to both benches.

On the broadcast, I mentioned that stealing with that big a lead is an unwritten rule and that someone should write them down. Alert listener Bob Rapp sent a link to a BaseballAlmanac page with an article by Baseball Digest with the unwritten rules written out.

There are 30 of them, but that is not all inclusive. The don't steal when well ahead rule is number 7.

By throwing at Fernandez, the Wizards gave up their chance to retaliate against Triunfel. The Rattlers probably won't do anything today, unless Fort Wayne does throw at Triunfel today or tomorrow. This is an addendum to unwritten rule #26 on the list.

UPDATE: Triunfel is not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game.

Baseball History -- April 28

Complete entry for April 28 is at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Highlighted entry:
Five days past his 40th birthday‚ Warren Spahn becomes the 2nd-oldest ML pitcher (after Cy Young) to hurl a no-hitter‚ blanking San Francisco 1-0. Hank Aaron drives in the only run off loser Sam Jones‚ who strikes out 10. It is Spahn's 290th win and 52nd shutout. Spahn faces just 27 men‚ following each walk by starting a DP.

Complete box score and play-by-play HERE. In the ninth, Charlie Lau dropped a foul pop out for an error, but Spahn retired that batter. Aaron drove in the run with a first inning two-out single. That was one of just five hits off Jones.


Game Notes -- 4/27

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Timber Rattlers lost 3-1 to the Fort Wayne Wizards. Nathan Culp allowed an unearned run in the first inning but nothing else in his eight innings for the win. Culp struck out seven, walked one, and gave up just four hits for his second win of the season.

OUT OF THE GATE: Last night, the Rattlers scored in the first inning for the first time this season. Greg Halman started the inning with an infield single and went to second on a throwing error. A balk by Culp moved Halman to third. An RBI ground out by Alex Liddi plated the Rattler lead off batter with the run.

HALMAN STAYS HOT: Halman is currently on a six game hitting streak (8-for-24). He has at least one hit in eleven of his last twelve games. During this stretch, Halman has raised his average from .000 to .242.

ONE MORE ON HALMAN: He stole a base last night to run his league leading total to nine.

TOUGH LOSS: Rattler starter Nathan Adcock pitched a professional career high 5-1/3 innings and matched his pro career high for strikeouts with six last nigh. But, he allowed three runs (two earned) to take the loss.

TAKING OFFENSE: The Rattlers have scored three or fewer runs thirteen times in 2007. They are 1-12 when that happens. In those twelve losses, the Rattler pitchers have allowed four or fewer runs five times.

MEET THE NEW GUY: Carlos Peguero joined the Timber Rattlers from extended spring training just in time for the game last night. Peguero was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in January of 2005. He played in both the Arizona League and the Northwest League in 2006. For the AZL M’s Peguero hit .313 with 30 RBI in 34 games. He tied for the league lead in home runs with seven. The Mariners promoted Peguero to Everett on August 8, 2006. He hit .204 with two homers and nine RBI in 25 games for the AquaSox. Between the AZL M’s and Everett, Pegeuro struck out 83 times in 59 games.

ROSTER MOVE: Pitcher Ricky Orta was placed on the disabled list before yesterday’s game.

OPPOSING STARTER: Aaron Breit was the 12th round pick of the Padres out of Garden City (KS) Community College in the 2005 draft. He signed with the Padres just before the 2006 draft. Breit set a school record in 2006 for strikeouts in a season at Garden City with 108. At Eugene in the Northwest League, Breit went 2-3 in eighteen games (twelve starts) with a 3.08ERA. In his last start, Breit beat Quad Cities. On April 21 at Fort Wayne, Breit gave up to runs on five hits and struck out six over five innings against the Swing. This is Breit’s first appearance against the Timber Rattlers. He did face Everett, Seattle’s Northwest League affiliate, four times (with two starts) last season. Breit went 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA against the AquaSox. In 13-2/3 innings he struck out 21 Everett batters.

Know your Appleton Baseball Alumni (4/27)

Hipolito Pichardo, 1989 Foxes.

Baseball card from Baseballcardproject.com

Since the program in the post below this one is from 1989, I selected one of the two members of that Foxes team to make it to the Majors for today's Know Your Alumni post.

Pichardo was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1987. He was 5-4 with a 2.97 ERA in twelve starts as a 20 year old for the Foxes in 1989. After a quick move through the Kansas City system, Pichardo made his major league debut with the Royals on April 21, 1992. He entered in relief of Mark Gubicza and gave up three runs on three hits over 2-2/3 innings.

In that rookie season, Pichardo made 31 appearances -- 24 starts -- and went 9-6. His first major league win was on May 20, 1992 at Chicago. He pitched five shutout innings allowing just three hits and striking out two. Mike Boddicker worked the final four innings for the save in a 7-2 Royal win.

Pichardo stayed with the Royals through the 1998 season and won 41 games while losing 39, but missed all of the 1999 season. The Red Sox signed him as a free agent in 2000 and he worked his way back to the bigs with a stint in both Sarasota and Pawtucket. Pichardo would go 6-3 with a 3.46ERA pitching in 38 games (all but one in relief) for the Red Sox that season.

In 2001, Pichardo was placed on the disabled list twice and worked in Sarasota, Pawtucket, and Boston again. During the off-season, he signed with the Astros, but wound up on their DL before the season started.

Pichardo got the call to the Astros in May and he pitched one last game as a major leaguer. In 1/3 of an inning at Shea Stadium, he allowed three runs and was charged with the loss.

Hipolito Pichardo BaseballAlmanac Page

Hipolito Pichardo Baseball Cube Page

Hipolito Pichardo Retrosheet Page

Hipolito Pichardo BaseballReference Page

Hipolito Pichardo Wikipedia Page

Friday Flashback (4/27)

This is the 1989 program cover. Is there a play anymore exciting than a pickoff attempt at first base? Not when you have that Leroy Neiman-esque quality!

And 1989 was the year one AG...After Gordon.

This is a recap on the '88 season.

These were reprinted from an old Baseball American in which Tom Gordon was named Minor League Player of the Year.

Click for larger versions.

Midwest League Action -- 4/26

Fort Wayne 3, @Rattlers 1: These are the Culps I know, I know, these are the Culps I know. There is Robert, Nancy (spelled with a 'K'), and now Nathan.

South Bend 5, @Kane County 3: Two struggling teams and one of them had to win.

@Beloit 4, Dayton 2: A trip to Beloit will cool anyone off.

@Burlington 7, Quad Cities 3: Bees walk their way to victory.

West Michigan 11, @Peoria 3: Whitecaps got off the bus from Grand Rapids ready to hit, apparently.

Great Lakes @ Clinton (PPD): Welcome to the Midwest League, Great Lakes. You get a doubleheader in Clinton!

Lansing @ Cedar Rapids (PPD): Lugs and Kernels have a pair planned today

Appleton alums of the day

Major League: JJ Putz (WI '00), Seattle. Gets the final five outs for the save at Oakland.

Minor League: Brian Kappel (WI '06), High Desert. A scoreless fifteenth and a scoreless sixteenth to pick up a much needed win should count for something.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/26)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 8-9; 3rd AL West): The Mariners won 4-2 in Oakland. Seattle rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win their third straight. JJ Putz (WI ’00) got the final five outs for his second save.

TACOMA (AAA: 8-13; T-3rd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers lost 9-3 at Las Vegas. Adam Jones (WI ’04) drove in one of the three Tacoma runs. Wladimir Balentien (WI ’04) went hitless in three at bats and had his seventeen game hitting streak end.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 8-13; T-4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 4-1 at Chattanooga. Juan Doñe pitched seven innings and allowed two runs, but took the loss. Marshall Hubbard (WI ’05) drove in the only West Tennessee run.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 7-14; 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks beat Rancho Cucamonga 3-2 in sixteen innings. Adam Moore (WI ’06) and Michael Saunders (WI ’06) each drove in runs in the game, but the winning run scored on an error after a Moore double in the sixteenth. Marwin Vega (WI ’06) was the starting pitcher and allowed one run on six hits with six strikeouts over seven innings. Brian Kappel (WI ’06) got the win for the Mavs by tossing a pair of scoreless innings. Pay no attention to the headline which has the Mavs losing in the 16th. Sure hope they fix it.

Mariner system schedule for 4/27
Kansas City (Jorge De la Rosa 2-1) at Seattle (Horacio Ramirez 1-1) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma (Ryan Feierabend 0-1) at Las Vegas (Travis Smith 2-1) 9:11pm CDT
West Tennessee (Andy Baldwin 0-1) at Chattanooga (James Avery 2-2) 6:15pm CDT
High Desert (Aaron Jensen 2-1) at San Jose (Dave McKae 2-1) 9:00pm CDT

Braves: April 27, 1957

The '57 Milwaukee Braves held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 at Crosley Field on April 27. Lew Burdette was the leader with his arm and his bat.

It was Hank Aaron with a solo homer in the first to give Burdette a lead. In the second, Burdette singled in a run with two outs for a 2-0 advantage.

The Reds got to Burdette for a run in their half of the second with a George Crowe homer. Then, Cincy took a 3-2 lead with a pair of runs in the third. An infield single by Wally Post drove in the first run. An RBI single by Crowe made it 3-2. But Burdette, who gave up ten hits in the game, got out of a bases loaded, one out situation with an inning ending double play.

The Milwaukee offense responded with two runs in the top of the fourth to go back in front. Billy Bruton doubled in a run to tie the game. Burdette made it 4-3 Braves with a sacrifice fly.

The Braves got an insurance run in the top of the fifth on a Joe Adcock home run. It was the fifth of the season for the Brave first baseman.

In the ninth, the Reds rallied with two out and the bases empty. Frank Robinson doubled. Gus Bell singled him home to make the score 5-4. Post was next, but he grounded into a game-ending force out.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The win puts the '57 Braves at 8-1. They are a game up on Brooklyn in the NL standings.

The series in Cincinati ends on April 28.

Scheduled starters 4/28/57
MIL: Taylor Phillips
CIN: Tom Acker

Brewers: April 27, 1982

The '82 Brewers got crushed by the White Sox at County Stadium on April 27. This one was never close.

The Sox scored twice in the first inning off Randy Lerch on a two-run homer by Steve Kemp. Then, it was a seven run second inning.

Carlton Fisk started the second inning with a homer off Lerch. A single, error, and walk later the bases were loaded with no outs. Jim Slaton entered to replace Lerch. Slaton gave up a grand slam to Ron LeFlore, not known for his power. Two more runs scored later in the inning, the final one coming in on a singe by Fisk and it was 9-0.

LaMarr Hoyt, a former Appleton Fox, gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the second and another run in the fourth, but was never threatened with with a big inning. He pitched eight innings and gave up only four hits for the win.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The loss ended Milwaukee's five game winning streak and put them at 8-7, 2-1/2 games behind Boston and Detroit in the AL East.

The series with the White Sox continues on April 28 for the '82 Brewers.

Scheduled starters 4/28/82
CHI: Britt Burns
MIL: Mike Caldwell

Mariners: April 27, 1997

The '97 M's ended their series in Toronto with a 2-1 victory on April 27. Randy Johnson outpitched Robert Person and the offense gave him just enough support.

Seattle scored a run off Person in the first inning. Actually, it was Alex Rodriguez scoring a run off Person. The former Appleton Fox hit a one-out homer for a 1-0 lead.

Toronto got to Johnson in the bottom of the first. Ed Sprague grounded into a run scoring fielder's choice.

Seattle got the final run of the game in the top of the third. Joey Cora tripled with two outs and A-Rod knocked him in with a single.

Johnson shut the door on the Jays through eight innings. He struck out nine and allowed six hits. Norm Charlton pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save of the season.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The win moved Seattle to 15-9 and kept them 1/2 game ahead of the Texas Rangers in the AL West.

Next up is a three game series at Yankee Stadium and game one of that series is April 28.

Scheduled Starters 4/28
SEA: Jeff Fassero
NY: Kenny Rogers

Baseball History -- April 27

Complete entry for April 27 is at BaseballLibrary.com HERE.

Highlighted entry:
"Fernandomania" hits fever pitch at Dodger Stadium as a sellout crowd watches the 20-year-old rookie pitch his 4th shutout in 5 starts 5-0 versus the
Giants. Valenzuela is 5-0 with a 0.20 ERA and is batting .438.

There was a novelty song that was produced around this time...Can't find the lyrics to it, but it went something like:

Fer-nan-do! Fer-nan-do!

Hey, Fernando, you pitch the baseball,

Fernando Valenzuela!

What do you want? It's been 25 years.

Programming Notes

A little behind this morning. Need to finish a few things; like my weatherman voodoo doll.

Seriously though, the tarp is being taken off the field at 10am and after that it better not be going back on until at least next Thursday night after the game.

The regular posting should start around noon or so. Stop back later.


Game Notes -- 4/26

LAST ACTION: The Timber Rattlers lost 6-3 at West Michigan. The Whitecaps jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings. But, Wisconsin rallied to tie the game 3-3 on a two run home run by Greg Halman and an RBI singe by Kuo Hui Lo. The Whitecaps broke the tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI triple by Ryan Strieby and an RBI single by Santo De Leon. West Michigan tacked on one more run in the bottom of the eighth.

EARLY EXIT: Timber Rattler starting pitcher Ricky Orta left the game with a 2-1 count on Audy Ciriaco in the second inning. Ciriaco was the second batter of the inning and Orta left the game after a blister on one of the fingers of his pitching hand burst on a 1-1 pitch to Ciriaco. Orta allowed three runs on two hits with two walks in his inning plus of work.

THREE WAS NOT A MAGIC NUMBER: The Timber Rattlers scored three runs on three hits and committed three errors on Tuesday night.

LEAGUE LEADERS: The three errors puts Wisconsin’s total to 37 on the season. They lead the Midwest League in that category.

OPPOSITE FIELD: Halman’s home run, his first of the season, was a two-out blast to right in the fourth inning. Halman had five home runs in 28 games for Everett in the Northwest League last season.

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: Wisconsin concluded their six game road trip with a 1-5 record. The Rattlers are 2-8 on the road in 2007.

CLOSURE: The correction finally came in on the eighth inning of Sunday’s game. The official scorer in West Michigan charged Justin Souza with one earned run out of the five that he allowed. But, the stat company overruled the official scorer that Souza should have been charged with two earned runs. The stat company re-checked on Wednesday and agreed that the official scorer at the game got the call right. The statistics for both Souza and Wisconsin have been updated to reflect the change.

ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: The Fort Wayne Wizards are the Midwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres. They are 7-8 and in fourth place in the Eastern Division. In there most recent series, the Wizards split a four game series with the Swing of the Quad Cities. The manager for Fort Wayne is former major league outfielder Doug Dascenzo.

LAST YEAR: The Timber Rattlers and Wizards split the eight game season series. Fort Wayne went 3-1 in Appleton while the Rattlers took three out of four in Fort Wayne. The Wizards were 71-66 overall in 2007 and made the playoffs on the strength of a 40-30 record to capture the second half wild card in the Eastern Division.

NEAR NO-NOs: The Wizard pitching staff has taken three no-hitters deep into games this season. Quad Cities was hitless until a leadoff double in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday at Fort Wayne. Burlington did not collect their first hit until the eighth inning at Fort Wayne on April 17. The Great Lakes Loons broke up a no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning on April 9. The starter against the Loons that day was Nathan Culp and he tossed the first six innings of that game. Culp is the scheduled starter for Thursday against the Rattlers.

PROSPECTING: BASEBALL AMERICA lists four members of the Wizard roster on their top 30 list of Padre prospects. Outfielder Cedric Hunter is the top rated prospect on the list. Hunter was a third round pick out of King High School in Decatur, Georgia. Pitchers Aaron Breit and Andrew Miller are ranked #11 and #12 respectively. Outfielder Kyler Burke (#14) is the other Wizard on the list.

OPPOSING STARTER: Nathan Culp was the 4th round pick of the Padres in the 2006 draft out of the University of Missouri. Culp went 11-6 with a 3.40 ERA in his final season with the Tigers. His eleven wins tied for the most in the Big 12 Conference. Culp made six appearances (three starts) for the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League and was 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA. He earned a promotion to the Wizards near the end of July and went 4-2 with a 4.09ERA in seven starts. His previous outing of the 2007 season was on April 20 at home against the Burlington Bees. Culp allowed on unearned run on four hits over six innings with one walk and five strikeouts. This is Culp’s first appearance against the Timber Rattlers and against an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Protest ends

Brian VanOchten's Hit & Run blog reports that the Whitecaps have dropped their protest of Monday's game.
...Whitecaps manager Tom Brookens spoke with Midwest League commissioner George Spelius and, after reviewing the details of the play, he decided to drop the protest...

I'm not really surprised. But, does George know he is the commissioner now? All these years, I've been calling him League President.

Know your Appleton Baseball Alumni (4/26)

Really need to come up with a better name for this series of posts.

Lee Stange, 1950's

Unfortunately, I could not fnd any stats on Appleton baseball from the 50's. He would have played in Appleton about the time in which the Wasington Senators were the parent club. Those dates would have been in the late 50's for two reasons. Stange signed with the Senators in January of 1957 and made it to the Majors with the Twins in 1961, their first year in Minnesota.

Stange pitched from 1961 to 1970 for the Twins, Indians, Red Sox, and White Sox.

He was mainly a reliever and appeared in 359 games, 125 as a starting pitcher. His best season with the Twins was 1963. He went 12-5 with a 2.62ERA in 32 games (20 starts). In the middle of the 1964 season, Stange was traded to the Indians along with George Banks for Jim "Mudcat" Grant. So, Stange missed out on the Twins making it to the World Series in 1965.

He spent parts of three seasons with Cleveland before a June 2, 1966 trade sent him and Don McMahon to the Red Sox for Dick Radatz. That meant he was part of the "Impossible Dream" season of the Sox in 1967.

Stange was 8-10 with a save and an ERA of 2.26 in 35 games (24 starts) for the Sox that season. He only appeared in one game of the '67 series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Stange entered in relief in Game Three. Over two innings, he allowed three hits and one unearned run.

The White Sox purchased Stange's contract from the Red Sox in June of 1970 and he finished his playing career going 1-0 in sixteen games for Chicago.

He would go on to be a pitching coach for the Red Sox (1972-1974), the Twins (1975), Oakland (1977-1979), and the Red Sox again (1981-1984).

What is Stange doing now? He is the pitching coach for the Florida Tech Panthers and there was this article about tips for Little League Pitchers HERE.

Baseball Card from BaseballAlmanac.

Lee Stange's Retrosheet Page

Lee Stange's Wikipedia Page

Lee Stange's Baseball Cube Page

Florida Tech Baseball Page

Thursday Motivation (4/26)

Just the Despair.com version today because this is what is motivating me today.

#18 Yung Chi Chen

Yung Chi Chen (WI '05) was voted as having the 18th best season in Timber Rattler history as the countdown to #1 continues.

The story is HERE.

A quick taste:
He was a steady influence in the lineup as well, collecting 147 hits and scoring 77 runs, both of which put him in the top 10 in Rattlers' history. He had 50 multi-hit games, including getting three hits ten times. But Chen was at his best in key situations, and he is one of only seven Rattlers to drive in 80 or more runs in a season.

#17 is next Wednesday.

Appleton alums of the day

Major League: Terrmel Sledge (WI '01), San Diego. Home run, three hits, two runs scored in a 3-2 loss at Arizona.

Minor League: Matt Tuiasosopo (WI '05), West Tennessee.
5-for-5 day with a homer and three RBI for the Jaxx.

Photo Credit: KATIE MORGAN /The Jackson Sun

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/25)

SEATTLE (MAJ: 7-9; 3rd AL West): The Mariners shutout the Athletics 2-0. Former UW-Oshkosh Titan Jarrod Washburn pitched a complete game three-hitter to win at Oakland.

TACOMA (AAA: 8-12; 3rd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers were off on Wednesday.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 8-12; T-3rd Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx beat Jacksonville 13-12. West Tennessee took a 13-7 lead into the top of the ninth inning only to see the Suns score five times against Craig James (WI ’05). Juan Sandoval (WI ’03) gave up a two-run single, but induced a game ending double play for the save. Matt Tuiasosopo (WI ’05) went 5-for-5 with a home run for the Jaxx. Chris Minaker (WI ’06) had three hits (all doubles) and drove in five for West Tennessee.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 6-14; 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 8-3 at Rancho Cucamonga. Jeff Dominguez (WI ’06) had three hits and an RBI for the Mavs. But, the Quakes were up 7-0 before High Desert scored three in the top of the eighth.

Mariner system schedule for 4/26
Seattle (Miguel Batista 1-2) at Oakland (Joe Kennedy 0-2) 2:35pm CDT
Tacoma (Jake Woods 0-0) at Las Vegas (Greg Miller 1-0) 9:11pm CDT
West Tennessee (Juan Doñe 1-1) at Chattanooga (Tyler Pelland 0-2) 6:15pm CDT
High Desert (Marwin Vega 0-3) at Rancho Cucamonga (Brok Butcher 2-1) 9:05pm CDT

Braves: April 26, 1957

The '57 Braves began their road trip to Cincinnati with a 9-2 win.

Warren Spahn allowed nine hits, but only two runs as he won his third game of the season.

The Braves knocked around four Red pitchers with four home runs. Joe Adcock hit a pair of homers, a solo homer in the second and a grand slam in the third, off Red starter Johnny Klippstein. Johnny Logan and Del Crandall both had solo homers fo the other two.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The win moved the '57 Braves to 7-1. Brooklyn lost at Pittsburgh and Milwaukee had a one game lead on the Dodgers.

The series at Crosley Field continues on April 27.

Scheduled starters on 4/27
MIL: Lew Burdett
CIN: Warren Hacker

Brewers: April 26, 1982

The '82 Brewers were off on April 26. Next up is the White Sox at County Stadium on April 27.

Scheduled pitchers 4/27:
CHI: LaMar Hoyt
MIL: Randy Lerch

Mariners: April 26, 1997

The '97 Mariners lost 4-3 at Toronto on April 26. The Blue Jays scored a run in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out single by Joe Carter for the win.

Seattle trailed 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh. Rich Amaral singled in the tying run with two outs.

Derek Lowe made his major league debut for Seattle in relief. He entered in the sixth inning and kept the Jays off the board until the ninth.

Before getting to the game winning rally though, Seattle had two with two out in the top of the ninth against former University of Wisconsin pitcher Paul Quantrill. The ex-teammate of Rattler pitching coach Lance Painter ended the inning with Joey Cora grounding out.

In the bottom of the ninth, Lowe gave up a one out single to Otis Nixon. Nixon stole second and stayed there on an infield single by Carlos Garcia. Norm Charlton relieved Lowe to try and get the game to extra innings. Norm got Orlando Merced to fly out to left. But, Carter singled and Nixon made it across home with the winning run.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The loss dropped the '97 M's to 14-9. They are still in frst, but only 1/2 game in front of Texas in the AL West.

Next up is the final game of the series at SkyDome on April 27

Scheduled starters on 4/27
SEA: Randy Johnson
TOR: Robert Person

Baseball History -- April 26

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

Highlighted entry:
Immediately following the Giants 4-3 win over Philadelphia‚ John McGraw slugs a fan who had made a derogatory remark about the Giants. Then the manager proceeds on to the clubhouse. When a policeman arrives he refuses to arrest McGraw on the grounds that he had not witnessed the altercation.

Now if that fan had Dwight Shrute sitting next to him, McGraw would have received a faceful of mace. Instead, nobody saw nothin'.


Know your Appleton Baseball Alumni (4/25)

James Patrick "Snipe" Conley.

Conley was a pitcher for the Appleton franchise some time between 1909 and 1914. He made it to the Baltimore Terrapins of Federal League and the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. But, according to this entry about Snipe in the Handbook of Texas Snipe made a large impact on baseball in Texas:

James M. P. (Snipe) Conley, baseball pitcher, was born on April 25, 1892, to Michael and Rose Daily Conley in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania. He left school at age twelve to help his family by working for the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad. Two years later he moved to another town to work in a shoe factory. For entertainment he started playing baseball, developed as a pitcher, and eventually joined the company team.

Soon he was playing semi-pro ball at night and working during the day. Conley signed with the original Bloomer Girl's baseball team and while on tour was hired by the Baltimore Orioles. John "Jack Quinn" Picus, an Oriole pitcher, taught Conley to throw the spitball.

"Snipe hunting" was a popular prank at the time, and Baltimore veterans used it to initiate rookies. Conley was taken on a hunt, dutifully held the bag, and thereafter was known as "Snipe."

In 1914-15 he played for the Baltimore Federals. While in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, for an off-season game, he agreed to pitch for the Dallas Submarines. With the variously named Texas League Dallas team he became a famed spitball thrower.

Between 1916 and 1927 he led the club to three championships, the first in 1917, when he won twenty-seven games, including nineteen consecutively. In 1955 his games-won record of 211 was tied, but his consecutive victories remained intact for the first century of Texas League baseball (1888-1987).

In 1918 Conley played briefly with the National League's Cincinnati team, but returned to Dallas in time to help Dallas earn its second pennant. In 1926 he managed the team to its third.

In 1927 he was hired as manager of the Jackson, Mississippi, team in the Cotton States League. In 1928 he managed the Midland semi-pro club and later the same year went to work for the Big Lake Oil Company and became playing manager of its team, the Texon Oilers.

During the World War II inactivity in semi-professional baseball, Conley continued his interest in the game by coaching amateur and youth teams. He retired from the Big Lake Oil Company in 1957 to Robert Lee, moved to Arizona, and eventually returned to Robert Lee.

He was an excellent all-around player known for his down-to-earth attitude, loyalty, and good sportsmanship. Always a popular player with Dallas fans, he returned in 1941 to pitch two games with the Dallas Rebels.

Under Texas League rules he could still use his spitball pitch; 3,000 fans saw him win on Snipe Conley Day, July 27.

In 1973 Conley was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. He was Catholic. He married Rosebud Stuart of Dallas in 1917. To this union two sons were born. In 1943 Conley married Mary Lee Reese. He died on January 5, 1978, in Robert Lee and is buried in Wheatland Cemetery, Dallas.

So, if you are ever near the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco, Texas. Stop in and check out Snipe Conley. Here is a quote from the spitballer:

"I never used a thing but spit, never went for slippery elm or anything like that."

Snipe Conley Stats at Retrosheet.

Snipe Conley entry at Baseball-Reference.com.

Wednesday in the Midwest League (4/25)

Monty Straton: Honey, do you know there's a tailor in Chicago that gives a suit of clothes away to any ballplayer that hits the scoreboard in center field? As of yesterday the New York Yankees are the best dressed team in baseball.

Midwest League Action -- 4/24

Complete Tuesday scoreboard HERE.

@West Michigan 6, Rattlers 3 -- It took a bit, but I figured out the context of "charmed" in this story. Hint: It has nothing to do with Alyssa Milano.

Clinton 7, @South Bend 1 -- Right in the Lumberyard.

@Fort Wayne 1, Quad Cities 0 -- The SWING didn't get their first (and only) hit until the leadoff batter in the ninth. Drew Miller pitched seven hitless for the win.

Beloit 1, @Lansing 0 -- The one Snapper run was unearned. They might still be playing if not for that run.

@Dayton 5, Burlington 2 -- Things are really going right for the Dragons. They benefit from back-to-back catcher's interference calls to rally for the win.

@Great Lakes 2, Cedar Rapids 1 -- Two in the bottom of the ninth for the Loons. That will bring 'em back to Dow Diamond.

Kane County @ Peoria (Rained out) -- Won't be made up. But, there is this story about Cub prospect Dylan Johnston.

Appleton alums of the day

Major League: Tom Gordon (Foxes '88), Philadelphia. Scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save of the season. The Phillies have won four straight.

Minor League: Wladimir Balentien (WI '04), Tacoma. Four hits, two homers, five RBI. Yeah, that'll do it.

Mariner System Report (Games of 4/24) {Corrected}

SEATTLE (MAJ: 6-9; 4th AL West): The Mariners were rained out in Texas. Yep, another rainout for the M's.

TACOMA (AAA: 8-12; 3rd Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division): The Rainiers beat Salt Lake 12-11. Wladimir Balentien (WI ’04) had four hits, including two home runs, and drove in five runs to lead the way for the offense.

WEST TENNESSEE (AA: 7-12; 4th Southern League North Division): The Diamond Jaxx lost 5-3 to Jacksonville in thirteen innings. Rene Rivera (WI ’03) homered in the seventh to give West Tennessee a 2-1 lead, but the Suns tied the game in the top of the eighth. Jacksonville scored in the top of the tenth. Marshall Hubbard’s (WI ’05) two-out RBI double scored Chris Minaker (WI ’06) with the tying run. The Suns scored twice in the thirteenth off Juan Sandoval (WI ’03) for the winning runs.

HIGH DESERT (High-A: 6-13; 5th California League South Division): The Mavericks lost 2-1 at Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes scored both their runs on solo homers. Jon Lockwood (WI ’05) allowed the first and Jose Escalona allowed an eighth inning long ball. High Desert scored a run in the top of the ninth on a Ron Garth (WI ’06) infield single.

Mariner system schedule for 4/25
Seattle (Jarrod Washburn 0-2) at Oakland (Joe Blanton 2-0) 9:05pm CDT
Tacoma – OFF DAY
Jacksonville at West Tennessee – Playing now. Box Score Here*
High Desert (Aaron Cotter 1-0) at Rancho Cucamonga (Robert Mosebach 2-1) 9:05pm CDT

*-Originally a link to radio broadcast. But, Dave Ramsey is on instead of the game.

Braves: April 25, 1957

The '57 Braves had the day off on April 25. They are 6-1 and tied with Brooklyn at the top of the National League.

Milwaukee begins a road trip on April 26 with a game against the Reds at Crosley Field.

Scheduled starters 4/26/57
MIL: Warren Spahn
CIN: Johnny Klippstein

Brewers: April 25, 1982

The '82 Brewers won their fifth game in a row and swept a three-game series at Texas with an 11-6 win over the Rangers on April 25. Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, and Don Money all had big days for the offense. For the pitchers, Dwight Bernard and Rollie Fingers pitched shutout ball out of the bullpen in relief of Bob McClure.

The Brewers jumped out 1-0 in the first inning against Charlie Hough. Charlie Moore -- yes, Charlie Moore -- hit in the lead off spot and doubled. Yount didn't move Moore over, but Cooper doubled and Moore scored.

Then, McClure gave up two runs in the first. He hit the first batter, committed a balk, and gave up a home run to lee Mazzilli.

Milwaukee answered with two runs in the second. RBI singles by Jim Gantner and Yount made it 3-2.

In the third, Roy Howell drew a two out walk and Money hit his second homer of the season for a 5-2 lead.

McClure got into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up a single and a walk to put two on with one out for Buddy Bell. Bell doubled in both runners. Larry Parrish drew a walk and that was it for McClure. Bernard entered and got the second out. Jim Sundberg was next and he drew another walk to load the bases. Mike Richardt singled, both Bell and Parrish scored and the Rangers were up 6-5.

That didn't bother the Crew. Ned Yost, getting the start at catcher in place of Ted Simmons, singled. Moore reached on an error by Bell. Yount singled in the tying run. Cooper singled in the go-ahead run.

Milwaukee put the game away in the eighth. Yount singled with one out. He stole second, and scored on a double by Coop. Ben Oglivie was walked intentionally. One out later Howell doubled in both Cooper and Oglivie for a 10-5 lead.

Gantner put the finishing flourish on the Brewer win with a lead-off home run in the top of the ninth off Danny Darwin.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The win put Milwaukee's record at 8-6. They are still in third place in the AL East and 1-1/2 games behind Detroit.

April 26, 1982 is an off day for the Crew. They resume play with the Chicago White Sox at Milwaukee County Stadium on April 27.

Mariners: April 25, 1997

The '97 Mariners started a road trip with a game at SkyDome against the Toronto Blue Jays. They started it on the right foot with a 13-7 comeback win. It was an odd game, but it wasn't odd that Ken Griffey had a big game.

Seattle scored four runs in the top of the first inning against Roger Clemens. Edgar Martinez drove in the first run. Paul Sorrento singled in two more. Brent Gates had a sac fly to give a 4-0 lead to Dennis Martinez heading into the bottom of the first.

But, Toronto scored five times in the bottom of the first. Ed Sprague drew a bases loaded walk and Carlos Delgado hit a grand slam for a 5-4 Blue Jay lead.

Ken Griffey tied the game with a homer off Clemens in the top of the third to tie the game. But, Shawn Green homered in the fourth and sixth innings to put Toronto up 7-5.

Then, Griffey homered with two out in the seventh to pull Seattle to within 7-6.

The Mariners came all the way back in the top of the eighth by scoring seven runs. Tim Crabtree replaced Clemens and walked Jay Buhner to start the inning. Dan Plesac relieved Crabtree and struck out pinch hitter Jeff Blowers. But, Russ Davis pinch hit for Gates and hit a home run to put the M's in front. Later in the inning, Joey Cora singled in a run. Mike Timlin relieved Plesac and Alex Rodriguez hit a three run homer off Timlin. Griffey was next and hit his third home run of the night (13th of the season). That put Seattle up 13-7.

The Jays got a run in the bottom of the ninth off Scott Sanders, but Joe Carter struck out to end the game.

Complete box score and play-by-play are HERE.

The win put the '97 M's at 14-8. They were in first place in the AL West 1-1/2 games ahead of Texas.

Seattle and Toronto continue the series on April 26 at SkyDome.

Scheudled starters for 4/26/97
SEA: Bob Wolcott
TOR: Woody Williams

Baseball History -- April 25

Complete entry for April 25 is HERE.

Highlighted entry:

Cubs OF Rick Monday snatches an American flag from 2 fans who are about to set it on fire in the outfield during a game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers win 5-4 in 10 innings. The next day‚ the Illinois legislature unanimously approves May 4th as Rick Monday Day.

The picture is from the 2006 USA Today story about the incident.

4am and an update on Orta

Sorry for the late start today. Bus in at 4am and there was an article I needed to finish up for the Dayton issue of PLAYBALL!. I started to post, but the face of Christian Slater on the side of my copy of Broken Arrow was telling me to post something about his career.

That's when I decided to catch some sleep.

I know there was some concern out there about Rattler starter Ricky Orta. He left last night's game in the top of the second inning. He said that he had about 12 messages on his cell phone and some of the guys who follow Seattle's minor league system are probably wondering what happened.

I go back and forth on this stuff because the Mariners play pretty close to the vest on injuries. But, since Ricky was right in front of me in the line at McDonald's after the game and told me what happened, I'll share it.

Here is the deal: It was a blister on the second finger of his pitching hand. It opened up pretty bad. There were a couple of band-aids on it after the game. They will have to wait and see how this affects his next start. That would be next Monday against the Dayton Dragons.
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