Fake snow? I'm laughing at fake snow today

I'm off today. Can't you tell by the time I started updating Rattler Radio? But, if I was I'd have a picture from the left field berm that might show a light dusting of snow on the field. So, I had to chuckle, guffaw, and snort in derision at this story at Ben's Biz Blog.

When Mother Nature Can't Deliver...

Citizens who hail from the fine state of Oklahoma are able to take part in a wide variety of recreational activities, but traditionally none of these leisurely endeavors have had anything to do with snow. It's generally too warm down there for there to be any significant accumulation of the flaky white stuff.

That's why the
Oklahoma RedHawks have once again decided to take matters into their own hands by running their very own man-made snow tube park at Bricktown Ballpark. The park is open every weekend through Dec 16 (and daily from Dec. 21 through Jan. 1), and offers snow-deprived residents of the Sooner State the chance to sit on a rubber tube and then rocket down the largest man-made slope in the country with reckless abandon...

There are many things that I would like to be that I probably never will be...'Snow-deprived' is definitely in my top ten.

Rattlers in Venezuela

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Lara 7, Aragua 1.

Ex-Rattlers for Lara.
Adam Jones ('04): 1-for-3, 2 runs
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 1-for-3, RBI
Oswaldo Navarro ('05): 0-for-1
Sean White ('07): 7IP, 6H, R, 3K, winning pitcher
Stephen Kahn ('05): IP, 0H, 0R, 2K

Friday's game: Caracas at Lara

ED to the CRBHOF

The Kernels have announced the latest class for the Cedar Rapids Baseball Hall of Fame. The big name here is:
While playing in Cedar Rapids in 1982, Eric Davis hit .276, had 15 home runs, 56 runs batted in and stole 53 bases. Known for his incredible combination of speed and power, Eric Davis was dubbed “the next Willie Mays”. Eric made his major league debut in 1984 with the Cincinnati Reds. For nearly a decade, Eric was synonymous with the franchise, eventually leading the Reds to a World Series title in 1990. Eric would become an All Star in 1987 and 1989, on top of also earning a Gold Glove for his outfield heroics in 1987, 1988 and 1989. However, Eric’s most important feat was not nearly becoming the first 30/30 man or his astonishing career tally of 282 home runs, 934 RBI, and 349 stolen bases. Eric’s greatest triumph came in 1997 when he defeated colon cancer in the middle of the season during his stint with the Baltimore Orioles.
The inductions will be on January 31 as part of their Hot Stove Banquet.

Breaking Ground

The ground breaking ceremony for the new Stadium in Fort Wayne went down yesterday.

Enthusiasm squared

As dignitaries threw symbolic spades of dirt in the air Thursday, they hoped the real work on Harrison Square would quiet skeptics throughout the community.

Mayor Graham Richard was joined by developers, politicians and other Harrison Square officials for the official groundbreaking for the $125 million public-private development.

Prep work has taken place for months at the site on the southwest corner of Harrison Street and Jefferson Boulevard, and Richard said skeptics will become believers as they see the project rise from the ground.

The project, which includes a Courtyard by Marriott with parking garage, a combined retail/condominium building and a $30 million baseball stadium, has faced its share of opposition.

Public-opinion polls taken early this year showed a majority of people opposed the project, but Richard said that sentiment has changed as more information has been released.

Head over to the Downtown Fort Wayne Baseball blog for a complete roundup of all the happenings yesterday.

Photo from HERE.

Lansing to stay Blue

They should be stocking up on the Molson at Oldsmobile Park through at least 2010. And they have couple of new faces on their coaching staff.

Lugnuts and Blue Jays announce PDC extension, 2008 coaching staff
The Lansing Lugnuts are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays to extend their player development contract through the 2010 season.

"The Blue Jays are extremely happy to be in Lansing through 2010," Toronto's Director of Player Development Dick Scott said. "We have a terrific relationship with the Lugnuts' front office and the city of Lansing. It's just a great place for our players to come and develop."
Gary Cathcart was the manager of the Lugs in '07. He has been promoted to Double A New Hampshire in the Eastern League. The new head guy -- and his staff -- in Lansing is:
The Blue Jays have also announced the names of the 2008 Lugnuts coaching staff. Clayton McCullough will become the eighth manager in Lugnuts history, as he takes over for Gary Cathcart who spent one season in the capital city and has been promoted to be the head man at Double-A New Hampshire. Joining McCullough will be new hitting coach Justin Mashore, returning pitching coach Tom Signore, and second-year trainer Bob Tarpey.

126 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 126 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian. This was the first book in the series.

The movie is based on parts of different novels in the series. But, the passage below is part of a scene from the movie. It's like batting practice.

‘Run out your gun. – Prime. – Point your gun. – Fire. Mr. Mowett,’ he called, through the cabin skylight, ‘what was the interval?’

‘Three minutes and three-quarters, sir.’

‘Oh, dear, oh, dear,’ said Jack, almost to himself. There were no words in the vocabulary at his command to express his distress. Pullings’ division looked apprehensive and ashamed: number three gun-crew had stripped to the waist and had tied their handkerchiefs round their heads against the flash and thunder: they were spitting on their hands, and Mr. Pullings himself was fussing anxiously about with the crows, handspikes, and swabs.

In the movie, this is the point where Jack breaks out a motivational speech.

Capt. Jack Aubrey: Do you want to see a guillotine in Piccadilly?
Crew: No!
Capt. Jack Aubrey: Want to call that raggedy-ass Napoleon your king? Crew: No!
Capt. Jack Aubrey: You want your children to sing the "La Marseillaise?"
Crew: NO!

Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.


November 29 Field Photo

From the left field grass seats at 11am on 11/29/07.

Not posting the rest of the night. Go Packers!!

Thursday Motivation (11/29)

For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks - not that you won or lost -
But how you played the game.

Grantland Rice

Ex-Rattlers in Venezuela

In Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Aragua 5, Lara 3.

Ex-Rattlers for Lara:

Wladimir Balentien ('04): 0-for-4, 2Ks
Cesar Jimenez ('03): 2/3IP, 2H, 2R
Ivan Blanco ('05): 1/3IP, 0H, 0R

Game tonight:
Lara @ Aragua

127 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 127 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.

The passage is a quick discussion about a topic of which Hemingway knew a little.

“Because the people of this town are as kind as they can be cruel and they have a natural sense of justice and a desire to do that which is right. But cruelty had entered into the lines and also drunkenness or the beginning of drunkenness and the lines were not as they were when Don Benito had come out. I do not know how it is in other countries, and no one cares more for the pleasure of drinking than I do, but in Spain drunkenness, when produced by other elements than wine, is a thing of great ugliness and the people do things that they would not have done. It is not so in your country, Ingl├ęs?”

“It is so,” Robert Jordan said.

Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.


November 28 Field Photo

From the left field grass seats at about 11am on 11/28 with my new camera phone.

That white streak in the lower left corner by the railing is not a mistake. It was a snowflake.

Eyes on Rule 5

Chris Kline at Baseball America.com has a look at the top players available in the Rule 5 draft.

Would I mention it if there weren't a few former Rattlers in the article?
Luis Valbuena, 2b, Mariners
Outstanding defender with interesting lefty bat

Marwin Vega, rhp, Mariners
Three average pitches with a lively 91-93 mph fastball
What the heck is the Rule 5 draft? This link to a 1995 BA article is still a good explanation.

Mariner Awards

Jay over at Mariner Minors had this first, but mentioning it here with the Timber Rattler connections seems like a good idea.

Mariners name top players in system
An All-Star regular season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers has landed outfielder Adam Jones the Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year Award, it was announced on Wednesday.

"I think it's self-explanatory; he put up big numbers," said Greg Hunter, the Mariners' director of Minor League and scouting operations. "He got better as an outfielder and ended up in the big leagues."

Jones, a Rattler in 2004, gets the Player of the Year Award. Who gets the Pitcher of the Year Award?

Joining Jones at the top of the Minor League Award winners was right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman, selected as the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The Mariners' second-round Draft choice in 2006 out of Fountain Valley, Calif., had a combined record of 7-11 with Class A clubs in Wisconsin (Midwest League) and High Desert (California League). He struck out 139 batters in 135 2/3 innings.

"He pitched well at Wisconsin and again at High Desert, which is a tough place to pitch," Hunter said. "He's a young kid and did a very nice job."

The player and pitcher of the year for the Timber Rattlers were

Outfielder/designated hitter Carlos Peguero (.263, 9, 50) and former University of Washington right-handed starter Kyle Parker (5-10, 3.46).

Other ex-Rattlers to pick up team awards were:

Tacoma: Jones and Robert Rohrbaugh ('05)

West Tennessee: Joe Woerman ('06)

High Desert: Adam Moore ('06) and Roman Martinez ('05, '06)

Everett: Greg Halman ('07)

Also, the Rattlers as an organization and a few Rattlers from '07 also picked up some hardware.

The annual Ellis Award, presented to the Minor League player(s) and organization for community service, went to Tony Butler and Justin Souza of the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. It was the second consecutive Ellis Award for the Wisconsin club, which provided the Appleton, Wis., area with 352 hours of community service.

This did not shock Jay:

The T-Rats have pretty consistently been winners on this front, so it’s not really much of a surprise.

Timber Rattler Speakers Bureau

Just got back from a Speakers Bureau appearance at the Beaver Dam Lions Club. Great dinner and great questions.

If you are interested in anyone from the Timber Rattlers Speakers Bureau talking to your civic club, drop a line and I'll put you in touch with the right person.

Wednesday Baseball Movie (11/28)

Too high. Too high.

Smokey says: Make sure your campfire is out when you leave the All-star Game

There is your 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game logo. The Great Lakes Loooooooons will be the host. Click on the link to find out the meaning of the logo.

I know that they are working their fireplaces into the logo, but this is what I thought about the second I saw it:

Lara notebook

Cardenales de Lara were off yesterday in Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional. But, MiLB.com has the latest Venezuelan League Notebook.

The Lara part has a quick mention of Cesar Jimenez ('03) and his scoreless streak along with other Mariner farm hands.
WHO'S HOT: Major League free agent SS Cesar Izturis has hit safely in nine of 11 games since joining Lara on Nov. 15 and has batted .435 (10-for-23) in his last six games. ... In his last 10 games, OF Charlton Jimerson (Mariners) is batting .289 (11-for-38) with a homer and six runs scored. ... P Brandon Morrow (Mariners) tossed a five-inning three-hitter in his debut on Nov. 20. ... P Cesar Jimenez (Mariners) extended his scoreless streak to 14 2/3 frames, while limiting batters to a .163 average.
Lara is 21-17 heading into tonight's game with Aragua.

128 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 128 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from Dune by Frank Herbert. This is early in the book after House Atreides has taken over rulership of Arrakis, which is really part of a plot by the evil House Harkonnen. Duke Leto Atreides is checking out the room at a reception…Lord, beer me strength.

Nearby, more an outflanker than a member of the group, stood Duncan Idaho in a glittering dress uniform, flat face unreadable, the curling black hair neatly combed. He had been summoned back from Fremen and had his orders for Hawat – “Under pretext of guarding her, you will keep the Lady Jessica under constant surveillance.

The Duke glanced around the room.

There was Paul in the corner surrounded by a fawning group of the younger Arrakeen richece, and, aloof among them, three officers of the House Troop. The Duke took particular note of the young women. What a catch a ducal heir would make. But Paul was treating all equally with an air of reserved nobility.

He’ll wear the title well, the Duke thought, and realized with a sudden chill that this was another death thought.

Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.

November 27 Field Photo

From the left field grass seats at 11:30am on 11/27.

Don't let the sunshine fool you. It was cold and windy yesterday.


Good chance for the Goose

A former Appleton Fox is featured, not as a newbie

Lean list could bode well for holdovers Gossage, Rice
The 2008 Hall of Fame ballot that was released Monday and will be mailed at the end of the week to more than 575 voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America contains merely 25 names, one of the smallest ballots in history.

Only 11 newcomers to the ballot made it through the BBWAA's Screening Committee, which has been traditionally liberal in placing new names up for consideration. Once there, however, candidates must be named on at least 5 percent of ballots to remain eligible for up to 15 years. This can be a difficult cut.

The new group includes a former batting champion in Tim Raines, who also has the fifth-highest stolen-base total in history with 808, and two former Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners in David Justice and Chuck Knoblauch, both of whom went on to multiple postseason appearances. There is also a former World Series MVP in pitcher Jose Rijo of the 1990 Reds, a 50-homer hitter in Brady Anderson, a key starting pitcher on the Blue Jays' 1992 and '93 Series champions in Todd Stottlemyre, two of the top closing relievers of their time in Robb Nen and Rod Beck, a 200-game winner in Chuck Finley and two exceedingly dependable players who were managers' dreams in Shawon Dunston and Travis Fryman.

Rijo is on the ballot for the second time. He was on in 2001, but is on again because of his comeback in 2002.

Now, on to the former Appleton Fox, Rich "Goose" Gossage.

What normally happens with such a ballot is that writers cast reflection on the holdovers who for whatever reason have yet to win the 75-percent approval required for election. Voters tend to want to vote for some players, and if the new names aren't dazzling, then an intense second look at the other candidates becomes an option.

This is good news for Rich "Goose" Gossage, who is in his ninth year on the ballot and has made a steady rise in the voting in recent elections. Gossage's vote total on the previous ballot of 388 was 21 shy of the amount required.

Getting as high as 71.2 percent of the vote bodes well for the two-time Fireman of the Year and 22-season veteran because every player who has received more than 70 percent of the vote in a BBWAA election has made it to the Hall of Fame. Granted, some of those gained entry through the Veterans Committee, but the Goose is right at the door with as many as six elections left for him if he doesn't make it this year.

Results will be announced on January 8.

This is neat

I saw this on mlb.com and the history buff in me thought, "This is going to be cool."
Exhibition game to benefit team's official charity, ThinkCure
When the Dodgers moved out of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and into Dodger Stadium in 1962 it was believed that the Coliseum -- constructed in the the 1920s for football and track and field -- would never again host another baseball game.

Forty-six years later, the Dodgers will return to the Coliseum one more time to play an exhibition game with the world champion Boston Red Sox as part of the organization's 50th anniversary celebration of its move to Los Angeles. Executives from the Dodgers and Red Sox joined local politicians and former players at a news conference, hosted by legendary broadcaster Vin Scully at the Coliseum on Monday to announce the event.

"It's going to be so much fun next March 29," said Dodgers chairman Frank McCourt. "There's already a great buzz about it. It's just a pleasure. I think Senator Mark Ridley Thomas had a great idea and we just jumped on the opportunity. It's going to be a special, special night here in LA, not only to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team's arrival in LA, but the proceeds are going to go to ThinkCure, our new official charity."

Read the article to find out how much the the Dodgers are going to spend on temporary dugouts. Plus, they will reconstruct the screen in left field to protect that will make it a little harder to hit the ball over the fence in left...the one that is only 251 feet from home plate.

Look! Another list!

MiLB.com has started counting down the top 50 prospects in the minors. They have revealed 41-50. Two ex-Rattlers are on there.

48. Carlos Triunfel:
That birth date isn't a misprint. Born in 1990, he'll be just 18 next season. Despite a broken thumb that slowed him down last year, he still made the leap to the California League and handled himself exceptionally well. It will be interesting to see if the Mariners continue to push him aggressively with a bump up to Double-A or if he'll begin the year back with High Desert. Whatever the case, he's still way, way ahead of the curve.
46. Jeff Clement:
Now the question is what to do with him. After a successful year at Triple-A and a nice September callup, it's fairly clear his bat is ready for the bigs. He's not bad behind the plate -- his ability to throw out baserunners is his biggest liability -- but with Kenji Johjima in Seattle already, it's unclear how the Mariners will work Clement into the lineup in 2008.

Mariner Mailbag

Jim Street, MLB.com's Mariner beat writer, answers some questions from fans in the Mailbag. The only Rattler related question has been taken out and placed here.

With Jose Guillen most likely leaving, where do Wladimir Balentien and Charlton Jimerson fit into the team's plans? They're both young, athletic and have a lot of upside. It would make sense for them to get a long look in Spring Training.
-- Robert G., Tigard, Ore.

Both figure to get plenty of playing time during the early stages of the Cactus League schedule, but my guess is Balentien and Jimerson will be two of the starting outfielders for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

Ex-Rattlers in Venezuela

In Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional action it was Caracas 3, Lara 1.

Ex-Rattlers for Lara:
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 0-for-3
Oswaldo Navarro ('04, '05): 0-for-3
Renee Cortez ('02, '03): IP, 2H, R
Ivan Blanco ('05): 1-1/3 IP, 2H, 0R

Also, Brandon Morrow was the starting pitcher and took the loss. He allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts in five innings.

Lara is off on Tuesday.

129 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 129 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today's excerpt is from The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander and it is from the last page of The Book of Three. You might be able to tell from the book cover that this is a sword & sorcery epic. But, there is a bit more to it than that.
"I have returned to the chamber I slept in and found it smaller than I remember. The fields are beautiful, yet not quite as I recalled them. And I am troubled, for I wonder no if I am to be a stranger in my own home."

Dalben shook his head. "No, that shall never be. But it is not Caer Dalben which has grown smaller. You have grown bigger. That is the way of it."

"And there is Eilonwy," Taran said. "What will become of her? Is it -- is it possible you would let her stay with us?"

Dalben pursed his lips and toyed with the pages of The Book of Three. "By all rights," he said, "the Princess Eilonwy should be returned to her kinsmen -- yes, she is a princess. Did she not tell you? But there is no hurry about that. She might consent to stay. Perhaps if you spoke to her."

Taran sprang to his feet. "I shall!"

He hurried from the chamber and ran to Hen Wen's enclosure. Eilonwy was still there, watching the oracular pig with interest.

"You're to stay!" Taran cried. "I've asked Dalben!"

Eilonwy tossed her head. "I suppose," she said, "it never occurred to you to ask me."
Put today's excerpt into a baseball context.


The Commish

Bowie Kuhn was the commissioner of Major League Baseball for 15 years. He is one of the finalists of the veterans committee for the Hall of Fame. MLB.com has a story on Kuhn and why he is being considered for induction.
Kuhn, who passed away at 80 this past March 15, was the fifth Commissioner. His tenure spanned 1969-84, the most tumultuous period economically in Major League history.

During his years in office, Kuhn fought against overturning the reserve clause in the basic player contract, which was used by owners to bind players to their respective teams. Curt Flood took MLB to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the legality of that clause, and although he lost the case, the high court put baseball on notice that the practice was a restraint of trade.

"He was Commissioner during a very turbulent time for the players association," said Joe Torre, the Dodgers manager now and a strong union voice as a player back then. "He certainly took his role on. He liked being Commissioner. But again, like anybody who's in any position during a turbulent time, I think you're going to have mixed reviews. One thing I did notice, though, is that he never seemed to compromise on what he felt like he needed to do."

Kuhn's stance not withstanding, by 1977 an arbiter had ruled in favor of the union and abolished the reserve clause to usher in the era of free agency. The average salary nearly tripled -- from $51,501 in 1976 to $143,756 in 1980. This past year, it was a record $2.8 million, and baseball's gross revenue were $6.075 billion, also a record.

"Oh, man. The fact that baseball is in the shape it is right now and there finally is some working relationship between the players association and MLB, I think, is the result of what the sport went through back then," said Mike Scioscia, the Angels manager. "And Bowie Kuhn was right in the middle of it."

During Kuhn's reign, baseball grew from a sport with 10 teams in each league to a multi-divisional format with a round of playoffs preceding the World Series. And as television network involvement and payouts grew, games in the Fall Classic ultimately began to be played in prime time at night to increase visibility and commercial appeal.

Still, despite the changes, including the adoption of the designated hitter in the American League in 1971, Kuhn longed for a consistency in the sport, once saying: "I believe in the Rip Van Winkle Theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for 70 years, walk into a ballpark and understand baseball perfectly."

There is more in there on the suspension of George Steinbrenner, negating Charlie Finley's firesale, and the 1981 strike.

It is interesting that Marvin Miller, Kuhn's opponent during the labor battles of the times, is also a finalist this year. It's even more interesting that the link for Miller takes you to just a brief bio instead of a big profile. That profile might be coming later this week.


MLB.com has the details on former Appleton Fox Alex Rodriguez and a marketing agreement that will pad his contract with the Yankees.

Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed to a $30 million marketing agreement that could raise the total value of his contract to $305 million over 10 years, according to multiple published reports.

The agreement would pay A-Rod an additional $6 million over his contract base for matching Willie Mays with 660 career home runs, Babe Ruth with 714, Hank Aaron with 755 and Barry Bonds with 762 (and possibly counting) -- and then an additional $6 million for passing Bonds to become baseball's all-time home run king. The agreement has not yet been finalized, but both sides have reportedly agreed to its terms.

Rodriguez will enter next season with 518 career home runs, and is on pace to break what's largely considered baseball's most sacred record sometime around 2013.

Major League Baseball doesn't usually endorse bonuses tied to home run totals, but the Commissioner's Office approved this arrangement because Rodriguez would need to make additional personal appearances and memorabilia signings to collect all its benefits, according to the Associated Press.

Those are some good incentives. Can he collect?

Ex-Rattlers in Venezuela

Getting caught up on the past two games for Carenales de Lara:

November 24: La Guaira 4, Lara 3.

Ex-Rattlers for Lara:
Wladimir Balentien ('04): 1-for-4, RBI

November 25: Lara 4, La Guaira 1.

Ex-Rattlers for Lara:
Balentien: 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, run, 2 BBs
Oswaldo Navarro ('04, '05): 2-for-4, run
Stephen Kahn ('05): IP, 0H, 0R
Cesar Jimenez ('03): IP, 0H, 0R

Monday's game: Lara @ Caracas

130 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 130 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from The Mythology of Native North America. This collection of Native American myths was pulled together by David Leeming and Jake Page.

This excerpt is the end of a Serrano myth. A hunter’s wife is killed while he is away. She brings him to the Land of the Dead as a still living person. The dead are wary at first, then accepting. Finally, they feel bad for him.

“It’s too early for him to be a dead person,” they said among themselves, “and this isn’t a good place for live people. Maybe we should have his woman go home with him.”

They told the couple they could go but shouldn’t have anything to do with each other for three nights after they got home. The couple happily agreed and left, and once they got home they were continent for three nights as they had been instructed. What they didn’t know was that three nights for the dead means three years for the living. And when the hunter woke up on the fourth day, he was alone again.

This myth is similar to the Orpheus myth in Greek mythology. Yes, I know another one.

Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.


Yes, I am aware

That I just cracked on a New York Times writer for shoe-horning in reference to Greek Mythology and that this blog that has used excerpts from Hemingway, Shakespeare, and Fitzgerald to countdown to Opening Day.

But, I'm a hack.

That's the New York Times.

I guess this is my way of saying that there isn't much out there right now. The Cardenales de Lara game from yesterday in the Venezuelan League hasn't been reported yet. I don't have anything written for the Know Your Ford Frick Award Nominees series and the How Close? series of posts have been on hiatus for a bit. Maybe later today for posting tomorrow.

Right now, though, the sun is out and with no Packer game today I might actually go outside. At least to the mailbox to see if there was any mail in there from yesterday. Small steps.

Only in the NYT

I saw this story on Deadspin on November 1. I didn't blog about it because, well, I was on vacation at the time and then, I forgot about it.

The gist of the story has to do with a former Appleton Fox. You may have heard of him.

Alex Rodriguez isn’t going to be a Tiger in 2008, but maybe he’ll consider an offer from the Toledo Mud Hens.

On Sunday, after SI.com reported that Rodriguez would opt out of his contract and become a free agent, New York Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner told the New York Times, “Does he want to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee, or a Toledo Mud Hen?”

And the $350 million contract was offered -- with some big time incentives.

The Mud Hens also prepared a letter that they plan to mail to Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras. Included is a contract offer with incentives if he hits 75 home runs per season and leads Toledo to 10 straight Governors’ Cup titles.

That's all?

The New York Times catches up with the story today. No, not catches up with it. Adds on to it. The question here is, "Could Alex Rodriguez meet the offensive incentives in Toledo?"

Rodriguez’s production with Toledo can be estimated using a series of formulas known as Minor League Equivalencies. By studying the effect that promotion to the big leagues has had on component statistics like doubles and strikeouts for the thousands of players who have gone to the majors from the minors, analysts have developed equations to translate statistics between competition levels. And although the formulas are typically used to evaluate minor league prospects, they are equally reliable when applied in reverse.

The most popular Minor League Equivalency system, designed by Clay Davenport of Baseball Prospectus, estimates that the weaker competition at Class AAA should increase a major leaguer’s home runs by about a third. But home runs in general are 25 percent less common in the Mud Hens’ International League than they are in the American League.

Moreover, Toledo plays in a pitchers’ park, which suppresses home runs by more than 10 percent. And the Mud Hens’ season is 143 games, compared with 162 in the majors. With this model, Rodriguez’s .314 batting average and 54 home runs with the Yankees translates to .326 and 50 with Toledo.

So if not with Toledo, where could Rodriguez hit 75 homers? Dan Szymborski of the Web site baseballthinkfactory.com said Rodriguez would have to dip to Class A.

The most homer-friendly environment at that level can be found in a patch of scrubland in the Mojave Desert, about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles at 3,000 feet above sea level. The High Desert Mavericks, the Seattle Mariners’ farm club in the California League, play there in a 3,800-seat stadium. If Rodriguez could repeat his 2007 performance for the Mavericks, Davenport found that he would hit 75 home runs while batting .401 with 207 R.B.I.

There is a little about the Stadium of the Yakult Swallows of Japanese baseball (less than 300 feet down each line and only 340' to the power alleys) and by using the equivalencies the formula figures that A-Rod could hit 94 homers for the Swallows.

Long way to go to get to the title of the post, but here are the last two paragraphs of the NYT story.
There is, however, one thing Minor League Equivalencies do not account for: the responses of opposing managers. In 2001, Barry Bonds set the major league single-season record with 73 home runs. In the succeeding three years, he hit no more than 46, largely because other teams stopped pitching to him. He drew 120 intentional walks in 2004 alone.

In Greek mythology, the gods punished Tantalus for his misdeeds by hanging over his head a tree whose fruit receded out of reach every time he sought to grab it. Seventy-five home runs, at any level, may prove to be the baseball equivalent of Tantalus’s fruit: the closer one gets to it, the farther opposing pitchers can pull it away.

Yep, the myth of Tantalus (where we get the word tantalize) is the first thing that popped into my head as I read this story.

131 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 131 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from Alexander the Great by Paul Cartledge

This paragraph deals with Alexander’s growing pursuit of more.

Nor, perhaps was the Exiles’ Decree the only assault on Greek political sensitivities and sensibilities that Alexander chose to launch. For at about this time he also either explicitly demanded, or – in the softer version – let it be known that he would welcome, his own deification by the Greeks. The official divinization of a living human being was not exactly unprecedented (and will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 11). But a formal request for it – if indeed Alexander made one – certainly would have been. Such a request following hot on the heels of the Exiles’ Decree would have served to convince many Greeks, at any rate in Old Greece, that Alexander no longer had their best interests at heart. It is very striking that even cities whose governing regimes were on balance well disposed to Alexander were unable to view the Exiles’ Decree as a beneficent, let alone benevolent, act.

Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.


November 24 Field Photo

From beyond the left field fence at 9:55am on 11/24:

at a random park near the trailer. Did I say that they would all be at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium?

New champion...

There have been some odd search terms that have led people to Rattler Radio. There were a few early in the life of this blog that had to do with the manner of death for Alex Borgia, an ADA on Law & Order.

The key point is in bold because this one takes the cake...and the cookies...and the pie...and the brownies...and the...well, you get the idea:

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That must be one heck of a promotional night that the Lake Elsinore Storm run. I wonder if they change the team name to the Lake Elsinore Ice Storm on that night.

The rest of the story

If I were Paul Harvey, I would be able to write this so that there was a surprise twist at the end. I'd also be rich beyond the dreams of avarice and there would be a BOSE Wave radio in every room of the trailer.

But, I'll let Bill Clark, a columnist for the Columbia (MO) Tribune, tell the story of a Burlington Bee pitcher from 1929.

Father-daughter team spells baseball relief
Vern Kennedy was born in Kansas City in 1907 but spent his entire life in Mendon with his brother Bill. A year apart in age, they were like twins, starring on the basketball team at Mendon. They went on to Central Missouri State Teachers College at Warrensburg and became stars on the athletic fields.


Vern became best known as a track man and baseball pitcher. He emerged as an Olympic decathlon favorite by wining the four major college relay 10-event titles: Texas, Kansas, Drake and Penn. In 1928, he qualified for the Olympic Games only to become the alternate when politics reared its ugly head, as often happened then in the amateur sport world.

Vern graduated from CMSTC in 1929 and signed a minor league baseball contract with the Burlington, Iowa, Bees. He found his way into the Chicago White Sox organization and came to the big leagues at the end of the 1934 season.

On Aug. 31, 1935, Vern became one of a small number of rookies ever to throw a no-hitter when he shut down the Cleveland Indians 5-0 and won his own game with a bases-loaded triple. His no-hitter was the first ever thrown in Chicago’s Comiskey Park.

In 12 years as a big leaguer, Vern went 102-134 with seven teams, finishing his career in 1945 with the Cincinnati Reds.


Vern worked for 15 years as a drivers’ education teacher at Brookfield, and Maud taught first grade for 25 years at Mendon. Vern is in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the UCM Hall of Fame and was once named the American Legion citizen of the Year. He died in 1993; Maud died in 2005, weeks shy of her 101st birthday.

Vern coached his kids’ youth baseball team with Carole in center field and her brother, Lynn, behind the plate. In 1956, when Carole was 16, Vern was still pitching semi-pro ball. He had gone eight innings against Jefferson City and had a lead when he waved Carole in to pitch the ninth.

She gave up no hits, walked a pair, induced a Jeff City hitter to ground into a double play and caught a pop fly to end the game. The relief job earned the Kennedys national attention.

Give the column a read to see what happened to Carole after her relief appearance.

Dream a Midwest League dream

I like the spirit of the Quincy, Illinois blogger in this post, but his dream is going to stay just that.
I don't understand why Quincy can't support a minor league baseball team. The town had a minor league presence for as long as there's been baseball, including a Midwest League team from 1960 until 1973... But nothing now... The Midwest League has a city the size of Quincy, Midland Michigan, ...and 2 cities that are smaller Clinton (28K), and Burlington (27K). The fan support in Quincy for a collegiate league team is great, and the Gems attendance blows away the rest of the league (now down to 4 whole teams)... There are enough corporate sponsors for a minor league park, there's plenty of places to put a nice ballpark besides out in the country - like along the riverfront, and various places around town. I PhotoshoppedAutoZone Park into the walls of QU Stadium (above) a bit much, but it's just a hypothetical.

I actually talked to someone in the Midwest League's front office who told me the league isn't interested in future expansion to smaller markets. I understand that, but come on, just give us the Clinton Lumberkings as a compromise. It would work out with Quincy's infrastructure and the right combination of funding and advertising.
The LumberKings -- and the Bees for that matter -- would be unlikely to go anywhere due to the recent stadium upgrades. Beloit continues to work on their stadium issues (and they are not going anywhere any time soon). And since the Battle Creek franchise moved to Midland, I am positive there won't be any team movement. Sorry, Quincy.

Ex-Rattlers in Venezuela

Wild game in Lara yesterday. Zulia won 8-7 over de Cardenales. Zulia scored four times (all runs were unearned) in the top of the ninth inning to go up 8-2. Lara scored five times in the bottom of the ninth. But, with the tying run at first and two out, Wladimir Balentien ('04) struck out swinging to end the game.

Ex-Rattler for Zulia:
Gerardo Avila got into the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the ninth.

Ex-Rattlers for Lara:
Sean White ('07): 6-2/3 IP, 8H, 4R, 3BB, 2K
Renee Cortez ('02, '03): 2IP, 3H, 4R, 0ER, BB, K
Balentien: 0-for-3, 2BB, 3K

132 Days to Opening Day 2008

Today’s excerpt is from The Gettysburg Campaign by Albert A. Nofi.

This is a quick story about how a rabbit affected day two of the battle.
A rabbit played a minor role in Gettysburg on the second day. As the 3rd South Carolina passed among the buildings of the Rose farm that hot afternoon a terrified rabbit fled before it. Seeing the animal, one of the troops called out, “Go it, old fellow; and I would be glad to go with you, if I hadn’t a reputation to sustain!”

Unfortunately fleeing before the troops meant heading the same way they were going, towards the enemy. Within minutes, the terrified rabbit ran right into the men of the 118th Pennsylvania as they were lying in wait for the Rebels in some woods on the southeastern edge of the Wheatfield.

As the South Carolinians behind were making more noise than the Pennsylvanians before, the bunny plunged on, momentarily landing on the neck of one of the troops before bounding away. As the rabbit fled to the rear, its moment in history at an end, the soldier jumped up, crying, “Oh! I’m shot! I’m a dead man!” much to the amusement of his comrades, at least until the Rebels were upon them.
Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.


Veterans Committee

The Veterans Committee for the National Baseball Hall of Fame has announced their finalists for next year's induction class.
Under revamped rules that have now created separate Veterans Committees voting on managers/umpires, executives/pioneers and players, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Thursday the finalists for this year in the first two categories: managers/umpires and executives/pioneers.

On the ballot of 10 combining umpires and managers, former standout managers Whitey Herzog, Davey Johnson, Billy Martin, Dick Williams and Gene Mauch, plus umpire Doug Harvey, top the list.

On the ballot of 10 executives/pioneers, Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the Players Association, and former Dodgers and Padres executive Buzzie Bavasi, are a few of the highlights.

Is it just me, or is it odd to put managers and umpires on the same side of the ballot?

Follow this link for the bios of the managers and managers. Follow this link for the bios of the executives and the pioneers.

It might be worth it to see Whitey Herzog and Doug Harvey sharing the stage at the induction ceremony.

Giving back

Over at the Mariner site, there is story about the charity work of the Mariners in general and a former Rattler in particular:

Stingy closer charitable off the field
Mariners right-hander J.J. Putz is known on the field as the final line of defense when Seattle has a late-game lead.

Off the field is another story for the team's impregnable closer.

For someone so reluctant to give up even a run, Putz is a giving person when he's not wearing his uniform. In fact, his charitable activities seem to increase each year.

"The importance of giving back to the community is something I learned during my first year in the big leagues," Putz said. "Arthur Rhodes instilled it in me."

The Mariners organization takes tremendous pride in the amount of work players and employees due throughout the Northwest.

Mariners Care and its corporate sponsors helped provide $1.18 million in 2007, surpassing the $million mark for the eighth consecutive year. Since 2000, Mariners Care has helped raise $8.87 million to benefit primarily youth-oriented community service programs.

JJ did a lot of community service work when he was a Rattler in 2000 and he has carried it on in his career with the Mariners.

Putz has developed into one of the most reliable relievers in the game and ranks near the top among Mariners on the charitable-activity chart. He was co-chairman of the annual and hugely successful Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament, which raised $185,000 in June.

Putz also co-chaired the Moyer Foundation bowling tournament, went on the Mariners' pre-Spring Training caravan, and made appearances at the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Esperanza and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

"It's always nice to go into the community, meet the fans and sign autographs," Putz said. "I try to do as much as time allows. Obviously, the most important thing is your own family. You also have to take the time necessary, baseball-wise. Whatever time you have left, you give back to the community."

Check out the rest of the article.

Now a Dodger

In a thread at scout.com titled Dodgers sign RIVERA!!!!!!!, which is supposed to be a play on the Dodgers signing Mariano Rivera. In actuality, it is Rene Rivera ('03).
The Dodgers signed minor league free agent catcher Rene Rivera and made him a non-roster invitee to spring training. Rivera, 24, has played in parts of three seasons with the Seattle Mariners and spent 2007 in Class AA West Tenn.
I didn't see anything at the Dodger website, but the Press-Enterprise has a note about it at the bottom of this story about the Dodgers meeting with Torii Hunter on Saturday. Or at the bottom of this story about Torii Hunter signing with the Angels.

Two new on the forty

A pair of ex-Rattlers were added to the 40-man roster of the Mariners. You can click on that link and scroll all the way to the bottom of the story. Or...
Second baseman Yung Chi Chen and pitcher Joe Woerman did so well for the Peoria Javelinas during the Arizona Fall League that both were added to the Mariners' 40-man roster on Tuesday.

Chen, who played in only five games during the regular season because of shoulder injury, batted .339 in 17 games with the Javelinas with one home run and 12 RBIs. He was selected as one of the 10 biggest surprises in the AFL this season.

Woerman, the Mariners' 11th-round Draft choice in 2003, went 2-2 with a 6.73 ERA in seven starts. Woerman, who will be 25 years old on Dec. 17, spent the 2007 season at Double-A West Tennessee, where he went 7-7 with a 3.74 ERA in 27 appearances, including 25 starts.

Chen was a Rattler in 2005. Woerman was a Rattler in 2006.

Also at that link, a few words from ex-Rattler manager Mike Goff on his new job with the Chattanooga Lookouts:
"This gets me closer to home," Goff, an Alabama native said, "and back into managing, which is what I really want to do. It should be a good situation."

133 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 133 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

This is from the chapter titled November 2005…Just two years ago. It's just like reading a history book.

This was a crossroads where two dead highways came and went in darkness. Here Sam Parkhill had flung up this riveted aluminum structure, garish with white light, trembling with juke-box melody.

He stooped to fix a border of broken glass he had placed on the footpath. He had broken the glass from some old Martian buildings in the hills. “Best hot dogs on two worlds! First man on Mars with a hot-dog stand! The best onions and chili and mustard! You can’t say I’m not alert. Here’s the main highways, over there is the dead city and the mineral deposits. Those trucks from Earth Settlement 101 will have to pass here twenty-four hours a day! Do I know my locations, or don’t I?”

His wife looked at her fingernails.

Put today’s excerpt in a baseball context.


Thanksgiving Thursday Motivation

Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation:
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day, everyone.

Three out of the first four posts...

Mention the Whitecaps...This being the third.
The Whitecaps 2007 season was as successful off the field as it was on. The team captured its fifth Midwest League Championship in 14 years and the franchise was also named the Class A Team of the Year by MiLB.com. Now, the ‘Caps have another award to add to the trophy shelf. Earlier today, Minor League Baseball named the Whitecaps the winner of the Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy for all of the minor leagues.

“This is a huge honor for our promotions department, lead by Mickey Graham and Brian Oropallo, and our entire staff,” said Whitecaps Vice President Jim Jarecki. “2007 was a special year and this adds that extra celebration to the season.”

In early October, the Whitecaps received the Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy for the Midwest League. With that win, the team was placed in contention for the award on the national level. There were 11 total nominees for the national award, representing the 11 leagues in minor league baseball.

In case you are keeping track, they on the MWL championship, MiLB.com's Class A Team of the Year, and now the MacPhail award. I think they might be up for an Oscar in March. But, that's just a guess.

New guy on top of the wave

This was out last week, but there was something new to add. The Whitecaps have a new manager.
The West Michigan Whitecaps, in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers, announced today that Joe DePastino will be the Whitecaps manager for the 2008 season. Tom Brookens, who was originally scheduled to return for another season, was promoted to Double-A Erie following the loss of Matt Walbeck to the Texas Rangers organization.

DePastino, a Philadelphia, Pa., native, will be the eighth manager in Whitecaps history after enjoying a 13-year career in the minor leagues, including seven seasons at the Triple-A level. The right-handed catcher was drafted in the seventh round of the 1992 draft by the Boston Red Sox and had a .265 batting average with 87 home runs, 468 RBIs, 401 runs scored in 944 games throughout his career. The minor league veteran reached the Major Leagues in 2003, appearing in two games with the New York Mets. Looking to stay involved in the game, DePastino coached high school baseball in Sarasota, Fla. while pursuing opportunities with organizations.

How did he pursue the job with the Tiger organization? TigsTown has a Q & A with DePastino.

TT: Had you been speaking with the Tigers for long about joining the organization, or did things really start to ramp up after Matt Walbeck took the job with the Rangers?

JD: Actually, I want to say about two weeks ago. Andy Barkett, the Florida State League Manager, he called me up – because I’ve played against him forever, and we’re pretty good friends – he called me up and asked me if I was interested in getting back into pro ball; if I would be interested in managing. I said ‘Definitely!’ A little over two years ago I had back surgery, so I wanted to make sure that I was good to go, ready to go before I even started to look into coaching. Andy and I talk frequently, so he called me up and I said ‘Yeah, definitely, I’d love to get into managing.’ He had me send my resume in, and I want to say probably three days later they called me back for an interview. I went over for the interview and had probably a two-hour long interview, and basically they hired me on the spot

Ever had a job interview like that? Yeah, me neither.

Fighting Irish Join Midwest League?

The answer is here. Or just read this....
The Notre Dame baseball team's 2008 schedule, recently finalized and approved for release, will include early-season trips to Florida and Texas along with BIG EAST road series at South Florida, West Virginia, Connecticut, Villanova and Georgetown. The slate also features the annual game with Michigan in Grand Rapids, a matchup with IPFW at Fort Wayne's minor-league Memorial Stadium - and a bonus midseason exhibition game versus the South Bend Silverhawks, at downtown Coveleski Stadium.
That's right. Notre Dame is playing in three Midwest League stadiums during their season. The entire Notre Dame schedule is HERE, but cutting to the chase.

That game against the Silver Hawks is on April 2. The game against IPFW in Fort Wayne is on April 23. The Michigan game at the home of the Whitecaps is on May 13.

Shake down the thunder from the sky.

134 Days to Opening Day 2008

Opening Day 2008 for the Timber Rattlers is April 3. That is 134 days from today. This off-season, the countdown will be based on books. Each day between now and Opening Day 2008, I will pick a random book out of my library and excerpt a passage off the page number corresponding with the number of days remaining to the first pitch of the new season. I will try not to repeat a book during the countdown.

Today’s excerpt is from The Odyssey by Homer and translated by T.E. Lawrence.

This is from near the end of Book 12 as Odysseus describes how he survived...again.

‘At last the West wind ceased its frantic blowing: only to be succeeded by a South wind whose strengthening brought more pain to my heart; for it meant my measuring back each wave towards fatal Charybdis. All night I was sea-borne, and sunrise found me opposite Scylla’s cliff facing dire Charybdis as she gulped down the ocean. Her eddy whirled me upward to the tall fig-tree. I caught and clung there like any bat: not able, though, to find a foothold or any standing-place thereon: so far beneath were the roots and far above me the boughs. Long and vast these boughs were, shading all Charybdis. I held on grimly waiting for her to disgorge my mast and keel. Very late it was before my hopes were answered and the came: as late as the supper rising of a justice from the courts, who has stayed to settle the many suits of his hot-blooded litigants: so late it was before the spars reappeared. I let go and dropped with the sprawling hands and feet, to splash heavily into the water on the lee side of these great beams. Across them I sat and paddled hard with my hands. The Father of Gods and men spared me further sight of Scylla, else should I inevitably have died.

‘So I drifted for nine days. In the tenth darkness the Gods cast me ashore on Ogygia, where lives Calypso, the high but humane-spoken Goddess who greeted me kindly and tended me.

Before putting today’s excerpt in a baseball context, remember where you first heard about Scylla and Charybdis...
You consider me the young apprentice
Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes.
Hypnotized by you if I should linger
Staring at the ring around your finger.
I have only come here seeking knowledge,
Things they would not teach me of in college.
I can see the destiny you sold
turned into a shining band of gold.

I'll be wrapped around your finger.
I'll be wrapped around your finger.
For fun, put both the excerpt and the lyric from The Police into a baseball context.


November 21 Field Photo

From the left field grass seats at about 11am.

Pop Early Winter Poem into Google and here is one result:

Thoughts in Early Winter
Meng Haoran
Trees shed leaves, and geese are flying south;
The north wind blows, here on the river it's cold.
My home is at the bend of the waters of Xiang,
Far beyond the edge of the clouds of Chu.
Travelling, I've exhausted my tears for home,
I watch a lone sail at the heavens' end.
The ferry's gone- who can I ask where?
Darkness falls beside the level sea.
I can kind of see it.

Post-Winter season stuff

From the HWB website:

HWB All-Stars and Postseason Awards

Not a big story. Just a list of the All-Stars. Mike Wilson ('05) is the only ex-Rattlers on the list as an outfielder

Baseball America has their Top 20 list of HWB prospects behind a subscriber wall. No ex-Rattlers on that list.

BA.com's Top 20 list of Arizona Fall League prospects is not behind a subscriber wall.

Jeff Clement ('05) is the only ex-Rattlers on this list. The subscriber wall has the scouting reports. So, I hope they don't mind if I put this out here:
13. Jeff Clement, c, Peoria Javelinas (Mariners)

Since Clement was drafted third overall in 2005, he played just 49 games below the Triple-A level. Only 35 of those starts came at catcher, and his first full pro season was interrupted when he needed operations to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and to remove bone chips from his left elbow. Defensive questions surrounded Clement when he came out of college, and they haven't gone away. He threw out 26 percent of runners in 2006, and followed that performance up by throwing out 27 percent this past season at Triple-A Tacoma. While his game-calling skills are a strong suit, Clement is a mechanical receiver, and his footwork and blocking skills are below-average. But it's hard to ignore the bat, which features light tower power to all fields. Still, according to several scouts, Clement isn't going to start—at least at catcher—in the big leagues anytime soon.
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