Construction Pictures

Just took some construction photos. Here is the progress so far. Captions below the pictures.

This is the view from the Home Run Porch. The new Beach Seats will go here.

These are footings for the new boardwalk behind the Home Run Porch.

The bullpens will go here.

This is a view from what will be the home bullpen.

Now what they are doing here is getting the forms in place to pour more footings for the beach seats. How do I know? Two summers on a construction crew.

Mehring Monday posted. Question answered?

I gave it a go.

Instant request

In a comment to this post about voting for the 15th Anniversary Team Third Baseman, Kyle chimes in with:
I'm guessing you might know, so I'm wondering what ever happened to Bo Robinson? His numbers would suggest he hit pretty well at every level, but the M's had him repeat the Texas League in 2002 and his career nose dived from there. Is there something I'm not seeing?
I have always wondered about Robinson and why he never got a shot. I'll take a look around and see what I can find.

Thank you, Kyle. You just gave me a topic for Mehring Monday this week.

By the way, check out Kyle's posting over at Brew Crew Ball. Well, not posting. He kinda runs the place over there.

Some Top 10 Lists

Big League Stew has posted a few Top 10 lists over the last few days.

Decade's Biggest 'Big Moment' Home Runs

I know that it wasn't a "walk-off" or even a national event, but Ryan Braun's homer against the Cubs on the final day of the '08 season belongs in the conversation for this list.

Decade's Best World Series

2005 belongs so much lower on this list. But, that is probably personal bias seeping through the keyboard right now.

A review

Lisa Winston of MiLB.com takes a whack at reviewing the season for the Brewers system.

Brewers farm still looking for balance
Club looking to bolster its pitching concerns via Draft

"Starting with this past Draft, our emphasis seems to have been on big physical pitchers with [first-round pick Eric] Arnett and [supplemental first-rounder Kyle] Heckathorn leading the pack," said Reid Nichols, the Brewers' special assistant to the GM and the man in charge of player development,

That pair, selected out of Indiana and Kennesaw State respectively, both signed quickly and made their pro debuts at short-season rookie league Helena. Arnett, 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, posted a 4.41 ERA, striking out 35 in 34 2/3 innings and limiting hitters to a .228 average. Heckathorn, a 6-foot-6 235-pounder who signed a bit later, fanned 15 while walking four in 22 1/3 innings over six games.

Meanwhile, off the mound, the club continued to boast particular depth in the outfield and behind the plate.

Roaming the outfield, the Draft added a pair of polished and athletic big college players in Kentrail Davis (supplemental first-round pick out of Tennessee) and D'Vontrey Richardson (fifth round out of Florida State), both of whom signed late and will make their pro debuts in 2010. They add to depth that already exists in the form of Lorenzo Cain, Caleb Gindl, Lee Haydel and Florida State League batting champion Logan Schafer.
Check it out.

Note: Original title of this post was A Few Reviews. Title changed since there is, um, only one review in the post.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 29, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Aragua 2, Magallanes 1

Wladimir Balentien ('04): 2-for-4

@Lara 5, Caracas 0

Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-3

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano v. Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

@Aguilas 2, Arecibo 0

Rene Rivera ('03): 1-for-3
Jeffrey Dominguez ('06): 0-for-3

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Caguas 10 @Mayaguez 3

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 2-for-4, 2 RUNS, 2 RBI, HR #2
Martin Maldonado ('09): Defensive Replacement


Vote for a third baseman

The third base candidates for the 15th anniversary team are now available for your consideration. They are:

Luis Figeroa ('97)
Bo Robinson ('99)
Justin Leone ('00)
Yung Chi Chen ('05)

By the way, here is the team so far:

Catcher - John Castellano - 2001 - 48% of the vote

First Base - David Arias - 1996 - 80%

Second Base - Pedro Liriano - 2001 - 41%

Peruse these

Tom Haudricourt posted his Baseball America Chat and his Baseball America story on his blog. The chat is him taking questions about the Top 30 list that he put together. A lot...and I mean a lot of questions about Cody Scarpetta in the chat. Here is the fourth question about the former Rattler pitcher.
Mike (Milwaukee): How in the world does Cody Scarpetta not make the top 10 when the team puts him on the 40 man roster last year and goes out and is the #9 prospect in the Midwest league? Thats horrific!!!!

Tom Haudricourt: I'll answer one more Scarpetta question (it seems like every other one is about him). Being ranked No. 13 is no insult. And, as noted earlier, a signing technicality forced the Brewers to put him on the 40-man roster a few years earlier than otherwise would have happened (his original contract was voided because of a finger injury). Everybody, settle down. Scarpetta's a fine prospect and the Brewers really like him. And, as for why being No. 9 in a low Class A League would put you in the top 10 automatically, I don't understand your thinking. We considered potential impact in the majors in ranking prospects. Again, lucky No. 13 is no insult.
And here is a bit about some maybe, possibly, potential Rattlers...
Patrick (Milwaukee): Which prospects do the Brewers intend to fast-track in 2010? I'm assuming Eric Arnett and Kentrail Davis would seem to be the most likely candidates. Any chance Del Howell might be given an aggressive placement to open 2010, and could Scooter Gennett open the spring with Wisconsin? Will Lawrie be given the chance to stick at AA Huntsville after skipping Brevard County late last year?

Tom Haudricourt: I'd say yes to most of your questions because they are all talented players. But Lawrie might go to Brevard because of his young age. Players can always be elevated in season. One of the reasons the Brewers drafted advanced pitchers in '09 was with the hope of getting them to the majors ASAP. Gennett signed too late to play so he might have some rookie ball in his future.
If you haven't already seen it, go read the whole thing.

On to the pitching question...There is a lot of the recent history of bad luck, bad breaks, and various other bad things in the set up of the article.

Then, there is this
Ash wants to learn if the Brewers are doing anything fundamentally wrong that has slowed the progress of pitching prospects. One tactic on the agenda is the use of young starters in tandem, with each pitching half a game to limit their pitches.

“We had one of these symposiums about four years ago," said Ash. “From that one, we came up with the idea of tandems in the lower levels.

“Now that we've had some history with tandems, we want to review that. Is it a good thing? Not a good thing?"

Ash said a novel thought by Melvin will be batted around.

“Doug has this idea that starters never get the feel of what it's like to pitch in the eighth and ninth innings (in the minors)," said Ash.

“He's had this long-held idea that it might be a good idea to start (games) with the bullpen and have the starter come in, in the fourth inning and having him pitch four through nine.”

With input from farm director Reid Nichols and minor-league pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell, who replaced Jim Rooney last year, each pitching coach in the system will be evaluated.

“What you can't forget is that a big part of the equation is the player himself," said Ash. “I think you have to be satisfied that (instructors) work hard, that they are intensive in their approach.

“If you're sitting in the clubhouse playing cards or watching TV, you're not working at it. Beyond throwing bullpens and sides, there's video work and enough research from games where you can print out the guy's game and see where was he in the strike zone and things like that.

“We'll exchange ideas and come up with what our game plan is going to be. I don't expect it to be revolutionary. I just want to refine it and make sure we're all on the same page, even to the point of recruitment."

In hiring new pitching coach Rick Peterson after the season, the Brewers also committed to his somewhat unique system based on biomechanics that will be used throughout the organization. Peterson breaks down a pitcher’s mechanics into minute detail with the aim of assessing his chance of injury while also improving performance.
Here is an SI article from December of 2003 about Peterson's philosophy and techniques.
The Rick Peterson experience opens next month for New York Mets pitchers. A few weeks before the start of spring training Peterson, the pitching coach who signed a three-year contract with the Mets in November after six seasons with the Oakland A's, will shepherd many of his new charges into the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), a biomechanics lab in Birmingham. Peterson will ask them to don unflattering spandex suits. He'll attach computer sensors to various body parts. Then he'll tell them to relax and go through their regular bullpen routines while six high-tech cameras, each snapping 240 frames per second, record every motion and muscle twitch.


Peterson, 49, has been opening minds and eyes since the A's hired him in 1998. He might be the prototypical 21st-century pitching coach. He's an information junkie whose oft-repeated motto is, In God we trust; all others must have data. But he balances that obsession with New Age visualization techniques, yoga and sermons about the importance of the mind-body union. "Any controlled movement takes skill, physical conditioning, and mental and emotional strength," says Peterson. "You need all three sides of the triangle to succeed."

Peterson's program isn't for everyone—Oakland lefthander Mark Mulder, for one, was less than enamored with some of the coach's techniques—but it has proved effective. The A's had the American League's lowest team ERA in each of the last two seasons and didn't rank lower than third during Peterson's tenure. More impressive is his track record for keeping pitchers healthy. Under his watch no A's pitcher suffered a major elbow or shoulder injury.
Something to think about, eh?

From Australia

The 2010 Claxton Shield has been going on for a while and I thought that I would check in on it. Unfortunately, Dan Floyd ('01, '02) is not playing for the BARBAGALLO Perth Heat this season...as far as I can tell.

The last time Floyd was mentioned on this blog was after he knocked in the winning run with a walk-off single in the final game of the 2009 Claxton Shield.

Looking through the rosters of the various participants for this year, I see a lot of familiar names, but none with a Timber Rattlers tie-in.

I did see that former Milwaukee Brewers catcher David Nilsson is managing the Queensland Rams.

Add one to another 40-Man Roster

Missed this one until this week's Transactions post at the Prospects Blog at Baseball America.com.
Oakland Athletics
Added to 40-man roster: RHP Fautino de los Santos, RHP Justin Souza, LHP Pedro Figueroa, 1B Chris Carter
Souza was a Timber Rattler in 2007 and 2008. He went to the Athletics for Jack Hannahan in July, 2009.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 28, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

Caracas 6 @Lara 3

Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-3, RUN
Juan Ovalles ('04): .1IP, 0H, 0R

@Magallanes 13, La Guaira 4

Wladimir Balentien ('04): pinch hitter, 0-for-1

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano v. Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Arecibo 11 @Esrellas 9

Jeffrey Dominguez ('06): 1-for-4


Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 27, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Caribes 6, Margarita 4

Tim Harikkala (Foxes, '94): 5.1IP, 7H, 2R, 3BB, ND

@Lara 12, Aragua 2

Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-4, RUN, 2RBI

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

@Gigantes 5, Estrellas 4

Juan Sandoval ('03): 1.2IP, H, 0R, 2K

Licey 10 @Toros 1

Carlos Triunfel ('07): pinch runner

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

@Caguas 6, Mayaguez 3

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 0-for-2, RUN

Johan Limonta ('06): 1-for-4
Martin Maldonado ('09): 1-for-2
Mumba Rivera ('05): 1.2IP, 3H, 2R, 2BB


This Week's Flashback has been posted

It is a pretty good one for Thanksgiving weekend. If you don't know the story of Stewart Cooper, click here.

We're on the list

For those of you not up to GABA speed yet, here's the primer. A few months ago, the economy ate my job in Florida (turns out the economy has big, nasty teeth and a total disregard for my budget.) I found myself at a career crossroads, digging deep to figure out what I wanted to do next (soup kitchens were NOT the answer).

That's when the dream portion of my brain (aka 'insanity') kicked in. I wanted to see baseball... and lots of it.

And so the Great American Baseball Adventure was born - a 2010 trip designed to go to every full-season major and minor league park in this great land of ours (plus Toronto, of course). 150 games in less than six months - an incessant maze of maps, small towns, Americana, and hopefully, the sponsorship to pull it all off.

The GABA even got some love from a few message boards (thank you, Astros fans and Houston Sports Talk radio).

But then, work called again. I jumped right back into the fray, loading up the truck and hauling it to Milwaukee. Yes, the land of cheese, beer, and frickin' freezing temperatures... a perfect fit for someone who hasn't lived north of Memphis in his conscious lifetime, don't you think? Actually, it's been great... but it's early November and the first snowfall hasn't even come. Ask me about this Milwaukee move again in January, and I may throw up all over myself.
Dude. It's not that bad.

Okay. So, this isn't happening, but, if it did...he would be here in...
Saturday, August 28th:
Grand Chute, WI (162 miles from Beloit)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A Brewers) vs. Kane County Cougars (A Athletics)

Sorry, Kane County Cougars, but we trailed your team bus all the way here because we couldn’t find Grand Chute on the map. Seriously, the town of Grand Chute, Wisconsin is not in my Rand McNally Road Atlas (which, by the way, is in total disrepair after planning this GABA). Like the Green Bay Packers, the Timber Rattlers are publicly owned, which means we could buy a stake in the team! Oh, the possibilities…
Dude! We're Right here. Can't miss us. 162 miles? What? Which way are you going?

From Alberta

Okotoks, Alberta is a town situated on the Sheep River, 18 kilometers (11 mi) south of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The town is a member of the Calgary Regional Partnership, a cooperative of communities within Greater Calgary. Okotoks has become a popular bedroom community for the city of Calgary. According to the 2006 Census, the town's population has grown by 46% since 2001.

The name was originally pronounced /ˈɒkətɒks/ but is now largely pronounced /ˈoʊkətoʊks/. The town celebrated its centennial in 2004.

It is also from whence where we get our next story. Out of the Okotoks Western Wheel.
An award-winning pitcher is spending his off-season helping youngsters in the organization that catapulted his baseball career — the Dawgs.

Jim Henderson, 27, a pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization, was selected the 2009 Canadian Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Canadian Baseball Network.

He is residing in Okotoks for the winter, volunteering his time to help young ballplayers train at Okotoks Dawgs’ camps.

“I was with the Dawgs the first year they started in Calgary when I was 13,” Henderson said. “I got exposed (to scouts) so much by playing with the Dawgs. They helped me out tremendously.”
Really good story. Go read itr all. And I learned that he was Canadian Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Congratulations to the Rattlers closer from the first half of 2009.

New in Lansing

The Lugnuts have a new manager.
After 17 seasons as a player, former Blue Jays catcher Sal Fasano is making his managerial debut with the Lansing (Mi.) Lugnuts of the Single-A Midwest League.
What more do you need to know?

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 26, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Aragua 6, Lara 5

Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-4
Juan Ovalles ('04): IP, 0H, 0R, K

Zulia 9 @Magallanes 3

Wladimir Balentien ('04): 0-for-4


Happy Thanksgiving from Cy Young

Why from Cy Young? He pitched for the Boston Pilgrims.

Have a great day from all of us at Rattler Radio.

Topps/MiLB Class A All-Stars

Topps and MiLB combine Advanced A and Class A leagues for their Post-season All-Star team. That means there are 10 spots from 60 teams.

Joe Dunigan ('08) was selected as the first baseman on this squad.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 25, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@LaGuaira 5, Lara 3

Luis Valbuena ('06): 0-for-1, pinch hitter

Magallanes 4 @Margarita 1

Wladimir Balentien ('04): 0-for-2

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

@Licey 4, Gigantes 1

Carlos Peguero ('07): 0-for-2
Jorge Sosa ('01): 5.1IP, 4H, R, 2K, WIN #4

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

@Mayaguez 9, Ponce 7

Johan Limonta ('06): 2-for-5, 2 RUNS, 3RBI, HR #2
Martin Maldonado ('09): 1-for-4


At the Christmas Parade

Post-Crescent photo by Bonnie Lutzewitz

No changes in CR

The Kernels have announced that their coaching staff from 2009 is back in 2010.
They said immediately after last season that they’d probably be back together, and the Los Angeles confirmed that Tuesday.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels will once again be managed by Bill Mosiello in the 2010 season, with hitting coach Brent Del Chiaro and pitching coach Brandon Emanuel also returning.
The Kernels made it to the Western Division Finals, but lost to Burlington.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 24, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

Zulia 4 @Lara 0 (Game one)

Luis Valbuena ('06): 0-for-3
Oswaldo Navarro ('05): 0-for-1
Jose Escalona ('08): IP, H, 0R, K

Zulia 3 @Lara 1 (Game two)

Valbuena: 0-for-3
Navarro (0-for-1, RUN

Caracas 12 @Caribes 0

Carlos Maldonado ('09): pinch hitter 0-for-1

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

@Gigantes 10, Licey 1

Carlos Triunfel ('07): 1-for-3

@Estrellas 4, Aguilas 3

Edward Paredes ('08): .2IP, H, 0R

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Mayaguez 5 @Arecibo 4

Johan Limonta ('06): 0-for-3
Martin Maldonado ('09): 0-for-2
Mumba Rivera ('05): 1.2IP, 0H, 0R, 2K

Rene Rivera ('03): Defensive replacement


Rating shortstops

Jim at Bernie's Crew ranks his top 5 prospects in the Brewers organization.

1.) Alcides Escobar
2.) Josh Prince ('09)
3.) Brent Brewer
4.) Carlos Geroge
5.) Yohannis Perez

Jim notes that if Scooter Gennett sticks at short, he would be #2. I am guessing that moves everyone else down a slot. Michael Marseco ('09) gets honorable mention.

I'll just pull a quote out of the Prince and George reviews. Prince because he was with the team last season and George because he may be with the team at some point in the near future.

Josh found the Midwest League much tougher with a .221 average, partially due to a .260 BABIP -- which is impressively low considering his speed. He maintained a plus approach at the plate, however. That is encouraging for a player in his first year in professional baseball. The Brewers also see him as a true shortstop. Many prospects are drafted as shortstops, but eventually have to move to either second or third due to defensive issues. Prince profiles as a shortstop throughout his professional career, due to his range and (according to his scouting report) his glove.
His fielding at shortstop is well below-average, but his bat seems to have some potential. At only 20-years old, Carlos George hit .285 with 10 doubles and 3 triples in 45 games. That correlates to a .089 ISO, which is encouraging for a prep-shortstop in only his second professional season. The young man also swiped 20 bases in 26 attempts.

At the same time, a 4.5% walk rate and a 19.6% strikeout rate reflect a "hacktastic" approach.
"Hacktastic". Now there's a word!

Renovating "The Cove"

A more detailed story from the South Bend Tribune on possible renovations at the Home of the Silver Hawks.
City planners are envisioning a $30 million to $40 million upgrade to Coveleski Stadium, in and around the ballpark, while vowing the costs won't come from general fund money.

Rather, the Luecke administration would fund the improvements with professional sports development fund and tax increment financing district revenue, the mayor told Common Council members Monday.

Inside the stadium, the upgrades would range from the mundane, such as renovating restrooms and updating the 23-year-old facility's heating, cooling and lighting systems, to the dramatic, including new seating and outfield picnic areas, and a park-like centerfield entrance.

Bill Schalliol, city economic development planner, recently has presented the ideas to the city's park board and redevelopment commission. On Monday he pitched the concept to the council's parks and recreation committee, while noting the administration is not now seeking any appropriation of city money.
See this post from last week for a starting point. The story above has a few more details.

The Autopsy

Autopsy of the Florida Winter Baseball League that is. Written by Stephen C. Smith of SpaceCoastBaseball.com has many lines worth quoting. Here are the top three:
FWBL executives privately assured staff and media that its investors had capitalized the league to operate for at least two years. Its collapse three weeks into its first season suggests that was untrue.
If one day there arises an FWBL 2.0, it's likely to be greeted with much skepticism by the baseball industry, which didn't have much faith in the original incarnation.
League executives said their model assumed an average attendance of 750 fans a game. Many observers thought that number was wildly unrealistic.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 23, 2009

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Arecibo 8 @Caguas 3

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 0-for-3


I see....I see....

I see...that if you click this link, you will be taken to the latest edition of Mehring Monday. He uses math and statistics to take a stab at predicting how many of those Brewers Prospects will be on the Opening Day roster for 2010.

Of the following words in that second sentence, which did you expect would be related to Mehring: Math, Statistics, Stab, Predicting?

The Top 30

Tom Haudricourt has his entire list of Top 30 Brewers Prospects here.

I have pulled Rattler Alumni and possible Rattlers from 11-30.

13. RHP Cody Scarpetta ('09)
14. RHP Wily Peralta ('09)
18. OF D’Vontrey Richardson
20. 3B Taylor Green ('09)
22. LHP Del Howell
25. RHP Alex Periard ('09)
27. RHP Brooks Hall
28. OF Max Walla
29. RHP Nick Bucci
30. RHP Maverick Lasker ('09)

He is chatting today at BaseballAmerica.com this afternoon. He will post that chat at the JSOnline.com Brewers Blog after that.

Holiday Ticket Packages

Do you want one of these for Christmas?

Then, go here.

Details here.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League games of November 22, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

Lara 6 @ Aragua 0

Oswaldo Navarro ('05): 2-for-4, RUN
Luis Valbuena ('06): 0-for-3
Jose Escalona ('08): .1IP, 0H, 0R, K
Ivan Blanco ('05): .1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB
Juan Ovalles ('04): IP, H, 0R, K

@Magallanes 5, Margarita 2

Wladimir Balentien ('04): 1-for-3, RUN, RBI, HR #2

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico v. Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

@Estrellas 6, Mayaguez 4

Wilfredo Quintana ('01): pinch hitter, 0-for-1

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Ponce 10 @Caguas 1

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 1-for-2, RUN


2009 Arizona Fall Legue Championship Game

@Javelinas 5, Phoenix 4

Anthony Varvaro ('07): 2IP, 2H, R, 3K

Varvaro made the start for the Javelinas. Congratulations to all of the ex-Rattlers who won the pennant. That includes former trainer Matt Toth! More on how the ex-Rattlers players did in the AFL tomorrow.

Arizona native lifts Peoria to AFL title
White Sox prospect C.J. Retherford is a local product to whom the Arizona Fall League dynasty of Phoenix meant something.

So bringing the Desert Dogs' dominance to an end was particularly meaningful for the second baseman, whose two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Peoria Javelinas a 5-4 victory over Phoenix in Saturday's thrilling AFL championship game in front of 3,521 in Scottsdale Stadium.

"That was a big thing. They'd won the championship so many years in a row," Retherford said.

There was no sixth in a row for the Dogs.
Awards were handed out, too. Former Kane County -- wherever that is -- Cougar Grant Desme won the MVP award.
Grant Desme, the Oakland outfield prospect who led the Arizona Fall League with 11 homers, has been chosen as the recipient of the league's Joe Black Most Valuable Player Award.

Desme began the five-week season on a tear, drilling 10 of his home runs before the end of October, and maintained a consistent level of play that saw him also lead the AFL with 72 total bases while ranking second in RBIs (27) and runs scored (30).

Desme was presented with his MVP Award prior to Saturday afternoon's AFL championship game, in which he started in left field for Phoenix against the Peoria Javelinas.
Russ Mitchell, a Dodgers farmhand since 2003 who managed not to play for the Great Lakes Looooooons from 2007-2009, won the Sportsmanship award.
Russ Mitchell, a longtime Minor Leaguer whose dedication and perseverance paid off in a stellar Arizona Fall League campaign, was presented with the 2009 Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award on Saturday.

Mitchell received the award prior to Saturday afternoon's AFL championship game, in which he started at first base for the Peoria Javelinas, against the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
Just note that I am having a little fun with the Loons. Not Mitchell and definitely not the player for whom the award is named.
The award, which honors the memory of the former Cincinnati Reds outfield prospect killed during the 2003 AFL season, annually goes to a player who exemplifies leadership, unselfishness and hard work.

Mitchell certainly qualifies, especially on that last point. The Dodgers' 15th-round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, the 24-year-old first baseman recently completed his seventh Minor League season, with Double-A Chattanooga of the Southern League.


Looking back at Lara's win on Friday night in Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional. Luis Valbuena ('06) had the game-winning hit....no make that the game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth.

Luis Valbuena con el guante y el bate
Luis Valbuena sacó del sombrero toda la magia de su talento y Cardenales dejó en el terreno a Caribes 6 carreras a 4 para lograr su tercera victoria en fila. Partido que inició el club oriental dominando al marcar dos carreras en la parte alta del segundo episodio. William Vásquez y Carlos Méndes se embasaron por infieldhits. Luis ALlen se sacrificó y los colocó en posición anotadora. Andrew Lorraine, abridor del Lara, ponchó al novato Alexis Espinoza, pero Alexi Amarista dio hit remolcador de dos. Cardenales ripostó eb ese mismo inning con doble de José Yépez luego de un out, y sencillo remolcador de Oswaldo Navarro. Luis Allen con par de dobles empujó las carreras tres y cuatro de Caribes. Pero sencillo de Navarro con la casa llena y dos outs en el sexto dejó la pizarra 4x3. Los relevistas se convirtieron en protagonistas. Juan Carlos Ovalles tuvo una excelente actuación el tirar 2.2 entradas sin carreras y Rómulo Sánchez lanzó el noveno para ganar el juego.

Cardenales amagó en el séptimo ante Pedro Rodríguez. Robert Pérez bateó su tercer hit de la noche, pero José Alvarez dominó a Valbuena y Lester Oliveros a Rubén Salazar y José Yépez. El propio Oliveros sacó el octavo por la vía rápida, dejádole el camino libre a Travis Hughes cerrador estelar de Caribes. Carlos Durán entregó el primer out en el noveno, Alcides Escobar cogió cuatro malas, Robert Pérez siguió con su cuarto hit y entonces la escena quedó servida para el héroe de la noche: Luis Valbuenam, quien habìa terminado el noveno de Caribes con una gran jugada tomando un rolling por el medio del campo y forzando en segunda combinación 46. Valbuena dejó pasar el primer pitcheo en bola, dio foul en el segundo y el sigiente la depositó en las gradas del jardín derecho para recibir una tremenda ovaciòn del público. Fue su tercer jonrón y segundo desde que está de cuarto bate.
Oh, wait a tick...

Luis Valbuena with the glove and the bat
Luis Valbuena removed of the hat all the magic of its talent and Cardinals left in the land to Caribbeans 6 careers to 4 to achieve its third victory in row. They parted that initiated the oriental club dominating upon marking two careers in the high part of the second episode. William Vásquez and Carlos Méndes reach base for infieldhits. Luis ALlen was sacrificed and placed them in position scorer. Andrew Lorraine, opener of the Lara, punctured to the inexperienced one Alexis Espinoza, but Alexi Amarista gave hit tow truck of two. Cardinals ripostó eb that same one inning with double of José Yépez after an out, and simple tow truck of Oswaldo from Navarre. Luis Allen with pair of double pushed the careers three and four of Caribbeans. But simple of from Navarre with the full house and two outs in the sixth one left the shale 4x3. The relay racers became protagonists. Juan Carlos Ovalles had an excellent action the to throw 2,2 entrances without careers and Romulus Sánchez launched the ninth to win the play.
Simple tow truck of Oswaldo from Navarre?
Cardinals threatened in the seventh one before Pedro Rodriguez. Robert Pérez batted its third one hit at night, but José Alvarez dominated to Valbuena and Lester Olive-growing to Rubén Salazar and José Yépez. The own Olive-growing one removed the eighth one by the fast way, dejádole the free road to Travis Hughes cerrador stellar of Caribbeans. Carlos Durán delivered the first one out in the ninth, Alcides to Sweep caught four evils, Robert Pérez continued with its fourth one hit and then the scene remained served for the hero at night: Luis Valbuena, who habìa finished the ninth of Caribbeans with a great move taking a rolling by the middle of the field and forcing in second combination 46. Valbuena left to pass the first one pitcheo in ball, gave foul in the second and the sigiente placed it in the steps of the right garden to receive a tremendous one ovaciòn of the public. Was its third home run and second since is of fourth bat.
Alcides to Sweep caught four evils? Computer translators are so cute when they try to be human.

New to the 40-man rosters

First, the Mariners have added the following ex-Rattlers to their 40-man roster: RHP Ricky Orta ('07), LHP Edward Paredes ('08), RHP J.C. Ramirez ('08), and RHP Anthony Varvaro ('07).

Next, the Brewers have added Lorenzo Cain ('09) to their 40-man roster.

Bah...oh, you know the rest

Christmas tree coming to Parkview Field
The Fort Wayne TinCaps announced Friday they will put up a Christmas tree in the centerfield of Parkview field for the holidays.

TinCaps Vice President, Mike Limmer said the tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 25th, the same night Santa's sleigh, the wreath, the Wells Fargo display and other holiday-themed decorations will be illuminated in downtown Fort Wayne. "We are hopeful that this will be a complimentary piece to the long standing tradition of Night of Lights, the Festival of Trees and many other wonderful downtown holiday favorites," said Limmer.

The ballpark will be open on Lighting Day until 8:30 p.m. and then each Saturday until Christmas they will be open until 7:00 p.m. when they will present special holiday programming, music and videoboard displays starting at 5:00 p.m.
How Christmasy of them.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 21, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

Margartia 7 @ Aragua 1

Tim Harikkala (Foxes, '94): 6IP, 3H, 0R, K, WIN #1

Magallanes 9 @Lara 6

Wladimir Balentien ('04): pinch hitter, 0-for-1

Oswaldo Navarro ('05): 2-for-5, RUN, RBI
Luis Valbuena ('06): 4-for-5, RUN, 2RBI

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

Gigantes 7 @Estrella 1

Juan Sandoval ('03): IP, 3H, R

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano v. Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

@Aguilas 5, Mayaguez 4

Edward Paredes ('08): .1IP, H, 2R, BB

Martin Maldonado ('09): 0-for-3

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

@Aricebo 6, Ponce 2

Rene Rivera ('03): 1-for-2, RUN, RBI
Jeffrey Dominguez ('06): 3-for-4, RUN, RBI

Sunday's Schedule:
Lara at Aragua 4:00pm CST


Arizona Fall League Championship Game

Here is the MiLB.com preview article for today's AFL Championship Game.
By the very nature of the Arizona Fall League, team rosters are completely overhauled every year. But team rank apparently is more consistent, and the Phoenix Desert Dogs are barking for their sixth consecutive title.

Phoenix, winner of the East Division, meets the West Division kingpin Peoria Javelinas in Saturday afternoon's AFL championship game at 2:35 p.m. ET/12:35 p.m. MT at Scottsdale Stadium.

It will be meaningful baseball in November -- rather, more meaningful baseball this November, with the 2009 World Series being resolved earlier this month -- on MLB.com, which will carry the live stream,and on MLB Network, which will air the game.

However, contrary to original expectations, the game will not provide a competitive preview of right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals' No. 1 Draft choice.
The Javelinas are the team in the game with the Rattler Alumni. Like Joe Dunigan, Lorenzo Cain, Taylor Green, Phillippe Aumont, Carlos Triunfel, Juan Diaz and Anthony Varvaro.

Flashing back

A day late on the blog, but if you haven't seen the Flashback Friday on the main site, head over there to read a bit about Francisco "Frankie" Laureano, a member of the 1987 Foxes. That was the first year of the Royals affiliation and this particular second baseman had a really, really, really good year.

“So this is the right time for this kind of project.”

No. Not us. South Bend.

Look at which MWL team they are using for an example. No. Not us.
More than two decades have passed since Coveleski Stadium opened in 1987. “I would encourage people to go over and look at what Fort Wayne did,” said Dick Nussbaum, Legal Counsel for the Midwest Baseball League. “Fort Wayne actually had a stadium that was built seven or eight years after ours (South Bend’s), they’ve completely abandoned that stadium and have built a brand new stadium downtown.”

According to Nussbaum, the attendance at Fort Wayne’s new stadium last season was three times higher than the attendance for Coveleski Stadium. “And it’s in conjunction with downtown development,” said Nussbaum. “There’s residential projects, there’s a new parking garage, I mean it’s part of a much bigger program, just as what the city here is trying to do.”

In the past year, the City of South Bend has acquired nearly 15 acres of property near the ballpark, including the former Gates car dealership, and Fred’ Transmission. It’s hoped that private developers will step forward to occupy some of that space.
And it is hoped that I hit the Powerball numbers tonight. Good luck with the presentation to the City Council on Monday.

Just like the moon, there are phases.
Phase 1 plans for the Cove include renovation to existing concourse suites, press box and clubhouses to start before the 2010 baseball season.

In Phase 2, the most extensive work will take place. A new main entrance would be built in centerfield, including a team store, concession stands and restrooms. Within the ballpark, regarded berms will enable new enhancements: a bar, a picnic terrace, a high-top group area.

Phase 3 would focus on right field and include the addition of new batting areas, a Kids Zone with kids’ concession areas and a display area for semi-trucks.
But, here is my favorite line of the entire article. I will highlight it so that you don't skim over it.
But if South Bend is interested in keeping up with other Midwest League cities, City Councilman Dr. David Varner has another suggestion. “They pay $1 million a year to lease the stadium in Kane County (Illinois) wherever that is, the western suburbs of Chicago. In South Bend the baseball team gets the entire use of that stadium for an entire year, for $75 thousand per year.”
I think that I might steal that every time I mention the Cougars...wherever they are.

Updating that list

That minor league free agent list from BaseballAmerica.com, was covered -- somewhat -- in this post...with just Timber Rattlers alumni on the Brewers and Timber Rattlers highlighted.

Of course, I forgot to highlight Ruben Flores ('06) on the Brewers list. I caught that as I was going through the names last night...I mean today...this morning. Can you imagine me doing work on a Friday night while watching Criminal Minds reruns on A&E? I didn't think so.

To the rest of the ex-Rattlers on the list.

Reds: Korey Feiner ('08)
Tigers: Ryan Ketchner ('02)
Phillies: Jason Mackintosh ('04)
Pirates: BOBBY! Livingston ('03)
Rangers: Justin Leone ('00)

I think that is everyone.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 20, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Lara 6, Caribes 4

Luis Valbuena ('06): 2-for-3, RUN, 3RBI, HR #3
Oswaldo Navarro ('05): 2-for-4, 3 RBI
Juan Ovalles ('04): 2.2IP, H, 0R, 2K

Margarita 6 @Caracas 3

Carlos Maldonado ('98): 2-for-4

La Guaira 11 @Zulia 10

Gerardo Avila ('08): 1-for-5
Luis Oliveros ('02): 2-for-2, RUN, 2RBI

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

Aguilas 6 @Licey 1

Edward Paredes ('08): .2IP, 0H, 0R, K

Saturday's Schedule:
Magallanes @ Lara 4:00pm CST


Faster than the internet

BaseballAmerica.com will be posting their list of the Top 10 Milwaukee Brewers Prospects on their website on Monday.

But, if you are subscriber like we are at the stadium, you would have that list now.

So, I'll share it here:

1.) Alcides Escobar
2.) Brett Lawrie
3.) Mat Gamel
4.) Eric Arnett
5.) Jonathon Lucroy
6.) Kentrail Davis
7.) Zach Braddock
8.) Lorenzo Cain
9.) Jake Odorizzi
10.) Kyle Heckathorn

Ex-Rattlers on that list are Lawrie (#2) and Cain (#8). Potential future Rattlers are Arnett (#4), Davis (#6), Odorizzi (#9), and Heckathorn (#10).

BA has only Odorizzi and Heckathorn coming to the Timber Rattlers in 2010. According to them Arnett and Davis could start the next year at Brevard County. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Quick note on the strengths -- according to BA -- on the possible future Rattlers:

Arnett: After battling command problems earlier in his collefe career, Arnett put it all together as a junior. He threw his fastball at 91-94 mph and touched 97, and he tightened a mid-80's slider to give him a second out pitch.

Davis: Davis' combination of hitting ability, power, and speed, not to mention his stocky frame, have drawn comparisons to a lefthanded-hitting Kirby Puckett. He has a short swing with plenty of bat speed. He has a short swing with plenty of bat speed. He has plus speed and the potential to become at least a 20-20 player.

Odorizzi: Milwaukee believes Odorizzi will fill out and gain velocity as he matures. He currently pitches at 88-91 mph and touches 93 with his fastball, maintaining that zip throughout his outings. His free and easy delivery and good extension allow his heater to get in on hitters quickly, and it features good sink and armside run. He also features a curveball that's a plus pitch at times. He throws strikes and shows good poise and competitiveness.

Heckathorn: His raw stuff is outstanding and rivaled anyone's in the 2009 draft. His fastball sits at 91-94 mph and peaks at 98. His slider also can be devastating, registering in the high 80's. Even with his live arm and big frame, Heckathorn doesn't have any problems throwing strikes.

Will link to what isn't behind the subscriber wall on Monday.

Front Page, baby!

The Post-Crescent has more on the renovations at Time Warner Cable Field today....with more quotes and everything.
“It’s trying to put this all together where there were baseball issues we have been trying to solve and fan issues we used as suggestions,” Rattlers president Rob Zerjav said of the current undertaking. “This is really taking all of that data and saying, ‘What can we do to make this all work?’ That’s how this project arrived.”

The upgrades — to be completed by April — are expected to cost roughly $400,000 and will be funded by the Fox Cities Amateur Sports Authority, a nonprofit group that owns the stadium and leases it to the team.

“The Sports Authority views the project as a very positive initiative on the part of the Timber Rattlers’ management team, and we whole-heartedly endorse and support it,” Sports Authority vice president Mike Reese said. “We’ve been thoroughly briefed, and we’re highly enthusiastic about it. It’s a great project.”
Click the link to read the rest, including some of the financial stuff that always gets asked and some of the other reasons for the renovations.

Dunigan in the hometown paper

Which happens to be the Chicago Tribune.

Joe Dunigan making progress in Seattle Mariners system
It's an undeniable truth of the 21st Century: The window to a man's soul is his Twitter account.

So when Joe Dunigan tweets that "Law Abiding Citizen is possibly the movie of the year," he's saying he's a normal 23-year-old just trying to enjoy life.

When he tweets "good Halloween ... another win for first-place Javelinas, a bomb and two knocks," the Mariners prospect is saying he had a good day with a home run and two hits in the Arizona Fall League.

And when he tweets "love Sundays, but this one isn't so great ...what in the world are the Bears doing?" Dunigan is saying he's just like us -- a long-suffering Chicago fan.

Actually, he's not just like us. Dunigan is a muscular 6-foot-1, 215-pound first baseman/outfielder with designs on playing in the major leagues. Given what he has faced so far, he just might make it.
Lost of good stuff in there about the ex-Rattler from '08. If you would like to follow Joe on Twitter, here is his account.

Minor League Free Agents for this offseason

Baseball America.com has the full list. Just the Mariner and Brewers minor league free agents are below. ex-Rattlers are in bold.

Milwaukee Brewers (14)

RHP: Ruben Flores (Hi A), Matt Ginter (AAA), Ryan Houston (AAA), Wes Littleton (AA)
LHP: Chris Capuano++ (AAA),
Lindsay Gulin (AAA), Sam Narron (AAA), Chase Wright (AAA)
C: Carlos Corporan (AAA)
3B: Kevin Melillo (AA)
Michael Garciaparra (AA)
OF: Drew T. Anderson (AA), Jon Knott (AAA), Freddy Parejo (AA)

Seattle Mariners (32)
RHP: Steve Bray (AAA), Chad Cordero+ (SS), Mario DeJesus (DSL), Jesus Delgado (AAA), Josh Hall+ (AAA), Eric Hull (AA), Mike Koplove (AAA), Randy Messenger (AAA), Luis Munoz (AA), Joey Newby (AA), Steven Shell (AAA), Jared Wells (AAA), Juan Zapata (Hi A), Jeff Zimmerman+ (AAA)
LHP: Danny Christensen (AA), Chris Seddon (AAA), Luis Villarreal (AA)
C: Fleming Baez (AA), Colt Morton+ (AA), Jose Yepez (AA)
Gerardo Avila (SS), Ian Bladergroen (Lo A), Brad Nelson (AAA)
2B: Callix Crabbe (AAA)
SS: Alex Cintron (AAA),
Oswaldo Navarro (AAA)
OF: David Espinosa (AA),
Bryan LaHair (AAA), Mark McGonigle (R), Jerry Owens (AAA), Prentice Redman (AAA), Mel Stocker (AA)

I will try to doublecheck that list later to see if there are any alumni who are free agents from other organizations.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 19, 2009

Arizona Fall League Regular Season Finale

Scottsdale 17 @Javelinas 9

Joe Dunigan ('08): 0-for-3
Carlos Triunfel ('07): 0-for-2
Phillippe Aumont ('08): IP, 4H, 4R, BB, K, Loss

The Javelinas finished the regular season with a record of 18-14 to win their division. They are in the Arizona Fall League Championship game on Saturday afternoon.

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Lara 3, LaGuaira 1

Luis Valbuena ('06): 0-for-4
Oswaldo Navarro ('05): defensive replacement
Ricky Orta ('07): .2IP, H, R, Blown Save
Jose Escalona ('08): .2IP, 0H, 0R, Win #2

@Zulia 8, Caribes 3

Luis Oliveros ('02): defensive replacement

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

Licey 12 @Aguilas 4

Jorge Sosa ('01): 5IP, 8H, 4R, 0BB, 4K, WIN #3

Edward Paredes ('08): IP, 2H, 2R, BB, K

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Carolina 9 @Mayaguez 6

Johan Limonta ('06): 2-for-5
Mumba Rivera ('05): .2IP, H, 0R, BB

Ponce 8 @Caguas 2

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 0-for-4


I hope this was worth the wait (BUMPED with addition)

I thought that this was important enough to bump to the top for the rest of the day.

Click for a larger view of the new Time Warner Cable Field seating chart below. Did I say new Time Warner Cable Field seating chart? Why, yes I did say new. Why would I need to say new seating chart? Because of this...

Time for renovations at Time Warner Cable Field
The Timber Rattlers are getting ready for their second season as an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers by making significant changes to the makeup of Time Warner Cable Field. The renovations include the addition of several new seating areas, moving the bullpens, and extending the current walkway beyond the outfield fence. Construction is already underway and should be completed by April 8, 2010, which is Opening Day for the Timber Rattlers.
Read the story or click the image below for the new seating sections.

There will be pictures of the progress made by the construction through the off-season.

ADDED: These renovations make this story from September over at BallparkDigest.com look a little foolish now, don't it? Initial reaction to that story...because that's what it was...a story...is here.

15 games

That's how long the Florida Winter Baseball League lasted.

Jim Gabella, the manager of the Burlington Bees, has reaction:
Instead of boarding their white vans for a one-day delayed series in Miami, Space Coast Surge players on Wednesday morning went their separate ways from their home base at the Cocoa Expo because the Florida Winter Baseball League is no more. Fifteen games into its inaugural 60-game season, the league suspended operations on Tuesday and on Wednesday — lacking paychecks they could trust or further word from league President Mickey Filippucci — the four teams scattered like so much dust on the basepaths.

After three inconclusive conversations with Filipucci and unsuccessfully trying to cash his first paycheck, Surge field manager Jim Gabella spent the day ensuring his players they could cash their checks and find their way home.

“They should never be allowed to do anything with the game of baseball again because they tarnished its beautiful reputation,” Gabella said referring to league officials.
Emphasis added.

There is a comment from the league. They posted it at their website, but the article has it -- in its entirety -- in a sidebar. A taste:
“The Florida Winter Baseball League (FWBL) is suspending play for the remainder of the 2009 – 2010 season,” the note said. “Although the inaugural season was shortened, the FWBL will continue on with its mission to provide the only US-based winter baseball alternative for professional baseball players.

“Being a first-year league, the organization was built from a simple idea into reality, and though we are ending the inaugural season prematurely, we now see the commitment and organization needed by our staff in order to be successful long term. We acknowledge that start-up growing pains are real and sometimes overwhelming, but that has only strengthened our resolve. We will be recapitalizing the Company to better accommodate the financial requirements to operate the league more effectively in the future.
Let me know how that 2010 season works out.

It's not all bad for Gabella. He is heading back to Burlington for 2010.
The Kansas City Royals have announced the minor league coaching staffs for the 2010 season. Jim Gabella will return for his sixth season as Bees manager.

Gabella led the Bees to the Midwest League Championship Series in '09. The playoff appearance was the second in a row for the Bees, and the first time the franchise has been in the playoffs two years in a row in 30 years. After a 29-41 first half record, the Gabella-led Bees went 35-34 in the second half and captured the Western Division Wild Card.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 18, 2009

Arizona Fall League

@Phoenix 7, Javelinas 6

Taylor Green ('09): pinch hitter, 0-for-2
Joe Dunigan ('08): 0-for-3
Carlos Triunfel ('07): 0-for-4

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@Lara 8, Margarita 6

Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-4, RUN, 2RBI, HR #2
Jose Escalona ('08): IP, 0H, R, BB, K

@LaGuaira 9, Caracas 8

Carlos Maldonado ('98): pinch hitter, 0-for-0, SF, RBI

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Carolina 5 @Caguas 1

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 0-for-3

Marecibo 8 @Mayaguez 3 (11 innings)

Jeffrey Dominguez ('06): 0-for-5, run

Johan Limonta ('06): 1-for-6, RBI
Martin Maldonado ('09): 0-for-1
Mumba Rivera ('05): IP, 3H, 0R, K

Thursday's schedule:
Scottsdale at Javelinas 1:35pm CST
LaGuaira at Lara 6:00pm CST


I do not like to do this....


Stop back later. There is some exciting news -- Timber Rattlers related news -- that will be released later today.

Right now, I have to head out for a meeting.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 17, 2009

Arizona Fall League

Javelinas 24 @Saguaros 15

Taylor Green ('09): pinch runner, 2-for-3, 3 RUNS, 4RBI, HR #1
Joe Dunigan ('08): 1-for-5, 3 runs, 2RBI
Carlos Triunfel ('07): 2-for-5, 2 runs, 5RBI
Anthony Varvaro ('07): 1.1IP, 5H, 3R, BB, 2K

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

Margarita 15 @Lara 5

Michael Saunders ('06): 1-for-3
Luis Valbuena ('06): 0-for-4, RUN
Ivan Blanco ('05): 2IP, H, 3R, 2BB, 3K
Ricky Orta ('07): 1.2IP, H, 0R, K

@Zulia 4, Caribes 1

Luis Oliveros ('02): 0-for-3

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Caguas 4 @Arecibo 3

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 2-for-4, RUN, 2RBI, HR #1

Jeffrey Dominguez ('06): 1-for-3

Mayaguez 7 @Carolina 6

Johan Limonta ('06): 0-for-3
Martin Maldonado ('09): 1-for-3

Wednesday's Schedule:
Javelinas at Phoenix 1:35pm CST
Margarita at Lara 6:00pm CST


Not this year

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times makes the case for Felix Hernandez ('03) just coming up short in his AL Cy Young Award bid.
Felix Hernandez was the epitome of a Cy Young-caliber pitcher in 2009, and it was a beautiful thing to watch.

He was dominant. He was clutch. He was consistent. He was a horse, in the best sense of the word.

What King Felix wasn't was the best pitcher in the American League.

That statement will pain most Mariners fans, and anger some. They won't be any happier, I suspect, when the American League's Cy Young Award is announced today.

I fully expect it to go to Kansas City's Zack Greinke. And furthermore, it should.
Read it all. Especially since it includes a look the possibility that the Baseball Writers Association of America may be using some of the more modern statistical tools over just straight wins, strikeouts, and ERA.

If it's the off-season...

it must be time for this lede. The subject of the story is Rob Johnson ('05).
If it's a Tuesday in the offseason, then Seattle Mariners catcher Rob Johnson is probably in a surgical suite having another repair done on a body that was battered during the 2009 season.

Two Tuesdays ago in Colorado, it was a labrum repair on Johnson's left hip. Before that, a similar surgery on his right hip.

This Tuesday in Seattle, he'll have an operation on his ailing left wrist.

“Three surgeries in a month. I might hold an organizational record,” Johnson said.

That may not be the end. He had a magnetic resonance imaging exam Friday on his right (throwing) elbow, hoping to learn the reason for bouts of soreness during the season. Johnson doesn't believe he'll need surgery on the elbow.
Well, that's good news. Read up on the former Rattler.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 16, 2009

Arizona Fall League

@Surprise 6, Javelinas 4

Joe Dunigan ('08): 3-for-4, RUN
Taylor Green ('09): 2-for-4, 2RBI
Phillippe Aumont ('08): IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 3K

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano

Toros 3 @Aguilas 1

Edward Paredes ('08): IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K

Tuesday's Schedule:
Javelinas at Saguaros 1:35pm CST
Margarita at Lara 6:00pm CST


Mehring Monday posted

Read all about Dean Chance in this week's Mehring Monday.

Rattler Alumni Report: Winter League Games of November 15, 2009

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional

@La Guaira 12, Lara 1

Oswaldo Navarro ('05): 1-for-4
Michael Saunders ('06): 2-for-3
Luis Valbuena ('06): 1-for-3
Juan Ovalles ('04): 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 5K
Ivan Blanco ('05): 2IP, H, R, K

Zulia 9 @Magallanes 5

Luis Oliveros ('02): 0-for-4, RUN

Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico

Arecibo 9 @Caguas 3

Jeffrey Dominguez ('06): 1-for-4, RUN

Matt Tuiasosopo ('05): 1-for-4

Monday's Schedule:
Javelias at Surprise 1:35pm CST
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