Archive for September, 2009

Seven Days, Two Concerts

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

fieldtoaldeanEver wonder how FirstEnergy Park gets transformed into and out of one concert and then into and out of another, all in a seven day period?

We wanted to take you inside the ropes, behind the scenes (and any other metaphor you might deem appropriate), and we did that with this podcast (click here to listen).

So we sat down with the three people who make it all happen: head groundskeeper Ryan Radcliffe and special events managers Steve Farago and Lisa Carone.

  • What’s the hardest part about setting up and taking everything down?
  • Just how much floor gets used?
  • What has to be done to the field?
  • The weather?

It’s all in here. Enjoy.

Fun With Kids Eat Free

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

The final Kids Eat Free number in 2009 was 71,988, which translates into a cool 7.95 miles worth of hot dogs given out as part of the one-of-a-kind program. Let’s play around with numbers…

  • 7.95 miles is: 24 laps around the FirstEnergy Park concourse
  • 7.95 miles is: 3 laps of the Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia historic sites
  • 7.95 miles is: 4 trips across Midtown Manhattan
  • 7.95 miles is: 29 trips from bottom to top of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower)

A personal favorite…if Joey Chestnut, who won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest this year, ate hit dogs at the same rate he did that day (68 in 10 minutes), it would take him 7 days, 8 hours, and 26 minutes to reach 71,988.

Thanks to NJ 101.5 and ShopRite for their support with this program!

Three Phils in BA’s NYPL Top 20

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Three Williamsport Crosscutters, and two players who spent part of 2009 with the BlueClaws, were ranked among the top 20 prospects in the New York Penn League by Baseball America (see the list here) in a list that came out today. This is the second of the league lists related to the Phillies (GCL here), and we’ll soon see the South Atlantic League, Florida State League, Eastern League, and International League.

4. Sebastian Valle, C: Split the year between Lakewood (.223) and Williamsport (.307-6-40) but really hit the ball well in the Penn League, where he placed from their season opener in June through September 2nd. Valle didn’t turn 19 until July, and when he struggled in Lakewood, he was an 18 year old against older players. Further, with the BlueClaws, he was only catching once or twice a week, not easy. Valle began catching just two years ago. He’ll likely be in Lakewood next year, catching and hitting clean-up on Opening Day.

11. Anthony Hewitt, 3B: The 24th overall pick in the 2008 draft hit .223-7-30 with Williamsport this year, an improvement over the .197 he hit as a rookie in the GCL. He was always considered a project with a ton of ability. We’ll probably see him in Lakewood in 2010. He’s from Brooklyn and played high school ball in Connecticut, so remember he didn’t get to play nearly as much (weather) growing up as a player from say, California. One scout said about Hewitt last year that if he could hit .250 in the big leagues he’d hit 30 home runs. Will be interesting next year.

16. Leandro Castro, OF: Hit .316-7-43 with Williamsport after hitting .155 with Lakewood (he was sent down on Memorial Day). Was 4th in the league in hitting and 2nd in RBIs. Castro is 20, and a solid defensive outfielder who goes gap-to-gap at the plate. Another who began to thrive when he played every day, which is quite significant. We’ll see him in Lakewood to open 2010 as well, one would think.

Wingstock: The Blog Post

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Contained in here is absolutely everything you need to know about the 4th Wingstock Festival on Saturday. First, listen to an audio preview here, thanks to 105.7 The Hawk.

The Bands: Foreigner and Blue Oyster Cult (see below)
When: Saturday, gates at 3 pm
Where: FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood (on the field)
When: Saturday
Why: Why not?
How: Tickets here, in person at the BlueClaws Box Office, or at 732-901-7000

Also includes:

  • Free chicken wings from local vendors, one of whom gets crowned King of the Wing
  • Classic Car Show
  • Hog Pit Bike Show

Now, just sit back and listen to the music:

THUNDERFEST Photos

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

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Here are a bunch more. Enjoy.

Hello Again…Hamels vs Bazardo

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Interesting note from tonight’s Phillies – Astros game:

Cole Hamels will start for the Phillies and will be opposed by Astros’ starter Yorman Bazardo, however, this is not the first time the two have faced off against each other.

The year was 2003, the setting, Greensboro, NC. BlueClaws and the then Greensboro Bats.

This would be Hamels final start for the BlueClaws in the 2003 season before being promoted and Bazardo was an up-and-coming prospect with the Florida Marlins.

Hamels went six innings, allowed one hit and struck out nine. Bazardo went six innings allowed one run and struck out six.

The BlueClaws lost 2-1 on a bases loaded, two-out, walk-off single. Revenge? No…Hamels just looks to make things one game closer to helping clinch the National League East for the third straight year.

Link to the game story from 7/25/2003.

One Down, One to Go

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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The first THUNDERFEST is in the books, and as they take the stage away and port-a-floor away, here’s a great picture that sums up the night (of Jason Aldean).

The plan is to sit down with a few of the people who make this happen (not Aldean, sorry).

We’ll talk with those in charge of setting up the stage and the floor, then taking it down, and then setting it back up again for Wingstock, which is on Saturday. We’ll post that all here for you in the coming days.

Happ a Factor, Front of Game, or Back

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

The Phillies will be in the playoffs, in fact they can clinch the NL East as soon as Monday. The bullpen is clearly the area that can bring down the season, so where can the Phillies fix that? 

JA Happ, a BlueClaws pitcher in 2005, has had a great year (11-4, 2.79), primarily as a starter. But he pitched well last year out of the pen and with four quality starting pitchers (Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Pedro Martinez), frankly it’s hard to see how Happ won’t be coming in at the end of games rather than the beginning.

Charlie Manuel in the Philadelphia Inquirer on whether or not Happ could actually be the closer.

“Yeah, probably. You know one of the big things about Happ is? He’s not afraid to throw his secondary pitches. He’s really improved a whole lot. He’s still got a little ways to go yet, but he has really improved as the season goes along.”

With JC Romero & Scott Eyre injured and even if they return, the Phillies ability to rely on them gets iffier by the day, Happ could slide in and be a late-inning lefty.

When the Phillies signed Pedro Martinez in July, Happ was talked about as a bullpen candidate (ultimately Jamie Moyer went) because most thought Pedro would be ineffective in the pen. Well that’s probably still the case. Further, Pedro has been excellent (5-1, 3.32, 35 Ks in 40 innings), so you’re not going to take out any of Hamels, Lee, or Blanton. Pedro will be in there. Have to imagine that means Happ to the pen for the playoffs.

 Remember though, Happ can pitch in either spot, and with all the offdays in the playoffs, can be used in multiple games in a series. Never underestimate the value of a quality reliever in a playoff series. And that might be especially true on the 2009 Phillies.

THUNDERFEST Schedule

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Here you go…

1:45: Bullzeye
2:45: Julia Burton
4:00: Due West
5:15: Brady Seals (formerly of Little Texas)
6:30: Williams Riley
8:00: Jason Aldean

Enjoy!

GCL Phillies Phil Prospect List

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Baseball America has released their list of top 20 prospects in the Gulf Coast League and four are Phillies (see the list here). Some notes prepared by us on these four guys, all of whom could quite well be BlueClaws in 2010 or 2011.

4. Jarred Cosart, RHP: 38th round pick last year made his pro debut on July 31st…went 2-2, 2.22 with 25 Ks in 24.1 innings pitched, and allowed just 12 hits. Was considered a top talent (as a hitter & pitcher) but signed with the Phillies at the deadline instead of going to Missouri. Would figure he would be in Lakewood’s starting rotation in the spring.

7. Jonathan Singleton, 1B: Hit safely in his first eight games as a pro (12-23) and hit .290-2-12 as a 17-year old (he just turned 18 on September 18th)…Here’s a cool Q&A with Singleton from before the draft…My favorite part is the quote under his hat: “Good, better, best; never let it rest until the good is better and the better is best.”…He had committed to Long Beach State…His high school coach at Millikan in Long Beach said “I think he looks like Ryan Howard reincarnated. He obviously doesn’t put up the same numbers as Howard yet, but they have the same build.”

10. Domingo Santana, OF: Hit .288-6-28 with the GCL Phillies and did not turn 17 until August 5th…Was Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for August after hitting .322 that month…Hard to find too much on him but remember they brought him over to the US (rather than keeping him at the complex in the Dominican Republic) at age 16, so they obviously think very highly of him…Could he be in Lakewood in 2010? Could, but at 17 on Opening Day, the guess is he begins in extended and we’ll see what happens from there.

18. Jonathan Villar, SS: Hit .277 with GCL and went 9-39 over two weeks with Williamsport…Still won’t turn 19 until May 2nd and with SS Jeremy Barnes in Williamsport this year, they could hold Villar back. But they could double-jump Troy Hanzawa and Barnes and have Villar here, not impossible, but seems unlikely.

A Letter From Dusty

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

wathan-coach(The letter below was sent over to us by BlueClaws manager Dusty Wathan)

I just wanted to write a short letter to thank all the fans in Lakewood.  My family and I are very grateful for the support of the front office and all the fans.  The people of the Jersey Shore are very lucky to have a front office that runs such a first class organization. 

What a great experience we had this summer.  From the cold rainy days in April, to the two beautiful nights in September when we took a 2-0 lead in the South Atlantic League Finals.  There is only one thing that I wish we could have changed and that would have been to have celebrated the championship at First Energy Park with all of you. 

The fans on the Jersey Shore are like no others.  The support that you give the players is unimaginable.  We would come off a 13 hour bus ride and be totally out of gas.  Yet that night 7,000 of you would show up and give the team the energy that it needed to get through a tough night with little to no sleep.

Hopefully you and your family had as much fun and excitement as my family did this summer.  I have spent 16 years in this game and this was one of my most enjoyable seasons yet.  I hope that you continue to support this team and this special place on the Jersey Shore.  Thanks again to the BlueClaws’ front office and the great people of the Jersey Shore.

See you at the ballpark,

Dusty Wathan

Manager

2009 South Atlantic League Champs

Trophy Tour

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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Today’s stop: WOBM in Bayville, where we met Mike Krenek and Joe Giglio of the Shore Sports Report (3-6, weekdays on 1160/1310).

Kids Stuff + JSKC = Quick Cash

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

jskc2Question: Have gently used kids merchandise lying around the house?
Question: Looking for a way to make some easy money?

If the answer is yes to these questions, then check out the Jersey Shore Kids Consignment Sale.

Jersey Shore Kids Consignment Sale bullet points:

  • Consigners can bring in gently used kids merchandise (clothing, toys, games, etc…) that their kids no longer want or need
  • Jersey Shore Kids Consignment will sell them at the JSKC Sale October 10th – October 12th at FirstEnergy Park
  • Consigners keep 65% of all sales

Clean out the house and make some fast money. Can’t beat that. Visit the official site here.

Brothers With Rings

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

It was quite the year for the d’Arnaud brothers. Travis and Chase got to play against each other eight times this year, play together in the 2009  South Atlantic League All-Star game, and the this fall, each won a championship.

Travis, 20, playing with Lakewood, hit .391 for the BlueClaws in the post-season after hitting .306 in the second half. He caught every game in the post-season and won a ring the night after his brother won his. He was a supplemental first-round pick of the Phillies in 2007.

Chase, 22, was a Pirates fourth-rounder in 2008 and played West Virginia in the first half. After playing with Travis in the SAL All-Star game, he was promoted to hi-A Lynchburg, where he spent the second half. He hit .295 with Lynchburg and drove in nine runs in eight playoff games from the leadoff spot in the lineup, earning the MVP of the Carolina League playoffs.

Lance d’Arnaud, father, was in from California for the post-season and saw Chase play Wilmington in the first round of the playoffs. He was with Travis during the second round and saw the clincher in Greenville on Friday.

“The fact that they are 3,000 miles away makes it tougher to see them but I try not to miss a beat,” Lance d’Arnaud said. During the season from California, “I see them on the Internet, and I try to listen to two games at a time. My wife goes crazy with that and has to get out of the house.”

Travis likely heads to Clearwater next year in the Florida State League, while Chase will probably try Double-A Altoona in the Eastern League. Pittsburgh’s Triple-A club is Indianapolis in the International League . The Phillies do have affiliates in the Eastern League (Reading) and International League (Lehigh Valley) so the opportunity to play against each other in the minors is certainly there.

Travis is in Florida for the Instructional League, while Chase will soon head off to Arizona for the prestigious Arizona Fall Leauge, one of the few players there who did not get above A-ball this year.

And now they both have rings.