Archive for January, 2010

In This Space

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Coming up…

  • We have a Q&A with 2009 BlueClaws pitcher Trevor May, who allowed three runs in his last 35 innings as part of the BlueClaws championship push last year.
  • We also have a few new promotions that we’ve unveiled (see the front page). We’ll take a deeper look.
  • Beginning to compile a bunch of notes on some 2010 BlueClaws (potential 2010 BlueClaws, that is). We’ll unveil those soon.
  • And finally, beginning tomorrow, the first of our 2010 Countdowns. Stay tuned for that.
  • Busy day, back later. Feel free to browse BlueClaws.com.

From Nowo: Part Two

Monday, January 25th, 2010

If you missed part one of our ClawCast with Phillies farm director Steve Noworyta, click here. Part two, you can click here. This time, we take a further look at the scouting process, a look at some former BlueClaws from 2009 and some future BlueClaws in 2010. Some snippets:

  • Scouting the sport to prepare for trades…You have your amateur scouts doing high school and college and the pro scouts who are out there specifically for the pro teams and your big league club so when you’re ready to make trades you have reports on these guys.
  • Do you look at amateur scouting reports before a pro trade? Some guys, like (Tyson) Gilles from Seattle, we liked him as an amateur. Marti Wolever really liked him and wished we could have drafted him. But the last year is the most important. Players change over the years.
  • On Jacob Diekman…As big as he is, coming from the side, he’s done a tremendous job.
  • On Austin Hyatt…Just continue to put up the numbers that he’s had everywhere he’s gone.
  • On Neil Sellers (who played for Reading)…He’s constantly putting up the numbers. One of the reasons we got him in the Rule 5 two years ago was he keeps producing. He might be that bat of the bench that you look for. He makes contact, played well in Mexico. He has to keep proving himself, but knowing him, that won’t be a problem.
  • On Sebastian Valle…I think he’s probably better off going to Lakewood to make sure what we saw at the end of the year we see midway through the year. He had a good winter in Mexico, especially with some good power numbers…We say Lakewood now but sometimes those type of players change your mind in spring training.
  • 2010 BlueClaws…Chris Truby did a nice job with the young kids becasue we took a lot of them to Lakewood. They still finished strong. They have some good young talent that Marti (Wolever) has done a nice job bringing together. It’s going to be a competitive club. We have a lot of pitching and good pitching always beats good hitting.

Sunday Links and Coffee

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Some links to enjoy while you have your Sunday morning coffee and wait for the football.

Busy week for the Phillies, first signing Joe Blanton to a three-year $24 million extension. Bob Ford in the Inquirer says “Baseball is complex, and the individual pitch-by-pitch battles between the hitter and pitcher are unpredictable, but over the course of six months the numbers even out and you get what you get. For the Phillies, they will be happy if they get what they expect.”

Shane Victorino was also signed to a three-year $22 million extension (a bargain). Matt Gelb from the Inquirer shares this from Victorino: “It definitely gives me a sense of what this organization wants,” he said. “You become one of the guys that help this organization build and be a representative of the future. I’m very excited for the opportunity.”

Jayson Stark from ESPN.com on needing a major award for relief pitchers. Voters for these major awards keep all relief pitchers in a glass case in their brains. And that case has a sign taped to it that says: “ONLY OPEN IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.” In other words, unless there is nobody else worth voting for — and by that, we mean absotively, posolutely nobody — for the Cy Young or MVP awards, these voters wouldn’t even think of putting a reliever at the top of their ballots. Any reliever.

Tim Marchman on SI.com on why nobody in a front office wants to see Tim Lincecum and the Giants end up in arbitration.

This one came from left field. Grant Desme, the MVP of the Arizona Fall League and one of the top prospects in the Athletics organization, has retired to become a Catholic priest.

Bill Madden in the Daily News on Johnny Damon and Scott Boras. Might the Yankees actually go over their $200 million payroll ceiling to re-sign the outfielder?

How Fast to 1000?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

In a day and a half the BlueClaws Kids Club has 580 members. 1000 by Valentine’s Day? The Super Bowl? Wednesday?

From Nowo: Part One

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Some comments from Steve Noworyta in part one of our ClawCast with the Phillies farm director. You can listen in full by clicking here:

  • On the 2009 BlueClaws: We knew we had a young and talented club, but you’re not sure how they would develop. It was a special club from the start and Dusty was very impressed with them. 
  • On Anthony Gose: Anybody at 18 to act like he did is very special. To be as mature as he was at that age, you think of a young kid out of high school just going into college, but he handled 140 games…It’s nice to hear he wants to be selective at the plate. That’s another sign of maturity and getting him on base, stealing the bases that he can, it’s just adds another weapon to his arsenal.
  • On Trevor May: Seeing him out of spring training, and seeing his last start in extended, I called Chuck LaMar and told him I thought he was ready for Lakewood. All that needs to come with him is maturity and size. He’s got size now but imagine him adding some strength?
  • On Harold Garcia: Any time with a Latin player it takes a little more time to develop…He was somebody that we were worried about during the winter meetings that someone would have selected him at the big league level.
  • Moving BJ Rosenberg from Lo-A to Double-A: Well, he had the pitchability. When you have the command of the pitches down in the zone, hitting each side of the plate, when you see that in a player you have to start moving them, especially as an older player. We all were confident he could pitch at that level and he did. Now he becomes something for Ruben Amaro to consider down the road at the big league level.
  • On Dusty Wathan: We saw Dusty, when we had him in our system, you always said that he would make a good manager. He’s done that to this point, the way he handled the club, discipline, organization, the players are not afraid to approach him. He’s got all the attributes to be a manager at the big league level.
  • New BlueClaws manager Mark Parent: We had him with the Phillies (97-98) and Benny Looper knew him from the past and had really high recommendations. We felt he’d be a good fit and we’re happy to have someone with his experience.
  • Developing players to the point where you can trade for big league talent rather than sign it in free agency: We’re lucky to have the type of players that we’ve had. We want to build from within, but we tell our guys that you’re not just playing for the Phillies but for the 29 other clubs that have a chance to see you play.

There’s more in there than these above quotes, and we’ll have part two coming up soon.

The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Following up on the trivia question in yesterday’s e-mail newsletter and the current shenanigans in late-night tv, here’s a look back at 2003 BlueClaws manager Buddy Biancalana and his national television stardom.

From a 1986 article in Sports Illustrated

When Biancalana isn’t making fun of himself, someone else usually is—like Letterman. In the wee hours of Aug. 22, as Buddy slept soundly in Chicago, Letterman introduced the Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter, a fancy—and inaccurate—device that kept track of how many hits Biancalana needed to catch Pete Rose. The counter said Buddy had 11 hits when in fact he had 45.

Biancalana handled it like a pro. “I may be 4,000 hits behind, but I’m a lot closer to Pete Rose than Dave is to Johnny Carson,” he shot back. By September, the last man in the Royals batting order started hearing chants of “Buddy! Buddy! Buddy!” Says Buddy, “It’s amazing what a .188 average will do for you.”

This was another funny Biancalana quote:

Biancalana realizes that his fame may have had something to do with his raise from $72,000 in 1985 to $165,000 this year. He never considered filing for arbitration. “To win, you’ve gotta prove that a lesser player is making more money,” said Buddy. “I couldn’t do that.”

But all that, he is a World Champion, a member of the 1985 Kansas City Royals. Bianacalana took over for starting shorstop Onix Concepcion on September 20th of that season, and started the rest of the year and every playoff game. During the playoffs, he drew his first intentional walk, had the game winning RBI in game five, and played excellent defense.

The 2003 BlueClaws went 57-81. And he’ll always have Letterman.

Kids Club Now FREE

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Big news today folks…the BlueClaws Kids Club is now FREE! For the first time in our team history, the Kids Club, now presented by United Teletech Financial, is free to all children ages 15 and under. You can sign up children by clicking here.

The perks:

  • FREE general admission ticket to every Sunday home game
  • Kids Club ID card good for 10% off at the ClawsCove
  • Kids Club e-newsletter
  • Six Kids Club Days throughout the season:

The six Kids Club Days (all Sundays), where we selected a lucky child to throw out a first pitch, one will say “Play Ball,” are as follows:

Trivia Contest (UPDATE: Winner)

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

applauseBack with another trivia contest…Again, weekly feature with various prizes including Opening Day tickets, merchandise, and other goodies. Today, however, like last week, the winner will get four tickets to Opening Day.

Answer in the comments section please…Inspired by the current late-night-tv drama…

Which former BlueClaws manager was the subject of a late-night-tv recurring joke during his Major League playing career?

Again, please answer in the comments section.

Update: It was indeed Buddy Biancalana, the subject of the Buddy Bianacalana Hit Watch on the Letterman Show, during the same time as the Pete Rose hit watch that everyone else was doing. Kevin wins the tickets. Congrats!

New for 2010: The (Hot) Dog House

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

ballplayerhotdogJust confirmed from our concessions arm, we’ll be unveiling a (Hot) Dog House in 2010. A hot dog stand featuring dogs named after Hall of Famers. As follows…

  • Ernie Banks Dog…Chicago style…mustard, sweet relish, chopped onion, dill pickle spear, sliced tomato, sport peppers, celery salt
  • Joe DiMaggio Dog…Italian style…sauteed peppers and onions along with sliced potatoes
  • Ryan Express Dog…Big Tex…topped with beef chili, diced onion, cheddar cheese sauce
  • Yogi Berra Dog…Jersey style…mustard and bbq onion
  • The Babe Dog…Coney Island style…mustard and kraut
  • Mike Schmidt Dog…Western style…hickory-smoked bacon and cheddar cheese
  • Ty Cobb Dog…Detroit style…beef chili, diced onion, yellow mustard

1/4 lb. all beef Angus dogs grilled and served with chips and a pickle.

Looking forward to it.

Lakewood Athletics

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Two former BlueClaws, Michael Taylor (#2) and Adrian Cardenas (#9) have been ranked among the top ten Oakland Athletics prospects by Baseball America. Kind of like the Philadelphia Athletics re-incarnated.

Taylor, of course, was a BlueClaw in 2008, where he had probably the best half of any hitter in team history (.361/10/50). He finished 2008 with Clearwater (.329/9/38), began 2009 with Reading (.333/15/65) and finished it with Lehigh Valley (.282/5/19) before being sent to Toronto in the Roy Halladay trade. He was then immediately traded to Oakland for third base prospect Brett Wallace.

He turned 24 in December and has a chance to win an Opening Day roster spot with the Athletics, perhaps as their everyday leftfielder. It’s rare that you see a guy cover four levels in two years, but that’s what Taylor did, and we wish him luck now that he has a clear path to the big leagues.

Cardenas was here in 2007, when, as a 19 year old second baseman, he hit .295/9/79 with the BlueClaws and made the Futures Game. A piano and guitar specialist, Cardenas hit .326 at Double-A Midland and .256 with Triple-A Sacramento.

Oakland got him in the Joe Blanton trade in 2008, and logically Cardenas will get a full shot at Triple-A in 2010. He just turned 22 in October.

Upcoming Clawcast: Steve Noworyta

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We’ll be talking soon with Phillies Director of Minor Leagues Steve Noworyta about the system, the Halladay trade, some 2009 BlueClaws, some potential 2010 BlueClaws, and more.

Any questions you want us to ask Steve? Any players you’d like some info on? Email ggiombarrese@blueclaws.com (with first name and home town) or just leave the questions in the comments section.

Q&A: Anthony Gose (Part Two)

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

gosedarnaudDrafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft from Bellflower, California, Anthony Gose burst onto the scene in 2009, stealing 76 bases and playing exceptional defense in centerfield, helping to lead the BlueClaws to the 2009 South Atlantic League championship.

We had a chance to talk with Gose last week, and below is part two (click here for part one) of our exclusive Q&A:

  • 76 stolen bases this year. The secret ingredient? I honestly don’t even know. We worked at it. Maury Wills worked me out in the offseason. Some is natural instinct, trial and error. That’s what spring training and instructional league is for. Who can you run on. Who can’t you run on? Bobby Meachem worked with me on that too throughout the year and in the spring. You just try to pick up little things here and there.
  • Working with Maury Wills…It was great. He didn’t just teach you the physical part, but also the mental part. It’s truly an honor. You could say he’s a legend in baseball for what he did and when he played. He knows what it’s like to be in the minors. He talked to us about that, and staying positive. He worked with me a great deal on the physical, but also on the mental part of the game

Build a Bushel…

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

The BlueClaws have released a bunch of the 2010 promo nights so far (click here) with many more still to come leading into Opening Day…Thought this would be a good time to take a shot on building my own Bushel of BlueClaws ticket package, selecting seven games of my choosing. For no reason, here you go…

  1. April 16th: Opening Night, raising of the championship banner
  2. May 8th: Bark in the Park (bring your dog to the game, photos here)
  3. June 5th: Firefighter Night (photos here)
  4. July 1st: Andre Dawson autograph signing
  5. July 3rd: Jumbo fireworks for 4th of July (team is away on the 4th)
  6. July 22nd: Dusty Wathan SAL Championship Bobblehead Doll
  7. August 17th: Team card set giveaway

Thoughts? You can build your own Bushel using the above schedule and this order form.

Radio Interview

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

BlueClaws Director of Community Relations Jim DeAngelis will be on with Shawn and Sue at 7:40 am Tuesday (listen here).

BlueClaws Assistant GM Brandon Marano was interviewed yesterday by WOBM News regarding the BlueClaws upcoming job fair (details here). You can listen for those comments in the coming weeks (job fair is February 13th).