Archive for March, 2010

Sunday Links and Coffee

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

On a beautiful Sunday morning, it’s time for Sunday Links and Coffee, some links from around the baseball world to enjoy with your morning coffee. We start with the Phillies.

And  a few from around baseball…

Minor League Spring Training Update: March 20th

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

After a day of inter-squad games, Phillies affiliates were back in action against, you guessed it, Toronto. The Jays are based in nearby Dunedin. Several big leaguers played in the AAA game with the Phillies traveling to Lakeland to meet the Tigers.

Triple-A (Lost 10-4 to Toronto)

  • Joe Savery started and gave up six runs in just 3.1 innings. Ryan Vogelsong gave up the other four, in just 2.1 innings.
  • Placido Polanco, nursing a leg injury, played five innings and went 0-3. Raul Ibanez went 1-4 and Jayson Werth 3-3 with a home run.
  • Mike Spidale (BlueClaws ’06) went 3-4.

Double-A (Lost 5-4 to Toronto)

  • No big leaguers here. JC Ramirez (from the Cliff Lee deal) gave up three runs in four innings. Mike Cisco (BlueClaws ’08) gave up a run over three in relief. Sergio Escalona (’07-’08) gave up one run and Edgar Garcia (’07) threw a shutout ninth.
  • Tyson Gilles (Cliff Lee trade) went 1-3 with a triple.
  • Two hits for Steve Susdorf (’09) and Jim Murphy played here, and the ’09 BlueClaw went 0-2.
  • Cody Overbeck, a 3B who skipped Lakewood, went 3-4.

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From the Ring Ceremony

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

The 2009 BlueClaws received their championship rings last night in a Clearwater ceremony before the Phillies spring training game.

The championship ring.

The championship ring

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Minor League Spring Training Update: March 19th

Friday, March 19th, 2010

A couple of intra-squad games today (AAA vs AA and the two A-ball teams)…no reports on those but the short-season team played the Canadian Baseball Academy and lost 4-1.

  • 2009 fourth round pick Steven Inch threw three scoreless innings.
  • 3rd rounder Kyrell Hudson played here and went 1-4.
  • Jonathan Singleton went 0-2.
  • Aaron Alther went 1-2 with a triple.

That’s all for today, but we’ll have more when they go back to playing other organizations.

Clawd’s On-Field Debut

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Courtesy of BlueClaws groundskeeper Ryan Radcliffe.

field-new-logo

Defense Wins Championships

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Got an email this morning from South Atlantic League President Eric Krupa mentioning two things I had forgotten about the 2009 BlueClaws (who will be honored before tonight’s Phillies game and receive their championship rings). Since 1960, when these records were kept for the first time:

  • The 2009 BlueClaws made the fewest errors, 111, shattering the league record. The previous record was 132 set by Rome in 2005.
  • Lakewood had a .978 average in 136 games, breaking the old record of .974 set by several teams (Lexington, KY 2001 in 140 games; Hickory in 2004 in 140 games; Rome in 2005 in 137 games; Greensboro in 2006 in 137 games; and Augusta in 2007 in 140 games).

Someone forgot to tell Georgetown that defense wins championships (or first round games).

Some other notes from that team:

  • Anthony Gose’s 76 stolen bases were the most of anyone in professional baseball (majors, minors, independent).
  • As a team, the BlueClaws swiped 210 bases, the most in the minors.
  • The BlueClaws hit 56 home runs, the 3rd lowest total in the 16-team league.
  • Lakewood won the league title as a first-half champion, becoming the first team since 2001 to do so.
  • The BlueClaws are 10-2 all-time in playoff games.
  • Gose finished the season in a 1-25 slump and then went 11-27 in the playoffs.
  • Harold Garcia went 8-22 and Travis d’Arnaud 9-23 in the playoffs as the BlueClaws hit .305 as a team and gave up just nine runs.
  • Finally, in the six playoff games, the BlueClaws made one error.

Minor League Spring Training Update: March 18th

Friday, March 19th, 2010

More updates from Clearwater on a day when the four teams went 1-3 and featured two Phillies big leaguers throwing in the minor league games.

Triple-A (lost 4-0 to Toronto)

  • JA Happ (BlueClaws ’05) pitched here, allowing two runs in five innings (five hits, two walks, three strikeouts).
  • Scott Mathieson (’04) thrwe a 1-2-3 innings with two strikeouts.
  • The offense had just four hits (one each for Luis Maza, Kevin Mahar, Melvin Dorta, and Jeremy Barnes (who will likely be in Lakewood this year)

Double-A (Won 8-1 over Toronto)

  • Brad Lidge gave up a run on three hits, pitching the first inning as he tries to rehab from knee surgery. He said he felt fine.
  • Pitching wise, nobody else gave up a run…Phillippe Aumont (Lee trade) threw three perfect innings (four Ks). Michael Schwimer gave up one hit with five Ks over two innings. Jon Velasquez (’09), Tyson Brummett (’08) and Chance Chapman (’08) all threw one inning.
  • Two hits apiece for Freddy Galvis (’08), Fidel Hernandez (’06-07) and Jim Murphy (’09), who also had a double.
  • Domonic Brown played here and went 0-2.

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Shameless Plug

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I’ll be going on with Mike and Joe on the Shore Sports Network…1160 WOBM-AM and Fox Sports 1310 (online here) at 5:05 today to talk FanFest, spring training, maybe a little NCAA Tourney (I have Nova in the Final Four) too.

Minor League Spring Training Update: March 17th

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

We’ll keep the updates coming throughout spring training on the minor league side. Wednesday, four teams were in action, and they went 3-1 a day after going 0-3-1.

Triple-A (L 4-1 vs Pittsburgh)

  • Brandon Duckworth started, giving up two runs in three innings. Michael Stutes (BlueClaws ’08) threw two scoreless.
  • Just five hits in the game, one a double by 3B Eric Campbell, who played here after playing for two days with the Double-A team.
  • Tuffy Gosewisch (’07) drove in the only run.

Double-A (W 8-3 vs Pittsburgh)

  • Three innings two runs for Vance Worley (’08) and one run for Drew Naylor (’08). Scoreless innings for Korey Noles (’09, pitched the clincher in Greenville), Tyler Cloyd (’09) and Santo Hernandez (’09)
  • First game for Jim Murphy (’09), who went 0-3 hitting 3rd.
  • Welcome, Mr. Brown. Domonic Brown (’08), who hit two home runs in the big league game on Wednesday, homered in his first minor league game of the spring.
  • Cody Overbeck also homered, while Freddy Galvis (’08) went 2-3.

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We’re Taking Over eBay

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

blueclawsebay2We put up today on eBay an exclusive party deck outing for Sunday, April 18th. You can bid here. The outing includes the following:

  • 30 tickets
  • 90-minute buffet
  • Welcome message
  • Covered Seating
  • $1,100 value (bidding opens at $350)

Also, if you search BlueClaws (click here), you’ll see a series of great items put up there by someone else. These include:

  • Team Card set from last year
  • A Bob Milacki (2009 BlueClaws pitching coach) Triple-A All-Star card from 1988
  • Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels, Gavin Floys, and Robinson Tejeda bobblehead dolls

And this:

One of the great eBay items of all time: A 2010 BlueClaws pocket schedule holder.

Hint: if you call me, there is a decent chance I will send this to you for free.

I love eBay.

Minor League Spring Training Recap: March 16th

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

10springtraining2Our next round of updates from minor league spring training…we’ll try to put as many updates on here as possible over the next few weeks.

Triple-A (lost 11-6 to Toronto)

  • Nate Bump gave up one run over three, Jason Standridge four runs over 2.2 and Jake Woods gave up four in the 8th to account for the final margin.
  • Neil Sellers went 2-4 with a pair of doubles and Mike Spidale (BlueClaws ’06) added three hits.

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Nice Game…See Ya Later!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Domonic Brown hit two home runs yesterday and was immediately sent down to minor league camp. This is no surprise, of course, as he’s never played a game above the Double-A level. And even though one of those home runs came off of Justin Verlander, a two-time All-Star, he certainly needs hit at bats, and he will get them with Lehigh Valley.

“I thought I was going down last week,” Brown told reporters afterwards. “I mean, this is all a plus for me. This has been great. All these guys brought me under their wing. It’s a major confidence booster for myself. It’s really taught me the hard work part of it. I’m really happy, but there’s a long way to go.”

But that doesn’t change the fact that he had a wonderful spring, going 10-24 and, as much as you can do this during the spring, stamped himself as a guy to not only watch but print the nameplate for his locker. Said Charlie Manuel:

Today in the cage, we squared him up at the plate. When he strode to the ball, he closed up even more, and he would go out around the ball and his bat would lag and he pushed the ball off it. When we squared him up today, he put a good swing on Verlander. And the second home run he hit, he made a good swing. He went through the ball. It got just a little bit deep on him, but that just goes to show you what kind of power he’s got. He’s going to be a good hitter. I like everything about him.

Also: Ryan Howard called him the “Total Package”

BJ Rosenberg, who threw a scoreless inning yesterday, was also sent down. Rosenberg was a 2009 BlueClaw who threw three shutout innings (two hits, three walks) this spring. It’s Reading or Lehigh Valley for him too.

Ring Ceremony: Friday Night

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

06ringMembers of the 2009 South Atlantic League champion Lakewood BlueClaws will receive their rings on Friday night in a ceremony in Clearwater before the Phillies spring training game against the Orioles.

Below, find some quotes from BlueClaws players and coaches throughout the off-season about the anticipation of getting those rings.

(picture is from the 2006 ceremony)

  • Hitting Coach Greg Legg, who gets his first minor league ring after 27 years in the game: “I think [the best part] is the journey,” he said in a ClawCast the night the BlueClaws clinched the title. “27 years, losing to Clemens 2-1, Erik Bedard 1-0. I could tell you horror stories.”
  • Manager Dusty Wathan: It’s an exciting time. It will be my first ring on the coaching side. I got a World Series ring from 2008, but someone like Legger felt more passionate about that. Being my first year in the org as a manager, you don’t feel you put your stamp. Legger got to work with a lot of those guys. But on the other hand, I did play with a lot of those guys whether it be spring training or AAA. But to get one as a manager, it’s a different feeling, really proud of the players. You feel even more proud as a mgr or coach because you see all the hard work the players put in. It’s something they’ll never forget.
  • Pitcher Trevor May: Oh yeah…that’s the best thing about Spring Training!
  • Outfielder Anthony Gose: I’ve been bragging about that ring to everyone. Can’t wait.
  • Pitcher Justin De Fratus: That’s going to be sweet. I’ll have that one on all the time.

FanFest Rundown

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

facebookfanfestFanFest 2010 is coming up on Saturday from noon – 5 pm. A bunch of different things will be going on, we hope you can join us, and here’s the rundown:

  • First day individual game tickets will go on sale; they will all be $1 off, except:
  • Dollar Weekend tickets, which will be on sale for the first time (April 17th and April 18th).
  • First 1,500 kids get a FREE mini bat courtesy of the US Census.
  • Scavenger hunt for Kids Club members.
  • VIP Tours of the ballpark.
  • Pictures with the championship trophies.
  • Call-your-own-home-run in the press box.
  • Story of Clawd readings (with me).
  • Clawd’s Kids Zone tickets will be 2-for-1.
  • FREE food.

Basically, it’s a full day of a lot of fun here at the ballpark, and serves as our official kickoff to Opening Day, which will be 27 days later. Hope to see you there.