Archive for June, 2010

Andre Dawson on Thursday Night

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Looking forward to bringing Andre Dawson to FirstEnergy Park on Thursday. He’s the lone player inducted as part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2010. He’ll be inducted formally in Cooperstown on July 25th.

Dawson joins Bob Feller, Goose Gossage, Jim Rice and Steve Carlton as Hall of Famers who have signed autographs at BlueClaws games. Here is the full list of signers.

Only Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, and Dawson have 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases. Plus, Dawson won eight Gold Glove Awards.

Ryne Sandberg, who was a longtime teammate of Dawson with the Cubs, pleaded with the writers to elect The Hawk during his 2005 induction speech: No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. Stand up Hawk. The Hawk. I watched him win MVP for a last place team in 1987 and it was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday.

Dawson, by the way, is the only player ever to win the MVP on a last place team.

Jayson Stark says: He, Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy towered above the rest of the National League in their time. And all you need to know about Dawson’s massive impact was that he won one MVP award and finished second TWICE. He won a Rookie of the Year trophy and eight Gold Gloves. He was the first power/speed combo machine in history to run up 12 straight seasons with double-figure homers and steals. And he sure did spend a lot of years in the who’s-the-best-player-in-baseball debate.

The line will form beginning at 6 pm and the autograph signing will begin at 7:05 pm. Fans are encouraged to arrive as early as possible.

Game 76: BlueClaws (46-29) vs Hagerstown (36-35)

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Have to love morning baseball and that’s what we have today for you. Lakewood tries to get to 18 games over .500 for the first time this year. Weather is perfect, first pitch at 11:05.

Game Notes
Listen Live

LAK: RHP Colby Shreve (2-2, 4.02)
HAG: LHP Mitchell Clegg (8-1, 2.55)

Lafrenz catching, Valle the DH, Schoenberger at second and Batts at third today.

Great Games…While the BlueClaws have taken 11 of 17 from Hagerstown so far this year, they have only outscored the Suns 96-92 in their 17 meetings…Four of those have gone to extra innings (Lakewood has twice won 14 inning games over Hagerstown)…13 of the 17 have been decided by three runs or less (10 by two runs or less).


Dom Dazzles, Other Pharm Notes

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

A big night for Domonic Brown in his Lehigh Valley home debut. Not only did he hit a home run in game two, but he scored the winning run in game one and threw a runner out going 2nd to 3rd on a fly ball to right field.

“I keep doing the little things. My family’s good, so I’m good. I’m playing baseball, and that’s all I care about,” he said.

Keith Law of ranked Brown the #1 prospect in all of baseball (of those that are still in the minor leagues).

Travis d’Arnaud has hit six home runs this year for Dunedin. Four of those have come against Clearwater and his former Phillies teammates. He went deep last night off of Heitor Correa (for the second time this year) and has also homered off of JC Ramirez (who he never played with, they were involved in the same trade) and Austin Hyatt. Correa and Hyatt were teammates of his with the 2009 BlueClaws.

Jarred Cosart will likely miss his next scheduled start. The right-hander felt a little soreness in his elbow after a start on Saturday at Delmarva and is being examined today.

“There is no injury to speak of right now,” said manager Mark Parent. “They just want to make sure whatever problem he had, that he’s fine.”

(Morning Call Photo)

Talk to Chuck

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

We had a chance earlier on Tuesday to sit down for a few minutes with Phillies Assistant General Manager for Scouting and Player Development Chuck LaMar. Here are a few comments from the man in charge of the Phillies farm system:

  • Pennant Races as Player Development: It is part of their development. Anytime you can put a young man in that position to develop, when the games mean something, it’s better for us from an evaluating standpoint. It’sb etter for us from a teaching standpoint, and it’s better for them. We’ve been fortunate here in Lakewood, we’ve got a pretty good run going. It couldn’t have worked out any better.
  • On Brody Colvin (this is before his start on Tuesday night): The strides have been tremendous and they’re not surprising, not only because of his ability but because of his make-up. We never push a player up until they can handle adversity at that level. He got off to a slow start but boy, he’s pitched extremely well. He has ability, everyone can see that. What I like more than any pitcher in this organization is the way he goes about his business. he’s truly the leader of this staff here in Lakewood.
  • On Jonathan Singleton: He’s got a lot of things going for him. I hate to keep using the word “make-up,” but he has a tremendous make-up. He loves to play the game. He has an outstanding work ethic, was raised the right way, and his humble. Physically, he’s got strength, balance, eye/hand coordination, pitch recognition that a lot of kids his age don’t have. What you’re seeing is not a fluke.
  • How much do you stress make-up to your scouts? A lot, if you’re trying to win a championship. A lot of teams draft players to get them to the big leagues. The Phillies are trying to win championships, and there’s a big difference between getting there and being that kind of player. You can’t be that player on a winning club without that “burning desire to succeed.” It takes a special person to play in front of 40-50,000 on a nightly basis, and that’s what we’re looking for.
  • Why now for Domonic Brown, who was promoted to Lehigh Valley last week? We wanted him to get at least a half-season under his belt in Reading. He came into spring training on a mission and handled himself very well in major league camp. Sometimes when they go down, there’s a two week withdrawal, but he handled himself well from the time he got back. His numbers speak for themselves, but he even missed two or three weeks or his numbers would be even better.
  • On Harold Garcia and his 31 game hitting streak with Clearwater: Go back to make-up. He’s as good a worker as there is in our minor leagues. He came here and second base, his defensive skills were a bit in question, but he’s such a good worker, that he got voted the top defender at second base in this league. We had two guys that had hammy problems in spring training, and Garcia beat the other guy back by six weeks. Anytime you hit in 31 straight, that’s pretty good in slow-pitch softball. Hopefully we’ll get him up to Double-A in a few weeks and he’s got a chance to play in the Major Leagues because he wants to.
  • How do you see the system now compared to before the Cliff Lee trade? I think we’ve reloaded, much of that at the lower levels. We might be a little thin at the upper levels and it will take us a while to replenish that. But most organizations would love to say they’re rebuilding at the upper levels with Mathieson, Zagurski, Brown, Gillies, Galvis, and Gose. That’s a pretty good group, but everyone is using the term “rebuilding.”

LaMar is in town this week to see the BlueClaws and we thank him for his time.

Game 75: BlueClaws (45-29) vs Hagerstown (36-34)

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Home sweet home for the BlueClaws. The last time they were here, Lakewood clinched the SAL first-half title. Tonight, the first of five games against Hagerstown (meetings 17-21 on the year).

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

LAK: RHP Brody Colvin (4-6, 4.48)
HAG: RHP Paul Demny (5-2, 2.89)

Slump Buster…Jonathan Singleton went 2-4 with a home run and double on Sunday after going 9-41 over the 11 games entering play Sunday…His home run was his 10th of the season (in just 149 at bats)…He leads the league in home runs and RBIs since joining the SAL on May 13th and is 3rd in hitting at .356, two points behind Rob Lyerly of Charleston and JD Martinez of Lexington

Who’s Hot…Leandro Castro, who turned 21 on June 16th, is 10-21 over his last five games and is hitting .304 in June after batting .217 in May.


BlueClaws Make the NY Post…

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The BlueClaws Challenger clinics, run through the Toms River and Asbury Park Elks, were featured in the New York Post

The Elks lodges of Asbury Park and Toms River, N.J., sponsored an event last weekend for their local Challenger Baseball teams at First Energy Park in Lakewood, home of the BlueClaws.

The Challenger Baseball program is an arm of Little League and is for children with special needs. The 80 players were treated to a morning of baseball on the field and attended the BlueClaws’ game that night.

“When those children took the field that morning, they all went out there as ballplayers. And for some it took great effort, determination and courage,” volunteer Tom Gardner said.

This was the second year of the new Elks program (

That is all.

#33: Brian Schlitter

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

2007 BlueClaws pitcher Brian Schlitter, who the Phillies traded for Scott Eyre at the trade deadline in 2008, became the 33rd former BlueClaw to make the big leagues when he pitched for the Cubs last night.

Always cool are the stories about how guys learn they’re going up

Ryne Sandberg called Brian Schlitter into his office Friday, and asked the big right-hander if he ever eats hot dogs in the bullpen.

Schlitter didn’t know what to say. The 2004 Maine South graduate finally told the Iowa Cubs skipper he doesn’t.

Sandberg revealed that was good news, because Wrigley Field has cameras.

Schlitter can thank none other than Carlos Zambrano for his promotion.

He’s the 33rd former BlueClaw to reach the big leagues (and 3rd this year, following Jason Donald and Carlos Monasterios).

Here is how Steve Roadcap told Sergio Escalona that he got called up to the Phillies last year.

When Less is More

Monday, June 28th, 2010

After missing two seasons with elbow surgeries, no one is happier to be back on the mound than BlueClaws pitcher Colby Shreve. The right-hander did not make his pro debut until this year after the Phillies selected him in the 6th round of the 2008 draft.

And for much of this year, no one on the BlueClaws was pitching better than Shreve. He was 3-0, 1.88 after a win in Greensboro on May 19th.

But then it started to come apart. Three starts, all losses, and 15 runs allowed in 16.2 innings, raising his ERA from 1.88 to 4.43.

“I’m not even sure if was that much mechanically [that was wrong],” said Shreve. “I got into charting the other hitters, which isn’t a bad thing, but at this point in my career it’s better for me to develop a plan and go after the hitters that way, rather than pitch towards their tendencies.”

After Steve Schrenk and Mark Parent expressed similar concerns, Shreve was reaffirmed by none other than a Phillies sports psychologist.

“I talked to Jack Curtis, our consultant sports psychologist, who said ‘This game’s easier when you don’t overthink. The simpler you make it the better,’ ” noted Shreve.

Pretty weird to hear that from a sports psychologist, but Shreve has tried to simplify things for himself over the last three weeks, and the results have been good. He was ready for the second-half opener on Thursday, but was rained out after two scoreless innings. While disappointed, Shreve, who was on eight days rest because of the All-Star Break, knows that a little extra rest isn’t a bad thing.

“A lot of guys coming back from two surgeries will have a harder time the next year so any time off can be a good thing.

“I feel great, right back to where I was pre-surgery. There was a long time when I didn’t think that would ever happen, so it’s good.”

Shreve is ready to attack the second half, beginning with a start Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Park.

“I still have a little ways to go, but I feel it’s coming back gradually. The velocity probably isn’t back fully but it takes time. It took a lot of time for me to throw low to mid-90s like I did before I got drafted. I’ll be patient and when it gets here it gets here.”

Special Offer: $3 Off Internet Orders for Saturday

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Saturday night the BlueClaws will host a patriotic fireworks show after the 7:05 game against Hagerstown, and we are making

a special offer: $3 off all internet adult tickets if ordered through Friday.

By using the password “summer” fans can get $3 off all adult ticket internet orders for the Saturday, July 3rd game only. This offer runs through 5:00 pm on Friday.

Click here to reserve your seats now.

In addition, Kids Club members and Silver Sluggers Club members will each get a FREE ticket to Saturday’s game. They just need to bring their membership cards to the box office anytime before the game to redeem their free ticket.

Additionally, former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton will sign autographs at Saturday’s game. Daulton was recently elected to the Phillies “Wall of Fame.”

BlueClaws and the World Cup

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

For many BlueClaws players, the World Cup marks a chance to see a sport they don’t get to watch all that often. But for utility-player Stephen Batts, it’s a chance to see, at the highest level, a game that was a big part of his youth.

Batts went to East Carolina to play both baseball and soccer (he was a goalie), though he gave up soccer to focus on baseball after one year.

“It was a big part of my life and helped me in my baseball career just playing two sports and the different conditioning.”

He’s woken up early over the last few weeks to watch as many World Cup matches as possible.

“We have a few guys that watch but I watch all year round, overseas, the MLS. The US had a good go, maybe a few bad breaks but overall it was pretty good.”

He roots for Manchester United, but admits “It’s tough to see all the games.”

To win the whole thing? “Germany looked pretty good today but I like Messi and Argentina.”

(this was before the game started and as I type, it’s 2-0 Argentina).

Mike Bolsenbroek is from the Netherlands, and says he’ll watch when the Dutch play, but has always been more of a baseball guy. He came to the US when he was 15 to play high school baseball and was a 43rd round pick of the Phillies out of Santa Ana College in 2008.

Sebastian Valle, from Mexico, is about to see his team get knocked out, it appears, by Argentina.

Way Day

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Important day for BlueClaws starter Matt Way, who has been more than up-to-the-task of late. Way has allowed 11 runs in his last eight starts (6-1, 1.89) but today is of the utmost importance because the BlueClaws bullpen has been asked to throw a total of 16.1 innings over the last two days.

Because of a double-header on Thursday (nine) and Jarred Cosart only getting two outs (seven and a third) on Saturday, the six-man bullpen, one less than normal, has been stretched out a bit over the last two days. In fact, two of the three relievers who did not pitch yesterday, Josh Zeid and Eric Massingham, each threw three innings on Friday night.

That said, Way is on a roll…he’s won his last three starts and six of eight since they ran the Kentucky Derby (May 1st). He began the year 0-3, 6.84 after a spring training back injury but has probably pitched even better of late than he did last year when he was the lead starter on the 2009 SAL Champions.

This I continue to find fascinating…

Charles Bingham, a former Juneau Empire sportswriter, said only one Alaskan has ever been drafted higher than Way. Brian Montalbo, of Dimond High, was drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves with the 130th pick overall in 2000.

Bingham said he could recall only two other Alaskans who were taken in the first 10 rounds: Trajan Langdon, of East High, was drafted in 1994 by San Diego in the sixth round, and Chad Bentz, a Juneau-Douglas product, was taken in the seventh round of the 2001 draft by the Montreal Expos.

Here are today’s game notes.

Ed Randall and Bat for the Cure

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

I know we’re a week behind here but this is just as important today as it was last Sunday, when, on Father’s Day, we had Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure at FirstEnergy Park as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Day. Randall founded Bat for the Cure, which encourages men to get checked annually for prostate cancer, about eight years ago.

Randall joined us on the BlueClaws beat pre-game show and some of his comments are below…

“I was having with somebody about a year after I went into remission, my two favorite words, and this person said ‘You should do something,’ and that was the genesis for filing the 501-c3. Through my years in broadcasting, I got the great fortune to know a lot of people and we started to get men to go to the doctors and save their lives.


Game 73: BlueClaws (44-28) at Delmarva (32-40)

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Welcome back to Perdue Stadium in Salisbury as the BlueClaws look for a third straight win to start the second half as they send Jarred Cosart to the mound against the Shorebirds.

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

LAK: RHP Jarred Cosart (7-2, 3.44)
DEL: RHP Kenny Moreland (3-2, 2.78)

Sweet 16…The BlueClaws are 16-games over .500 for the first time this year.

Here’s Valle…Sebastian Valle hit one home run through May 28th but since May 29th, the 19 year old catcher has hit eight home runs (most in the league in that period) and driven in 27 runs (in 21 games)…Valle hit seven home runs in 95 games last year split between Lakewood and Williamsport.


Domonic Brown Articles

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Just a few links regarding the promotion of Domonic Brown from Reading to Lehigh Valley yesterday…Brown went 1-4 yesterday in his Lehigh Valley debut.

In the Philadelphia Inquirer: “We wanted him to play half a year at Reading, which he has, and we think he’s ready,” Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar said.

In the Philadelphia Daily News:

LaMar said he hopes Brown continues the professional approach he brought with him to camp this spring.

“He’s shown it from the first day he came to major league camp,” LaMar said.

The professionalism led to consistency on the field, which is all the Phillies expect at the next level.

“We wanted to continue to challenge him,” said LaMar, who noted that, considering the more polished pitchers he will see, Brown will not “see as many good pitches per at-bat. And when he sees one, he’ll have to capitalize.”

In the Delaware County Times:

“I figured it was a matter of time because he’s been doing real good … I’m glad he didn’t get traded because I think he’s going to be a real good player,” said manager Charlie Manuel, who watched Brown hit .417 in 11 Grapefruit League games with the Phillies in spring training. “I think he has tremendous makeup. He’s a very determined kid.”