Archive for August, 2010

Three Videos From Ryan Howard Night

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Here’s a great video made by our buddy Scott Napolitano, former BlueClaws camerman who now produces Issues: The Series:

Here’s the video of the actual unveiling of the retired number sign:

Here’s the press conference video:

Cool Famous Chicken Anecdote

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

As you know, the Famous Chicken will be at the ballpark next Wednesday (September 1st) to entertain as he always does. We posted this video (see below) on Facebook earlier and one of the fans had a comment that I thought was great and wanted to share…

I umpired in the minor leagues in the 1980’s and The Chicken always sent the umpires a gift certificate at XMAS for helping with his act. Thought that was a real nice thing for Ted G to do.

That’s pretty cool. You have to love The Chicken.

Game 128: BlueClaws (75-52) at Hickory (69-57)

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

A playoff preview from Hickory, NC tonight as the BlueClaws open a four-game series with the Hickory Crawdads, their would-be playoff opponent if the post-season began today. Should be fun. It’s the first meeting of the year between the two divis

Buy levitra online


Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

LAK: RHP Trevor May (6-2, 2.67)
HIC: RHP Neil Ramirez (8-8, 4.56)

Barnes Burning Up…Jeremy Barnes went 5-6 in the double-header on Tuesday at Hagerstown raising his average to .299…Barnes has not been at .300 since May 31st…He is 28-67 (.418) in August with nine multi-hit games this month…He hit .346 in April, .268 in May, .176 in June, .247 in July…In his last four games, Barnes is 10-15 with four doubles and two triples…Barnes also has two three-double games this month, one off the franchise record of four (Jeremy Slayden, 2006)…He was an 11th round pick last year out of Notre Dame who played shortstop for Williamsport last year…This year, he has played second and third base with Lakewood.


Jiwan James in the Philadelphia Daily News

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Great article (click here to read) by Matt Stucko in today’s Philadelphia Daily News on BlueClaws CF Jiwan James. Some highlights…

“His defense is outstanding,” Parent said. “We would not even be close to a .500 record if it wasn’t for him out there in centerfield. He plays the gaps, balls over his head and in front of him as good as any young player that I have seen in a long time.”

“He works as hard as anybody day in and day out,” Parent said. “He is not a vocal guy, but he is a real leader by example and those are the kinds of guys that, when I was in the big leagues, I liked playing with.”

There’s more in there, including how James became a switch-hitter in the first place. Well worth the read.
Click here to listen to James’ and Jonathan Singleton’s playoff tickets promo.

Greetings From Hickory

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Hello from Hickory, NC where tonight the BlueClaws will open a four-game series against their most likely playoff opponent, the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers).

Here’s the updated rotation:

RHP Trevor May (6-2, 2.67) vs RHP Neil Ramirez (8-8, 4.56)
RHP Josh Zeid (6-4, 2.93) vs RHP Jacob Brigham (4-4, 3.14)
RHP Julio Rodriguez (3-1, 1.81) vs RHP Brandon Tullis (6-1, 3.64)
RHP Jonathan Pettibone (6-6, 3.57) vs LHP Miguel de los Santos (2-1, 3.99)

Note…Each team has a youngster that is one of the top prospects in their respective organizations that is having a great year. Brody Colvin (6-7, 3.28) of Lakewood and Robert Erlin (6-2, 2.29) of Hickory. Both pitched yesterday, so when the potential playoff series comes, it’s each team will go into the series without having seen the other team’s big young arm.

How likely is a potential series? With 12 games left, Lakewood leads both Hickory and Greensboro by 3.5 games. If Lakewood wins the half, they will play Hickory (the Crawdads would have to blow an 8-game lead in the overall standings). Obviously if Hickory wins, Lakewood will play Hickory.

So that leaves Greensboro…They would have to make up four games in the last 12 (meaning if Lakewood goes 6-6 they have to go 10-2).

I wouldn’t book the hotel for Hickory just yet, but I’d get the phone number.

Checking In With Ernie Whitt

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Ernie Whitt is the Phillies Minor League Catching Coordinator and he’s here in Hagerstown to work with the BlueClaws catchers as we wind down the regular season. We sat down with Ernie for a few minutes earlier today.

I enjoy it. I did it for about seven year s with the Blue Jays and I enjoy working with the kids. It’s nice to see the kids progress so it’s been a lot of fun.

Unique watching just one guy on the field rather than 25 moving parts? Managing is totally different. I enjoyed managing. I sit up in the stands and I’m still managing in my head. But I did that in my playing career too. It’s part of learning the game and I did enjoy that. But I enjoy this.

What’s the toughest part for a young catcher to grasp? Knowing how to call a ballgame. You have 13 different personalities and you have to get them through a tough situation. It’s easy to call a game when a pitcher has all of his pitches. Then it doesn’t matter what you put down. But when a pitcher is struggling, you have to get them through five or six innings so you don’t tax your bullpen. That to me is the sign of a good catcher.

Valle’s progress? He’s done a great job and turned the corner. He’s doing everything behind the plate that you want him to do. He just needs experience. He’s handled the staff well. He has a positive outlook that he doesn’t want to lose. You have to have that to be a successful catcher. You’re going to get banged up but you have to want to play and be a part of a championship team.

Preparation for the offensive players that you will face throughout the course of a series? It’s learning how to read the swings. How hitters approach the plate. Do they extend their hands or like the ball in? That comes secondary after knowing your pitcher. If you know what your pitcher is capable of doing, you still want to go with your pitcher’s strength. If my pitcher is a sinker-baller, I still want to keep the ball down even if the hitter is a good low-ball hitter. If I ask my pitcher to do something he is uncomfortable doing, we’re really asking for problems. It’s a lot to learn. A lot goes into it, more than people realize. Plus there in-game adjustments the hitters make that you have to adjust to as a catcher.

Throwing guys out…how much is the pitcher and how much is the catcher? It doesn’t matter how strong of an arm you have, if the pitcher doesn’t do his job of holding guys on and adjusting his times, you’re not going to have any success throwing out the baserunner. We’ve had guys this year throwing 1.8 down to second, which is unheard-of. But the guy is safe. The pitcher is close to 2 seconds going to home and you just have to learn how to speed that up?

Who’s caught your eye around the system? Sebastain. He’s number one. Tuffy Gosewisch up in Reading has done a nice job. He won the defensive catcher of the year again and hopefully he’ll be in Triple-A next year.

How hard is it for these guys to manage the stuff on the field and then at the same time go through everyhting they need to do to be sucecssfull hitters? That’s hard too. You separate the too. Sometimes young catchers will take their offense on the field, and you just can’t have that. What you do offensively is great and a bonus. But what you do on the field is more important for me.

Games 126/127: BlueClaws (74-51) at Hagerstown (60-66)

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Let’s try this again…After getting rained out last night, the BlueClaws and Hagerstown Suns will play two today beginning at 5:05

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

We’ll have both game updates down here…

Game One
LAK: RHP Brody Colvin (6-7, 3.19)
HAG: LHP Graham Hicks (1-5, 5.79)

Game Two
LAK: RHP Mike McGuire (1-1, 3.27)
HAG: RHP Paul Demny (6-7, 3.90)

Brody’s Back…Today is Brody Colvin’s first start since exiting a game Tuesday against Greensboro when he was hit in the leg with a come-backer. He has an extra day of rest since the BlueClaws used a six-man rotation this turn (with Julio Rodriguez making a Friday start), but Brody has been fine since leaving his last outing…He is 4-2, 1.53 over his last 17 starts.

Closing In…The BlueClaws are three wins away from clinching a winning record in their 10th consecutive half, dating to the first half of the 2006 season…Lakewood had just three winning halves in their first 10, but have been over .500 in every half since.

BlueClaws Playoff Tickets On Sale Now

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

playoffsfullWe Want YOU at the BlueClaws Post-Season…That was the message from Jonathan Singleton and Jiwan James today as the two sat down to record this commercial on the day individual game playoff tickets were put on sale.

Previously, only playoff five packs were available. You can order playoff tickets online here, visit the BlueClaws Box Office, or call 732-901-7000.

Playoff Schedule

South Atlantic League Northern Division Championship Series
Game One: Wednesday, September 8th at TBA
Game Two: Friday, September 10th vs TBA
Game Three (if nec): Saturday, September 11th vs TBA

South Atlantic League Championship Series
Game One: Monday, September 13th at TBA
Game Two: Tuesday, September 14th at TBA
Game Three: Thursday, September 16th vs TBA
Game Four (if nec): Friday, September 17th vs TBA
Game Five (if nec): Saturday, September 18th vs TBA

TBA-one looks like Hickory, especially if the BlueClaws win the second half, as they lead now by 3 games. No team has won back-to-back halves since Capital City (Mets) in 2004.

Game 126: BlueClaws (74-51) at Hagerstown (60-66)

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Welcome back to Municipal Stadium here in Hagerstown as the BlueClaws look to bounce back from a 9-7 loss yesterday afternoon. This is game three of a four-game series after which the BlueClaws head to Hickory.

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

UPDATE: Rained out…Two tomorrow beginning at 5:05.

Brody’s Back…Today is Brody Colvin’s first start since exiting a game Tuesday against Greensboro when he was hit in the leg with a come-backer. He has an extra day of rest since the BlueClaws used a six-man rotation this turn (with Julio Rodriguez making a Friday start), but Brody has been fine since leaving his last outing…He is 4-2, 1.53 over his last 17 starts.

Closing In…The BlueClaws are three wins away from clinching a winning record in their 10th consecutive half, dating to the first half of the 2006 season…Lakewood had just three winning halves in their first 10, but have been over .500 in every half since.


Buster Got the Girl Last Time

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Now the Phanatic wants revenge (well not really but enjoy this video). The Phanatic will be at the park next Monday night.

How Long Will Howard’s RBI Record Last?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

howardpresserIf that’s the question, the answer is “probably not very long.”

Howard had 87 RBIs with the BlueClaws in 2002, four more while rehabbing in Lakewood during the 2007 season, and then one more with a double on Friday night (which broke up a no-hitter). That’s 92.

Howard broke a tie with Travis Mattair (2008-2009) and Randy Ruiz (2004) to move into sole possession of first place on the BlueClaws all-time RBI list.

But wait…here comes a horse on the outside!

It’s Sebastian Valle! Valle had 15 RBIs with the BlueClaws last year (he was here for the first half). Now this year, he has 72, giving him 87, just five off Howard’s record.

Leandro Castro has 74 this year and had six last year, so he has an outside chance of passing Howard too.

eBay: BlueClaws Team Autographed BruceClaws Jersey

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

bruceclawsThe BlueClaws won the game on a 10th inning single by Jiwan James, and everyone signed this jersey, which the BlueClaws have put up on eBay to benefit BlueClaws Charities.

This one-of-a-kind jersey from BruceClaws Night, July 10th, is signed by the entire team, including Jiwan James, Jonathan Singleton, Brody Colvin, Sebastian Valle and Colby Shreve (who gave up two runs in eight innings). Bidding runs through Thursday.

Click here to bid, and best of luck.

Game 125: BlueClaws (74-50) at Hagerstown (59-66)

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Day game after a night game in which Lakewood knocked off Hagerstown 6-1 behind eight great innings from Jonathan Pettibone. The BlueClaws are still 3.5 games up on Hickory as they try to win both halves.

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 1:50)

LAK: RHP Colby Shreve (7-5, 3.67)
HAG: LHP Evan Bronson (3-2, 4.18)

Just Missed…Jonathan Pettibone was three outs short of a nine-inning complete game on Saturday at Hagerstown…The BlueClaws have not had a nine-inning complete game since July 20th, 2007 by Carlos Monasterios (now with the Dodgers), a span of 464 games…The BlueClaws have had a pitcher throw eight innings this year a total of eight times but have yet to have a pitcher start the ninth.

A Dabbs Here and a Dabbs There…Michael Dabbs, who joined the BlueClaws from Williamsport on July 21st, is hitting .312 with Lakewood and has hit safely in all but three games that he has played…He had an 11-game hitting streak from 7/31 – 8/17 and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.


Some Stuff From Yesterday

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Here are some links to some articles from Ryan Howard’s appearance here yesterday.

Jeff Moeller in the Daily News: “It was a good day,” Howard said. “To have my number retired here was something special. Lakewood will always have a special place in my heart.”

Ray Parrillo in the Inquirer: LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Ryan Howard returned to the little jewel of a ballpark where it all began for him as a professional baseball player eight years ago.

The Phillies’ single-A affiliate, Lakewood, welcomed the Big Piece, as Phillies manager Charlie Manuel calls the slugger, as a conquering hero Friday and made him the first BlueClaw in the 10-year history of the club whose number was retired.

Tony Graham in the Asbury Park Press: “We welcome back one of our own,” intoned Lakewood public address announcer Kevin Clark in the pregame ceremony.

Howard, standing near home plate, acknowledged the roar of the crowd which included his mother, Cheryl, and brother, Corey, with a wave of the hand and a tip of the cap.

David Weinberg in the Press of Atlantic City: “He was a very good player back then, but anyone who says they thought he’d be a star is full of baloney,” said 82-year-old Sam Christopher, who has lived in Lakewood for 70 years. “He was a little chubby back then and he would either strike out or hit a home run. But he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.”

Matthew Osborne in the Trentonian: “He has a great swing, great approach,” Howard said of Singleton. “You could see that in his first at-bat ripping that ball up the middle. He has a bright, bright future ahead of him.”