Archive for the 'Lakewood BlueClaws' Category

BlueClaws Sweep Phillies Minor League Player/Pitcher of the Week

Monday, May 9th, 2016


The BlueClaws swept the Phillies Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Week this week, it was announced by the Phillies.

Players of the Week

Player – INF Emmanuel Marrero, Lakewood… Marrero, 22, raised his batting average by 38 points after batting .500 (12-24) with three doubles, four RBI, seven runs scored and a 1.144 OPS in six games last week. He had four multi-hit games, one of which was a 4-for-5 effort on May 6, and his .333 batting average is now the ninth-best in the South Atlantic League. Marrero was selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of the June 2014 draft out of Alabama State University.

Pitcher – RHP Luke Leftwich, Lakewood… The 21-year-old Leftwich struck out 10 batters and scattered seven hits during a 6.0-inning, scoreless start against Asheville on May 6. It was his second straight double-digit strikeout performance, and he now has struck out 21 batters in his last 12.0 innings pitched. He currently leading the league in strikeouts (39) and strikeouts per nine innings pitched (14.62), and is eighth in ERA (2.25). Leftwich was selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of the June 2015 draft out of Wofford College.


Legg Recalls Boll Weevils

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014


With the BlueClaws taking on Kannapolis this week, we thought it was a good time to talk to BlueClaws manager Greg Legg about the year he managed in Kannapolis – 2000, the season before the BlueClaws came into existence.

Legg managed the Piedmont Boll Weevils, who played in Kannapolis in the same stadium used by the Intimidators today (they became the Intimidators in 2001, their first year with the White Sox).

The 2000 Boll Weevils were a great team – they won 90 of their 137 games, six more wins than the BlueClaws have ever accumulated in a season. Led by Marlon Byrd, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson, the team made the playoffs and lost in the first round of the post-season, two games to one to Delmarva (Erik Bedard beat them 1-0 in the series-deciding game).

Click here to view the team stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and listen to the interview below.

Friday the 13th

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Today is Friday the 13th, considered a very unlucky day to most, but not to the BlueClaws. There were no Friday the 13ths during baseball season last year, but after splitting two Friday the 13th games in 2012, the BlueClaws are a robust 7-4 all-time on the unlucky day.

It’s safe to say the BlueClaws are not among the 17-21 million people affected by this one-day phobia.

Repeating from a previous post and updating with the most recent Friday the 13th games…

  • 2001: April, W 1-0 vs Hickory (11)…Two future big leaguers, Yoel Hernandez, six, and Eude Brito, three, helped pitch the shutout.
  • 2003: June, L 7-5 vs Delmarva…Led 5-1 but gave up six runs in the eighth inning.
  • 2004: August, W 7-3 and 11-0 vs Greensboro…Michael Buorn went 4-8 over the double-header and Randy Ruiz hit a home run in game two.
  • 2005: May, W 10-4 at Delmarva…Jason Jaramillo went 4-4.
  • 2007: April, W 9-5 at Hickory…’Claws pound out 14 hits including two from Quintin Berry, Adrian Cardenas, Tuffy Gosewisch, and three from Jay Miller.
  • 2008: June, W 4-0 at DEL…six shutout innings from Chance Chapman.
  • 2010: August, W 10-0 vs DEL…Trevor May threw seven shutout innings, Leandro Castro drove in three and Stephen Batts hit a home run.
  • 2011: May, L 4-3 vs HAG…8,217 fans were here to see the Bryce Harper and Jesse Biddle struck him out in the first inning. However, Hagerstown scored four in the second before holding on for a 4-3 win.
  • 2012: April, L 5-1 vs HAG…Ethan Stewart gave up a run over six innings but the Suns scored three runs off the BlueClaws bullpen in a 4-1 win at FirstEnergy Park.
  • 2012: July, W 3-2 vs HIC…Brock Stassi had a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the BlueClaws the lead while Zach Cooper earned the save in his BlueClaws debut.

There is one Friday the 13th during the 2014 baseball season, in June when the BlueClaws will host Hickory.

BlueClaws Launch New Mobile Application

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The BlueClaws and Brandiose have partnered to launch a new mobile application that is a must-download for BlueClaws fans everywhere!

The app, which is free and available for download in both the Apple App Store for iPhone users and on Google Play for Android users, will include the BlueClaws schedule, promotions, giveaways, and unprecedented in-game interaction.

Download Links: Apple App Store, Google Play

During games, fans will be able to play along to “The Show” from the time the gates open until the final out of the game. Fans can vote on who will win BlueClaws staples like the InVision Eyecare Eyeball Race and the B98.5 Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese Race (and receive a coupon for being correct). They will be able to select songs to play in the stadium, enter for a chance to be selected for on-field promotions, and much more.

Fans can select from as many “Fan Types” as they like and receive a custom promotional schedule geared just for them! Fans are encouraged to download the app before coming to a game, and be ready to use it at every BlueClaws home game this year!

2013 BlueClaws Media Guide

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

The BlueClaws 2013 Media Guide is now available for you to read on

Click here to read.

The book includes player bios, BlueClaws history, records sorted by single-games, single-seasons, and all-time records, attendance information and much more.


TG With BM

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

BlueClaws GM Brandon Marano sits down with Tony Graham of the Asbury Park Press for a new video as we get set for the start of the season.

BlueClaws GM Hits the Airwaves

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

BlueClaws General Manager Brandon Marano was on the radio this morning, joining both WOBM stations to talk about FanFest, at FirstEnergy Park this Saturday.

He was on the AM with Bob & Marianne, an interview which you can listen to by clicking here or using the embed player below. 1160/1310 WOBM-AM, by the way, is the radio home of the BlueClaws.

Brandon was also on with Shawn & Sue (participants in the June 17th Celebrity Hitting Challenge) on 92.7 WOBM FM, which you can listen to by clicking here.

The Revamped

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

We’ve made some upgrades to including a nice new, larger media wall panel across the front, a new features section where we’ll be able to highlight a lot of the stuff we post at this blog, easy access to our social media sites, and much more.

Take a look!

Thanks to our friends at Baseball Advanced Media for their help.

Podcast: Outgoing GM Geoff Brown

Friday, February 8th, 2013

A few weeks ago, it was announced that BlueClaws GM Geoff Brown would be leaving the BlueClaws after 13 years and 12 seasons. The first employee hired by the BlueClaws in November of 1999, Brown has been here for three championships, five million fans, and countless memories.

Today is his last day with the BlueClaws, and he’ll start his new position with Rutgers University Athletics on Monday.

Before he left, we did want to bring him onto the podcast for an interview.

You can listen to the interview by clicking here or by listening below.

A couple of quick snippets, but we hope you listen to the whole thing:
– “I’ve got an 11 year old an an 8-year old. They’re going to want to come to 6-8-10 games, so we’ll be back. But certainly walking out of the office for the last time on Friday is going to be a little bit weird.”

– “It really sunk in when the Rutgers athletic department sent out a press release. All of a sudden it became real at that point. But the last couple of days when I started packing up, it struck again.”

– “I don’t think anyone expected us to draw 400,000 people a year, maybe 300,000. We knew how many people from the Shore were going to see the Thunder and they would stay put to see a game in Lakewood, but we didn’t think 400,000 a year was going to happen. To be those strong numbers 12 years in has been fantastic.”

– “The fans have been fantastic and they continue to be. The amount of people that have emailed me over the last few weeks has made me feel really good.”

– “The fact that I got to dump beer and champagne on other people’s heads…not a lot of professions get to do that – and I got to do that three times.”

Also – there is evidently a time capsule.


In Case You Missed It…

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

In 12 years of play, the BlueClaws have had 10 different field managers. Only Steve Roadcap (2007-2008) and PJ Forbes (2004-2005) have come back for multiple seasons (though Mickey Morandini will be added to that list this year). But in those 12 years, the BlueClaws have had only one General Manager, Geoff Brown.

That streak is ending, as Geoff accepted a position with Rutgers Athletics and will begin there on February 11th as the new Senior Associate Athletic Director/Chief Marketing Officer.

“This is a bittersweet day for me,” said Brown. “For 13 years, this has been my home and my second family. Leaving Lakewood and the BlueClaws was certainly a difficult decision, but the opportunity to work for Tim Pernetti [Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics] in this new position as they join the Big Ten was something that I could not pass up.”

He added: “I’d like to thank the hundreds of staff members we’ve had over the years that have put so much into the BlueClaws, and helped make the BlueClaws a special place,” he said. “I’d also like to thank the fans of Ocean and Monmouth Counties, who have been so supportive over the years.

“The people we work with and the fans that support the BlueClaws are what made this decision so difficult.”

Brown was the first employee hired by the BlueClaws and started with Lakewood in November of 1999, a full 17 months before the first game was played and five months before they broke ground on FirstEnergy Park.

Here is a story from the Asbury Park Press and here is the official BlueClaws release.

The plan is to sit down with Geoff before he leaves for a podcast-style interview that features some reminiscing, but that will come in a few weeks.

Everyone here with the BlueClaws congratulates him and wishes him the very best with Rutgers.

What Really Happens on the Bus:

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

This week I’m on my first road trip this week with the BlueClaws. This opportunity ranks high on the checklist of getting real experience in the broadcasting industry. More than that, traveling with a professional baseball team is an opportunity that

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few people ever get in their lifetime– and one that many sports fans could only dream of ever doing.

Newspaper beat writers gain access to teams in the clubhouse every day, and they get to gain a certain connection to the players they cover every game over the course of a season. National network broadcasters travel the country on the dime of CBS, ESPN and Fox as they cover the week’s biggest games, but they don’t build a rapport with the coaches and players whose games they cover only a handful of times each year.

However, radio broadcasters in minor league baseball travel with the team. We work with the team on a daily basis and get to see the behind-the-scenes as these players whose incredible baseball talents have landed some of them six-figure signing bonuses get to act like the 19-to-24-year olds that they all are off the field.

Yes, these players all have batting averages and ERAs attached to their names and these coaches have spent time in the major leagues, but they’re all still traveling the country together on a bus grinding out a 140-game schedule—and having a blast while they’re doing it.

As we board the bus at 11:30 p.m. Sunday following that night’s 7:05 p.m. game against Hagerstown, everyone settles-in for the nine-hour bus ride through the night to Charleston, WV. The players and coaches are all in sweatpants and t-shirts locating their pillows and blankets, and getting as comfortable as possible for the long ride ahead.

For those of you who will never get the chance to ride the bus on a road trip with a minor league baseball team, here’s a sample of some of the “Highly Classified” conversations that takes place on a bus full of professional baseball players:

  • A coach on the team telling the players how his “Boise” noise-cancelling headphones will cost less than a dollar a day by the time next season is over, only for the players more than twenty years his junior to break out into laughter and tell him that they think he means “Bose”. As they’re laughing, he asks the group, “You know what the great thing about these are?” and he puts them over his ears and turns back towards the front of the bus.
  • Before taking off from Lakewood the coaches ask around the bus to find out how old a reliever is who isn’t on the bus yet. He has only been with the team a week and this is his first road trip, but they need to know his age to determine when he picks his seat on the sleeper bus. A fellow reliever pipes-in, “He’s 24, but he looks like he’s 18 so put him at the bottom of the list.” One of the coaches looks at the 22-year old who said that and fires back, “Well you look 16 so I guess he still gets to pick his seat before you.”
  • A position player whips out his iPhone that is playing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”. He turns to anyone who will listen and asks, “How can you say this isn’t a good song?” He is then challenged by a reliever to make that is walk-up song when they start their next homestand… he said he’ll think about it.
  • A reliever sees that I’m reading Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and I’m expecting some ribbing for having a Young Adult novel in-tow for a baseball road trip. Instead, he says, “Come on, bro. You’re only on the second one?” We discuss the first book at length and talk about how he finished all three books in a week and how much he used his new Kindle Fire during spring training.

Expecting mandated silence for the players after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Suns? Expecting hours of secretive strategy conversation among the coaches hammering out a gameplan for the next three games against the West Virginia Power? Sorry to disappoint you.

Needless to say, conversations died down shortly after midnight and no one was in much of a talking mood when the bus rolled into the Holiday Inn Suites in Charleston at 8:30 a.m. Monday. After a quick stop at the continental breakfast, everyone headed off to their rooms to get as much sleep as possible before the bus took them to Appalachian Power Park at 3:00 p.m. (BlueClaws lost, 4-3)


The BlueClaws and Power battle in the second game of their three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m. The BlueClaws will send Ervis Manzanillo (0-3, 6.00) to the mound against Robby Rowland (2-1, 3.60) in Game 2 of a seven-game road trip. Manzanillo has not pitched for the BlueClaws since May 11th when he tossed four innings at Greensboro and allowed five runs.

Listen to all the action on WOBM 1160-AM and WOBM 1310-AM or online beginning at 6:50 p.m. with the BlueClaws Beat pre-game show.


Opening Day Festivities

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

“You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.” That’s what Joe DiMaggio said about Opening Day. Thursday night in Lakewood is our Opening Day. The game starts at 6:35, but that’s almost secondary to whatever else will be going on that day.

Here are some of the pre-game festivities that we’ll have.

  • Ceremonial Opening of the Gates: We open the season with an opening of the gates at 5:30. BlueClaws players will be there to greet and interact with fans prior to the start of the season’s first home game.
  • Player Intros: We’ll have full introductions for both teams prior to the game. Players will be called out to line up along each line, reserves, coaches, and starters.
  • National Anthem: Obviously this is not exclusive to Opening Day, but the great Evolution will be singing the anthem.
  • Flyover: This is exclusive to Opening Day – a flyover thanks to the 108th Air Refueling Wing of the NJ Air National Guard out of McGuire Air Force Base, under the command of Wing Commander Colonel Kevin Keehn.
  • Ceremonial First Pour: In the Coors Light WRAT Trap with representatives from Shore Point Distributing and 95.9 WRAT.

You never want to miss Opening Day. Tickets here.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

With Opening Day coming up just 16 days from now (which is unrelated to the title of this post), we wanted to share with you the prizes we are giving out as part of the 12-12-12 promotion leading into the start of our 12th season.

For those that do not know, you can just email to be entered. Include your name, phone number, and age bracket (child [under-12], adult, senior). We’ll pick the winners, 12 of them, next Thursday, April 5th. What do the winners win? One of the following prizes:

  • First Tacos from Surf Taco
  • First Pizza from Charlie’s Pizza
  • Participation in “Mini Manager”
  • Announcing “Play Ball” over the PA
  • Being the Honorary Bat Boy
  • Ceremonial First Pitch
  • Press Box Suite for Game
  • FREE BlueClaws Jersey
  • Unlock the Gates With Buster, Players
  • Appearance on the Radio
  • PA Announcer for a Half-Inning
  • Announce Attendance and How Close Team is to 5-Million Fans

12 prizes. April 12th. Starting our 12th season. 12-12-12.

More here.

ClawCast: Happy Anniversary

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Eleven years ago today – March 13, 2001, the BlueClaws front office staff members moved into FirstEnergy Park for the first time after working on Airport Road for the previous few months.

Move-in day was quite hectic, according to BlueClaws Asst GM Brandon Marano, who is still here in his role 12 years later.

“It was about a three or four day process because we had to keep our business operations going at our location in the industrial park…We were all hands on deck, loading the truck, unpacking the truck…It was basically moving our entire office over.”

The picture you see on the right was taken four months prior to move-in day, on November 10th, of 2000. Obviously shortly after that photo a lot of grass was laid down and the path was paved leading up to the gate as it is today.

How close did they cut it, before the first game? Marano’s first fan complaint:

“A woman walked up to the gates 15 minutes before we opened to look inside and had nothing but green paint on her jacket because it was still wet.”

Listen to the podcast below or click here to download the file to your computer (right click, save link as, you can bring it into your iTunes to listen to later if you want).

Note: later, we’re coming back with a little 5-million announcement, which was part of the reasoning for taping this podcast.