Archive for April 14th, 2008

Spotlight on A Ball – 4/14/2008

In case you’ve ever wondered what makes for an ideal affiliate for an MLB franchise, here’s what the Detroit Tigers look for. It’s a nice look at the ins and outs of the Player Development Contract from a feature called “Baseball 101” [Detroit News]

This next story is not technically about A-ball. It’s about the Venezuelan baseball academies, which have always seemed kind of sad to me. Probably because they’re out there snagging 16-year-olds. Nonetheless, some of these kids will make it to at least the minors, and some of them will be in a ballpark near you. [Miami Herald]

Meet the Beloit Snappers (Twins). They love pancakes. And waffles. [Janesville Gazette]

You have to love this story. It’s about a guy named David Beal who has devoted years to supporting the Winston-Salem Warthogs (White Sox). He’s never been paid, but he shows up every day and offers to help because he just loves the game. [Winston-Salem Journal]

Big A-ball trade! Perales for Coutlanges! I don’t really know anything about these guys, I just liked their names. []

An intrepid lady reporter eats Chef Boyardee as a temporary member of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) [Orange County Register]

If you’re going to get your start skipped in A-ball, you might as well get to meet El Duque. The story of St. Lucie Mets pitcher Eric Niesen [Monroe News]

That’s A News for this week. Look for AA on Wednesday, the Z-Meter on Thursday, and AAA news on Friday.

The Coolbaugh Story Continues

You may remember that the Colorado Rockies’ run to the World Series last year was marked by tragedy. Minor-league first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was struck and killed by a line drive while working a game with the AA Tulsa Drillers. Baseball fans were touched by the parent club’s decision to award a full playoff share to the Coolbaugh family.

Not even a year later, Mike’s brother Scott stood in the exact same place where his brother’s life ended. Not out of curiousity, or as a tribute, but because it’s his job. Scott Coolbaugh is, like his brother, a first base coach; not with the Drillers, but with their rivals the Frisco Rough Riders. His team traveled to the Arkansas Travelers’ stadium on Sunday, bringing up some difficult memories.

I had to go through it a little bit last year after I took off about a week and came back it was the same kinda thing,” (Scott Coolbaugh) said. “It is going to going to take time, but at the same time I know I have a job to do. He would want me to do the job right and not worry about it. But the thoughts are definitely in the back of my mind, knowing this is the ballpark where it happened in and stuff like that. There is no question about it, it brings back some nightmares.

[Maumelle Monitor]

Mike Coolbaugh’s death caused many base coaches to adopt the practice of wearing batting helmets during games. Glenallen Hill at the parent club drew praise for choosing safety over image following the incident last year. We here at Bus Leagues hope a few more coaches decide they don’t mind a little mussed hair, as long as they get to drive home to their families every night.