Archive for May 23rd, 2008

I Was Once Traded For Six Geometry Textbooks*

Sometimes, the stories write themselves (other times, they’re written by the AP):

The Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League couldn’t get newly signed pitcher John Odom into Canada for immigration reasons. And the Laredo Broncos of the United League were willing to take a cheap gamble on a pitcher.

Oh, and the Vipers really, really wanted some new bats.

And so Odom, about a month after being acquired by a Canadian team, found himself Tuesday on the roster of a team on the Mexican border. All for the price of 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black 34-inch C243 style.

According to the story, the bats for which Odom was traded are valued at about $65.50 in the quanity provided.  His services are worth about $655.

*Not true, but the thought of my boss calling me into her office and breaking the news to me makes me chuckle.

A Lovely Night For A Ballgame

Last night, my wife and I took our ten-month-son, Joey, to his first professional baseball game, a Can-Am League tilt between the Brockton Rox and the hometown Nashua Pride.  We weren’t sure if we’d make it, considering the rain showers that peppered the area during the afternoon, but things cleared up as game time approached and we were able to settle in for a nice (albeit cold) evening at the ballpark.

Watching my son look around Holman Stadium for the first time was both awesome and hilarious to see.  I’ll have pictures tomorrow, hopefully – you could just tell he was thinking, “Alright, what in the hell is this place, and why have they brought me here?”  I had high hopes of his first exposure to the crack of the bat – maybe he would instantly perk up, eyes totally focused on the field, and I would know at that moment that my boy was SUPPOSED to be a ballplayer – but alas, it was not to be.  Joey’s first reaction to the crack of the bat was to continue staring down the teenage girl sitting next to my wife.  A little ladies man, that one.

As shocking as it was for Joey to see Holman Stadium for the first time, it was twice as insane to enter the ballpark and not hear Ken Cail’s booming voice over the PA.  As noted here some time ago, Cail, the team’s longtime PA announcer, left the position during the offseason to pursue an opportunity as a radio announcer for the Lowell Spinners, Single A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.  Ken was on hand to receive a championship ring during a pregame ceremony to commemmorate the Pride’s 2007 Can-Am League championship, and I ran into him at one point before the game.  He sounded excited to be calling the Spinners games, acknowledging that it was a good opportunity for him, but it’s still sad to go to the ballpark and hear someone else’s voice. 

(That voice, by the way, now belongs to Woody Woodland, who I spoke with once or twice a few years ago and am probably treating unfairly by comparing him to Ken.  It’s not Woody’s fault he has to follow in the footsteps of the greatest PA announcer in minor league history.  And no, I’m not just saying that because I told Ken about this blog and he might read this.  Seriously, I’m not.)

One of the things I tried to keep an eye on through the night (well, through the six innings we stayed, anyway) was the promotional schedule, which was surprisingly light, even when you take into account that it was Opening Night.  The team only ran two on-field promos that I saw, a sponsored bicycle race and a pizza toss.  In all honesty, I didn’t see the pizza toss – I think I was in the team store at the time.  My wife actually texted me to ask if I had the camera because she knew I wanted pictures of stuff like that.  She’s a good woman, that one.  They also did another between-innings thing with the mascot dancing to a song on top of the dugout, which was sort of cliched and unimpressive.  I’ll be interested to watch throughout the season to see if the paucity of promotions was actually planned or if they plan on bumping their efforts up on nights when larger crowds are expected (about 1,500 announced last night, maybe 500 or so actually on hand).

I’ll have some pictures of the ballpark and festivities tomorrow, hopefully.  We’re going again tonight, when the Pride honor former longtime manager Butch Hobson by retiring his number 17 before the game.  Hobson left the team after last year’s championship and is back in the Atlantic League as manager of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

Jay Bruce is The Deal

The internet is a fickle place.

As of this posting, our request for a new nickname for superstud Jay Bruce has been our most popular entry to date, snagging over 3,000 views. Of those, the post garnered 42 comments (at least eight of those came from me or OMDQ) and about 12 proposed nicknames. We narrowed that down to five finalists and put up a poll, which has picked up…. 9 votes in three days. The returns be diminishing, and rapidly.

So, we’re calling it.

Fellow blogger TheNaturalMevs from Diamond Hoggers wins the Revised & Edited Baseball Field Guide for his inspired choice “The Deal”. We’re all convinced that Jay is the realest deal we’re going to see this season, so we can’t wait to see him in the majors.

Congratulations, Mevs! Thanks to everyone who participated. We’ll figure out a way to do this again sometime soon.

Now get out there and take in a little baseball with your Memorial Day festivities!