Archive for April 6th, 2009

Franchise Switcheroos


I spent a little time the other day cleaning up our team affiliations page. Teams switch organizations every year, so it’s a crucial maintenance task. A few have even changed locations. Here are a few of the notable changes.

The Gwinnett Braves – Atlanta pulled their triple-A franchise from Richmond, VA and moved it to the Atlanta suburbs. That makes it a short drive for anyone who gets called up, certainly. I’ve always wondered if the Bus Leagues version of the Braves can draw when it’s so easy to just head up the road to the majors. I guess we’ll find out. [Gwinnett Braves]

The Salem Red Sox/Lancaster JetHawks swap – The last time I took my family to Salem, they were called the Avalanche, and they were affiliated with the Houston Astros. The Red Sox were looking for an A-affiliate that was a lot closer to Boston than the Lancaster JetHawks, who are in the California League. So, they more or less swapped franchises with Houston, which is, according to my map, about half a continent closer to the west coast. [Salem Red Sox] [Lancaster JetHawks]

Bowling Green Hot Rods – Despite our enormous disappointment that the name Cave Shrimp was not chosen, this name makes sense (as far as auto-themed suggestions, we liked Will’s idea of Corvettes), due to the variety of automotive industry plants located in BG. The Rays A-level franchise was located in Columbus last year, when it was nicknamed the Catfish. [Bowling Green Hot Rods]

Charlotte Stone Crabs – Another relocation with name change for the super-hot Rays farm system. The last vestige of the team’s satanic nickname is gone, as the Vero Beach Devil Rays move to Port Charlotte, FL and become the High-A Stone Crabs. [Charlotte Stone Crabs]

Winston-Salem Dash – This team was formerly known as the Warthogs, a name I personally enjoyed. The White Sox affiliate is now known as the Dash, and chose a logo that has some scratching their heads. [Winston-Salem Dash]

Fort Wayne TinCaps – The Padres farm club decided to rename the former Wizards after building them a new ballpark. Meet the Johnny Appleseed-inspired TinCaps! [Fort Wayne TinCaps]

That may not cover absolutely everything that happened, but those were the ones that jumped out at me.

Now Batting For The Atlanta Braves…

Atlanta’s Jordan Schafer, a two-time member of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects (25 in 2008, 42 in 2009), made his major league debut for the Braves tonight, batting eighth in the team’s season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Schafer kicked his career off in style, homering off Brett Myers in his first at-bat.  He is the third Brave to do so (Chuck Tanner and Jermaine Dye are the others).

He followed the round-tripper with a single and an intentional walk, so it’s been a solid debut thus far for the former Bus Leaguer, who should have at least one at-bat left before the night is through.  Regardless of the outcome, however, I’d say he’s made the first “Now Batting For” of the 2009 season a memorable one.