Archive for July 13th, 2009

Congratulations Rinku!

Rinku Singh, the first Indian player in professional baseball history (he beat his teammate, Dinesh Patel, by an inning on July 4), picked up another first today when he won his first career game.  He faced one batter and struck him out in the GCL Pirates 10-5 win over the GCL Tigers.

The 20-year-old Singh (who I just noticed was born on 8/8/88) has appeared in four games, walking two, striking out three, and allowing four runs on five hits in three innings.  Patel, also twenty, has allowed one hit in 2.1 innings in two games.

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Average Distance From Majors To Affiliates: National League West

I’ve been playing around with some small projects in my spare time, including the one you see below.  The distance between a major league club and its affiliates has always interested me, even more so in the wake of some of the recent rehab assignments of stars like John Smoltz and Manny Ramirez.

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon this web site, with maps that provide a visual image for those distances.  Since I’m all about boring stuff, I decided to take a look at the raw distances, division by division.  The first division, the National League West, is presented below(billsportsmaps has created maps for most, not all, major league teams; Arizona and Colorado are missing from this installment).  They are ordered from shortest to longest average distance.

Colorado Rockies (average: 812 miles)
Denver to…
…Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA): 71 miles
…Tulsa Drillers (AA): 693 miles
…Modesto Nuts (A): 1,256 miles
…Asheville Tourists (A): 1,452 miles
…Tri-City Dust Devils (A): 1,119 miles
…Casper Ghosts (R): 278 miles

San Diego Padres (average: 1,000 miles)
San Diego to…
…Portland Beavers (AAA): 1,085 miles
…San Antonio Missions (AA): 1,277 miles
…Lake Elsinore Storm (A): 76 miles
…Fort Wayne TinCaps (A): 2,230 miles
…Eugene Emeralds (A): 978 miles
…Peoria Padres (R): 353 miles

Los Angeles Dodgers (average: 1,062 miles)
Los Angeles to…
…Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA): 788 miles
…Chattanooga Lookouts (AA): 2,138 miles
…Great Lakes Loons (A): 2,292 miles
…Inland Empire 66ers (A): 60 miles
…Ogden Raptors (R): 726 miles
…AZL Dodgers (R): 370 miles

Arizona Diamondbacks (average: 1,210 miles)
Phoenix to…
…Reno Aces (AAA): 736 miles
…Mobile Bay Bears (AA): 1,645 miles
…Visalia Rawhide (A): 564 miles
…South Bend Silverhawks (A): 1,828 miles
…Yakima Bears (A): 1,311 miles
…Missoula Osprey (R): 1,176 miles

San Francisco Giants (average: 1213 miles)
San Francisco to…
…Fresno Grizzlies (AAA): 193 miles
…Connecticut Defenders (AA): 3,049 miles
…San Jose Giants (A): 48 miles
…Augusta GreenJackets (A): 2,621 miles
…Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (A): 597 miles
…Arizona Giants (R): 769 miles

Cruz Hits Eleven In First Round Of MLB Homerun Derby

As Extra P has noted in the past, we are a minor league blog, but it’s always nice to look back on the guys who left it all behind and made it to the major leagues.  Case in point: Texas’s Nelson Cruz, the 29-year-old outfielder who is making his first All-Star appearance this week.

The 2008 Pacific Coast League’s Most Valuable Player, Cruz hit 22 homeruns in the first half this year and was chosen to compete for the American League in the Homerun Derby.  After enduring more than his fair share of laughs at his selection (although at least one person gave him a puncher’s chance), Cruz got off to a sensational start, setting the tone with eleven homeruns to lead off the first round.

I think it’s safe to say that you can count the Bus Leagues crew among those who are rooting for the underdog Cruz in this competition.  He’s our type of player.

Update: Cruz advanced all the way to the finals.  He put up five in the last round, but Prince Fielder crushed six to overtake him and win the title.  I kinda feel bad for Cruz – he actually looked like he wanted to win.

This Week in Bobbleheads Week 15

Another week goes by with another year added to my life as I turned 45 years young yesterday. My presents from others include the Chris Snyder bobblehead from Arizona and the Mark Reynolds from Norfolk. Thanks to my good friend Max from AZ and my long time friend Dawn who helped add to the collection and made my 45th birthday a great one. Here’s the week ahead:

Lowell Spinners 7/15/09 Dustin Pedroia (AL MVP) – First 1,500 – Wonder how many times they play his commercial during inning breaks?

Fort Worth Cats 7/16/09 Rebecca Miller – First 1,000 – Local TV personality.

Great Lakes Loons 7/16/09 Jack Morris – First 1,000 – Part of a 1984 Tigers championship celebration.

Lakewood BlueClaws 7/16/09 Cole Hamels (WS MVP) – First 2,000 – The most popular personality in Lakewood bobblehead history.

Lowell Spinners 7/16/09 Rick/Dick Hoyt Dual – In 2008 the Hoyts were elected to the triatheletes hall of fame.

Madison Mallards 7/16/09 Bobbleboy – First 500 – Along with the bobblehead, the lucky 500 will also receive a stress taxi.

Princeton Rays 7/16/09 Jared Sandberg – First 500 – I’ve been known to trade bobbleheads with Jared, hopefully he gets one for me.

Tri-City Valleycats 7/16/09 Michelle Obama – First 1,200 – It’s a women in business promotion night. Could go well with the Brooklyn Barack.

Albuquerque Isotopes 7/17/09 Orbit (Mascot) – First 1,000 – Another bobblehead of the popular mascot, his first as a Dodger affiliate.

Altoona Curve 7/17/09 St. Francis – First 2,000 – Faith night promos are popular in the minors.

Inland Empire 66ers 7/17/09 Manny Ramirez – First 1,000 – ManRam played part of his rehab from his suspention here.

Lowell Spinners 7/17/09 Kevin Youkilis (WBC) – First 1,500 – Youk dons his Team USA jersey here.

Lynchburg Hillcats 7/17/09 Aramis Ramirez – First 1,000 – Imagine if the Pirates had kept him?

New Hampshire Fishercats 7/17/09 Travis Snider – First 2,000 – Finally a Blue Jays alum!!!

Potomac Nationals 7/17/09 Uncle Slam (Mascot) – First 1,000 – The very patriotic mascot comes a year after a friend of mine stopped working for the team…BAD TIMING SUZANNE haha.

Rochester Honkers 7/17/09 Slider (Mascot) The popular mascot receives another pose.

Southern Maryland BlueCrabs 7/17/09 Brooks Robinson –
West Michigan Whitecaps 7/17/09 John Wockenfuss – First 1,000 – Another Tiger affiliate doing a bobble from there championship days, and he will be there to sign as well.

Wilson Tobs 7/17/09 Jack McKeon – First 500 – McKeon managed there in the 60s when Wilson was a Carolina League affiliate.

Akron Aeros 7/18/09 Matt LaPorta – First 1,000 – LaPorta came to the Indians in the Sabathia deal. First bobblehead for Akron in 7 years.

Billings Mustangs 7/18/09 Jay Bruce – First 1,000 – Billings has become quite the pipeline of the stars in the Reds system.

Cincinnati Reds 7/18/09 Edinson Volquez – First 30,000 – No gold chain for the Fan’s Choice bobblehead.

Cleveland Indians 7/18/09 Grady Sizemore (Surfer) – He makes diving catches on the field and walks on water, what a guy!!

Corpus Christi Hooks 7/18/09 Nolan Ryan – First 2,500 – This is in his HOF induction pose.

Hagerstown Suns 7/18/09 Abner Doubleday – First 1,000 – Doubleday is credited with bringing baseball to the masses.

Jacksonville Suns 7/18/09 Ivan De Jesus Jr. – First 3,000 – The 2008 Futures game participant has been injured in 2009.

Kansas City Royals 7/18/09 Dick Howser Figurine – Part of the 09 HOF collection.

Las Vegas 51s 7/18/09 Mayor Oscar Goodman – First 1,000 – Nobody from the current affiliate of Toronto has made it big yet so why not make another mayor bobblehead?

Rockford Riverhawks 7/18/09 Andre Dawson – First 1,000 – Another Cubbie alumni that played in Rockford.

Yakima Bears 7/18/09 Dave Henderson – First 1,000 – Hendu played for the Seattle Mariners among five major league teams but is best known for his ninth-inning home run in Game 5 of the ALCS that helped Boston to a 6-5 win over California and sparked the Red Sox to the World Series.

Brooklyn Cyclones 7/19/09 Paint Your Own Bobblehead – First 2,500 12 and under – Kids will be handed paints and a generic Sandy Seagull to paint in their own image.

Cleveland Indians 7/19/09 Slider (Lifeguard) (Mascot) – They probably made this so that Sizemore wouldn’t drown.

I’m trying to decide whether to go for the Obama or Hamels bobblehead on the 16th. So until next week, Bobble On.

Past Futures Game MVPs

After a lengthy rain delay, the 2009 Futures Game got underway a couple hours ago.  (John Sickels waited out the delay and is still running an open thread at Minor League Ball.)

The Futures Game Most Valuable Player Award is named after Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer Larry Doby, the first African-American player in the American League.  Larry Doby Award winners are listed below (MLB.com didn’t have a list, but they provided box scores for the 2001-08 games; the telecast noted Alfonso Soriano as the 1999 MVP; in the end, the BR.com Bullpen had the full list, under the “Larry Doby Award” title).  I’ve linked to each player’s Baseball-Reference.com page.

2008: Che-Hsuan Lin, Boston Red Sox
Greenville (A, South Atlantic): 5 HR, 37 RBI, 33 SB, .249 BA, .342/.359/.701

2007: Chin-Lung Hu, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jacksonville (AA, Southern)/Las Vegas (Pacific Coast): 14 HR, 62 RBI, .325 BA, .364/.507/.871

2006: Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals
Wichita (AA, Texas): 15 HR, 96 RBI, .331 BA, .388/.499/.887

2005: Justin Huber, Kansas City Royals
Wichita (AA, Texas)/Omaha (AAA, Pacific Coast): 23 HR, 97 RBI, .326 BA, .417/.560/.978

2004: Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
New Hampshire (AA, Eastern): 11 HR, 80 RBI, .279 BA, .368/.410/.779

2003: Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
Akron (AA, Eastern): 13 HR, 78 RBI, .304 BA, .373/.480/.853

2002: Jose Reyes, New York Mets
St. Lucie (A+, Florida State)/Binghamton (AA, Eastern): 8 HR, 62 RBI, 58 SB, .288 BA, .343/.444/.787

2001: Toby Hall, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Durham (AAA, International): 19 HR, 72 RBI, .335 BA, .385/.568/.953

2000: Sean Burroughs, San Diego Padres
Mobile (AA, Southern): 2 HR, 42 RBI, .291 BA, .383/.401/.783

1999: Alfonso Soriano, New York Yankees
Yankees (Rookie, Gulf Coast)/Norwich (Eastern)/Columbus (International): 18 HR, 84 RBI, .281 BA, .337/.474/.811

Update: Rene Tosoni (Twins, AA, New Britain) took home the 2009 Larry Doby Award.  Tosoni pinch-hit an RBI double in the seventh to give the World team a 6-5 lead.  Dayan Viciedo drove him in for the final margin of victory.