Posts Tagged ‘Bakersfield Blaze’

Gaston’s Homer, Clemens’ Two Ribbies Not QUITE Enough For Lancaster

Lancaster teammates Jon Gaston and Koby Clemens lead the California League in homeruns and RBI, respectively, and each added to their totals on Saturday night.  Gaston hit his 30th homer in the sixth, a solo shot, and Clemens added a two-run double for RBIs 95 and 96 in the eighth.

Unfortunately, that was the only offense the JetHawks in a game where their pitching staff forgot to show up.  Bakersfield scored at least three runs in six of the first seven innings and led 18-0 by the time Gaston went deep.  Before Clemens drove in his two, it was 24-1.

A team that scores 24 runs in a game will have no shortage of offensive stars, but two players stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Mauro Gomez was 4-6 with two homeruns and four RBI, moving him into third and seventh in those two categories.  Elio Sarmiento had an even bigger game, going 5-6 with a double, homerun, four RBI, and six runs scored.  He’s been hot in August, with a .455 batting average and 1.311 OPS in seven games.

Wednesday Was A Good Day

Bakersfield Blaze righthander Ryan Tatusko pitched the game of his life on Wednesday, allowing just a ninth inning single in a 2-0 win over Modesto. Lots of pitchers put up great performances, at all levels. But how many of them end up writing about it afterward?

Tatusko is writing regularly this season for The Newberg Report. After Wednesday’s game, he used that space to take the readers into the mind of a guy on the cusp of the greatest achievement of his life:

Inning 8

The inning starts with a 100 mph grounder to Kaase that he makes look so routine. He throws the runner out easily. Next batter, curve, curve, curve, strike three. Now with two quick outs in the inning, my heart is racing to get back into the dugout as fast as I can, and here comes walk number three. (Insert all four-letters words here). Next batter hits a worm-burner of a grounder on a 1-1 fastball to Kaase to get the force at second for out number 3.

Coming into the dugout my mind starts to race about what is going on, and now all of the sudden the people I was talking to to keep things light-hearted now want nothing to do with me. I try for anybody. Sarmiento? Fry? Chavy? Everyone is on the opposite end of the dugout and I am sitting, alone next to the trainer’s kit, trying not to psyche myself out, withy that 0 still staring at me in the face. I begin to think that already this is the best professional outing that I have ever thrown and how I am so blessed to even be in this position right now.

The whole thing is a short, fast read that will be well worth your time.

(Kudos to Baseball Musings for the tip)

California Earthquake: Teams On The Move

According to a recent article in Baseball America, the High-A California League might be losing a couple of teams. And their loss will be the Carolina League’s gain.

The franchises in question are the Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers) and the High Desert Mavericks (Mariners). Both teams play in antiquated ballparks and struggle to draw enough fans. The article suggests that the Braves’ decision to pull their AAA affiliate out of Richmond might have provided the perfect opening for the transcontinental migration.

Richmond is the hot market available in the minor leagues, with plans for the Braves and the International League to release the territory when the R-Braves move to Gwinnett County in surburban Atlanta. One source said High Desert had the inside track to moving to Richmond, and that Bakersfield would end up in Fayetteville, N.C.; another source said more markets within the Carolina League footprint were under consideration.

“Nothing is set in stone, but do I think it is going to happen? Yes, I think it is going to happen,” one source said. “And I think it should happen.”

[Baseball America]

Further complicating matters for the California League is the decision by the Red Sox to move their high-A club from the geographically nonsensical Lancaster outpost of the California League to the slightly more distant, but less travel-intensive Salem, VA market in the Carolina League.

Some sources say that the league already has a deal in principle, which MiLB denies. The Carolina League bylaws stipulate a $1.5 million payment for each club that wishes to enter what is currently an eight-team league with a tight geographical locus.

As a resident of central Virginia, all of this sounds good to me, though I can’t imagine that a single-A franchise is the long-term solution in Richmond. I do feel bad for the California League, but the refusal of some localities to upgrade facilities is the sort of thing that MiLB just won’t abide any more. The Bus Leagues are getting tonier by the minute.

Only In California…

I once wrote an article for Babes Love Baseball in which I suggested that former NFL running back Ricky Williams should give up football and return to baseball (he played both at a high level at Texas). I further suggested that the California League would be perfect for him, given his love of alternative substances.

I was just kidding about all that, but looking at this cap being sold by the Bakersfield Blaze, I’m not so sure. The five-leaved fire logo looks an awful lot like a creative advertisement for NORML.

But don’t take my word for it. Compare to the image below.

Visit the Bakersfield Blaze shop.