Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Cyclones’

How Many, “Hey, Somebody Pitched A No-Hitter” Titles Can I Possibly Come Up With?

As many as I have to, apparently.

Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Brandon Moore became the latest to join the No-Hit Club on Sunday against the Aberdeen Ironbirds, striking out six and walking three in seven innings of work to improve his record to 6-2 on the season.  His teammates backed him up with single runs in the first and fourth innings before putting it away with a three-run seventh.

It was the first no-hitter in team history.

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It’s Hard Out There for a Seagull

osterhout_seagull

Some of you may know that I spend my winter months talking college hoops at Storming the Floor. One of the best things that happened to the site last season was technically a bad thing. Sports Illustrated columnist Jacob Osterhout was part of the reduction in staff at SI, and his popular column The Dean’s List became homeless. STF’s founder, Marco “It-can’t-hurt-to-ask” Anskis, shot an email to Jacob and asked him if he’d like to resurrect the column on our site, and he miraculously agreed. So I came to know this talented and funny NY-based writer in a sort of “internet buddy” way.

Aside from his attempts to flush his career away by writing for some internet basketball hooligans, Jacob also writes regularly for the New York Daily News. Last week, he went to the Brooklyn Cyclones ballpark to try out for the role of Sandy the Seagull. Hilarity and sweating ensued.

I started with some Electric Slide moves I hadn’t used since junior high, quickly transitioned into a salsa number and finished up with a moonwalk. The kids loved it, but I quickly ran out of dance moves, so we moved on to the shirt toss. 

It is surprisingly hard to throw a shirt with any sort of accuracy when you can’t see and only have three fingers. Despite my best efforts at spreading out the giveaways, one fourth-grader ended up with three shirts.

Finally, we arrived at the main event. Five students were chosen to race Sandy around the base path.

By this time, my T-shirt was soaked with sweat and I felt lightheaded. But there was no way I was going to be beaten by 9-year-olds, especially after the kids were told that Sandy had never lost a race.

[NY Daily News]

I have a hard time with sweat when I’m sitting still scarfing a hot dog on an 85-degree day, so this sounds unbearable to me. But it just makes me respect the people who do the mascot job that much more. Even rainy days aren’t safe, as you may remember that I saw Southpaw the Hillcat take a header during his dugout dance after stepping in a puddle of water.

I highly recommend that you read the rest of the article – it’s truly funny. And, if anyone reading this has a mascot experience you’d like to share, drop us a line at busleagues at gmail dot com. Or leave it in the comments – either way. We’d love to hear about it.

Ballpark Wish List: The Brooklyn Cyclones

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, I really want to go see a minor-league game at Coney Island. The Brooklyn Cyclones have been there since 2000, playing in the short-season New York-Penn League, and eventually sending their best players up the ladder to the Mets.

I guess the combination of amusement park, Nathan’s hot dogs, and baseball sounds good to me, even though I must admit that I’ve never been to New York, so my potential enjoyment of it all is very theoretical. For me, it would be an adventure.

For residents of the boroughs, however, attending a Cyclones game has apparently become something of a political statement:

With a sellout crowd of 8,673, Chris Garrett, 41, of Bushwick, Brooklyn, had to stand. “No spoiled millionaires here,” he said.

A Cyclones fan since 2001, Mr. Garrett was one of dozens of fans who said KeySpan Park helped them imagine the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field, that intimate, lost temple of baseball.

“I come to watch real baseball without the greed,” said Mr. Garrett, who works as a courier and a part-time photographer. “These kids play a great game. It’s like ‘American Idol’ out here. They’re doing their best to be called up.”

[New York Times]

It’s tough to find that balance. Personally, I enjoy watching the spoiled millionaires when they’re playing at their best. But MLB has been, and always will be, a luxury for me. I live too far from the nearest major league team. So for most of my summer baseball needs, the bus leagues, with their cheap tickets, carnival attractions, and VFW BINGO! outfield signs, will serve very nicely.

But if I find myself in Brooklyn any time soon? I may just have to find my way over to Coney Island. And invite the only nearby residents I know – Will and Will. Who else is coming?

Two Pitching Arms Are Better Than One

When I was a kid, the Red Sox had a pitcher named Greg Harris. Harris came to Boston in his mid-30s after being claimed off waivers and spent six seasons with the team, pitching mostly out of the bullpen. In 1992-93, he appeared in 150 games (148 in relief) for Sox teams that finished 73-89 and 80-82, respectively.

Harris’ claim to fame, aside from being a decent jack-of-all-trades, was his ability to pitch with both arms, a skill he put to use once at the major league level, in his second-to-last appearance.  From the Baseball-Reference.com Bullpen:

…Harris found himself pitching for the Expos in the last season of his career, and on September 28, 1995, against the Cincinnati Reds, he fullfilled his career-long ambition of pitching ambidexterously, respectively walking and retiring the two batters he faced as a southpaw, in between beginning and ending the inning, and with it the game, as a right-hander. It is conceivable that a progressive manager or organization might someday make use of a pitcher like Harris, as being a switch-pitcher would allow the pitcher to always have the platoon advantage and also render bullpen usage less wasteful.

On Thursday night, Greg Harris V2.0 made an appearance in Brooklyn.

Pat Venditte, an ambidextrous pitcher out of Creighton, debuted for the Staten Island Yankees in the ninth inning of a game against the Brooklyn Cyclones.  Charged with protecting a 7-2 lead, Venditte retired the first two batters he faced before allowing the third man to reach.  The seemingly inconsequential safety produced an interesting situation: the fourth batter, Ralph Henriquez, is a switch-hitter:

Henriquez had been swinging left-handed in the on-deck circle, so Venditte switched his glove to his right hand in order to face the 21-year-old backstop. Seeing this, Henriquez instead came to the plate batting from the right side. So, Venditte switched his glove back to his left hand. Henriquez then decided to bat lefty, and Venditte switched his glove yet again.

And on and on it went. This rather absurd (and highly amusing) game of chicken ultimately led to a prolonged conference between the umpires and coaching staffs of both teams. After much debate, Manriquez [sic] was made to bat right-handed against Venditte throwing right-handed. Manriquez [sic] then struck out on three pitches to end the game.

I don’t know what’s better: that neither Venditte nor Henriquez refused to back down or that the umpires clearly had no clue what to do in this situation.  (Also: Manriquez?)  Greg Harris never had to put up with this crap. 

It doesn’t matter how good or bad this kid is: he needs to pitch in the major leagues someday.  Yes, Pat Venditte currently has one professional appearance to his credit, and I am already willing to go on record as saying that I will be extremely disappointed if he does not reach The Show.  Just one game.  Just one inning.  Just one batter (as long as it’s a switch-hitter).  That’s all I’m asking.

(Tip o’ the cap to Ump Bump, the first place I saw the story, and Deadspin, for the video)

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