Posts Tagged ‘Clinton LumberKings’

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

I’ve learned a lot about minor league baseball this season, but the most interesting might be something I just discovered about ten minutes ago: major league teams and their minor league affiliates are like the characters on Friends* – sooner or later, they all end up dating one another.

*Yeah, Friends.  My pop culture references are so timely.  The backup example was Beverly Hills 90210.

Almost immediately after the season ended, what I’m assuming is a yearly affiliate shift began to occur.  And the more I read, the more I began to understand the tectonic nature of these relationships.  For example…

  • Last Thursday, the Cleveland Indians announced that they had signed a four-year player development agreement with the International League’s Columbus Clippers .  The Clippers were Washington’s AAA affiliate for the past two seasons.
  • Two days later, the Nationals signed a two-year deal the Syracuse Chiefs, also of the International League.  (Washington also extended existing deals with Class A Hagerstown and Class A Short-Season Vermont; both extensions are for two years.)
  • Two days after THAT, the New York Mets signed on with Buffalo, the International League team that had been cut loose as Cleveland’s affiliate.
  • In order to make the move to Buffalo, the Mets pulled out of New Orleans, clearing the way for division rival Florida to slide in for a two-year deal with the Zephyrs.
  • Florida’s shift to New Orleans meant that the organization pulled out of Albuquerque, where nearly 600,000 fans passed through the gates last season.  Taking their place?  The Los Angeles Dodgers organization, which returns its AAA affiliate to the place it called home for nearly three decades.
  • At the AA level, Los Angeles is returning the favor, moving from Jacksonville to Chattanooga, which allows Florida to take over the Suns franchise.  The Dodgers’ shift displaces the Reds, who were the previous tenants in Chattanooga.

Those are the major crazy, circular moves that have been announced over the past week or so.  MiLB.com has also reported on a number of other affiliate changes:

This is making my head hurt, and these aren’t even all the changes that were made.  I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but I just sort of stopped caring about decent sentence structure there after awhile; there are only so many ways you can say “shift” or “move”.  One thing is clear to me, however: we gots some work to do on our “MiLB Teams” page.

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GAC! (Part 2)

A couple days ago, I noticed that Clinton’s Ian Gac was leading the Midwest League in batting average (still is), homeruns and runs batted in, and wondered out loud if any player has ever won that league’s Triple Crown.  An article on MiLB.com talked about Moe Hill, who was the first to take all three titles in 1974, and another source mentioned Joey Meyer in 1984, but I wasn’t sure if those were correct, or if they were the only two.

Seeking confirmation, I emailed the Midwest League offices.  Today, they sent the following reply:

Joseph “Joey” Meyer, Beloit, 1984, .320 Batting Average, 30 Home Runs, 102 Runs Batted In….is the last MWL player to win the Triple Crown.  Only one other, in 1974, Elmore “Moe” Hill, Wisconsin Rapids, .339 Batting Average, 32 Home Runs, 113 Runs Batted In.

I remember Meyer from his 1988 Topps Future Stars baseball card.  He was awesome in the minor league, crushing a ton of homeruns (120 in four seasons in A, AA, and AAA), but only put up 18 in two major league seasons with the Brewers.  Hill’s career was odd – he clearly had the ability to advance to AA, AAA or the major leagues, but for some reason spent eight years playing in A ball for the Wisconsin Rapids Twins.

So there you have it: if Gac-Man manages to hang on and win the Triple Crown this year, he would be only the third player in Midwest League history to do so.

GAC!

Extra P put Ian Gac and his nine homeruns on the Z-Meter last week, but the pressure was apparently too much and Gac-Man immediately stopped hitting the ball out of the park. 

Until tonight.

Gac homered twice and drove in six runs, adding to his league-leading totals in both categories (11 and 32, respectively).  His 32 RBI are second-best in all of minor league baseball, trailing only Jesus Guzman of AA Midland.  The game story reports that his .378 batting average is second in the Midwest League, but the league web site lists him as number one in that category, so I don’t know who to believe (side note: anyone know the last player to win the Triple Crown in the Midwest League?  Or any minor league, for that matter?  I’m genuinely curious).

(Hey, I might’ve answered my own question.  Don’t when this was last updated, but we’ll go with Joey Meyer in 1984 as the unofficial answer, for now.)