Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk Tides’

Baseball and Pancakes – What More Could a Fan Want?

Any time I read about some intrepid soul venturing out to see as many baseball games as possible, I get a little bit jealous. But when I read about an RV that will be hitting 60+ minor-league ballparks across the United States, and also chowing on pancakes, I just have to write about it.

It seems that the International House of Pancakes will be celebrating a 50th anniversary soon. To share the wealth, they’ve loaded up that beautiful machine you see above, and they’ll be driving cross-country bringing breakfast joy to the bus leagues. They’ll be driving over 8,000 miles before it’s all said and done, and in this time of spiraling gas prices, that’s true dedication.

The Pancake Express (my choice of name) will hand out T-shirts, sponsor games, and enter fans in a sweepstakes as part of the celebration of their half-century of “breakfast any time”. As a guy who has a five-year-old with a pancake jones, I’m most excited about the 2-for-1 coupons they’ll be offering, as well as the nine new pancake flavors. In addition, the “Most Valuable Pancake” mascot will be along for the ride, so I’m really, really hoping they make it to Montgomery, AL so the Pancake can meet the Biscuit.

We do know the first few stops of the tour. Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers) fans will get the first taste:

May 31/June 1 – Mobile BayBears @ Jacksonville Suns (7:05/3:05pm). The Suns are giving away emergency lamps on Saturday and having wooden bat day for the first 1,500 kids through the gates on Sunday.

June 2 – Rome Braves @ Charleston RiverDogs 7:05pm.

June 5/6 – Pawtucket Red Sox @ Charlotte Knights (both 7:15 starts). Might Justin Masterson pitch? Sweeter than syrup!

June 7/8 – Charlotte Knights @ Durham Bulls (7:05/5:05). The Knights are going to be eating a LOT of pancakes, if I’m any judge.

June 12-14 – Charlotte Knights @ Norfolk Tides (Thursday and Friday 7:15 starts) and Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Saturday 7:15). See what I mean about the Knights? It’s like they’re following the Pancake Express on purpose.

June 16/17 – Charlotte Knights @ Richmond Braves (7pm on Monday, double-header starting at 1pm on Tuesday). Getting mighty greedy, Knights. That’s all I can say.

Starting Monday, IHOP will be running a sweepstakes on their website, and putting up photos and tracking the progress of the Pancake Express. Check back to see when they’ll be in your neighborhood.

Oh, and please pass the syrup?

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Light A Candle Tonight, Twins Fans

In just a few hours, one of the great questions of the 2008 baseball season could be answered:

Is Francisco Liriano ready to pitch at the major league level again?

Liriano missed the end of 2006 and all of 2007 with an elbow injury that would eventually require Tommy John surgery.  He made his return to competitive action with Class A Fort Myers last week and will move up two levels tonight, making the start for AAA Rochester against the Norfolk Tides.  According to the Star Tribune, a successful outing could land the former phenom and (hopeful) future ace back in Minnesota in time for next Sunday’s game against Kansas City.

If anyone is in Norfolk tonight and able to catch the game, feel free to send along any thoughts or observations.  Liriano may just be passing through on his way to bigger and better things, but for now, he is still very much a Bus Leaguer.

(HT: The Big Lead)

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 4/4/2008

We get ready for the weekend by shifting our focus to AAA ball. By next week we should have enough games played to start tracking some of the top prospects as they advance through the ranks, but for now, we’ll just whet your appetite.

Here’s your triple-A news:

Ten Names to Know in the International League, headlined by likely suspects Jay Bruce, Evan Longoria, and Homer Bailey. The IL is celebrating its 125th anniversary, so if you live close enough to hit a game at one of these top Bus League teams, you should plan a trip and soak up the history.

A former PawSox (Red Sox) GM talks about his experiences with well-known Boston players like Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon.

The Braves think they can actually somehow make money by moving the current Richmond Braves to an Atlanta suburb. Fuzzy math (third story down, after minor-league hockey, etc.)

Indianapolis is the home of the Indianapolis Indians (Pirates). This guy seems to like them OK, but would really prefer an MLB franchise, thank you very much. But they’ve been there since 1902!

While this blog post could use a few more paragraph breaks, it is still an interesting recap of how the Norfolk Tides came to sever their 38-year relationship with the New York Mets and switch to the geographically nearer Baltimore Orioles. As a side note, Harbor Park and Camden are also very similar in their well-appointed throwback architecture, courtesy of HOK Architects.

That’s Triple-A news for this week. Look forward to a more robust offering next week after a few games are in the books.

Reliving the Summer of Baseball

Last summer I took my son to nearly every minor league ballpark in our home state of Virginia. I called it “The Summer of Baseball”, and published some of my photos on this blog. I ended up writing an article about it for Camperways magazine, which runs destination features for fans of RV travel. At the time we had seven teams active in the area.

Since then, the Atlanta Braves have announced that they will be moving their AAA affiliate from Richmond to the Atlanta suburbs, and the Rookie level Pulaski facility, which had its Blue Jays affiliation yanked before I could visit, is now back in the game as the lowest level of the Mariners organization.

The article was published tabloid-style, so I had trouble scanning single pages – hope you can stand to read the giant .jpgs I made instead.

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I love going to games, and I love to write about it, but I don’t know jack about making readable internet files.