Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’

There’s A New Team In Richmond

After a one-year absence, minor league baseball has returned to Richmond, Virginia.

Officials announced earlier today that the Eastern League’s Connecticut Defenders franchise, which just lost in the championship round to the Akron Aeros, will move to Richmond in time for next season.  The team will play at The Diamond (the ballpark that contributed to Atlanta’s departure after the 2008 season) and its affiliation with the San Francisco Giants will continue at least through 2010.

Greg’s Connecticut Defenders Blog referred to the move last week as “the worst kept secret in minor league ball”; apparently the Eastern League has been looking to get this done for quite some time.  He’s holding out hope that the Defenders will be replaced by a short-season team as early as 2010 while accepting that the era of Double-A in Connecticut has come to an end.

If forced to find a silver lining to the situation, I guess this is it: the folks in Richmond are holding a contest to name their new team.  Entries must be submitted by September 30; one grand prize winner will receive a package that includes two season tickets for life, while four runners-up will two 2010 season passes.  I think I might suggest “Richmond Ashes,” for Richmond native Arthur Ashe, but there are a ton of potential names out there.

Now Batting For The San Francisco Giants…

Actually, “Now Batting For” might not be the best description for Buster Posey’s next few weeks with the Giants.  “Now Coming In As A Defensive Replacement And Occasionally Starting If Bengie Molina Can’t Play” is probably a more apt, though much wordier, option.

Posey was called up on Wednesday, capping off a remarkable season that started in the Class A Advanced California League and saw a promotion to Triple-A Fresno.  The 22-year-old catcher out of Florida State hit .325 with 18 homeruns and 80 RBI in 115 games between those two stops.

Chances are that Posey won’t get a lot of starts – the team didn’t even want to bring him up this season; Bengie Molina is still the top dog behind the plate, although he’s fighting an injury right now – but this will give him a chance to see the game from a major league dugout, which is important, I think.  Kinda like a young quarterback watching from the sidelines until he gets his bearings.

Giants fans are happy about the fact that Buster is coming to town.  And they’re doing a great job of keeping their expectations reasonable:

So welcome, Buster (nickname: Bustery Poseyey). No pressure. Just rescue the Giants’ offense while you’re up. Oh, and teach the rest of the team how to work the count. Also, dispel the myth that rookie catchers cause entire pitching staffs to implode. Also, I’d like a glass of iced tea.

That really doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

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

The Big Unit Wins Number 300

As soon as I went online to check Andrew McCutchen’s line from his major league debut this afternoon, I remembered that today was the day Randy Johnson attempted to cement his place as one of the greatest pitchers of all-time by joining the 300 Win Club (I write that sentence for those of you who hate wins as a statistic).

Johnson left after six innings in which he allowed just one unearned run on two hits, with two walks and two strikeouts thrown in for good measure.  Things would have been so much easier if rookie Jordan Zimmermann had just rolled over, like he was supposed to, and let the legend have his day.  The kid was up to the challenge, however, striking out seven and giving up two runs on three hits in six innings of his own.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals had a chance to deny Johnson his day, loading the bases with two outs as Adam Dunn strode mightily to the plate (I was terrified, and I was sitting at my in-laws dining room table following the Yahoo box score at the time).

But then, there was a thought in the back of my head: what if Dunn decides to let Johnson have this one and strikes out on purpose?  I have no idea why he, or anyone would do this, but I thought it anyway.  And what did Dunn do?  Strike out looking (I highly doubt it was on purpose – that’s not how the big guy rolls).  I’m psychic.  Who rung him up?  Londonderry, New Hampshire’s own Brian Wilson, representin’ for the Granite State, bay-bay!  To celebrate, he’s gonna drive downtown in the rain, 9:30 on a Tuesday night, just to check out late night record shop.

San Francisco scored three in the top of the ninth to give Wilson some breathing room.  He didn’t really need it, striking out the side for the most important save of his life.

So congratulations to Randy Johnson, who is now tied with Early Wynn and Lefty Grove on the all-time wins leaderboard.  Next up?  Recently dissed fellow lefty Tom Glavine.  Go get ‘im, O Mighty Mulleted One.

Update: I should probably watch the games before I start typing.  The MLB Network just showed the replay of Dunn’s at-bat, and let’s just say that the home plate umpire’s call on the final pitch (on a 3-2 count, no less) appeared to be, um, generous.  Dunn was halfway down the line before he realized he had struck out.