September 2007

Time keeps on ticking

From our unofficial ATM timekeeper, Phil  Lowry:

The 2007 season ended with the following minor league  totals:

Games lasting five or more hours: total of 184 – longest 8:25 –  McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI – 4/18 and 6/23/1981 – International League –  Pawtucket Paw Sox 3 Rochester Red Wings 2 in 33 innings, suspended after 8:07  and 32 innings – 1740 fans, 19 fans at suspension ? suspended 4:07 AM. Seven in  2007 – longest in Mexico 6:29 ? Estadio Torreon, Torreon, Mexico ? 7/22/2007 ?  Mexican League ? Potros de Tijuana 8 Vaqueros de Laguna 5 in 16 innings ? 4900  fans
- finished 1:29 AM; longest in USA 5:31 ? John O?Donnell Stadium, Davenport, Iowa ? 7/23/2007 ? Midwest League ? Lansing Lugnuts 11 Swing of the  Quad Cities 10 in 16 innings ? 5355 fans – finished 12:41 AM.

Games lasting 20 or more innings: total of 200 – longest 33 innings –  McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI (see above). Only one in 2007 – 20 innings ?  Legends Field, Tampa ? 4/17/2007 ? Florida State League ? Clearwater Threshers 4 Tampa Yankees 1 in 5:14 ? 706 fans ? ended 12:14 AM.

Games ending after 1 AM: total of 127 – latest suspension 4:07 AM –  McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI (see above); latest Mexican completion 3:53 AM ?  Estadio Monterrey, Monterrey – 6/22/2006 ? Mexican League ? Laguna Vaqueros
(Cowboys) 6 Monterrey Sultanes (Sultans) 4 in 5:21 and 16 innings, rain delay  2:16 at start – 15,635 fans; only 100 fans at end; latest playoff completion  3:50 AM ? Greer Stadium, Nashville ? 9/7/1990 ? American Association ? Omaha Royals 8 Nashville Sounds 7 in 6:25 and 20 innings, rain delay 1:46 bottom 11th  ?
14,482 fans, 300 fans at end; latest regular season US completion 3:27 AM ? Athletic Stadium, Burlington, NC ? 6/24/1988 ? Appalachian League ? Bluefield  Orioles 3 Burlington Indians 2 in 8:15 and 27 innings ? 2204 fans, 84 fans at  end. Only one in 2007 – 1:29 AM ? Estadio Torreon, Torreon, Mexico (see above). HELP ME OUT HERE; I am probably missing some!

Phil Lowry

Lisa chimes in from the Carolina League

And this is why they actually PLAY the games.


During the regular season, Wilmington ace and Carolina League Pitcher of the Year Rowdy Hardy was 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA against the Frederick Keys. Last night they Keys patiently waited out the southpaw?s floaters and peppered him for 13 hits, the most he?d given up all season, in a 9-2 laugher, to head back
home to Maryland needing to win just one of two games to return to the league championships for the third straight year.


One guy who I particularly look forward to watching again in the next game or two at will be center fielder Kennard Jones, since if he stays this hot he could wear that crown of true hometown hero.
Jones, who will turn 26 this Saturday (so imagine the turnout he?ll have if Frederick ends up hosting that championship series opener that night!), graduated from High Point High School in Beltsville,
Md., just 45 minutes from Frederick (and 20 from Bowie, his likely ?08 destination if he resigns with the Os as a six-year free agent). Last night he came up a homer short of the cycle (well, no surprise since he only had four all season).

Over in the South, where I am also keeping a close eye so I can find out where I?m heading on Monday morning, Salem shocked Kinston in the opener, 10-3. Kinston, the defending champion, won both
halves of the South race which entitled them to home field advantage for all
three games.

Salem, meanwhile, apparently decided ?we don?t need no stinking home field advantage? and routed
Kinston ace and league ERA champion James Deters for five runs on eight hits in four innings.


I am truly journalistically neutral on my eventual championship finals
destination. I love Kinston: love the barbecue there (Buddy?s off Route 11 in
Grifton is my favorite); love the guys in the pressbox, from hilarious beat
writer David Hall to legendary scoreboard operator and more, Delmont Miller; and
always enjoy seeing my old friend Indians manager Mike Sarbaugh (whom I covered
when he played). And I love Salem: its huge, Major League caliber (or at least
Triple-A) pressbox; awesome GM John Katz, also an old friend; outstanding
Avalanche beat writer Katrina Waugh, with whom I covered the league way back
when but somehow I have aged and she still looks like she did then ***** her!);
the lovely environs of that locale
including Rain Mountain which has Weather Channel beat as a precipitation
predictor; and the fact that since I have to head west to the Eastern League
finals afterwards the drive, be it to Akron or Erie, will be three hours
shorter.


It?s win-win for me but obviously not for the teams involved.

Lots of offense in Erie

Jonathan Mayo chimes in, albeit late compared to his blogging colleagues:

Sorry for being tardy here folks. I was too busy chasing down a story about Jeremy Sowers being assigned to Akron to pitch Game 3 of this series. Look for that story soon on MiLB.com.

At any rate, it’s a beautiful evening here in Jerry Uht Park in Erie, Pa. for the start of the Eastern League Southern Division Series between the Akron Aeros and Erie SeaWolves. This is a repeat appearance for Akron from last year — heck, almost every year — but Erie hasn’t been in the postseason since 2004.

Things didn’t start well for the Erie faithful who have waited three years for postseason action. The Aeros put up three runs in their first time at-bat, taking advantage of two Erie errors. But Akron gave the lead right up as the SeaWolves scored three of their own in the bottom of the inning. They took the lead in the second on a NIck McIntyre inside-the-park homer. After a couple of innings of relative quiet, Akron’s Ryan Goleski hit a two-run homer that I think is still in orbit to give the Aeros a 5-4 cushion and quiet a nice-sized crowd here.

Kevin C. feeling Bullish

Well, that was quick. Toledo grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first using small ball and the Bulls responded in their half of the first by hitting three
homers on the first eight pitches. Jon Weber hit the first pitch he saw onto the
berm over the fence in right center. Jason Pridie sent the sixth pitch of the
game high over the Blue Monster in right center before Justin Ruggiano hit the
eighth pitch in almost the exact same spot. What a start!

PLAYOFF FEVER

Lisa Winston, Kevin Czerwinski and Jonathan Mayo are all on location covering the beginning of the Minor League playoffs. They are all blogging on site about the respective series they are covering.

Kevin C. reports from Durham:

Well, it’s just after 6 p.m. and the gates opened here at Athletic Park.
I’m hearing rumblings about the crowd not being so great which is surprising
considering they had some record-setting attendance this year. My first
impressions of the park are certainly positive. It’s a nice venue that
celebrates the organization’s rich history. That’s nice to see. The big bull is
out hovering over the left-field scoreboard and there are reminders of the
team’s past everywhere, from the elevators to the gift shop and the concourse.
This franchise should thank Kevin Costner every year.
 
As for the baseball, it will be interesting to see if the Bulls can snap
the Toledo stranglehold on the International League. It should be a well-pitched
series. Whether the Mud Hens can respond at the plate is a big question without
Mike Hessman and Timo Perez in the lineup. Let the games begin.

Time keeps on ticking…

From our unofficial ATM timekeeper:

During the month of August, there were no minor  league marathons lasting 20 or more innings, but there was a marathon lasting five or more hours: 

5:07 ? Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona – 8/2/2007 ? Arizona Rookie League ? Royals 7 Cubs 6 in 16 innings, automatic sprinkler delay less than 0:01 bottom 15th ? 47 fans – finished at 12:09 AM in the early morning of 8/3.

Phil Lowry

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