May 2010

Random thoughts

1st pitch home runs stink! Especially when you haven’t seen the mound in 7 days, because our staff has been dealing. Lost last night 3-2 in Syracuse. We face Strasburg Monday.

Just finished reading The Bullpen
Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran
by Dirk Hayhurst. Great book and gives a very true and detailed behind the scenes look at minor league ball. 

Ruddy Lugo is back in the rotation. He took a line drive off his head 3 weeks ago.

Shoe of the Day worn to the field: Nike Air Max Piano

Who has ever gotten hurt in a water balloon fight?

So the long road trip started up in Norfolk, Virgina. Nothing like a 7am flight after Cinco de Mayo and play the same day. Four days in Norfolk went by fairly quickly. We went 1-3 there; one of the games being a walk off homer in extra innings.

Off to Durham for a four game stand. We opened up in Durham for a very special and historic game at the original Durham Bulls field. Many fans packed the stands that only held about 200 and the rest made makeshift seats on the grass around the park. Due to the lack of lights, pick up trucks with large lighting cranes attached were brought in to help with the lighting. We got to wear throwback jerseys which were later auctioned off to support local charities. During the game our dugout along with the bullpen mocked Wool E Bully by tossing seeds and water on him. Mind you this is normal mascot torture from the opposing team. He must have not taken it well as word around Durham spread that he wanted to retaliate. The Mudhens wanted to prepare for it so we “found” water balloons to be thrown at Wool E Bully during his entrance. Things didn’t go all as planned. The thrown balloons worked and the crowd loved it. Unfortunately when the mascot tried to pick one up and fire it back at us, he slipped and injured himself. We are hoping that we can get the footage on ESPN’s “Not Top Ten”. There is an article from the game in the link below.

This past week was hectic as we arrived back in T-town for the Crystal Bowersox melee.  She is one of the finalists for American Idol. There were parades, special appearances and of course the first pitch and national anthem at our field. So many fans came out in support which was pretty fun to see at Fifth Third Field. Along with that we had two student field trip days at the park. Nothing beats two 10:30am games in between a night game and hearing Miley Cyrus being sung at one million decibels. All in all it actually was a good time, because we got to interact with the kids and they are great fans.

Sorry for the delay in blogging. Computer was down for a couple days. Please feel free to comment or ask me anything to write about in upcoming blogs.

Pimping on the baseball field

It may be a key strikeout, double play, or the token long ball that make players show a little extra swag on the field. From a fist pump, to a bat flip, to trash talking. In the heat of the moment emotions take over some players, yet some are stoic and you never know what to expect from them.

The talk in the outfield during BP this week was about the “right” to pimp a home run. From my experiences when I give them up I tend to admire them with the hitter because of the poor pitch I made (or I watch to hope the balls happens to hit a bird or the top of the wall to stay in play). Many managers and players use the line “if your going to give them up, make them be no doubters”. I know many pitchers take offense to batters “showing them up” by standing in the box and watching their long ball. Some just turn the other cheek and get back to work on the next hitter. Some will even make it a scene by drilling or moving the hitter their next at bat. If a nine hole hitter hits his first home run in three seasons, he shouldn’t stay in the box and gaze at it. If he does I’m sure someone from our dugout will chirp at him to start running. The worst part other than given up the dinger is a certain group of umpires that don’t give you a new ball until the hitter crosses home plate. Not too sure what the reasoning is behind that.

Pitchers are a different breed out there. We work pitch by pitch to try to get hitters out. Changing eye levels, moving feet, and throwing the nastiest stuff in our arsenal. We have our own island that is raised to stand on above everyone else on the field. Pitchers show emotions by starring down hitters they strike out. Others have a Jose Lima bravado and dance or bow their chest in big game situations. We are all different, that is why we stretch separately from the position players and have a bullpen to clown around with for three hours a day.

We have two more games versus Charlotte at home then a well deserved day off for the team. Go Hens!