Baseball as it was Intended
As we were sitting at Bench Coach Gary VanTol’s sister-in-law’s ranch late this afternoon, the Boise Hawks staff came up with the conclusion that afternoon games on Sunday’s are the best thing in the world – especially after the squad put together their best all-around game of the 2010 season, defeating the Eugene Emeralds, 5-1 – moving within a half-game of first-place Tri-City in the East Division.
Afternoon games are something that Hawks skipper, Jody Davis, is accustomed to, as he was a member of the Cubs during the years prior to lights being installed at Wrigley Field. He recalled a conversation with a current Boise Hawk, who could not believe that there weren’t lights at the Friendly Confines. He also told the story of the very first night game at Wrigley in August of 1988 – he was catching Rick Sutcliffe and the first batter for the Phillies hit a home run. However, the rains came in the fourth inning and the highlight of the night (the game was eventually rained out) was he, a young Greg Maddux, and Les Lancaster used the infield tarp as a slip-and-slide for the fans.
THE LONG WALK: The lead picture above shows a look at PK Park from inside Autzen Stadium (trying to get out of a locked football venue is not an easy thing to do) – giving you an idea of the distance the Hawks clubhouse is. Where I snapped the first picture, turn around 180 degrees, climb to the top of the bleachers, and you get the photo to the right…and in the tunnel at the far end zone (under the goal post) is where you’ll find the clubhouse…a very long and arduous walk for a baseball team – trekking to the yard before batting practice, going back to change for the game, back to the park for the game, then back after the contest. It makes for a long night (especially for trainer A.J. Larson – who has to haul his training gear to-and-from the park.
VIDEO OF THE RACE: Milwaukee races Sausages, Vancouver races Sushi, Boise races potatoes, and here in Eugene, they race Pasties – the meat filled pastries that are commonplace in the upper-Midwest. Watch the video of Sunday’s dash from PK Park.
THROWN IN THE FIRE: The three newest Hawks, Eric Jokisch (pronounced Yo-kish), Aaron Kurcz, and Pierre LePage, arrived from Mesa around 12:15 yesterday afternoon and got to PK Park about an hour before game time. So what does Jody Davis do – inserts LePage to run in the eighth inning, scoring the Hawks fifth run on a Richard Jones single, then tosses Kurcz in from the bullpen in the ninth, striking out two batters to close out the victory. For Jokisch, he will make his debut on Monday, coming out of the pen in relief of starter, John Mincone.
PROMOTIONS: Before they were made official, Cubs Vice President of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita was chatting with me in the press box, filling me in on roster moves in the organiztion – including former Hawks. Ty Wright (’06) was promoted from Tennessse to Iowa, Brett Jackson (’09) was promoted from Daytona to Tennessee, and Trey McNutt (’09) was promoted from Peoria to Daytona, while former Hawk, Bobby Wagner (’09) was released by the Cubs.
DOUBLE DUTY: For me yesterday, it wasn’t the easiest of days – as I was broadcasting the game for both teams. My colleague, Chris Fisher, was suffering from a bout of laryngitis and was unable to call the game for the station in Eugene – so I became the righty out of the bullpen for 95.3 FM. Instead of being a rah-rah Hawks fan as I normally am, I called the game right down the line – and got a lot of waves to the radio booth from fans in the ninth inning when I gave a hello to those listening in Eugene.
NO BP=WINS: Sunday marked the third time this season that the Hawks have not taken batting practice before the game. Their record in those three games? 3-0.