June 2010

A Little Bit about Yakima

DSC02583.JPGClosing out the opening road trip of the 2010 season, we will say goodbye to Yakima until the final three games of the first half of the season.  It hasn’t been the typical trip to Central Washington – as usually, there is bountiful sunshine and hot temperatures (video of it raining outside right now), but on this trip, temperatures haven’t reached 75 degrees and it has rained each of the three days.

The staff at the Best Western Ahtanum Inn is as always, outstanding – which I always tell friends that they have the friendliest staff of the seven road hotels we stay at each summer.

DSC02580.JPGThis morning, I had the chance to head to the Yakima River Greenbelt (pictured left) – reminding me a ton of the Boise River Greenbelt back home.  What surprised me on the trail was every now and then, a golf cart would come by, asking if I had enough water.

Since it is getaway day, the team was forced into their late-checkout rooms at 11 a.m. – with the pitchers and treatment players heading to the yard at 1:15 p.m. 
DSC02584.JPGSkipper Jody Davis and pitching coach Jeff Fassero held a team meeting (pictured right) with the group to discuss the first two days results and to discuss the Yakima batters for tonight.

One of the new things that they have done to improve the fan experience in Yakima was the addition of a Gold Club (pictured left) for fans.  The all-inclusive club has a big screen TV and food and beverage available before the game – located adjacent to the Hawks dugout, which makes it interesting (view video of the Gold Club).

DSC02586.JPGThe bus-ride home tonight will be interesting – since we have already watched three of the five movies that A.J. Larsen brought (The Italian Job, Bad News Bears, and Last Samaurai).  Hopefully we get to Boise before the sun comes up.

Raise the “W” Flag, Hawks Win

Thumbnail image for martin2.jpgBoy does 24 hours change things for the Boise Hawks – instead of committing four errors in a loss to Yakima, the squad took advantage of a pair of untimely errors by the Bears first baseman Yazy Arbelo to plate five unearned runs – leading to a 5-3 victory.

Jesus Morelli had two hits, including a first inning double.  Brandon May added two more hits – including an RBI single and a long single off the right field wall (nearly a homer).

On the mound, Marcus Hatley was sharp, getting five ground ball outs and a punch out in the seven men he faced.  Juan Serrano got the win, allowing two runs in four innings.  Andres Quezada worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh, while Alvaro Sosa and Corey Martin tossed scoreless frames to close out Yakima.

Thumbnail image for ktik1350.gifRADIO NOTES: Tomorrow’s rubber game of the series may or may not be heard in its entirety in the Treasure Valley.  Flagship station KTIK will be carrying ESPN coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament and if it is a close battle in the waning holes, they will stay with golf coverage, turning it over to the Hawks in progress (probably around the 2nd or 3rd inning)…if golf is a blowout, baseball will be on around 6:20 p.m. (MT)

CLUBHOUSE NOTES: Following the game, the team split up for the postgame meal, half of the team heading to Applebee’s to take advantage of the half-price appetizers for their late Happy Hour, while half snuck into the Outback Steakhouse adjacent to the hotel with minutes to spare.

WEATHER:  Yakima nearly had their second rain out in the last eight years today, as nearly two inches of rain fell in the area between Midnight at 4 p.m.  Luckily, the grounds crew did a fabulous job getting the surface ready for play – which limited the teams from taking batting practice on the field…the other rain out was in 2005 – not really a rain out, as the field was flooded from a clogged drain when the Hawks were in town, forcing the postponement despite a 100 degree day.

Can we get a do-over? Hawks fall to Yakima

OntheRoad.jpgAfter two workouts at Memorial Stadium and a six-hour bus ride to Yakima, the 2010 version of the Boise Hawks made their 2010 Northwest League debut and it was one they’d most likely forget – dropping a 7-0 decision to the Yakima Bears at County Stadium.

It was a lethargic outing for the Hawks – committing four errors – with a couple other calls that might have been ruled errors, while mustering just five singles, with no runner reaching third base.

All the while, former Duke Blue Devil Andrew Wolcott, who began 2010 in the Advanced-A California League, rolled through seven and two-thirds innings of shutout ball – handing the Hawks their fourth season opening loss in five years.

Darvill_BAM.jpgHAWK TALK – The Hawks had the lead-off man aboard in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but hit into a trio of rally-killing double plays…the squad also saw the umpire crew overturn an out call in the second inning on a come-backer to starter John Mincone, leading to a Yakima run…only Wes Darvill managed a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 in his Northwest League debut…Marcos Perez, Chris Huseby, and Rogelino Carmona each logged a scoreless inning of relief.

ON THE ROAD: On the trip back to the hotel, rain began to fall in the Yakima Valley – which isn’t a great thing for both the Hawks and Bears, as County Stadium is one of the few NWL facilities without an infield tarp…skipper Jody Davis was kidding around trainer A.J. Larson after the game, trying to break a long slump – as the squad has yet to win a road game (going 0-for on the road in extended spring training)

TOMORROW: Marcus Hatley will return to the mound for the first time since being sidelined last season due to Tommy John Surgery…he will pitch two innings, with Juan Serrano making his U.S. debut in the piggy-back start.

Top-10 Northwest League Big Leaguers of the Decade

Lincecum.jpgIn the final installment of our Best of the Decade series, we polled radio broadcasters, media relations directors, and front office staff for each of the eight Northwest League clubs – voting on the Top-10 Northwest League players from 2000-09 that have gone on to big Major League careers. (Click here:
Top-10NWL.pdf for the complete list)

Running away with the top spot was San Francisco Giants ace, Tim Lincecum, who pitched for Salem-Keizer in 2006.  Also big names on the list include the Mariners Felix Hernandez and the Dodgers Andre Either.  Only one former Boise Hawk was in the Top-10, D-Backs hurler, Dontrelle Willis, at No. 9.

Felix.jpgOthers that received votes in the poll, but were outside the Top-10 included Mark Reynolds (Yakima 2004), Nelson Cruz (Vancouver 2002), Adam Jones (Everett 2003), Brad Hawpe (Portland 2000), Francisco Liriano (Salem-Keizer 2005), Kurt Suzuki (Vancouver 2004), Andrew Bailey (Vancouver 2007), Garrett Atkins (Portland 2000), and Nick Swisher (Vancouver 2002).


Cubs Draft – Through Day 3 (Rounds 1-50)


The Muleriders?

 That has to be one of the more unique collegiate mascots in all of the NCAA.  But it was the home of Chicago Cubs first-round draft pick, Hayden Simpson – the right-hander that Tim Wilken shocked the baseball world by picking with the 16th-overall pick.  A 13-1 overall record at the Division II school is solid, but will it transfer over to the Northwest League – where he’ll probably see his first tutorial this summer as part of piggyback starts (since he threw 99 innings in college this spring).

MLB.JPGIt was a pitcher heavy draft, as 31 of the 50 selections were pitchers – with the squad not selecting a true third-baseman (guessing the hot corner will be manned by someone from Extended Spring Training).  Many of the position players were also high-schoolers – who won’t see Boise till the final week of the season, so for those in EST, a ticket out of Mesa seems inevitable.  One interesting name was Benito Santiago Jr. – son of former Padres Rookie of the Year, Benito Santiago.

Click Here (
2010DraftRoster.pdf) for the Roster of Cubs Selections through Round 50.

Click Here (
2010DraftBios.pdf) for Bios of Cubs Selections through Round 50.

Cashner to the Bigs, other notes

150.jpgA couple of random notes before the hustle and bustle of the next two weeks hit (Rule 4 Draft is Monday-Wednesday, Hawks Roster finalized in a week, season opens June 18)…

Big news was out of Chicago on May 31, as the first former Hawk from the 2008 season was promoted to the Big Leagues.  Andrew Cashner was called up from AAA Iowa after a stellar start to the 2010 season to fill the void of the struggling John Grabow in the bullpen.  In three appearances with the big club (one in Pittsburgh and two in Houston), Cashner has thrown 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.  Also back in the big leagues is Robb Quinlan with the Angels, called up after Kendry Morales broke his leg in a celebration following a walk-off homer against the Mariners.

Other news – Extended Spring Training has come to a close, with the Cubs going 19-27-8 in 54 games against fellow Cactus League opponents.  We will have an recap of the final “unofficial” stats from Extended in the coming days.

Thumbnail image for FitchEntrance.jpgAlso from EST, my guess is that upwards of 20 players will be heading to Boise to help comprise the 2010 Hawks – depending on how quickly the Cubs sign their Rule 4 draft picks in the next week.  I will have a full roster of the 50 or so players still in Mesa in the next couple days as well.

Things to think about – the radio broadcast for 2010 is starting to take shape, with a couple new ideas.  Hawk Talk (pregame show title for two years) has been renamed HawksTown Tonight (conceived from the new branding initiative), and the postgame show has been tabbed the Coors Extra Innings Report.  Also, our first interviews for our Wednesday GoCubsGo segment have been recorded – as have interviews with our major league correspondents.

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from a woman in BASEBALL . . .

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