It has been three months since the Boise Hawks saw their season ended in the Northwest League East Division Championship Series in Tri-City – and it was a nice break away from the game for me, focusing on my everyday job as Sports Information Director at The College of Idaho.
But I have kept my mind on the comings and goings during that time – including the Northwest League title for the Vancouver Canadians – just a week after Boise took 4-of-5 from the Blue Jays affiliate to earn a berth in the postseason.
The Chicago Cubs have made a big splash, hiring Theo Epstein and Jared Hoyer to head the baseball operations – with the talk of going after high-profile free agents the big question mark (with Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes off the market)…though the addition of David DeJesus and Ian Stewart hopefully just a start.
In Boise, the talk of a new multi-purpose stadium is still on-going – but there is a couple other news and notes in that realm in the region. The Yakima Bears will not be the Vancouver Bears after all – as Clark County failed to pass an entertainment tax to help pay for a proposed new ball park…there is talk that the Bears (who will play in Yakima at least through 2012) may look across the river to both Hillsboro and Milwaukie, Ore., two municipalities that have expressed interest in professional baseball. An to our East, the Pioneer League has shifted – as the lone team in Wyoming, the Casper Ghosts, have moved to Grand Junction, Colo. – where an upgraded facility awaits.
On the former Hawk front – both Ryan Flaherty (’08) and Marwin Gonzalez (’08) have been selected at the Major League Level in the 2011 Rule V Draft – Flaherty by the Orioles and Gonzalez by the Red Sox (then traded to the Astros). Both players must remain on the MLB roster for the entire 2012 season or else they will be returned to the Cubs. Also today, Tyler Colvin (’06) was traded to the Colorado Rockies (along with former 2nd-r0und pick D.J. LeMahieu) – which should be an interesting new beginning for the outfielder.
On the minor league front – Lou Montanez (’04) has selected to become a free agent after splitting time between the Cubs and AAA Iowa, while Darin Downs (’04, ’05, ’06) has signed a free agent contract with the Detroit Tigers. Look for more roster moves throughout the next two months, leading up to Spring Training.
During that same time – I plan on giving fans an idea of who might be headed to Boise next year and a position by position update for the Cubs and their farm system. We’ll start with the catchers, through each of the infield positions, a look at the outfield, and then the pitchers – there are a lot of former Boise Hawks that will have an opportunity to move through the organization in 2012. However, it is unclear whether we’ll see the record number of nine players reach t0 the Big Leagues – Al Alburquerque, Tony Campana, Josh Harrison, Robinson Chirinos, Russ Canzler, Steve Clevenger, Brandon Guyer, Chris Carpenter, and Erik Hamren, during the 2011 season – with 90 former Hawks having played in MLB.
A final thought – we (the Hawks) have begun to utilitze Linkedin more and more – and have started a group called Boise Hawks Connection Marketing…we’d love for folks to join us to talk about the business side of things, just as we talk about the baseball side of things here.