It looks like my upcoming road trip is gonna be a good one, as I’ve gotten some very enthusiastic responses from the teams that I’ll be visiting. “On the Road” coverage will surely dominate this blog (and regularly appear on MiLB.com) throughout the upcoming week and into the next.
But before leaving, I need to solicit your opinion. The Fort Wayne TinCaps have asked me to take part in a “Bad Apple Dancer” dancing grounds crew routine, an invitation rarely extended to ballpark interlopers such as myself. I was even given the choice of what song to dance to, and I need your help in making that choice. The candidates:
Party in the USA
As always, your input is important to me. What song would best showcase my prodigious dancing skills? Let me know via blog comment, twitter, or email (deadline: Saturday at 12 ET).
And while in a deliberative mood, check out the latest in the Altoona Curve’s series of television parody videos. It’s “Curve and Order.”
The Curve video was part of their latest “What We’re Watching Wednesday” promo, followed the next day by the latest entry in their mascot stunt series: “The Stuffed Animal Hoop of Death.”
Unfortunately, I am not in possession of footage of this phenomenal feat. In the meantime, may I suggest that you check out my latest “Farm’s Almanac” feature article on MiLB.com? It’s on Chris Hatcher, vying to become the first-ever player to appear in the Major Leagues as both a full-time catcher and full-time pitcher.
Thanks for reading, and see you on the road!
There’s just a little more than a month to go before Opening Day. Truly, the clock is ticking on the offseason:
Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, “The Offseason” has officially come to an end. The Timber Rattlers unveiled the last episode of their weekly series today, and it’s a doozy. In addition to skillfully referencing a recent hit comedy (“Brat Tub Time Machine”), it explains mascot Fang’s strange anatomy AND features a character who happens to go by the name of “Ben Hill.” What an honor:
Over on MiLB.com, “Offseasoning” has come to an end. This was a bi-weekly column profiling players’ offseason jobs and activities, and the final installment features current free agent, Twitter champion, and all-around nice guy Michael Schlact.
I’m hoping to soon do a few articles in the “Offseasoning” mode, but this time featuring Spring Training. Let me know if you are aware of any interesting stories taking place in Minor League camp.
But while some things are coming to an end, others are just beginning (sunrise, sunset, etc etc). This is the case in Pawtucket, as the Red Sox have just unleashed a whodunit “Scavenger Hunt” onto the world.
Yes, the villain in this adventure is a gorilla wearing a Yankees hat. The Paw Sox will release clues each week that will guide fans toward a “Golden Soft Toss” ball redeemable for team-related prizes.
Earlier this week I noted some of the interesting giveaways the Altoona Curve have on tap for this season. There’s more where that came from, as yesterday the team released their Theme Night schedule. The highlight is “What We’re Watching Wednesdays,” explained as such in the press release.
The first “What We’re Watching Wednesday” will take place on May 4 vs. Akron and lampoon the now retired ABC phenomenon “LOST”. The team’s working title of “LOST – Locke & Locke” plays off of 2010 Curve pitcher Jeff Locke, who actually was a huge fan of the cult series, and the mysterious character John Locke from the show itself.
After attempting to decipher the mysteries of the island, the Curve will try their hand at crime solving on June 8 vs. Erie with “NCIS/CSI: Curve, Pa. – Law & Order SVU” night. Other “What We’re Watching Wednesdays” include “How I Met Your Mascot” on June 15 vs. New Britain, “Glenn’s Kitchen” (which will place Curve Manager of Concessions Glenn McComas in the role of Chef Gordon Ramsay) on June 29 vs. Reading, “Lawn Stars” (starring Head Groundskeeper Brian Soukup) on August 17 vs. New Hampshire and “Only in Curve, Pa. with Bill the Comic Guy” on August 24 vs. Richmond. That should “Git ‘R Done” for the WWWW theme series.
There might be remarkable parity in Major League Baseball these days, but no one tops the Minors when it comes to parody.
If you thought I was done recapping the 2010 season, then you thought sensibly.
You also thought wrong.
In reviewing the year that was, I came to the realization that my favorite videos of the season had the following three things in common: They featured players, they were short (under two minutes) and they were funny.
No team was better at combining the following three criteria than the Peoria Chiefs, who put out videos featuring boy bands, models, and karaoke superstars. But my personal favorite paid homage to the sweet sounds of Motown.
The Tulsa Drillers were able to provide great insight into the culture of the bullpen, whose denizens are free to focus on matters follicles.
In Everett, meanwhile, the players were more concerned with that which resided above the upper lip.
And since we’re talking about players, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the masterwork of Reading Phillies sluggers Tagg Bozied and Matt Rizzotti.
The Charlotte Stone Crabs also used players to great effect throughout the season, as part of their “This Is Stone Crabs Baseball” ad series. This one, starring Isaias Velazquez, was my favorite.
Velazquez has good reason to be upset, and as this video amply illustrates it is not wise to mess with Minor League Baseball players. Behold, the “aqua-palypse” that took place in Gwinnett County.
Of course, a good Minor League video doesn’t necessarily need to feature the players at all. Lakewood BlueClaws intern “D-Bo” made a name for himself this season with a series of videos designed to highlight upcoming promotions. Here’s a sample, with sight gags a-plenty:
Amazingly, I’ve gotten this far without posting a parody video. Let’s rectify that immediately, by checking out the Binghamton Mets unique take on “Twilight”.
But nothing inspires parody more than early ’90s West Coast gangsta rap, as evidenced by these two works of art.
The above video was produced by the Peoria Chiefs, bringing this post full circle. But before closing this one out, I have just one more thing to announce:
Boy oh boy is it ever.
To the itinerary!
9/2 — Omaha Royals (their last-ever game in Rosenblatt Stadium!)
9/3 — Iowa Cubs
9/4 — Burlington Bees
9/5 — Quad Cities River Bandits
9/6 — Kane County Cougars
Feel free to get in touch with any content suggestions or inside tips regarding the teams/cities in question. And if you’ll be at any of these games, please say hello. As always, I’ll be the guy in the shirt.
And not only will tomorrow be the Omaha Royals’ last game at Rosenblatt Stadium — it may be their last home game as the “Omaha Royals.” In conjunction with their 2011 move to nearby Sarpy County, the organization is currently staging a “Name the Team” contest. Over 400 names have been suggested thus far, let’s go to the press release:
Names relating to the weather and to the military have been leading the way so far. Some of those suggestions include Storm, Hail, Heat, Blizzard, Twisters, Bombers and Commanders. Some fans have just tweaked the name to vary slightly from Royals, suggesting Monarchs and Kings. Other fans, no doubt sad to see the demise of Rosenblatt Stadium following the 2010 season, have submitted the team name Blatts for
I would like to suggest a return to the moniker employed by the city’s long-defunct Western Association franchise: the Omahogs.
And while I am excited to be visiting the Iowa Cubs on September 3, I’m disappointed that I will not be in attendance for September 5’s giveaway: the Player to Be Named Later Bobblehead.
Finally, one of the sport’s most unsung characters gets his due:
A parody video in which a G-Funk classic is repurposed as a celebration of a California League baseball team. It’s Bo’z N Da Hood with “Nothin But A Storm Thang”:
The lyrics to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” are incorporated into one of the verses in the above video, but for a truly unique interpretation check out this adorable dispatch from Lansing.
It’s a good thing that Ryan was in Lansing and not West Michigan, because he would probably have been terrified by first pitch honoree Ronald McDonald:
(photo credit: Emily Jones)
Sweet dreams! I’ll be sending out dispatches from the Midwest as soon as I can.
This article was important for one simple reason: I wrote it. It dealt with how Minor League Baseball teams are making videos and posting them on the internet, and included a variety of examples. Read it HERE, I beg of you.
And now, just as I had suspected, I am being deluged with emails from teams who were excluded from the article (it is my understanding that any number greater than one represents a “deluge”).
First, I heard from the constantly overachieving Quad Cities River Bandits, who recently debuted a weekly video series entitled “There Is No Offseason” (for those keeping track at home, this joins Fresno’s “I Hate the Offseason” and Omaha’s “My Offseason Life Is Average” in the pantheon of vides with “offseason” in the title). Here’s the debut episode:
Quad Cities’ web site features a well-organized “Bandits: On Demand” Multimedia page in which the discerning browser can peruse a wide variety of team videos. I suggest that you go to there, which is HERE.
But first I must share “I’m On A Berm”, the River Bandits’ parody of Lonely Island’s “I’m On A Boat.”
This is one of two “I’m On A Boat” parodies from the Minor Leagues, with the other being Hudson Valley’s “I’m On A Field”. Which do you like better?
The second half of today’s email deluge arrived courtesy of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, who have a weekly offseason video series of their own entitled “It’s Always Hoppin’ Fun With the Grasshoppers”. Witness:
Those seeking more Grasshoppers videos can end their quest simply by clicking HERE. And while I’m on the topic, I’d like to point out that canine mascots Miss Babe Ruth and Master Yogi Berra have been entered in Hallmark’s “Cutest Dog of the Season” contest. I’m voting for Yogi, simply because of THIS.
Hello from Brew’d Awakening coffee shop in Lowell, MA. My time in this
lovely city has been very enjoyable — Lowell has a very interesting
and deep-rooted history, and as a result has a ton of character.
There’s nothing cookie-cutter about this place.
I’ll be writing
much more about my time in Lowell upon my return to the comforting
embrace of New York City. For now, let me cherry-pick from my
list of “potential blog topics” in order to present you with a post of
I ran into Tri-City ValleyCats assistant
general manager Vic Christopher at yesterday’s Spinners game, which
reminds me that I’ve been meaning to give his blog a “shout-out”. So,
check it out HERE. I think this picture, lifted from the blog, says a
lot about the ValleyCats experience:
Ridiculousness comes in all forms in the Minor Leagues, textually as well as visually. Here’s an excerpt from a press release that was sent out last week by the Akron Aeros:
[T]hree ticketing associates in their first
seasons of professional baseball have gained a new perspective on
Mother Nature. Scott Campbell, Cody Demster and John Golz were all
recently flooded out of their apartment complex and are now taking up
temporary shelter in the Chapel Hill Towers assisted living center.
day after work, the three close friends noticed some water seeping in
through the bathroom at their apartment in Cuyahoga Falls. Returning
home from work at Canal Park the next evening, they discovered more
than an inch of water soaking through the bathroom and entering the
bedrooms. Forced to evacuate immediately from their apartment, the trio
of co-workers collected what they could and piled the rest in their
living room, as they received a promised of a new place to live for the
They would soon learn that their new home was an
assisted living center just two miles down the road from their previous
quarters. While their previous abode had featured two bedrooms and two
bathrooms in a comfortable apartment for three grown men, their new
residence is a makeshift break room for the center’s employees. A
sign stating “STOP We Have Guests for Three Days” gives the
associates a modicum of privacy, although their new quarters have just
one bedroom and no carpeting. The three all agreed that their new
residence represents a relatively quaint living style, although there
is â??no shortage of new people to meet, said Cody with a smile.
Yes, this was a PRESS RELEASE. Read the whole thing here. I love that this currently resides at the top of the team’s news page.
Finally, anybody who knows me is aware that nothing is more near and dear to my heart than parody. Here’s an impressive one put together by the Greenville Drive, touting a superior gameday transportation option (thanks to Eric Long for the heads-up).
I’ll be back with more dispatches from the road in the near future. Until then I am email@example.com