So, my original plan for today was to feature all of the head shots that were submitted to me over the past two weeks. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click HERE.
But here’s the thing: I’m going to be on vacation all next week, and I have more pressing stuff to write about. So the head shots can wait. In fact, keep sending ’em. In the meantime, here is enough random info to hold you over until my
demoralizing triumphant return on March 1.
In the interest of not prioritizing one item of information above the other, the following collection of newsworthy items is presented in reverse alphabetical order.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers — If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s ice cream. But if there’s one thing everyone can’t agree on, it’s what ice cream should be named. The Timber Rattlers will be serving a new flavor at the ballpark next season, described as “a mixture of caramel, peanuts, and chocolate”, and they are asking YOU to name it. Well, not YOU specifically. They are asking YOU as well as every other person who uses the internet. Vote HERE.
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The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is giving away The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2010 to the world baseball community. Developed in the spirit of the classic guides published by the Sporting News, Spalding, and Reach, The Emerald Guide
includes all pitching, hitting, and fielding statistics for every
player active in the major and minor leagues during 2009. Other
features include team histories, up-to-date team contact information
and schedules, an extensive Year in Review essay, team day-by-day game
logs, All-Star Game box score and play-by play, post-season box scores
and play-by-play, transactions, debuts, first-year player draft, and
major and minor league necrology.
Yes, that’s right — FREE. Download it HERE, and tell your friends.
Peoria Chiefs — Dudes are gonna like this. On March 27 and April 1, the Chiefs will host fantasy baseball drafts at O’Brien Field. Here’s the deal:
For just $35 per person, your league will get private use of one our
luxury suites, an all-you-can-eat buffet, draft beer, wireless internet
access and a ticket to the Chiefs May 27 game against the Cedar Rapids
The press release does not mention the greatest benefit of such an offer, which is that it enables men to escape from their curler-wearing, rolling pin-carrying wives. Yes, my knowledge of marriage is limited solely to Andy Capp cartoons.
Omaha Royals — The 2009-10 logo unveiling season is rapidly fading into a sepia-tinged memory, but before it goes gently into that good night I have this to report: The Omaha Royals have unveiled a patch which commemorates their final season at venerable Rosenblatt Stadium (full disclosure: I use the word “venerable” whenever I want to refer euphemistically to something that is old).
Northwest Arkansas Naturals — Remember all the way back in May when I wrote about how the reality show “18 Kids and Counting” would be visiting a Northwest Arkansas Naturals game? That’s okay, I don’t either.
Regardless, video of the episode is now available, and the Naturals must be very pleased with how they are portrayed. The mammoth Duggar family genuinely seemed to have a good time, and there were highlights aplenty (including the most chaotic first pitch since THIS). But my favorite moment occurred when one young Duggar said the following to mascot Strike:
“Take off your head, and let me see your smaller head.”
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Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs — You mean to tell me that the team is now offering free downloadable ring tones? Why yes. Yes I do.
Lexington Legends — Another fantasy fulfilled: a video of a video featuring a mustachioed mascot doing “the John Wall Dance.”
Iowa Cubs — The I-Cubs are now offering a “Promotion Pass” to season ticket holders, entitling them to every giveaway item on the 2010 schedule. Those who purchase said pass will never again be thwarted by age restrictions and limited quantities, those twin demons of the season ticket holder existence.
Gwinnett Braves — As you may have heard, the G-Braves announced Wednesday that Gwinnett Stadium will henceforth be known as Coolray Field. I am allegedly a business reporter, but my most pressing concern has nothing to do with the conditions of the team’s agreement with the excellently-named heating and cooling company. All I want to know is how Chopper the mascot spent his time leading up to the announcement. And thanks to this, I do:
Durham Bulls — All active duty military personnel receive FREE admission to every 2010 Bulls game.
That’s the sort of deal that speaks for itself.
As for me, I’m done speaking for myself. I’ll be off the internet until next month, but in the interim feel free to bombard my inbox with messages regarding matters consequential and otherwise. And, just like Tupac, new material will continue to emerge even in my absence. Four of my articles will appear on MiLB.com next week, so please remain vigilant.
Update — Here are five more worthy inclusions, once again listed in reverse alphabetical order. Why not, right? It’s not like I have anything better to do on a Friday night in NYC. This town is boring. But these towns are not:
Syracuse Chiefs — Hey hey, my my. Logo news will never die. The Chiefs have unveiled a new home uniform for 2010:
Read all about it HERE.
Gwinnett Braves (again): Maybe it’s the presence of new GM North Johnson, or maybe it’s because the team has some confidence after successfully navigating its 2009 inaugural season, or maybe it’s a combination of the two. Either way, things are getting downright goofy down there in Gwinnett County. Goofy and paranoid, in this case, which is generally a very entertaining combination.
A zebra got loose in downtown Atlanta, see, and that can apparently only mean one thing: said Zebra was attempting to travel to a nearby Triple-A team in order to steal the job of a groundhog mascot. I’ll let the team explain things from here on in. CLICK THIS.
Daytona Cubs — In what just might be the most impressive feat of endurance ever accomplished by a Minor League gm, Daytona’s Brady Ballard ran over 40(!) miles during the course of a one-man, 12-hour charity run. More information can be found HERE, and a local news report on Ballard’s run can be seen HERE.
Charleston RiverDogs — Well, here’s something you don’t see any day: bidding for the opportunity to appear in an advertisement for a Minor League Baseball team.
I like the thinking here. Why pay someone to star in a commercial when there are people out there who will pay you? Along those lines, please send me $175 if you would like to see your writing featured on Ben’s Biz Blog.
Altoona Curve — The Curve were among many teams to be buried in snow earlier this month, and they decided to use that as the motivation for a ticket deal. In order to promote said deal, they made a video that is fast-paced, funny, and more than a bit ridiculous:
I much prefer this alternate ending, in which a gruesome and unprovoked mascot attack is juxtaposed with the Benny Hill theme song:
And speaking of Benny Hill — that’s me! And I’m out of here!
For real this time.
Greetings from the barren, windswept prairie that is mid-November in Minor League Baseball. It’s not that bad out here, in all honesty. There’s an invigorating chill in the air, plenty of room to roam, and all it takes to ward off predatory mammals is a well-aimed hatchet toss.
Therefore, all that’s left for me to do is to collect and then disseminate the few scraps of information that are blowing about. I shall commence with this immediately:
— I’ve never seen the reality show “Jon and Kate Plus 8”, but am nonetheless aware that it is a pop-cultural phenomenon for some reason. In tonight’s episode, which airs at 9 on TLC, Jon takes the kids to a Reading Phillies game. This marks the second time this year that a reality show dealing with oversized broods has filmed on location at a Double-A baseball game. Do I spot a trend?
— And speaking of television…Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians, was featured on Sunday Night Football yesterday evening. Kudos to the Indy grounds crew for some thoughtful outfield logo placement:
Finally, my plea on Twitter and Facebook this morning for last-minute blog material came up empty…except for this: Reader Lee McEacharn was kind enough to send me a picture of San Jose Giants mascot Gigante throwing out the first pitch at a game in August in honor of his birthday. What I like about this photo is that it is mysterious and timeless, imbuing the normally straightforward subject of mascot birthdays with an air of shadowy intrigue.
Did this actually take place, or was it all a dream?
Minor League Baseball has always been “real”, simply due to the fact that it exists on our level of spatial and temporal awareness. But this week it will somehow become more “real”, due to the fact that not one but TWO reality shows will be visiting Minor League Ballparks.
First up is the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. On Tuesday, this Texas League franchise (which is not located in Texas — discuss) will host the Duggars clan. This gigantic family stars in the TLC program “18 Kids and Counting“. Headed by recidivist baby-makers Jim Bob and Michelle, the Duggars have thus far brought a dozen and a half children into the world. As an added bonus, all of their names start with the letter “J”.
From the Naturals’ press release:
Jim Bob, Michelle, and their 18 children will throw first pitches before the game, and their actions all night will be filmed by the TLC camera crews who will be on-site shooting an episode of the series. The Duggars will participate in the Naturals’ on-field activities during the game in which they will show the television audience their allegiance to the region’s only professional sports franchise.
The other Minor League team set to recieve some nationwide basic cable exposure is the Charleston RiverDogs. The show “Man Vs. Food” will make a pit stop at Joseph P. Riley Ballpark on Tuesday, so that host Adam Richman can take on an item that has been featured on this blog several times in the past: The homewrecker hot dog.
Can just one man make it through this half-pound monstrosity? Perhaps, but it will be interesting to see which toppings Richman elects to adorn his dog with. 25 are currently available, including pimento cheese, okra, jalapeno, and cole slaw.
At any rate, I am a little disturbed by the fact that this show is called “Man vs. Food.” Shouldn’t there be a symbotic relationship between the two? Does this guy have antagonistic feelings toward water and oxygen as well?
Let me know! I don’t have cable.