Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Marching Along...

Ah the WBC continues rolling along!
Tonite I will am watching the last of the tourney games in Japan, though I will miss the enthusiastic crowds of Tokyo and from the first round in Fukuoka. Those folks know how to cheer their team on something wicked.

Speaking of wicked - Kenta Maeda is making those watching the world tournament aware of what Hiroshima Carp fans have known for a long time, that Maeda has an unhittable slider as well as a full repertoire of other pitches that are just as effective. WBC announcers ponder "if he could make it in the Majors" and I just laughed. Half the teams in MLB would gladly utilize Kenta in the top half of their rotation, and he would crack the starting five for all but a handful of teams. Yes, Kenta Maeda is wicked enough for MLB!

Tim Lincecum
Kenta Maeda

Team Japan finally opened up and hit the long ball against Cuba and look to head to San Francisco as a team that is showing the form that made them WBC champs in the last tourney.


SP Enny Romero
Welcome Enny Romero, sent to the Biscuits spring group in the first round of cuts. The lanky six foot three lefthander from Santo Domingo won five games for the Stone Crabs last year. Lost in his pitching stats is the fact that he is a .500 hitter lifetime, going two-for-four in 2008 at the no-A rookie level Dominican Summer league.

He tallied the century mark in strikeouts last year in 125 innings pitched, and has worked his way up the ladder for the Rays, spending all summer tossing for A+ Charlotte as a 21 year old. He is a 40 man roster member and played in the 2012 Futures Game. A workhorse lefty, Enny has over 100 innings pitched the past two seasons while making 51 starts for Bowling Green and Charlotte. He should be a nice top of the rotation starter for the Biscuits.


Saw Henry Wrigley wearing #73 for the Rockies in a spring game yesterday. He was up to his usual tricks, picking throws out of the dirt at first base and knocking base hits to the opposite field. He is pretty deep on the Colorado depth chart so he will most likely start the year at triple-A, barring a trade to the Yankees. Still its nice to see Henry get some national tv face time!

Bad Henry getting used to wearing purple




probable Dothan site of Giants-Cubs game
Yesterday I mentioned the Giants vs Cubs in Dothan in 1936, Charlie Grimm references this game but his reference isnt based on what happens between the chalk lines. In his reference to that trip he is in error, he recalls being there to play the Red Sox. In fact it was the Giants, who would go on to lose the World Series that year. But we can forgive Jolly Cholly for mixing up the details of the game, its an off field memory he took away from the the wiregrass matchup. And not only is it not of the game, its not even about any of the players!

1936 Giants were World Series Bound

At that time, a batch of media types traveled with the team, including this spring tour which Grimm calls one of the highest mileage road trips known during the era of train rides. The route from Catalina to Chicago was filled with exhibition games all the way to Pensacola and northwards to the Windy City. Included on this long distance barnstorm were games in Alabama, in both Selma and Dothan. The records show an overnight stay in Montgomery for the Cubs, but no game was on the schedule the day they were here. Probably a stop at the casino and a chance for a good meal at the Exchange Hotel.

Jolly Cholly Grimm was skipper three times but only fired once!

In his book, "Baseball I Love You", Charlie recalled an incident at the Dothan hotel in which the team stayed, late in the evening screaming was heard from the room of one of writers who were traveling with the team.

Ed Burns, dignified sportswriter
Upon investigating, Cubs beat writer Ed Burns discovered fellow writer Jimmy Corcoran pinned underneath an overturned wardrobe/armoire. It is supposed that Corcoran was hiding his bottle of hooch in the wardrobe after a night out when he was upended. Burns helped the trapped Corcoran out from under the furniture, telling him "this wouldnt have happened if you were looking for a Gideon bible".

Jimmy "The Cork" Corcoran
This is the same Jimmy Corcoran who, during spring training on Catalina Island, was one of many newspapermen who took offense to the new media covering the sport.  At that time it was radio as the new method of getting fans their baseball fix. Of course, any new media upsets the guys who have been doing it old school, guys like Corcoran and Burns were offended that the radio reporter would set up at the main press table behind home plate. After the game they took their complaints to the bar and commiserated on their collective woes when Jimmy the Cork felt he had enough liquid courage to take a swing at one of the offending upstart radio men. When the intended target stepped back from the drunken punch delivered by the diminutive 140lb writer, the roundhouse right landed in the midsection of big Ed Burns!

Big Ed and Jimmy the Cork on a night out with the boys.

The intended target? From Des Moines radio station WHO, young radio man Ronald Reagan was the one who was able to dodge the drunken swipe! Grimm says a few days later the young Reagan stated he was leaving spring camp for an audition in Hollywood and was never seen again. Those wacky sportswriters.
Ronny knew how to dodge a punch or two


With spring training coming along, the talk is all about prospects. Well we have seen some prospects come thru, some bona fide some not. Here is a vid of one of this years touted MLB Prospects for 2013, Danny Hultzen of Seattle picking off a Biscuit who has thoughts of a stolen base last summer.

Next up from the archives, since we dont have game footage or pics to offer yet, is this cool bit of Montgomery Biscuits history!

Thats Jim Tocco and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler battling the CSX trains at Riverwalk Stadium in 2006. Once that train starts, you might as well hang it up, you cant hear yourself think much less anyone talking near you! A fine job they did though, they were a great team in the broadcast booth during that championship season.

Print ad from Dothan news 1936

Gabby Martinez and Mike Prochaska ca 2007

1 comment:

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler said...

Excellent post and a fine bit of nostalgia, too!

Sending best regards,