Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, Midseries vs Wahoos... Again.


Oh yeah, hey, we are playing the Wahoos again.

I hope you just paged back and checked out the two previous blogs breaking down the Pensacola team, because its the same group of guys for the most part.... The seven foot tall closer, the short catcher, Travis at first who thinks its funny to give muddy baseballs away to kids instead of the actual game used one he caught to end the inning, the short guy, the pitcher with the cheesy headshot.
With Van Mil

Somehow this team owns us, and we have been sent to the cellar just a few short series into the second half.

We are known to be a "second half team" which means we are better when you take the best team in the division out of the running in the first half. There are only five teams in our division, one of them is us, one of them is the first half winner. Mathematically speaking we only have to get past three teams in the second half.

Should be easy, but somehow we have played under our ability all year. We have a .241 batting average, which is middle of the league but nearly twenty points higher than the Wahoos who also lurk in the league basement in terms of runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage and OPS.

They own us. We are seven wins and nine losses against them this year, but throw out the first series of the season and we are just three wins and seven losses against the BlueWahoos.

We dont seem to like home cooking in the second half, we are losing two games for every one we win at home after going just one game under .500 at home in the first half. Even Kevin Kiermaier, arguably our best player, can't wait to get back on the road - he is hitting a nice .310 on the year, but just .271 at Riverwalk. He has an incredible .347 batting average on the road and Billy Gardner Jr should consider having him put up in a hotel room during homestands.


MIDSEASON HOPE
Those numbers wont add up to wins in the second half, but there is still hope. Player promotions are on the horizon, there will be players moving up from Port Charlotte over the next few weeks. That is, unless the Big Club plays the record Skitz fans have heard so many times over "Keep them in Charlotte because the Stone Crabs are in the race" for the Florida State League.

Getting the callup has really changed
There will be players being brought up, guys like Drew Vettleson, speedy Willie Argo, equally speedy Taylor Motter, powerhitting Alejandro Segovia or hit machine shortstop Jake Hager could be in the starting lineup in quick order. Conversely, they could be included in a trade and never wear Biscuits garb.

As Tampa has its eyes set on division leading Boston going into the Allstar break, its entirely possible that we stand to lose way more than we get over the next few weeks.

MIDSEASON THREAT

Its easy to look at the roster and see who has value on the Biscuit bus - even a steady role player not labeled a prospect could be included as a trade chip to bring a major league rent-a-player to carry the Rays over the top. Just last year Derek Dietrich was lifted from Biscuit to Big Leaguer just months after such a trade sent him to the Marlins.

Guys like Seitzer, Glaesmann and Price could be regarded valuable enough for a team to want to include but not so vaunted that they couldnt be had in the right deal. Enny Romero will be on display in the Futures Game and could pitch his way into a new uniform before the end of the month.

QUINCY JONES AINT GONNA HELP YOU
Relievers? I dont think help is going to arrive.

The Bullpen in Durham has good guys and probly doesnt want to give them back. They rarely do.

The pen in Charlotte has its hands full with the FSL pennant race and the StoneCrabs starting pitchers habit of only pitching four innings a game.

The bullpen for the Skitz was bulletproof early, but the armor has fallen away over the past couple months and left the team with question marks at the end of games. Unless the Rays get a minor league reliever as a part of a bigger deal it seems we will just have to hope they can put the armor back on for the final weeks.

HISTORY LESSON I - 

THIS DAY IN MONTGOMERY BASEBALL HISTORY


JULY 11 1968
Montgomery Rebels Starting Pitcher Bob Reed defeats the Asheville Tourist 3-2, dropping Ashville into a tie with Birmingham, who win on a Rollie Fingers two hitter against Savannah in the first of a doubleheader sweep for the Bham A's.




HISTORY LESSON II
JOE PEPE

MONTGOMERY SHORTSTOP 1908-10



AFTER MONTGOMERY

1912 New Haven Murlins
Upon leaving the Climbers, 20 year old Joe Pepe signs with New Haven in 1911.

Born in New York state, he probably hopes to play close to home, only to be traded back to the south in a midseason trade with New Orleans.
1911 Murlins w/Joe Pepe defeat  Cleveland "Naps" w/ "Shoeless" Joe Jackson


After finishing that season for the Pelicans, he signs with the New Haven Murlins again in 1912 and spends the next six seasons on the east coast playing for New Haven and the Binghamton Bingoes. 


Your 1915 Binghamton Bingoes



TRADE BAIT

During his career after Montgomery, Pepe seems to have been a popular trade chip, being offered repeatedly over the years. Newspapers seem to have plenty of trade speculation involving Joe and where he was headed.
Sept 1914
1915 Rumors!
April 1917



1917 offer!

Pepe did not end up managing Missoula
Joe Pepe was dealt, though it was for cash and not to become manager of Missoula. He was sold to Toronto at the start of 1915.

Sold off in 1915
 Not without incident however, as newspaper reports indicate that League officials had to step in and make a ruling.



Joe Pepe, left, with Binghamton from 1917 newspaper article
 Joe Pepe had some of his best seasons at the plate with the Binghamton Bingoes, hitting .284 in 1915 - his first year with them. His average slipped a little in the following two years, .259 and .242 as the league pitchers figured him out.

stats page 1917
In 1918 Joe played at the highest level of his career. Moving west to California he signs to play for Los Angeles in the PCL, where he hits a career high 5 home runs.
Well, ya can't win em all
 
In 1919 Pepe headed to the Texas league, playing for a variety of teams over the next three seasons.

Joe Pepe, traded again

Another trade with issues!

In 1921 at the listed age of 30, Pepe played for Nashville of the Southern Association. With the Vols he hit a robust .268 and is credited with a pair of homers on the season, great for a deadball era infielder.

Pepe batting fifth for Nashville, 1921

NEXT TIME: JOE PEPE FINAL INSTALLMENT!

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