Monday, October 28, 2013

You Hit It - You Get It!

Its a rule from the sandlots and schoolyards across America and the world - You hit it, you get it. While the usual sandlot ground rules require the batter who struck it to dig among the bushes or climb the neighbors fence, braving dogs & grandmothers wrath in an effort to retrieve the game ball, my suggestion for baseball embraces the literal meaning of the statement.

Major league hitters should be given the baseball for every clean hit they tally. Why not? They earned it. They hit it, they should get it.

Andruw Jones table would have plenty more!
Those orbs are usually discarded, a safely hit ball means it hits the dirt or grass and thus is rendered useless due to blemish or scuff. Even when a baseball is hit safely and returned to the pitcher, he often doesn't want to use it, and asks for a new one.

The ball is then handed down to the minor leagues or used for batting practice. It wouldn't be too much of a loss to let those that actually fall for big league hits in games that matter get handed over to the players that knocked them around the yard.

It would give visual evidence to the statistically incredible, a measurement of the eyes means so much more than reading a number. When we see a flood, its WAY more impressive than when we read about it. How cool would it be to have a Hall of Fame exhibit with every baseball hit by Cal Ripken Jr?

He stole them, but didn't keep them
I got this idea from seeing the old photo of Maury Wills, sitting on a pile of bases. They were symbolic, representing his then-historic basestealing record. Of course as a young boy I asked and was told no, they didnt really give him the bases. I thought they should have.

Of course back then, the cost of equipment was prohibitive.

These days however, its quite different. In an age when MLB spends thousands on making sure every cup in the dugouts say "gatoraide" there is no excuse to be stingy with a ten dollar baseball. Many baseballs are wasted during the course of a game, most teams prepare more than seven dozen baseballs per game!

In fact, there is no complaint when a teams closer ends the game and walks away with the ball. When a fielder makes an inning ending catch he often leaves the field of play with the sphere. A catcher who ends up with strike three in his mitt to end an inning will often carry it back to the bench with them.

So my proposal is simple. After a guy gets a hit, the ball is rolled to that guys dugout. Once its there someone should write the date and who hit it, as well as the career hit # for that player. It could also have the pitchers name or any other significant details involved. If an RBI is collected, that could be included on the panel.

Its the same thing already done when a player gets their first hit, or for other important career marks.
Thats a keeper!

The player could then keep it, give it away, donate it to charity for auction or even just let MLB sell it. Already authenticators have moved into most MLB ballparks, which could boost their business as well as feed a major collectors niche of game used items.

Well, thats my plan, though I hesitate to put it out there. Its not like MLB is having any money problems. In fact. they have put out the help wanted sign and are hiring...

I noticed that MLB is looking for a few employees. They need stringers in several major league cities - a stringer is the person who puts the results of each pitch and each play into the computer for things like MLB AtBat App, Yahoo gameday, MLB gameday and the like.
Am I watching the game? Well, sort of...
You know the stringer, hes the one who inputs the info you see when you cant watch the game on tv and have to use one of the horrid online apps.

Yeah, hes the one you yell at when it takes four minutes to update a three-two pitch with the bases loaded.

Hes the one who sometimes goes home at 10pm eastern, leaving you staring at the screen of a west coast game with no end.

Hes the one who goes to the can between innings, leaving you wondering whats going on for ten minutes & then posts what happened all at once so you cant tell how the runs scored.

"on field delay"
Hes the guy who sums up a play involving a brushback pitch followed by the hitter charging the mound that leads to a benches clearing brawl including punches, ejections and a streaking fan in the outfield with the three simple words "on field delay".

We love that guy, can't wait to get his job and be just like him!

Most of the requirements to be a MLB stringer were obvious - living the city of the team you string for, being able to get there an hour before the game, literacy, etc.

The weird one? You have to use AOL Instant Messenger.

AOL? Are they still in the league?
A THOUSAND hours FREE? Too good for a car salesman like Selig to pass up!
I used to know someone who was on AOL, back when Bill Clinton was president. So now we know how old Bud Seligs desktop is.


I suggested to the team that they hold a contest to design new Biscuit road uniforms. It could be a good way to get some extra notice for the team and find novel ideas for the jersey. On the downside it could lead to a hideous winner from a submission made by a sponsor's toddler or colorblind crosstitching auntie.

For my part, I would like a basic road gray with two color trim highlighting a blue script "Montgomery" across the chest. It would be nice to see the use of the city name, as it has yet to appear on any Biscuits field uniform.

No member of either World Series team played for the Biscuits, but a few on the rosters have played against us. By my count Jake Peavy, Adam Wainwright, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew, David Ross, Andrew Miller, Ruby De La Rosa and Pedro Ciriaco are all former opponents at Riverwalk Stadium.

There was speculation before the Biscuits inaugural season that Jonny Gomes would be on the first Skitz roster list, but he was sent to Durham where he spent a full season in Triple-A. He couldn't even grow a beard then!

Be prepared for an overhaul on the biscuits website. So far they have resisted joining the cookie-cutter sites other teams in the league have, but are under pressure to conform. Bummer, as the Biscuits put more work into their well crafted website in a month than that league site seems to get in five years. Its like punishing the creative kid for making the rest of the class look dumb. Heres hoping its just a minor change to what should be an award winning website and is hands down the best in the league if not all of MiLB.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Biscuit Rumors Swirl at World Series Party!

Dang, I forgot to take pics... I even took my camera, but was so busy having fun I simply didnt get it out.

But we learned some things, as the folks who hang around the World Series party are mostly informed and educated on the ways of the butter and blue. And so friendly, its tough to be there without having a good convo, everyone is so outgoing and cheerful!

Some of the basic facts I gleaned, in great conversations with the owner and front office folks, as well as the other season ticketholders and assorted notables on hand....

The Southern league meetings were held this past week, and there didn't seem to be any major surprises from the league office. The reviews on the new prez are positive, yet status quo.

Mgr Gardner at work
Billy Gardner Jr, and pitching coach RC Lichtenstein will probably return to the Biscuits next year. The caveat on that is considering what each of them wants from their career for next season. Gardner is blocked from a promotion by former Skitz-Skipper Charlie Montoyo, and while its possible Billy could get an offer elsewhere that he would take, he seemed to like it here!

Of the coaching staff, I was given the impression that if we have a change it would likely revolve around Ozzie Timmons. The late season callup to the big club and the appearance as a coach in the Arizona Fall League are starting to look like how the organization was auditioning Ozzie as a coaching prospect!

For me, the big news was just a rumor, a maybe, a could be, a real who-can-say?
Its possible Ozzie Timmons could be given some form of promotion within the organization, perhaps an indication the Rays are preparing a backup plan should the Cubs hire Dave Martinez as manager.

Ozzie could be considered for bench coach, base coach or assistant hitting instructor at the major league level.

Its also in the realm of possibility that Dave Myers, the hitting coach in Durham would get that promotion and Timmons would be assigned to replace him.

OR he could spend the season as hitting coach at Port Charlotte, near his Tampa home. Or he could field an offer from another organization as teams hire new managers and hitting coaches over the winter.

Its a story we will have to keep an eye on over the winter and see what develops!

Buschmann in road grays
The team has had internal discussions about new alternate road gray uniform tops.
I love the alternate road jerseys but not everyone digs them. The players like the woven fabric as a cooler shirt than the double knit blue ones. However its the truth to say that the gray tops don't match the gray of the pants.
The road gray set was hurridly purchased when the Southern league informed the Biscuits that there couldnt be two teams in blue shirts for the 2007 postseason against the Stars and Baybears.

 The outfield will be seeded with a second type of grass, rye will be added to the current grass. The rye grass should mature earlier and be in great form for the Rays game in March. However there will be a time in June when the rye has died and the other grass is still coming in that the outfield grass wont look great.

The general feeling is that Biloxi wont have a Southern league team for at least a couple years. I asked Skitz owner Sherry about it directly, and she seemed honest with her opinion about Biloxi's attempts to enter the league. She and other front office folks said the same thing, that the efforts to build a stadium didnt guarantee getting a double-A team.

Sherry seemed to think there was no chance MiLB would re-align to bring two more teams to the south, and made the point that getting a team in Biloxi would be hard to do with the current teams because of the "territorial issues".

Another front office member said flat out, Biloxi wont have a team in the near future, for at least a few years.

The team officials I spoke with said they hadn't kept up with what Biloxi was doing, as though they were purposely avoiding any news from that side of the fence. Perhaps it was how the league told them to act, as I would think if another team were going to enter the area the skitz would want to keep a keen eye on any developments.

Politics seem to be playing a large part in the future of Biloxi and the teams in the lower half of the league in terms of attendance.
I got the impression that Mobile would be the leading candidate to move, due to the fact that any other franchise would have to negotiate with Mobile's team in order to move to Biloxi.
The Pensacola team had to pay the BayBears and Mobile off in cash for permission to move to the gulf coast so close to what is considered the BayBears turf.

The number of season ticket holders will go up drastically, though not double.

Team owner Sherrie Myers said the team was sluggish at the gate this past season, struggled to bring people in and asked for help bringing new people and ideas to the ballpark.

The Rays vs Biscuits game is still considered a lock to sell out early.

Giving season ticket holders a discount at the team shop has been discussed.

The Gathering of Eagles will happen again this season, this time as part of the Military Wednesday promotion.

Thursty Thirstday will continue in 2014 and is one of the more successful promotional nights.

A Victor Mateo bobblehead to commemorate the No Hitter has been discussed, I got the impression the ball was now in Alfa's court. They are the primary sponsor for that kind of thing. Lets hope they realize how collectable that kind of thing is, getting their brand onto shelves and mantles of people across the country.

FRANX will be replaced with another eatery - according to season ticket holders "there just arent enough people willing to eat a seven dollar hot dog covered in mac-n-cheese".

The Biscuits will expand their MiLBtv coverage in 2014. 

Last but not least, Biscuits SuperFan Richard C. was given his usual seat for the Rays v Skitz game. When you attend 700+ games, you get a little respect!

Monday, October 21, 2013

another day of photo fun!

Todays another picture day, this time on a Biscuits theme!
National Anthem with Big Mo (before the No-Hitter, August 2013)

day game - its hot!
Real hot!

The two teams are ready to go!

The wind and the pitch....

Lifted foul.... helping Seitzer make the catch
Enny Romero on the hill
Picking the runner off at first base!

ShO'Malley leads off
1b Cam Seitzer's game face

We saw some sluggers....

Delmon Young
Some defensive gems...
Web gem! I was three for three this season...

We saw some guys who would make it to The Show before the end of the year....

Alex Wood, the lefty, warms in the bullpen

Enny Romero stays strong!
We saw one who would be sent home...
fan favorite, Mark Thomas

We saw some guys who stood out in other ways....

Seven foot, one inches of Loek van Mil!

We got a look behind the scenes....
Rare view inside the Biscuits clubhouse during job fair
We had good days....

We had bad days....

There was an historic day.....
Biscuits celebrate Victor Mateo's No-Hitter

And ALOT of this.....
we literally wore out the tarp with the rain delays this year!

Opening Day 2013 in the rain


SOMEONE had drawn a rain turtle!
You get the point, right? It rained often....

And as quickly as the season had begun...

It was over....

 And now....

But soon...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Photo Time!

todays blog is just pictures....

 Some old promotions were giving it their all.
Some current ones do too....

Mars attacks....

Are you gonna finish that?

The original playoff beard....

Shes a knockout babe.

Babes knocked out....

Some teams have character.

Other teams have chemistry...

Classic tastes never go out of style

Some promotions were too popular
10cent beer night
Disco Demolition Night