Sunday, December 21, 2014

What Do Biscuits Do in the Offseason?

Now that the offseason is in full swing, it begs the question of todays topic. Sure the days are shorter, but Biscuits must still find something to occupy the hours. Perhaps some of the things are expected, some not so and a few maybe best left unknown.

Lets take a look!

Some guys look for new careers entirely

Sometimes coaches find offseason offers too

Some use the offseason to get away from it all
Brisbane manager Brady Williams

Some guys use their off the field talents

Some guys catch up on their reading

Some guys find jobs in the front office

Some use their skills to get TV appearances

Some just try to get healthy

Some guys polish their hardware

Sometimes guys look for new ways to improve their game

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free Agents, Ex Biscuit Busted?, Skitz Win Award & Raise Prices


Guys who have gone to the ranks of the un-affiliated and lived to tell about it. They may be back on a new deal, they may move on, who can say. New team listed where known, but most of these guys will be seen again.

Mayo Acosta
Mike Colla
Santiago Garrido
Braulio Lara - signed with Giants
Victor Mateo - signed with Braves
Jordan Norberto - new deal with rays, ticketed for biscuitville '15
Alejandro Segovia
Bryce Stowell - signed new deal with rays
Albert Suarez - signed with Angels
Jeremy "Snapback" Moore


This is not about Elijah Dukes or Matt Bush.

Was Mayo Acosta was arrested this summer?

Acosta (right) playing 1b
"Mayobanex Acosta-Sosa, 26, of 24 Bridal Path, Randolph, Mass., was charged Tuesday with breach of peace and third-degree assault." reads the June 5th police report section of TheDay dot com. No other information was available.

For the Durham Bulls, Mayo Acosta was in the lineup on the 5th and 6th. The Bulls were playing in Pawtucket during that time and it was also the day Don Zimmer passed away, so it would be easy to see how we may have missed this.

How did that turn out? Could there be two Mayobanex Acosta? I have no idea.


A five year span of achievement for the Biscuits front office earned them a Frietas award, which is being hailed by the team and the city as "AA Team of the year". Its actually a "sustained excellence in business" doled out by the publication Baseball America and not a single season MiLB award, but we know how the media likes to play with words.

In another business move, the Skitz will be charging another dollar for tickets. Their claim is that they haven't officially raised prices in five years, but again this is playing with words as we saw a one dollar fee tacked on to every ticket purchased the day of the game. Essentially that raised prices a dollar last year, and will be doing it again this spring to offset the lowest season attendance since the team arrived.

To soften the blow, the team shop is offering a 20 percent discount through the holidays.
An thats how ya win a Bob Frietas award.

With the changes at the top in Tampa it can be expected that we will wait to know our field staff. While the Blue Wahoos announced Tom Kelly will be in the managers chair in Pensacola, it was well into last January when we learned the Biscuit coaching assignments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Suns vs Marlins, Offseason Survival Guide


Brad Harper over at the newspaper put together an article of "Movers and Shakers" who are "changing what it means to live and work in Central Alabama". He says it like thats a good thing. I would have titled the list "most likely to be indicted" and includes an array of those skirting the law as barely legally as they can. However buried at the bottom of the page was a clue for Biscuits fans in the description of one of the list subjects.

 Sherry Myers, Biscuits owner.

Most blog readers know I get a little touchy concerning the owner, but I really do think we could do way worse. She smiles and plenty owners don't get that far, shes polite and accessible way beyond what some teams have with their corporate ownership. This isn't really about how I feel at all.

Skitz owner
But what it is about is that we see no Tom Dickson listed. This article is worded as though Sherry is the sole and independent owner. In fact it refers to her as "the team owner", not "one of the teams owners" as we have seen her so often listed in the past. So maybe the team is ready to just admit that we have but one owner.

And thats team news, hidden well but intact. There ya go, thats November Biscuits news!

In winter months news is a rare thing for minor league baseball, and teams try to make sure they make their own announcements. Thats why I took pride in being the first to tweet the news of the Biloxi team announcing its team name on the 24th. I had noticed the info on the blog of a Biloxi area highschool football reporter and tweeted it, knowing the name the team contest that they said they would never hold but did indeed hold would be of interest.

photo courtesy @bubba36109's twitter feed
However the Biloxi baseball folks probably were annoyed to see that I put it out there, the next day they began a barrage of "RSVP to our big announcement" tweets! Haha welcome to the Southern league, Biloxi! 


wait, what? You want OTHER news?
Okay. Yes sir, you betcha. How about this...

Yes, the Jacksonville Suns were jealous when the Rays visited the Biscuits, so they will be announcing their own exhibition game against their parent club. The last time the Marlins faced the Suns in Jville Stanton was known as Mike and hit a homer for the Suns. Now he will be on the other side!

Whaa? MORE? You want MORE?

Mateo twirls NoHitter
Popular starting pitcher Victor Mateo was signed by the Braves, as I tweeted last week and was discussed in the blog comments.

The author of the first No Hitter at Riverwalk was allowed to walk away from the Rays organization, drawing into question again the intentions of the Front office and scouting by the parent club.


If you havent noticed, twitter has been one of the main sources for news in the offseason. @DrMiraculous is my entry into the realm of 140characters or less - though you wont find me going anywhere near facebook. I am guilty of tweeting baseball related news that should go into the blog without posting it here. My bad!

This time of year most self respecting ballplayers have gone home to hit the gym, work on their swings or refine pitch delivery. Some guys however, just can't get enough. They pack their gear and head south to follow the sun and get into a few more games. Here we have a quick list I put together of Biscuit alum who are still waking up every morning and wondering where they are listed on todays lineup card.

In PuertoRico

The rosters hadn't been announced when this list was compiled so I might miss someone, but we know that Cameron Seitzer is there for winter games and his wife is there for the food. Chelsea tweets some delicious photos of the native cuisine, including one of my favorite dishes, Mofongo.
Sergio Espinosa

Also in P.R.'s Clemente League is Jimmy Patterson, hurling for the Giants.

Pitchers Shane Dyer and Sergio Espinosa are with the Senators. I thought I recognized Sergio's name, so to be sure I checked out his player page and the photo I saw confirmed his past Biscuit-ness.

 In Venezuela
Taylor Motter's OF Award

Guys like Southern league OF of the Year Taylor Motter and pitchers Matt Nevarez and James Houser appear with Bravos de Margarita

Former Biscuit Daniel Mayora is playing for Caracas Leones
Pitcher Jake Thompson is on the Tiburones de la Guaira

In the Dominican League...

Pitcher Matt Ramsey is with Agilas Cibaenas

The Estrellas de Oriente have Chris Rearick and powerhitting first baseman Matt Fields

With the Leones del Ascogido are three former Skitz, Frankie de la Cruz, Merrill Kelly and Enny Romero

Tigres del Licey Jesus Colome and Braulio Lara - Mayo Acosta is playing for the Toros del Este
Bortnick in Australia

Down in the Australian league there are two names on Biscuits radar, one future & one former - Brisbane Bandits catcher Maxx Tissenbaum is bound for Biscuitville in 2016 and the Sydney Blue Sox leadoff hitter is infielder Tyler Bortnick.


Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi oi oi!

The Australian Baseball league has put up nice american dollars to upgrade the video and can be seen on their new youtube channel streaming live games on weekends. They usually start between 10pm-1am so its some nice late night baseball. The ABL also streams on where it has had games for a couple-three seasons.

ABL Action, ump runs thru crowd to check with pressbox on balls-strikes count
I can't say enough good things about the ABL game broadcasts, no matter what team. The production quality is great, the announcers baseball-savvy Aussies and the league talent level is wonderful. There are Bull Durham moments with Aussie flavor that make it even more endearing and its a fabulous down under game experience to watch!

The Venezuelan league could use more bandwidth, there are times it looks like watching a game thru a shower door. However the games can be seen and its easy to follow the games progress simply by listening to the announcers.

The VBL games are for serious fans only, its not easy to sit back and just watch due to the tech issues. The announcers are spanish speaking but make up for any lack of understandability with enthusiasm. If the video was better quality I could recommend this higher, but until then its tough to tune in and follow any single team.

Video feed can be found at and searching the feeds for the games that usually start about seven pm.

Also available on are Mexican league games, of a much higher quality video feed but with fewer mlb prospects that affect either the Biscuits or the Rays. Its a good level of ball though and worth a viewing for those of us desperate for baseball keeping an eye on the winter leagues.

I do not currently have info on watching Dominican or PR Clemente league games, if anyone knows where, feel free to post in the comments!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


october news now november news!
I wrote this last week but got busy, so here it is, barely illustrated and starting to be stale info, but its what I got right now! haha

Argo and Robby Price were indeed given their walking papers, along with a few other minor league guys. Argo even sent me a message after the last blog post to confirm the news. There will likely be many more player changes as the new regime settles into place on the St.Pete carpets.

Indeed, Jeff Malm also follows Argo and Price on the unemployment line, where many have been before them. Perhaps they will put out an ad like Virgil Trucks did...

Or Earl Williams...

People seemed surprised and even angry to hear Joe Maddon would leave the Rays, even more so when they learned that the team informed Joe of his opt-out clause. Yet I can't think of anything unusual about a new General manager wanting to choose his own field staff.

@AUarchitectWDE and I have already had twitter convos about what many others have speculated - Charlie Montoyo or Dave Martinez could be in line for a promotion. Martinez has interviewed for MLB manager jobs before, making the short lists for a few but not getting the gig. And what more does Charlie Montoyo have to prove? I would surprised if the Rays would inform Joe without having someone else in mind.

Cameron Seitzer's dad Kevin is now the Atlanta Braves hitting coach. He has held that position with several other teams, most recently the Blue Jays. The Braves asked Chipper Jones, who declined the position. The Braves have been declined in other ways this year, perhaps decline being the operative word in their situation overall!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Overdue Post - Argo, Field Notes, Skitz News

yes, its been a while since my last post, so here it is, better late then never!

A series of tweets by Biscuits outfielder Willie Argo give the impression that he has been told of an impending transaction...
Sounds like a change in organization for Willie! We wish him the best if he is in fact on the move. The news comes on the heels of Willies appearance with Chef Jeff making Hot Dig Biscuits.

I asked the MoSkitz prez about it, Greg Rauch quickly whipped out his phone but was unable to confirm or deny any Argo related info.

Well, I was waiting in hopes we would get some real news from Biloxi and their fustercluck of a ballpark. But the only thing we hear officially is that the teams ownership finally had to pony up some of their own cash - $33OO bucks to pay for cupholders for the seats. One of the many things cut when the City of Bil-vegas saw the bottom line on the stadium.


Other things cut were luxury boxes, axed to keep the cost of the park under $36 million. However MiLB approved the stadium plans based on having the boxes, not having the boxes made the League Prexie grumpy and Biloxi will have to add the seats back into the plans due to "league seating capacity requirements". Classic. I wonder what they will cut out to bring the cost down now that they have to spend the bucks on the luxury boxes!

I did enjoy thinking that the team wouldn't have extra luxury instead of the usual "Let them eat cake" mentality that is prevalent in the baseball sales offices. I don't think its a stretch to say that the majority of those who sit in luxury boxes are less fans of baseball than they are fans of being catered to. Heres hoping the next round of cuts does away with the ballroom and billiards tables instead of pulling some useful item from the fans who actually sit in the seating bowl to watch the game.

Lastly on the Biloxi team topic, whatever happened to that "Name the Team" contest they had after they told us they wouldn't be doing one? I have a new suggestion - the Biloxi Teasers!

Its a world series party, but there wont be another. The Biscuits held their final World Series Party for Season Ticket Holders on Wednesday. Turns out that they got in trouble for breaking the old "retransmission, rebroadcast or dissemination without express written consent from MLB" rule that we have all heard of so many times. In the future the event will be a Fall Banquet that just HAPPENS to fall during the Series, and maybe won't be put up on the big scoreboard in centerfield.

But we learned alot of things at the party, thanks to team prez Greg Rauch and GM Scott Trible and the Biscuits staffers for the following info....


There were 39 dump trucks of dirt taken away from the infield during the recent work being done on the field. The field is six inches lower than it was, in large part due to the organic material that had accumulated over the past 11 seasons.

The field is in fine condition, the sod has taken root and the last of the work on the infield is underway. In a couple weeks that should be finished and then the mound will be built back up.

The City is handling the work, the Biscuit grounds crew is overseeing and assisting, but the municipal crew does the bulk of the work.

There is a new quirk on the Riverwalk playing surface that could factor into the gameplay conditions. The Bullpens now have a warning track around them and a portion of the track will be in FAIR territory. The white chalked fair/foul line will have to pass from grass to warning track gravel and back to grass as it passes the bullpen mound.
About six inches of cinder path will be in fair territory

This will mean balls could hit the path in fair territory, a good recipe for triples as the outfielders will be coming in to field the ball that hits the path before skipping into the corner.

Also a good chance for ground rule doubles as a bounce on the track could easily send the ball over the side wall. Its not every park that gets ground rule doubles on balls that go over the first base wall!

Other than the odd bounces waiting to happen, its a good change. No more having to drive the groundscrew carts over the mound. Oh, and the players will know there is a hill coming up as they chase shallow foul popups!

Huntsville is off the table for the Southern league in 2015. There will NOT be a team in Huntsville, according to what the front office guys told me. This kind of goes against the press releases that imply the Stars could return to the Joe for one final season.

Biloxi may not host their team until August, but the team will likely play "somewhere in the state of Mississippi".

The Biscuits are proud to have released their promotional calendar early, and are already planning for 2016's season. "Nobody can say we copied anyone, this year other teams can be accused of copying US!" Trible proudly boasts.

The "Back to the Future" Jerseys will be awesome, we are told. They will NOT simply be trucker vests with numbers sewn on the back, though I didn't get any firm details on how they will look. I do suspect they will resemble a trucker vest or labcoat, but we will have to wait and see.

The front office is hopeful they can scare up a DeLorean for the event!

The popularity of the "Back to the Future" jersey auction will go a long way in determining the chances of a "Turn Back the Clock" night that includes a throwback jersey.

The ticket office has a new manager, he will be in to work on Nov 9th. Part of his early duties will be to make sure season ticket holders are given their own seats to the AllStar Game and Home Run Derby.


The dignitaries are being lined up, but so far no firm names. "...its tough to get the older guys to confirm ten months ahead of time" Trible said.

The Meet the AllStars event is dubbed a "Social", I feel thats kinda lame - the Biscuits Boosters already have an "Ice Cream Social" event for the boosters to meet the team that most of the players try to find excuses to avoid. That event will be held in the Alley and will have ALL players from both teams. A drastic improvement over the 2006 version when fans had to brave the blistering heat in the street. Also the two squads swapped out, so fans had to go thru the gauntlet line twice if they wanted to meet both teams!

Having the HR Derby at Paterson was seriously discussed, but ultimately shot down because the 'Skitz didn't want to have two ticketed events.

Big Mo may yet challenge the other mascots in the league to a contest or race of some form, but other teams may not be willing to send their mascots to work during the AllStar Break. The break is a time when most MiLB teams enjoy a few rare days off in midseason.

The Southern League holds its winter meetings next week, so fans of all teams may learn what 2015 details are coming.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Its usually a slow time for a minor league blogger in October, but we always have Biscuits news to go over...

The Biscuits fixed the pig.
They also fixed the field.
Both needed it badly. Could Big Mo be next?
Might help cut down on his wandering


No movement on the Biloxi scene, nothing confirming the obvious - that the team will stay in Huntsville until late in the 2015 season or, looking more likely, waiting to open the 2016 season at their new park.

We have speculated alot about Biloxi building a new ballpark and the efforts to move the Stars to the coast, but there is one person who told us it would be like this and would probably say that things are going just as planned.
well, yes, but thats not who I meant...

Sherrie said "it'll be years" before Biloxi has a team

Along the same lines, no coinciding word on how it could affect divisional alignment. If North Division Montgomery has to travel NORTH to face a team in the Southern Division it will look bad on league Prexie Webbs permanent record.

No word on Panama Citys efforts to lure a double-A team, which would have to be a Southern league participant. Mobile perhaps? The BayBears and Dbax reluctantly agreed to a new two-year pact that neither was happy about. The Dbax might enjoy shifting over to PCB, and Mobile might let them.


Photos of the field being worked on were posted by the Biscuits at their faceplace site and on twitter. Riverwalk needed it badly, it had been looking rough the past couple years.

The trench for the drainage...

Looks like ditch technology hasnt come that far, here is Cramton Bowl ca 1920s getting the same treatment...

I can't help but feel there was a similarity. It also made me want to put on a fedora and wool suit to watch while some digging took place.


Not fired yet
Closer to home, starting last week the Biscuits were known to be seeking a new Manager. And while no news comes our way yet on the field staff from Tampa we can be sure to see a new face running the show - in the box office!

Yes, its true, the box office managers chair has been vacated by kyle who no longer appears on the website contact list. So if you have ever had to explain the intricacies of your seat preference at the box office instead of just taking "best available" you are going to have to go over it for them again this spring.

And for a few dollars more per ticket. Gotta cover that vet trip for the pig, Auburn Uni don't spay pigs cheap!
Miss Gravy, future spinster pig