Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Making the Manager Uptight, Mgm Grandstand Destroyed, Rebels Perfect Game


BREAKING NEWS
This just in - the Biscuits may miss the playoffs this season.... whats that? You knew that? Okay, well then, on to the other stuff!

DURHAM BURNS

Corey Burns was sent to Durham.
Not a surprise, we weren't using him. No need for a closer if you can't win a game, the poor guy was starving to death for a chance to pitch with a lead.
Good luck, Burns!


SILVER LINING
We got swept by the Lookouts, and have lost a pile of games. Its not looking good for the next couple weeks as the season ends. But hey, its not all bad! Next year we get to play in the weak North Division, where a .500 record gets you a game or two out of first place. Sure, we would still be in fourth place up there but we would be in serious contention.


THANK GOODNESS

With the team mailing it in, at least football will start soon and nobody will be there to witness the carnage.

MAKING THE MANAGER UPTIGHT

I tried to ask Manager Brady Williams about the strategy used in a recent game situation and seemed to hit a nerve. With the recent losing streak halted only by Mother Nature, the Biscuits captain led his team to the concourse to fulfill the Autograph Day requirement. There he was available for autographs and a captive victim of fans questions, including mine.

I asked about bringing the infield in with runners on second and third, with one out in the inning. I have always wondered why we don't see the Biscuits issue an intentional walk and try to get a double play to get the last two outs of the inning.

"Is there a stat you're looking at, or are you going with a gut feeling?" I asked.
Williams stood up and replied "the strategy is to cut down the run at the plate and keep the game close, so we can WIN it." Williams was not smiling.

Well, I know that, I wasn't born yesterday! "Yeah, but what determines bringing the infield in? Are you looking at groundball percentages or what?" I continued.

"So you want to know what the thought process is? We have a groundball pitcher on the hill, we are trying to cut down the run at the plate." the manager tells me, sizing me up to see if I am questioning his moves.

"Sure, but the same groundball gets you out of the inning if you intentionally walk the hitter and pitch with the bases loaded. Whats the magic number that says we pitch the first guy and cut the run at the plate instead of walking him and trying for the inning-ending double play?"

Brady was not happy, not sure if I was giving him a dig. He knew the situation I was talking about, in that game the run was cut down at the plate BUT the next hitter drove in a run with a double.

The infield-in-close defensive strategy worked halfway, saving a run but in vain. The first-year Biscuits manager took a breath.



"It comes down to thinking this is the guy we want to get out" he says.
"So you play the matchups?" I ask.
"Yeah, I guess thats it" Brady says, realizing I may not be blaming him for a single play costing the team a playoff berth.
"Okay, thanks Skipper!"

I didn't feel comfortable asking our pitching coach about our bullpen after that, here's hoping I didn't rile Brady too badly. I would like to keep our manager on the friendly side, but I seem to ask him too many questions. I stumped him at the pre-season meet with "Who is the surprise player on the Biscuits this year?".

Now I see how tough a question it really was. This team has not had many surprises at all. Since the end of May, we have barely had a pulse.

HISTORY LESSON

AUGUST 12 1907 
The new grandstand at the Montgomery baseball park was blown down by "a terrific windstorm which ranged over a limited area 2 miles east of Montgomery."

Montgomery's destroyed grandstand resembled the one in this photo of an unknown Alabama location, it may even have been this very one!


AUGUST 14 1908 
Charles McCafferty

Montgomery surrenders 14 hits and 11 runs to Bham. McCaffey of Mgm is the pitcher.

Actually, its probably Charles McCafferty as the hapless hurler for the Sens that August afternoon.





AUGUST 14 1939 

Crawford
Rebels defeat Pensacola Fliers for second straight day, repeating 6-3 score as SP Crawford held P-cola in hand.
Thats Larry Crawford, he spent two seasons with Montgomery, winning 15 games in 1939. Crawford attended Princeton and had been in the Major Leagues with Philadelphia NL. He didn't impress in six games, his ERA is 15.00.


AUGUST 14, 1970 
Southern League/ At Patersen Field; Montgomery, AL
Montgomery Rebels 3, Savannah Indians 0.
Charles Swanson of the Rebels pitched a  perfect game.

Swanson will go 12-5 for Montgomery in 1970, earn a promotion to triple-A Toldedo where he is promptly hammered. He returns to Montgomery in '71, '72 and '73, he spends 1974-5 being less than average in Triple-A before hanging up the spikes. Swanson was a second round pick in the 1967 draft for Atlanta.

How is it I can find a pic of the guy in 1908 who lost badly and never made the majors, the guy who was mediocre in the 1930s and only had a handful of MLB games before WW2 - but we dont have even ONE pic of the Second Round Draft Pick who tossed the Southern Leagues first Perfect Game in 1970?!?

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