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!

WILLIE ARGO - ON THE MOVE?
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.



WHATCHA BE WAITIN FOR, BLOGGERDUDE?
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.


GIVE BACK THE BOXES

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!



WORLD SERIES PARTY!
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....

RIVERWALK GETS NEW FIELD

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.

THE CINDER PATH IS FAIR
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!

NO TO THE JOE
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".

PROMO PRIDE
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.


NEW MANAGER FOUND
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.



ALL STAR BASEBALL

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.

BAD NAME FOR GREAT EVENT
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.

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

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