ALL STAR TIME
Montgomery has the honor of hosting the All Star Game this year. Technically a year early, since a team bowed out of hosting it ahead of us, but hey, we love the All Stars so we will take it!
The Biscuits have worked hard to put together a pretty quality fan experience, and the ASG is no exception. Expect the red carpet to be rolled out for the best players in the league. Biscuitville will be decked out in all its All Star glory, as fans get to enjoy the North-v-South contest and Home Run Derby.
Some of the shine is taken off to learn that we won't see any of the Southern league Hall of Famers in person - those guys all wanted money to be honored by the league. Kind of a bummer, but we will get a video presentation from the inductees being enshrined.
MEET AND GREET
It sounds like what we can expect is to see the All Star players announced in the Alley around 6:30. Following what should be a lengthy set of introductions in the actual alley, the players will sign a few autographs and then disperse to the restaurants for "fan interaction".
A huge win for the restauranteurs who are sponsoring the event and game, but with just two hours scheduled, its got the potential to be a mad crush of people moving in every direction.
It might not be like that, but thats the impression I have from the info out there. In my experience, Montgomery fans prefer an orderly line that moves along to give each person a chance to meet each player.
Meeting fans at the bars around the ballpark seems like an odd All Star Fanfest, but hey, thats Montgomery!
HAVE A BALL, er PRINT
There will be a giveaway baseball print at the gate for the first one thousand fans.
HOME RUN CONTEST
Special Guest Craig Brazell will be on hand, he defeated Joey Votto in the last Home Run Derby at Riverwalk. There is a rumor he would compete, but I think his comments on WSFA make it obvious the only thing he is swinging these days is a golf club.
|Johnny Field Jr will appear in derby|
Johnny Field Jr Montgomery
Adam Brett Walker Chattanooga
Miguel Sano Chattanooga
Jabari Blash Jackson
Nick Ramirez Biloxi
Matt Juengel Jacksonville
Gerson Montilla Mobile
Appearing for the event will be former Biscuits announcer Jim Tocco. Montgomery won two titles with Tocco at the mic and fans always adore him for his baseball accumen, honest candor and dulcet tones. He was on-field emcee for the 2006 All Star Game, it will be cool to see him back at Riverwalk doing the gig he handled so smoothly.
|Jim Tocco (left) and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler in the booth|
|Ozzie Timmons, All Star 1b coach|
WHOS IN THE GAME?
|North Division starting SS Tim Anderson|
I was privileged to be a part of the All Star selection process once in the past. I was with Jim Tocco when he took Charlie Montoyo the All Star ballot for the Southern league in 2007.
We discussed the players on each team and who should be there based on what we had all seen them do. I was surprised at what a large part position eligibility played in the selection of the All Stars, but there is often a position that has many good players. If one of those guys played another position too, he was more likely to be chosen as an All Star. Of course, Charlie had to manage that game since the Biscuits had won it all in 06 and his mind was on who he could substitute at which positions!
The rosters have turned over often for the All Star teams in the Southern league, resulting in many changes to the roster.
From what I can tell, it looks like this:
C — Willson Contreras (Tennessee); P — Frank Batista (Tennessee)
1B — Dan Vogelbach (Tennessee); P — Jose Berrios (Chatt)
2B — Joey DeMichele (Bham); P — Corey Black (Tennessee)
SS —Tim Anderson (Bham); P — James Gillheeney (Jackson)
3B — Miguel Sano (Chatt); P — P.J. Francescon (Tennessee)
OF — Max Kepler (
OF — Dario Pizzano (Jackson); P — Jared Mortensen (Montgomery)
OF — Adam Brett Walker II (Chatt); P — Feliz Pena (Tennessee)
DH — Jabari Blash (Jackson); P — Jaime Schultz (Montgomery)
UTL IF — Jorge Polanco (Chatt); P — Blake Snell (Montgomery)
UTL OF — Johnny Field Jr. (Montgomery)
Tyler Goeddel Mgm
C — Sharif Othman (Jacksonville); P —
1B — Nick Ramirez (Biloxi); P —
2B — Brandon Drury (Mobile); P —
3B — Zack Cox (Jacksonville); P — Jake Esch (Jacksonville)
SS — Orlando Arcia (Biloxi); P —
OF — Michael Reed (Biloxi); P —
OF — Mallex Smith (Mississippi); P — Hobbs Johnson (Biloxi)
OF — Kyle Waldrop (Pensacola); P — Damien Magnifico (Biloxi)
DH — Matt Juengel (Jacksonville); P —
UTL IF —
|South Div OF Mallix Smith w/Seitzer|
UTL OF — Socrates Brito (Mobile)
With the promotion of top prospects Byron Buxton and Kyle Schwarber, two of the best players in the league vacated their positions on the All Star squad.
While its true the two top guys went from double-A to big leagues, they aren't the only ones worth watching. Jabari Blash is a top prospect who wasn't with the Generals when they came through a few weeks ago due to injury, as was teammate and the leagues top powerhitter Adam Brett Walker.
I am very excited about the All Star Game and festivities around it. We will see the best players in the league!