Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Out, February In

The rumors have been building for some while, now it appears the new nets will be added to Riverwalk in February, in plenty of time to protect fans behind the dugouts for the Capitol City Classic. They will likely extend across the length of both home and visitors dugouts.

For more than a dozen years the Biscuits outfield went without the yellow line that marks the field of play across the outfield wall. It is a marking that is standard in just about every ballpark at every level, but Riverwalks lack of this line was finally addressed in 2016.
Outfield wall with railings but no yellow line, early April 2016
 The yellow line appeared to give umpires a better view to determine home run, but since the outfield wall is topped by railings that allow a ball to pass through, umpires still got it wrong at times.

Same section of fence visible, now with Yellow Line above railings by late April 2016
As strange as it may seem, agreeing on whether a ball went over the railings for a homer or through the railings for a ground-rule double has been a constant issue. Every season, multiple times. 

Every time it happens, or even appears to maybe could have happened, a manager comes onto the field to dispute the call.

Of course, this results in an umpire conference.

Umpire conferences always end up in an angry manager from one side or the other, often this leads to him venting his displeasure and of course, his subsequent ejection for such.

Its great entertainment but a dreadful delay during five or six games every summer.

The bigger news is that there will be other netting installed - across the outfield railings.

Hopefully by adding a row of chicken wire below the yellow line will keep balls in play inside the ballpark, making it easier for everyone to know what a home run looks like.

Former Biscuit Todd Glaesmann signed with the Cubs. Still just 26 years old, the G-Man split time between double-A Mobile and triple-A Reno last summer. A former 3rd round choice by the Rays, Glaesmann appeared in 132 games for Montgomery in 2013.

Todd Glaesmann

Machi with SFG
Another ex-Skit, reliever Jean Machi signed with the Mariners after his tenure with the SF Giants was up. Machi was with the Biscuits back in 2005-06, logging 16 saves and a 2.64era.

Machi has gone on to carve out a successful MLB career after working his way through the Biscuits bullpen, earning a pair of World Series rings with the Gigantes. Hard work pays off, Jean Machi was 30 years old before he made his major league debut!

And then there is Richie Shaffer, former Biscuits corner infielder. He has made so many offseason stops he should trade in his cleats for roller skates. Where he ends up noone knows, but he has a great attitude about it!

Ever wondered how much an umpire gets paid for his work at Biscuits games? Sure, we all have, some of these guys have major league potential while others seem to be straight outta the beer leagues. The best are the ones that don't get noticed!

A new agreement between baseball and the minor league umpires union sheds light on the situation of pay. With the new raise Single-A umps get a two thousand dollar monthly paycheck to start. At Double-A umpires get $2500 a month and Triple-A umpires receive $2900.

For an ump returning to the same level as last year, a raise of about a hundred bucks is standard but maxes out around five seasons. Each level offers a per diem, about $50 a day to eat on.

The new agreement no longer offers to supply uniforms for the officials, they will now be repaid for buying their own. As always the umpires are expect to start with perfection and get better as the game progresses!

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