Monthly Archives: April 2010

Game Notes 4/30/10 Pigs 3 – Redwings 10

Andy Tracy hit his 50th HR (as an Ironpig) tonight as the Ironpigs got slaughtered in the last game of this road trip. It was ugly. Really ugly

Goods
Cody Ransom hit his 5th HR of the season.

Chris Duffy made two incredible catches, one robbing a homerun, before leaving the game as a precautionary measure. While making the second catch, Duffy hit the wall pretty hard.

Jason Anderson pitched 1.1 scoreless, hitless innings. Although his team was behind by 7 runs at the time this showing might reveal his true problem being related to pressure.

Not so Goods
Mazone allowed 7 hits for 5 runs in 5 innings. When the starters need relief before the 6th inning it usually spells problems. Also of note, he worked out of a few jams with spectacular defensive plays.

Wasserman promptly loaded the bases in relief and only lasted 1.1 innings.

Pig batters mustered only 6 hits and the first run of the game was compliments of the Redwings awful defense

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Busy Day / Abuse of the DL 4/30/10

Brad Lidge came off the Disabled list today only to have Ryan Madson hop right on to it.

Madson reportedly kicked a chair in frustration and broke his big toe on his right foot. The right foot is ominously the same foot a right handed pitcher pushes off the pitcher’s mound with and generally bears the entire pitcher’s weight on each pitch. This isn’t going to be a quick, nor easy, recovery for him. I do have experience with broken big toes and I will share the advice my high school phys. ed. teacher shared with me. “Don’t kick something you’re not supposed to kick.”

Really with something like this you wonder if owners would have a stupidity clause for those who find themselves on the DL for anger issues. Dontrell Willis was the first MLB player ever added to the DL for emotional problems but I wonder how teams use this to their advantage.. strategically.

Last summer I recall Bastardo (who is probably driving back to Philly as I type this) went up to the Phillies only to be rocked in his first few appearances. He promptly ended the season on the disabled list. What would be psychologically better for the player. Knowing he went to the bigs and failed miserably or to convince him he is injured, place him on the DL then have him “rehab” in the minors until he felt better.. i.e. performed better. Brad Lidge also took some time in the minors this year to “rehab” and also to clear his head of the stress of big league ball on a championship club. Perhaps the Phillies have a psychologist on staff to assist in decisions like this? Brett Myers and Kyle Kendrick both were put back into the system when they struggled and although they didn’t retain the “injured and working back” status.. they both benefitted with the time spent in Reading and Allentown.

It really makes me wonder if teams are abusing the DL to their advantage. The current seige of “Valendia” type injuries so roster moves won’t result in the release of a valued player have been seen more and more these days. When will baseball step in and say whoah.. we need a doctor’s note to put you on the DL.

That also solves the question of who goes down to AA when Bastardo comes down to AAA. Anyone who follows our beloved Ironpigs had that gut feeling that Jason Anderson was ready to pack his stuff for a return to Berks county this week.

Looking at the weekend series coming up…

Saturday – Post game fireworks
Sunday – Tie Dye 60′s night, baseball giveaway and kids run the bases after the game.
Monday – Another Martial Arts Night
Tuesday – Early game for Education Day
Wednesday – Off day
Thursday – Wrestling star Jerry The King Lawler makes an appearance. Why do I get the feeling that Hambone might get his first Pork Race win of the season via a Lawler clothesline?
Friday – Friday night fireworks
Saturday – Faith night and travel mug giveaway
Sunday – Mother’s day pink visor giveaway
Monday – Dance night #2

See you at the ballpark!

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Coca Cola Park Below Average in MiLB!

It’s true.. Coca Cola Park is below average in a few key stats that were released by Minor League Baseball recently.

The average cost of a MiLB game this season for a family of 4 was listed as $57.50 for the 2010 season.

At $6 lawn seats four tickets cost $24.. add in $3 for parking and you are still under 50% of that total. Of course the price goes up if you choose seats and refreshments, but to take in the game the cost is still much lower than other minor league stadiums!

From the International League website:

The average cost of a night at a Minor League ballpark ranges from $67.77 for a Triple-A game to $50.26 for a Class A Short-Season or Rookie-level contest. The Double-A ($57.47) and Class A/Class A Advanced ($57.44) classifications are within $.30 of the industry average.

Average price by classification
Item: Triple-A / Double-A / Class A / Short-Season and Rookie
Adult ticket: $8.15 / $7.02 / $6.71 / $5.69
Child ticket: $6.98 / $6.00 / $5.96 / $4.99
Hot Dog: $3.23 / $2.71 / $2.87 / $2.53
Soda: $2.95 / $2.62 / $2.68 / $2.29
Beer: $5.46 / $4.49 / $4.58 / $4.14
Program: $2.73 / $2.47 / $2.10 / $2.10
*Parking: $5.04 / $3.90 / $4.00 / $3.82
* Price where fee is charged

To keep the stats clean, these figures did not include discounts for seniors, veterans and free categories but it does give you a good idea of where CCP prices compare to the rest of the leagues.

Prices at CCP:
Adult ticket: $14 (club) $9 (Field Level) $6 (General Admission)
Child ticket: Same as above, kids 2 and under Free
Hot Dog: $2.00 – a clear $1.23 under the average
Soda: $3.25 a bottle (fountain soda varies) *A little high considering we are residing in Coca Cola Park….
Beer: $5.00 – $0.46 less than average.
Program: Free! Savings of $2.73 off the average!
*Parking: $3.00 – $2.04 cents under the average. Makes you wonder how much some of these stadiums charge for parking to pull the average over $5.

I really hope that Coca Cola Park continues this trend and stays well below average in these categories!

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Game Note 4/29/10 Pigs 5 – Redwings 3

I have to admit, I didn’t listen to tonight’s game. I caught the first two innings but with it being an away series I chose to spend the evening with a female friend. Not an easy decision but even the most dedicated fans need a break now and then.

As far as the game goes and from what other fans have emailed me, it was an interesting game to say the least.

Hoover and Wise both homered tonight.

Reliever Gordon went 3 innings and started the 9th before giving up 3 earned runs and being saved, literally, by Scott Mathieson. I wonder what the back story on this is… are they trying to save innings or to test Gordon’s ability to go in long relief.

Cody Ransom is an embarrassment. I will say it here and now. He could redeem himself by behaving but his 2nd ejection tonight arguing balls and strikes makes me wonder how much he wants to play for the Ironpigs. Granted everyone wants to make the show, but he is a minor league veteran and the frustration is showing through clearly. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a suspension handed down from the league soon as his tirade tonight was reportedly continued into the next inning.

Some fun and some not so fun notes:
The Ironpigs are 3rd in Batting average, 4th in runs scored and 4th in ERA for the International league. Their record is 9 – 11.

They have lost 11 games by a total of 19 runs, 7 of those games have been by 1 run.

They have scored first in 15 of their 20 games.

I honestly feel like the wind will shift and the team will gel together. My senses tell me this team hasn’t become a “team” yet and there could be some troublemakers out there. Remember how the Pascucci apple spoiled the barrel early in 2008? This team is better than their record and should, should, start winning the coin toss that the games have been lately.

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Lidge Back – Bastardo Down

Word has it that when Brad Lidge returns to the Phillies tomorrow that LHP Bastardo will be optioned down. Maybe the Ironpigs, maybe the R-Phils. We’ll see!

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Game Notes 4/28/10 Pigs 4 – Redwings 5

The Ironpigs lost to the Redwings in a game that seemed neither team wanted to run away with. Notes below.

Good’s
Joe Savery went 5 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits. He seemed to be able to get out of jams stranding many Redwing runners this afternoon. He needs to get further into games to be more of a presence. Savery through 95 pitches and 59 for strikes.

DeWayne Wise had a good day, doubling and taking the League lead in triples with his 4th of the season.

Andy Tracy led off the 8th inning with a hit scoring the tying run on Dorta’s hit.

Not so Good’s

Cody Ransom extended his team leading error count to 6 in today’s game. Does anyone else see a DH role for him soon?

Thompson and Maza may be speedsters on the basepaths but today they got caught in an odd double play with Thompson tagged out between third and home and Maza tagged out in a run down between 2nd and 3rd.

The Pigs were robbed of several hits by Rochester’s impressive outfielders.

Jason Anderson (on 2 days rest) blew his second consective game in as many appearances.

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The Knuckleball and Other Good Stuff

With the Pigs facing knuckleballer Charlie Zink today I did some web searching about knuckleballs. In my high school/Legion ball days I had a pretty decent knuckleball. Not that I was the only pitcher on the team who knew how to throw it, but I was the only one with the guts to actually use it in a game. It worked great as a changeup. The first few times I threw it the batter just froze. How many teens these days have ever seen a knuckleball thrown at them? Might be a good pitch to teach your kids…

Found on a websearch.

Another memory that coincides with the knuckleball is the old timer who taught me how to throw a spitball. While not gutsy enough to try this one in a game, he described it as “Squeezing a watermelon seed from between two fingers to pop it out.” In practice this pitch went everywhere except where I wanted it. After some time I was able to control it and it had basically the same effect as a really good split fingered fastball. Unfortunately this is an illegal pitch and my fingers were too small to throw a splitfingered fastball so I joined the Marines at 17 instead of pursuing pro ball…

Ray Chapman

In fact, the split fingered ball was known early on as a dry spitter. Doing some research I found that pitchers in the spit ball era would purposely spit tobacco juice on a ball to darken it, making it harder for the batter to see it especially in lower light games. (remember they didn’t have lights way back when.) This all came to a head when Cleveland Shortstop Ray Chapman was hit in the head and killed by a spitball in 1920. The spitball had actually been partially banned in 1920 where teams were allowed to have two pitchers in their lineup who were allowed to throw the pitch. This was changed after Chapman’s death to ban all spitballs except for exisiting spitballers who grandfathered in could use it until their career was over. Chapman remains the only player to ever die during a MLB game.

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