Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Big Announcement – The IronPigs will not be affiliated with Toronto! (for now)

As you probably know by now the Philadelphia Phillies have (re)signed a Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for 4 more years. But the announcement was not made in typical fashion.

Most teams would have quietly issued a Press Release stating they are happy to be affiliated with… blah blah blah… and that would have been that.

Not our IronPigs however!

In the usual “Pig and Circumstance” the stage was set and many different P symbols were present with former IronPigs names written on them. During this time as the projector was being setup I saw “Pigs to the Bigs Awards” across the installed movie screen.

There have been in fact 50 ‘Pigs that have gone to the Bigs including 1 coach (Greg Gross) since 2008. Click here for the Official Release PDF.

Suddenly we were at the Best Affiliate Award Show Gala. Erin Holt began the festivities with a video of some former IronPigs now in the Bigs, including a

“The Envelope Please” (click to enlarge)

faux Chooch who in his best accent said: “Baseball be berry berry good to me” – quite a comical moment. The Vanimal even made an appearance in the “Red Carpet” video. Erin who usually brings you many of those great pix around CCP did a great job in front of the camera as did all of the other IronPigs employees who participated. I would pay money for the outtakes – it looked like a blast!! Perhaps in the director’s cut??

With Jon Schaeffer M’Cing the show the winner’s envelope was handed to Diggity who nervously opened the package to reveal that the IronPigs and the Phillies were the “winners”. This prompted GM Kurt Landes to bolt from his chair raising his fists in the air whooping it up – another funny moment for sure.

Kurt thanked his wife, the media, his kids, the employees and his kids again during his raucous “acceptance speech”. The whole production was well thought out and if there is ever a category for best fake acceptance speech at a fake awards show – well then Kurt Landes would surely win the “Fakey” with his touching and humorous performance. It was all a Laugh Out Loud moment!

It was then time for Phillies Assistant Director of Player Development Steve Nowryarta to take the mic and express his gratitude for LHV and the pleasure it was to (re) sign the PDC. Despite the fact that it was printed on the press release I asked Jon Schaeffer why 4 years? The answer was because that is the maximum amount of time allowed by MLB and neither of us could imagine the IronPigs affiliated with anyone but the Phillies – ever.

Steve later commented on proximity of CBP to Lakewood, Reading and of course the Lehigh Valley. While the Phillies as a team are “slumping”, it’s difficult to argue that any other team has a better Minor League System in place and clearly today proved that very fact.

Kurt Landes and Steve Nowryarta sign the extended PDC. (click to enlarge)

So while not particular exciting news it’s still good to know that we won’t be watching the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays anytime soon!

While I didn’t ask about all 14 of my guesses from the previous post, the 2013 Championship Game at CCP was mentioned. Kurt Landes said LHV would be happy to host despite the fact that the organization must cover all expenses including player’s salaries. He thought MilB would take a wait and see approach on how moving it from stadium to stadium was working out and decide from there. I think we’ll see it in the next few years at least.

During conversation with Kurt Landes, as we were enjoying a make your own Cheesteak bar, I inquired about the rumor of Director of Field Operations, Bill Butler’s departure and promotion to the Kansas City Royals. With a smile, Kurt mentioned it was funny I had asked that question as he had heard that rumor but wasn’t sure where it came from (I didn’t tell him). He and Bill even spoke about it and Kurt assured me that at this time Bill Butler isn’t going anywhere. Anything is possible but it seems that we will continue to have one of the best maintained fields in the game for the time being.

I noticed some work going on out in “The Trough” and asked Kurt about that as well. He said basically just a freshen up of the “It’s outta here” signage area so if anyone

Trough Refresh. (click to enlarge)

has a piece of the old sign, perhaps broken by the bat of Richie T it should do well on eBay!

As always a nice production by the IronPigs and we can never take for granted what we have here in the LHV and we are lucky to be a part of it.

Dishing for 4 more years

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IronPigs – The Best and The Worst (at the same time)

Tyler Cloyd  9-1  1.96 ERA

vs.

Scott Elarton 5-8  5.60 ERA

One has the best ERA in the IL*, the other has the worst.

*(The best ERA in Triple-A)

“How do you like all that?”

On a happier note be sure and click the play button below for Matt Provence’s call of Monday’s 6-3 victory over the Bulls – it’s especially good!

Anticipation Dishing

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IronPigs “Significant Announcement” tom. – What could it be? – Correct guess wins!

So our friend Jon Schaeffer (the other Voice) sent out a media release containing information of a significant announcement tomorrow at Coca-Cola Park at 1:30 pm and speculation is running rampant on what it might be.

Rumors have run the gambit from a new Head Grounds Keeper to a Dome (*snicker*) to pretty much everything in between.

We’ll find out tomorrow but here’s a few guesses to get you started:

1. Coca-Cola Park will be the home of the 2013 Triple-A Championship – it’s possible, not likely since it’s in Durham this year

2. New food vendor – perhaps a local staple?

3. The new IronPigs “Porking” Deck?

4. A New Scoreboard?
a. A “ribbon” board around the club level?

5. New looks for the Mascot(s)?

6. Additional Seating? (Bleacher seats? The extension of the Club Level)

7. A Phillies Alum joining the team or front office?

8. The announcement of Richie T Alley?

9. Free parking for the rest of the season? (*smile*)

10. A major concert coming to Coca-Cola Park?

11. New Unis and/or logo redesign for 2012?

12. The Hockey Stadium Project has been scrapped and all games will be played outdoors at CCP?

13. Section 108 will be renamed the Jimmy T section?

14. The 3 millionth guest through the gate get’s the Park named after them for a day and lifetime season tickets?

15. New food item contest?

Finally and best of all the IronPigs and Phillies are going to switch stadiums for an evening and all IronPigs’ season ticket holders get a free ticket and luxury bus ride to CBP! (hopefully not in the same night!)

Probably none of the above. Regardless, these announcements are usually interesting so we’ll just have to wait and see!

Anyone have any other guesses?

The first guess that is correct will receive two field-level vouchers valid for any Monday – Thursday regular season 2012 game.

Dishing Puzzled (or am I?)

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Domonic Brown off DL – IronPigs Updated Roster

Was just wondering yesterday where he was – hopefully in Durham!

 

Updated Roster
(click to enlarge)

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IronPigs Drown in ripTIDES – ‘Pigs drop 3 of 4 in Norfolk – painfully..

A downright ugly (kooky)* series in Norfolk as LHV drops 3 of 4 to the Tides with a team batting average of .211 with 10 walks and 24 Ks. There was 1 Grand Slam for good measure and the only HR in the series.

Where’s Domonic Brown anyway?

KEVIN CZERWINSKI – CSN – July 15th

Domonic Brown has been on fire over the last week as he plays in a rehab assignment with the GCL Phils. Brown has hit safely in all five games in which he’s appeared. He’s 11-for-19 (.579) with seven doubles and four RBIs. He had been down with a knee strain since mid-June. The Phils had targeted a post All-Star break return so he’s right on schedule.

It’s after the all-star break isn’t it and there surely are 1000’s of players who would love to hit .579 with a bad knee. Isn’t it time for Kratzie to make his return trip back to LHV? Surely would much rather have him hitting home-runs for the “winning” Phils but we know that ain’t happening. So, where are they?

Of course what would a losing series be without going 6 for 37 (.162) with RISP while stranding 25. I patiently await the day when I can trash the RISP spreadsheet once and for all!

Anything that could go wrong did from catchers throwing to 2nd 3 times from their knees – once to the CF, 3rd baseman playing 1B, infielders playing outfield and pitchers dropping balls out of their gloves as LHV was outscored 22-12 and were out-hit by Norfolk 40-28.

Listen, I’m not a player, manager, announcer, or coach – I’m just a dude whose Nike’s say Iron – Pigs on the back. But to me it seems the ‘Pigs are just “going through the motions” and no one seems to really give a shit at this point.

Still it’s not about winning we all realize that and getting beat is one thing, but beating yourself (all too often) is what makes it so frustratingly painful to watch at times.

At this point of the season there’s no point for us fans to give up – let’s just hope the players and coaching staff haven’t – yet…

Click below for Matt Provence’s shut-out wrap-up.

Click below for Matt’s victory call.

Click below for this “painful” wrap.

*Click below for this “heart-wrenching, kooky” wrap. (it’s here and he didn’t miss the bus.)  

LET’S GO PIGS!

Dishing – SMH

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Baseballtown Puts On A Heck Of A Party – AA HR Derby 2012

Great fun was had by all at Baseballtown’s First Energy Stadium in Reading on Tuesday night. The HR derby was more of a hitting contest with targets like a boom-lift in center field with an intern with a glove, dudes jumping on a trampoline, a golf-ball collecting cart and even a dunk tank. Some of the targets scored more points than the home-runs themselves.

It was an awesome view from behind the protective netting watching balls sail over your head, a few land nearby and other crazies basically catching the balls as they were slamming the net. Fortunately, I didn’t see any injuries result.

R-Phils GM Scott Hunsicker did a tremendous job MC’ing the evening and keeping the “balls rolling” – at times I thought I was at Coca-Cola Park (but not quite – I jest – the R-Phils did a great job!) The food was various and tasty from the Pasta Bar, Raw Bar, Full Open Bar, Desert Stand, Chicken BBQ, BBQ Ribs, Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, 2 kinds of Pasta Salad to the Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans, and more – “Oy Vey!”

Our own Michael Spidale  appeared for the Eastern Division of the Eastern League All-Stars and while scoring well he couldn’t surpass the Harrisburg Senator’s Chris Rahl who scored 340 points after a 100 bonus shot to the crane!  Rahl just squeaked by the Richmond Flying Squirrel’s Daniel Mayora, who hit (the most) 10 homers and finished just 6 points shy of the win. Tonight it was all about the Crane!

Ricky Bo even made an appearance and took a couple swings all while wearing his CSN SportNet mic. He got a couple good shots in – not back for a “40” something year old ex-pitcher!

Looking forward to tomorrow evening’s All-Star Festivities – so off to the pix below the sign-off.

Dishing with the R-Phils

Click to Enlarge Pix

Cool VIP Credentials and a nice little program.

Views

The nets protected us while the tables held the food – Well Done R-Phils!

All-Stars

100 Points for hitting the ball-picker-upper

100 Points for the Crane

Crazy Hot-Dog Vendor’s Cousin – Crazy Flag Dude

He wheel’s and deal’s and..

…Michael Spidale watches it leave the Park!

Forget about it – it’s way outtta here

Michael Spidale gets toweled after his effort by the R-Phils Sebastian Valle.

Crazy Hot-Dog Vendor at the Bat

He got all of that one!

He just might be Crraaazzyyy!

Ricky Bo – In the House

The Combatants

 He only flinched a dozen times – good thing the nets held!

I see an IronPigs shirt and President Chuck Domino!

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Phillies Need a Spark to Salvage This Season

It’s no secret the Phillies are crashing and burning this season.

When you look at the roster, the injuries, the performance becoming a fraction of its potential it makes me wonder what’s going on.

Cliff Lee, CLIFF LEE, just got his first win days before the All Star break.

Trade rumors now are starting. “Sell the Team!” one shouts, “It’s never too late to rally!” shouts another.

What could the Phillies change to turn this season around?

They need a spark.

All season long the Phillies have been using their farm system to fill needs. Infielders, Outfielders, Pitchers.. the transactions are tough to keep up with.

I think they need to make one other call up this season.

Sure, we all love Charlie Manuel. Great guy. Great manager. If you’ve ever heard one of his classic stories at the Winter Banquets you know the guy is old school baseball. There’s nothing but love for Charlie.

With that said… tap the right arm and call up Ryne Sandberg. We’ve seen on different levels on how his presence and leadership can get a team moving and winning. The IronPigs hadn’t had a winning season in its brief history until taken over by Sandberg. They are currently in 1st in their division and going strong.

It’s time for a leadership change in Philly. Letting Charlie Manuel go with the grace and respect he deserves will allow this team to face in a direction other than straight down. It’s time, it really is.

Your thoughts?

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