“Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, haven’t much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy”
After a much-needed break, the IronPigs return home tonight for a four-game set with Columbus. When you only get four days off from March 1 through July 4, three days in a row can be a wonderful break. Many of our ‘Pigs took the opportunity to return to their off-season homes or home-bases, and some just stayed in town and recharged the batteries. Cody Asche made the trip to Reno, NV to play in the AAA All-Star Game, and Cesar Hernandez made the trip to Reading to play in AA center field. I do expect Cesar back with the ‘Pigs today, but Cody might need a day for travel and rest.
[Note: It happened. Bramhall back to Reading, Cesar back to IronPigs. In addition, IronPigs get LHP Jay Johnson. 2.65ERA, 46K, 37IP]
Columbus always plays us tough, and comes into town as a hot team before the break. The IronPigs, not so much–as they dropped the last three. We re-set now, though, for the run. Here’s a look at the pitching match-ups:
Thursday: Tyler Cloyd vs. Zach McAllister (rehab)
Friday: Ethan Martin vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (I’ve seen this show before)
Saturday: Raul Valdes vs. Carlos Carrasco (this one, too)
Sunday: TBD vs. TJ House
As I mentioned, I am expecting some minor roster moves prior to the game today. We’ll try to update here or via Twitter. I don’t expect anything major, though, and some players may not be in town straight away (ie: Asche, or if Quintero gets DFA’d).
Here’s what’s going on at the park over this home stand:
Throwback night as the ‘Pigs will wear 1980′s-era jerseys which will be auctioned via the usual Qtego method. The auction will benefit the Sixth Street Shelter. The giveaway this evening will be a scoreboard clock–first 3,000 18+. Plus, remember to come early for happy hour!
Friday night fireworks, as per usual, but there will be an Umbrella giveaway (3,000, 18+) courtesy of The Morning Call as well! Two specials in one night!
Make sure you stop by the concourse for auction and raffle as Steve Susdorf and his wife Kelsey are raising money and awareness for the House of Hope Orphanage in Haiti. Here are some of the things you can win:
- Tour of the clubhouse, hosted by Steve
- Batting Practice with the team
- First Pitch
- Front Row Seats
- Personalized IronPigs Jersey
- Lunch with Steve Susdorf and Tyler Cloyd
- Carlos Zambrano autographed jersey
- EriK Kratz autographed baseball
- Team autographed helmet
- ….and I wouldn’t be surprised if more are added!
The first 3,000 fans 18+ will receive acrylic cups courtesy of Coca Cola. It hasn’t been announced, but I’d expect a post-game Tiki Party as well. Usual Saturday first pitch is 6:35PM.
Sunday is a kiddo giveaway, as the first 2,000 <18 will receive a piggy bank courtesy of Toyota. Also please note, this is the first of only TWO Sunday games this year to have a 5:35PM First Pitch. (The other is September 1). To celebrate, we’re hosting a TAILGATE! Please join the Krams, NoiseNation staff, and other guests as we celebrate summer, celebrate our Pigs, and put ourselves in an attitude to cheer, and win! Start time will be around 2:35 when the lots open, and menu is still TBD, although there’s been the talk of ribs by Kram, pork by Dan, and burgers by Jeff. Stop by and say hello! We expect to be in the lower LSI lot near the grass; look for the IronPigs flag flying high–along with the NoiseNation colors!
Here’s the PigStop Menu for the home stand:
The Ringer-Zesty Meatballs Marinara topped with Pepperjack Cheese on a Steak Roll, served with a side of Fried Pork Rinds-$7.00Friday: The Sensation-Morris Morioka’s Famous Rice Balls!-Tasty Sticky Rice Balls with Chicken, and Assorted Secret Ingredients-a Real Japanese Treat! 2 for $4.00
Saturday -The Last Stand- Sliced Cajun Chicken, Cheddar Jack Cheese, Sautéed Onions, Chipotle Mayo, served on a Grilled Pita- $6.50
Sunday -The Pig Trough- A pile of our Battered French Fries with Chili, Pulled Pork, Pepper Jack Cheese, Green Onions, Tomatoes-$7.50
Front page (above the fold) of The Morning Call this morning had a short piece by Mr. Schuler on the demise of our attendance ranking. You see, as of the last home stand, the IronPigs are no longer the attendance champs and have fallen into second place to the very Columbus Clippers we face this weekend. Here at NoiseNation, we were aware of this during the last few games of the previous home stand. A source within the organization tells us that there is no worry because per-guest revenue is still very high. I would assume that this means concession sales as well as the increase in number of fixed seats (Bacon Strip and Hot Corner) which cost more than general admission.
Also, note that the International League schedule makers have done us no favors lately, with so few weekend games in the second “half” of the season. Just look at how many weekends the RailRunners have–most of them against us. But them’s the breaks for the top dogs. I’ll also say that with the limited remaining home schedule, tickets are HARD to come by. I expect massive crowds, even with the weekday schedule. Get your tickets now, if you need them! I kind of expect we’ll re-take the attendance crown as the season goes forth.
Of more worry to me, if I’m IronPigs management, is Season Ticket Holder apathy. Mr. Schuler’s print piece this morning did get management to admit that turnstile attendance is town. Weather, perhaps is an issue. However, If I were them, I’d make sure my ticket sales staff is ready to hit the ground running in the off-season, selling ticket packages to those who may be content to let them expire if they feel they didn’t make use of them enough. We’ll continue to watch what happens. Perhaps it will be time for a “quantity” discount for season ticket holders? We’ll see–I”m not holding my breath. Perhaps an incentive for those of us on 3- for 5-year agreements to extend? Hmmm.
Upcoming here at the Horn and Bell:
Photos and reports from our trip to Scranton-Wilkes Barre, and new installments of the podcast. Maybe even the launch of the Vast Valley of Sports: the NEW Wide World of Pigs on NoiseNationTV! Stay tuned!
See you at the park–and at the tailgate!