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Minors: United League Announces Awards for 2014

The regular season awards for the United League were recently announced.

The 2014 Silver Slugger Awards went to the Fort Worth Cats Ryan Lashey and the San Angelo Colts Chris Grossman. Lashey started the season with the Normal Cornbelters of the Frontier League. He played with Normal for 49 games before coming to Fort Worth where his season really took off. After hitting just .241 with Normal, Lashey hit .369 for Fort Worth in 53 games. With 79 hits over the last half of the season Lashey was a force in the Cats lineup. He finished the year with Fort Worth with six home runs and 45 RBI while posting a .369/.404/.556 line.

Joining Lashey with a Silver Slugger was the Colts Chris Grossman. The Colts’ Grossman led the league with 95 hits and 48 RBI. He posted an impressive .339/.403/.471 line over 70 games with San Angelo. The veteran also blasted five home runs and 20 doubles.

This years Fireman Award went to the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings Byron Minnich. Minnich was dominate for the 2014 champion WhiteWings saving 23 games, a new league record. After starting the year with Laredo in the American Association and saving one game, Minnich came over to Rio Grande Valley and posted a 1.21 ERA striking out 44 in 37.0 innings.

On the defensive side of the ball, Gold Glove Awards were given out to Justin Reed of the Colts, Oscar Garcia of the Cats, and Roger Bernal of the WhiteWings. Reed finished the year with a .987 fielding percentage.

The 2014 Cy Young Award went to the WhiteWings Celson Polanco. The veteran from the Dominican Republic went 6-2 for the WhiteWings posting an ERA of 2.11. He struck out 81 batters in 85.0 innings allowing only 74 hits.

The Manager of the Year Award went to the WhiteWings Chris Paterson. Leading the WhiteWings to the 2014 title and a 51-27 record. This was Paterson’s third championship as a manager and third manager of the year award.

The 2014 MVP went to the WhiteWings shortstop Roger Bernal. Bernal did it all with Rio Grande Valley. He anchored the defense and offense. Hitting .301, Bernal was second in the league with 94 hits including 11 doubles and 4 triples. He also stole 26 bases for the champion WhiteWings.

Silver Slugger: Chris Grossman, Ryan Lashley

Fireman Award: Byron Minnich

Cy Young: Celson Polanco

Gold Glove: Oscar Garcia, Justin Reed, Roger Bernal

M.V.P: Roger Bernal

Manager of the Year: Chris Paterson

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Minors: United League Announces All ULB Team for 2014

The United League Baseball recently announced the All ULB Team for the 2014 season. The 2014 ULB Champion Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings led the team with 10 selections.

 

 

 

 

Position Players

Position          Player                     Team                                BA     HR      RBI

Catcher           Mario Mercedes     Brownsville Charros       .315      4         26

1st Base           Matt Chavez           San Angelo Colts            .369      5         30

2nd Base          Jason Merjano        RGV Whitewings            .283      0         19

Short Stop       Roger Bernal          Rio Grande Valley          .301      1         35

3rd Base           Ryan Lashley         Ft. Worth Cats                 .369      6         45

Designated      Chris Grossman     San Angelo Colts            .339       5         48

Outfielder        Jacob Fabry           Rio Grande Valley          .322       0         28

Outfielder        Oscar Garcia          Ft. Worth Cats               .290        2         41

Outfielder        Justin Reed             San Angelo Colts          .292        2         37

UTILITY:

Outfield           JJ Muse                   San Angelo Colts         .305         3         36

Catcher           Dan Coury               Brownsville Charros    .268         11       38

Infield             Chad Kruse              Ft. Worth Cats             .333         0         28

Starting Rotation:

Player                      Team                      Win  Loss  ERA

Ryan Bonnot           RGV Whitewings    5       3        4.48

Celson Polanco       RGV Whitewings    6       2        2.12

Brad Orosey            Rio Grande Valley  6       4        2.05

Trent Montgomery  Ft. Worth Cats        6       5        4.81

Jeremy Gooding      Ft. Worth Cats        2       2        1.64

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College: Tim Tadlock Wins Skip Bertman Award

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Texas Tech skipper named National Coach of the Year

LUBBOCK, Texas — The National College Baseball Hall of Fame is proud to announce Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock as the 2014 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year.

Tadlock will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s annual Night of Champions celebration on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

Picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 preseason poll, Tadlock has the Red Raiders in Omaha with a 45-19 record. In only his second year as head coach, he has led Texas Tech to wins at the Coral Gables NCAA regional and back-to-back 1-0 victories over College of Charleston in the Super Regional.

The 2014 Red Raiders finished the regular season with a record of 40-16, 14 wins better than their 2013 regular-season record of 26-30.

The award, sponsored by Easton-Bell Sports, is named for Bertman, who coached at LSU from 1984 to 2001. During his tenure, he won five national championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times. He coached 31 players who went on to play Major League Baseball and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2006. Since that time, three of his players have joined him in the Hall of Fame.

For more information on the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, contact the Hall of Fame at (806) 749-CBF3 or visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.

Coach of the Year Award

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Independent Baseball: Niagara New Team for Can-Am League in 2015

The Niagara Professional Baseball Group has been given provisional approval to field a team in the Can-Am League for the 2015 season. They will join the current four team league giving them another Canadian team to go with Quebec and Trois-Rivieres. The league will be six teams as Niagara and Ottawa will both be joining the league next season. Niagara has announced they are also looking for a team name and are looking for help from the public. A name the team contest has been announced via the club’s website. If you have an idea on what the team could be called for its inaugural season you can email or tweet your ideas to the team. The winner will receive some great prizes including a pair of season tickets. Contest ends August 1st. The club has also announced tryouts for September 20th. The tryout is open to anyone interested. It will take place from 2-6pm with pitchers and catchers reporting from 2-4pm and positional players from 4-6pm. Cost of the tryout is $60 per player. You can find the player tryout form and a link for payment here on their website. The club will play its home games at Welland Sports Complex which was built in 1989. The Welland Pirates played there from 1989 to 1994 as apart of the New York-Penn League. For more information on the tryout you can contact Colin at 647-608-8163 or via email at ccumminsATniagaraprobaseball.com

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A Few Thoughts on the Great Tony Gwynn

For the past few days we have all seen some great tributes to the great Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn. He will definitely be missed but I feel a lot of the tributes are overlooking one thing. His impact at the amateur level.

As we all know now, and many may not have known before, Gwynn was the head coach of the San Diego State University Aztecs. It was here that he made a profound impact on, not only the game, but on the lives of young men. SDSU may not have reached the powerhouse status of some other California schools, but it made great strides while he was at the helm. He led them to the NCAA tournament three times (2009, 2013, 2014). It was the first time they reached the postseason since 1991.

Gwynn’s love of baseball was something that was simply fun to watch. As a guy who grew up not watching much Padre baseball, he was always one I loved, but disliked seeing because he was so good, watching play my favorite team the Atlanta Braves.

When I picture Gwynn I see two things. First of all, I see him lining a baseball into the left-centerfield gap for a stand up double. He was such a great hitter and used all the field so well. I always wondered how many home runs he would have hit if he just decided to load up and pull the ball more. But that wasn’t him. Secondly, I remember well him with Ted Williams at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston. That was one of the great moments in baseball history during my lifetime and probably will never be matched.

I do not want to get into an argument about how great a hitter Tony Gwynn was. He was great. Or if he was better than this player or that player. Gwynn had one of the best swings I’ve ever seen and was simply an amazing hitter for anyone’s generation. His numbers speak for themselves. That is where I will leave that.

If you have a few minutes I highly recommend you checking out the MLB video of the Padres tribute. It was a touching moment and I loved that they included the Aztecs in the tribute, even his Aztec jersey in the dugout. You can watch it here.

Over at Friarhood.com you can purchase a t-shirt in honor of Tony Gwynn. They have two very cool shirts with proceeds going to a charity. They do great work over there covering the Padres. Below is the graphic on one of the shirts.

BqXu7TyCMAAmVd8

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Is the IBL Shutting Down the Season Already?

It is not an easy task to run a start up business. We see it everyday when different businesses in every town in America go under. It’s even harder to start a professional baseball league. Without the backing of Major League Baseball teams fight for fans on budgets that are razor thin. There have been more unsuccessful leagues over the years than successful ones. However, that doesn’t mean it is not possible to build a product that the fans will enjoy and keep coming back to. There are a few leagues that do just that and this year there was one more taking the plunge to try and add their name to that list, the Independent Baseball League. The IBL is a bit different in many regards. First of all, they play in small towns in Ohio and Michigan. We wrote about it kicking off its inaugural season just two months ago with this post. Secondly, the league does not play every day like many others. Instead the league, of only four teams, plays weekend games similar to how the leagues are set up in many places in Europe. The teams typically play single games Friday, a double header on Saturday, and a single game Sunday. That is all. However, today there was some news that the IBL would be closing up shop after just 12 games for each team. Then the post was removed from the league’s Facebook feed shortly after. You can see a screenshot below. IBL Post

I contacted someone within the IBL but was given no indication of the league shutting its doors or continuing to play. So this may be something that they are teetering on the edge with and have not fully decided. Most of the team websites are fairly up to date. However, the league website itself is not and appears to have some sort of error on it, although that has been there for as long as I can remember.

(H/T to Dan Malley for the screenshot)

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MLB Draft: Should the Astros Draft Rendon or Aiken #1 Overall?

The Houston Astros aren’t the doormat of the American League anymore. Okay let’s not get carried away, because they still aren’t very good. They still might be one of the worst teams in baseball, but don’t count them out forever. They are putting together a lot of good young talent which comes when you have the first pick in the draft year after year.

The past two years the Astros have had the first pick in the draft. In 2012 they drafted Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa who is currently tearing it up at the high Single-A level for the Lancaster Jethawks. In 2013, the Astros drafted highly regarded Stanford pitcher Mark Appel. Appel struggled to start the 2014 season but pitched well after being drafted last summer. He has a lot of upside and might be in the big leagues before too long.

Three years ago the Astros only had the #11 pick, but they made the most of it drafting George Springer. Springer would be the Astros #1 prospect had he not been called up to the big leagues earlier this year. So far in 2014 he is tearing it up for a rookie already with 10 home runs in just under 200 at bats.

This year I think tells a lot with where the Astros feel they are at at the big league level. The top two picks in most mock drafts are both left handed starting pitchers. One is a high school phenom in Brady Aiken, and the other is college standout Carlon Rondon from North Carolina State University.

Aiken is highly thought of and has a huge upside. However, Rondon may be closer to the big leagues. This is where I feel the Astros have to make a big decision. Do they choose Rondon in hopes that he could join Appel and the other rising stars in the Astros farm system in just a few years in Houston? Or do they choose Aiken and let him get some seasoning in the minors.

Aiken may take longer to get to the big leagues, but he might have a higher ceiling. Whereas Rondon might still become a quality front of the rotation starter and might do it a bit quicker than the high school pitcher.

The history of high school left handed pitchers going #1 overall has seen some bumps in the road. See David Clyde and Brien Taylor. However, this shouldn’t be taken into much consideration for Houston.

I think the Astros should take Rondon simply because he is further along in his development. Then again I am more of a proponent of taking college pitchers over high schoolers in the first few rounds, especially if you have the first pick. I think the pick will give a slight insight into where the Astros see themselves. Are they still 5+ years away from contending? Then perhaps they should stick with Aiken and go with the younger pitcher. If they feel they are five or less years away from contending, then I would go with Rondon. He gives you the better option to help out a team at the big league level in under five years. That doesn’t mean he will be the ace of the staff in three years. He still needs some polishing, but he is closer than Aiken even if Aiken has a higher upside as many people feel.

No matter who they take, it should be an interesting draft. There are some others I am anxious to see where they wind up like the hard throwing high schooler out of Texas Tyler Kolek. Or who ever drafts Alex Jackson, do they see him as a catcher or an outfielder? There is a lot of talent in the draft this year.

Who do you think the Astros should draft #1 overall?

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Independent Baseball League Teams with the Most Titles

In my continuing infatuation with independent baseball, I decided to take a look at the most successful teams in independent baseball. There are many ways in which you can determine success, but here I am looking at success in terms of championships.

Now you can argue that some championships are bigger than others, but a championship is a championship. All of these teams won their league title and a few even won in several different leagues over the years. There have been so many different leagues over the years and teams come and go. With that in mind I am only looking at teams that won more than two titles. There are quite a few with a single title, including many teams that no longer exist. There are even many teams with two titles, but over two really seems to limit the teams almost to a top 10.

So let’s take a look at the teams with three titles.

Teams with Three Titles

Fort Worth Cats – The Cats have a long history of baseball in Fort Worth dating back to the first half of the 20th century. The team was revived in 2001 in the independent All-American Association. The league folded after a year and the Cat joined the Central Baseball League winning their first championship in 2005. A year later the team joined the American Association where it would continue its dominance winning the title in its first two years in the league, 2006 and 2007. The Cats have not won a title since, but did reach the championship series of the United League Baseball, their current league, in 2013.

Gary SouthShore RailCats – The RailCats started play in the Northern League in 2002. The RailCats quickly built themselves into a powerhouse reaching the Northern League championship five straight seasons (2005-2009). They would win only two of those five (2005, 2007). After the Northern League folded after the 2010 season, the RailCats joined the American Association where they continue to play today. The RailCats are the current defending American Association champions after having defeated the Wichita Wingnuts in four games in 2013.

Long Island Ducks – The Ducks are one of independent baseball’s most famous teams and with it they have three titles. They are the two-time defending champions of the Atlantic League after defeating the Somerset Patriots in five games in 2013. Added to their titles in 2012 and 2013, the Ducks won their first title in 2004.

Windy City Thunderbolts – The Thunderbolts have played in the Frontier League since 1999. The team won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008 in the Frontier League. The first title in franchise history came under another name, the Cook County Cheetahs. The Cheetahs played in the Heartland League where they defeated the Tennessee Tomahawks in the championship.

Teams with Four Titles

St. Paul Saints – Arguably the most popular independent baseball team of all-time, the Saints helped build the Northern League. The Saints won the first Northern League title in 1993 and then came back in 1995 and 1996 to claim two more titles. The team didn’t win another one until 2004 just a couple of years before they would jump ship to the American Association where they continue playing today.

New Jersey Jackals – The Jackals began play in 1998 and quickly won the Northeast League title. The following season the Northeast League and the Northern League combined. The Jackals claimed their second title in 2001 defeating the Winnipeg Goldeyes to win their first Northern League title. They would repeat again defeating Winnipeg in 2002. The Northeast League decided to split from the Northern League in 2003. The following year the Jackals would win their fourth and final title claiming the 2004 Northeast League title. Today the Jackals play in the Can-Am League.

Amarillo Dillas – The Dillas existed as a team from 1994 to 2010 playing in different leagues. In 1999 as a part of the defunct Texas-Louisiana League, the Dillas win their first title. After a few league changes the Dillas would put together a powerhouse in the United League Baseball winning three titles in a row from 2008-2010. The team, due to financial difficulties, would disband after the 2010 season.

Teams with Five Titles

Somerset Patriots – Arguably the most successful team due to the league they play in, the Patriots are the five-time champions of the Atlantic League. The Patriots started play in 1998 winning their first title in the leagues fourth years of existence in 2001. This was after losing in the championship the previous two seasons. The Patriots would win again in 2003, 2005, and back-to-back titles in 2008-2009. The team has made the championship nine times, including 2013.

Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks – The Redhawks could also be argued as the most successful team having won five Northern League titles. Their first title came in 1998 just a few years after the Northern League began. A few years later they would pick up their second title in 2003, then again in 2006. The Redhawks would finish out the Northern League (folded after 2010) strong winning the last two titles in 2009 and 2010. They have won 13 division titles including the last two in the American Association where they play today. In their 18 years of existence, the Redhawks have failed to make the playoffs only two times.

Alexandria Aces – The Aces are the franchise with the most titles that no longer exists. The Aces played from 1994-2013. In that span they played in five different leagues including a few seasons in a collegiate league. Their first title came in 1997 in the Texas-Louisiana League. They would win again in 1998 and then turned their sites to the United League Baseball. They would win two straight ULB titles in 2006 and 2007. The final franchise title came in 2009 as a member of the Continental Baseball League.

Teams with Six Titles

Quebec Capitales – The Capitales play in the Canadian-American League where they have dominated. The Northeast League was renamed in 2004 creating the Can-Am League where the Capitales have won six titles since. The team began play in 1999 as a part of the Northern League. Since 2000 the Capitales have made the playoffs 12 times winning 6 titles. They are the five-time defending Can-Am League champions having defeated the New Jersey Jackals in the last three Can-Am League championships.

Perhaps these numbers will change after the 2014 season with nine of the eleven teams still playing.

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Independent Baseball League Stadium Ratings Part 2

We are back with Part 2 of our ratings. This time we take a look at the American Association, United League Baseball, and Pecos League. Not all of the stadiums for these leagues are available via StadiumJourney.com, so we are basing it on what we do have.

There are a few other leagues we did not factor into our ratings. First of all, the Freedom Pro League plays at some of the Arizona Spring Training fields so we did not rank them. The newly formed Independent Baseball League had no stadiums rated via Stadium Journey. It looks as thought they are playing at municipal and local high school fields and if they were in the rankings, they would probably be last based on some of the photos I have seen.

All of the ratings come from StadiumJourney.com. The ratings take into account different aspects including atmosphere, food, and even bang for your buck. Click on any team name to view the Stadium Journey rating for each one, see some stadium photos, and see why each has the rating it does.

American Association – The AA is located throughout the US from Texas to Minnesota. It is one of the more established leauges, but there are rumors a few teams may bolt next year due to travel costs.

Amarillo Sox (3.6) – The Sox play at Amarillo National Bank Sox Stadium. The stadium is old (opened in 1949) and has featured teams in many different leagues over the years. It seems the stadium gets a higher score due to some great fans and good value.

Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks (3.3) – The Redhawks play at Newman Outdoor Field which is also home to the North Dakota State Bison. The stadium opened in 1996 and is better known as “The Nest”.

Gary SouthShore RailCats (3.1) – The RailCats play at U.S. Steel Yard. It holds 6,000 people and opened in 2002.

Grand Prairie AirHogs (3.0) – The AirHogs play at Quick Trip Park which opened in 2008. With a capacity of just over 5,400, this is a nice place to catch a game. Afterwards you can walk on over to Lone Star Park and bet on the horses if you wish.

Kansas City T-Bones (3.7) – The T-Bones play at Community America Park which opened in 2003. With a capacity of over 6,500 it is one of the bigger stadiums in the league but not the biggest.

Lincoln Saltdogs (4.0) – The Saltdogs play at Haymarket Park which is also home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The park was built in 2001 and holds 8,500 fans which is the biggest stadium in the AA.

Sioux City Explorers (3.3) – The Explorers play at Lewis & Clark Park which opened in 1993. The Explorers were one of the Northern League teams when the league was reborn in 1993. The stadium has a capacity of over 3,600.

Sioux Falls Canaries (2.9) – The Canaries, formerly known as the Pheasants, play at Sioux Falls Stadium. The stadium was built in 1941 but was renovated as recently as 2000. It holds 4,500 people and is known as the “Birdcage”.

St. Paul Saints (4.0) – The Saints play at Midway Stadium which was built in 1982. It holds a little over 6,300 and is known more for what goes on on the field than the actual stadium.

Winnipeg Goldeyes (4.0) – The Goldeyes play at Shaw Park and is the only team in the AA from Canada. The team has played in Winnipeg since 1994 but only at Shaw Park since 1999. The stadium holds almost 7,500

Average score (two stadiums have not been reviewed) 3.49

Can-Am League – The Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball sits now as just a four team league. The league has two teams in each the US and Canada.

New Jersey Jackals (3.1) – The Jackals play at Yogi Berra Stadium which was built in 1998. With a capacity of just over 3,700, the stadium has seen the Jackals compete in three different leagues.

Rockland Boulders (3.3) – The Boulders play at Provident Bank Park which was built in 2011. The new stadium holds 4,500 people.

Average score (two stadiums have not been reviewed) 3.2

United League Baseball – The ULB is located in Texas with four teams and three stadiums (one travel team). A few of the teams are well established including one that plays on historic grounds.

Ft. Worth Cats (3.0) – The Cats play at historic La Grave Field. It has been rebuilt but on the same spot where many historic figures have played in the past. The stadium is nice, but nothing spectacular, sitting just outside of downtown Ft. Worth.

San Angelo Colts (3.0) - The Colts play at Foster Field which is also home to the Angelo State Rams. Built in 2000 it seats 4,200 and features Triple-A lighting. It is a bit more state of the art than some of the other ULB stadiums.

Rio Grande Valley White Wings (2.3) - The White Wings play at Harlingen Field. It is an older park that has undergone numerous renovations but doesn’t really add anything extra to the equation.

Edinburg Roadrunners (2.4) – This stadium is no longer used in the ULB but was in the past when the Roadrunners played at Edinburg Stadium.

Average score (without defunct stadium/team) 2.76

Pecos League – The Pecos League started in 2010 and features teams in the Southwest of the US in parts of New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Most of the parks are city fields and not built specifically for professional baseball.

Trinidad Triggers (2.6) - The Triggers might be most famous for their show on Fox Sports 1 that shows the team in the low minors. They play at Central Park that was built in 1960 and holds 887.

Las Cruces Vaqueros (2.3) – The team and field are no longer used by the Pecos League.

Average score (without defunct stadium/team) 2.6

Final Rankings:

1. Atlantic League 3.65
2. Frontier League 3.53
3. American Association 3.49
4. Can-Am League 3.2
5. United League Baseball 2.76
6. Pecos League 2.6
*Independent Baseball League and Freedom Pro League not rated

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the ratings?

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Independent Baseball League Stadium Ratings Part 1

Independent baseball leagues often get overlooked when fans are looking to spend their  money. However, sometimes they are a great deal and ,depending on the league, there are some really nice stadiums that fans can see. I have been fascinated with indy leagues since reading a few books on them. So I thought we could look at some of the indy league stadiums and see which league has the best ones to visit.

All of the ratings come from StadiumJourney.com. The ratings take into account different aspects including atmosphere, food, and even bang for your buck. Click on any team name to view the Stadium Journey rating for each one, see some stadium photos, and see why each has the rating it does.

Atlantic League – The Atlantic League is generally regarded as the best indy league based on the former MLB talent that the leagues higher salaries tends to bring in. They also have some of the finest stadiums in independent baseball.

Lancaster Barnstormers (3.4) – The Barnstormers play at Clipper Magazine Stadium which was built in 2005. The capacity is 6,000

Bridgeport Bluefish (2.9) – The Bluefish play at The Ballpark at Harbor Park which opened in 1998. It is one of the older stadiums and has the lowest rating among the Atlantic League teams. It has a capacity of 5,300.

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (3.9) - The Blue Crabs play at Regency Furniture Stadium built in 2008. The stadium holds 4,200 sitting not too far outside of Washington D.C.

Camden Riversharks (4.0) – The Riversharks play at Campbell’s Field. The stadium opened in 2001 since the team’s inception.  It holds just over 6,400.

Long Island Ducks (4.0) – The Ducks, one of the more famous indy teams coming off back-to-back championships, play at Bethpage Ballpark. The park opened in 2000 and holds just over 6,000 people.

Sugar Land Skeeters (4.1) - The Skeeters, one of the newest indy teams, play at Constellation Field. The stadium opened in 2012 and holds 7.500 fans. It also stands as the league’s best ballpark.

York Revolution (3.3) – The Revolution play at Santander Stadium which was built in 2007. The stadium features a retro manual scoreboard and seats 5,200.

Average score (no score for the Somerset Patriots) 3.65

Frontier League – Based out of the Midwest, the Frontier League features fourteen teams and thirteen stadiums (one travel team). The league formed in 1993.

Evansville Otters (4.1) – The Otters play at Bosse Field that opened in 1915. It is the third oldest stadium still in regular use behind Fenway and Wrigley. It was also home to the 1991 movie A League of Their Own.

Florence Freedom (3.9) – The Freedom play at UCMC Stadium. It opened in 2004 and holds 4,500 people.

Lake Erie Crushers (3.1) – The Crushers play at All Pro Freight Stadium which opened in 2009. A newer stadium it holds 5,000.

Southern Illinois Miners (3.6) – The Miners play at Rent One Park. Located in tiny Marion, population 17,000, the stadium was built in 2007 and can hold nearly half of the city with a capacity of 7,000.

Traverse City Beach Bums (3.7) - The Beach Bums play at Wuerful Park which opened in 2006. With one of the best looking entrances, it looks like a beach house, the stadium holds just over 4,600.

Washington Wild Things (3.4) - The Wild Things play at CONSOL Energy Park built in 2002. The stadium hold 5,000.

Gateway Grizzlies (4.0) – The Grizzlies play at GCS Ballpark just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The park holds 6,000 fans and routinely they place high in the attendance standings.

Joliet Slammers (3.3) – The Slammers play at Silver Cross Field. The stadium opened in 2002 and holds around 6,000 people.

Normal CornBelters (3.3) – The CornBelters play at The Corn Crib. The stadium opened in 2010 and its seems everything there is corn themed. It holds 7,000 fans.

River City Rascals (3.9) – The Rascals play at T.R. Hughes Ballpark which opened in 1999. With a capacity at just over 3,600, the stadium has seen some interesting events including a home run derby between Albert Pujols and Shaquille O’Neal.

Rockford Aviators (3.1) – The Aviators play at Aviators Stadium which opened in 2006. It holds just over 4,200 fans.

Schaumburg Boomers (3.3) – The Boomers play at Boomers Stadium that was built in 1999. The stadium holds a little over 7,300.

Windy City Thunderbolts (3.3) – The Thunderbolts play at Standard Bank Stadium. Built in 1999, it holds a little more than 3,100.

Average score 3.53

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and will include a few more leagues including the American Association, United League Baseball, and the Pecos League.

What do you think? Do you agree with these ratings? What is your favorite independent league stadium?

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College: Top 8 Seeds Fight for Spot in Omaha

The Road to Omaha kicks off today as the regional round starts today at sixteen different spots around the country.  As the rounds progress you can follow the bracket here.

The top eight seeds were announced earlier this week with the Oregon State Beavers (42-12) picking up the top seed. In the top eight there were a few teams nobody expected when the season began. Following up Oregon State is SEC power Florida (40-21). The SEC only placed two teams this  year in the top 8 seeds. Next up at #3 is Virginia (44-13), followed by #4 Indiana (42-13), #5 Florida State (44-15), #6 UL-Lafayette (53-7), #7 TCU (42-15), and #8 LSU (44-14-1).

The top eight seeds don’t really match up with the final rankings as all of the major polls had UL-Lafayette ranked first. In fact many of the polls had a few teams outside of the top 10 including TCU and Indiana.

LSU (SEC), TCU (Big 12), Indiana (Big 10), and UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt) all won their conference tournaments. Oregon State won the Pac-12 but there is no conference tournament.

National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association Poll

 

Rank School Record Previous
1 Louisiana-Lafayette 53-7 2
2 Oregon State 42-12 1
3 Virginia 44-13 3
4 LSU 44-14-1 8
5 Florida State 43-15 6
6 Cal Poly 45-10 4
7 Oklahoma State 45-16 7
8 Louisville 45-15 5
9 Houston 44-15 12
10 Florida 40-21 14
11 Indiana 42-16 18
12 South Carolina 41-18 9
13 Vanderbilt 41-18 10
14 Miami (Fla.) 41-17 11
15 Rice 41-18 17
16 TCU 42-15 20
17 Mississippi 41-18 16
18 Washington 39-15-1 13
19 Oregon 42-18 15
20 Texas 38-18 19
21 Nebraska 40-19 24
22 Mississippi State 37-22 21
23 Texas Tech 40-18 22
24 Pepperdine 39-16 29
25 Sam Houston State 41-17 23
26 Clemson 36-23 26
27 Arkansas 38-23 27
28 Dallas Baptist 40-19 30
29 Alabama 34-22 25
30 San Diego State 42-19 NR

Dropped Out: No. 28 Liberty.

Others Receiving Votes (Listed Alphabetically): Arizona State (33-22), Bryant (42-14), Cal State Fullerton (32-22), Campbell (40-19), College of Charleston (41-17), Columbia (29-18), Creighton (32-17-1), Georgia Tech (36-25), Indiana State (35-16), Kentucky (35-23), Liberty (41-16), Long Beach State (32-24), Maryland (36-21), Old Dominion (36-24), Sacramento State (39-22), UNLV (35-23).

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College: 2014 Olerud Award Watch List Released

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Small schools well-represented among 10 honorees

LUBBOCK, Texas — As postseason play begins for many teams across the country, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame has released the initial watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.

The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as both a first baseman and a left-handed pitcher, will be presented as part of the annual College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

Players from across the country and representing schools both large and small highlight the list. Among the smaller schools on the list are Central Connecticut State and South Carolina Upstate.

“These may be smaller schools, but the young men from these schools have statistics that stack up against any other school in the country,” said Chris Curbo, Olerud Award co-chair. “They have impressive numbers both on the mound and at the plate, and that makes them very valuable to their teams, regardless of the size of their school or the conference they play in.”

Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has the highest batting average among the watch-list honorees at .359, and he has 22 home runs. He also has a 2.11 earned-run average in 98 innings pitched and has played in 54 games.

Louisiana-Lafayette senior left-hander and outfielder Ryan Wilson has the lowest ERA on the watch list at 1.55 in 52 1/3 innings pitched. He also has a .250 batting average.

“This list represents players from across the country,” Curbo said. “It’s a small number of players who are called two-way players, and we’re proud to honor their contributions.”

For more information on the Olerud Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visitwww.collegebaseballhall.org.

JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Nick Howard

Virginia

ACC

Erik Samples

South Carolina Upstate

Atlantic Sun

Jacob Cronenworth

Michigan

Big Ten

J.D. Davis

Cal State Fullerton

Big West

Michael Foster

Northeastern

Colonial

Drew Reynolds

East Carolina

Conference USA

Josh Ingham

Central Connecticut State

Northeast

A.J. Reed

Kentucky

SEC

Ryan Wilson

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

Aaron Brown

Pepperdine

West Coast

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College: Semifinalists Announced for Brooks Wallace Award

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

ACC, SEC continue to dominate watch list for nation’s top shortstop

LUBBOCK, Texas — The Southeastern Conference dominated the bids for NCAA regional play with 10 teams, and it also, along with the Atlantic Coast Conference, dominates the semifinalist list for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award.

The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

“The players from these two conferences have stood out throughout the season,” said Tyler Young, Wallace Award co-chair. “To have six players from these two conferences consistently make it through the selection process is quite remarkable.”

Vanderbilt’s Vince Conde and Mercer’s Michael Massi both have the best fielding percentage among the semifinalists at .982. Conde also has a .306 batting average with nine doubles, one triple, four home runs and 43 RBIs. Massi has a .346 average with 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs.

Tennessee Tech’s Dylan Bosheers leads in several offensive categories, including batting average (.368), home runs (11) and RBIs (56).

North Carolina’s Michael Russell leads the semifinalists in doubles with 19.

“Each of these players has recorded great statistics all season,” said Larry Wallace, award co-chair. “They each bring something to the table and will make the selection of the three finalists difficult.”

For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award or the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.

BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Blake Schmit

Maryland

ACC

Michael Russell

North Carolina

ACC

Trea Turner

North Carolina State

ACC

Michael Massi

Mercer

Atlantic Sun

Sam Haggerty

New Mexico

Mountain West

Dylan Bosheers

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

Mikey White

Alabama

SEC

Alex Bregman

LSU

SEC

Vince Conde

Vanderbilt

SEC

Blake Trahan

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

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USA Baseball Unveils Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List

Press Release USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball released its 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.

The watch list will continue to be a “rolling” list until May 27 — when the semifinalists for the award are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.

Twenty-three new players were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch list players, placing nine on the midseason update, while 17 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six athletes on the list.

Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Louisiana State, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Virginia each had two athletes on the midseason watch list. Vanderbilt junior right-handed pitcher, Tyler Beede, is featured on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list after being one of three finalist for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award.

In addition to Beede, Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton) and Aaron Nola (Louisiana State) were both semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award in 2013.

USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.

Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).

Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation

The complete 2014 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Brady Aiken, LHP, Senior, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS
Brian Anderson, IF, Junior, Arkansas
Brett Austin, C, Junior, NC State
Tyler Beede, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Austin Cousino, OF, Junior, Kentucky
J.D. Davis, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara

Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton
Erick Fedde, RHP, Junior, UNLV
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU
Blake Fox, LHP, Sophomore, Rice
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Clinton Freeman, OF, Senior, East Tennessee State
Jeff Gardner
, OF, Senior, Louisville
Aaron Garza, RHP, Junior, Houston

Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Junior, Linfield
Ian Happ, IF, Sophomore, Cincinnati
Seth Harrison, OF, Senior, Louisiana Lafayette
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia

Ross Kivett, IF, Senior, Kansas State
Ryan McBroom, OF, Senior, West Virginia
Daniel Miles, IF, Junior, Tennessee Tech
DJ Miller, IF, Senior, Delaware State
Corey Miller, RHP, Senior, Pepperdine
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, LSU
Mike Papi, OF, Junior, Virginia
Mark Payton, OF, Senior, Texas
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
Kyle Schwarber, C, Junior, Indiana
Kade Scivicque, C, Junior, LSU
Austen Smith, IF, Senior, Alabama

DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Ryan Thompson, RHP, Senior, Campbell
Trent Thornton, RHP, Sophomore, North Carolina
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Luke Weaver, RHP, Junior, Florida State
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco

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Kauffman Stadium to Host Game Benefiting College Baseball Hall of Fame

Wichita State, Missouri to play April 22 at home of Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Press Release

Kauffman Stadium will soon be the site of a college baseball border clash.

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame “Classic at The K” will feature a matchup between the Wichita State Shockers and the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. Farmland Foods will be the presenting sponsor of the game, which will benefit the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Lubbock, Texas.

classicK640

“We are so honored that David and Dan Glass and the Royals organization have chosen to host this game,” said Hall of Fame Executive Vice President of Development Jana Howser, daughter of late Royals Hall of Fame Manager Dick Howser. “We look forward to a wonderful night of college baseball.”

Wichita State leads the all-time series, having won six of the 10 matchups between the teams. They last met in 2004 with the Shockers winning, 3-0.

Tickets in the BATS Crown Club, which will include a special menu offered at a reduced price, will be available for $25 for adults and $14 for youth ages 14 and under. Fans may also purchase tickets in the KIA Diamond Club for $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Please note that Royals Crown Club and Diamond Club seat holders will be given a special opportunity to purchase tickets in these two areas and will receive an email with information on how to purchase tickets within the next week. In addition, general admission seating in the lower seating bowl will be available for purchase at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.

Fans may purchase tickets online at www.royals.com/hofgame, by visiting the Kauffman Stadium Box Office or by calling 1-800-6-ROYALS.

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College: Virginia Stays Atop NCBWA Division I Poll

The Virginia Cavaliers are still holding strong at the top of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division I poll after going 3-1 this past week. Virginia squared off with then #13 Clemson over the weekend taking two of three in Charlottesville. This is the fourth straight week at the top of the poll and the sixth week total for Virginia.

Former #1 holder Florida State dropped from the second spot to #5 after dropping two of three to Georgia Tech over the weekend in Atlanta.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year so far has been a team from Louisiana, and no it is not LSU. It is Louisiana Lafayette who sits ranked #2 this week after going 4-1 this past week. The next biggest surprise is sitting right behind Louisiana in Cal Poly at #3. The Mustangs just went 4-0 this past week including a sweep of Hawaii over the weekend.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (APRIL 14)

Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 30-6 3-1 1
2. Louisiana Sun Belt 34-4 4-1 3
3. Cal Poly Big West 30-5 4-0 6
4. Oregon State Pacific-12 27-7 2-1 5
5. Florida State Atlantic Coast 27-8 1-3 2
6. South Carolina Southeastern 28-7 2-2 4
7. Texas Big 12 29-8 3-1 9
8. LSU Southeastern 27-9-1 3-1 8
9. Louisville American Athletic 27-8 4-0 10
10. Oregon Pacific-12 27-10 5-0 12
11. Vanderbilt Southeastern 27-10 2-2 7
12. Ole Miss Southeastern 29-9 4-1 14
13. Oklahoma State Big 12 26-10 4-0 18
14. Houston American Athletic 26-9 1-3 11
15. Washington Pacific-12 24-7-1 2-1 20
16. Rice Conference USA 26-12 4-0 21
17. Alabama Southeastern 24-11 2-2 16
18. Florida Southeastern 23-13 3-1 24
19. Cal State Fullerton Big West 18-13 2-2 15
20. Miami Atlantic Coast 25-12 4-0 23
21. Clemson Atlantic Coast 21-14 1-4 13
22. Mississippi State Southeastern 22-15 2-2 19
23. UC Santa Barbara Big West 22-8 2-1 26
24. Kentucky Southeastern 23-13 1-3 17
25. Texas Tech Big 12 28-11 4-0 30
26. Indiana Big Ten 21-11 4-1 -
27. UCLA Pacific-12 19-15 1-3 22
28. Pepperdine West Coast 27-8 3-1 -
29. Tennessee Southeastern 23-11 2-2 27
30. Liberty Big South 29-8 4-0 -
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Arizona (17-20), Arizona State (19-14), Arkansas (22-15), College of Charleston (24-11), Dallas Baptist (25-10), Georgia (21-14-1), Georgia Tech (23-14), Iowa (20-13), Lipscomb (24-13), N.C. State (20-15), New Mexico (27-11-1), North Carolina (21-15), Oklahoma (23-14), Sam Houston State (25-11), San Diego (25-10), San Diego State (25-11), Seton Hall (25-7), Southern Miss (21-16), TCU (22-13), Texas A&M (22-15), UAB (24-12), UC Irvine (24-11), UCF (22-15), UNLV (25-11), UTSA (24-12), VCU (25-8).
Dropped out: N.C. State (25), Oklahoma (28), North Carolina (29).
By conference: Southeastern 9, Atlantic Coast 4, Pacific-12 4, Big 12 3, Big West 3, American 2, Big South 1, Big Ten 1, Conference USA 1, Sun Belt 1, West Coast 1.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

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Pro Baseball Tryout April 28 in Riverside, California

Pro Baseball tryout April 28 10 am La Sierra University Riverside, CA

Their will be a professional baseball tryout on Monday April 28 at 10 am at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA. The address to the school is 4500 Riverwalk Pkwy, Riverside, CA 92505 and Regestraion will begin at 9am.

Tryout will be on the baseball field of LA Sierra U. Players will be expected to fill out a tryout waiver and questionnaire at the time of registration as well as a tryout fee of $60 which can be payed check or cash at the time of registration. This helps with the cost and field rental, league fees etc.

This tryout is for all players 18 and older that are looking to play professional baseball for the summer of 2014. The tryout is open to graduating seniors of the 2014 season. If you are worried about your schedule the reason we are hosting the tryout on a Monday morning is because that way we can have the seniors attend as nobody is playing that day.

The Players will be expected to bring their own equipment out to the tryout and dress accordingly in baseball attire. All college coaches are free to join and observe if they would like. Multiple professional Independent teams as well as MLB scouts and Mexico pro baseball scouts have been invited and are looking forward to attending the work out. The tryout will consist of 60yd dash, fielding and throwing from their positions, batting practice, and a live game.

For more information you can contact Chris Paterson at chrispaterson12@usa.com.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

The IBL is the New Independent Baseball League in Town

There is a new league in town, independent league that is. The newly formed Independent Baseball League or IBL for short. Play starts this summer with teams located in Ohio and Michigan.

The IBL kicks off the 2014 season joining a laundry list of other independent leagues throughout the country. The IBL will start with four teams. The locations include Tiffin, Ohio; Marion, Ohio; Adrian, Michigan, and a traveling Ohio team. The league hopes to expand in 2015 into three divisions, but we will have to wait and see how successful it can be.

The area is no stranger to professional baseball. Marion, Ohio was once the home of the Marion Red Sox of the old Ohio-Indiana League in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Baseball extends back to the turn of the century with teams playing in the Ohio State League and other leagues dating back to 1900.

The innagural teams in the IBL will be the Tiffin Saints, Shovel City Crawlers (based in Marion), and two other teams to be named. The league will start play in June with each team playing a 36 game season.

It should be interesting to see if the league can survive like other recent start ups including the Pecos League, which is in its fourth season in the southeast.

For more information about the IBL or its teams, visit the league website at IBL-Baseball.com or check them out on Facebook.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

Sonoma Stompers of Pacific Association Announce Manger for 2014 Season

Press Release Sonoma Stompers

SONOMA STOMPERS INTRODUCE 2014 MANAGER CASEY DILL

Stompers hire former Pecos League manager, Redding CA. native

Sonoma, Calif. April 9, 2014: The independent, minor league Sonoma Stompers Baseball Club formally introduced Casey Dill as the team’s field manager for its inaugural season. Stompers General Manager Theo Fightmaster made the announcement Wednesday.

“Casey is a proven game manager and has a keen eye for talent,” Fightmaster said. “We’re fortunate to have Casey as a part of our organization, and I think the baseball fans in Sonoma County will reap the benefits of his hard work in building a talented, professional club.”

Dill, 30, spent the previous two seasons managing in the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs, with the Las Cruces Vaqueros (2012) and Las Vegas (New Mexico) Train Robbers in 2013. While with Las Cruces, Dill’s team set the all time league record for total offense. He led both teams to league championship series in consecutive seasons, capturing a Northern Division Championship in 2013 with the Train Robbers. The Train Robbers also set the all-time league record in ERA. In two seasons, Dill owns a career managerial record of 86-57.

“I am honored to be a part of the Sonoma Stompers in our inaugural season. It has already been a pleasure to work with a staff of people who are truly dedicated to the success of the team,” Dill said. “The opportunity to manage a minor league team in a place as beautiful and welcoming as Sonoma is a dream come true.”

During his time with the Pecos League, Dill has promoted 28 players to higher levels of professional baseball, more than any other manager in the league during that period.

Earlier in 2014, Dill managed in the California Winter League, an instructional showcase league for current professional and free agents, located in Palm Springs, Calif.

“I look forward to developing a team of young men who will not only be great on the field, but will also be respected members of the community,” Dill said.

“It’s not often you get the opportunity to create something new and develop it into something great. I look forward to working with our staff and the community as it becomes an integral part of Sonoma and minor league baseball.”

Casey Dill’s email is Casey@stompersbaseball.com.

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Fan Duel – A New Way to Play Fantasy Baseball

So I am hooked on something that isn’t necessarily new, but it is new to me – Fan Duel.

I used to play fantasy baseball every year. I even managed to win a few times (I have a banner from an ESPN league somewhere), but eventually I had to stop. I simply put in too much time and let it get in the way of other things.

These days I don’t change lineups every day depending on who is playing. I don’t even play every day. I only play when I have time and usually when I have some time to actually watch the games which for me these days is only a couple times a week. So I don’t feel the need to do it every day, and I am winning a few dollars.

FanDuel.com is a gambling site. So if you are not into gambling it might not be for you, but you can also play for free. There are multiple ways to play. I usually play head-to-head or in a 50/50 league and only for small stakes. But it is fun.

Each player is assigned a value and then you have $35,000 to purchase players ranging from $2,000 to nearly $10,000. You earn points for what they do on the field and the winners win actual money. You never get stuck with the guy who is on the DL because you pick your lineups daily.

I like it and even though it is not going to pay the rent, it might buy me an occasional beer or two. If you sign up through one of the links on our site, we get a small commission which helps keep our site up and running. You can even challenge your friends. I do it all the time. So if you sign up through us, send us an email and we can do a challenge together (low stakes of course – I’m not a high roller).

If you play, I’d like to hear what you think of it. Leave a comment below and let us know.

download

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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2014 MLB Predictions

Every year people throw out predictions for the year. I love doing this as well even though I never come close to what actually happens. It is not an easy thing to do to predict how teams will perform over six months time. But alas it is still a fun thing to do. So here we go, the Baseball de World 2014 MLB Predictions.

* Wild Card Teams

AL East

1. Tampa Bay Rays (I still want to write Devil Rays)
2. *Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. New York Yankees
5. Toronto Blue Jays

This might be the most closely contested division in baseball. From one to four the separation won’t be that much. I like the Rays to win the division based on their good young pitching and hitting and their leader Joe Madden.

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins

The upper part of this division is good. I’m not sold completely on the Royals like some others I have seen. However, the last two teams are terrible. It is Detroit’s division to lose and the Indians will make it close most of the season but I see the Tigers claiming the Central crown again.

AL West

1. Texas Rangers
2. *Oakland A’s
3. Anaheim Angels
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros

Okay, so this may be a bit of a homer pick. I kept going back and forth between the Rangers and A’s with the other team getting the wild card. I know the Rangers pitching is hurt but I think the guys filling in will do better than most expect. Plus everyone that is hurt will not be out too long aside from the Dutch Oven.

AL Wild Card Game – Boston over Oakland
AL Division Series – Detroit over Boston & Tampa Bay over Texas
AL Championship Series – Tampa Bay over Detroit

NL East

1. Atlanta Braves
2. *Washington Nationals
3. Miami Marlins
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. New York Mets

Again this might be a bit of a homer call, but I think both the Braves and Nationals make the playoffs. I know the Braves have some issues with the rotation, but I think they have enough in some good young arms to keep in the race. Plus I think their offense will be better this year. I mean B.J. Upton can’t be as bad as last year can he? Braves fans better hope not.

NL Central

1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. *St. Louis Cardinals
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Chicago Cubs

I really hate to give the Cards the Central crown even though they may be the best team. I think both the Pirates and Cards make the playoffs with the rest of the league battling for mediocrity. The Reds may be decent and surprise some people, but the Brewers and Cubs will be terrible.

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants
3. San Diego Padres
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies

Top to bottom I think the Dodgers are the best team in baseball. Will they beat themselves again this year? It remains to be seen but they will be in the playoffs.

AL Wild Card Game – St. Louis over Washington
AL Division Series – Los Angeles over St. Louis & Pittsburgh over Atlanta
AL Championship Series – Los Angeles over Pittsburgh

World Series – Los Angeles Dodgers over Tampa Bay Rays in six games.

Posted in MLB, N. America1 Comment

Hosts Announced for a few Upcoming Baseball World Cups

Hosting rights for some of the upcoming youth Baseball World Cups were announced recently. The WBSC’s International Baseball executives announced the hosts in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 21U Baseball World Cup will debut later this year and it will be hosted by Taichung, Chinese Taipei. Taichung was host to the 18U BWC in 2013. Twelve countries will participate in the inaugural event from November 7-16.

The executives also voted to include a limited number of 23U players for the initial tournament. Each national team will have the option to use up to three players in a game at a time.

Japan was chosen to host the next 18U Baseball World Cup to take place in 2015. Koshien Stadium, which is known was the “Mecca of Japanese Baseball”, will be the centerpiece for the tournament. Home of the Hanshin Tigers, Koshien Stadium is Japan’s oldest ballpark having been built in 1924.

The 2017 18U Baseball World Cup was granted to Canada. Canada hosted the event in 2010 in Thunder Bay, so it is not new to hosting these big international events.

Events to be held later in 2014 include the 21U Baseball World Cup in Taichung, 15U in La Paz, Mexico, and the Women’s Baseball World Cup to take place in Japan.

Posted in Asia, N. America, News, Tournaments1 Comment

Australia Releases Final Roster to Face Diamondbacks and Dodgers

Baseball Australia has announced the final roster for the team that will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 20 and March 21. The team, newly named Southern Thunder, is led by MLB pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith (Arizona Diamondbacks) and former MLB outfielder Trent Oeltjen (Sydney Blue Sox).

Joining Oeltjen in the lineup will be power hitting Stefan Welch (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Walker (Milwaukee Brewers). The team features several other players with MLB experience including Luke Hughes and Justin Huber.

The Southern Thunder will take on the Dodgers on Thursday March 20th before taking on the Diamondbacks on Friday March 21st.

1-top-roster
1-bottom-roster

Posted in MLB, N. America, News, Oceania0 Comments

College: Virginia Claims #1 Spot in NCBWA Poll for Second Straight Week

Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the 17th year with its 2014 weekly surveys. Polls will be circulated from Feb. 17-June 26 (weekly through June 10) following the 68th annual NCAA World Series in Omaha, Neb., at TD Ameritade Park.

Cal State Fullerton (preseason No. 1), Oregon State (Feb. 17) and Virginia (Feb. 24-March 3) have held down the No. 1 positions in the first four 2014 surveys. Last season only five teams were No. 1 during the entire January-June NCBWA surveys. The poll voters come from 44 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation.

The current survey has representation by 11 different conferences among the 302 baseball-playing schools in the 2014 NCAA Division I ranks, and 13 circuits have been rated this season. The rankings of 2012 had a NCBWA-poll record 22 different DI conferences and independents rated at least one week while 12 separate circuits had team rankings in ’13.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (MARCH 3)

Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-1 1
2. Florida State Atlantic Coast 8-1 2-1 2
3. South Carolina Southeastern 10-0 3-0 6
4. Cal State Fullerton Big West 7-3 3-0 9
5. Oregon State Pacific-12 9-3 4-1 7
6. Vanderbilt Southeastern 10-2 3-2 4
7. LSU Southeastern 9-2 2-2 3
8. N.C. State Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-1 8
9. UCLA Pacific-12 7-4 3-1 13
10. Louisville American Athletic 8-3 3-1 12
11. Oregon Pacific-12 8-3 1-3 5
12. Mississippi State Southeastern 10-4 6-0 15
13. Oklahoma State Big 12 10-2 2-1 14
14. Cal Poly Big West 8-2 2-1 17
15. Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt 10-2 3-1 20
16. North Carolina Atlantic Coast 7-3 4-0 21
17. Ole Miss Southeastern 11-1 5-0 24
18. Rice Conference USA 7-5 1-3 10
19. Clemson Atlantic Coast 6-4 1-3 11
20. Texas Big 12 9-3 4-0 27
21. TCU Big 12 7-4 1-3 16
22. Kentucky Southeastern 9-2 4-0 30
23. Miami Atlantic Coast 5-5 1-2 19
24. Arizona State Pacific-12 6-4 3-0 29
25. Texas A&M Southeastern 7-4 1-3 18
26. Indiana Big Ten 4-5 2-0 25
27. Arkansas Southeastern 7-2 1-2 22
28. Sam Houston State Southland 10-2 3-1 -
29. College of Charleston Colonial 10-1 4-0 -
30. Texas Tech Big 12 9-3 3-2 26
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Alabama (5-5), California (6-2), Dallas Baptist (9-2), Florida (6-6), Florida Atlantic (8-3), fiu (11-1), Fresno State (9-2), Georgia Southern (10-2), Houston (8-2), Illinois (6-4), Iowa (9-1), Kansas (11-1), Kansas State (4-7), Maryland (8-2), Memphis (10-1), New Mexico (8-3-1), Ohio State (7-3), Oklahoma (7-4), San Diego (8-1), Seton Hall (7-2), USC (8-2), Tennessee (10-0), Tennessee Tech (11-1), Tulane (8-2), UC Irvine (8-3), UC Santa Barbara (7-1), VCU (10-1), VMI (7-3), Western Carolina (7-2), Wichita State (7-3).
Dropped out: Florida (23), Alabama (28).
By conference: Southeastern 8, Atlantic Coast 6, Big 12 4, Pac-12 4, Big West 2, American 1, Big Ten 1, Colonial 1, Conference USA 1, Southland 1, Sun Belt 1.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

2014 NCBWA Polls (No. 1 Team):

  • Preseason (Cal State Fullerton)
  • Feb. 17 (Oregon State)
  • Feb. 24 (Virginia)
  • Mar. 3 (Virginia)

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