Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’

East Bound and Down

Lansing Lugnuts vs. Clinton Lumber Kings (Midwest League)

Cooley Law School Stadium-Lansing, MI:  No trip back to Michigan would be complete without us stopping by one of our old ballparks to see a game, and this particular game I’ve been looking forward to since it announced it back in February.  The Lugnuts were paying homage to one of Lansing’s favorite sons, the late, great Burt Reynolds!  As with many kids growing up, I didn’t just love baseball, but I love cars.  And what better car than the Pontiac Firebird driven by The Bandit.  I bought my second Firebird in 2017, and Brian instantly fell in love with it.  Since then he’s watch the Smokey and the Bandit films many times over, and we have a nice collection of die cast Firebirds.  Now we have a Burt Reylonds/Bandit bobble head to add to our collection.

We got in line early, as we didn’t want to miss out on the free giveaway.  I credit Brian for this, as it was his idea to skip dinner and get in line, as he really new what this game meant to me.  After we received our bobble heads, we were bombarded with people trying to buy them from us immediately, with offers up to $30 (of course they’re all selling on eBay for $100-$200).  I really had to convince Brian to hold on to his!  We hit the gift shop to get our Lugnuts/Bandit shirts and then got ready for the game.  Lansing had a 1977 Trans Am drive around the field, also, in a tribute to Burt, and the Lugnuts whore special Bandit jerseys, as seen below.

During all of this car excitement, we also were able to watch a really good baseball game.  Lansing jumped out to a three run lead, but Clinton battled back to send the game into extra innings.  Ryan Gold led the offense for the Lugnuts, knocking in two runs on one hit, while Tanner Kirwir went 2-5 with two runs scored.  Cre Finfrock took the loss for Lansing, giving up two runs in the 10th.  Final (10):  Lugnuts 4, Lumber Kings 5.

The Lugnuts also had a few Firebirds outside of the stadium for us to gauk at.

This is one of the best theme nights we’ve been to in a long time. A night combining our love of baseball and cars was amazing!  And I’ll leave you with a YouTube video:

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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Father’s Day 2019

Louisville Bats vs. Buffalo Bisons (International League)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Not too many places I’d rather be than at a baseball game with my son on Fathers Day!

As far as the game, it was another rough one for the home team.  Keury Mella got roughed up taking the loss, giving up seven runs (only three earned) in 2.2 innings.  Two other pitchers gave up two earned runs each, also.  Christian Colon went 1-2 with an RBI, and Aristides Aquino went 1-3 with an RBI, which was all the offense the Bats could muster.

A great Father’s Day with Trevor.  He was back in Michigan most of last summer, so this was the first game he’s had a chance to go to with me since the 2017.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Marvel-ous

Louisville Bats vs. Buffalo Bisons (International League)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  One of the games Brian really wanted to see this season, was the first Marvel Super Hero Night.  They were giving away Captain Marvel bobble-heads, but due to heavy traffic, we weren’t able to get one, which upset Brian a bit.

The game definitely wasn’t a pitcher’s duel.  Brad Markey took the loss on the mound, throwing 4.1 innings and giving up six earned runs. The Bats made a game of it, scoring five runs in the seventh, but came up short.  Aristides Aquino had a day, going 2-5 with four RBI’s and two runs scored.  FINAL:  Bats 8, Bisons 11.

We were able to see Spider-Man and Ant-Man, but the lines were too long and Brian didn’t want to wait to get a photo with them.

A fun ballgame to watch for sure, and looking forward to Father’s Day right after this one.  Before the game Goldy Locks put on a little concert that we thought was pretty amazing!

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

 

Lone Wolf

Louisville Bats vs. Buffalo Bisons (International League)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Last weekend was another first, as this was the inaugural game that I attended alone.  Brian was tied up with a friend, Trevor wasn’t feeling well, and Lily was, well, out being Lily.  Since there was no one there to entertain me other than the ballplayers, we can get right to the action, or in-action, in the Bats case.

Starting on the mound for Louisville was Cody Reed.  He took the loss, going six innings while giving up four runs and striking out five.  Leading the way offensively for the Bats was Jesse Winker.  He went 2/5 with and RBI.  Also helping out were Eric Jagielo and Brandon Dixon, who went 2/4 and 2/3 respectively in the loss.  FINAL:  Bats 2, Bisons 5.

This was a short entry, but, again, the game wasn’t as much fun without any of my little buddies there.  It’s still always great to be at the ballpark, but better when enjoying it with someone!

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Going ‘Nuts in Lansing

Lansing Lugnuts vs Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League)

 Cooley Law School Stadium-Lansing, MI: After Brian finished his seminar, we got a bite to eat at the Nuthouse, then went back to see the Lugnuts host the Hot Rods.

 One cool new aspect of Cooley Law School Stadium is the Michigan Baseball Hall Of Fame.  Some of the best players who are from Michigan or played in the state are honored.  Some of my childhood favorites like Alan Trammell and Jim Abbott are honored, as well as some classic Tigers like Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer, and broadcaster Earnie Harwell.

 The game was a fun one for us to watch, and a good one for the home team. This game was special also, as it was the first one all three kids attended. I’m glad Lily finally made it to a game with us this season. Trevor took a good pic with his phone of himself, my dad, and I. I also took one using the MiLB In The Park app. Apparently, Trevor’s phone does a little better job.

 As for the game action, the Lugnuts scored in the early, middle, and late innings. Midwest League Player of the Year Ryan McBroom had a big night offensively. He went 2-3 with a booming home run, a double, and plates five RBI’s. Center fielder D.J. Davis also contributed two RBI’s on the night, going 2-4. Alex Maldonado and Christian Vazquez each had a pair of hits, also.

 On the hill for the ‘Nuts, spot starter Tim Mayza threw five shut-out innings, giving up one hit and striking out five. In relief, Dusty Isaacs gave up one run, and Phil Kish two before shutting the door.

 In the late innings, I strolled a little to some other shots of the ballpark.

 This was a great day all around, and I’m very blessed and lucky to have this time with my kids and dad. Brian and I were a little disappointed that the mascot Big Lug didn’t walk the concourse or interact with fans at all. We have some more baseball fun planned soon! Final: Lugnuts 11, Hot Rods 3.

 Photos property of Minoring In Baseball 

Brian learns from Lugnuts

 Cooley Law School Stadium-Lansing, MI:  Over the weekend the kids and I traveled way down state so Brian could participate in the Lugnuts on-field baseball seminar. He had a lot of fun and learned a lot from the pros.

 He started out with some outfield drills. He took some fly balls, grounders, and learned to play the ball off of the wall.

 Brian’s group then moved to the bullpen for some pitching practice. His age group up here uses a pitching machine, so this was his first experience on the mound.

 After his pitching stint, his group moved to the infield for some work. Lugnuts player Tom Robson was running things there, and gave the kids some good instruction. Brian did a great job, and this is the best I’ve seen him field ground balls all season.

 Brian is a runner, so it was no surprise he enjoyed the base running aspect of the seminar so much. He learned some things we haven’t touched on at his level yet, like leading off and stealing. The last station was hitting, the best aspect of his game. Unfortunately, time ran out, and he didn’t get a chance to hit. He was disappointed, so I threw a few to him in the outfield before we left so he could show off a bit. He had one of the Lugnuts sign his ball and got his picture taken, also.

 After the seminar the kids were able to play on the park and bouncy house stuff, so all was good. This was a great experience for Brian, as he learned a lot and had fun doing it. I hope I can get him into more things like this in the future. I also apologize for this post, as it was done entirely on my iPhone since my computer is jacked.

 Here is a video of the outfield station:

Photos and video property of Minoring In Baseball

Travis named Tigers top prospect; gets traded immediately

TravisMVPLast week when Baseball America released it’s prospect list, second baseman Devon Travis was ranked number one for the Detroit Tigers. Later that day, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for center fielder Anthony Gose. The Tigers were actually trying to convert Travis to the outfield, as he played there late this season before suffering a core muscle injury in the final week of the season for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves. The injury kept him out of the Arizona Fall League, where he was scheduled to play second, but still see work in the outfield. Travis hit .298 with 10 home runs, 52 RBI’s, 156 stolen bases for Erie this season. He played 77 games for the Whitecaps in 2013, hitting .352 with 102 hits before being promoted to the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He was a 13th-round draft pick by Detroit in 2012. Despite the surprising trade, Travis had nothing but positive things to say about the Tigers organization.

“The Tigers do it right,” he stated to MLive.com. “Through and through. I wouldn’t have rather been drafted by any other team. I’m thankful for everything they’ve done for me.”

In exchange, the Tigers get left-handed hitter Anthony Gose, who is expected to possibly platoon in center with Rajai Davis, who bats right. I’m not sure why Detroit would trade their number one prospect for a platoon player, but the team has been without a true center fielder since trading away Austin Jackson. Gose is sure to help defensively, though. It’s frustrating sometimes seeing some pretty good prospects play in the minor just to be traded away, but that’s the business of baseball. We do wish Travis the best in Toronto’s organization. Detroit’s top 10 list by Baseball America includes seven former Whitecaps including Steven Moya, Buck Farmer, Domingo Leyba, Kevin Ziomek, Hernan Perez, and James McCann. As for Gose, we actually saw him play a couple of games for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats back in 2011, one in Manchester and one on the road in New Britain.

gosePhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

Clipped in Columbus

Columbus Clippers vs. Buffalo Bisons (International League)

clip1Huntington Park-Columbus, OH: For our official first game of our 2014 baseball trip, we travelled south into Ohio.  I’m dedicating this season’s trip to my favorite baseball movie Major League, due to its 25th anniversary, and the fact we’re visiting so many Cleveland Indians affiliates! Columbus is a great sports city, and we actually spent the day there checking out Ohio State, the Jack Nicklaus museum, and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ arena.  We arrived at Huntington Park early, so we were one of the first few fans through the gates to explore at little.  The home of the Clippers is really a nice Triple-A stadium that has many positive aspects.  There doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house, and even has a group of seats attached to a building next to it in left field. The main concession stand was an island, so you don’t always have to miss part of the game when getting a snack or a beer. The ballpark also had many bits of baseball history, and history of  the sport in Columbus, which I always find interesting. The Clippers have two mascots, Lou Seal and Krash (a parrot). Neither were active in the crowd, only on the field before the game. We were also joined by my best friend Darryl who lives near Dayton, so it was a pretty special game for us.

clip.panclip2clip3clip4clip5clip6clip7Unfortunately, we only got four innings in before the rain started. It really wasn’t all that bad at first, but then came down in buckets with thunder and lightning to boot. The storm really didn’t last that long, but the lightning stuck around long enough for them to postpone the game. The Clippers were up on the Buffalo Bisons 3-1 when the game was called, but ended up losing 5-3 when it was resumed the next day. Fans said the big prospect in the Clippers is Jesus Aguilar, and he went 1-3 in the game. Left fielder Tim Fedroff led the way for Columbus, going 2-4 with a double and RBI. On the mound, Travis Banwart started the game, but Nick Hagadone took over when it was resumed the next day, taking the loss.  Even though we only got four innings in, we had fun in Columbus and the Clippers are a must see for baseball fans. Postponed: Clippers 3, Bisons 1 (3-5 Final).

clip7clip8clip9clip10clip11clip12clip13clip.rainHere’s a video of the game from my YouTube channel:

All photos and video property of Minoring in Baseball

 

Let’s see who we’ll see in Lansing

13639248001_1545074700001_070C60B422ED4F338E86AE4BE4DBDD06Although the Minor League Baseball season officially started tonight, the Lansing Lugnuts won’t play their first home game until next Thursday’s Crosstown Showdown against the Michigan State Spartans. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, as the weather reports don’t look good for next week, and I’m sure the kids will be disappointed if we don’t see the game. Since the Lugnuts released their 2013 roster, though, let’s take a look at some of the players we’ll be seeing. The team will have large shoes to fill, after last year’s squad enjoyed the most successful regular season in the franchise’s history, going 82-55. The entire coaching staff is back to lead its charges, including Midwest League Manager of the Year John Tamargo, Jr., pitching coach Vince Horsman, and hitting coach Kenny Graham.

This seasons’ version of the Lugnuts looks like it will be led by its pitching prospects. The 18-year-old Roberto Osuna is rated as the Toronto Blue Jays second highest prospect by Baseball America. The product of Los Mochis, Mexico, was signed by the Jays as a free agent. Also ranked as the sixth prospect in Toronto’s system is Daniel Norris. Norris is a 19-year-old who was the Jays second round pick in the 2011 draft. Joining them in the rotation will be lefty Alonzo Gonzalez, and right-handers Javier Avendano and Taylor Cole. The Lugnuts’ bullpen should consist of Wil Browning, Tucker Donahue, Chuck Ghysels, Arik Sikula, Ben White, and the only left-hander Griffin Murphey. Also in the bull will be former infielder Matt Johnson, who the organization turned into a pitching prospect.

The infield for Lansing will include returning players Balbino Fuenmayor, Shane Opitz, Gustavo Pierre, and Kellen Sweeney. They will be joined by Jorge Flores, Emilio Gurerro, and Christian Lopez, who is ranked at the 21st Jays prospect. The outfield features two returning players in Chris Hawkins (28) Dalton Pompey. The newcomers joining them are Ronnie Melendez and Carlos Ramirez. With nine returning players in all, the Lugnuts have a very good chance of challenging for the Midwest League Championship. I look forward to seeing these guys play next week at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, and maybe with the Blue Jays in a few years.

Photo courtesy of  Fox 47 News

The Gambler

Crosstown-ShowdownWe all know how the song starts….’On a cold winter’s morning..’. And that’s exactly how it felt this morning when my alarm blared in my ear, telling me it was time to get up and get the kids ready for school. Despite being the first day of spring, ‘old man winter’  pounded us with another few inches of snow. Throw the high winds and cold with it, and it’s just another winter storm, complete with low visibility and icy roads. Spring has not sprung, and winter looks as if it wants to stay with us for a little longer. Today was also the day that single game tickets went on sale for the Lansing LugNuts. Here’s where the gambling part comes in.. Despite there being several feet of snow on the ground, and temperatures in the 20’s, I took a gamble and ordered tickets for the Crosstown Showdown on April 11th. I’m sure the grounds crew at Cooley Law School Stadium is working diligently to get the field ready  for game action, but there’s still no guarantee what the weather will be like and how cold it will be in just a few short weeks. If it was just me, I wouldn’t care too much, but I’m hoping it’s warm enough for the kids to sit through. I rolled the dice, however, so we’ll see what happens. The Crosstown Showdown is the LugNuts opening day exhibition game against the Michigan State University Spartans, based in East Lansing. According to the LugNuts, this is one of the most attended games every season, so I guess we were lucky to get tickets. Trevor is the one who really wanted to see this game, as he’s a Sparty backer, for some reason. It should be a fun day all around, too, as we plan on visiting the State Capitol building while down there, as well as a couple of museums. If I’m going to pull the kids out of school, I have to justify it somehow, right? It should be a good game to watch, also, as MSU is the defending Big Ten champions, and Lansing had a great season last year. So, in a few weeks we’ll pack up and head downstate…and hope that Mother Nature deals us a favorable hand.

Promotion courtesy of the Lansing LugNuts

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