Well, this is like Deja Vu all over again, as the Detroit Tigers organization has traded away one of my favorite prospects and former West Michigan Whitecap Javier Betancourt. I went through this a year ago when the Tigers shipped Devon Travis off to Toronto for Anthony Gose. I know this is a business, and the organization is making deals to better itself and be competitive for the 2016 season, but I’ve seen many of my favorite Whitecaps get traded away over the years. As a fan, it’s simply easier to invest in players that you’ve met and seen play live many times. Also, as a former second-baseman myself, they tend to be my favorites to track up through the system. Players like Scott Sizemore, Justin Henry, Brandon Douglas, Betancourt, and most recently Joey Pankake, have patrolled second base at Fifth Third Ballpark, and I’d hope to see do the same at Comerica Park in TV. Sizemore had his chance, but was dealt after the fact, and many don’t even make it that far. Henry has come back to the organization as a scout, so I guess that could be considered a victory, right?
As for Betancourt, he’s now with the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and in return the Tigers received a much needed closer in RHP Francisco Rodriquez (K-Rod). The Brewers will also receive a player-to-be-named-later, as will the Tigers, possibly, well, that’s not guaranteed, I guess. Detroit signed Betancourt as non-drafted free-agent in 2011. With the Whitecaps in 2014, he hit .269, with 18 doubles and 54 RBIs, and was a Midwest League All-Star as the youngest player in the league. This past season with the Lakeland Flying Tigers, he hit .263, with 17 doubles and 48 RBIs. Known for his above-average defense, he was also considered a hard worker by coaches, and a good teammate by his peers. We wish him all the best in Milwaukee, and say ‘hi’ to former Whitecaps Hernan Perez and Corey Knebel for us…
Photos property of Minoring in Baseball
Gearing up for the 2010 season ahead, it’s fun to remember all of the fun times the kids and I have had the last few years since baseball has been such a big part of our lives. I was looking for some older pics to post, but didn’t have any luck finding much. I do have plenty others to share, though, so here’s to hoping this season’s games will be as fun as the ballgames past.
Photos property of MIB
Appleton, WI-August 4-5, 2009: It’s already August, and the kids will going back to school soon, and summer will be officially a thing of the past. Wanting to get one more trip in, we headed west through the U.P. to Wisconsin to take in a couple of Timber Rattler games. We watched the T-Rats play the Kane County Cougars on Tuesday night at 7:05, then for a Wednsday matinee at noon before heading home.
Playing in the Midwest League, the T-Rats are enjoying there first season as a Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. This is obviously helping attendance, as the stadium was packed with Brewers fans for both games. Also helping was the fact that Hall of Famer and former Brewer legend Paul Molitor was there signing autographs on Tuesday night. I didn’t even bother to get in line to see him the line was so long. I also enjoy visiting a ballpark for the first time and Fox Cities Stadium didn’t disappoint. Not as big as some of the other Class A ballparks, but really nice and not a bad seat in the house. The lower box seats make you feel like your right on the field. The food was pretty good and the beer was cold, so no complaints there.
The Rattlers lost both games to the Cougars, but both were very competitive. Tuesday night game went to the tenth with Kane County coming out on top 4-2. Wednsday’s game ended 3-1 in favor of the Cougars again. Wisconsin left a lot of base runners in scoring position both games. We saw some good pitching and defense from both teams, too. I have to give props to the Cougars Chris Berroa(pictued) for throwing me a game ball.
Photos property of MIB