This ‘N That – April 14, 2008

The Salt Lake Bees are now 11-1 after winning today 5-3 over Portland. Although that’s impressive under any circumstances, a reminder not to get overly excited about their offensive statistics. They’ve played 12 games in the PCL’s most offensively-minded ballparks — Las Vegas, Tucson and Salt Lake. Give the schedule a chance to balance things out and revisit the stats in a month or so.

Today’s Salt Lake Deseret Morning News had an article about the naming rights for Franklin Covey Field about to expire. The article quotes a business professor as saying any new deal will be “close to the bottom” of the scale revenue-wise. Given our recent discussion about how the Bees seem to be fairly low on the Salt Lake City sports pecking order, this would seem to be more evidence of that.

Sean O’Sullivan had a head cold and struggled at times, but he managed to deliver five no-hit innings yesterday at Rancho Cucamonga in the near-100 degree heat. Click Here to watch video footage I shot of Sean’s start.

Before the game, I recorded an interview with outfielder Anthony Norman. Click Here to listen to the interview. He then went out and hit his first professional home run. Click Here to watch his dinger.

Angels reliever Chris Bootcheck didn’t pitch on Sunday but he was at The Epicenter for his daily workout regimen. Click Here to listen to an interview I recorded with Chris. He said this is basically his spring training, which is why he’s at the park every day, whether he’s scheduled to pitch or not.

We talked about rehab players he saw at Rancho when he began his pro career in 2001 with the Quakes. Other than Erick Aybar, off-hand I can’t think of anyone other than Chris who played at Rancho for a significant period of time and then returned later for rehab.  (Not that this is a particular achievement worth striving for …)  Maybe Howie Kendrick and Mike Napoli last year, I’ll have to check the stats.

Breaking news, pun only slightly intended … Travs.com reports that outfielder Aaron Peel suffered a broken left clavicle in Saturday night’s game at Midland. Cliff Remole has been promoted from Rancho. No word who will replace Remo with the Quakes.

The Orem Owlz don’t start play until mid-June so there’s no Hot Stove banquet in Happy Valley, but they do have an annual First Pitch banquet which is scheduled for this Friday April 18. Angels farm director Abe Flores and former second baseman Bobby Grich are the featured speakers. Click Here for more information.

In closing … After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I won’t travel this year to Cedar Rapids and Arkansas. The cost of flying is becoming too expensive, and if you’ve followed the news you know the airlines are increasingly unreliable. As previously mentioned, I’m also working on a political project that will eat up a lot more of my time in the months ahead.

Last week’s spat with the Bees was also a factor. Not that I expect a similar problem with the Kernels or Travs. Quite the opposite; they’re both class acts, as are their fans. But it made me think about all the mental and physical effort involved to travel cross-country for a four- or five-day shoot, especially when I’m not being paid to do it. In a non-election year like 2007, I have more time to recover, but this year there’s just too much going on. Back in 2000-2001, I had two bouts with an irregular heartbeat that were brought on by pushing myself too far, so I have to remind myself that, to quote Clint Eastwood, a good man knows his limitations.

I feel like I’m letting down the fans, the front offices, and the players’ parents in those towns. I hope you’ll understand.

I do hope to make Orem sometime and also the Arizona summer league, but stay tuned.

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