November 2009

Minor League Game of the Week

A new minor league game of the week is now on This is the second of four games in memory of Nick Adenhart.

May 9, 2006 … The Cedar Rapids Kernels visit the Dayton Dragons (Reds affiliate). Nick pitches seven shutout innings, striking out nine and walking one while giving up four hits.

Some other interesting notes about this game.

Two players in the lineup were converted later in their careers into pitchers and made it to the big leagues with other organizations. DH Warner Madrigal, who homers in the game, is now a reliever with the Rangers. Travis Schlichting, who plays third base, pitched briefly for the Dodgers this year in relief.

In addition to Madrigal, Mark Trumbo and Jordan Renz also homer in the game.

The link is on the home page at You need Windows Media Player to listen.

Another Halo in the FWBL

Chris Garcia spent two seasons split between Tempe and Orem.


I’ve been writing about the Florida Winter Baseball League and its former Angels minor leaguers. Three of them are here with the Space Coast Surge, and two are down in Miami.

I found a sixth. Chris Garcia, who played first base for Tempe and Orem in 2007 and 2008, is with the Seminole County Naturals. One week into the season, he’s second in the league in batting average at .391, 9 for 23.

I’ll see Chris this weekend. The Surge will be in Sanford, about 60 miles from here, to play the Naturals on Sunday. I’ll be doing photos and video for the league at the 1 PM EST day game.

The three former Angels with the Surge are Baron Short, Stantrel Smith and Anthony Sullivan. Tyler Johnson and Trevor Pippin are with the Miami Diamantes.

The Game of the Week Returns

Nick Adenhart made his Pioneer League debut on September 5, 2005, pitching for Orem against Ogden.


As I do every off-season, the Angels Minor League Game of the Week returns today on It will run through the end of spring training, with a new game every Friday.

The idea is not only to get you through baseball withdrawal, but also to hopefully educate people more about the players in our minor league system. I archive the teams’ webcasts during the season and provide them with copies on CD-ROM, and in exchange I get to post them during the off-season.

This year, I’m going to start with a tribute to Nick Adenhart. The first four webcasts will be memorable games in Nick’s minor league career.

The first one is September 5, 2005. He’d just joined the Orem Owlz in Rookie-A, having completed his rehab from “Tommy John” surgery at our minor league complex in Arizona. Nick faced Orem’s rival, the Ogden Raptors.

Some other interesting tidbits from this game … Mark Trumbo hits two home runs. Marco Albano, who’s now a Double-A reliever pitching in the Arizona Fall League, was a utility player at the time and was in the lineup at second base.

The broadcasters … Um, I’m sorry.

The Owlz that year thought they would experiment by hiring two wanna-be stand-up comedians to be the broadcasters. They had no baseball broadcasting experience at all. The thinking was they would liven up the broadcasts by constantly making jokes.

In reality, not only did they know nothing about baseball, but also they were singularly unfunny.

Anyway, the link is on the home page at You need Windows Media Player to listen.

In December, we’ll start with 2009 season webcasts.

The Blog About Nothing

Legendary sitcom Seinfeld in its pilot episode described itself as “a show about nothing.” 

This is the time of year when there’s pretty much nothing to write about Angels minor league baseball. Nothing’s going on, at least that we the people can see.

Behind the scenes, of course, plenty is going on. Some minor leaguers are being released. Decisions are being made about which managers, coaches and roving instructors will return in 2010. A few American players will be sent to the Dominican academy, and others will find jobs somewhere in winter ball.

But it’s all fairly mundane stuff, not really anything you blog about.

Some fan blogs drone on and on about the most trivial of matters, seemingly under pressure to produce content to keep their readers entertained. I’d rather post when I have something to say, or at least when something needs to be said.

I always write my annual Top 10 Prospects report in November. I’m doing that now, but I wait to publish until after the Arizona Fall League ends so I can consider what happens there.

Major League Baseball also has the tradition that you don’t do anything newsworthy until the World Series is over, which also leaves us less to write about.

So I found myself having a very Seinfeld-like debate with myself this morning about what to write …

Me: You really should write a blog. You haven’t written one in a while.

Me2: That’s because there’s nothing to say.

Me: People expect you to write for them.

Me2: So what? They’re not paying for it.

Me: That’s a cynical attitude.

Me2: It’s my life. Besides, blogs should be about quality, not quantity.

Me: Don’t you want to be popular?

Me2: Oh, puh-leeze, we’ve heard that one before.

Me: Some of those other fan blogs claim you’re not popular.

Me2: Some of those other fan blogs claim Mike Scioscia is the dumbest manager in the history of the sport.

Me: Yeah, but they find something to write about.

Me2: What, you want me to rag on and on about the Yankees?

Me: A popular topic. Guaranteed to attract attention.

Me2: Especially from the Yankee frontrunners.

Me: Yep. Hit count gold.

Me2: But what does it have to do with Angels minor league baseball?

Me: Nothing.

Me2: Exactly.

Me: Hmmm … Well, how’s about a blog about the decisions the Angels have to make this winter?

Me2: EVERYONE is writing about that. It’s hardly a unique story idea.

Me: It would be your opinion.

Me2: Opinions are like anal orifices. Everyone has one. And they all pretty much spew the same thing.

Me: That was crass.

Me2: You wanted hit count.

Me: How’s about you attack the mainstream media?

Me2: Whatever for?

Me: Oldest trick in the book. Attack someone more successful and credible than you. Makes people think you’re edgy and controversial.

Me2: Which results in more hits.

Me: Exactly.

Me2: Doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about, though.

Me: Well, how’s about you make up an interview?

Me2: WHAT?!

Me: Yeah, make up an interview with a recognizable name. No one will know the difference.

Me2: (icily) I WOULD.

Me: You’ll impress people.

Me2: Until I get caught. Then people will think I’m a loser.

Me: You won’t get caught. Remember what P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born …”

Me2: (interrupts) P.T. Barnum didn’t say it.

Me: He didn’t?!

Me2: No.

Me: Who did?

Me2: Click Here if you want to find out.

Me3: There you go, trying to educate people again by getting them to click on a link.

Me and Me2: Who are you?!

Me3: Your inner self. Your guilty conscience. The part of you always questioning yourself. Your Jiminy Cricket, if you will.

Me: You really are a pest, you know.

Me2: Agreed.

Me3: I keep you humble.

Me: Bite me.

Me2: Me too.

Me3: Attack me if you will, but the fact remains that you need a topic for your blog. You went off-topic.

Me: (sighs) Fine …

Me2: Okay, conscience, do you have any bright ideas?

Me3: Hmmm … Well, what are the other fan blogs writing about?

Me2: Who cares?! We don’t copy the other blogs. We write about what’s important to us.

Me: But copying the others would get you more hit count.

Me3: Which is important.

Me2: Shut up. Who asked you.

Me3: You did.

Me2: I asked for a “bright” idea.

Me: You didn’t like any of mine.

Me2: Shut up.

Me3: Testy today, aren’t we?

Me: Sure is.

Me2: Look, I need a blog topic idea. If we don’t come up with a topic, we’ve got nothing.

Me: That’s it!

Me2: What?!

Me: Nothing!

Me2: You’ve lost me.

Me: It worked for Seinfeld. It was the most successful sitcom in TV history.

Me2: But the show was about nothing.

Me: Exactly.

Me2: Seems intellectually lazy to copy someone else’s formula.

Me3: And yet you seem to have no problem with using your internal monologue as an excuse for a blog.

Me2: Stop nagging.

Me: If you write a blog about nothing, then you’re done.

Me3: He has a point.

Me2: Well, I do have a lot of other things to do …

Me3: Then we’re agreed.

Me: Works for me.

Me2: (sigh)

The Superstition of the Day

I ran across a video clip of Gary DiSarcina telling a story about the superstitious Darin Erstad. Click Here to watch the video on YouTube. It runs about a minute.