Results tagged ‘ Webcasts ’

Game of the Week for November 12

Jered Weaver with Rancho Cucamonga in 2005
Jered Weaver began his pro career in June 2005 with Rancho Cucamonga, but finished the year pitching in the Texas League playoffs for Arkansas.

Jered Weaver was selected by the Angels in the first round of the June 2004 draft, passed up by eleven other teams who thought him unsignable because his advisor was notorious super-agent Scott Boras.

For nearly a year, it looked like those eleven teams were right as Weaver sat on the sidelines holding out until the signing deadline one week before the June 2005 draft.

Literally at the last hour, Weaver signed a minor league contract for a $4 million bonus, and reported to High-A Rancho Cucamonga where he began to pitch back into shape. Jered appeared in his first game on June 20, and after seven starts was promoted to Double-A Arkansas in late July.

The Travelers, meanwhile, were a tale of two halves. They finished 34-36 in the Texas League East Division’s first half, last in the four-team division. But in the second half, the Travs finished first with a 37-33 record. In addition to Weaver, other future Angels leading the team were first baseman Kendry Morales, catcher Mike Napoli, outfielders Tommy Murphy and Reggie Willits, shortstop Erick Aybar, and second baseman Howie Kendrick.

So in the first round of the East Division playoffs, the Travs faced the Tulsa Drillers, who’d won the first half.

Arkansas swept the series 3-0, the final win with Jered Weaver on the mound turning in one of his best starts of 2005.

One year later, Weaver was in the major leagues, finishing his first major league season at 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 19 starts.

This week’s Minor League Game of the Week features Weaver’s playoff start against Tulsa, called by Travs broadcaster Phil Elson.

Click here to listen to the recording. You need Windows Media Player to play the download.

Next week, we’ll begin with replays of selected games from the 2006 season.

Game of the Week for November 5, 2006

Jordan Renz with Provo in 2004
Jordan Renz hit “The Shot Heard ‘Round Provo” to win the Pioneer League pennant for the Provo Angels on September 13, 2004.

The Angels Minor League Game of the Week for November 5 is another classic. It’s September 13, 2004. The Provo Angels host the Billings Mustangs in Game 2 of the Pioneer League Championship Series.

The Pioneer League is a short-season league, so their title series is best-of-three. Provo won the first game in Billings, then both teams bussed back to Provo for Game 2.

The game was important for other reasons. It was to be the last game ever for the Provo Angels. The next summer, they moved six miles west on University Parkway to a shared facility with Utah Valley State College in Orem. The team changed its name to the Orem Owlz.

The Provo Angels’ franchise had moved from Helena for the 2001 season. They rented Larry H. Miller Field, the BYU college team’s ballpark, that first year with the understanding that the City of Provo was going to build them a permanent stadium. But it never happened, for reasons as varied as the opinions you get.

BYU made it clear that they wouldn’t extend the lease past 2004, so win or lose the Provo Angels would cease to exist after the playoff series. If not for the UVSC deal, the franchise probably would have left Utah County, perhaps even the state of Utah.

Anyway, back to the championship game …

The score was tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the 8th. Outfielder Jordan Renz hit a two-run homer that gave Provo a 4-2 lead. Closer Mitch Arnold struck out the side in the 9th to give the Angels the title.

My own personal story with this game is that my wife and I drove up to Provo for the game. I sidekicked with broadcaster/Assistant GM Zachary Fraser during the middle innings, then ran back downstairs to videotape highlights.

Since Provo had no radio contract, Zach was using a laptop to webcast the playoff games over the Internet, for an audience that probably consisted mostly of players’ parents. That’s why you don’t hear any commercials on the recording. It’s just Zach talking to a microphone plugged into a laptop. Today Zach is the Owlz’ GM, one of the youngest GMs in the minors.

Click here to listen to the recording. You need Windows Media Player to play the download.

As a bonus, here’s the footage I shot on the field as Provo won the game and celebrated on the field.

You need Windows Media Player to watch the video.

Game of the Week for October 29, 2006

Casey Kotchman with Rancho Cucamonga in 2003
Casey Kotchman hit two of the longest home runs in the history of The Epicenter on April 16, 2003.

Long-time visitors of know that every winter I post a “Minor League Game of the Week” each Sunday. The idea is to give you a baseball fix until the teams start playing again in April.

In 2003, I began recording as many webcasts as I could of the Angels minor league affiliates. The main reason was to archive some history. How cool would it be if you could listen to Tim Salmon with Edmonton in 1992 when he was named the Minor League Player of the Year, or Garret Anderson when he broke in with Boise in 1990, or Darin Erstad’s professional debut with Lake Elsinore in 1995?

No one keeps that stuff, so with the permission of the affiliates I began archiving with the use of a program called Total Recorder from High Criteria. Basically it captures anything coming over a computer’s sound card. At season’s end, I send the MP3 files on CD-ROM to each affiliate’s broadcaster to do with as he wishes, and they let me post the recordings on this site.

Webcasts are still in their infancy, suffering problems like Internet congestion, disrupted signals, power failures and whatnot. So if the original source has a problem, the recording has a problem.

Typically I’ve posted games from the season just completed, but with four years now in the archives I’m going to mix in some games from earlier seasons that have historical interest.

This week’s game is High Desert at Rancho Cucamonga, April 16, 2003. Casey Kotchman hit two of the longest home runs in the history of The Epicenter on back-to-back pitches in his first two at-bats. The game is also notable for a rehab start by Aaron Sele. There’s also a pre-game interview with Tommy Murphy, who made his major league debut this year as an outfielder; Murphy was a shortstop with the Quakes.

Click here to listen to the recording. You need Windows Media Player to play the download.

UPDATE 8:30 AM PDT — Just dug up out of the archives the video clip I shot that night of Casey’s two homers. Overlaid on the audio is Rob Brender’s calls of the homers. Click the Play button below; you need to have Windows Media Player installed on your computer to watch.

April 16, 2003: Casey Kotchman hits back-to-back homers for Rancho Cucamonga, two of the longest homers in the history of The Epicenter.