May 2009


What an ending today as the Naturals nearly blew a 6-run lead in the 9th, but they throw out the tying run at the plate to end the game!  To me, it was more exciting than a walk-off win at home would be because it looked like it was turning into a sure loss and then the team made a great play to get a win.

Before the game, Ed Lucas was as happy as I’ve ever seen him.

Why?  Because he got to bat leadoff today, the only place in the order he had never batted in his baseball career.  Congrats to Ed for achieving this distinct but never tracked milestone.  By the way, he went 2-5 with a double and a triple.  The guy can flat out hit.

That’s all for now.  Naturals and Travs again tomorrow night at 5:30.

Birthdays Galore

Hey y’all…

I didn’t forget about you, just got lost in the biggest crowd ever at Arvest Ballpark.  8,998! this past Wednesday for a day game with thousands of kids there.  It was packed.

We’ve got birthdays like crazy surrounding this team right now.  Manager Brian Poldberg celebrated his birthday this past Saturday.

Yesterday, 3B Ed Lucas turned 25 plus 2 (27) and today it’s pitching coach Larry Carter’s turn to blow out the candles.  If John Bale hadn’t already completed his major league rehab assignment with the Naturals, he could join the party since today is his b-day too.

Not to look ahead, but Cody Strait get his day this coming Thursday and Mario Lisson’s is just 9 days away.

This isn’t actually the busiest time of the year for birthdays among members of the Naturals.  Several players were born in early October including Gilbert de la Vara, Matt Kniginyzky, John Suomi and Joe Dickerson all being within 2 days of each other.

Bonding Time

In case you weren’t awake at 8:00 a.m. this morning (and some of us weren’t), there was a tornado warning for Springfield, MO which caused the tornado sirens to go off (waking some of us up) and forcing our team hotel to make an announcement asking everyone to go to the ballroom area on the lowest level and take shelter.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing like a bunch of guys who are only half-awake hanging out in the back hallways of a hotel not knowing if they should be worried about an impending natural (no pun intended) disaster, or if they should be looking out the windows trying to catch a glimpse.

Luckily, the tornado(es) that were in the area did not come near the hotel and everyone was OK, but there were reports of 70-80 mph straight line winds just outside the hotel.

It also gave the team a chance for a little bonding in a very informal setting with some of the guys having gotten dressed a little, while others were still in their sleeping attire. 

All in all, it was just another adventure in the life of the minor leagues.

Rain in Springfield

The rain has followed the Naturals north to Springfield, MO as the tarp is on the field right now.  With first pitch still over an hour away though, they are hopeful of getting this game started close to on time.

Last night’s doubleheader was not very pretty baseball at times, but like usual the Naturals found a way to get a win in a game that they needed to win.

But last night is last night and now we look ahead to tonight:

– Blake Wood needs a solid outing to bounce back from his rough go six days ago when he lasted only 1.1 innings.  Unfortunately, Springfield is the team that Wood has had the least amount of success against in his AA career.

– Royals LH reliever John Bale has joined Naturals on a rehabilitation stint and will work out of the bullpen.  Look for Bale to be used about every other day and somewhat cautiously to begin with.  He is active and could be in there tonight against a Cardinals line-up that features 7 LH hitters.

– Finally, I recorded a funny (sarcastic) interview with Chris Hayes for the pregame show today (yes, those interviews are recorded).  We talk about everything from the doubleheader last night to his pitching to the rain to yogurt.  Definitely worth a listen.

I plan to interview him again sometime soon about his blog and why he likes it so he can give me some advice to make this one better.

That’s it for now…I’m going to do an anti-rain dance so that we can get started tonight.