Jul 02

Plays at the plate all over the place

Last night I saw something I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before – three plays at the plate in one inning. Omaha scored on one of the, which is fortunate because it was all they would get for many innings.

Getz getting theatrically tagged out at home. This was the first of THREE plays at the plate in the inning.

PLAY NUMBER ONE: Chris Getz, out, and tagged where a guy shouldn't be tagged.

 

Anthony Seratelli sliding past a tag for what would be the team's only run for a long, long time.

PLAY NUMBER TWO: Anthony Seratelli was safe!

 

Max Ramirez was out in BY FAR the least exciting play at the plate

PLAY NUMBER THREE: Max Ramirez probably should not have been sent here. It was...not close.

BONUS PLAY: Check out this incredible shot that New Orleans broadcaster Tim Grubbs passed along. Photographer ‘Baseball Jan’ caught Gorkys Hernandez beating up on the home plate umpire in a collision at the plate last week in New Orleans. Go visit Jan’s Facebook page and tell her how much you love the shot!

Gorkys Hernandez took out the home plate umpire on this play in New Orleans. PHOTO: Baseball Jan

Jun 22

Picture of the night [UPDATE: Now with another picture!]

In the 3rd inning, Johnny Giavotella was on third as Brett Hayes struck out on a dropped strike three, and when the catcher threw to first to get Hayes out, Gio went home. This is that.

Justin Sellers, by contrast, is not a happy man. This is his reaction after being thrown out at 3rd for the 2nd out of the 9th inning.

See more pictures from the 7-6 Omaha win HERE.

Jun 19

Danny Duffy, Yordano Ventura, a hilarious photobomb: Scenes from Werner Park

A few shots from last night’s Storm Chasers game. Click any picture to go to the original on Flickr, and don’t forget to check out the tags under each picture there for your browsing convenience.

This kid got a little overwhelmed by his surroundings

This moment alone made it worth going to the ballpark with a migraine. Danny Duffy took some time to try to make things better for an overwhelmed little kid.

Duffy later Instagrammed the picture, and said “My man was a little shook! But we talked a little UNC hoops and it was all gravy. Saw soooo much of me as a little guy in this kid. Love this game.”

As for the kid, I don’t mean to pick on him by highlighting this picture, at all. I know too well the feeling of arriving somewhere and then immediately going NOPE NOPE NOPE and heading right back home (or at least wanting to). What I do want is for his parents see Duffy saying he was this kid, and he grew up and made it to the Bigs.

Duffy pitches tomorrow night, by the way, followed by Yordano Ventura on Friday. I’d suggest dropping everything and going to Werner Park for both games. Velocity will be the story on both nights, as Duffy gets deep into his rehab assignment and whoever catches for Ventura tries to avoid having his 100+ mph fastball burn a hole through his glove.

I don't know if Seratelli INTENDED to creep into the corner of this one, but there he is all the same.

Anthony Seratelli bringing his A-game for this photobomb. Well played, sir.

Seratelli sliding into 2nd, and then...

Here's Seratelli stealing 2nd in the 2nd. The ball would end up in the outfield.

...and then practically getting pinned to the base, so he couldn't move when the ball skipped past Gonzalez into the outifeld

HOWEVER, Seratelli was unable to get up and go to 3rd, because Elevys Gonzalez pinned him to the bag with his legs. The third base umpire saw no issue with this. Seratelli got thrown out trying to advance to third.

While we’re thinking about Seratelli, I’d just like to point out that he”s having a really good season at the plate. Thanks in part to the one of the highest walk rates of his career, his OPB stands at .401 right now. He also has 6 home runs and 10 stolen bases, and in addition to regular duty in right field, he has played every infield position. He is pretty much the best Swiss Army knife a team could ask for, and I wish the big club could find a way to stop ignoring him.

Yordano Ventura

I haven't seen Ventura pitch yet, so I just have a series of nice pictures like this.

Dwyer, pitchin.

Chris Dwyer is the James Shields of Omaha's staff. Pitches well, gets little support.

The Chasers are having a bit of a down year, at 30-39. It is a far cry from the team that wrapped up a division title in mid-August of last year, that is for sure.

I don’t want to pile on, because I like this team and I want them to do well, but here’s a bit of a breakdown of what’s led to this 30-39 record:

  • The Omaha lineup, despite having one of the oldest (read: Most experienced?) lineups in the PCL, is scoring the 4th-fewest runs in the league (4.52 per game, 312 runs total)
  • Omaha has the 4th-lowest team batting average and the 3rd-lowest OBP, as well as the 3rd-lowest slugging percentage.
  • They’ve hit the 4th-fewest home runs, too, and are dead last BY FAR in doubles hit.

The pitching staff is actually in the top 4 or so in most categories. They’re in the middle of the pack in walks allowed, and toward the bottom in total strikeouts (but somehow tops in the league in K/9?).

I guess, overall, the biggest problems seem to be with offense, and timing. The pitching staff is, at worst, average. And, apparently, I like commas.

Anyway: Go to the games on Thursday and Friday. Watch Duffy and Ventura, and keep an eye on the radar gun both nights. Maybe Jarrod Dyson will have another 4-steal performance.

 

Jun 04

Your first-ish look at Yordano Ventura in Omaha

I won’t be here for his AAA debut on Thursday, but I did see Yordano Ventura in the Storm Chasers dugout this evening.

Shortly after this, the rest of the Chasers players started trickling into the Omaha dugout, and wishing Ventura a happy birthday. It was very sweet. Here’s hoping Ventura’s start on Thursday is a successful one!

Jun 02

Surprise military homecoming = dusty in here (no matter where “here” is)

This happened tonight at Werner Park. I knew it was coming, and it still made me all weepy. But you can see for yourself; the people in the crowd felt the same way.

The sweet kids thought they were just playing the 'Word Match' game, AND THEN...

The kids thought they were just doing the "word match" game with Chasers players up on the video board

 

She was THIS excited just to see his face on video...

Then, instead of a player on the board, it was their dad, allegedly on video from Afghanistan

 

Son hugging his dad for the first time in a while

But surprise! The dad was actually in Werner Park, waiting to surprise his kids

 

Untitled

Family hug!

See tonight’s full set – including the Human Cannonball! – HERE.

Jun 02

Tonight, I saw a man get shot out of a cannon

This was the first time in a very long time that I’ve been genuinely excited to see an on-field promotion. Prettaay cool.

 

Many more pictures – including a surprise reunion of a military family! – coming up later tonight.

May 29

Dayton Moore on plans, 2006

Saw this at Royals Review, and was so mindblown I had to share. This gem is going to stay up here, at the top of my front page, for as long as it takes.

If you make enough good decisions, three-year plans turn into two-year plans and five-year plans turn into three-year plans. If you make bad decisions, 10-year plans turn into no plan.

See? Amazing. Let’s turn it up a little:

If you make bad decisions, 10-year plans turn into no plan.

10-year plans turn into no plan.

no plan.

We are just under three years away from Dayton Moore fulfilling his own prophecy and realizing he has no plan.

 

May 26

Even I’ve lost patience with the Royals. Let’s get the pitchforks!

Just....trust the process.

It's more our fault than his. We're not patient enough. We don't have enough blind faith in the fruitless 7.3-year-and-counting Process. We ought to be ASHAMED.

I’m a happy person, generally. My momma taught me to find silver linings everywhere, and give people the benefit of the doubt. Someone cut me off in traffic? Maybe there’s a woman in labor in the backseat. Hit a crappy tee shot?* Well, what an opportunity to work on shooting out of the rough. I’m in the line at the grocery store with the world’s slowest checker? Ahhh, an opportunity to grow in patience.

*though I was on the varsity team all four years of high school, I was a crappy golfer. This ‘silver lining’ skill came in handy.

And in general, I keep the Royals’ woes in perspective. They’ve been horrible my whole life and then some, but even at their worst, there are much bigger problems in the world at large, and even in my own life. So, whatever. Let’s go drink a Royal ‘Rita at The K and hope for a win. If they lose, whatever, we’ve seen this before but the world won’t end.

But I dunno. Something is different about this round, somehow. It’s more infuriating even though, in a lot of ways, it’s the same old Royals. We’re watching a manager stick a guy with a career .311 OBP in the leadoff spot because grit and hustle are apparently more important out of the #1 slot than avoiding outs. The same manager finds a way to blame us, the fans, the ones who pay money to watch his baffling lineups fail to score any runs ever, for the team’s continued failures.

Nedward apparently learned this refrain from his boss and his managerial predecessor, because they’ve both scolded us for being too impatient even though we’ve suffered for decades AND given Dayton Moore seven years to accomplish the amazing feat of losing 15 of the last 19 games. And the “best farm system ever?” It’s now just a slightly less bare cupboard than the one he inherited. Additionally, we have an insufferable TV broadcast duo, who, after today’s starter gave up four home runs AGAIN, agreed that he pitched “really well.”

This is the same old Royals. We were led to believe that somehow, this time would be different, and it’s not different. So sorry, James Shields, your wonderful starts are being wasted by the roster around you, an offense who likes to run into outs all over the damn diamond because again, grit and heart are more important than logic or conserving precious outs.

I’d like to say that I had some magical gut feeling after the first inning when I started tweeting incredibly grumpy things this afternoon. But it doesn’t take special prescience to know that when the Royals see 7 whole pitches from Billy Freaking Buckner in the first inning, it’s just another Royals game in a decades-long string of the same old crap.

This has been a banner week for stinging takedowns of these ‘Come to Play’ Royals, who are barely distinguishable from the humiliating ‘Our Time’ Royals, the laughable ‘True. Blue. Tradition.’ Royals, the ‘Your Hometown Team’ Royals, and so many the other Royals before. I don’t have much new to add to the refrain, because all of us are mad in a way that makes us stare at the team’s B-Ref page in a rage-tinged disbelief, wondering how anyone thought that this team would actually ‘Come to Play.’

May 16

Quick link: Thoughts on Fred White at Ladies…

Yesterday was a sad day for Royals fans. I shared some memories of Fred White over at Ladies….

 

It feels a little bit like a loss within the family, doesn’t it?

May 11

LINKS: Photos of every 2013 Omaha Storm Chasers player

Here are links to my photos of every player who comes through Omaha this year. Bookmark this page for reference; I will be updating it throughout the season as the roster changes.

To browse the full list of every tag I’ve ever used, click HERE. I welcome suggestions for additional tags on any picture.

Coleman

Want to use this shot of Louis Coleman somewhere? Sure, go for it. Just throw me a credit or I'll get sad.

PITCHERS

Buddy Baumann

Justin Marks

George Sherrill

Michael Mariot

Nate Adcock

Will Smith

Everett Teaford

Donnie Joseph

Ryan Verdugo

Chris Dwyer

Louis Coleman

Dan Wheeler

Brian Sanches

Blaine Boyer

Atahualpa Severino

Francisely Bueno

Kelvin Herrera

Maikel Cleto

Danny Duffy

Santiago Garrido

Sam Runion

Yordano Ventura

CATCHERS

Max Ramirez

Adam Moore

Brett Hayes

Mitch Canham

Manuel Pina

INFIELDERS

Freddy Sandoval

Chad Tracy

Anthony Seratelli

Johnny Giavotella

Christian Colon

Xavier Nady

Brandon Wood

Irving Falu

Ben Broussard

Chase Lambin

Chris Getz

Pedro Ciriaco

OUTFIELDERS

Paulo Orlando

David Lough

Willy Taveras

Quintin Berry

Jarrod Dyson

Gorkys Hernandez

Brian Fletcher

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