Saturday, October 31, 2009

Troy linebacker attacks reporter in press box

Yep, deviating from the usual Biscuits drivel for once.

Troy linebacker Bear Woods (left) visited the press box at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium a few minutes ago and gave Dothan Eagle writer Drew Champlin a special greeting. Moments after this photo, Woods strangled Champlin.

(OK, it's actually Troy videographer Aaron Taylor who dressed up as Woods for Halloween. Also, that's Drew Champlin dressed up as Champlin. It -- Champlin's -- may be the disguise of the day.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Biscuits search for new radio voice

For a second straight offseason, the Biscuits are searching for a radio voice.

Jon Laaser has left the Biscuits to join the Richmond Flying Squirrels, a Double-A team that is starting play in Virginia next year.

Biscuits general manager Greg Rauch said he has already received about 50 applications and expects more during Montgomery’s search. He said the search won’t be completed until at least December at baseball’s winter meetings in Indianapolis.

“We’re happy for Jon, but this was a great opportunity with an ownership group he’s familiar with,” Rauch said. “We hate to see him leave, and he did an outstanding job.”

The Flying Squirrels were the Connecticut Defenders last year and are members of the Eastern League. Laaser came to Montgomery last offseason after spending one year with the Class A team in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Morse released; Rays give up on Gibson

Biscuits pitcher Ryan Morse has been released by the Rays, who also cut loose the player they landed in exchange for Elijah Dukes.

Pitcher Glenn Gibson never advanced past low-Class A. Baseball America reported the moves today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Former Biscuits coach honored in Puerto Rico

Former Biscuits hitting coach Mako Oliveras was inducted into the Puerto Rico sports hall of fame on Sunday. Can't say I've ever seen Mako wearing a tie.

Kapler re-ups with Rays

Outfielder Gabe Kapler will return to the Rays after he and the team reached terms on a one-year contract for 2010.

The 34-year-old hit .239 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 99 games this year. Next season will be his 12th in the major leagues.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BA draft report card: Rays did well*

The Rays did a good job with their 2009 draft according to Baseball America (subscription required).

*--despite not signing first-round pick LeVon Washington and second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger.
It's hard to have a great draft without signing your top two draft picks, but that's what happened to Tampa Bay this year.
Pitcher Zach Quate is the player closest to the major leagues, according to BA, so we'll say he's the favorite to first reach the Biscuits.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shelton joins Rays as hitting coach

Derek Shelton, the hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians the last five years, has been hired to do the same for the Rays.

During Shelton's time, the Indians were fifth in the majors in runs scored, seventh in batting average, third in on-base percentage and sixth in slugging.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Does Gross' count matter with metal?

At Jordan-Hare Stadium today for the Kentucky-Auburn game. Found out that Gabe Gross was swinging metal for his 26-homer total in Friday's home run derby. Does that count?

Gross wins Auburn home run derby

Tampa Bay outfielder Gabe Gross crushed 26 home runs to win the Auburn home run derby on Friday at Plainsman Park.

Gross, a former All-American for the Tigers, hit 15 homers in the first round, tying current Auburn player Kevin Patterson, and added 11 in the final round. Bo Jackson, Tim Hudson, Frank Sanders and Todd Jones were among those that had to bow down to Gross.

The event raised $5,044.75 for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rays announce spring training schedule

The Rays will have 15 games in Port Charlotte, Fla., between March 4 and April 1. Ticket prices range between $8 and $25 and single-game tickets go on sale in January.

Tampa Bay will have a game April 2 at Tropicana Field against the New York Mets before jetting off to face the Triple-A Durham Bulls on April 3. The regular season opens April 6 when the Rays host the Orioles.

Spring workouts start Feb. 19.

3 at Baltimore
4 Baltimore
5 at N.Y. Yankees
6 Boston
7 at Philadelphia
8 Pittsburgh
9 at Baltimore
10 at Boston
11 split squad: Toronto, at Pittsburgh
12 Philadelphia
13 Florida
14 Toronto
15 off
16 Boston
17 Minnesota
18 at N.Y. Yankees
19 N.Y. Yankees
20 Minnesota
21 split squad: at Minnesota, at Pittsburgh
22 at Boston
23 at Philadelphia
24 Toronto
25 Minnesota
26 at Toronto
27 at Houston
28 Pittsburgh
29 at Boston
30 Boston
31 at Minnesota
1 Baltimore
2 N.Y. Mets (at Tropicana Field)
3 at Durham

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Auburn derby includes big names

Auburn is having a home run derby Friday to benefit charity and is pulling out some big guns.

Bo Jackson, Tim Hudson, David Ross and Gabe Gross will take some swings. So will former AU receiver Frank Sanders and major-league veteran/longtime Auburn fan Todd Jones.

A nine-inning scrimmage by the current Auburn team follows. The swings begin at 6 p.m. Friday and gates open at 5. Admission is a minimum $1 donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hot Rods win with 'What Could've Been'

The Bowling Green Hot Rods won Minor League Baseball's promotion of the year with their "What Could've Been" Night. The Hot Rods pulled 51 percent of almost 24,000 fan votes cast for a group of 10 finalists.

Bowling Green spent its Aug. 15 game pondering "what could've been" had the team been named the Cave Shrimp, one of the other finalists for the team's nickname. There was also what if Christian Laettner had missed his 1992 NCAA tournament shot against Kentucky. (For one, I would have won my pool that year.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CNN: Lowder no fan of Biscuits

A CNN profile of the infamous Bobby Lowder and Colonial Bank's downfall includes that he apparently doesn't include the Biscuits among his city entertainment options.

In 2004, Montgomery got a new minor-league baseball team called the Biscuits. A Colonial marketing executive bought a few season tickets to use with clients. A few days later, while on a business trip, he got a call from his boss. She asked whether he'd bought Biscuits tickets, and when he said yes, she told him to return to Montgomery. "Will I have a job when I get there?" he asked. "No," was the response. Mr. Lowder, he was told later, didn't like the Biscuits.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Anyone remember Corwin Malone?

Corwin Malone, a Thomasville native and formerly a pitcher with the Birmingham Barons, is now playing football for South Alabama's first-year program. He played in the minors for nine years.

Bulls will party over Triple-A title

The Durham Bulls will celebrate their Triple-A championship with an Oct. 21 event at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

infielders Elliot Johnson and Chris Richard will take part.

The first 500 fans can have their pictures taken with the team's league and Triple-A championship trophies and will receive a commemorative team photo. The field will be open for fans to play catch and the gift shop will be open, with 50 percent off select items.

The event runs from 6-8 p.m. Eastern.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cubs target Rays for Bradley trade

The Cubs, searching to rid themselves of Milton Bradley, are focused on the Rays as a trade partner and want a quick deal, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Now, we're No. 198!!! Hip, hip, hooray

The Sporting News' annual rankings of the best sports cities has Montgomery at 198th of 399.

In the Southern League, it's Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is 17, Jacksonville 50, Knoxville 80, Birmingham 122, Mobile 152, Chattanooga 185, Jackson (Miss.) 202,
Huntsville 275 and Jackson (Tenn.) 323.

Others inside the state include Tuscaloosa at 57, Auburn 88, Troy 104, Jacksonville 224 and Talladega 265. Pittsburgh is No. 1.

The Sporting News has us five spors higher than the Sports Business Journal did in August on a list of minor-league markets.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Henderson out as Tampa Bay hitting coach

Steve Henderson, who has been the Rays' batting coach for five seasons and spent the previous eight as the team's minor-league hitting coordinator, will not return for the 2010 season.

The Rays announced today that Henderson's contract would not be renewed, but pitching coach Jim Hickey, third-base coach Tom Foley, first-base coach George Hendrick, bench coach Dave Martinez and bullpen coach Bobby Ramos will return. The team is also eliminating the position of quality assurance coach.

In 2004, when Henderson was the minor-league hitting coordinator, he was part of an odd scene at Riverwalk Stadium. The Biscuits played one of their morning games and had a listless performance. Henderson put the team through postgame batting practice.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hendu, 3 other former Biscuits win independent title

Brian Henderson (hidden by beard at right) and three other former Biscuits celebrated winning the independent Atlantic League championship tonight.

Jason Standridge, a former Auburn football signee who rehabbed with the Biscuits in 2004, threw a five-hitter in the Somerset Patriots' 11-1 clinching win over the Southern Maryland Stone Crabs.

Former Biscuits pitchers Jim Magrane and Travis Minix also bolstered Somerset's chances. Outfielder Jeremy Owens, also formerly in Montgomery's uniform, was on the losing side.

Friday, October 02, 2009

3 Hot Rods picked among top South Atlantic prospects

Pitcher Matt Moore, shortstop Tim Beckham and pitcher Nick Barnese were among the top 20 prospects this year in the South Atlantic League, as named by Baseball America. Moore ranked third, Beckham fifth and Barnese 16th.