Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hauser to be Montgomery's trainer

Andrew Hauser, the trainer at short-season Hudson Valley who was to be at high-Class A Charlotte this year, has been named Montgomery's trainer. Rodger Fleming was to be with the Biscuits this season after moving from Triple-A Durham but has resigned.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Full Boston Pops southern swing schedule

The Boston Pops' appearance at Regions Park in Hoover will begin at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23. Here's the full schedule for their southern swing ...

Aug. 16: Durham Bulls 929-956-BULL or
Aug. 17: Charlotte Knights
Aug. 19: Gwinnett Braves 678-277-0340 or
Aug. 20: Nashville Sounds
Aug. 21: Memphis RedBirds
Aug. 23: Birmingham Barons 205-988-3200 (ext. 25) or

Biscuits fill overall prospect list

Three former Biscuits and three Biscuits-to-be are on Baseball America's list of the top 100 prospects for this year.

The formers are pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (No. 6), outfielder Desmond "Roll Tide" Jenings (No. 22) and pitcher Jake McGee.

The "to-bes" are pitcher Matt Moore(No. 15), outfielder Josh Sale (No. 88) and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee (No. 92).

The Rays also have No. 27, pitcher Chris Archer, who is unlikely to be a Biscuit after being traded from the Cubs. Tampa Bay's seven players trail only Kansas City's nine on the top 100 list.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Boston Pops to hit Durham, Hoover

The Boston Pops have a 10-city, minor league tour scheduled this summer. It starts in Durham on Aug. 16 and rolls through Hoover soon thereafter.

(The tour runs through Aug. 30 and the Durham release doesn't list Hoover's date. Checking on that.)

Durham tickets go on sale online Monday at 9 a.m. Central. They're available at Durham's ticket office at 9 a.m. Eastern March 4.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rays plan single-game ticket sale

Single-game tickets for the 2011 season go on sale at 9 a.m. CDT Saturday at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Governor to throw out first pitch ...

... at Alabama's season opener.

Gov. Robert Bentley will show some arm Friday when Alabama starts his season against Alcorn State. Maybe this is a sign that possibly perhaps maybe the local nine might extend an invitation for the same duties on April 7. No governor has taken the honors with the Biscuits.

Governor, remember that you must throw from atop the pitcher's mound or you will bring shame and embarrassment on yourself and the office.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hot Rods leaving decisions to Facebook fans

The Bowling Green Hot Rods are leaving a lot of things up to their fans for their May 18 home game with West Michigan. It's all through the team's Facebook page.

From now through April 18, for every 200 fans that "like" the team on Facebook, admission prices drop 50 cents for the May 18 game for those "friends."

Starting next Monday, the team will roll out a weekly decision to be made, starting with the game's start time. (Hopefully, 2 a.m. won't be an option.) "Friends" will also decide the uniform to be worn by the Hot Rods, the food and merchandise that will be specially priced for the game.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tide-Tigers game at Riverwalk to be on TV

The March 15 showdown between Alabama and Auburn at Riverwalk Stadium will be televised by CSS. (Should make for an even-more cramped pressbox, but I'm off that week.)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Biscuit Bunch auditions Saturday

They'll be from 10 a.m. Through noon at Riverwalk Stadium. It's a three-part process: go through an interview, learn and perform a "simple" dance routine and act out a skit. More questions? Ask Jackie Kampf at 323-0364 or

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl commercial reviews

Today is the last football I'll have to worry about for at least three weeks. Might as well try to have a little fun with it.

FINAL: Packers 31, Steelers 25
My best headline idea -- Six-cess: Packers, in playoffs as 6 seed, win Super Bowl

Favorite commercials
1. Darth Vader
2. GoDaddy jawdropper
3. Doritos fish feed, urn


Bud Light kitchen renovations -- expected more from the leadoff spot
Doritos dog bait -- predictable
Audi jail break -- Kenny G cameo gets thumbs up

Doritos finger/pants lick -- sick, thought that when I first saw it on a Super Bowl commercial preview video (how long 'til Darth Vader?)
Chevy rest home -- meh
Pepsi Max -- another one I saw recently
THIRD BREAK, Packers timeout

Bud Light pirates product placement -- a little overboard
Chevy Jonah, volcano, etc. -- liked the Morse code
Fast & Furious -- what happened to Vin Diesel's career?

Pepsi Max groin and head shot -- surprise ending
Doritos fish feed, urn -- best one so far
Hyundai -- yawn
FIFTH BREAK, after kickoff

Cowboys & Aliens -- Daniel Craig ranks above Harrison Ford?!?!?!
Kia Optima -- so that's what trips the Mayan calendar?
SIXTH BREAK, after Packers INT TD

Brisk's Eminem claymation -- as a group, this is not looking like a vintage year
SEVENTH BREAK, end of first quarter
Bridgestone e-mail-gate -- shrugging shoulders
Chevy electric car -- foxy
GoDaddy -- Danica Patrick passes the torch and it's my first laugh
EIGHTH BREAK, after Steelers FG
Budweiser -- I don't care what they think of Tony Danza
Teleflora -- talk about uncomfortable
Transformers -- will it suffer without Megan Fox?
NINTH BREAK, after kickoff
BMW X3 -- blah
Motorola Xoom -- minimalist style catching on?
BMW diesel -- cha-, cha-, cha- change these commercials
Coke -- where might I buy me some fire-breathing dragon?
Thor -- if I see it, it may be only because of Natalie Portman
VW DARTH VADER -- YES!!!!! But that was a shorter version than I've seen
11TH BREAK, Steelers timeout
Snickers -- Roseanne, your face has hurt me each time I've seen it
Career builder -- no comment
Super 8 movie -- J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg teaming up? I'm there
12TH BREAK, two-minute warning
Chevy Facebook updates -- blah
Captain America movie -- sure it will be a big hit
Castrol oil -- yawn
Carmax -- liked it, felt like a sumo wrestler at a buffet line
sitting out from here through the second-half kickoff
13TH IN-GAME BREAK, Packers punt taste tester -- another dud talking babies -- I expected better
Best Buy -- old musician attempts joke about child musician, fails
14TH BREAK, Steelers TD
Pirates of the Caribbean -- sure it will be a big hit
Mini-car -- again, underwhelming -- another that should have gone early
15TH BREAK, Packers punt (and internet troubles)
Hyundai -- sure it looked great on a big screen
Groupon Tibet -- safe bet the Chinese government blocks that one
Coke -- wars have broken out over less
16TH BREAK, somebody's timeout
some adult beverage with the "Pianist" actor -- boring
Carmax -- ho-hum
missed it -- honestly didn't notice who the advertiser was
17TH BREAK, Steelers missed FG
Chrysler -- liked it and now we know Detroit is a blossoming oasis, despite what the media says
18TH BREAK, end of third quarter
NFL -- Happy Days are here again
local ads after that
19TH BREAK, Packers TD (28-17)
an animated movie -- thusly eliminated -- talking cars? how original
Bud -- the growling dog chef was a goodie
20TH BREAK, after kickoff
Hyundai -- what, nobody reading a newspaper?
Pepsi -- no comment
an animated movie -- and, again, thusly eliminated
21ST BREAK, Steelers TD (28-25)
Bridgestone -- nice beaver
GoDaddy -- that was a jawdropper
VW Beetle -- still distracted by thought of GoDaddy ad
22ND BREAK, after kickoff
Mercedes -- cars of the world, unite
House show ad -- special mention of tribute to the Mean Joe Greene classic
23RD BREAK, Packers FG (31-25)
Chevy -- a female Jack Bauer
Verizon -- yawn
24TH BREAK, two-minute warning (could be a classic finish)
Limitless -- I see too many movies
Shape-ups -- Kim Kardashian shows off her best assets

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Baseball America's Top 30 Rays prospects

The Baseball America Prospect Handbook did reach my mailbox this week. With all the signing day furor and the extensive number of sure-fire, can't-miss All-Americans that inked with certain nearby high-profile schools, I'm just now getting around to glancing through it.

Here's their list for the Rays, along with where each is projected to start the season. (Because I ordered straight from BA, I received a supplement with a 31st prospect.)

1. RHP Jeremy Hellickson -- Tampa Bay
2. LHP Matt Moore -- Fungumree
3. OF Desmond Jennings -- Tampa Bay
4. LHP Jake McGee -- Tampa Bay
5. OF Josh Sale -- Princeton
6. LHP Alex Torres -- Durham
7. RHP Alex Colome -- Charlotte
8. C Justin O'Conner -- Princeton
9. OF Drew Vettleson -- Princeton
10. RHP Jake Thompson -- Charlotte
11. LHP Enny Romero -- Bowling Green
12. RHP Nick Barnese -- Fungumree
13. OF Ty Morrison -- Charlotte
14. RHP Braulio Lara -- Bowling Green
15. SS Tim Beckham -- Fungumree
16. RHP Alex Cobb -- Durham
17. C Luke Bailey -- Bowling Green?
18. OF Yoel Araujo -- Dominican
19. RHP Joe Cruz -- Fungumree
20. RHP Zach Quate -- Fungumree
21. OF Todd Glaesmann -- Bowling Green
22. SS Derek Dietrich -- Bowling Green
23. 2B Ryan Brett -- Princeton
24. RHP Scott Shuman -- Charlotte
25. RHP Wilking Rodriguez -- Charlotte
26. OF Kevin Kiermaier -- Bowling Green
27. 2B Hector Guevara -- Charlotte
28. OF-1B Leslie Anderson -- Tampa Bay or Durham (I'll say Durham)
29. LHP Kyle Lobstein -- Charlotte
30. C-OF-1B Stephen Vogt -- Fungumree
31. OF Isaias Velasquez -- Fungumree

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Biscuits job fair Saturday

The Biscuits just announced plans for their annual job fair. It's Saturday (in two days) from 9 a.m.-noon at Riverwalk Stadium.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Merry national signing day

Here's wishing you and yours a very merry national signing day. Once again, let me hope that your school's stocking is stuffed with five-star recruits, some of whom actually pan out.

Of course, your school's recruits are all future All-Americans? Even if they weren't five-stars because we all know those evaluations are biased against your team. And those five-stars that sign elsewhere? Well, of course, they wouldn't have touched the field at your school, right?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My list of top Rays prospects

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
-- Abraham Lincoln

I've put this off long enough. Having received an e-mail that my Baseball America Prospect Book has been shipped (it may be in my mailbox right now), I figured I had to do this now or not at all. I steadfastly avoided looking at any list over the last two months to avoid any undue influence for when I finally did this. (With football, that wasn't as hard as it usually would be.)

In doing it, I decided that I knew way too little about last year's high draft picks to make even a slightly educated guess. Catcher Justin O'Conner played in 48 games for the GCL Rays, but outfielder Josh Sale and outfielder Drew Vettleson signed so late that they'll make their debuts this year.

I tried to incorporate the prospects that Tampa Bay picked up from the Cubs and Padres in trades, too. And, my annual disclaimer: I readily admit this is likely slanted toward the higher-level guys because those are the main ones that I've seen.

I plan to add comments later to each, both for entertainment and explanation. I will say the top 12 or so flowed pretty easily. After that, decisions turned tough. (Click here for last year's list and click here for the year before.)

With that, I'll open mouth and insert foot ...
(Last year's ranking in parentheses)
1. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2)
2. LHP Matt Moore (4)
3. CF Desmond Jennings (1)
4. RHP Alex Colome (10)
5. RHP Chris Archer (NR)
6. LHP Jake McGee (8)
7. RHP Nick Barnese (6)
8. SS Hak-Ju Lee (NR)
9. LHP Alex Torres (12)
10. LHP Kyle Lobstein (9)

11. RHP Alex Cobb (18)
12. SS Tim Beckham (5)
13. C Robinson Chirinos (NR)
14. LHP Jake Thompson (NR)
15. RHP Dane De La Rosa (NR)
16. OF Brandon Guyer (NR)
17. IF Cole Figueroa (NR)
18. RHP Jeremy Hall (23)
19. C Nevin Ashley (28)
20. 1B-LF Leslie Anderson (NR)

21. SS Derek Dietrich (NR)
22. C Luke Bailey (NR)
23. RHP Brandon Gomes (NR)
24. RHP Marquis Fleming (NR)
25. RHP Zach Quate (30)
26. RHP Neil Schenk (NR)
27. SS Tyler Bortnick (NR)
28. C Stephen Vogt (NR)
29. 2B Cody Cipriano (29)
30. 3B Henry Wrigley (NR)

RHP Wade Davis (3) -- graduated
SS Reid Brignac (7) -- graduated
OF Fernando Perez (11) -- off to Cubs (may have graduated before last year)
OF Kyeong Kang (13)
RHP Aneury Rodguez (14) -- off to Astros
LHP David Newmann (15)
RHP Matt Gorgen (16) -- off to Diamondbacks
SS Shawn O'Malley (17)
3B Matt Sweeney (19)
RHP Heath Rollins (20) -- off to Royals
RHP Jason McEachern (21)
C John Jaso (22) -- graduated
RHP Eduardo Morlan (24) -- released, off to Brewers
RHP Mitch Talbot (25) -- off to Indians
RHP Dale Thayer (26) -- ??
LHP Darin Downs (27) -- signed with Marlins
LHP Josh Satow (31) -- because of Perez, I did a Top 31 last year