Friday, January 29, 2010

Morse, Veras find spots for 2010 season

Former Biscuits pitchers Ryan Morse and Jose Veras have signed with new teams for the 2010 season.

Morse, who was 4-6 with a 4.84 ERA with Montgomery last year, is headed to the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association. Veras, a Biscuit in 2004 who was with the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians last season, is headed to the Florida Marlins on a minor-league contract.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Braves marking their territory in city

Montgomery fans can turn out Saturday to support the city's favorite major-league team at Academy Sports on Eastchase Parkway.

The Atlanta Braves are flexing their marketing muscle in the Montgomery market when three players will sign autographs beginning at noon.

Pitcher Kris Medlen and outfielder Jordan Schafer are former Mississippi Braves, a Southern League rival of the Biscuits. First baseman Freddie Freeman ended last year with Mississippi and is one of Atlanta's top prospects. The group is also scheduled to include coach Chino Cadahia.

Of course, more than 100 Atlanta Braves games are televised in the Montgomery market every year. The Montgomery television market is the sole property of the Braves, though the Mobile area is shared between the Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Florida Marlins.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hot Rods to host Hilltoppers-Wildcats

Another Tampa Bay affiliate is getting in on some intrastate college baseball action.

While the Biscuits will again test fate by intermingling Alabama and Auburn fans March 9 to see the Tide play the Tigers, the Bowling Green Hot Rods will do something similar March 10.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will face the Kentucky Wildcats at the Rods' park.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Biscuits' job fair set for Feb. 6

The annual Biscuits job fair will be Feb. 6 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Riverwalk Stadium. The team will be hiring for seasonal positions in sales, customer service, etc. before hosting an Alabama-Auburn baseball game March 9 and the Biscuits' home schedule, which begins April 8. For more information, call the team at 323-2255.

Stokes being dealt from Mets to Angels

Former Biscuits pitcher Brian Stokes is being traded to the Los Angeles Angels. Outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. will move to the New York Mets.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eldridge returns to Rays; Powell, Pedroza also surface

Outfielder Rashaad Eldridge, who was with the Biscuits for the last two seasons, has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Eldridge is one of a slew of Biscuits outfield-related signings listed this week by Baseball America.

Pedro Powell, who played with Montgomery last year, is joining the Washington Nationals. Sergio Pedroza, who hit the ninth-inning home run that gave the Biscuits their 2007 Southern League championship, will rejoin the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pedroza came to the Rays from the Dodgers in a 2006 trade. He played in the independent Golden League last year after the Rays released him in spring training.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rays, 3 players avoid arbitration

Three players and the Rays won't go to arbitration after settling on one-year deals that the team announced today.

Shortstop Jason Bartlett will make $4 million, pitcher Matt Garza $3.35 million and pitcher J.P. Howell $1.8 million.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Owens to be player-coach for independent Crabs

Former Biscuits outfielder Jeremy Owens has been named a player-coach this year for the independent Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. He'll be the hitting coach while also manning center field. Owens, the team's all-time leader in home runs, was named the team's captain last year. This will be his 13th professional season.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pirates land city native Bass

Pitcher Brian Bass, a Montgomery native who pitched for the Baltimore Orioles last year, has signed a minor-league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The right-hander was 5-3 with a 4.90 ERA in 48 appearances for Baltimore last year, his second in the majors.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Johnson returns to Rays

First baseman Dan Johnson, Triple-A Durham's player of the year in 2008, has re-signed with Tampa Bay. He spent 2009 with the Yokohama BayStars of the Japanese Central League. Johnson signed a one-year, major-league contract with the Rays.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Spring training tickets on sale next week

Hit at 9 a.m. Next Friday for tickets to Tampa Bay's home major-league spring games.

If you happen to be down there Tuesday morning, there is a "special passcard pre-sale" that will allow you to buy tickets Wednesday. Cards available at select Hess Express Stores in North Port and Charlotte County.

If you're a Rays Insider subscriber -- or you're one by Monday -- at, you can buy tickets Thursday.

Single-game tickets cost $8-$25.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Biased Biscuits have spoken: Tide to roll

Two of the 2009 Biscuits, both unquestionably biased in their opinions on the subject, say Alabama will beat Texas tonight.

Desmond Jennings, a former Alabama football signee, predicts a 34-27 Tide victory.

Matt Spring, who became an Alabama fan as required by his wife and her family, says it will be a 35-17 Tide triumph.

I'll go 37-13.

What say you?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

May new program help with those quotes

The Rays are hosting a few of their minor-league players next week for an inaugural "winter development program." They'll have workouts Monday through Thursday, make appearances around town and see a hockey game.

Most importantly, they'll undergo media training. Let's hope that doesn't strip Desmond Jennings of his boastful support of the Alabama Crimson Tide, make Jake McGee become unfriendly or leave Jeremy Hellickson less relaxed when he's being grilled. All three are part of the program.

The others who will partake ...
Right-handed pitcher -- Nick Barnese, Alex Colome, Joseph Cruz, Devin Fuller, Scott Shuman, Albert Suarez
Left-handed pitcher -- Kevin James, Kyle Lobstein, Matt Moore, David Newmann, Alex Torres
Catcher -- Luke Bailey, Jake Jefferies
First baseman -- Jeff Malm
Third base -- Matt Sweeney
Shortstop -- Tim Beckham, Juniel Querecuto
Outfielder -- Todd Glaesmann, Cody Rogers

I've talked to a few of the others. I'll say that Newmann is a friendly fellow, perhaps having learned that at Texas A&M. He said last spring that he would forgive me if I ever messed up his name and called him a curse word ("Niemann").

Having just finished my GMAC Bowl coverage, here's hoping they all learn to show the humor and openness of Troy quarterback Levi Brown and linebacker Bear Woods.

X vividly remembers Hawk's homer finale

We now have Xavier Hernandez's recollection of Andre Dawson's final home run.

"It was Andre Dawson Appreciation Day in Florida, and I was putting it in there pretty hard that day," Hernandez said. "He kept fouling it off and fouling it off and fouling it off."

Also: "When he hit it, it was like something out of 'The Natural.' I grooved it and he crushed it."

Dawson marked his X on final home run

Former Biscuits pitching coach Xavier Hernandez gave Andre Dawson a helpful hand toward the Hall of Fame and gave up the Hawk's final home run.

Dawson is the only player who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The voting was annnounced today.

It was Sept. 22, 1996 when Hernandez served up Dawson's final tater. It was a three-run shot and capped the Florida Marlins' 6-0 victory over the Houston Astros. It was also Dawson's 438th home run in a 21-year career.

Dawson was 2-for-12 in his career with one strikeout and no hit batsman against Hernandez.

Of course, lest we forget of other former Biscuits pitching coaches, Dawson was 7-for-24 with two home runs against Neil Allen.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Catcher, Rays reach two-year deal

Catcher Kelly Shoppach and the Rays avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract for a guaranteed $5.55 million, the team announced today. It includes a team option for the 2012 season.