A GREAT view of the field at AT&T Park in Chattanooga during their pre-season open house!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

odds and ends

I have not been out to a ball park recently. I am planning on visiting some that I have not seen before soon, but not a lot else has been going on. The Lexington Legends had 3 of their guys in the SAL all star game, which is exciting for them. There are several players on that team right now that look good. It is a more exciting team this year in general.

The Legends are playing the Bowling Green team this week. It is very sad that this rivalry will not be allowed to develop, as the Bowling Green Hot Rods change leagues next year.

The Florence Freedom have a fun team too. They will be playing 2 of the new Frontier League teams this week. I am hoping to get up there to see at least one of those games.

One of the new teams is from Avon Ohio. The Lake Erie Crushers operate in my old stompin' grounds. Northern Ohio is a very nice baseball area, especially with this addition. The Lake County Captains of the SAL and this new Frontier League team are both short drives from downtown Cleveland.

The Crushers are managed by John Massarelli, who managed the Washington Wildthings for several seasons, and was one of the Leagues most successful managers. He is a fun manager to watch. I kind of figured an affiliated team would sign him up he is so good!

The Freedom are also playing the Sliders from Michigan, who were a traveling team last year. The year before they were in PA playing at a very small field, drawing very small crowds. They now play on the campus of East Michigan. I am not sure of the current situation with fan support, but I hope it is better (I guess it has to be better than last year, as a traveling team there are no fans to cheer for you!). I just read on their web site that their fireworks night was cancelled, as the sponsors pulled their support, which is very bad.

I am glad the Freedom and the Legends are getting good fan support.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Justin Randall and the Evansville Otters

I know the Otters aren't having the best season at the moment, but who cares. They have a ton of history behind them. They are one of the oldest indy teams around, and they play at Bosse Field, which has been in existence since 1915!

I love the Frontier League. The League is really developing a great reputation. I kn0w Owensboro was trying to get a FL team at one point. In ways, I wish they had gotten in to the league when they had a chance. In other ways, I fear a FL league team there would have failed miserably. Unlike when it began, the league is really a bigger market organization now. Areas close to Cleveland and Cincinnati support teams in this league. Early FL teams in Ashland and Pikeville failed quickly (the Ashland team folded after 11 games).

Evansville and Florence have teams that get a lot of local support, AND they are 2 of the oldest teams in the league.

Justin Randall played for both teams last year, and he is with Evansville this year. He coaches at Ashland University (in Ohio) too. He mentioned that his favorite field is Bosse. Being from Canada, his favorite team is the Blue Jays.

He noted that the new field at Florence is shocking. I was trying to think of a term for the new turf there, and Justin described it perfectly. "Shocking" is the best description! That, along with the various colored seats in the Freedom's park make it the most colorful park I know about.