Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Desert Sun Stadium

In the latest edition of the ballpark tour series, we check out Yuma's Desert Sun Stadium, home to the GBL's Yuma Scorpions. The ballpark used to be home to the San Diego Padres spring training. The 10,000-seat facility is just a few hours away from San Diego in the heart of the Sonora Desert in Yuma, right on the border between California and Arizona.

Check it out...

Past Ballpark Tours
Telus Field - Edmonton Capitals
Foothills Stadium - Calgary Vipers
Royal Athletic Park - Victoria Seals
Bruce Hurst Field - St. George RoadRunners

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flyers vs. Vipers Starting Line Ups 6-16-10

Here's the starting line-up for the Orange County Flyers vs. Calgary Vipers. The Flyers look to take game two against the Vipers in the 2nd of a five game home stand.




June 16, 2010

Orange County Flyers (8-11) Calgary Vipers (14-6)

1. 1. #11 Steve Boggs – CF 1. #11 Guillermo Reyes - SS

2. 2. #6 Tyler Keeble – SS 2. #14 Jorge Mejia – 2B

3. 3. #20 Jimmy Rohan – 3B 3. #1 Kevin Price – 3B

4. 4. #9 Keith Ginter – 2B 4. #13 Julio Ramirez - CF

5. 5. #3 David Harris – RF 5. #18 Drew Miller - LF

6. 6. #30 Julian Benavidez – 1B 6. #4 Luis Taveras - C

7. 7. #1 Derek Perren – LF 7. #27 Jonny Kaplan - RF

8. 8. #5 Jim Goethals – C 8. #3 Dillon O’Krane – 1B

9. 9. #36 Jesse Smith – RHP 9. #2 Erik Dessau - RHP

(1-2, 3.63, 5th Start) (2-0, 2.70, 4th Start)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flyers vs. Vipers line ups

Here's the starting line ups for today's game -- the home opener for the 2010 season. FINALLY! Sure, sure, who doesn't love an 18-game road trip spanning almost a month, but hopefully that "home sweeet home" feeling with serve OC well against the defending GBL champs.


Orange County Flyers (8-10)

1. # 11 Steve Boggs - CF
2. #6 Tyler Keeble - SS
3. #20 Jimmy Rohan – 3B
4. #9 Keith Ginter – 2B
5. #26 Sergio Pedroza – RF
6. #30 Julian Benavidez – 1B
7. #1 Derek Perren – LF
8. #5 Jim Goethals – C
9. #32 Matt Durkin – RHP
(1-1, 6.14, 5th start)

Calgary Vipers (13-6)

1. #11 Guillermo Reyes - SS
2. #14 Jorge Mejia – 2B
3. #1 Kevin Price – 3B
4. #13 Julio Ramirez – CF
5. #18 Drew Miller – LF
6. #4 Luis Taveras – C
7. #27 Jonny Kaplan – RF
8. #30 Matt Edgecombe – 1B
9. #6 Dusty Gober – RHP
(2-0, 3.64, 4th start)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nava Slams

Talk about a big league debut for the former Chico Outlaw Daniel Nava. He blasted a grand slam off the first pitch he saw. Here's the scoop from Yahoo.com:

BOSTON (AP)—Daniel Nava hit the first pitch he faced in the big leagues for a grand slam—only the second player to do it—leading the Boston Red Sox to their second straight rout of the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-2 Saturday.

Nava connected on a fastball from Joe Blanton(notes) in the second inning and shortly after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. Kevin Kouzmanoff(notes) connected on the first pitch he saw Sept. 2, 2006, for Cleveland against Texas, according to STATS LLC.

Only four players in big league history have hit grand slams in their first at-bat.

Daisuke Matsuzaka(notes) was a late scratch and placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained forearm following his pregame bullpen warmup.

Emergency starter Scott Atchison(notes), recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, worked three innings, allowing two runs and two hits in his first major league start.

With his parents watching from the stands—and father operating a video camera—Nava came to bat with the Red Sox trailing 2-1 in the second. In one pitch he became the 10th player in Red Sox history to homer in his first at-bat, and just the second to hit a grand slam. Rip Repulski hit a slam on May 10, 1960.

He came up with the bases loaded again an inning later and received a standing ovation. But he struck out on a check swing with the crowd on its feet.

J.D. Drew(notes) homered and had three hits for the Red Sox, who beat the Phillies 12-2 on the opener of a three-game series on Friday night. Nava also doubled as Boston amassed 16 hits.

Manny Delcarmen(notes) (2-2), the second of five pitchers, worked two scoreless innings for the win.

Brian Schneider(notes) had three hits and drove in both of Philadelphia’s runs. The Phillies are 7-16 in their last 23 games.

The Red Sox pounded Blanton (1-5) for nine runs and 13 hits in four innings. But, he didn’t fare as badly as Friday’s starter, Jamie Moyer(notes), who had the worst start in his 24 seasons, allowing nine runs and nine hits in one-plus inning.

Boston broke it open with five runs in the second and three in the third.

With the Red Sox trailing 2-1 in the second after Drew’s homer, they loaded the bases before Nava hit his slam into the Boston bullpen in right.

Marco Scutaro(notes) had a two-run single to make it 7-2 in the third. Dustin Pedroia(notes) added an RBI single.

Matsuzaka had warmed up and walked to the dugout about 15 minutes before the scheduled start.

Just ahead of the national anthem, Atchison started warming up quickly in the bullpen. When it was over, he completed his warmups before walking to the dugout with pitching coach John Farrell along side.

The club announced the scratch and roster move just before the Red Sox took the field.

NOTES: Outfielder Josh Reddick(notes) was optioned to Pawtucket. … Every Red Sox starter had a hit by the fourth inning. … Blanton has allowed five or more runs in each of his last four starts. … Kevin Youkilis(notes) was hit on the right arm by a pitch in the sixth inning, the 65th time in his career to move ahead of Jim Rice for second all-time in club history. Mo Vaughn leads with 71. Youkilis then left the game in the top of the seventh. … Boston recalled LHP Dustin Richardson(notes) from Pawtucket before the game. He jogged out to the bullpen before the fifth inning and warmed up briefly. … The Red Sox have won the last six games in Fenway Park against Philadelphia.

Former Outlaw reaches Major Leagues

Good news from another GBL team as former Chico Outlaw outfielder Daniel Nava is making his first start in the big leagues today. Nava, a former GBL MVP who led the Outlaws to the 2007 league championship, will start in left field and bat ninth for the Boston Red Sox.

Former OC Flyers pitcher Chris Jakubauskas reached the big leagues last season with the Seattle Mariners and began the 2010 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. "Big Jak" was the GBL's Pitcher of the Year in 2006.

Here's the press release from the Outlaws regarding Nava's promotion to the show:

Ex-Outlaw Nava In The Show
By Dan Hawkins

(Chico, CA. Jun 12th, 2010) Former Chico Outlaws outfielder Daniel Nava got called up to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday from Triple-A Pawtucket and will start in left field and bat ninth in the batting order in today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park in an inter-league contest.

Josh Reddick was optioned to Pawtucket to make room on the roster for Nava.

Joe Blanton is today's scheduled starter for the Phillies.

Nava, the GBL's Most Valuable Player in 2007 while playing for the Outlaws, was hitting .298/8 HR/38 RBI in the International League at the time of his call-up.

Undrafted out of UC-Santa Clara where he led the West Coast Conference with a .395 average before signing with the Outlaws as a Non-Drafted Free Agent for the 2007 season. Nava went on to be named to the Baseball America Indepedent League First-Team All-Star squad and ranked as their top independent league prospect after hitting a league-high .371 with 12 homers and 59 RBI's during that magical 2007 GBL championship season for the Outlaws.

His .371 batting average, .625 slugging percentage and .475 on-base percentage are still Outlaws single-season franchise records.

After his breakout year with Chico, Nava signed with Boston as a minor-league free agent and was assigned to Lancaster (High-A) in the California League. Tearing up Cal League pitching to the tune of a .341 average with 10 HR and 58 RBIs, Nava was promoted in 2009 to Salem in the Carolina League and then to Double-A Portland for the second half of the season.

Nava's performance in Portland (.364/4/24) led to the switch-hitter starting 2010 with the PawSox.

Nava becomes the fifth player from the Golden Baseball League to make the majors, following Chris Jakubauskas, Adam Pettyjohn, Scott Richmond and Sergio Romo to the big leagues.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Scorpions not moving to Mexicali

Looks like after reports of a potential move from Yuma to Mexicali, the Scorpions will be staying in the only home they've ever had in the southwest corner of Arizona. A report in yesterday's Yuma Sun - the local newspaper - says that according to GBL CEO Dave Kaval there are no plans to move the team midseason, but they will try to play a game or two, maybe a series, in Mexicali during this season.

Here's the report from the Yuma Sun:

Scorps staying in Yuma
June 10, 2010 10:09 PM

Reports of a potential move of the Yuma Scorpions organization to Mexicali, Mexico are being denied by the Golden Baseball League and explained as a miscommunication according to team and league officials.

GBL CEO Dave Kaval said the league is trying to work out a deal to showcase the Scorpions for a select number of games in Mexicali this season, similar to what the team has done in previous years in San Luis, Ariz. and El Centro, Calif.

“We've been in serious conversation with moving select series' to Mexicali for the last nine months to make it a more regional team,” Kaval said. “Obviously the logistics of playing in Mexico need more time to get worked out, but I think we will still have a series there, and that's a win for the league, but it's not that we're moving the whole team.”

Local CBS affiliate KSWT-13 reported on its website on June 6 that the team was leaving the city, citing a conversation with team president Ricky Smith. Smith is the owner and president of Golden Glove Professional Baseball, which owns the Scorpions.

“He (Smith) says between having the highest payroll in the Golden Baseball league and the poorest fan attendance in the league, it is time to move on,” the report said. “As for their new home, he has decided to move the team to Mexicali and the move could come as early as next week.”

Yuma Scorpions vice president of baseball operations Peter Young said Smith could not be contacted because he was in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico with the Tecate Brewers, who are also affiliated with the organziation.

“Somebody in the office called and asked if we were moving, and I had no idea where that came from,” Young said. “Some of the fans were even buzzing about it a couple nights ago. I didn't understand.”

Young confirmed there is still a chance of hosting a Scorpions game in Mexicali but not likely an entire series, and that there are no plans as of yet to visit El Centro or San Luis.

“The El Centro field is not good enough,” Young said. “There is a possibility for San Luis, but we'd have to go down there with the pitching coach and a couple others to make sure they have a look at that field and the mound and that everything is safe for our players.”

The Golden Baseball League has a history of moving in and out of cities, particularly the past two years with the league's expansion and addition of teams in Canada, Mexico and Hawaii, but has never moved a team during a season.

“It's not forbidden, but that's not the plan,” Kaval said of a mid-season move. “We have an agreement and a great relationship with the city of Yuma.”

The Scorpions (14-5) begin a two-game series at Chico tonight, then have two days off before hosting the Outlaws Tuesday night at Desert Sun Stadium.

So that's good news for the folks of Yuma, who have called the Scorpions their home team since the 2005 inaugural GBL season.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Telus Field

Telus Field was built in 1995 as the new home for the Triple-A Edmonton Trappers, who played in the PCL from 1981-2004. When the Trappers were purchased and moved to Round Rock, Texas, as a new Texas League franchise, the independent Northern League expanded north of the border in 2005. While also picking up a new marketing in Calgary, the Northern League added the Edmonton Cracker Cats, who moved to the GBL in 2008.

The team changed the name from Cracker Cats to Capitals in 2009 as a nod to the capital city of the province of Alberta. Take a look around Telus Field (and maybe a bit of the West Edmonton Mall, too) in the latest Ballpark Tour.

Past Ballpark Tours
Foothills Stadium - Calgary Vipers
Bruce Hurst Field - St. George RoadRunners
Royal Athletic Park - Victoria Seals

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pictures from Maui

We're still a long way from the Orange County Flyers making their only trip of the regular season to Iron Maehara on Maui, but here's a sneak peak of what the place looks like. Thanks to GBL CEO Dave Kaval for passing along these pictures.

Dance off in Edmonton

Rain delay dance off between Capitals and Flyers

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yuma moving to Mexicali this week?

While this news doesn't surprise me, it also catches me off guard. According to a TV news station in Yuma, the Scorpions could be moving to Mexicali within a week, meaning the Flyers road trip to the desert June 21-24 could have a different destination. Here's the story, word for word from KSWT 13 News:

Yuma Scorpions Moving To Mexicali
Posted: June 6, 2010 09:58 PM

Yuma, AZ June 6 - At Saturdays game, the Yuma Scorpions manager told KSWT News 13 the team is moving.

He says between having the highest payroll in the Golden Baseball league and the poorest fan attendance in the league, it is time to move on. As for their new home, he has decided to move the team to Mexicali and the move could come as early as next week.

The owner of the team, Rickey Smith says next week he will give KSWT News 13 an exclusive interview with all the details.

So that'd be a shakeup. Yuma hasn't drawn well in the last couple of seasons as unemployment has hit that city/county worse than many other markets. And unlike Orange County - where there are at least plenty of people in the community, it's just a matter of reach them - there are only so many folks in Yuma, and if 1/3 of them are unemployed, it's tough for a ball club to succeed.

Desert Sun Stadium 7,500 and potentially up to 10,000 as an old spring training facility for the Padres, but that's in the past now.

As for the Mexicali market, it's located on the other side of the border almost due south of El Centro, Calif., which is about 50 miles west of Yuma. The Scorps did play a few games in El Centro in 2008 to test the waters of the area, but that field was rough to say the least.

Could we see a two-team set up south of the border before this season is out? Heck, it's entirely possible. And it's still closer than/less expensive of a trip than flying to Canada. No GBL team has ever moved before in mid-season, but the team is on the road from now until June 15, so if there are going to do something, they would have to do it quickly.

The Scorpions schedule has a pair of longer road trips, a Canada swing (July 15-25) and a Maui/OC trip (Aug 11-21), if they wanted the most time to make a move, but moving in August would almost be a "why bother?" unless they wanted to play in Mexicali for a long-term future. If they are going to move this season, it'd almost have to be done before the GBL's All-Star break, and even then, I wonder if/how the team would be able to get out of the lease at Desert Sun. Then again, we've already seen the league get screwed out of a lease in one market, so who knows how that will work.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lineups OC/CGY G5

Final game of the five-game series in Calgary, and Paul Abbott is giving a few guys the day off while allowing others to shine in different spots in the field and batting order. Here's today's line up for the Flyers and Vipers. First pitch at 12:35pm Pacific.

FLYERS (6-6)
#11 Steve Boggs - CF
#4 Tyler Keeble - SS
#20 Jimmy Rohan - 2B
#9 Keith Ginter - 3B
#26 Sergio Pedroza - LF
#3 David Harris - RF
#1 Derek Perren - 1B
#5 Jim Goethals - C
#22 Manny Ayala - SP (2-0, 4.26, 1st start)

VIPERS (9-4)
#11 Guillermo Reyes - SS
#14 Jorge Mejia - 2B
#30 Matt Edgecombe - 1B
#13 Julio Ramirez - CF
#18 Drew Miller - LF
#27 Jonny Kaplan - RF
#32 Caonabo Cosme - 3B
#4 Luis Taveras - C
#20 Jay Broughton - SP (2-0, 1.59, 3rd start)

Sergio Pedroza makes his first start of the season after coming back from what had to be a difficult offseason. David Harris will be in right field as Ben Johnson has the day off, and Derek Perren will man first base in place of Julian Benavidez. Ginter will bat clean up for the first time today and Tyler Keeble will bat second after batting seventh for all previous games this season. Play Ball!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Flyers 11, Vipers 15

Vipers score nine runs over seventh and eighth innings

CALGARY, Alberta (June 5, 2010) – In a game featuring daffy base-running and confusing calls, the Vipers got the best of the Flyers, 15-11, on Saturday night at Foothills Stadium. Orange County fell to 6-6 on the season.

With Orange County leading 10-6 in the bottom of the seventh and runners on first and second, Drew Miller knocked a ball off the outfield wall and umpire Jamie Dambois signaled homerun. One runner scored from second on the play, but Julio Ramirez, the runner on first was tagged out sliding into home, unaware of the inadvertent HR signal, prompting an out signal from home plate ump John Deluca. Vipers manager Morgan Burkhart argued the call, and Ramirez was put back on third, prompting an argument from Flyers manager Paul Abbott leading to his ejection. With runners on second and third now, Kevin Price hit a three-run homerun to tie the game, 10-10, and capture momentum.

Keith Ginter led off the top of the eighth with a double and scored on a Tyler Keeble single to give Orange County the 11-10 advantage. The Vipers struck for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, highlighted by a three-run homerun by Julio Ramirez, for a 15-11 lead.

The Flyers broke open a 6-6 ballgame with a three-run sixth inning thanks to crafty cat-and-mouse base running and a two-run sacrifice fly from Ben Johnson. On a Jimmy Rohan ground ball, the Vipers tried to throw home to get the runner Jim Geothals from third. Goethals retreated back to the bag where Steve Boggs was occupying the base. As the Vipers went to tag Goethals, Boggs got off the base and headed back for second base. When Calgary threw to second to tag a runner, Goethals again broke for home, prompting a throw to the plate. In the end, Calgary was unable to tag any runners out, and everyone was safe.

One batter later, Johnson’s sac fly scored two, and Ginter drove in an extra run for the 9-6 lead after six innings.

Julian Benavidez singled home Johnson beginning a string of eight straight batters to safely reach base. Tyler Keeble singled, and Kyle Hash drew a walk to load the bases. Vipers starter Joe Sergent walked Kim to score Benavidez. Steve Boggs knocked a two-run single, and after a David Harris single, Jimmy Rohan added his own two-run base hit. When the dust settled, the Flyers chased Sergent from the game after 1 2/3 innings and six runs scoring.

The Vipers got back into the ballgame with six runs off Byung-Hyun Kim, who hadn’t allowed a hit through three innings, over the fourth and fifth innings. Kim finished the night giving up six runs on five hits while walking four and striking out three in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Box Score: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/flash/index.html?gameid=12678

Friday, June 4, 2010

Foothils Stadium

Calgary's foothill's stadium was built in the 1980s to house the Triple-A Calgary Cannons of the Pacific Coast League. The Cannons played here from 1985-2002, but when the PCL left town, the ballpark was filled three years later by the upstart Calgary Vipers of the Northern League.

Since that time, the Vipers moved from the Northern League to the Golden League in 2008, and last season they brought a championship to the Stampede City. Here's a look around Foothills Stadium, affectionately known as The Snake Pit, in this week's ballpark tour.

Past Ballpark Tours
Bruce Hurst Field - St. George RoadRunners
Royal Athletic Park - Victoria Seals

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lineups OC/CGY G2

Game two of this five-game set at Foothills Stadium. The Flyers are sending Jesse Smith to the mound against former Armada hurler and 2007 GBL Rookie Pitcher of the Year Dusty Gober.

Tune into the live stream now. Music playing until 5:45pm Pacific, then the Locallife.com pregame show gets going. First pitch today is 6:05pm Pacific (7:05pm MT).

Here's the starting line ups:

#11 Steve Boggs - CF
#1 Derek Perren - LF
#20 Jimmy Rohan - 2B
#34 Ben Johnson - RF
#9 Keith Ginter - 3B
#30 Julian Benavidez - 1B
#4 Tyler Keeble - SS
#5 Jim Goethals - C
#36 Jesse Smith - SP (1-0, 4.77 ERA, 3rd start)

#11 Guillermo Reyes - SS
#14 Jorge Mejia - 2B
#30 Matt Edgecombe - 1B
#13 Julio Ramirez - C
#18 Drew Miller - LF
#1 Kevin Price - 3B
#27 Jonny Kaplan - RF
#4 Luis Taveras - C
#6 Dusty Gober - SP (0-0, 12.60 ERA, 2nd start)

HP - Jamie Dambois
1B - Tom Langlois
3B - John Deluca

It was rainy earlier today, in fact, it was rainy as of 2pm MT today, but it's cleared up nicely. It's 65F outside and despite some chilly winds coming through every now and then, should be a nice night for baseball in Calgary. Chance of rain, 20%.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flyers/Vipers Line up

We're in Calgary, Alberta, for some afternoon delight baseball. The Flyers are taking on the Vipers at the "Snake Pit" (Foothills Stadium).

Tune into the live stream now. Music playing until 12:20pm Pacific, then the Locallife.com pregame show gets going. First pitch today is 1:35pm.

Here's the starting line ups:

#11 Steve Boggs - CF
#1 Derek Perren - LF
#20 Jimmy Rohan - 2B
#34 Ben Johnson - RF
#9 Keith Ginter - 3B
#30 Julian Benavidez - 1B
#4 Tyler Keeble - SS
#5 Jim Goethals - C
#32 Matt Durkin - SP

#11 Guillermo Reyes - SS
#14 Jorge Mejia - 2B
#30 Matt Edgecombe - 1B
#13 Julio Ramirez - C
#18 Drew Miller - LF
#32 Caonabo Cosme - 3B
#27 Jonny Kaplan - RF
#4 Luis Taveras - C
#48 Anastacio Martinez - SP

And the umpires, oh this is gonna be fun.
HP - John Deluca
1B - Jamie Dambois
3B - Tom Langlois

If you remember the final game of the series in Victoria from Sunday, Deluca was the plate ump who tossed a pair of Seals for so much as asking about a balk and some chatter from the dugout. According to the Flyers and Seals players, no curse words, no personal attacks, just trying to ask a question, but that got them tossed. So we'll see if/when anyone gets thrown out of today's game. One thing is for certain, the pitchers will have a fun time playing guess-and-check when it comes to finding the strike zone.

Royal Athletic Park

Here's our first in a new video series of GBL Ballpark Tours that we'll be doing from the road this season. Enjoy...