Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

A Few Notes from All Over
May 8, 2009, 16:45
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted – and certainly there’s been no lack of stories to tell (the Marlin’s incredible start out the gate in the new season – now moderated back to a more normal level; the embarrassing first home games in the new New York stadiums; the amazing Zack Greinke story; and now the latest from Mannywood…) – but I’ve have had a hard time getting a feel for the game this year.  Perhaps I can only truly get pumped up when I’m at a ballpark?  What with one thing or another, I’ve yet to set foot into a park for a live game since Spring Training…I’m missing our Sidewinders, eagerly anticipating the new Toros (for whom I have not received an invitation to usher, btw), and the one D-Back game I had a ticket to attend was on a work day and I couldn’t make it.  Without the sights and sounds of the park, the game is still interesting, of course, but maybe it doesn’t get under my skin as much…  But let’s start here again and see where it takes us. 

The D-Back front office staff decided that they’d seen enough from this year’s starting on-field management and fired Bob Melvin and the hitting coach, Rick Schu…pitching coach, Bryan Price, resigned in sympathy with Melvin.  Sure it’s been a slow start to the season, but it’s only a month in and the team is SLOW, not DEAD.  Too early to panic in my opinion.  The team has just announced that A.J. Hinch, long-time overseer of the minor leagues, will be the new manager.  This confounds my disappointment.  I felt surely the team would make Chip Hale their interim manager.  Chip’s been third base coach for a couple of years now and joined the Big Club in that capacity after taking his Sidewinders to a AAA championship in 2006.  Chip got the best out of the youth when he managed them in Tucson and I am dumbfounded that he wasn’t given a shot to manage this team – still full of youth – in BoMel’s place.  Strikes me that there’s more to the story behind the scenes.  I can’t see that this will fix things.  But I am often wrong about this kind of thing.  

Meanwhile up in Reno, sigh, the AAA affiliate of the D-Backs has shown considerable life in their opening season.  They won their home opener and have amassed a 13 and 14 (.481) record in the Pacific Southern Division; in second place behind the Sacramento RiverCats…  Hum, seems just like old times (except the team is not playing here).  Former Winder, Josh Whitesell, was called up to the D-Backs this week when Tony Clark went on the DL.  Josh had a strong spring with the Parent Unit and was one of the last cuts out of spring training.  

On another PCL note:  the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have had a surprisingly slow start to the MLB season – no doubt injuries have something to do with that (having one of their young rookie pitchers, Nick Adenhart, killed in an auto accident after his first big league start probably didn’t help) – but their AAA affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees, continues to pound out wins in the PCL.  They have the best record in that league at 18 and 9 (.667). 

So, what’s new with the Toros?  Well, they finally have a 25-man roster in place.  In fact, one of the rare feel good baseball stories lately came when the Toros offered a contract to local UPS employee, Matt McCune, to fill the roster position open to local talent.  Matt has never played professional ball, but was a baseball standout from Catalina Foothills HS.  Matt’s a right-handed pitcher and was absolutely delighted to be given a chance to don a Toros uniform!  Also on the Toros pitching staff:  2008 Winder RHP, Emiliano Fruto.  Until his name popped up on the roster, I didn’t realize the D-Backs had cut ties with him…it’ll be nice to see him, his friendly wife, and adorable daughter back in Tucson this summer! 

Unfortunately, even the new Golden Baseball League season is starting with some bad news behind it.  The swine flu (not spread by pigs, as you know) has caused the Tijuana Potros to cancel their entire season.  The Toros were scheduled to play 12 games against this Mexican team.  Team owner, Jay Zucker, is looking for suitable alternatives to fill those lost game dates. 

(Disclaimer – this posting not reviewed/approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Toros, the Reno Aces, Diamondbacks, PCL, MiLB, MLB, Golden Baseball League, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Tucson Baseball LLC, SK Baseball LLC, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: