Results tagged ‘ Boise Hawks ’

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

I apologize for last week’s blog hiatus, and can only hope that absence did indeed make the heart grow fonder (as opposed to withered and discolored). My brief time spent abroad was a truly memorable and meaningful experience, and one I hope to blog about when time allows. Among (many) highlights, I made my French television debut!

But now it’s time to get back into the proverbial swing of things, via an even more proverbial headfirst dive into the frigid deep end of Minor League Baseball’s Olympic-sized swimming pool. The primary issue that we’re all dealing with right now is that the season is, in fact, over (save for the waning days of the playoffs, of course).

And when something ends, the natural instinct is to take a look back on what has transpired. This translates to season postmortem highlight videos aplenty, in locales as diverse as Fresno, Brooklyn, and Tucson. But I’ll feature this one from the Binghamton Mets, who summarized not just the season but their entire franchise history in the span of 60 seconds.

But for a truly unique season wrap-up, let me direct you to this missive from the Tr-City Valleycats: Mayor’s Race Analytics. This post should do for regionally-specific mascot race analysis what Moneyball did for oversimplified and premature obituaries on the occupation of professional baseball scout.

Writes the team:

In recent years, sabermetrics have revolutionized the study of baseball and other sports. Many other fields have also been influenced by statistical analysis, including politics and elections, to name a couple. But somehow, one very important area has been overlooked by the emerging field of analytics: politicians racing at sporting events.

Click the above link for more. And, for the record, I’ll always publicize blog entries that include apropos references to the 1876 Presidential election. Keep that in mind when emailing me.

But no matter how one parses the numbers, one fact about the Minor League life is universal: You’ve got to keep entertaining until the end. Nowhere was this more clear than in Gwinnett County, as the G-Braves kept things moving even in the midst of what turned out to be a season-ending rain delay.

And what is it about the Gwinnett Braves and end-of-season waterworks? It was just last season, after all, that loyal readers of this blog were thrilling to THIS.

The G-Braves finished just out of postseason contention, robbing them of the chance to participate in that most time-honored of playoff rituals: Politician Bets!

The Eastern League Finals are currently taking place, with the Richmond Flying Squirrels and New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a 1-1 series tie. And so much is on the line! Take it away, press release!

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch have agreed to a friendly wager on the Richmond Flying Squirrels vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats Eastern League Championship Series. Governor Lynch has wagered that if Richmond wins, he will send Governor McDonnell a gallon of pure New Hampshire maple syrup. Should New Hampshire win, Governor McDonnell will send Governor Lynch a gift basket of Virginia Diner specialty peanuts, the official peanut of the Flying Squirrels.

Governor McDonnell, expressing his love of of peanuts to a rapt Skyler Stromsmoe

But even enemies must sometimes put aside their differences and work together, as evidenced by this hilarious photo sent to me by an embedded Northwest League contact.

Yes, that would be an in-game ensemble of Boise Hawks jersey and Spokane Indians helmet. Apparently the Hawks flat-out “forgot” where their helmets were just prior to a late August ballgame.  A search ensued, and in the meantime the hapless Boise batters were forced to go to the plate wearing the cranium-protecting duds of their avowed adversaries.

(And, pleasing only myself, I just included the phrase “In the Meantime” in a bit about helmets.)

I’ve got so much more to share, and of course I’ll be doing just that in the coming weeks/months/years/eternal re-incarnated existences. But for now I’ll close with this, which I wish I had known about in time to include in my final “Promotion Preview” column of the season.

2011’s first, best, and only transvestite bobblehead:

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Not Deterred by the Downturn

color bars.jpgBefore moving onto today’s post, I must make the following announcement:

Over the past year, MiLB.com’s “At Home With” team profile column has been a weekly feature on the site. In that time I have contacted nearly every club in affiliated baseball, some of whom were gracious enough not to ignore it completely.

But once the 2009 season starts, “At Home With” will go on hiatus. This hiatus might be permanent.

Therefore, if you work for a Minor League team, and would like to be featured — ACT NOW! There is ONE slot available, to run on March 26th. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Email benjamin.hill@mlb.com. I will review all correspondence related to this matter before coming to a fair and balanced conclusion. 

But if you don’t get in touch at all, you will regret your inaction for the rest of your time on this mortal coil. Every morning will start with the heartfelt lament of “Oh, what could’ve been.”

We now join our regularly scheduled program, already in progress.

…I promise, that will be my fourth and final joke about the lax regulation of industry during theBoise_Hawks.jpg 19th century. Because I have much more important things on my mind. Things such as this:

Earlier this week, the Boise Hawks announced that they will be offering “free tickets this season to those adversely impacted by the current economic downturn.”

More specifically, “unemployed members of the community” will be able to attend for free on Mondays. Let’s let the press release take over from here:

“Frankly, we’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do,” said Hawks President/GM Todd Rahr
“Yes, we’re a business and we have an obligation to our owners and
stockholders.  But at the same time, we’ve been a partner in this
community for over two decades and we have an obligation to lend a hand
and act responsibly in the good times and perhaps even more so in the
tough times.”

ticket.jpgTo qualify for the free tickets, the recipient will need to show an
unemployment pay stub that was issued at any time during the previous
four weeks.  Up to four tickets will be available for each out of work
fan and the tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served
basis.

The Hawks’ promotion is one of many economic downturn-inspired initiatives that have been announced throughout the Minor Leagues this offseason, and many more are sure to come. As I’ve written before, the goodwill generated by such actions should outweigh the damage done to the bottom line.

Have a good weekend, everybody. I’ll be back on Monday with a most intriguing announcement, one that will actually involve me leaving the warm embrace of New York City.

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