Results tagged ‘ Crooked Numbers ’
One of 2011′s most intriguing promotions is planned for TONIGHT — the so-called “Human Home Run” in Lowell, MA. Between games of the doubleheader, human cannonball David Smith, Sr. will be shot out of a cannon behind second base and land over the wall in right field.
This stunt is taking place just one week after a similarly unique (yet completely different) initiative. On June 29, 3014 fans engaged in simultaneous dental flossing, a quixotic endeavor on par with last year’s “Salute to Bubble Wrap.”
While using one long piece of floss would have been hilarious, the Spinners went a far more hygienic route by distributing Glide floss picks. In the middle of the fourth inning, it was synchronized flossin’ time.
The players, upstanding role models that they are, got in the act as well.
Flossing would be an especially apropos activity after witnessing the Memphis Redbirds’ new between-inning competition: The Rendezvous Rib Race.
Participants include BBQ Sauce, Rib, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Rendezvous Dry Rub Seasoning.
This column is a labor of love (my attempt to be the Jayson Stark of Minor League Baseball, basically), and I’d greatly appreciate if those who enjoy it pass it along to like-minded friends. I’ll close with my favorite nugget of info from this month’s column, an item brought to my attention by uber-alert Lancaster JetHawks broadcaster Jeff Lasky:
The more things change…: The Lancaster JetHawks suffered through their worst inning in franchise history June 29, allowing visiting High Desert to plate 13 runs in the second. This nightmarish frame broke the old franchise record of 12 runs allowed in an inning, which had been achieved by Lake Elsinore on May 20, 2007. Lake Elsinore’s Yordany Ramirez hit for the cycle in that ballgame, completing the feat with a triple in the record-setting 12-run eighth inning. Amazingly, Ramirez also appeared in the June 29 ballgame — as a member of the JetHawks’ pitching staff! Ramirez, in his first full season as a pitcher after nine as an outfielder, tossed two scoreless innings long after the damage had been done.
This kind of stuff is catnip for baseball nerds, right? I sure hope so.
My recent post on the Lake Elsinore Storm experience included many photos, including shots of the team kitchen as well as the easily-angered Grounds Crew Gorilla. But never did it occur to me that I’d soon be posting a photo of the Gorilla in the team kitchen.
And yet here we are:
For reasons unknown and perhaps best left unexplained, the Grounds Crew Gorilla has gotten into the international youth fad known as “planking.” The Storm have posted a photo set on Facebook entitled “Gorilla Planks the Diamond.” Here’s a few more:
The word plank brings to mind nautical discipline which brings to mind John Paul Jones, the “father of the American Navy” but also the name of the bass player in Led Zeppelin.
And here we are. Yesterday was the West Michigan Whitecaps’ second annual “Led Zeppelin Night”, Led Zeppelin II as it were.
And when it came to theme jerseys, the song remained the same. Once again, the team took the field in these:
The Whitecaps have also done “Pink Floyd Night”, and other bands that have been celebrated in such a fashion around the Minors include the Grateful Dead, Beatles, and Rolling Stones.
This leads me to make the following demand, which like all my demands will be aggressively ignored.
Nonetheless: Do a Creedence Clearwater Revival Night! CCR are easily one of the greatest rock bands of all time and deserve Minor League Ballpark immortalization.
Abbreviations such as “CCR” are prevalent on Twitter, a mode of communication that encourages extreme brevity. And as part of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs “Social Media Night”, the team will be wearing the first Twitter-themed jerseys in Minor League Baseball history.
As part of the promotion, the team is asking fans to change their Twitter and/or Facebook profile pics to the following image:
Those who do so will be eligible to win game tickets and an autographed Ryne Sandberg baseball.
Let me close with a final demand — Read Crooked Numbers!!!
It would mean a lot to me if you did so. I spend way too much time on that column, but it’s a labor of love.
Opening Day in the Minors is here at last, and I think we can all raise a glass to that.
anxiety-reducing celebratory libations can wait until later, for right now there’s business to attend to. For starters, the first “Promotion Preview” column of the season premiered today. Here’s how it looks on the home page of MiLB.com:
As I hope you are aware, “Promotion Preview” is a weekly in-season column that highlights the 10 “best” promotions of the upcoming week. I started writing it in 2006, quite by accident, and it is what has led to this niche that I now call my own. Of course, I implore everyone to get in touch with their best and most creative promotions, so that I may (possibly) include it in the column.
This week includes 3D scoreboards, snowman destruction, DIY bobbleheads, weather-related contests, pigs ON a blanket, and a lot more. Get in touch with what I’ve missed/what you don’t want me to miss.
But with the season starting today, it is even more imperative that once again I draw your attention to “Crooked Numbers.” — a monthly column highlighting the most absurd and unlikely on-field, in-game happenings.
For this I rely greatly on broadcasters and other close observers. Did you see a pitcher notch four strikeouts in consecutive innings? A lumbering catcher hit two triples in a game after not hitting any in his entire career? A journeyman infielder switch teams between games of a doubleheader?
That’s the kind of stuff I’m looking for, the stranger the better but I want it all. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
– And since games are now being played on a nightly basis, it’s worth bringing up a point that I raised on Twitter yesterday. Namely, that teams should have a separate Twitter account for in-game updates and news! This is because there are a lot of fans who are not interested in such minutiae, and will quickly become alienated and agitated by dozens upon dozens of tweets over a short amount of time (I know I am).
This is not just my opinion — I received a lot of feedback on this issue yesterday, with comments ranging from “Even in only 140 characters, you can usually tell it’s different people with different writing styles; there’s no consistency” to “in-game updates become clutter” to simply “with you 100% on that one.”
– I might as well keep this blog’s auto-didacticism feature on for a little while longer. Apologies in advance, but here goes nothing:
I probably spend more time reading Minor League Baseball tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and press releases than anyone on the planet. Here are a few other recommendations/observations as we begin the 2011 season; sorry if I sound like a jerk.
2. Again for Twitter: Explain what you are linking to, and then link to it with a shortened URL. A tweet consisting simply of a massive URL is unclear, unprofessional and a waste of the precious little space one has on Twitter to communicate.
3. If you are posting on behalf of a team, speak for the entire organization. First-person is confusing and, again, unprofessional (ie TimbuktuTarantulas: I’m hungry good thing our GM buying us pizza 2day!!)
5. Speaking for myself: I’m MUCH more likely to read a press release in which the release is contained in the body of the email itself. Having to open a word document or PDF simply isn’t worth the effort sometimes, especially if its unclear what is contained therein.
6. And use BCC (as opposed to “CC”)! A press release that starts out by displaying 400+ email contacts looks unwieldy and compromises privacy.
The bottom line is that I’m really looking forward to what will transpire this season, and consider it a tremendous privilege to cover such an interesting, creative, and often brazenly ridiculous industry on a daily basis.
Show me what you’ve got!
Opening Day is upon us! In the following clip, I am agent Dale Cooper, and the Giant is a personification of baseball season:
But most importantly for this discussion, the start of the season means that this here blog will go into overdrive. I’ll be doing my best to present entertaining and edifying posts on all aspects of the “bizness”, with a special emphasis on promotions. And of course, I need your help.
Get In Touch:
Here are a few of the many reasons to send me an email:
1.) You work for a team, and are in possession of entertaining photos and/or videos from a recently staged promotion.
2). You work for a team, and would like to share info on an upcoming notable event.
3). You are a fan, and would like to share you impressions of a recent Minor League game experience (photos and video always welcome).
4). You are a literary agent, intrigued by my growing mastery of an over-looked yet deeply entertaining niche subject.
I would also like to take the opportunity to mention that Crooked Numbers, my monthly compendium of odd on-field occurrences, will be returning in 2010. For this column to be all it can be, I need broadcasters, media relations directors, and attentive fans to alert me to any weird, wacky, and thoroughly improbable events you may have witnessed.
As always, it is my goal to personally witness as much Minor League Baseball as I possibly can. Sometimes my on-site reports will be officially sanctioned work trips, others will be spontaneous and self-financed. I would truly like to visit your ballpark, and will do my best to accept any all invitations. Again, get in touch.
I am grateful that this blog has been able to accumulate a loyal following, and that the number of daily visitors continue to increase. Here’s to a great 2010, and in case I didn’t mention it before: Get In Touch!
My sixth and final “Crooked Numbers” column went up on MiLB.com today, and I would implore you to check it out by clicking HERE.
For those who may not be familiar, “Crooked Numbers” is simply a monthly compendium of absurd and improbable Minor League facts. The column will now go on hiatus until 2010, so with that in mind I know present you with my “Crookedest Hits” from the season that was:
You Learn Something New Every Day: On April 23, the Greensboro
Grasshoppers defeated the Asheville Tourists, 8-7, in 14 innings. The
game was a wild affair on many levels — first baseman Bo Bowman
pitched the 14th for the Tourists and took the loss, for example — but
the most memorable aspect of the contest was that pitchers from both
teams filled in as pinch-umpires.
Below is an excerpt from the story written on the game:
This rare, but not unprecedented, occurrence was the result of a
scary event that took place in the sixth inning. Home plate umpire Koyu
Inoue was struck in the head by a foul ball and knocked unconscious,
and the ballgame was delayed for 47 minutes while he was attended to on
the field. Inoue was taken to a hospital for observation, but returned
to the ballpark later in the evening.
When play resumed, field umpire Jason Hutchings moved behind home
plate. Taking his place in the field were a pair of pitchers — Brandon
Todd of the Grasshoppers and Adam Jorgenson of the Tourists.
Synchronicity: Potomac Manager Trent Jewett notched his 1,000th career victory
and his 1,000th career loss on the same day. The veteran skipper
entered an April 30th doubleheader against Wilmington with a 999-999
career record. Potomac dropped the opener, handing Jewett loss No.
1,000. He moved his career record back to the .500 level when the
P-Nats pulled out a 6-0 victory in Game 2.
Cycling Slowly: The month of May featured two instances in which a
player hit for the cycle over a two-day period. On the 9th, Greg Jacobo of the
Cedar Rapids Kernels singled and doubled over two at-bats against the Quad
Cities River Bandits. The game was halted due to rain after an
inning-and-a-half of play and resumed the following afternoon. Jacobo then finished
what he started the night before, homering in the fifth inning and
tripling in the seventh.
The next player to accomplish a multi-day
cycle was Brandon Tripp of the Jupiter Hammerheads. The 25-year-old
tripled in his first at-bat against Lakeland on May 28, but the game was
suspended in the fourth. The following evening he returned to action and hit a
single in the fifth, a homer in the sixth and a double in the eighth.
One Game, 51 Runs: The California League is known as a hitter’s
haven, but June 28′s contest between the Lake Elsinore Storm and the High
Desert Mavericks took the circuit’s reputation for offense to stratospherically
absurd levels. On this day, the Storm defeated the Mavericks, 33-18.
Of course, such a result made quite an impression on the Cal League record
book. A few of the marks that were established:
combined runs in a game (51)
- Most hits,
team (Lake Elsinore, 29)
nine-inning game (4:10, marking the second time this year the Mavericks
have played nine-inning game lasting longer than four hours)
at-bats, nine-inning game, player (nine, Lake Elsinore’s Bradley Chalk)
at-bats, nine-inning game, team (Lake Elsinore, 60)
And not to be overlooked is the fact that Lake Elsinore’s Mark Clark tied a
Cal League record by crossing the plate seven times.
In addition to their 29 hits, the Storm took advantage of 13 High Desert
walks and five errors. But the game’s worst pitching performance came courtesy
of Mavericks catcher Jose Yepez. The moonlighting backstop came on to pitch the
ninth and yielded four home runs, including blasts by the first three batters
he faced. This atrocious pitching line neutralized his stellar day at the
plate, as he homered and drove in four runs.
Not to be lost in the shuffle was the fact that High Desert’s James McOwen
hit safely in his 36th straight game — a new Cal League record. McOwen, Carlos
Peguero, Kuo Hui Lo and Yepez drove in four runs apiece for the Mavericks, and
the team still managed to lose by 15 runs (the most lopsided defeat of the
Four For the Price of Three: An amazing report from Kannapolis Intimidators broadcaster Alex Gyr:
This may be a little late, but I wanted to let you know about our pitcher
Carter. Dexter, who leads the South Atlantic League in strikeouts,
struck out four batters in a row in the same inning twice in the month of May.
He first did it on May
10 in Lake County in the fourth inning, when he struck out four
in a row thanks to a passed ball.
He did it again
on May 27 in the fifth inning at Hagerstown, when he used a
strikeout-wild pitch to strike out four batters in a row.
Striking out four batters in a row in the same inning is something that
has been done fewer than 20 times in the big leagues since 1900, and Dexter did
it twice in the same month!
Mastro, If You Please:
On July 25, Darin Mastroianni set a New Hampshire Fisher Cats franchise record
when he recorded four outfield assists in a game against the Portland Sea Dogs.
This is a rare feat, indeed. Consider that it has occurred just 11 times at the
Major League level, with the most recent such incident taking place in 1928.
Mastroianni threw out John Ottness at home plate in the first inning, gunned
down Jon Still at the plate in the second and sixth, and nailed Matt Sheely at
third base in the fifth. The Fisher Cats nonetheless
lost the game, 4-3.
In Which the Magical Becomes Routine:
The Minor Leagues were awash in no-hitters in August, making that most
cherished of baseball experiences seem almost pedestrian. Eleven no-nos
occurred between Aug. 11 and Aug. 28, including two apiece on the 14th, 19th,
22nd and 28th. The Daytona Cubs contributed two during this time, and reliever Oswaldo
Martinez was involved in both.
I did my best with “Crooked Numbers” this season, but am nonetheless painfully aware that there is much that I missed. Please get in touch at any time in order to share any “Crooked” tidbits of information that you may come across . I’ll post the best of these tidbits on this blog, thereby creating the illusion that there is still baseball going on as opposed to a gaping void that appears to stretch on for all eternity.