June 2009

Not much to Cheer about in CR

The LumberKings dropped the first game of the four-game series with Cedar Rapids last night, meaning the Kings now have to win their last three games against the Kernels to secure a first-half playoff spot.  A tough task, but still possible.

Read more about last night’s 4-1 loss in today’s notes: 
6.19.09 kingsnotes.pdf.

It could have been the missed opportunity with the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth inning, but I will (jokingly) blame last night’s loss on the distracting presence of the world’s most famous cheerleaders.


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Thumbnail image for 100_0922.JPGThat’s right, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were on hand at Perfect Game Field.  As you can see by the photos, this is as close as I got.

As for today, our scene at the ballpark has switched to dark clouds and lightning.  No batting practice, potentially no interview (ending a string of 18 consecutive pregames with an interview, I might add).  You never know, though.  If I get something good, it will be posted.


AEF Gets Visit from Curious George

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Curious George stopped by to throw out the first pitch and visit the Clinton fans, courtesy of WQPT Public Television last night.  LumberKings’ relievers are huge fans of George.  Pictured (left to right):  Blake Nation, Stephen Penney, Cheyne Hann, Curious George, Greg Moviel and Ruben Flores.

Thanks again to WQPT for bringing him down for the fun evening.


Must Be the Hats

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The kelly green “Louie” cap has caught fire.  The LumberKings are riding a five-game winning streak after last night’s 16-2 Bandit-bashing in the Quad Cities and are now two games behind Cedar Rapids for the first-half Wild Card spot.  Read about last night more in tonight’s game notes: 
6.9.09 kingsnotes.pdf

It could be that Denny Almonte (.364 in last 10 games), Luis Nunez (.419 in last 9 games), Kris Sanchez (.414 in last 9 games) and Scott Savastano (.500 in last 9 games) have all been white-hot.  It could be a result of the new “big three” of the rotation in Brett Lorin (4-2, 2.06), Aaron Pribanic (5-2, 2.32) and Kenn Kasparek (2-4, 2.78).  It could be a league-best team ERA of 3.28.

But, we’ll go with the hats.

No batting practice today for the Kings at Modern Woodmen Park, but I’m still attempting to get Almonte on the pregame interview (2-for-5, Grand Slam, 4 RBI last night).

Until then, enjoy some of last night’s highlights:

Mario Martinez RBI single: 
Martinez RBI single 6.8 at Quad Cities.mp3

Jake Shaffer RBI single: 
Shaffer RBI single 6.8 at Quad Cities.mp3

Denny Almonte Grand Slam: 
Almonte Grand Slam 6.8 at Quad Cities.mp3

Scott Savastano Solo HR: 
Savastano solo HR 6.8 at Quad Cities.mp3


Special Guest: Derek Holland

Holland LumberKings Rangers.jpgThe interview that many have been waiting for, including myself.  Today I catch up with former LumberKings’ ace left-hander Derek Holland.  After occupying the seat behind me on the bus for half a Midwest League season just a year ago, Holland has risen to the Texas Rangers bullpen and now starting rotation in a way that can only be described as meteoric.

Holland talks about his time in Clinton, rising through the Rangers ranks, donning that #45 for the first time in Toronto, his goals for his first pro season, even a bit about being the man with the pink backpack.

Listen Here: 
Derek Holland Interview 6.1.09.mp3

Some more photos of Holland that I took at last year’s All-Star Game:


2008 MWL All-Star MVP Tim Smith (left) and Holland represented the West last season.

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Holland tosses to fellow ’08 LumberKing and West All-Star Jose Felix.