August 2011

Wednesday Notes (8/3)

It’s day baseball today as the LumberKings continue a four-game series at Wisconsin.  The Kings’ offense produced just one run on five hits last night, not enough to overcome a two-run homer by Jason Rogers as the Timber Rattlers took the opener, 2-1 at Time Warner Cable Field.  Right-hander George Mieses was stellar over 7.0 innings, allowing just two runs for his team-leading eighth quality start.  Still, “El Toro” fell to 4-11, tying him for second in the Midwest League in losses.

Read more on Mieses, Stefen Romero (who is now in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak after going 2-for-4 last night) and the rest of the Kings in today’s Game Notes:  8.3.11 kingsnotes 

The Kings will try and get the bats going today against Wisconsin right-hander Brooks Hall (5-3, 3.96), who struck out 10 in a no-decision at Clinton his last time out on July 29.  Lefty Anthony Fernandez (4-3, 3.27) will oppose Hall again today…he defeated the Rattlers that same game with three runs (one earned) over 7.0 innings.  The game begins at 12:05 PM CT, listen online at


Follow me on twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings

Tonight’s Interview: Ron Brand

When you work and broadcast in a historic field like I do, you never know who might walk through the door to take a look at the place.  We routinely get visits from fans, journalists, historians and travelers looking to experience our 75-year-old park, mostly unchanged since its 1937 construction as part of the Works Progress Administration.  Most are folks who have never been inside the park once called Riverview Stadium, but sometimes we’ll get a visitor that has history with the old place.

That latter instance happened just the other day.  As I was getting game notes together for that evening’s game against Peoria, I looked up to to meet Ron Brand, one of the 230 players having passed through Clinton on their way to the big leagues.  Brand broke in to professional ball with the Clinton Pirates in 1958, a team that also featured future Pirates outfielder Larry Elliot and pitchers Tom Butters and Al McBean.  After a 1963 debut with the Pirates, Brand went on to the Houston Astros via Rule 5 draft in 1964 and the Montreal Expos in the 1968 Expansion Draft.  Ulitmately converting to catcher, he played in 568 games across eight seasons, hitting .239 with three HR and 106 RBI.

Brand, now a veteran of nearly two decades as a scout with the New York Yankees, joined me for an impromptu interview.  He shares  his memories of Riverview Stadium, the ’58 Clinton Pirates, his Major League career and more.

Listen Here:  Ron Brand Interview (1958 Clinton Pirate) 8.1.11  

As for your current Clinton LumberKings, they open an eight-game road trip with the first stop in Wisconsin tonight.  Right-hander George Mieses (4-10, 5.02) faces off against right-hander Jimmy Nelson (5-7, 4.30) in a rematch of their July 28th battle, an 8-5 Kings’ victory.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.2.11 kingsnotes

First pitch between the Kings and Rattlers is scheduled for 7:05 PM, listen online at


Tonight’s Interview: Carlos Ramirez

For the first time this season (and the first time I can honestly recall), the LumberKings won a game after trailing in their final at-bat.  The team’s 11th last at-bat victory and fifth walk-off winner came in the bottom of the 11th courtesy of Carlos Ramirez, whose bases-loaded two-out single scored Robbie Anston and Matt Browning for a thrilling 2-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs yesterday (listen:  Ramirez Walk-Off 2-Run Single in 11th 7.31.11).

The clutch hit, producing just the second and the third runs of the series for the LumberKings, is not the first for Carlos.  Last season, the newly-promoted Ramirez stood at the plate with the Kings down 7-6 to the Lake County Captains in the 12th inning of Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series.  His single to right-center scored Tim Morris to tie the game, and although Mario Martinez was then thrown out at the plate trying to score the winner, the LumberKings would end up the victors in the bottom of the 18th on a memorable fielding error by Captains’ third-baseman Adam Abraham.   The 8-7 Clinton win is the longest championship series in league history.

Today, I interview Ramirez for the first time ever.  He admits that he had that MWLCS hit on his mind when he came up to the plate yesterday.  We talk about the game-winning hit, last year’s game-tying hit, his role as a utilityman and switch-hitter and more.

Listen Here:  Carlos Ramirez Interview 8.1.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.1.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.1.11 lineup

Roster Moves:  We saw the return of infielder Jake Schlander to the club yesterday as Jetsy Extrano was moved to short-A Everett, today, the LumberKings have re-added first-baseman Tim Morris from high-A High Desert.  Left-hander Nate Reed, who was scheduled to start tonight, has been promoted to High Desert.  Left-hander Roenis Elias, 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA with Pulaski, has joined the club and will fill Reed’s starting spot next Saturday in Burlington.

As for tonight, right-hander Jessie Nava (1-3, 3.13) makes his first start with Clinton in a spot role.  He’ll face off against Chiefs’ right-hander Starling Peralta (1-3, 7.48) in the rubber match.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the game on