Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Episode 1 – Seattle System Scoop

Seattle System Scoop Graphic V4

A great idea that has been developing this offseason is something you see right now, right here on this page. The Seattle System Scoop is the name of the podcast that will be recorded throughout the season, and posted right here on the LumberBlog, as well as on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Follow at Clinton LKings). Its a podcast that is a discussion about the Mariners farm system, with the contributors being myself, and the other four broadcasters from the other minor league affiliates. Those people being Mike Curto (Tacoma Rainiers) Brandon Liebhaber (Jackson Generals), Dan Besbris (Bakersfield Blaze), and Pat Dillon (Everett AquaSox).

In the first episode, we discuss the changes in the philosophy of the Mariners player development department, as well as a breakdown of Baseball America’s Top 10 Mariners prospects. You can find that list right here. Take a listen, we know you’ll enjoy our first episode. Audio Link

After 4 Years, The LumberBlog Returns

It’s been over four years since Dave Lezotte signed off from The LumberBlog, and it is time to bring this great publication back with full force. My name is Greg Mroz, and I am honored to be the new play by play broadcaster for the Clinton LumberKings. I won’t bore you all too much with biographical information, but what I promise you is that this blog will once again be a fun and informative source for LumberKings news, information, highlights, interviews, and other interesting bits of content. The goal of this blog reboot is to give you, the fans, a fun platform to interact with our team. I very much look forward to hearing your input and feedback. Stay tuned for some fun and exciting content leading up to Opening Day!

That’s It, That’s All

My apologies to regular readers for not posting more content as of late, but I’ve been going through a pretty large personal and professional transition.  This week is my final week as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations with your Clinton LumberKings.  I have accepted a new position with the Gwinnett Braves, Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.  There, I’ll be putting my writing skills to work as the new Media Relations Coordinator.  It’s a huge jump for me in a lot of ways, but I’m hoping my six years of experience here have prepared me well for the job.

The move unfortunately means that I won’t be contributing to this blog anymore.  On my “things I’ll miss about Clinton” list, posting on the LumberBlog will probably rank second behind the radio broadcast itself.  I started this thing back in 2009 not really knowing what I was going to do with it, and eventually it became a way to share all of my daily work with you.  I’ve said it before, but I’m continually surprised with how many visitors the blog generates monthly.  The LumberBlog finished #28 on the MLBlogs Top 50 list this past month and has been in the Top 50 for every month since May of 2009.  All of that traffic for a blog covering a small-market, low-A team.

Thanks again for reading regularly or simply checking in every now and again, it has meant a lot to me.



I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that searches on Derek Holland spiked my blog traffic over the weekend.  That sort of thing will happen when you toss 8.1 scoreless, tw0-hit innings in the World Series, easily the biggest pitching performance in Texas Rangers history.  The former LumberKings ace is now firmly entrenched into baseball lore.

And, if you missed it, here’s a look via at Holland’s series-evening outing last night:

I’d love to say that I knew he’d be this good when he was dominating Midwest Leaguers just three years ago, but I’d be lying.  He was special then, but he was historic last night.


“Bullpen Patio” Taking Shape

There’s a new addition coming to Ashford University Field for 2012.  The “Bullpen Patio” will be a new group area with high-top tables positioned just behind the LumberKings’ bullpen down the left-field line.  Groups of 10-50 will be able to reserve the patio for just $12 a person.

Check out the “Bullpen Patio” as it takes shape:

It’s obviously a ways from being finished, but hopefully you get an idea of the area it will occupy.  If you’d like to reserve a date for the “Bullpen Patio”, do so by calling 563-242-0727.  Tell ’em Dave sent you (you won’t receive a discount for this).


A Good Weekend for Holland

Former LumberKings’ left-hander Derek Holland may have given up four runs on three homers over 4.2 innings on Saturday, but he and the Texas Rangers are headed back to the World Series via a 15-5 win over the Detroit Tigers.  That means fellow former Kings Ian Kinsler (’04), Mitch Moreland (’08), Craig Gentry (’07) and Neftali Feliz (’08) get another shot at that ring, while Holland gets to keep growing the playoff ‘stache.  The Rangers will meet the Maikel Cleto-less St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the phyiscal city of Holland must be celebrating right now after the Netherlands captured the 2011 IBAF World Cup title with a 2-1 win over Cuba on Saturday.  The game, played in Panama, featured former LumberKings Kalian Sams (’09-’11) and Danny Rombley (’01-’02) in the lineup, while infielder Vince Rooi (’01) remained on the bench.

The only Danny Rombley photo on file from his 2002 season in Clinton.

Sams went 0-for-2 with a walk while Rombley went 0-for-4.  View the full box score of the title game here:

Who knew Clinton had so many ties to the Dutch, including “the Dutch Oven“?


Honoring Gary VandenBerg

For those of you tuning in to Game 3 of the NLCS tonight, you’ll see an addition to the Milwaukee Brewers’ uniforms.  The “GV” patch has been added to honor the memory of Brewers’ Director of Grounds Gary VandenBerg, who passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer.

I wanted to briefly say a few words about Gary, who became my first boss when he hired me on to the Brewers Grounds Crew in 2000.  For 30-plus years, nobody served the Brewers better than Gary, and he never looked for the spotlight for doing so.  He was as kind and understanding a boss as anyone could ever ask for, yet he imparted a strong work ethic and sense of pride in all of us that worked for him.  It was with his lead that we all strived to be the best Grounds Crew in baseball.

I worked for Gary for five full seasons and parts of two more and can say that his example of professionalism and attention to detail is something that I hope has rubbed off on me.  The Ryan Brauns and Prince Fielders of baseball get the attention, but it’s people like Gary that truly make an organization great.

He will be missed greatly by all of us who donned the yellow Grounds polo.


AFL Update (10/10)

The Peoria Javelinas are off to a 1-4 start and in last place in the three-team AFL West division.  Shortstop Nick Franklin (’10) is off to an 0-for-8 start, but has walked an AFL-high four times in three games and has scored twice.  On the mound, right-hander Forrest Snow (’10-’11, pictured) is 1-0 with a scoreless 3.0 innings and three strikeouts.  Lefty Brian Moran (’09-’10) has an ERA of 9.00 with two runs over his first 2.0 relief innings.  Right-hander Steven Hensley (’09) has already served up a whopping five earned runs over two-thirds of an inning in his first outing for an ERA of 67.50.

Right-hander Evan Reed (’08) has thrown two scoreless outings for the Surprise Saguaros, each totaling one inning.  He’s walked one while fanning three in that span.

You can keep checking here for periodical AFL updates (please do, I need the traffic this time of year), but if you want up-to-date information, stats, stories, etc., go straight to the source.


Transforming into “Ashford University Field”

It’s 77 degrees in October, perfect conditions for some sign hanging.  The new “Ashford University Field” sign that will adorn the top of the scoreboard is going up today.  Here’s a photo:

The sign should be completed today.  Other signage (the main entrance in front of the park, the wind screen around the top of the grandstand) is also either up or will be in the near future. 


Former Kings in the MLB Playoffs

A post now about four days overdue, but here’s a look at former Clinton players participating in the MLB playoffs, broken down by team:

Texas Rangers (5 Players, 1 Coach):  RHP Neftali Feliz (’08), LHP Derek Holland (’08), 2B Ian Kinsler (’04), 1B Mitch Moreland (’08), OF Craig Gentry (’07).  In addition, bullpen coach Andy Hawkins was Clinton’s pitching coach in 2003.

Detroit Tigers (0 Players, 1 Coach):  No players, but manager Jim Leyland began his coaching career as the skipper of the Clinton Pilots back in the early 70’s.

Philadelphia Phillies (2 Players):  INF Wilson Valdez (’01) and OF John Mayberry Jr. (’06).

Milwaukee Brewers (1 Player, 1 Coach):  RHP Kameron Loe (’03).  Manager Ron Roenicke played outfield on the talented 1977 Clinton Dodgers club.

Arizona Diamondbacks (0 Players, 1 Coach):  No players, but third-base coach Matt Williams was a Clinton Giant in 1986. 

The New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals all are without former Clinton players or coaches.



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