Friday, October 10, 2008

Dogs fall before hot Javilina offense

Jeff Manship

W: J. Jeffress (1-0, 3.00); L: J. Manship (0-1, 6.00)
HR: None.

Former Miracle hurler Jeff Manship (Minnesota) gave up 3 runs on four hits over three innings while fanning 3, putting the Desert Dogs in an early hole that they never recovered from. He'd take the loss, his first of the season for the defending Arizona Fall League champions.

The Dogs actually got on the board first, with Evan Frey (Arizona) taking a lead off walk. Eric Young (Colorado) would bunt into a force out, then stole 2nd. Following a ground out to J.P. Arencibia (Toronto), Sean Doolittle (Oakland) doubled to drive in Young.

Manship with drill former Sarasota Reds Drew Stubbs with a pitch to lead off, but got Carlos Triunfel (Seattle) to ground into a double play and Austin Jackson (NY Yankees) to fly out to get out of the inning. Juan Miranda (NY Yankees) singled to lead off the bottom of the second. Greg Halman (Seattle) singled, moving Miranda to 3rd. He'd then try to steal 2nd, and would have been caught, but an error Adrian Cardenas (Oakland) gave Halman the base. Manship would would get J.T. Hall (Tampa Bay) out on strikes, but then unleashed a wild pitch at scored Miranda, and put Halman on 3rd and Hall on first. Justin Turner (Cincinnati) would ground into a double play that served to plate Halman before Rob Johnson (Seattle) would go down on a foul tipped strike to end the inning.

Taylor Green (Milwaukee) doubled in the bottom of the 3rd before Manship could take Stubbs down on strikes. Triunfel then doubled as well, knocking in Green. Jackson would hit into a fielder's choice double play to end the inning.

Tony Barnette (Arizona) replaced Manship for the fourth, then gave way to Jeff Gray (Oakland) in the fifth.

Peoria struck again in the sixth with Zach Dials (Toronto) on the mound. Miranda tripled and was singled in by Halman. Hall singled as well before Turner and Johnson could be taken out on strikes. Mike McDonald (Oakland) would be summoned from the bullpen. Green would reach on a Josh Donaldson (Oakland) fielding error, which scored Halman as well, before Stubbs would be induced to hit into a ground out to end the inning.

McDonald returned to the mound for the bottom of the 7th, allowing a double to Truinfel to open things up. Jackson's ground out put Truinfel on 3rd, and Miranda would double him in, to make the score 6-1 in favor of the Javalinas.

The Dogs would finally get back onto the board in the 9th, with Doolittle singling off reliever Rob Manuel (Cincinnati), then moving to second on a wild pitch. Danny Valencia (Minnesota) singled to move Doolittle to 3rd, and a sac fly by Rusty Ryal (Arizona) would bring the South Dakota native home.

Chris Mason (Tampa Bay) would take over the pitching chores for Peoria in the ninth, getting Chris Nelson (Colorado) to ground out before giving up a walk to Ryan Patterson (Toronto). A fielding error by Stubbs allowed Scott Campbell (Toroto) to reach and Patterson to score. Eric Young's ground out would plate Campbell, but that was the all the Dogs would get despite a single to Young and walk to Doolittle.

Milwaukee's Jeremy Jeffress took the win for the Javelinas who remain unbeaten after three games.

Phoenix continues their string of night games, facing the Scottsdale Scorpions for a 7:05 PM MST contest Friday at Scottsdale Stadium.

Manny's Blog

Beloit Snappers' centerfielder Ben Revere was honored by Baseball America once again in their most recent issue after his impressive 2008 campaign. The speedy outfielder from Kentucky was rated as the 4th best prospect in the Midwest League, trailing Mike Moustakas (Burlington Bees), Neftali Feliz (Clinton LumberKings) and Jarrod Parker (South Bend Silver Hawks).

Revere had what may turn out to be the most successful season in Snappers’ history. The Twins’ 2007 first round draft pick ended up hitting .375 with 129 hits and 44 stolen bases while picking up the following awards:

- Midwest League MVP
- Midwest League Prospect of the Year
- Midwest League All-Star
- Midwest League Post-Season All-Star
- Best Batting Prospect (Baseball America)
- Best Strike Zone Judgment (Baseball America)
- Fastest Baserunner (Baseball America)
- Most Exciting Player (Baseball America)
- Topps Co-Midwest League Player of the Month (May)
- Minnesota Twins Minor League Player of the Month (May)
- Brodie Trophy Player of the Year

Miracle catcher Wilson Ramos as also honored by the magazine as the 8th best prospect in the Florida State League. Ramos batted .288 with 13 home runs and 23 doubles during the 2008 season for the FSL West Division Champions. Wilson also collected an impressive 130 hits in 452 at-bats.

Ramos was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent on July 7th, 2004. In 73 games for the Snappers in 2007, Wilson hit .291 with eight homers, 17 doubles and 42 RBIs.

The honor often times leads to good things for the players chosen by the prestigious magazine. Five of the ten players listed in 2003 by Baseball America as the top prospects in the Midwest League are now playing at the major league level. Prince Fielder #1 (Beloit Snappers), Manny Parra #4 (Beloit Snappers), Joe Blanton #5 (Kane County Cougars), Joel Zumaya #6 (West Michigan Whitecaps) and Felix Pie #8 (Lansing Lugnuts) all called the Midwest League home at one time in their playing career.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dogs top Sox, 7-5

Dustin Martin

W: S. Lindsay (1-0, 0.00); L: T. Brummett (0-1, 6.75); SV: A. Carignan (1)
HR: PDD: J. Arencibia (1). MSS: L. Morrison (1).

Wednesday night the Phoenix Desert Dogs overcame the Mesa Solar Sox, 7-5. Both teams pounded out 10 hits each, but the Dogs made their hits count.

A throwing error in the first inning put lead off man Evan Frey (Arizona) on second base to start the game for the Dogs. Steve Tolleson (Minnesota) took a single off Mesa starter Jesse Estrada (Chi Cubs), driving in Frey. Following a J.P. Arencibia (Toronto) fly out to right, Sean Doolittle (Oakland) ground into a force out that nabbed Tolleson at second. Danny Valencia (Minnesota) smacked a ground rule which put Doolittle on 3rd, and Dustin Martin (Minnesota) doubled in the pair to make it 3-0 Dogs, before Josh Donaldson (Oakland) was taken out on strikes.

Mesa bounced back in the bottom of the inning. Matt Young would lead off with ground out, but Scott Cousins (Florida) drew a walk off Chad Roe (Colorado). Tyler Colvin (Chi Cubs) flew out but a wild pitch by Roe moved Cousins to second. Struggling with his control, Roe would then walk Jeff Larish (Detroit) and give up a home run to Logan Morrison (Florida) that tied up the game.

Nate Spears (Chi Cubs) singled in the bottom of the second with Young drawing a walk off Roe to move him to second. Cousins would go down on strikes before Colvin singled to score Spears putting the Solar Sox on top.

The Dogs responded in the top of the fourth, with Martin singling, then stealing 2nd. After Ryan Patterson (Toronto) was taken out on strikes, Tyson Brummett (Philadelphia) would be called out to the mound for the Sox. He'd give up a single to Adrian Cardenas (Oakland) which scored Martin to tie the game.

Colorado's Shane Lindsay would replace Roe for the third inning working 2. The top of the fifth would see Arencibia knock a Brummett pitch over the right field wall to make it 5-4 Dogs.

Andrew Bailey (Oakland) took over for Lindsay in the fifth allowing singled to Colvin and Morrison, but the Sox could not convert.

Donaldson would take a walk off reliever Donald Veal (Chi Cubs) in the top of the sixth. Following a fly out to Patterson, Cardenas would also walk. Frey's line drive to center plated Donaldson, making it 6-4 for the Dogs. A wild pitch and a walk to Tolleson would load the bags, but Sergio Escalona (Philadelphia) entered the contest for the Sox, getting Arencibia out on strikes to strand the Pheonix runners.

Reid Mahon (Arizona) worked the bottom of the sixth allowing a double to Darwin Barney (Chi Cubs), who would be taken out at 3rd when he tried to stretch the grounder to left for a triple.

with two outs on the board, Martin walked in the top of seventh. He'd be replaced by pinch runner Eric Young Jr. (Colorado), who then stole 2nd. Donaldson's line drive to left brought in Young, making it 7-4 Dogs.

Jaren Lansford (Oakland) worked the bottom of the 7th and was replace in the bottom of the 8th by Minnesota's Rob Delaney. The former Miracle closer would give up back-to-back doubles to Morrison and Slayer, which gave the Sox their fifth run, but would then settle down taking the next three batters he face out.

Martin, working as the designated hitter, finished up 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a run and 2 RBIs. Valencia would work 1-for-4 in the contest with a run, while Tolleson was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and a RBI.

Phoenix takes on the Javelinas for a 7:05 PM MST time game at the Peoria Sports Complex.


The Peoria Javelinas defeated the Sunrise Surprise 8-7, while the Peoria Saguaros topped the Scottsdale Scorpions 10-7.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Solar Sox take AzFL opener

Danny Valencia

It took 10 innings, but the Mesa Solar Sox overcame the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 3-2 on the opening day of the 2008 Arizona Fall League Season.

Mesa got on the board first, taking two runs from Phoenix starter Max Scherzer (Arizona), who went on to work 7 innings. A fielding error by Desert Dog Rusty Ryal (Arizona) allowed John Raynor (Florida) to reach. He was awarded second when the ball went into the first base dugout. William Rhymes' (Detroit) ground out moved Raynor to 3rd. Casper Wells (Detroit) then went yard over the left field wall to put the Sox up two runs.

The Solar Sox hung onto the lead until the bottom of the sixth. With two outs on the board, Evan Frey (Arizona) singled out to left, and advanced to second on a passed ball by Mesa catcher Steve Clevenger (Chi Cubs). Eric Young (Colorado) would get plunked by a Kris Median (Atlanta) pitch, before Ryal redeemed himself for his earlier error by tripling out to right field, bringing in two.

Aussie Shane Lindsay (Colorado) worked the 8th for the Dogs before giving way to Daryl Harang (Toronto).

Arizona's Hector Ambriz would give up the game winning run in the 10th, walking Clevenger, who advanced to 2nd on a Darwin Barney (Chi Cubs) sac bunt. A wild pitch by Ambriz put Clevenger on 3rd, and Raynor singled him in.

Despite singles by Twins prospects Danny Valencia and Dustin Martin in the bottom of the 10th, the Dogs could not pull out the game, with Josh Donaldson (Oakland) popping out and pinch hitters Ryan Patterson (Toronto) and Michael McKenry (Colorado) going down on strikes.

Valencia would go 2-for-4 in the contest, Martin was 1-for-4. Former Miracle Steve Tolleson, who spelled Ryal at short, finished up 0-for-1 on the night.

The two teams rematch tonight at Mesa HoHoKam Park for a 7:05 PM (Mountain Time) game.

Game Story

In other AzFL action, the Peoria Javelinas downed the Sunrise Surprise 10-3, while the Peoria Saguaros topped the Scottsdale Scorpions, 9-3.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hicks, Morales recognized by Baseball America

GCL Twins

GCL Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks leads off the list of Baseball American's top 20 GCL Prospects. This is probably not surprising has Hicks enjoyed a great season with the GCL Twins, having a chance to focus on his fielding and his batting.

The list also included Michael Almanzar (3b), Casey Kelly (SS/rhp) and Derrik Gibson (3b) for the GCL Red Sox and Jarek Cunningham (3b/ss) for the GCL Pirates in the South Division.

Former GCLer Angel Morales picked up recognition as a top Appalachian League prospect, finishing up 8th on B.A.'s list. While the E-Twins enjoyed a great deal of success on the field, Elizabethton was largely snubbed by BA in the post season honors category.

BA will announce their top Midwest League prospects on September the 23, their top Florida State League prospects on the 29th, the Eastern League list on the 30th and the International League list will post on October 3rd.

BA also announced their first and second team All-stars. The Twins prospects were shut out of both except for the inclusion of closer Rob Delany as a post season All-star pitcher. Delaney is one of five former Beloit Snappers headed to the Arizona Fall league.

From a Beloit Snappers press release:

Five former Snappers will be participating in the upcoming Arizona Fall League next month for the Minnesota Twins. Rob Delaney, Jeff Manship, Anthony Slama, Steve Tolleson and Danny Valencia will all be members of the Phoenix Desert Dogs along with prospects from the following teams:

- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Colorado Rockies
- Oakland Athletics
- Toronto Blue Jays

The Arizona Fall League is considered by many to be final step before entering the Major League level. Six top prospects from each Major League team are chosen to compile six different teams split into two divisions. Each team will be made up of 30 players, totaling 180 with the league schedule running from October 7th to November 20th.

Rob Delaney was a member of the 2007 Beloit Snappers where he went 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 36 games. His 28 saves broke the all-time record for the Snappers and were good enough for second in the Midwest League, even after he was promoted to Fort Myers half way through the season. Delaney signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent on June 19, 2006.

Jeff Manship was a Snapper during the beginning of the '07 season. Manship went 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 13 starts, while compiling 77 strikeouts in 77.2 innings of work. He was a 14th round pick by the Twins in the 2006 First-Year Player draft.

Anthony Slama was another member of the '07 Snappers, taking over the closer role after Rob Delaney's promotion to Fort Myers. In 21 games for the Snappers, Slama saved 10 while posting a 1.48 ERA. Anthony also had an impressive 39 strikeouts in 24.1 innings pitched. Slama was a 39th round pick by the Twins in the 2006 First-Year Player draft.

Steve Tolleson played in Beloit for parts of the 2005 and '06 seasons, totaling 78 games. During the '06 campaign, Steve hit .287 with 49 hits, 23 runs and 16 RBIs. Tolleson was the Twins' 5th round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player draft.

Danny Valencia played for the Snappers during the 2007 season, hitting .302 with 15 doubles, 11 home runs and 35 RBIs. Valencia also sported a .374 on-base percentage in 66 games. Danny was drafted by the Twins' in the 19th of the 2006 First-Year Player draft.

Delaney, Manship, Tolleson and Valencia all spent the majority of the 2008 season with the Twins' Double-A Affiliate New Britain Rock Cats, while Slama spent the entire season with the High-A Affiliate Fort Myers Miracle.

Joining the five for the AzFL are Dustin Martin, who was acquired in a 2007 trade with the Mets and pitcher Tim Lahey, a catcher converted to pitcher. Neither wore a Snappers uniform during their Twins minor league careers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Miracle, Twins extended affiliation

Scott Baker

The Fort Myers Miracle and the Minnesota Twins announced Friday that they have expended their affiliation agreement for an additional four year, running through 2012.

"We are delighted to extend our affiliation with Fort Myers," said Twins Director of Minor League Operations Jim Rantz. "[Fort Myers president] Linda McNabb and her staff have created a great environment for Minor League Baseball and give our players top-notch facilities and treatment.”

The Twins value their farm system and currently bost a number of former Fort Myers Miracle players on their Roster including the M&M boys Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, outfielder Jason Kubul, center fielder Denard Span, and the entire Twins starting rotations of Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Glenn Perkins, Kevin Slowey and Francisco Liriano.

Former Twin prospect and Naples resident Jeff Smith took the Miracle to the FSL championship game in 2008, and the team has reached the post season twice in the last three years.

Aside from reliever Pat Neshek, who is currently on the DL, a look at the Twins roster reveals names like Jesse Crain, Jose Mijares, Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert and Mike Cuddyer, all of which spent developmental time with the Fort Myers Miracle during their career.

Additionally the Twins have been active in the Fort Myers Community, sponsoring free youth baseball camps which start in January and run through the beginning of spring training, plus winter caravan visits to Fort Myers local hospitals and retirement homes. The Twins have an lease with the Lee County Sportsplex that runs through 2020 with two five-year extensions that could see the Twins in Fort Myers for spring training through the year 2030.

The Miracle are a member of the Goldklang Group, which provides Operational consulting and Management services in all areas relating to sports franchise and event acquisition, promotion and operation.

USA Today announced their minor league player of the year and it should come as no surprise to the informed minor league fan that they chose Tampa Bay prospect David Price for the honor. Price posted an 11-0 record with a 1.87 era in 15 starts at High-A Vero Beach (FSL) and AA Montgomery before earning a promotion to the AAA Durham Bulls. He was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in the regular season for Durham and 1-0 with a 3.27 era in the Governors' Cup playoffs. The first overall selection of the Rays in the 2007 amateur draft received 57% of the over 23,000 online votes cast by fans at the USA Today and Sports Weekly website.

The same organization named pitcher Mike McCardell as the Twins Minor League Player of the year. McCardell posted a 9-4 record with a 2.86 ERA in 22 games with the Low-A Beloit Snappers in 2008. He walked 25, and struck out 139 in 135.1 innings pitched. The 23 year old native of West Chester, Pa, will be one of the players that will fill in the Miracle starting rotation in 2009, but don't expect the big right hander to stay around long if he continues to pitch the way he did for the Snappers.

Cole Devries, Alex Burnett, Deolis Guerra and Matt Fox will all likely start the 2009 season in AA. Players like McCardell, David Bromberg and Steve Hirschfield will be critical to the Miracle's success in the upcoming season.

While some have questioned how Twins phenom Ben Revere could have been bypassed for this honor, both players certainly deserve the recognition, and it is good to see McCardell getting his fair of the limelight.

McCardell was named the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the month for June of 2008, as he went 4-0 in five starts while posting a 2.45 era and .87 WHIP during that period.

Rather unfortunately, McCardell will not be at this year's Fall Instructional League, having attended the camp last season. You will have to wait until Spring Training to get a look a the next Miracle ace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Daytona defeats Miracle, 7-3 to capture FSL title

Johnny Woodard

Fort Myers 3 at Daytona 7

W: A. Cashner (1-0, 0.00); L: A. Burnett (1-1, 3.38)
HR: FTM: J. Woodard (1). DAY: J. Adduci (1), Y. Carter (1).

The Daytona Cubs were bound and determined not to wait one more day for a Florida State League Championship. As a result, they wasted little time defeating the Fort Myers Miracle, 7-3 to take the title.

I said I would be happy if the Miracle got past Dunedin and I stand by that. Great job boys!

The Miracle actually got on to the scoreboard first, with Johnny Woodard putting one over the right field wall in the 2nd inning.

Daytona took it right back with Yusef Carter going yard in the bottom half of the stanza. John Mota would follow that up with a single, and be plated by Darwin Barney's double. Tony Thomas smacked a line drive out to center that scored Barney. He'd try to stretch it for a double and failed, finishing the inning with the Cubs up 3-1.

James Adduci took a home run off Miracle starter Alex Burnett as well, putting his over the left field fence just to be a little different. Ty Wright singled and advanced to second on a error by Yancarlos Ortiz as he and Wilson Ramos attempted to take out Wright, who chose to steal 2nd. Following a ground out to Blake Lalli that advanced the runner to 3rd, Russ Canzier hit a sac-fly to bring Wright in, for the fifth Cubs run.

Back-to-back doubles by Ramos and Whit Robbins gave the Miracle another run. Edward Ovalle would single Robbins to 3rd, and after Woodard went down on strikes, Garrett Olson hit into a sac double-play that plated Robbins.

The score would stand at 5-3 until the bottom of the sixth when the Cubs tacked on two more. Steve Clevenger doubled and moved to 3rd on a wild pitch by Spencer Steedley. A walk to Carter signaled a pitching change for the Miracle, with Ozzie Sosa coming in to replace Steedley. Mota singled to drive in Clevenger, and Barney followed that up with a double that brought in Carter. Jose Lugo would be brought, the second pitching change of the inning, to get Adduci to ground out before the Cubs could add a few more runs.

In the end, the Cubs out hit the Miracle 48 to 25 and it was their prowess with a bat that made the difference.

Fort Myer recorded five hits in the final match of the contest with Steve Singleton, Ramos, Edward Ovalle and Johnny Woodard all going 1-for-4 and Robbins going 1-for-2. Sing, Ramos and Robbins all had extra base hits, Woodard had the home run and Robbins, Woodard and Olson had the RBIs.

The Miracle conclude what can only be considered a successful 2008 season under field manager Jeff Smith. With Fall Instructional League and Arizona Fall League on the way, will be taking a look at some of the prospects you can expect to see in a Miracle uniform in 2009, so don't go away!

Again, thanks to the Minnesota Twins for providing us with a great group of players, and to the staff of the Fort Myers Miracle for being such wonderful hosts at Hammond Stadium.

Congratulations to the Cubs who captured their second Championship since the turn of the century.

News Press
Bleed Cubbie Blue Blog

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Miracle avoid sweep, force game four

Rene Tosoni

Fort Myers 5 at Daytona 3

W: C. Gutierrez (1-1, 9.00); L: J. Russell (0-1, 6.75); SV: A. Slama (3)
HR: FTM: E. Ovalle (1), W. Robbins (1). DAY: T. Thomas (1).

It seems the Miracle weren't quite as done in as some bloggers seemed to think. Indeed, the Fort Myers Miracle will live to see game four of the best of five series against Daytona, batting their way past the Cubs at Jackie Robinson Stadium Monday night.

Juan Portes would lead off with a double in the top of the 1st and Edward Ovalle smacked a home run over the left field fence, giving the Miracle a 2-0 lead. Rene Tosoni would follow it up with a single, but Wilson Ramos hit into a double play and Whit Robbins ground out to send the Cubs up to bat.

The Miracle would give the ball to Deolis Guerra, who would in turn keep the Cubs off the board until the bottom of the third, when Tony Thomas singled and stole 2nd. He'd be given 3rd when Guerra unleashed a wild pitch, and James Adduci doubled him in, cutting the score in half. Guerra would walk Ty Wright before getting Blake Lalli and Russ Canzier out on fly balls, leaving two men stranded.

Tosoni lead off the top of the fourth with a singled and Ramos doubled him in. Robbins then rocked one out of the park for two more runs, giving the Miracle a 5-1 lead.

It would stay that way until the bottom of the fifth when Darwin Barney singled and Thomas put one out of the park for the Cubs, making it 5-3. Adduci would go down on strikes and Wright would walk before Jose Lugo was brought in to replace Guerra. Lugo would take pinch hitter Marquez Smith out on strikes and induce Canzier to ground into a force out to end the inning.

Carlos Gutierrez replaced Lugo in the bottom of the the sixth and worked one inning, walking one and striking out one before giving way to Blair Erickson. Erickson allowed 2 hits and a walk over the next 1.2 innings while fanning three but keeping the Cubs off the board. Anthony Slama would strike out four, allowing a hit and a pair of walks in 1.1 innings to finish off the contest for the Miracle.

Daytona's James Russell gave up all five runs for the Cubs on 8 hits while striking out 3 over 5.2 innings. Guerra would also give up 8 hits, plus a walk, while fanning 3, but his would come over 4.1 innings and he'd allow only three runs.

Tosoni was 2-for-3 with a run and a walk, while Ovalle and Ramos were both 2-for-4 with a run each, Ovalle with 2 RBIs and Ramos with a double and 2 RBIs. Robbins finished up 1-for-4 with the home run and a pair of RBIs. Portes was also 1-for-4 with a run, but added a double instead of a yarder.

So the Miracle push it to game four Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Alex Burnett (1-0, 0.00) will go up against the Cubs Marcos Mateo (0-1, 2.45) on the mound. The Miracle faithful can listen in to the play-by-play action with the Voice of the Miracle, Sean Fox, on WMYR AM-1410 and WCNZ AM-1660 starting a 6:50 PM.


* Yankees, Yankees everywhere: The Scranton/WB Yankees will take on the the Devil Rays affiliated Durham Bulls for the International League's Governor's Cup. In the Eastern League, the Yankee affiliated Trenton Thunder will seek a championship against the Cleveland affiliated Akron Aeros.

* LEN3 lists Wilson Ramos as his top prospect pick for the Twins this year. Ramos would, in my honest opinion, benefit from a bit of plate discipline. As Alex put it "He hits into a shit load of double plays." In part, I think you have to look at which prospects are in a position to help the Twins the soonest, so I'd have to go with either Anthony Swarzak or Luke Hughes as the top prospect overall. But then, we all have our own agendas in filling out lists, don't we?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Revere Named Brodie Trophy Player of the Year

Ben Revere

Beloit Snappers Press Release

Ben Revere did it all for the Snappers in 2008 and was named by the coaching staff as their Brodie Trophy Player of the Year. Ben was given the award before the Snappers took on the Burlington Bees on August 30th.

Revere ended up leading the league in batting average (.375) and on-base percentage (.428), was second in stolen bases (44) and third in slugging percentage (.497). Ben also led the Snappers in average, hits (129), doubles (17), triples (10), stolen bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Last week, Revere was named by the 14 managers of the Midwest League as Most Valuable Player and as Prospect of the Year. Ben was also tabbed a starter on the MWL’s Postseason All-Star Team.

In last month’s issue of Baseball America, Ben was also named by the MWL managers as best in the league in four different categories. The four categories include:

- Best Batting Prospect
- Best Strike Zone Judgment
- Fastest Baserunner
- Most Exciting Player

Revere also received honors earlier this year as Co-Topps Midwest League Player of the Month for the month of May along with Kane County’s Craig Italiano. Revere picked up the honors after hitting a league-best .433 with 11 doubles, five triples, one home run, 18 RBIs and 14 steals during that time span.

Ben was drafted by the Twins in the 1st round (28th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player draft. He spent the 2007 season as a member of the GCL Twins, where he hit .325 with 10 triples, 46 runs and 21 stolen bases.

Cubs put Miracle in 2-0 hole in best-of-five series

Whit Robbins

Daytona 9 at Fort Myers 1

W: J. Jackson (1-0, 0.00); L: C. Devries (1-1, 4.22)
HR: DAY: B. Lalli (1).

The Daytona Cubs wasted no time sending the Fort Myers Miracle packing, taking five runs off Cole Devries in the 3rd inning in route to a 9-1 win, and a 2-0 game lead, in the best of five Florida State League Championship series.

The Miracle will have to win three straight at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Dayonta Beach in order to win their first Championship since their relocation back to Fort Myers.

Ryan Harvey tripled in the top of the 3rd and scored on a Jonathan Mota ground out. Darwin Barney doubled and Tony Thomas took a walk. James Adduci singled to drive in Barney, and following a ground out to Ty Wright that plated Thomas, Blake Lalli put one over the right center field fence, scoring two to make it 5-0 Cubs.

Joe Testa would replace Devries in the top of the 5th. After getting Thomas to ground out and taking Adduci down on strikes, he'd give up a walk to Wright. Lalli singled, moving Wright to 2nd, and Russ Carter's line drive brought the runner home for the Cubs's sixth of the evening.

Ozzie Sosa allowed a double to Harvey in the top of the sixth, who moved ot 3rd on a Mota ground out. Barney would line out before Thomas singled Harvey in for Daytona's seventh tally.

Matt Williams would come in for the top of te 8th, striking out Steve Clevenger, and getting Harvey to pop out. But Mota and Barney took back-to-back singles, and a throwing error by Danny Santiesteban in right allowed Mota to score making it 8-0.

Jay Jackson allowed only 4 hits to Fort Myers over 5.2 innings. Relievers Jay Ruhlman and Michael Cooper held the Miracle to only a pair of walks in the next 1.1 innings, although Cooper gave up a couple of wild pitches that moved Edward Ovalle all the way to 3rd before he'd find a pair of strikes outs to retire the Fort Myers.

Todd Blackford replaced Cooper in the 8th and walked Steve Singleton. Rene Tosoni would go down on strikes, but passed ball by Clevenger moved Sing to 2nd. Wilson Ramos ground out advanced the runner to 3rd and Whit Robbins singled him in to keep the Miracle from being shut out. It was too little a rally, too late.

Wright singled off Williams in the 9th and two outs later, allowed a single to Clevenger. He'd hit Harvey with a pitch to load the bags, and then hit Mota as well, forcing in Wright to finish off the Cubs' scoring.

The Miracle would get nothing off Dustin Sasser in the ninth, with Juan Portes flying out to end the contest.

Singleton finished off the game 1-for-3 with a walk and a run, while Rene Tosoni, Wilson Ramos, Robins and Yancarlos Ortiz were all 1-for-4.

Unless the Miracle can find some road mojo of their own, the Cubs can sweep the series tomorrow night in Daytona. Game time is 7:05 PM and the contest can be heard live on WMYR AM-1410 and WCNZ AM-1660 with the Voice of the Miracle, Sean Fox calling all the play-by-play action.

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Bleed Cubbie Blue Blog
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cubs score late to take early lead in series

Matt Fox

Daytona 5 at Fort Myers 1

W: J. Latham (1-0, 0.00); L: C. Gutierrez (0-1, 13.50)
HR: FTM: R. Tosoni (2).

Matt Fox pitched an absolutely incredible game for six innings, scattering 3 hits and a pair of walks and striking out an astounding 10 batters. But unfortunately, the bullpen could not match his performance.

Carlos Gutierrez would get Carlos Canzier to strike out swinging to start his shift in the seventh, but Steve Clevenger, Ryan Harvey and Jonathan Mota all took singles off the Miami native, scoring Clevenger to tie up the contest. A throwing error on a pick off attempt would put Harvey over the plate, putting the Cubs on top. After Darwin Barney ground out, Tony Thomas tripled off the sink-ball throwing rookie, bringing Mota home. Jeff Smith would get Jose Lugo out of the bullpen at that point, and the Dominican hurler walked James Adduci before getting Ty Wright to ground into a force out, retiring the Cubs.

Rene Tosoni would launch a solo shot home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth for the Miracle. Despite out hitting the Cubs through the first six innings, it would be all that they would manage to get over the plate off the Daytona team.

Lugo would work a solid 8th inning, but despite a single to Juan Portes, the Fort Myers Miracle could not come up with a Miracle to even up the score. David Shinskie replaced Lugo in the top of the 9th. Harvey would go down on strikes, but Mota and Barney both singled. Thomas' sack bunt scored Mota and moved Barney to 2nd. Adduci would single which, combined with a throwing error by Yancarlos Ortiz, scored Barney making it 5-1 Cubs.

Whit Robbins would single off closer Brian Schlitter in the 9th, but Wilson Ramos, Edward Ovalle and Johnny Woodard all went down on strikes to end the contest in the Cubbies' favor.

Tosoni would go 2-for-3 at the plate with walk, a run and a RBI but he could not provide all the offense by himself. Portes was 2-for-4 with Steve Singleton, Ramos and Robbins all chipping in with singles and finishing off the contest 1-for-4 as one hit wonders. Ovalle, Woodard and Eli Tintor all drew walks, but were otherwise "0-fer" - the first two being 0-for-3 with Tint going 0-for-2.

Not the sort of thing that the Miracle would like to see. They will attempt to bounce back against the hard hitting Cubs Sunday evening at 7:05 for game two of the Florida State League Finals. Cole Devries (1-0, 0.00) will get the nod to take the mound for the Miracle, while the Cubs send up right-hander Jay Jackson (0-0, 0.00) out to counter.

Sunday's contest is the last game at The Bill, as the series reverts to Jackie Robinson Stadium for Monday's match up.


* When the Marlins faced the Cubs in post season play in 2003, one of the radio stations in the area held a ceremony in which a stuffed "Cub" was impaled on the bill of the 50 foot Marlin out in front of Grey's Taxidermy off I-90. Anyone know where we can acquire a big bill fish at so we can impale a cub of our own at The Bill?

* Daytona has a speedway, but Lee and Collier Counties have four Racetrac locations where you can go to get free general admission tickets to the Hammond Stadium for the playoff games on Sunday. Don't forget to plan a pit stop at Racetrac on your way to the Bill Sunday night!

Cubs shut out Cards to validate their bus ticket to Hammond Stadium

Danny Lehmann

Daytona 6 at Palm Beach 0

W: H. Chen (1-0, 0.00); L: M. Diapoules (0-1, 7.20)
HR: None.

When the Daytona Cubs were in town earlier in the year for the regular season, they bought with them the reputation of being quite the road team. Evidently the travel mojo is still in effect as they blanked the Palm Beach Cardinals 6-0 at Roger Dean Stadium, to earn themselves a trip to Southwest Florida and the waiting Fort Myers Miracle.

Hung-Wen Chen allowed only 3 hits over six innings - the Cards only got five over nine - while the Cubs Offense did the rest.

Tony Thomas singled to lead off the first inning, then moved to 2nd on Jim Adduci's ground out. Ty Wright scored Thomas, and Blake Lalli doubled in Wright to give the Cubbies a 2 run lead in the the first inning.

They'd increase it in the top of the 5th when Thomas took a walk with one out on the board then came in on an Adduci double. A fielding error by Cards first baseman Matt Arburr allowed Wright to reach and Adduci to score, to give Daytona a four run lead.

Thomas, Adduci and Wright struck again in the top of the 7th to combine for 2 more runs for a total of six for Daytona.

Keeping that trio in check will be the first thing the Miracle need to accomplish Saturday night as they host game one of the best-of-five Florida State League championship series.

You've waited long enough Southwest Florida! Be there as the Miracle take on the Cubs in an attempt to bring a baseball championship back to to Southwest Floria. It's been 13 years since the Miracle were in a FSL Championship match. They were defeated by the Cubs then. It's time to defeat the Cubs now!

First pitch is 7:05 PM at Hammond stadium.


* Daytona has a speedway, but Lee and Collier Counties have four Racetrac locations where you can go to get free general admission tickets to the Hammond Stadium for the playoff games on Saturday and Sunday. Don't forget to plan a pit stop at Racetrac on your way to the Bill Saturday and Sunday night!

* The Twins traded Brian Bass to Baltimore for a player to be named later. Bass (3-4, 4.87) spent most of the season in the Twins' bullpen but was sent down to Rochester in August. The Twins are expected to receive an A-ball prospect in return (LEN3).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Miracle still waiting

Daytona Cubs

Palm Beach 5 at Daytona 4

W: S. Garceau (1-0, 2.70); L: M. Mateo (0-1, 2.45); SV: P. Parise (1)
HR: None.

The come-back Cubs fell one short at Jackie Robinson Stadium, as the Palm Beach Cardinals forced game three of the Eastern Division finals.

Antonio DeJesus singled to lead off the top of the first inning and Peter Kozma followed suite. Steve Hill would ground into a double play that allowed DeJesus to score, putting the Cards on the board.

Hill would reach on a fielding error in the top of the 4th, and Tyler Henley singled him to 2nd. After a fly out to Matthew Arburr, Charles Kingrey doubled in Hill. Nick Derba would go down on strikes, but Mike Foli singled driving in Henley and Kingrey. A wild pitch by Cubs starter Marcos Mateo advanced the runner, and a Oliver Marmol singled brought in Foli to make it 5-0 Cards. DeJesus would take a walk before the Cubs brought in Andrew Cashner to stop of the bleeding, and he'd take Kozma out on strikes for the 3rd out.

Daytona would get two in the bottom of the fifth as Jonathan Mota lead off with a walk. Darwin Barney singled before Tony Thomas was taken out on strikes. James Adduci singled in Mota and Ty Wright sacrificed in Barney for the host team.

Barney would start the Cubbies rally in the bottom of the 9th with a pop out, but Thomas took a walk. Adduci ground out but Wright doubled to score Thomas. The Cards would get Pete Parise on the mound, who allowed a single to Marquz Smith to score Wright. With the tying run on base however, Russ Canzier would go down on strikes, ending the contest in the Cards favor.

The series now reverts to Roger Dean Stadium for a 7:05 PM start on Friday. The winner of that contest will face the Miracle at Hammond Stadium on Saturday night for a 7:05 PM game.


* Less then 600 fans showed up for a weekday game between the Marlins and the Braves on Wednesay. The unofficial tally was 589 although 11,211 tickets were announced as being sold for the game. The Fish won the game 5-3.

* RaceTrac has acquired tickets to all the potential Miracle playoff games and are distributing them now, at no cost to their customers. General admission tickets are available at the four RaceTrac Southwest Florida locations. Tickets obtained at RaceTrac can be upgraded to a box seat for only $2.00 at the Miracle’s Hammond Stadium offices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday or at the box office the nights of the game.

* The Miracle will host game one and two of the FSL Finals on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 7:05 pm.

* Former Miracle Adam Harben had not been playing for the Cubs during their playoff run as he is on the D.L.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Miracle sweep way to West Division Championship

Alex Burnett

Dunedin 1 at Fort Myers 3

W: A. Burnett (1-0, 0.00); L: R. Gonzalez (0-1, 3.00); SV: A. Slama (2)
HR: None.

The Fort Myers Miracle swept the Dunedin Blue Jays 2-game to none to become the 2008 West Division Champions of the Florida State League Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.

Alex Burnett pitched what may well have been one of the best games of his career, limiting the Jays to only 2 hits and 3 walks over six innings while striking out 3.

The Miracle got on the board in the bottom of the second, with Whit Robbin doubling off Reider Gonzalez to start off. Edward Ovalle would go down on strikes, but Woodard singled to drive in Robbins. Following an Eli Tintor fly out, Woodard would steal 2nd base. Yancarlos Ortiz would draw a walk, and a wild pitch moved Woodard to 3rd. Juan Portes doubled to bring in Woodard and put Ortiz at 3rd, but Steve Singleton would ground out to end the inning.

Nathan Starner would replace Gonzalez in the bottom of the 7th for the Jays, and Ortiz would greet him with a single. He'd then steal second. Both Portes and Singleton would go down on strikes, but Rene Tosoni drew a walk, with a wild pitch advancing Ortiz to 3rd. Chad Blackwell would then trot out to the mound to try to hold the Miracle in check, but Wilson Ramos took a single off him to drive in Ortiz for the 3rd Miracle run.

Blair Erickson replaced Burnett in the top of the 7th. Jesus Gonzalez would reach on a throwing error by Portes in the top of the 8th, then move to 2nd as the ball went into the dugout. Adam Calderone singled Gonzalez in for the lone Dunedin run, as Luis Sanchez would ground into a double play, and Chris Emanuele would go down swinging.

Anthony Slama walked David Cooper in the 9th and allowed a single to Cory Patton, but with one out already on the board, he'd strike out Matt Liuzza and get Anthony Hatch to hit into a ground out to end the game.

Everyone except Rene Tosoni had a single for the Miracle, although T-Bone would draw a walk to get on base.

The Miracle will now wait on the outcome of the East Division series. In the conclusion of Tuesday's rain suspended game, the Daytona Cubs would pull out a 10-0 win courtesy of a six-run 8th inning. The series now shifts to Daytona for game two on Thursday and game three, if necessary, on Friday.

The East Division has home field advantage for the series, so the Miracle will host the first two games of the best-of-five championship series.

As with the Wednesday's game, free general admission tickets can be acquired at Lee and Collier County Racetrac locations. They tickets may be upgraded to a box seat for an additional $2.00 at the gate.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Miracle win in Dunedin, return home on Wednesday

Rene Tosoni

Fort Myers 2 at Dunedin 1

W: C. Devries (1-0, 0.00); L: B. Mills (0-1, 2.57); SV: A. Slama (1)
HR: FTM: R. Tosoni (1). DUN: M. Liuzza (1).

For the first time in Fort Myers Miracle playoff history, the Miracle took a win against the Dunedin Blue Jays - on the road.

In 2003 and 2006, the Miracle won one against the Jays, but in each year, it was within the friendly confines of Hammond Stadium. The Miracle will still need to do that, at least once, to progress to the best of five Florida State League finals round.

Juan Portes opened things up in the first with a single. Following a pop out by Steve Singleton, Rene Tosoni took a Brad Mills pitch over the right field wall to give the Miracle two.

Cole Devries would do the rest, scattering five hits and a pair of walks over 6.2 innings while fanning 3.

The Jays would not get a man past second until the bottom of the fifth, when Chris Emanuele made it to 3rd with two men out, but Brad Emaus flew out to send the Jays back on defense.

Carlos Gutierrez would work the next 1.1 innings, allowing only 1 hit and strikeing out 2 to bring the Miracle to the bottom of the ninth.

They would turn to closer Anthony Slama to slam the door on the Jays, but Matthew Liuzza had other plans, putting one over the right field wall to put the Jays on the board, ending the shut out bid. Anthony Hatch would single before Marcos Cabral went down on strikes. Emanuele then singled, moving Hatch to second, and putting the tying runner in scoring position with only one out on the board. But Slama would induce Luis Sanchez to hit into a double play, ending the contest.

The bus ride will be a little bit nicer for the Miracle as they come home to Hammond, where they will face the Jays on Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary) to determine the Western Divsion Champion.

Alex Burnett (8-6, 3.76) will get the nod on the mound against Dunedin’s Ray Gonzalez (12-4, 3.14).


* Tosoni finished off the night 2-for-2 with a pair of walks to go with his yarder. Whit Robbins was 2-for-4 at the plate but did not factor into the scoring. Aside from Portes, who was 1-for-4 on the night with a run, Wilson Ramos and Eli Tintor hit one single each for the Miracle.

* The Jays swept their playoff series against the Miracle in 2000, and won, 2-games-to-1 in 2003 and 2006.

* General Admission Tickets to Wednesday's playoff game are available free at Lee and Collier county Racetracs. Tickets can be upgraded to a box seat for just $2.00.

* Game one between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Daytona Cubs was suspended due to rain with the Cards leading 4-0 at the top of the fifth inning. It will be resumed tomorrow in West Palm Beach. The series will then shift over to Daytona for game two on Thursday (Cubs.

* According to an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the Cincinnati Reds have not committed to playing in either the FSL or the GCL for the 2009 season. 2009 will be their last year in Ed Smith Stadium, they will be moving to Goodyear, Arizona, after the taxpayers of Sarasota County voted down funding to renovate their 20-year old Spring Training facilities. That throws in a new glitch into the already complicated FSL Divisional problem, which started when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays partnered with Ripken Baseball to purchase the former FSL Dodgers franchise, moving it to Port Charlotte for the 2009 season.

* Matt Tolbert and Jose Mijares were the only two former Miracle players to receive September call ups to the major league Twins. The other five players added to the Twins were infielder Matt Macri, pitchers Bobby Korecky and Phil Humber, outfielder Jason Pridie and catcher Ryan Jorgensen.

* The Miracle were selected to receive the Florida State League’s Municipality Award Tuesday. The award is given each season to the best city or county operated Sports Turf Crew. It’s the ninth time since 1990 that Hammond Stadium crew manager Keith Blasingim's staff has won the award, voted on by field managers, pitching coaches and umpires.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

E-Twins repeat as Appy League Champions

Jon Waltenbury

Pulaski 0 at Elizabethton 7

W: D. Osterbrock (1-0, 0.00); L: B. Mohr (0-1, 40.50)
HR: ELI: J. Waltenbury (1).

Game of Friday, 29 August, 2008

Dan Osterbrock gave up 9 hits, but no runs and struck out 11 over 7 inning to lead the Elizabethton Twins in a blanking of the Pulaski Mariners, 7-0. With the win, the Twins sweep the best of three series, 2-game to none, to repeat as Appalachian League Champions.

A Nick Romero single and a Jon Waltenbury home run gave the E-Twins a lead in the bottom of the first. Waltenbury would crank a fly ball over the right center field wall. It was his first home run of the playoffs, but the former GCL slugger had 10 in regular season play.

Angel Morales and Jeff Lanning both singled to lead off the bottom of the second. Danny Rams took a walk to load the bags. James Beresford would go down on strikes, but Dominic De La Osa sent a grounder out to left, scoring two. Romero would single to drive in Rams. Pulaski would call for a pitching change at that point, bringing in Stephen Benney to replace starter Brooks Mohr. Waltenbury's grounder to center drove in De La Osa before Evan Bigley would ground into a double play, ending the inning.

Pulaski would keep the E-Twins off the board for the next five innings. For Pulaski, their best scoring chance came in the top of the sixth when Juan Fuentes singled with one out on the board. Kris Sanchez would fly out, but Jose Rivero took a double off Osterbrock, putting men at second and third. Osterbrock would take Deybis Benitez down on strikes however, to keep the Mariners off the board.

Thom Wright would work the 8th inning, allowing a single to Mario Martinez, then advancing him on a wild pitch. Fuentes would go down on strikes however, and Sanchez and Rivero both ground out to send the E-Twins up to bat for what would prove to be the final time.

Phillip Roy would be on the mound for the Mariners, and he walked Morales and Jeff Lanning to start off. Rams would strike out, but Beresford drew a walk to load the bags. Pulaski quickly got Blake Nation out of the bullpen, but unleashed a wild pitch, scoring Morales. He'd then hit De La Osa with a pitch before getting Romero to ground into a double play, ending the inning.

Steve Blevins, a call up for the 2008 version of the GCL Twins would make short work of the next three batters in the Mariner's line up to give the E-Twins the Championship.

Waltenbury would finish the game 3-for-3 with a walk, a run and 3 RBIs. Romero would go 2-for-5 in the contest with a run and a run scored. De La Osa, Morales, and Lanning were all 1-for-3 at the plate, De La Osa with a run and 2 RBIs, Morales with a walk and a pair of runs, and Lanning with a walk and a run.

Mike Harrington, 1-for-4 at the plate did not factor into the scoring, becoming the one hit wonder of the game, while Rams, who was 0-for-3 with a walk, also chipped in with a run.



THE YEAR IN REVIEW: The Twins finished the year with the circuit's best record at 41-25 and completed a two-game sweep of Pulaski to claim the league championship for the second straight season and third time in the last four years.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Where to begin? 1B Jonathan Waltenbury led the league in total bases and extra-base hits with 37. OFs Angel Morales and Evan Bigley led the league in homers with 15 and 14, respectively, and both hit over .300. As a team, the Twins led the league with a .274 average, 88 home runs, 142 doubles and 418 runs. On the mound, Elizabethton had three of the top four starters in innings, and LHP Daniel Osterbrock took home Pitcher of the Year honors after going 7-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a league-leading 104 strikeouts. Osterbrock pitched the Twins to the title with seven shutout innings in Game 2 against Pulaski, a 7-0 win.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Elizabethton couldn't match last season's 50-18 record, possibly because the Twins finished eighth in the league in team ERA at 4.37. Plus, they stole a league-worst 24 bases while being caught 19 times.

DYNASTY: The Twins rolled to their second consecutive title and third in four years behind their slugging offense and solid pitching. Elizabethton jumped to a 4-0 lead through two innings in Game 1 and held on for a 7-4 win in Pulaski. The Twins got off to an even better start in Game 2, rocking Mariners starter Brooks Mohr for six runs in 1 1/3 innings en route to a 7-0 clincher.

* The GCL PHillies would take their series against the Nationals to 3-games before going on to win the GCL Title ( Congratulations to the GCL Phillies.

* According to an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the Cincinnati Reds have not committed to playing in either the FSL or the GCL for the 2009 season. 2009 will be their last year in Ed Smith Stadium, they will be moving to Goodyear, Arizona, after the taxpayers of Sarasota County voted down funding to renovate their 20-year old Spring Training facilities. That throws in a new glitch into the already complicated FSL Divisional problem, which started when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays partnered with Ripken baseball to purchase the former FSL Dodgers franchise, moving it to Port Charlotte for the 2009 season. It is unclear if Port Charlotte will be participating in the GCL, as they use two short season teams, but they would certainly be a nice edition to the league as the trip to Charlotte County is substantially shorter than the one to Sarasota.

* The Fort Myers Miracle begin their quest for a FSL Title Tuesday night in Dunedin against the Blue Jays. They are the last of the Twins affiliated teams still playing as Beloit, AA New Britain and AAA Rochester all ended their seasons on Monday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cats, Wings end seasons on a winning note

Toby Gardenhire

Binghamton 1 at New Britain 3

W: K. Aselton (8-6, 4.24); L: M. Antonini (1-3, 3.74); SV: R. Delaney (5)
HR: None.

The New Britain Rock Cats finished up their 2008 regular season with a win over the Binghamtom Mets, 3-1 at New Britain Stadium. Former Miracle Kyle Aselton picked up is eighth AA win while Rob Delaney recorded his 5th AA save.

Aselton and Binghamton's Michael Antonini worked four scoreless innings, engaging in a pitchers duel for the earlier part of the game. Toby Gardenhire would end that when he singled on a ground ball to first, then moved to 3rd, one out later, on Rocky Palacios' line drive to right. Brandon Roberts would ground into a force out that nabbed Palacios at 2nd, but Gardenhire crossed the plate for the first Rock Cats run.

Jose Mijares would take over in the sixth for Aselton, who left the game having given up only 3 hits and a walk while striking out 9. MiJares would allow a double to Fernando Martinez in to sixth, but struck out Shawn Bowman and Mike Carp to keep the B-Mets off the board.

Dustin Martin knocked a line drive to left with 2 outs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. A wild pitch by Antonini moved him to second. Danny Berg's line drive to center sent the former Mets' prospect home to give the Rock Cats two.

Jonathan Malo would single off Mija in the top of the 7th with one out on the board. Mijares then walked Salomaon Manriquez. After a fly out to Peeter Ramos, Emmanuel Garcia singled a ground ball out to right that deflected off Gardenhire at first, scoring Malo for the lone B-Mets tally. Armando Gabino would replace Mijares at that point, getting Jose Coronado to fly out to retire the side.

Casey Hoorelbeke replaced Antonini for the bottom of the 7th, allowing a single to Felix Molina and a walk to Palacios. Roberts' bunt singled advanced the pair. Brian Dinkelman ground into a force out which took Molina out at home, but Matt Tolbert followed that up with a line drive that brought in Palacios, making the score 3-1 New Britain.

Delaney would walk two and allow a single in the top of the 9th, but got Martinez to fly out with the bases loaded to end the contest.

Molina finished up the game 2-for-3 with a walk, while Gardenhire was 2-for-4 with a run. Roberts ended the game 1-for-3 at the plate with a RBI, while Palacios, who was also 1-for-3, added a walk and a run.

Tolbert, Martin and Berg were all 1-for-4 in the contest, Tolbert and Berg with a RBI each, and Martin with a run.

New Britain finished their season with a 64-77 record, fifth in the six team North Division, having won their last 3 and 7 of their last 10.

Rock Cats/OSC

Rochester 9 at Buffalo 6

W: D. Graves (4-6, 6.30); L: B. Slocum (3-7, 4.85)
HR: BUF: T. Crowe (5), C. Gimenez (3). ROC: G. Jones (23), J. Pridie (13), M. Macri (11).

Danny Graves picked up his fourth AAA win of the season for the Rochester Red Wings who downed the Buffalo Bisons, 9-6 at Frontier Field to end their 2008 season on a winning note.

Former Miracle Garrett Jones hit a 3 run home-run in the ninth inning, his 23rd of the year, to propel the Wings to victory over the Cleveland farm team. Jason Pridie and Matt Macri hit solo shot home runs; Pridie's 13 of the year came in the 2nd inning while Macri's 11th yard ball came in the 8th inning.

Howie Clark was 3-for-4 at the plate, as was Jones, Clark with a pair of runs, and Jones with one run and 5 RBIs.

The win gives the Wings a 74-70 Record for the season, 3rd place in the North Division, 14 games behind the wildcard Pawtucket Red Sox.


Burlington 7 at Beloit 3

W: J. Augustine (4-2, 3.77); L: S. Hunt (1-4, 5.46)
HR: BUR: C. Robinson (17), K. Martin (9).

Shooter Hunt gave up 4 runs, all earned, on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out only one to suffer his fourth loss at the Low A level. The highly touted prospect lasted only 2 innings before giving way to Henry Reyes.

The playoff bound Burlington Bees topped Beloit 7-3, taking 3 more runs Reyes on 5 hits and a walk over the next five innings. Reyes would strike five during his time on the mound.

Chris Cates was 2-for-4 at the plate but did not factor into the scoring. Juan Richardson and Allan de San Miguel were 1-for-3 each at the plate, Richardson with a run and a run scored, and Dirty with a pair of RBIs. Greg Yersich, playing at 1st, was 1-for-4 in the contest with a run, while Ramon Santana was 0-for-4 at the plate, but picked up a run after he reached on a fielding error.

The Snappers end their season with a 71-67 overall record, and were five games behind Cedar Rapids for the league's wild card spot.

A number of players from the Snappers will be attending Fall Instructional League as they look to make he jump for Low to High A in 2009 including Reyes, Hunt and Richardson, plus Midwest league MVP Ben Revere. Snapper's field manager (and former Miracle catcher) Nelson Prada, who guided the Snappers to a .500 second half, will manage the four week fall league at the Lee County Sportscomplex.


Outfielder Dustin Martin and infielders Danny Valencia and Steve Tolleson will join pitchers Jeff Manship, Rob Delaney, Tim Lahey and Anthony Slama on the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. Rochester Red Wings field manager Stan Cliburn will manage the Twins affiliated Desert Dogs who open their season Tuesday, October 7th, against the Mesa Solar Sox.

Yankees, rain disappoint Miracle faithful in final game of 2008

Tampa Yankees

Tampa 6 at Fort Myers 5

W: R. Semerano (4-1, 5.09); L: J. Lugo (2-6, 4.04); SV: J. Schmidt (16)
HR: TAM: L. Nunez (3).

It took Jose Lugo a total of two pitches to lose the final game of the regular season for the playoff bound Fort Myers Miracle. There is some speculation that the Miracle have been playing the cards close, and that they are ready to turn it on in the playoffs, but there should be a matter of pride in winning the final game of the season in front of the home town crowd.

Matt Williams took the start for the Miracle, and it didn't take long for Tampa to find their way onto base. After getting Matt Cusick out on strikes, The Professor gave up a single to Luis Nunez. Kevin Smith reached on a fielding error by Juan Portes. Josh Kreuzer struck out swinging, but Seth Fortenberry doubled to drive in the pair. Fortenberry would try to a triple, but was taken down at 3rd base. The damage was done however.

The Miracle took one back in the bottom of the inning. Portes singled and stole 2nd. Steve Singleton's outfield fly moved Portes to 3rd and he'd come home on a Rene Tosoni ground out.

Jesse Hoover would replace Michael Solback in the bottom of the 3rd for Tampa, and after getting Eli Tintor to fly out allowed a single to Garrett Olson, who then stole 2nd. Portes singled in Olson, tying up the game. Sing drew a walk before Tosoni would go down on strikes for the second out. Wilson Ramos then singled to drive in Portes putting the Miracle on top.

Eddie Ovalle would take a talk in the top of the 4th, then steal 2nd. Johnny Woodard would fly out, and Tintor ground out. Olson and Portes hit back-to-back singles that plated Ovalle and a Singleton line drive brought in Olson to pad the lead.

Matt Williams would work four innings, allowing two runs, neither of which were earned, on 3 hits while striking out 3. Alex Burnett worked the fifth and Carlos Gutierrez the six, each allowing only one hit to the Yankees. Danny Santiesteban took the seventh and would return for the eighth.

Mitch Hilligoss doubled and moved to 3rd on Ryan Baker's ground out. Tim Battle took a walk. Looking to protect the Miracle's 3-run lead, Jeff Smith called for a pitching change bringing in Lugo who promptly hit Cusick with a pitch to load the bags. Nunez then took the first pitch he saw deep over the left field fence for a grand slam.

Rain started to interfere with the game that had been played in high winds shortly there after. The Miracle would never make it to the bottom of the 9th before a torential downpour from Hurricane Gustov finished the contest and cut short any thoughts of a ninth inning rally.

The Twins take Monday off and travel to Dunedin on Tuesday for game one of the South Divsion Championship round.

Pending Pinstripes Blog

There is a van leaving for Dunedin from the Target on Santa Barbara in the Cape Tuesday at 2 PM. Space is very limited. If you want to be on it, you need to be there early. Iris is organizing the trip up to Dunedin. Bring enough money to play for your ticket in, concessions and a portion of the vehicle's fuel expense.

Danny Valencia put two over the fence for two runs and five RBIs for the New Britain Rock Cats who defeated the Binghamton Mets 9-6 in New Britain Stadium. Former Miracle Yohan Pino picked up the win, Brian Dinkelman was 2-for-5 at the plate with 2 runs and a pair of RBIs. Danny Berg was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs for the Cats as well.

The Rochester Red Wings downed the Buffalo Bisons 5-4 at Frontier Field. Trevor Plouffe was 3-for-5 at the plate with a RBI, while former Miracle catcher Jeff Christy was 2-for-2 with a walk and a run. Anthony Swarzak allowed 3 runs, one earned, on seven hits while fanning two over seven innings, but would leave with the no decision. Julio DePaula would pick up the win in the 9th inning.

The Beloit Snappers slipped past the Burlington Bees 4-3 at Pohlman Field. Mike Allen took the win for the Snaps who saw Estarlin De Los Santos, Mark Dolenc and Juan Richardson each hit two in the contest. Former Miracle Yangervis Solarte was 1-for-3 at the plate with a run and 2 RBIs.

Are you a fan? Check out the player fan forums at Talk-Sports. You can leave messages, post pictures and links and enjoy Videos of your favorite Miracle players.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yankees provide fireworks on a Soggy Saturday Night

Andres Perez

Tampa 10 at Fort Myers 2

W: H. Sanchez (1-1, 3.38); L: D. Guerra (11-9, 5.47)
HR: None.

The Fort Myers Miracle left the park with 11 hits, but just couldn't get them strung together for runs, falling 10-2 to the Tampa Yankees.

The game would suffer a nearly 2 hour delay after a brief, but heavy, rain shower soaked the field before it could be tarped, turning 3rd base into a muddy mess that required extensive reconditioning.

Deolis Guerra continued to demonstrate his inconsistency. After a good outing last time, he was back to his old tricks before the home town audience. Seth Fortenberry singled, then moved to 2nd when Guerra unleashed a wild pitch. Andres Perez's fly out sent Fortenberry to 3rd, and Tommy Baldridge single brought him home to put the Yankees on the board to open the contest.

Fortenberry walked in the top of the 4th, and Perez doubled him in. A line drive single by Baldridge sent Perez home before Guerra would take Jose Gil down on strikes. Chris Kunda singled, which prompted field manager Jeff Smith to get Joe Testa out of the bullpen. Matthew Cusick singled off Testa, scoring Baldridge and Luis Nunez's grounder to left filled up the bags. Testa then got Kevin Smith to ground out, but it scored Kunda, making it 5-0 Tampa.

The Miracle took one back in the bottom of the stanza. Danny Santiesteban took a walk with one out on the board. Wilson Ramos ground into a force out. Johnny Woodard took a walk, putting Ramos on second, and he'd come home on Edward Ovalle's line drive single to left.

Testa would work the next two innings, giving up nothing else and striking out one. Dave Shinskie took over for the seventh.

Shinskie gave up back to back singles to Luis Nunez and Kevin Smith. Nunez would try to steal home, but it didn't happen as Lehmann was on the job. Josh Kreuzer singled to drive in Kevin Smith. Seth Fortenberry and Andres Perez both claimed singled off Shinskie, which drove in Kreuzer. Baldridge's line drive filled the bases. Gil would reach when Shinskie mis-threw the ball, and Lehmann could not get a glove on it. Fortenberry scored on the play while a Chris Kunda single brought in Baldridge. Matthew Curisck finally ground into a double play to end the inning. Well...the fans wanted fire works!

Shinskie would surrender 5 runs, 3 earned on seven hits in one innings worth of work.

Eddie Ovalle would be hit by a pitch in the 8th, advance on Garrett Olson's line drive single, and come home on a Juan Portes grounder, but it was the only run the Miracle could manage in the late going. And with a huge hole to climb out of, it wasn't enough.

Blair Erickson and Ozzie Sosa worked an inning each, giving up a hit each, Sosa allowing a pair of walks while Erickson struck out two.

Johnny Woodard was 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk; Portes and Singleton finished up 2-for-5, Portes with a RBI, Sing with a double. Olson and Ortiz were 1-for-2 each, both one hit wonders, while Ovalle going 1-for-3 had a double and a RBI.

Lehmann was 1-for-4 with a double, while Ramos at 1-for-5 had a run.

The two teams rematch Sunday for the final game of the regular season. Game time is 1:05 PM, weather permitting.

News-Press: Playoffs
Let's Go Miracle Blog
Roger's Minor League Report
Pending Pinstripes Blog

* Due to the delay in Starting Saturday night's Fan Appreciation Game and Festivities, the Miracle are inviting everyone with a ticket from Saturday's game to return for Sunday's final home game, or any of the FSL Playoff games to be played at Hammond Stadium during the upcoming week. All you need to do is bring your torn or untorn ticket to the Ticket Office window prior to the game you wish to attend and make the exchange. For more information, please call the Miracle office during regular business hours at 239-768-4210.

* The New Britain Rock Cats defeated the Binghamton Mets, 7-1. Ryan Mullins picked up the win. Steve Tolleson cranked his 9th home run of the season over the left field wall in the fifth inning. Tolleson and Danny Valencia each had a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs in the contest (a href="" target="newwin">Rock Cats/OSC). Fernando Martinez went yard for the B-Mets, but it was evidently forgotten by the Rock Cats at the time they wrote up their game report.

* The AAA Yankees defeated the Rochester Red Wings 8-6 in extra innings at Frontier Field. Trevor Plouffe hit a grand slam home run for the Red Wings, who got runs from six different players (RD&C).

* The Burlington Bees stung the Beloit Snappers 7-2. All three of the Twins affiliated teams finish up their seasons on Monday (Bees).

* Gustav crossed Cuba and is off the Tip of Key West in the Gulf. High sustained winds were 125 miles, a Cat 3. It is expected to strengthen before it plows into Louisianna Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grand Slam a nice finish for Miracle

Juan Portes

Tampa 0 at Fort Myers 4

W: A. Slama (4-1, 1.03); L: P. Bartleski (2-1, 1.67)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (12).

A sac fly would have done it. Heck, a ground out would have done it. Just about anything would have worked.

Johnny Woodard had drawn a walk in the bottom of the ninth for the Fort Myers Miracle and Danny Lehmann moved him to 2nd with a sac bunt. Edward Ovalle was brought in to pinch hit for Danny Santiesteban and was intentionally walked so that Philip Bartleski could get at Rene Tosoni. But Tosoni, even coming off the DL, is a good hitter and patient and he took walk as well to fill the bags. Yancarlos Ortiz would go in to run for him and Juan Portes came up to bat.

"Juan, whatever you do, don't strike out!" Lynn says helpfully. Not that he could hear her. Portes didn't wait long enough to get walked, launching the first pitch he saw, a fast ball, over the left center field wall for a grand slam, the 2rd walk off grand slam he'd belted this season.

Prior to that, it was quite the pitcher's duel. Matt Fox limited the Yankees to 4 hits over six inning, striking out three and Jose Lugo worked the next two, issuing a single walk. For Tampa, Ryan Pope pitched 7, scattering six hits and a pair of walks while striking out four.

Anthony Slama worked the final for the Miracle, striking out one while Bartleski walked 4 over 1.1 innings and allowed a pair of hits. It was the second one that really counted.

Tomorrow is Fireworks Fan Appreciation Night with give-aways all night long for the people that only come out to watch the fireworks. Look for Alex Burnett (8-6, 3.79), who evidently did not go to Sports Clips for his last hair cut and messed it up - bad, to be on the mound.

News Press

* Iris was concerned that there wasn't an article on the Miracle in the paper yesterday, but she needs to understand that High School Football has started and the Miracle just can't compete with High School Football in Fort Myers. God help us all if the Eagles ever get a football stadium built.

* Alex wants to know if I though he was going up to AA next year and I said yes. Ditto with Deolis who was sitting there, if only because of his win record. Devries will go and probably Fox as well. I think Robertson will spend another half a season here though, since he missed most of the second half of the year with tight shoulder. They all want paw prints so they can go to AA, but I want them to win a Championship first, before I hand them out. (Actually, I'll be happy if they just beat Dunedin.)

* Steedley says he'll be available for the playoffs, but that blister looks painful and I can't imagine that being a big, tough, baseball player makes your skin grown any faster than it does for us normal folks. Maybe if we make it out of the first round....

* Speaking of playoffs, Racetrac is hosting "Park the Park" for the playoffs, so the next time you make a pit stop at Racetrac for gas, pick up a free pair of general admission seats to the playoff game on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium and Thursday (if necessary).

* The Binghamton Mets defeated the New Britain Rock Cats, 3-1 at New Britain stadium. Jose Mijares took the loss. Jay Rainville worked 5.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a pair of walks while fanning seven for the no decision. Brian Dinkelman, who was named the Mightiest Miracle for the second year in a row, was 0-for-4 at the plate for the Cats. Toby Gardenhire as 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, and Danny Berg was 1-for-4 with a double and the lone Rock Cats' run.

* Garrett Jones hit his 22nd home run of the year, a solo shot in the fifth, to help power the Rochester Red Wings to a 9-3 win over the Scranton/WB Yankees. The former Miracle first baseman was 2-for-5, hitting a double as well and gaining 2 RBIs on the night. Brock Peterson, another former 1st baseman was 1-for-2 on the night with a home run as well. He also had a pair of RBIs and drew two walks in the game. Former Miracle shortstop Trevor Plouffe was 2-for-4 with double and a pair of runs.

* Now that they've been eliminated from playoff contention, the Beloit Snappers have gotten hot, winning their third straight, 6-4 against the Burlington Bees at Pohlman Field. David Bromberg picked up his 9th win of the season. Andrew Schmiesing was 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a run and a RBI. Soon to be catcher Juan Richardson was 2-for-4 with a run. Every Snapper, except for Greg Yersich who was playing first base, had at least one hit, and only Yersich, and former Miracle Allan de San Miguel and Yangervis Solarte went without a run.

* Dan Osterbrock and the Elizabethton Twins blanked the Pulaski Mariners 7-0 to go up 2-0, sweeping the best of three Appalachian League Championship game and repeating as Appalachian League Champions. Jon Waltenbury knocked a double shot home run over the wall in the first inning to get things rolling. He finished up 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk and 3 RBIs. Nick Romero was 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI and Angel Morales was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs.