|Strange things are done in the midnight sun…
Like the Midnight Sun Baseball Classic. #4 on ESPN’s
Must See list for 2010.
Here we are, just a few short weeks until the opening salvos are fired in the all-out battle that is to be the 2010 Alaska Baseball League season. OK, so maybe that’s a little extreme, like I’m trying to sell tickets to the monster truck rally, but I’m seriously stoked. I will unfortunately be out of state for the first couple weeks, but when I get back, watch out because I’m going to be pounding the games hard.
Today also marks my last final exam for the semester, so until I find some sort of job (and unless you guys start clicking the hell out of the ad banners on here, that will happen eventually) I’m going to make this blog my full-time gig. Pretty quick here I’m going to write up a big “to do” list so you can all see what’s coming up, and I’m going to knock everything out as fast as I can so I can caught up before the season starts and the real fun begins.
So that’s what’s going on in jjack-land. Now, for the rest of the ABL world…
- Here’s a guy that snuck by me when I was finishing up the Pro Prospects list…Tyson Ross (Bucs, 2006) made the Oakland A’s bullpen this spring and has apparently been doing very well. The Bucs’ website has a link to this great article on the Minor League Ball blog over at SB Nation. According to those guys, Ross has a mid-90′s fastball that he compliments with a “nasty” slider and a decent off-speed pitch. He has had some control problems in the past but seems to be ironing them out. The Minor League Ball blogger also says that he’s got the makeup of a starter in the long run, but will stay in the pen for now.
- The entire Glacier Pilots roster has been posted! I guess the rumors are true — no Bryan Harper. But anyway, there’s some good ones on there, and you can bet that I’ll have a Players to Watch for the 2010 Anchorage Glacier Pilots posted up here shortly.
- Speaking of the Pilots’ roster…wanna be on it? According to the team’s website, they’re holding tryouts at 10 AM on June 5th. As I understand it, teams are given roster exemptions for Alaska residents, and due to some overlap between the start of the season and the College World Series (among other things) they could always use a couple local guys. So, if you think you’ve got what it takes, why not give it a shot? Maybe get seen by a scout, go pro, and be like the baseball version of that movie Invincible starring Marky Mark…except not wildly exaggerated.
- I was going to save this for a Player Profile later this week, but I can’t sit on it any longer…if you’re not jamming the refresh button on the Oilers’ website, like I am, you might not know that they’re bringing up a guy by the name of Garrett Wittels this summer, who has just extended his division 1 hitting streak to 43 games. That puts him in sole possession of the fourth-longest hitting streak in D1 history. He’s still got a way to go to be #1 — Robin Ventura set that mark at 58 games in 1987 — but Wittels is definitely on a tear this season and he’ll be a fearsome bat for the Oilers, no doubt.
- It’s always nice to see some recognition of the ABL in the pages of CCBL-obsessed ESPN, but here we go: The Midnight Sun Game is #4 on their Top 10 Must-See Events for the 2010 baseball season. “Wrigley Field caved and installed lights back in 1988, but artificial illumination remains blissfully unnecessary during baseball season in Fairbanks. Only in Alaska.”
- I’m going camping tomorrow! So, I know what you’re thinking…”well then I don’t have to check out 49th State Hardball tomorrow because jjack is gonna be out of town and won’t be able to write anything!” Wrong. I’ve already got the Mat-Su Miners’ 2010 Draft Class preview written up and ready to go. Of course, you have to wait until tomorrow to see it. I know, the suspense is killing you, but just set your alarm clock for 6:00am AK time and it’ll be there, I promise. If you can even sleep with all that excitement.
- Did I mention that I was interviewed for Baseball Digest? I made it into Michael Maher’s excellent column “Minor League Spotlight”. Check it out and bookmark that page, Maher is a good guy who writes good stuff (and I’m not just saying that because he writes about me).
Hey, I think I worked every team into the Odds & Ends this week except the Fire. Not bad. I try to cover the teams equitably, though, so if you’ve got any hot Fire tips (pardon the pun) give me a shout and I’ll add it in here so I can be perfect.