If things had gone as planned, I’d just be getting home now from the Miners at Chinooks game, sitting down to unload my cameras and begin the arduous process of sorting through 3 gigs of videos and photos, plus all my game notes, and assembling what I can into a game report. Well, I — like a lot of people — pulled up to Loretta French Park as planned only to find out that there wasn’t going to be a game. It was actually nice when I got there but apparently the field had taken on enough water throughout the day that the infield dirt was just too soggy to play on, or so I was told when I asked the guys why there was only one team there. That’s a bummer and hopefully not a recurring problem throughout the team’s first season in their new park.
Well, the silver lining is that it frees my evening to do a little work on this blog and catch up on some things I’ve pushed onto the back burner — like an Odds & Ends post (plus I’ll probably swing into the Bucs at Miners game tomorrow night so it’s not like I won’t get another game in this week).
Have you seen the new Alaska Baseball League website? The site — www.alaskabaseballleague.org — has been totally revamped as part of the league’s new partnership with Pointstreak. What is Poinstreak? The answer to my prayers. But no, seriously, Pointstreak is a live stat-keeping service. Now you can go to the ABL official site, see a “live” scoreboard (live assuming the person on the other end of the interwebs is updating correctly and in a timely fashion, more on that in a second) of all the games happening today, click on a game, and get the game action as it occurs. It keeps track of all the teams’ stats in one centralized location, including a real-time-updated League Leaders list and all that jazz. To me, this is huge. It takes a ton of work out of what I do and makes it easy for me to see what’s going on in the league without waiting for the teams to manually update their individual team sites the next day when I make the rounds. So how live has “live” been? So far it’s been pretty good. I’ve noticed a few inconsistencies but so far it seems like all the teams are onboard and actually have a scorekeeper punching in the stats. I imagine that it’ll only get more consistent from here on out as everyone gets used to the new system and the kinks get worked out. So definitely check that out.
There have been a couple noteworthy additions to the Goldpanners roster, a pair of Oregon high school players: Jake Thompson and Brandon Cutsforth. Both players appear to be fairly highly-touted guys, and this will be a good opportunity, both for them to get some experience against higher-level players, and for us to potentially see some prospects even sooner than we normally do. This move is not unprecedented — the Miners brought up Michael Suiter last year, for example — but it’s unusual. Read more about it here.
I talked with Gary Lichtenstein a few weeks ago about some exciting stuff the Bucs have going on. I told him I was going to write everything up; of course I got swept up in the draft and the beginning of the season and just couldn’t find the time (sorry Gary!). So now that I have an appropriate forum to do so, I want to pass along some of the info he pointed out to me. The first thing is the Bucs’ printable schedule, a sharp-looking full color production that you can print out. If you’re a hardcore Bucs fan you will definitely want to get this to hang on the wall of your cubicle, locker, favorite bathroom stall, or Pilots fan friend’s house. The other thing was that the Bucs’ radio partner — 1080 AM “The Ticket” — is available via the RadioLoyalty app, which means that you can get all the Bucs’ games broadcast via your iPhone, Android or Blackberry smartphones. That kind of led us down another conversational tangent about some more tech-related goodies the Bucs have in store, but I have sworn a vow of silence as they’re not quite ready to leave the nest yet. But there might be some cool stuff coming if you’re a fan of the Black & Gold.
As an aside, the new Bucs hats this year look SHARP. I had to buy one. I couldn’t leave the park without one.
No news is good news? Don’t know what to write besides “Go Pilots!” Send me your Pilots news and I”ll put it in next time I do this.
I already mentioned it, but the Chinooks game tonight was rained out. So was their big home-opener extravaganza earlier in the week. These guys can’t catch a break! I know they’re pretty anxious to break in that new home field, and I’m anxious to see them play. They did get their game in against the Bucs but no home games yet. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Pancake breakfast is next Saturday. I will be there. This event is definitely one of my daughter’s favorite parts of the season along with playing in the puddles at Hermon Brothers and climbing the gigantic hill at Loretta French. But it’s a good deal; basically you pay a few bucks to get into the all you can eat (I think) buffet; all the Miners players are just kind of hanging out so you can bring a ball to get autographed and shoot the breeze for a minute. It’s fun for the kids. Every year I’ve gone there’s been at least one player who’s really good with the little ones and will take a minute to talk to them, and the little ones get really excited.
Tanner Rust hit a homer, thereby corroborating my prediction that he will show us he has more than warning track power. Boom shaka-laka.
My game schedule for the foreseeable future is something like Bucs at Miners tomorrow, followed by Pilots at Chinooks on Monday. I was going to see the Bucs-Everett game Monday but, considering the Chinooks game will be their new home opener (assuming it doesn’t rain out) I want to be there. This is tentative, of course, but look for me to post game reports and photos on those over the next couple weeks. In addition, I’ll start cranking out some player profiles and possible some scouting videos soon.
Finally, one thing you may have noticed about the site here. I’ve changed the way the articles in the “slider” at the top work. There are certain articles (like not this one) that are “featured” that go on the top. So the ten most recent “featured” articles will be showcased up there. However, the list of posts below the slider will contain every post, in chronological order, including the featured ones. Why did I change it? I just like it better that way.
OK, that’s it. Tomorrow’s Friday! I’m sure all of you will be super productive at work tomorrow, I know I will.