Reds minor league notes(Sunday, April 9)
Bats' games postponed - in an iceout
By Darren Desaulniers
Special to The Courier-Journal
OTTAWA -- There wasn't a cloud in the sky here yesterday, but a scheduled doubleheader between the Louisville Bats and the Ottawa Lynx was pushed back to 1:05 p.m. today because the tarp was frozen to the field at Lynx Stadium.
A steady, sometimes heavy rain fell Friday -- causing the postponement of that day's game -- and then freezing temperatures overnight turned the baseball field into a skating rink. Nobody thought about strapping on skates and playing hockey instead, though.
"A lot of these Americans can't skate, so I'd hate to see that," Bats manager Rick Sweet said with a chuckle. "It might be a lot more dangerous than playing ball in those conditions."
This was not the first time the Lynx had to postpone games despite beautiful weather.
In 2003 a game was postponed because of a blackout that affected the United States and Canada. In 2000 the Lynx were grounded during a heavy rainstorm in Philadelphia while the Buffalo Bisons awaited them in Ottawa under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80's. Sweet was Ottawa's manager at the time.
It was very sunny here yesterday but just 37 degrees.
"In my years in the game, this is the first time I've had this happen," Sweet said. "I'm surprised it hasn't happened before.
"You don't want to play ball when you've had the circumstances we had. They've got ice all over the field and no way to get it off. We made the right call (to postpone the game). You worry about the things you have control of, and right now we don't have control of the weather."
Sweet is not concerned about his team's lack of playing time this season. The Bats' only game was Thursday's 4-1 opening-day loss to the Lynx.
"It would be tougher, but spring training was so good this year weather-wise, we got so much work in that a couple of days off isn't going to hurt anything," he said.
"We got to hit the cage, so the batters got their swings. The pitchers were out there and got to throw, so the players don't mind."
The forecast for today is sunny and 50. Louisville's Mike Gosling will start the first game, with Elizardo Ramirez starting the second. They will oppose Cory Morris and Brian Burres, respectively.
The Bats will start a four-game series in Syracuse tomorrow, then head to Louisville for Friday's home opener against the Lynx. The scheduled four-game series will be a five-game set to compensate for the one lost game in Ottawa.
Note: The Cincinnati Reds optioned outfielder Chris Denorfia to the Bats yesterday. He went 2 for 3 in three appearances with the Reds.
Saturday night suspended
04/08/06 - Southern League (SL) Jacksonville Suns
Jacksonville, Fla. - After four innings of two-thirds of Saturday night baseball at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, Mother Nature took over.
With a delay of over an hour, Saturday night's affair between the Jacksonville Suns and Chattanooga Lookouts was suspended to be picked up at the same point Sunday at 3:05. The game will begin at the same point left off, at the score of 3-3 and a 1-2 count on the Suns' Craig Brazell with two out in the fifth inning. At the conclusion of the normal nine inning game there will be a thirty minute break. The regularly scheduled Sunday game will then be played and is now scheduled for seven innings.
Tickets from Saturday are good for Sunday's games, but will need to be exchanged at the Suns box office for a comparable seat.
Sunday will feature a Sunny the Bunny Wobblehead giveaway to the first 1,500 kids in attendance, sponsored by Dixie Egg, Eggland's Best and Lite 96.1 FM.
Re: Reds minor league notes(Sunday, April 9)
PRO BASEBALL NOTEBOOK
BY PHIL DENIS CORRESPONDENT
FORT MYERS -- Erold Andrus' grand slam over the right-field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning, sent the Ft. Myers Miracle on its way to third straight win over the Sarasota Reds by an 11-7 margin.
Sarasota broke its 17-inning scoreless streak against the Miracle (3-0) in the sixth inning when it scored four unearned runs. The Reds (0-3) fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and rallied to tie it 6-6 in the seventh before Fort Myers added five in the home half of the seventh to win it before a crowd of 7,964.
Veteran OF will start rehab today
Twelve-year Major League Baseball outfielder Quinton McCracken -- who was attempting to earn a position on the Cincinnati Reds' 25-man roster this spring -- will begin a rehabilitation assignment today with the organization's Class A-Advanced Florida State League Sarasota franchise.
McCracken appeared to be a main contender to make Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron's ballclub that headed north last week, but a right foot injury towards the end of spring training sidelined him and has kept the Wilmington, N.C., native recuperating at Ed Smith Stadium.
McCracken is expected to be in Sarasota manager Donnie Scott's lineup this afternoon when the Reds wrap up a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins' Fort Myers Miracle at 1 at William Hammond Stadium.
The 35-year-old McCracken, signed by Cincinnati to a minor-league contract Feb. 14, had a lofty .356 batting average (16-for-45) in 17 spring training games.
During his MLB career, McCracken has played in 954 games for five organizations, including 1998-2000 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and last season's 134 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks. McCracken has also played for the Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners.
There's a possibility McCracken will remain on Sarasota's roster for several days as he works his way into "game shape."
Re: Reds minor league notes(Sunday, April 9)
BTW, Zach Ward makes his pro debut today.
Dragons' win warms chilly night
By Marc Katz
Dayton Daily News
DAYTON | After two days of leading but losing, the Dayton Dragons Saturday night constructed a lead and held it for their first Class A Midwest League victory of the season.
They led all the way on the way to an eventual 6-3 victory on a chilly night at Fifth Third Field, where hot chocolate was the beverage of choice.
Dayton left-handed starter Philippe Valiquette not only had run support, he supported himself allowing just three singles, two walks and a run in five innings.
"I came in this year with a different mindset," said Valiquette, who began last season with the Dragons and eventually was sent to rookie Billings, Mont.
"This year, I knew what to expect. I didn't have fun last year. I was trying to do too much. This year, there is no panic. I stayed smooth in my delivery."
Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. didn't see the 19-year-old Valiquette last season, but he likes what he sees now.
"He has a live arm," Gardner said. "And he did a pretty good job hitting both side of the plate."
Gardner also liked the way the Dragons scored — no homers, but three doubles (two by shortstop Eric Eymann) and plenty of good baserunning.
"It was good situational hitting," Gardner said. "Get them on, get them over and get them in."
• For the second straight night, strong winds blowing in from left field held up a potential homer. B.J. Szymanski's drive in the third was caught on the warning track, the same as Bobby Mosby's drive Friday.
• Szymanski was working on his final dissertation for graduating from Princeton. He had his laptop open prior to the game, and a copy of the book, "Psychological Dynamics of Sport and Exercise" nearby.
• Striking umpire John Saphire handed out leaflets in front of the ballpark asking fans not to go in because of a minor-league umpires strike in progress. The umpires — about 220 throughout the minors — have been on strike since the beginning of the season.
Minor-league teams are using amateur umpires to fill in until the contract dispute is reconciled.
They are striking over, among other things, benefits. Umpires in the Midwest League make about $10,000 a season.
Saphire and several umpires are planning a larger picket line at Class AAA Toledo today.