July 28, 2002 |
Rising through the ranks as a shortstop in the Boston Red Sox organization can be a tricky proposition. Just ask David Eckstein, who was put on waivers by the club in June 2000 despite hitting over .300 in each of his first three minor league seasons. Eckstein has since proven his ample worth with the Angels. Now comes Freddy Sanchez, a Hollywood native who recently put together a 27-game hitting streak and a stretch of 45 consecutive games in which he reached base safely.
June 16, 2002 |
Kirk Saarloos is about to complete a significant double play. Today, the former Cal State Fullerton right-hander gets married in Seattle. On Tuesday, he makes his major league debut for the Houston Astros in Milwaukee. A whirlwind couple of days to be sure. But that's par for the course for Saarloos, who has sprinted through the minor leagues after being taken in the third round of the 2001 amateur draft.
May 25, 2002
I just about choked on my Wheaties seeing an actual minor league baseball column in The Times on May 18. Kudos to writer Ben Bolch and the sports page editors for realizing that there are a few Angelenos out there who would welcome a (semi) regular column about minor league baseball in the L.A. Times. I would much rather read a column on the hottest players in the minors than read Ross Newhan's "Salaries Cap Dodgers' Offense" about the team's fiscal irresponsibility the very next day. Please save that for the Business section, not the Sports section.
May 23, 2002 |
"Who's on third?" a teenage girl in the stands pipes up. "No, Who's on first," someone else in the next section wisecracks. At tiny Sam Lynn Ballpark, home of the California League's Bakersfield Blaze, a Single A franchise of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the seats are so close to the action that you can hear everything, even the faint whoosh of the on-deck hitter's practice swing.
November 24, 2001 |
So it goes in baseball contraction talks: Attorneys representing millionaire players meet with attorneys representing multimillionaire owners as high-salaried front-office managers hold their collective breath. But all the talk of eliminating teams--most likely the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos--has mostly ignored the plight of hundreds of powerless lower-tiered players and employees from their minor league affiliates who might be out of jobs.
August 24, 2001 |
It's 5:35 p.m. and still 111 degrees, hot enough to grill a Dodger Dog on the metal bleachers at Cashman Field. A 36-year-old journeyman knuckleball pitcher sporting a cap with an alien head on it takes the mound for the Las Vegas 51s as the smattering of ticket-holders brave enough to stand the heat fan themselves with scorecards. Just your typical summer day at the home of the Dodgers' new triple-A affiliate.
July 31, 2001 |
Gerik Baxter, a right-handed pitcher who began the season as the San Diego Padres' fifth-ranked minor league prospect, was killed in a car crash Sunday night in Indio. The crash also claimed the life of Mark Hilde, an unsigned 2001 draft pick of the Oakland Athletics and a former high school teammate of Baxter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2001
Pat McKernan, 60, longtime president and general manager of the Albuquerque Dukes minor league baseball team, died Tuesday in Albuquerque of cancer. The Dukes, for many years the Los Angeles Dodgers' top farm club, are part of the Pacific Coast League. The team was sold last year and moved to Portland, Ore.
June 26, 2001 |
For most baseball fans, the off-season is a time to catch their breath and wait out the winter for a new season to begin. In Brooklyn, they've been waiting 44 years--until Monday, when "next year" finally arrived. Amid great celebration, the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league team took the field at their new stadium in Coney Island and helped the long-suffering borough banish memories of the Dodgers' departure for Los Angeles in 1957.