The Major League Playoffs begin today and many former Syracuse players will be in action as well as local product Jason Grilli for the Tigers.
Los Angeles: P Giovanni Carrara (1995-96), P Mark Hendrickson (2001-03), IF Jeff Kent (1992) and OF Jayson Werth (2002-03).
NOTES: Werth missed the entire 2006 season after having surgery on his wrist. Carrara was told by Dodgers Manager Grady Little after the final regular season game that he will not be on the playoff roster. Former NBA player Hendrickson who started in 25 of his 31 appearances this season will pitch out of the Dodgers bullpen.
New York: IF Carlos Delgado (1991, 94-95, 98, 04-05), OF Shawn Green (1994) and IF Chris Woodward (1998-01).
NOTES: Two members of Blue Thunder from the 1994 season, Green and Delgado, are wearing a different shade of blue these days. I’m sure a lot of Central New York fans will be pulling for the Mets in the NL.
San Diego: P Scott Cassidy (1998, 2001-03), P David Wells (1986-88), P Woody Williams (1990-96), Bullpen Coach Darrel Akerfelds (1985-86) and Hitting Coach Merv Rettenmund.
NOTES: The Padres have yet to announce their playoff roster and local product Cassidy is probably on the bubble but according to the Padres website, he will travel with the team during the playoffs regardless. The ageless wonder Wells is schedule to start Game 3 and Williams is scheduled to start Game 4. Rettenmund was a roving hitting instructor for the Blue Jays from 2003-2005 and made many visits to Syracuse. If the name sounds familiar he also endorse the Hit-A-Way that you probably seen so many commercials for a few years ago.
St. Louis: P Chris Carpenter (1997, 2002) and 1st Base Coach Dave McKay (1979)
NOTES: Carpenter has gone from throwing out the first ever pitch at Alliance Bank Stadium to one of the best pitchers in baseball and will start Game 1 today.
Detroit: Third Base Coach Gene Lamont (1965)
NOTES: I’m sure a lot of patrons at the Change of Pace will be torn between their beloved Yankees and their beloved adopted son Jason Grilli.
Minnesota: OF Shannon Stewart (1996-97, 2003)
NOTES: Stewart is on the 60-day DL and will not play. The rest of the Twins roster you probably saw play for Rochester this year, including Boof Bonser who went from starting Opening Day versus the SkyChiefs to starting Game 2 of the Playoffs versus Oakland. Even Rochester PR Director Chuck Hinkel has joined the Twins for the playoff run.
New York: IF Miguel Cairo (1996), P Cory Lidle (2003) and Pitching Coach Ron Guidry (1975-76)
NOTES: Lidle will pitch out of the bullpen unless the Big Unit is unable to go. Cairo is on the playoff roster.
Oakland: P Chad Gaudin (2005), P Estaban Loaiza (2002) and C Adam Melhuse (1997-99)
NOTES: Gaudin made the most of his opportunity in Oakland after being traded this off-season and is one of the A’s reliable middle inning options.