The Chiefs look for their second straight win to open up this road trip and this series with the Mud Hens.
*Chris Rahl can extend his hitting streak to 11 today.
*Micah Owings is coming off one of his best hitting nights of the season. He went 2-5 with 2 doubles.
*Jeff Kobernus is back up to third in the league in average with a 3-5 performance Saturday. He’s hitting .348 on the season.
The Chiefs weathered an eight-hour bus ride overnight and got into the Park Inn Toledo around 7:30 A.M. Tonight, they face a Mud Hens team which nearly swept Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Here’s Tony Beasley’s starting nine:
Chris Rahl RF
Jeff Kobernus LF
Will Rhymes 2B
Chris Marrero 1B
Corey Brown CF
Micah Owings DH
Zach Walters SS
Carlos Rivero 3B
Brian Jeroloman C
*Will Rhymes was a member of the Mud Hens, in part, from 2008 until 2011. He played in 165 home games in Toledo over that time and hit .297 at Fifth Third Field.
*Catcher Brian Jeroloman makes his first start of the season with Syracuse tonight. If the name’s familiar, it’s because he played in 25 games with the Chiefs in July, August and September with the 2008 Chiefs. He hit .200 in 75 at-bats that year, the final season with the Blue Jays.
*Zach Walters moves down to the seven position for just the sixth time this season. He’s been found most often in the six spot (34 starts).
*Jeroloman is the 14th nine-hole hitter the Chiefs have used in 2013.
*Carlos Rivero is five-for-11 in the eight position this year.
Game time is 7 P.M. as the Chiefs face the Mud Hens. Download our app to listen. Search for Syracuse Chiefs in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Syracuse dropped last nights matchup with Columbus 4-2 in 11 innings. The game was the third in four days that went to extra frames. The Chiefs have played nine extra inning games this season, compared to just five last year.
Today’s stuff you’ll like:
*We all know Syracuse teams are no strangers to extra time in sports
*Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel goes yard during batting practice at Nationals-Padres game.
*It’s Triple Crown season in horse racing. Shout out to an upstate favorite-Funny Cide-who won the Preakness on this day in 2003, after winning the Kentucky Derby. He finished third in the Belmont.
*The Chiefs are “ALL IN” for the Crunch.
Syracuse goes for a split of it’s four-game set with Columbus tonight at 7:00 PM at NBT Bank Stadium.
The Chiefs dropped a three-run decision to the Columbus Clippers last night in a high-scoring, crazy game two of the series.
Today’s stuff you’ll like:
*If you like addicting Internet games, you’ll love Geoguessr.
*Mr. Boswell from the Washington Post takes on the topic of Bryce Harper’s reckless abandon.
*The Toledo Blade’s John Wagner recaps a wild and wooly Mud Hen win. From the story–“You have to find things to hang your hat on — and build off them,” Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said. “We’ve had a couple of two-game [winning] streaks and had things get away from us on that third day, and we very easily could have sunk back to that.”
*The Crunch were #ALLin when it came to short-handed goals last night.
Chief of the Day: Today, we salute an important member of the 1985 bullpen, Tom Henke. In Syracuse, Henke saved 18 games and allowed just 13 hits in 51 innings and a third. His ERA of 0.88 led the Chiefs. Henke went on to save 311 Major-League games. He’s one of 23 people ever to save 300 games in MLB.
It’s $5 a carload night at the ballpark. Chiefs and Clippers at 7 P.M.
For those of you who could not get enough of the first edition of Card Notes. Have no fear, they’re back!
1) Chris Rahl extended his season-high seven-game hitting streak yesterday with an RBI single in the seventh.
2) Jeff Kobernus has 15 stolen bases. That’s eight more than anyone on the team.
3) Zach Walters hit a home run in the fifth inning last nights. He’s now tied for second in the league with nine, one off the league lead.
4) Kris Watts has six hits with15 at-bats as a Chief.
5) Jhonatan Solano was activated from the disabled list today. He hasn’t played since May 7th.
Tune in for the game starting at 6:45 on the Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Network. It’s available on your computer via this link: http://www.milb.com/multimedia/audio.jsp?sid=t552
Or you can download our app for your smartphone via the Google Play or iTunes Stores.
Good morning from sunny, not-as-chilly-as-yesterday NBT Bank Stadium, where the Chiefs and Columbus Clippers will begin a four-game series at 7:00. Starting today at the blog, we’ll be alternating posters for our daily “Stuff You’ll Like” routine…you’ll get opinions on who likes what from both Jason and I as well as our two interns, Jonny and Gabe.
Here’s what’s on tap for today…
- A recap of yesterday’s Chiefs game from Bud Poliquin.
- Grantland’s Jonah Keri looks at the underdog Yankees, among others, in his weekly power rankings.
- The greatest YouTube video you’ll see all day – a cover of “Space Oddity”…in space.
- Bill Hader prepares to say goodbye to SNL.
- The trailer of Season 4 of Arrested Development…no touching!
- Song of the Day: Boston’s “Peace of Mind”, for reasons that have nothing to do with the Bruins. (I just can’t stop humming it.)
- And finally, today’s Chief of the Day goes to former Chiefs starting pitcher A.J. Burnett! Some fun facts about Mr. Burnett…
- He pitched in one game for the Chiefs in both 2006 and 2007, giving up one earned run in 10 innings. Greatest Chief ever? Greatest Chief ever.
- He currently leads the National League in strikeouts with 72. At age 36.
- Dan Patrick recently mistook him for Bronson Arroyo. Oops.
Hope to have you join us tonight at 6:45 on the Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Network. Ross Ohlendorf takes the hill for Syracuse against the Clippers’ Joe Martinez. See you then.
All season, teams will come to NBT Bank Stadium to stand against the Syracuse Chiefs. They will don jerseys emblazoned with animals….they will wield baseball bats of ash and maple….and they will attempt to make periodic contact with a pentagonal white object that they refer to as “home.”
They all have secrets. And those secrets are found in…..
The IL Files
Team: Durham Bulls
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Mascot: Wool E. Bull (The E stands for education)
Joined the IL: 1998.
How?: The Bulls were a Triple-A expansion franchise when the Devil Rays were added to Major League Baseball
A.K.A.: From 1902 through 1967, the team was called the Durham Bulls. In 1968, the name changed to the Raleigh-Durham Mets. The next year, it became the Raleigh-Durham Phillies. That worked so well, the name changed again in 1970 to the Raleigh-Durham Triangles (their logo was not a yield sign). Then, Bull Man beat Triangle Man for good and the team became the Bulls for good in ’81.
Other Leagues: Durham played in the Class D North Carolina State League from 1913 to 1917. The team transitioned to the Piedmont League from 1920 until 1943. After not playing in ’44, the team joined the Carolina League in ’45 until its run ended in ’97.
Notable managers: 1956–Jonny Pesky, for whom the right-field foul pole at Fenway Park is named. 1989-91–Grady Little, at whom hateful names were screamed from every spot in Fenway Park. 1928-1932–George “Possum” Whitted, who wasn’t lying in the weeds when his team won the league title in 1930.
Notable players: Bob Boone–Hit .300 in 80 games with the Raleigh-Durham Phillies in 1969 while playing third base (like his son Aaron, who may have caused one of those Grady Little epithets). Joe Morgan–The only Durham player in the Major-League Hall of Fame. Ron Gant–Led the Carolina League with 20 homers in 1986 before making his Major-League debut in 1987 with the Braves, where he played on back-to-back World Series teams.
Record holders: Woody Fair had 161 RBIs in 1946, the most ever for a Durham player. Johnny Vander Meer, the only player to throw back-to-back MLB no-hitters, struck out 295 for Durham in 1936.
Back-of-the-file: In 1922, to win their first-ever championship, the Bulls beat the High Point Furniture Makers for the Piedmont League title….the Bulls host the ACC Baseball Championship this year from May 22-26…this is the only blog post in history that does mention the movie “Bull Durham” when talking about the team….alphabetically, the last player to play for the Bulls is Andy Zwirchitz…
It’s time once again for the game which always has perfect water pressure……
(Third) Rate the IL Hotel!!!
And now your host who never disturbs…..Jason Benetti!
Well hello everyone and welcome once again to (Third) Rate the IL Hotel. If you’re thinking, “I thought (Third) Rate the IL Hotel was last season,” you’re right. Our new season will debut in about two weeks. But, because the Chiefs didn’t travel to Scranton last season, we bring you our cliffhanger finale right now.
In case you just joined us, here are the rules to (Third) Rate the IL Hotel. We give you three positives and three negatives of the most recent hotel the Syracuse Chiefs have stayed in. Then, we assign a score between 1 and 100. That score can be redeemed for a travel-size deodorant at the front desk.
So, without further ado, we unveil the final edition of (Third) Rate the IL Hotel. Today’s hotel: The Radisson Lackawanna Station in Scranton, PA!
1) Chug-a-chug-a. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team in the International League has been called three nicknames in eight years. Much to the delight of former P.A. announcer John Davies, they were the Red Barons in 2006. With new ownership in 2007, they became the Yankees. Now, residing in a new ballpark at the same site, the Scranton nine is called the RailRiders. This name harkens back to a rich history of early transportation and coal mining in the area. Though the new mascot doesn’t exactly shriek New Haven Railroad–it’s a purple porcupine–the team hotel does the trick. The Chiefs stay at the Radisson Lackawanna Station which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a former train station. It stopped being one in 1970 and has since become a hotel. This is fitting, what with the RailRiders and Chiefs both sporting loco-motifs. Each team has used the slogan “All Aboard” in the last three years. Maybe the Radisson has taken it too far….
2) Be married.
As I waited for the shuttle to the ballpark on Saturday, I chatted with Chiefs strength and conditioning coach Brett Henry. As we talked, two separate people asked Brett to move aside so they could squeeze by with a stack of chairs. The chairs were on their way to the central lobby within the station where, I imagine, people used to wait for the 6:15 to Elmira. I like a place that’s a wedding hot spot. The people that stay in the hotel for a wedding generally fall into three categories:
A) Nervous and neurotic
C) Overemotional and ready to burst
Two of those three sets of people are great fun to deal with as a stranger. And, it’s easy to tell who falls into the first category. The nervous and neurotic folks generally have as good of a poker face as Dr. Orin Scrivelo.
3) Eat & drink.
The restaurant in the hotel lobby has tremendous food. Reasonably-priced breakfast–$7 for a sizable portion of french toast with a hint of orange in the batter–and a wide-ranging lunch buffet are great perks. In addition, there’s a water jug near the main desk filled with icy, fruit-flavored water. Always a welcome addition.
1) Lake Eerie. An old train station, you say? Sounds like it could be haunted, Jason. You’re right, dear reader. The Radisson seems to have strange things happen inside of it. Here are a few examples:
“The player told us that one night around midnight three of his teammates were walking down the hallway on the 6th floor and encountered a ghost who last leaning over a railing. The railing overlooked the dinning room that was located six floors below. The three players stopped dead in their tracks and claim the ghost told them he was killed in a car accident. As he was talking to them, his head spun around 360 degrees. “
–Scott McCauley, former Indianapolis announcer.
“Recently, Lehigh Valley slugger Terry Tiffee felt the wrath of the haunted hotel. Tiffee was staying in room 420 and heard a knock at the door. Reportedly, he answered the door and an African American gentleman in a tuxedo, claiming to be a bellman asked if everything was OK. Tiffee thought it was a strange visit, so he called the front desk to ask about his visitor. The girl at the desk told Tiffee that the hotel employed no such person. Tiffee was sufficiently spooked to pack his bags and move across the street to the Hilton, paying the $200 per night tab himself.”
–Steve Hyder, former Pawtucket and Syracuse announcer
“Pretty soon, half of the team is joining in on stories about how a CF from another team (don’t know the name of course) swore he saw a ghost in his room or how a coach woke up in the middle of the night to his TV being turned off and pushed back into it’s standup dresser. For every guy on the team, there were 2-3 stories to be told per person and although the details seemed to be a little vague and no one knew names it was enough to get the blood going, and we still had 3 more nights in the hotel. For three straight days people came to the field, some a little more sleep-deprived than others, asking if anything happened to a teammate that night and anxious to hear another story.“
–Ryan Tatusko, current Chiefs pitcher
This season, Chiefs manager Tony Beasley told me he went to sleep with the TV on and woke up with it off. He didn’t activate a sleep timer.
I’ve never experienced the paranormal myself. Then again, it’s tough to feel anything when you go to sleep blasting Metallica in your headphones while curled in a ball in the bathtub.
2) Losing in the Sky.
Nah. Close, though.
3 Sized up.
I’d like to see the blueprints for the Radisson Lackawanna Station. It’s got to look like Q*Bert’s tower.
Some of the rooms could house a rugby tournament. Others couldn’t fit more than three people at a time. Crapshoot.
Had I been abducted by ghosts over the past few years, that score would have skyrocketed.
If that headline doesn’t make you read this blog post, I’m not sure what will. Through five games this season, the Syracuse Chiefs are the most prolific run-scoring team in the Triple-A International League. They’ve scored 42 runs, seven more than second-place Pawtucket.
*The Chiefs are outscoring all but two teams in the Pacific Coast League, the other Triple-A circuit which is known for its thin air, mountaintop ballparks and flying baseballs. The IL scored 8657 runs in 2012, while the PCL plated 11,765 runs. That’s 3108 more runs.
*The Chiefs are one of two International League teams hitting over .300 as a group. Syracuse’s .320 average is second only to tonight’s opponent, Buffalo. The Bisons have a hit in every three at-bats, .333.
*With nine home runs, the Chiefs are second in all of minor-league baseball. The Stockton Ports of the Advanced-A California League have 12. No other team has eight.
*Jeff Kobernus, the Chiefs’ two-hole hitter, has a batting average of .579, fifth-best in all of the minors.
*Jimmy Van Ostrand, who hit from the nine position last night, is tied for ninth in the minors with a .538 average.
*Zach Walters, with four home runs in five games, is third in the minors with 20 total bases this season.
Yes, all of this is through just five games, but the Chiefs offense–in a 4-1 start–has been outstanding.
Catch tonight’s game at 6:05 on the Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Network.
By this point in our “Meet The Chiefs” series, you should be as well-versed in the team as me or Jason. (If not more.) Time for the final piece – a look at the four-man outfield.
- International League ranks last season: 1st in runs, 2nd in homers, 2nd in total bases, 2nd in slugging percentage, 2nd in triples.
- Brown set a Syracuse franchise record last season with home runs in five straight games. Three of the four came to lead off the Chiefs’ portion of the game. The last of the five came in his final at-bat, with an eighth-inning blast vs. Columbus.
- Days off were few and far between for Brown last year, as Chiefs manager Tony Beasley wanted him to experience the grind of a full season. All in all, Brown played in a career-high 145 games between Syracuse (126) and Washington.
- Owings is a converted pitcher who’s decided to make a full-time switch to becoming a position player this season. In 205 career major league at-bats, he’s posted a slash line of .283/.310/.502 – so he can certainly do it.
- In fact, Owings won the National League Silver Slugger award – given to the best-hitting pitcher in the league – in 2007. He went 20 for 60 that season with 4 home runs and a crazy OPS of 1.032. (I know it’s a small sample size, but 1.032!!!!!)
- The semi-odd thing about this move – Owings can really pitch. He went 8-0 with a 3.57 ERA in 33 games for Arizona in 2011. So this isn’t quite a Rick Ankiel thing where a pitcher has trouble actually pitching.
- Speaking of Ankiel, Owings called him in the offseason to ask about the potential move. Before he could get the question out of his mouth, Ankiel told him to make the switch.
- Perez had a patently silly Triple-A debut season. He started his Chiefs tenure on a 19-game hitting streak, then went hitless in three of the next four games, and then started a 17-game hitting streak. He’s still technically on that 17-game hitting streak, having gone up to Washington as a September callup right at the conclusion of Syracuse’s season.
- Before last season, Perez had never played in a game above Single-A. He tore through Harrisburg and Syracuse en route to that callup, playing in 13 games with the Nationals – mainly as a pinch-runner. (He stole a combined 54 bases in the system last year.)
- Perez was part of the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic-winning team this offseason, though he didn’t crack the loaded lineup much.
Jimmy Van Ostrand
- Speaking of the World Baseball Classic…JVO played for Team Canada this year. He’s also represented his country in the Olympics and Pan American Games. Not bad, eh?
- Van Ostrand played for the same team as Roger Clemens last season – the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. He missed Clemens by quite a few months, though, as the Nationals snatched him up in May.
- This’ll be Van Ostrand’s first Triple-A season. He spent parts of each of the last five seasons in Double-A – the first four of which came with Houston.
That’s all for the Chiefs’ Opening Day roster. Tune in tomorrow for Syracuse’s opener – 7:05 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on the Syracuse Chiefs Baseball Network or on syracusechiefs.com. See you there.