30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 22

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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We’re in the final days of spring training for the Nationals, with decisions still to be made. Let’s outline what the big-league club’s looking at, and how that trickles down to Syracuse…

#5 Starter

The Candidates: Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark, Chris Young

Roark WAS

The Skinny: This is all but officially a two-man race at this point, with Jordan and Roark duking it out, though Matt Williams has continued to bring up the veteran Young’s name. Roark – baseball’s “reigning king of the called strike” – emerged from a red-hot Chiefs season to sport a 1.51 ERA in 14 games (five starts) at season’s end. Jordan was no slouch himself, putting up a 3.66 ERA in nine starts with Washington in his rookie campaign. Young’s best shot? The fact that he’s healthy again and has an opt-out in his contract, meaning the Nationals likely can’t send him to Syracuse without losing him.

The Favorite: It’s a true coin flip between the first two. I’ll guess that Jordan gets the nod based on his youth and a slightly higher ceiling. Plus, Roark pitched well in relief last year, meaning the Nationals could keep both Jordan and Roark on the roster in this scenario. Hey, speaking of…

#7 Reliever

The Candidates: Tanner Roark (if not starting), Aaron Barrett, Xavier Cedeno

Cedeno

The Skinny: I would have put left-hander Mike Gonzalez in here, but he was released five minutes ago, so the race is down to three. Barrett, who closed for Harrisburg last year, hasn’t allowed an run or walked a batter in nine games in his first ever spring training. Cedeno’s sported a 3.68 ERA in nine spring games after a 1.50 mark in 11 games (but only six innings) for the Nationals last season.

The Favorite: Roark will probably be on the Nationals one way or another, and if Jordan ends up starting, this should be Tanner’s spot to lose. If not? I’d say Barrett has a 51-49 edge because of his impressive spring. Don’t discount the possibility of the Nationals keeping a third left-hander, though, with nine of the team’s first 12 games against the lefty-heavy Braves and Mets.

Last Two Bench Spots

The Candidates: Scott Hairston, Jamey Carroll, Tyler Moore

Moore

The Skinny: This assumes that Jose Lobaton, Nate McLouth and Danny Espinosa will all make the Nationals, and there’s no reason to suggest otherwise. Hairston should also be close to a lock, as he’s guaranteed to make $2.5 million this year, but Matt Williams wasn’t entirely committal when talking about his potential fifth outfielder recently. After a season in which he posted just a .191/.237/.414 slash line, Hairston’s at .194/.256/.333 this spring. Carroll, a 40-year-old super-utilityman, is also hitting just .194 in spring, but provides leadership and versatility. Moore’s .607 spring OPS matches his mark from last regular season in 63 games with Washington, though he improved toward year’s end.

The Favorites: Hairston will probably get a bit of a longer leash because of his contract and the fact that he’s on the 40-man roster. He’ll likely start with the club. The decision then comes down to Carroll – plays every position, not on the 40-man roster – and Moore – plays 1B and corner OF, on the 40-man roster. The Nats would have to clear some space to make way for Carroll, but it’s highly doubtful he’d go to Syracuse, and Moore still has an option. Washington may go the conservative route and keep Carroll – in order to keep both.

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 21

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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Some Monday morning musings on our final full week without baseball…

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So, um, the MLB season started this weekend. Did you know that? No, not spring training – the actual major-league regular season started. At 4:30 in the morning in Australia.

Dodgers Australia

Seriously! The Dodgers and Diamondbacks kicked off 2014 with a pair of games in the Sydney Cricket Ground…before flying back stateside and continuing spring training. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, either, but it’s all part of MLB trying to expand its game and its brand worldwide. So, in case you were asleep (you probabl were) or didn’t notice because of the NCAA Tournament (you probably didn’t), here are some highlights of the official start of professional baseball games that mean something in 2014:

- The Dodgers won both games, 3-1 and 7-5.

- A Diamondbacks team bus got a flat tire while a half-mile from the ballpark. Some players walked the remainder of the way.

- A two-foot long hot dog sold for $36.

- The game-time temperatures were 70 and 80 degrees, respectively.

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Speaking of weather, by the way, we’re almost in range for the 10-day forecast giving us the lowdown on Opening Day. And despite some snow flurries outside at the moment, the news is fairly bright:

10 Day

 

Look at those temperatures! That’s practically summer weather for the beginning of April in Syracuse. So unless there’s a massive and random plummet on the thermostat, April 3rd should be well into the 50s for an Opening Day spectacular. You won’t even need that fleece blanket that you’ll get on Saturday, April 5th. (That’s our giveaway, presented by Coca-Cola, on our first Giveaway Saturday.)

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And we’re a bit closer to learning the Chiefs’ Opening Day roster today, with the Nationals sending right-hander Blake Treinen to minor-league camp. Treinen, who dazzled as a non-roster invitee in his first big-league camp, sported a 3.64 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) with Harrisburg last year, but will likely be used as a reliever this season after impressing out of the bullpen in camp.

Treinen

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 19

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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We’ve mentioned before in this space that the Chiefs are committed to fun and off-the-beaten-path promotions this year. Well, here’s one that’s seen quite a bit of ink recently.* On July 1st, we’re giving away free general-admission tickets for life to fans who get a visible tattoo of the Chiefs logo, on Carmelo’s Ink City Tattoo Night.

Let’s roll that back one more time for emphasis.

Free general admission tickets. For LIFE.

*I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist the awful pun.

It’s Tattoo Appreciation Night, which means you can also get the tattoo for free. Just make sure it’s somewhere you wouldn’t mind revealing – you will have to actually show the tattoo when cashing in for tickets.

This promotion’s been making some waves over the last 48 hours – in fact, even ESPN’s Keith Olbermann has chimed in:

Don’t be fooled by the title of the video – Olbermann’s reaction is largely positive, calling Tattoo Night a great promotion.  KO even went to a couple of Chiefs games back in the day! Who knew?

Let the record here show, Mr. Olbermann – if you’re up for it, we’ll have you come step into the broadcast booth for a game this year – either on Tattoo Night, or on any other night you want. And you’ll be our “World’s Best Person in Syracuse”.

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 18

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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I promised to post some responses from Wednesday’s March Madness-themed post yesterday, but then the Nationals made a viable feast of moves and sent a bunch of players to Syracuse. So back to the original plan: your most popular thoughts on who our committee of one left out as a potential #1 seed in a hypothetical Chiefs-themed bracket of players and coaches…

*Yes, I realize this is a wordy and somewhat crazy gimmick, but hey, it’s March Madness.

Stu Pederson

Stu Pederson

Duh. This might be the most obvious one I missed. If only I’d walked across the hallway of my office into the ticket office…I’d have seen a small stack of “STUUUUUUUUU” megaphones. Pederson played 473 games over five years for the Chiefs, who even had a “Stu Pederson Night” in his honor. He was inducted into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame in 2012.

Willie Horton

Horton

According to his Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame plaque, Horton was a part of the “most potent outfield in Syracuse Chiefs history” in 1964. He hit 28 home runs and knocked in 99 RBIs that season, four years before he hit .304 in the World Series with a championship Detroit team. Horton spent 18 seasons in the major leagues after his time in Syracuse.

Shawn Green

Shawn Green Chiefs

In 1994, Green’s debut year in Syracuse was a memorable one. He was named to the International League All-Star Team before being selected as the league’s Rookie of the Year. Green hit .344 to win the league’s batting title and led the Chiefs to the finals of the Governor’s Cup playoffs. You may have heard of him after that – he played 15 major-league seasons, made a pair of All-Star teams and hit four home runs in one game in 2002 with the Dodgers.

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Feel free to send more suggestions to our Facebook page or Twitter account (@SyracuseChiefs) and we’ll post the best ones.

Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 17

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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Happy Moving Day. The Nationals cut seven players today – likely all headed to Syracuse – in their biggest spring-training day to date. Zach Walters, Christian Garcia, Ross Ohlendorf and Jhonatan Solano were officially optioned to Syracuse, while Will Rhymes, Manny Delcarmen and Brock Peterson were reassigned to minor-league camp.** Let’s examine the moves:

**For terminology’s sake, an explanation: players on the 40-man roster are “optioned”, while non-roster invitees (players not on the 40-man) are “reassigned”. But there’s no reason I can see why the latter three players wouldn’t be headed to Syracuse.

IF Zach Walters – Walters tied for the International League lead with 29 home runs last season and made his major-league debut at the end of the year. There are only two main questions with Walters – where will he hit? (Last year, almost entirely sixth or seventh.) And what position will he play? (Last year, mainly shortstop, but with a big chunk of third base in the second half of the year.)

RP Christian Garcia – Garcia’s talented enough to be in a major-league bullpen. But with the Nationals, it’s just a numbers game – too many good pitchers for one group, meaning he’ll return to Syracuse. A quick reminder of what he can do here from his 2012 numbers: 27 games, 0.56 ERA, 32.1 innings, 18 hits, 11 hits, 38 strikeouts, 14 saves in 14 tries. Not bad.

SP Ross Ohlendorf – Ohlendorf put up a 4.22 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) with the Chiefs last year, though his other numbers suggested a better season than that – 74.2 IP, 65 H, 30 BB, 71 K. He then sported a 3.28 ERA in 16 games (7 starts) with Washington. He’ll likely be in the rotation – good news for the Chiefs.

Ross Ohlendorf

C Jhonatan Solano – Ever since the Nationals traded for Jose Lobaton on February 13th, we’ve assumed Solano would be with the Chiefs come Opening Day, and there’s no reason to doubt that now. Catcher Chris Snyder remains in major-league camp, however, with the Wilson Ramos/Lobaton combo.

IF Will Rhymes – Rhymes spent every day of the 2013 season on the Chiefs, playing in 133 games – one shy of Walters’ team high. He posted a .360 OBP thanks to an outrageous 65/29 BB/K ratio. Expect him to be a key contributor again at either second base or third base, depending on where Jeff Kobernus (if he’s optioned) and Walters play.

Will Rhymes

RP Manny DelcarmenHealthy for the first time in a few years, the former World Series winner (2007 Red Sox) could provide a major boost to the Chiefs’ bullpen. Delcarmen’s worked his fastball back up to the mid-90s in velocity and has improved his Triple-A ERA each of the last few years. His contract, however, does have an out clause for June 1st.

IF Brock Peterson – Peterson bashed 25 home runs in 122 games for Triple-A Memphis last year, a season in which he made his major-league debut (26 at-bats with St. Louis). He’s knocked out 139 minor-league home runs in 10 seasons. Expect him to play some 1B and OF for the Chiefs this year.

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 16

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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If you haven’t been thinking about baseball in the last few days – well, I suppose I couldn’t blame you. March Madness has engulfed the sports-loving nation with the NCAA Tournament starting tomorrow, and I, for one, am fully in on the madness.*

*Yes, I know the Tournament technically started yesterday with the play-in games. But the Tournament starts tomorrow. End of discussion.

So naturally, visions of brackets and regions and seeding are spinning through my head, and I figure it’s only appropriate to give them a Chiefs spin. The question of the day: who would be the #1 seeds in a March-Madness style bracket of Chiefs players and managers? Some potential picks…

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Hank Sauer

Sauer

The case for: Hit 50 home runs and drove in 141 runs in 1947. Ranks third all-time in Syracuse home runs and RBIs. Hit three home runs in one game on June 24, 1947. Has a room named after him. Has jersey number retired.

The case against: …nope, this one’s pretty airtight.

Dutch Mele

Mele

The case for: All-time Syracuse leader in…take a deep breath now…games, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs. Played nine seasons with the Chiefs. International League Hall of Famer. Anything else?

The case against: Only played six games in the major leagues in his career. Went by the name “Dutch”.

Chad Mottola

Mottola

The case for: See what I said about Sauer? Mottola’s one spot ahead of him in both home runs and RBIs. He’s also second all-time in doubles. Mottola won the 2000 I.L. M.V.P. – the last Chiefs player to do so – before returning to Syracuse from 2005 through 2007.

The case against: Similar to Mele – played in just 59 major-league games. (I say “just” as if just making it to the major leagues isn’t a mind-blowing, outrageous, amazing accomplishment, but we’re nit-picking at one seeds here.) “Only” one season of five with Syracuse of an OPS over .791.

Bobby Cox

Cox Chiefs

The case for: Managed the Chiefs for four consecutive winning seasons from 1973 to 1976 – the last time Syracuse has picked up four winning seasons in a row. Managed the Chiefs to three consecutive Governor’s Cup finals, including the team’s last championship in 1976. Also played one year for the Chiefs in 1970…

The case against: …where he hit just .219. Also, baseball games are ultimately decided by the players on the field, not the managers, right?

Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg

The case for: In six games started in 2010: 4-1, 1.08 ERA, 33.1 IP, 18 H, 7 BB, 38 K. Began his only Syracuse rehab start in 2011 with five perfect innings. The highest, second-highest and fourth-highest-attended games in the entire history of Syracuse baseball were Strasburg starts. That’s absurd.

The case against: Played in a grand total of seven games for the Chiefs. That’s only seven more than I have.

Carlos Delgado

Delgado

The case for: In 181 games with Syracuse, Delgado hit .323 and smashed 43 home runs while walking 89 times. He’s a Syracuse Baseball Wall of Famer who also turned into a borderline Hall of Famer with the Chiefs’ then-big club, Toronto, mashing 473 home runs in an amazing major-league career.

The case against: 181 games is a much smaller sample size than most of the other Syracuse Wall of Famers. Did the vast majority of his work outside of Syracuse.

Steve Grilli

That's Steve on the right, in beautiful days, with former Chiefs and current Cincinnati Bengals broadcaster Dan Hoard on the left.

That’s Steve on the right, in beautiful days, with former Chiefs and current Cincinnati Bengals broadcaster Dan Hoard on the left.

The case for: He’s a former Chiefs player, long-time and still current broadcaster and Syracuse native whose bar (Change of Pace) makes the single greatest wings in the history of the world. And he’s a hell of a dad.

The case against: You think I’m gonna make a case against my occasional broadcast partner and all-around great guy? No, sir.

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I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of Chiefs history, of course, with many deserving names left out of this post. But that’s where you come in. Who would you promote as a Chiefs #1 seed? Leave your responses in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll post some tomorrow if we get some good feedback.

(And my choices, for the record? Sauer, Mele, Cox and just for that extraordinary run, Strasburg. Call me crazy.)

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 15

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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I’ve been in quite a musical mood today, thanks to a couple of disparate albums I’ve run through – Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Soundgarden’s Superunknown. (I just bought tickets to see the latter – as for the former, well, no one ever needs an excuse to listen to Elton John.) So today’s blog post pertains to music in baseball – specifically, players’ intro music.

That’s one of my favorite things about baseball – a chance for every player to personalize himself a bit picking the exact piece of music (and exact segment of that piece of music) that marks his arrival to the game. How great is that? No other sport allows this to happen, but the individual nature of baseball means every batter or pitcher gets an opportunity to express himself in some way through music.

Everyone knows about Mariano Rivera jogging in to “Enter Sandman” – but here are a few of my underappreciated favorites…

Jayson Werth

I don’t know if there’s a major leaguer with more eclectic taste in walk-up music than Werth, the Nationals’ right fielder. Last year, his first at-bat would be introed by the theme song from The Walking Dead. Following his second at-bat song – Dave Matthews Band’s “Warehouse”, which I could do without – Werth kicks it old-school for his third trip to the plate…

Love it. (I now get extra-excited when I hear this Zevon classic in lieu of Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long”, which steals from not only this song, but “Sweet Home Alabama”, and mildly desecrates both.) But the real kicker comes in Werth’s fourth trip to the plate…

The Game of Thrones theme! Is there anything more epic than that? If I was a pitcher at this point in the game, I’d just intentionally walk Werth for fear of unleashing the Mother of Dragons. For the use of not only one TV theme song but two, Werth deserves some kind of special award. Maybe a life-sized trophy of his beard.

Ryan Mattheus

Mattheus, recovering from chest discomfort, just returned to the mound on Monday – meaning he’s unfortunately a bit behind schedule, meaning the Chiefs may see him this season, meaning fans may hear this at NBT Bank Stadium…

As MASN’s Dan Kolko points out, the use of “Firework” started as a joke in Harrisburg in 2011. But once Mattheus started dominating hitters left and right, as he did in nine scoreless outings with Syracuse, the tune stuck. It’s nowhere close to your run-of-the-mill intro song – and that’s why I love it. Boom, boom, boom.

Jeff Mandel

OK, there’s nothing fancy or notable behind this pick from Mandel, a Chief from 2010 to 2013. But “Gold on the Ceiling” is quite possibly one of my 10 favorite songs from the past five years. I can’t not include it. Play this as loud as humanly possible.

Best intro music in my three years covering the Chiefs = you get your picture in the blog. Congratulations, Jeff!

Best intro music in my three years covering the Chiefs = you get your picture in the blog. Congratulations, Jeff!

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 14

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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More Nationals’ moves! That’s what’s on tap today, as Washington cut its major-league camp to 44 players. Here’s a look at the moves and how they’ll impact Syracuse…

OF Eury Perez – Well, Perez was officially optioned to Syracuse, so there’s your easy answer there. And it’s no surprise – Perez had a fine season for the Chiefs last year, hitting .300 with a career-high seven homers and 30 extra-base hits, to go along with 23 steals (in 31 attempts). There’s no room in the Nationals’ outfield right now for Perez, who’s only 23 years old, though it seems like he’s been around for a while. Expect him to be a Chiefs mainstay in 2014.

Eury Perez (by Glenn Gaston)

OF Steven Souza, Jr. – A Washington Post piece from Adam Kilgore yesterday speculated that Souza could be a stealth candidate to make the Nationals’ roster at some point this year. Well, it won’t be to start the season – he, like Perez, was officially optioned to Syracuse. Souza, who was added to the Nationals’ 40-man roster in the offseason, will be playing in his first game above Double-A when he debuts with Syracuse. The promotion’s a well-deserved one – Souza sported a whopping .300/.396/.557 slash line in 77 games with Harrisburg last season. (That’s a .957 OPS, a number higher than any major-league player had last year – just for a comparison of how well Souza hit in his particular league.)

LHP Sammy Solis – Solis was optioned to Harrisburg, where the left-hander will start the season – but a move to Syracuse shouldn’t be too far off. At 25 years old, Solis was named as a possibility to make the Nationals’ bullpen, thanks in part to a strong spring. He’ll likely be on an accelerated track toward the majors should he start well for the Senators.

INF Mike Fontenot – Fontenot spent the entirety of 2013 in the International League. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that again with Syracuse this season. The veteran of seven major-league seasons played in 120 games with Durham last year, hitting .264 with 32 doubles. Fontenot can play just about any position in a pinch. He could be a tremendous asset to the Chiefs in that respect.

C Koyie Hill – Hill, a Chief for 31 games in 2012, is back with the Nationals’ organization after a season split between Triple-A New Orleans (60 games) and Miami (18 games). His defensive skills and staff-handling are valued by the Nationals – but as we previously noted with a few other catchers, it’s all about a numbers game in Washington’s system. If Chris Snyder stays with the team (he opted out last year), Hill might be squeezed out of a spot with the Chiefs. If not, he could very well be Jhonatan Solano’s backup in Syracuse.

Koyie Hill

OF Brian Goodwin – A first-round pick in 2011, Goodwin stands as one of the crown jewels of the Nationals’ system. At just 23 years old, he may be Washington’s highest-regarded position player, and the Nats’ center fielder of the future. With Harrisburg last year, Goodwin posted a .252/.355/.407 slash line, walking 66 times and putting up double-digit numbers in doubles (19), triples (11) and home runs (10). Is he ready for Syracuse? Could the Chiefs have a ludicrous-speed outfield of Goodwin, Perez and Souza? I’m not sure there’s room, but I think Goodwin will be in Syracuse sooner rather than later. Call it a hunch.

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day – Day 11

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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For Day 11 of our countdown – here’s 11 reasons to get excited for the 2014 Chiefs. Simple enough, right? Here you go:

  1. The Chiefs will be participating with a float in tomorrow’s Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade, starting at noon – the second time the Chiefs have ever participated in the event. Chiefs employees and team mascots Scooch and Pops will be on hand to distribute 2014 pocket schedules, Chiefs St. Patrick’s Day-themed can koozies, beads and candy.
  2. Opening Day is right around the corner on Thursday, April 3rd, when the Chiefs face the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at 2:00pm. Opening Day, presented by Syracuse.com & the Syracuse-Post Standard, is a $1.00 Thursday presented by 95X. Fans can purchase $1 Hofmann Hot Dogs, $1 Coca-Cola products, $1 beer (Saranac, Budweiser & Labatt brands), $1 programs and $3 general admission tickets on Opening Day and all Thursdays throughout the year, as every Thursday in 2014 is a $1.00 Thursday. The first 5,000 fans through the gates on Opening Day will also receive a 2014 Chiefs magnet schedule courtesy of Ra-Lin. In addition, Opening Day is a guaranteed win night. If the Chiefs don’t win, fans can redeem their ticket stub for any game in April or May.
  3. World-famous mascot Reggy the Purple Party Dude will bring his popular brand of wacky entertainment to NBT Bank Stadium for the Chiefs’ opening four-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Reggy is a rare talking mascot who has served as the official spokescharacter of the Mascot Hall of Fame.
  4. Friday night’s game on April 4th has been moved to 5:00pm, because every Friday home game this year is a Fireworks Friday presented by Coca-Cola. April 4th will be the first of 11 Fireworks Fridays in Syracuse this year.
  5. On Saturday, April 5th, the Chiefs plan to combat the cold weather with a Fleece Blanket Giveaway presented by Coca-Cola. The first 500 fans through the gates at NBT Bank Stadium will receive a Coca-Cola Fleece Blanket as part of our first Giveaway Saturday of the year. The Chiefs will give away a great promotion for every Saturday home game this season, with future promotions such as Scooch and Pops dolls, Saranac pint glasses, Coca-Cola rally towels and more to be announced.
  6. The finale of Syracuse’s opening homestand is a Family Sunday on April 6th. Kids 12 and under are free for all Sunday home games this year and get to run the bases after the game. Sunday will also be the final day of Reggy the Purple Party Dude’s stay in Syracuse.
  7. Every night’s a theme night this season at NBT Bank Stadium. On Social Media Mondays, fans have the chance to win great ticket and merchandise promotions and prizes through their Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare accounts. Two-for-Tuesdays allow fans to buy one regular-price ticket and get a second free. And on Winning Wednesdays, fans have the chance to win great prizes throughout the night for each of Syracuse’s six Wednesday-night home games. Scheduled prizes include a kayak, courtesy of Herb Phillipsons, and even a free funeral package on Celebration of Life Night.
  8. You never know what you’ll see at NBT Bank Stadium with some of the Chiefs’ more off-the-wall promotions in 2014. Syracuse’s schedule includes Deport Justin Bieber Night (Friday, April 4th), Star Wars Day (Sunday, May 4th), Carmelo’s Ink City Tattoo Night (Tuesday, July 1st) and Salute to Facial Hair Night (Tuesday, August 5th) as just some of the Chiefs’ creative ventures.
  9. 2014 marks the 100th year of Syracuse Chiefs baseball. Syracuse players and coaches will wear a 100th anniversary patch on this year’s uniforms throughout the season. The Chiefs will also celebrate their storied history on a 100th Anniversary Night to be announced.
  10. The Chiefs return to the radio airwaves this year with all 144 games to be broadcast on The Score 1260 AM. Fans can also listen to every game live through a link to The Score on the team’s website at syracusechiefs.com.
  11. Yours truly, Kevin Brown, and Jason Benetti will be returning for the this year’s radio broadcasts. Prepare yourselves.

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

30 in 30: A Chiefs Countdown to Opening Day: Day 10

We’re counting down until Opening Day with a new post on our Inside the Chiefs blog every day until Syracuse’s opener on April 3rd. Here’s what’s on tap today…

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Since yesterday’s post – our most-viewed of the blog series so far – the Nationals have made six additional cuts from big-league camp. Might as well play another round of “where will this guy end up”, then, right?

LHP Danny Rosenbaum – “Rosey” spent every day of the 2013 season with Syracuse, never going up or down. He sported a 3.87 ERA in a league-high 28 games started. Rosenbaum will be part of Syracuse‘s rotation to start 2014, and he may very well be a Chief for a long stretch once more.

Danny Rosenbaum

Danny Rosenbaum

RHP Clay Hensley – Six months ago, Hensley – a veteran of 271 major-league games – couldn’t top 81 mph on a radar gun. But after undergoing Tom House’s throwing program, he’s upped his velocity back to its usual high-80s/low-90s mark. Hensley’s contract contains opt-out dates after spring training and June, meaning the right-hander could leave if he thinks he’ll latch on with a major-league team. The Nationals, however, are hoping he’ll end up in Syracuse – and it’s up to Hensley to decide.

RHP Josh Roenicke – Roenicke hasn’t pitched in the minor leagues since 2011 with Colorado Springs, with ERAs of 3.78, 3.25 and 4.35 over the last three years (Colorado 2011-12, Minnesota 2013). He allowed eight hits and four runs in three-and-one-third spring innings, though, leading to his reassignment to minor-league camp. It’s Syracuse or bust for Roenicke at this point – he’s not pitched in Double-A since 2008, and he’s clearly far too good for that – and might depend on whether or not his contract has an opt-out clause.

RHP Daniel Stange – Stange has thrown in 101 Triple-A games over the past four years, with a 5.61 ERA – however, that’s a 5.61 ERA entirely in PCL play, where the ballparks may as well be on the moon. Stange did throw in 46 games in Double-A in 2012 with the Padres, so Harrisburg isn’t out of the question, if only for the crazy numbers games in the Nationals’ bullpen. His status may depend on the opt-out status of others.

LHP Matt Purke – Purke was officially assigned to Double-A Harrisburg, where he’s slated to be a first-time Senator. The third-year professional out of TCU was regarded as one of the Nationals’ top prospects upon being drafted, but multiple shoulder issues over the last few years have hampered his progress. Coming off of a 4.43 ERA in 12 Potomac starts, and at just 22 years old, it might take a little while before Purke makes a next-level jump.

Matt Purke (CSN Washington)

Matt Purke (CSN Washington)

OF Michael Taylor – Speaking of 22-year-olds who’ve never played above Potomac that were officially assigned to Harrisburg…meet Taylor, considered the best defensive outfielder in Washington’s minor leagues. The good with Taylor: he’s an A-plus defender who stole 51 bases last year in just 58 tries. The not-as-good: his career slash line of .249/.319/.399 – though his .263 average and .340 OBP last year were career highs. In Taylor’s fifth professional season, the Nationals will look for him to continually up his offense – but his speed and defense may already be Syracuse-ready. (Heck, they may already be Washington-ready.)

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Have something you want to see or talk about on the blog? Hit us up on Twitter @ChiefsRadio – or shoot me a message at kbrown@syracusechiefs.com.

Kevin Brown

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