Results tagged ‘ Bobby Cox ’

Even Van Gundy was on hand

The first appearance by Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was greeted by over 5000 Florida visitors, Mark Lerner, the team’s principal owner, MASN Television crew that included Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble and former Knicks and Houston Rockets basketball coach Jeff Van Gundy who sat behind home plate with an Orlando Magic hat on.

Strasburg was worth the price of admission, even if it was only two innings and 27 pitches.  He will pitch in the major leagues some day, just what day got closer than a lot of people thought going in.
Nats lost again, and righthanded pitcher Tyler Walker has pitched his way to AAA-Syracuse roster with his second 6-run appearance.  Aaron Thompson tossed two shutout innings of relief and has looked very good in his first two appearances.
Nats hitting came to life in the 8th inning when they scored four runs and had the tying run on deck before Josh Whitesell popped up to centerfield to end the rally.  Nats lost their 7th straight, 9-4.
–Chiefs COO/Vice President Tex Simone was seen talking to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, 3rd base coach Gene Lamont before the game.  Leyland and Lamont were teammates in 1965 with the Tigers when Tex was the team’s trainer.  
–Tex had a busy day when he also ran into another former Tigers and Chiefs catcher John Sullivan who was visiting from western New York where he still resides.
–And the day ended when Tex hit the trifecta when he was seen talking to Braves manager and longtime friend Bobby Cox in the Braves dugout before the Phillies vs Braves game in Orlando.
–Former Chiefs outfielder Jayson Werth hit an opposite field bomb vs the Braves in the 2nd inning.  Werth is sporting an unusual long beard and hair style.
–Two local “graphers” reported that today they were able to secure signatures from Ivan Rodriquez, Drew Storen, Ryan Howard and Braves super prospect Jason Heyward. In the “graphing world”  that’s pretty good.
Last stop on the tour will be at the Braves minor league camp to catch up with former Chief Rocket Wheeler.

Church, Baseball and some warm weather

Well Sunday got off to a great start as the chilly Florida weather changed for the better as temperatures warmed up to the mid 70′s by game time.

But before the day began we had the chance to attend church at Mary Queen of the Universe in Orlando, FL.  The reason I’m telling you this is because there were over 3000 people in attendance for the 9:30 mass.  That to me is incredible. Almost the entire group was from out of town all on vacation, and they decided to go to church – in Florida.  Maybe there is hope after all.
Anyways back to baseball, the Nats played on the road in St. Lucie against the Mets and lost again, but Mike Morse hit another home run and Ian Desmond tallied two hits.  Jason Marquis did not fair well in his first start giving up 5-runs, while lefty Matt Chico tossed two scoreless innings after missing much of 2008 and 2009 with arm trouble.
We decided to visit the Braves game in Orlando and hook up with former Chiefs manager Bobby Cox who is managing his final season with Atlanta.  Nothing has changed with one of the greatest managers in the game.  Still the same Bobby Cox who called Syracuse home for four years from 1973-76 as a manager and 1970 as a player.
Also ran into former Chiefs pitcher Mike Pazik who tossed the last nine inning no-hitter in team history back in 1971 vs Rochester.  Mike is scouting for the White Sox and will return to Syracuse this summer.
Another former Chiefs pitcher, Mark Wiley who pitched the 1979 Chiefs to the Governors Cup Finals said hello.  Mark is now with Colorado also as a scout after serving as their pitching coach last season.
Hall of Famer Peter Gammons asked how the Nationals affiliation is working out, while former Blue Jays scout Ted Lekas, now with the Orioles told me he likes the Nationals young arms.
-The Braves played the Astros and former Chiefs infielder Matt Galante was on hand as a special instructor for Houston.
–Former Chiefs in Astros uniforms included Kevin Cash, Josh Banks and Brandon Lyon.
–Former Blue Jays Director of Player Development Dick Scott is now doing similar work with Houston.

Morse shines in slugfest with Mets

Mike Morse hit his first home of the spring in the 6th inning that tied the game today against the New York Mets in Viera, Fl as the Nationals opened their spring scheduled at home.

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners last July for outfielder Ryan Langerhans, the former number one selection is proving that he can provide the Nationals with a solid bat off the bench this season.
The Nationals eventually lost again to the Mets 14-6 after giving up 9-runs in the final three innings, but there were some bright spots;
–infielder Eric Bruntlett’s three-run home run gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead after two innings.
–Willie Harris made two outstanding catch’s in the first inning to help starter John Lannan escape further damage.
–Cristain Guzman played in his first game and collected 2-singles and a RBI as the team’s designated hitter.
–Lefty Aaron Thompson acquired from the Marlins in the Nick Johnson deal last season was the best pitcher on the mound for the Nats today tossing two scoreless innings.
–Righty Tyler Walker stuck out the side, but in between gave up 6-hits and 5-runs including two long home runs to Fernando Martinez and Mike Jacobs to pick up the loss.
Nationals take on the Mets in St. Lucie on Sunday afternoon when Jason Marquis makes his spring debut.
We will be back at Disney and check in with Braves skipper Bobby Cox who is managing his final year with the Braves.
The weather is warming up as well as spring training enters its second week.  Looking forward to meeting up with Jason Benetti for some video podcast this week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT MCGREGOR

Thirty six years ago in 1974 the New York Yankees sent 20 year old lefthanded pitcher Scott McGregor to Syracuse to begin the season in the Chiefs rotation under second year manager Bobby Cox.

The Yankees number one pick in the 1972 June Draft received a reported $80,000 signing bonus and had juast come off a pretty good season the year before in West Haven when he led the Eastern League with 12 wins, 197 innings and a 3.29 ERA.

The 1974 season saw the California native join a veteran staff that included Lowell Palmer, Mike Pazik, Larry Gowell and Rick Sawyer.  But is was McGregor who would put up big numbers for manager Bobby Cox that season leading the Chiefs to the finals of the International League Governors Cup only to lose to Rochester in a thrilling seven game series.

McGregor was named I.L. Rookie of the Year, represented the Chiefs in the 1974 I.L. All Star Game and went 13-10 with a 3.44 ERA.  What was even more impressive from this 20 year old was that he completed 12 of his 27 starts, struck out 124 batters and tossed 3 shutouts – 2 back to back vs Tidewater and 3 in 4 starts.

Scotty went on to go 2-0 in the I.L. playoffs defeating Rochester 8-1 in game five that put the Chiefs up 3 games to 2.  His 9-inning masterpiece was his final appearance that season that totaled over 220 innings.

He pitched for the Chiefs again in 1975 making 21 starts and going 6-9 with a 3.99 ERA before being placed on the disabled list for the remainder of the 1975 season.  Without their ace, the Chiefs would lose to Tidewater in the Finals of the Governors Cup Chanpionship for a second consecutive season.

Still only 22 years old and back for his third season with the Chiefs, McGregor now the ace of the staff had help from Rick Sawyer, Ken Clay, and big time prospects Jim Beattie and Doug Heinold before the trade that would change history in the I.L.

On June 12th the New York Yankees in an effort to capture their first Pennant in over a decade traded prize prospects Dave Pagan, Tippy Martinez and Scott McGregor to the Baltimore Orioles for lefthanded veteran pitcher Ken Holtzman.

The Chiefs were in second place 3 1/2 games off the pace ahead of the Rochester Red Wings were McGregor would be sent.  With the Chiefs he was only 4-5 with a 3.84 ERA in his first 10 starts, six of which were complete games – his trademark.

But after the deal, McGregor fashioned a remarkable 8-1 record with a 2.38 ERA in 13 starts in the flower city.  He also completed eight more games, five of which were shutouts.  He 4-hit the Chiefs in Syracuse on July 5th and allowed only 3 hits in a 7-inning shutout a month later on August 25th.

The Red Wings played over .700 baseball the rest of the way (63-26) and despite the Chiefs winning 53 of their next 86 without McGregor, the Red Wings won the Pennant in 1976.  The Chiefs finished second and took on the Memphis Blues in round one of the I.L. Playoffs.

The Chiefs swept the Blues 3-0 defeating Floyd Bannister and Mark Lemongello, two future major league pitchers, while the Pennant winning Red Wings were defeated by Richmond 3-1.

The Chiefs would go on to win the 1976 I.L. Governors Cup that season (the last time they won) without McGregor. Ironically, his replacement, left hander John Sielicki went 10-2 including winning the deciding game against the Braves in September.

McGregor would go on to pitch 14 years in the Major Leagues with Baltimore, appearing in two World Series (1979, 1983) and winning 20 games in 1980.

Happy 56th Birthday Scott McGregor.

 

 

2008 HOT STOVE RECAP

Thanks to all who attended the 2008 Chiefs Hot Stove on Friday night, January 11th at the Holiday Inn Liverpool. Nearly 500 fans enjoyed an evening of Baseball Entertainment that included the induction of Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox and Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick into the Syracuse Chiefs Wall of Fame. Both received their awards early and will be joined on August 16th by Tommy Thevinow, Vic Power, Terry Whitfield, Greg “Boomer” Wells and Ted Kleinhans.

The evening also included Bill Monbouquette, Frank Tepedino, I.L. President Randy Mobley and Onondaga County Execuitive Joanie Mahoney

Circle the date for 2009 – the 48th Annual Event will take place on Friday, January 16th.

HOT STOVE WEEK

This Friday, January 11th the Syracuse Chiefs will hold their 47th Annual Hot Stove Dinner beginning at 5:30 PM at the Holiday Inn LIverpool.

The silent auction of great baseball memoribilia will run from 5:30-7:00 PM with items that include autographed baseballs, bats, jerseys and highlighted by a autographed Derek Jeter jersey compliments of Benefit Golf and Auctions.  All proceeds will benefit the Hillside of Family Agencies here in Syracuse.

The guest list includes former Chiefs manager and player and current Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, Philadelphia Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick, Red Sox pitching great Bill Monbouquette, Chiefs manager Doug Davis, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Scott Cassidy, Blue Jays Director of Canadian Scouting Kevin Briand and International League President Randy Mobley.

Local players also scheduled to appear include Steve Grilli, Mark Lukasiewicz, Jon Ratliff, Noah Hall, Frank DiPino, New Hampshire Pitching Coach Tom Signore, Syracuse Baseball Wall of Famer Frank Tepedino and LeMoyne College Baseball Coach Steve Owens.

Tickets are only $45 for adults and $20 for children.  You can call 315 474-7833 or stop by the Chiefs Offices during business hours (9 AM-5PM) to pick up your tickets.

ALUMNI REPORT: MLB 1ST HALF

As Major League Baseball takes centerstage tonight in San Francisco, today’s Alumni Report takes a look at former Syracuse players that played in the majors for teams other than the Blue Jays during the first half of the season and how they performed.

(YEARS IN SYRACUSE)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

A’s

Gaudin_chad1Right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin (’05) was one of baseball’s biggest sup rises during the first half of the season.  Gaudin, who spent the ’06 season in the Oakland bullpen, was elevated to starter status with an injury to Esteban Loaiza and ended up finishing the first half with an ERA of 2.88, which ranked him 8th among all Major League pitchers.  The Louisiana native also went 8-3 and struck out 68 batters in his 18 starts.

Outfielder Shannon Stewart had a solid first half hitting .309 with 7 HR, 26 RBI and 8 SB.

DEVIL RAYS

Right-handed pitcher Gary Glover (’99-’00) appeared in 36 games for the Rays going 3-3 with a 5.32 ERA.

INDIANS

Casey Blake is putting together one of his best seasons for the Tribe as he returned to his normal position at 3B after spending the last few season in the outfield.  Blake is hitting .276 with 14 HR, 21 doubles and 48 RBI.

RANGERS

Catcher Adam Melhuse (’97-’99) began the season in Oakland but was traded to Texas about a month ago.  Combined this season Melhuse has appeared in 21 games and is hitting .273 with 1 HR and 7 RBI.  Infielder Desi Relaford (’05) appeared in 6 games and was 3-15 at the plate.  Pitcher Bruce Chen (’04) pitched in 5 games, was not involved in a decision and had a 7.20 ERA.

RED SOX

Eric Hinske (’03) has appeared in 45 games for the Sox and is hitting just .193 with 3 HR and 11 RBI but his diving catch in right-field did rank as one of the top plays of the first half on Baseball Tonight.  The Sox bullpen is anchored by two former Syracuse pitchers, Mike Timlin (’92, ’95) and Brendan Donnelly (’99-’00).  Timlin has appeared in 22 games going 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA and 1 saves while Donnelly has also appeared in 22 games going 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA.

TIGERS

Former Chiefs closer Aquillino Lopez (’04) appeared in 6 games for the Tigers going 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA.

YANKEES

Veteran utility-man Miguel Cairo (’96) is having a solid season in the Bronx hitting .263 with 10 RBI and 7 SB in 44 games.  Josh Phelps (’02-’03) beat out Andy Phillips for the right-handed platoon spot at 1B and hit .263 with 2 HR and 12 RBI in 36 games before being traded to the Pirates.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

ASTROS

Veteran pitcher Woody Williams (’90-’96) is 4-10 with a 5.34 ERA in 19 starts allowing 34 walks while striking out 58 opponents.

BRAVES

Infielder Chris Woodward (’98-’01) has appeared in 54 games and his hitting .219 with 1 HR and 7 RBI for former Chiefs player and manger Bobby Cox (’70, ’73-’76 MGR).

BREWERS

Bush_david_191Outfielder Gabe Gross (’03-’05) has appeared in 50 games for the Brew Crew hitting .200 with 3 HR and 7 RBI and has 15 BB while striking out just 18 times.  Starter Dave Bush (’04-’05) is 7-7 with a 4.86 ERA in 18 appearances including 17 starts.

CARDINALS

Chris Carpenter (’97, ’02) was inked Opening Day and has been on the DL since.

DIAMONDBACKS

NL All-Star Orlando Hudson (’01-’02) is hitting .296 with 20 doubles, 5 triples, and 47 RBI in 89 games.  Reliever Brandon Lyon (’01-’02) has appeared in 41 games and is 5-3 with 2 saves and a 2.36 ERA.

DODGERS

2B Jeff Kent (’92) is hitting .279 with 10 HR, 18 doubles and 41 RBI in 81 games.  Left-hander Mark Hendrickson (’01-’03)  has appeared in 21 games, 10 starts, and is 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA, walking 23 opponents and striking out 64.

GIANTS

Reliever Vinnie Chulk (’01-’04, ’06) has appeared in 35 games and is 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA.  Infielder Luis Figueroa (’06) went 1-5 at the plate while appearing in 6 games.

MARLINS

Miller_justin_341_2 Have Tattoo’s Will Travel.  Reliever Justin Miller (’02, ’04-’05) began the season with AAA Ottawa before being released at the end of April.  He was picked up by the Marlins and assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque before being promoted to the Marlins.  For the Fish he is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA, 8 BB and 27 K in 25 appearances.

METS

Carlos Delgado (’91, ’94-’95, ’98, ’04) is hitting .242 with 22 doubles, 14 HR and 49 RBI in 83 games for the Mets while best-friend Shawn Green (’94) is hitting .275 with 18 doubles, 7 HR and 27 RBI in 71 games.

NATIONALS

Infielder Felipe Lopez (’01-’02) is hitting .242 with 4 HR, 32 RBI and 11 SB in 82 games.

PADRES

David “Boomer” Wells (’86-’88) is 4-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 17 starts registering 55 K and 25 BB.

PHILLIES

OF Jayson Werth (’02-’03) is hitting .235 with 3 HR and 10 RBI in 42 games for the Phillies.  Reliever Francisco Rosario who was acquired at the end of Spring Training has appeared in 18 games and is 0-3 with a 6.64 ERA.

PIRATES

Since being acquired from the Yankees Josh Phelps (’02-’03) has appeared in 6 games and is 4-11 at the plate.

REDS

Closer David Weathers (’92) has registered 17 saves and is 1-3 with a 3.27 ERA in 37 appearances.  Utility-man Ryan Freel (’98-’01) spent most of the last two months on the DL after a violent collision with a teammate in the outfield. Freel appeared in 54 games and hit .258 with 2 HR, 12 RBI and 10 SB.  Dewayne Wise (’01, ’03) appeared in 5 games and was 1-5 with a triple.

In other Reds Notes last week former SkyChiefs Manager Pat Kelly (’99-’00) was promoted from Manager of the Gulf Coast League Reds to the Bench Coach for the Reds.

ALUMNI REPORT: COX

This week’s edition of the alumni report focuses on Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox who played for the 1970 Chiefs and then managed in Syracuse from 1973-76.

Cox Cox tied a Major League record on Saturday after being ejected for the 131st time in his career.  Cox tied Hall of Fame Manger John McGraw who had 14 of his 131 ejections as a player while Cox was never ejected as a Major League Player.

Interestingly enough Cox was ejected by Chad Fairchild who is normally an umpire in the Internationally League but is one of the select few umpires who are promoted to the Majors when regular umpires are on vacation.

In other alumni news if you happen to watch the Yankees series versus the Giants this weekend you probably saw infielder Luis Figueroa and pitcher Vinnie Chulk who both played in Syracuse last year. 

Figueroa signed with the Giants as a Minor League free agent this off-season and was promoted to the big club on June 18th after hitting .310 for Triple-A Fresno.  For the Giants he has appeared in 6 games and is 1-5 at the plate.

Chulk was traded to the Giants last year along with Shea Hillenbrand in exchange for current Jays closer Jeremy Accardo.  Vinnie registered the victory in the extra innings game on Saturday and is now 3-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 33 appearances this season.

WINTER MEETINGS RECAP

With the Baseball Winter Meetings from Orlando, FL concluded it’s time to analyze moves made and not made by the parent Toronto Blue Jays General Manager JP Riccardi.  By striking out on Ted Lilly and Gil Meche the Jays saved between 30-40 million on payroll over the next four years.  Lilly ended up receiving 10-million per year and Meche 11-million.  The often injury prone Lilly was not worth the gamble over four years, while Meche was inconsistent in Seattle over the past three years.  With Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett as solid number one and two starters, the Jays need only to add a number three or four guy to their rotation.  Gustavio Chacin who has won 24 games the past two seasons could be a number three.  That leaves Josh Towers, Shawn Marcum or Dustin McGowan to battle for the fifth spot that with off-days makes between 24-26 starts a year….Lost in all the non-pitching moves was the players Toronto picked up this off-season.  Frank Thomas as a full-time Designated Hiitter was huge.  Matt Stairs who hit 14 home runs and drove in 51 runs last season will replace Frank Cattalanatto and provide more power off the bench.  By deciding on Greg Zaun over Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas, the Jays pitching staff, who liked Zaun better will be more comfortable on the mound and the addition of Royce Clayton gives the Jays and up-grade on offense up the middle….NAME DROPPING at the Dolphin Hotel:  seen talking in the lobby were Chiefs Executive Vice President Tex Simone with former Chiefs manager and Atlanta Braves skipper Bobby Cox and his infield teamate on the 1970 Championship team Matt Galante now working with Houston.  Phillies GM Pat Gillick looks forward to visiting Syracuse this season to see his AAA-club that has moved to Ottawa from Scranton.  Brewers Assistant GM Gord Ash reports that his son Aaron, a frequent visitor to Syracuse when Gord was the boss in Toronto, has made the travel team of his area hockey club in Milwaukee.  Longtime Blue Jays trainer and Director of Florida Operations Ken Carson will step down this year after 30-years of service to the Blue Jays.  Ken will remain on as a consultant for the Florida based operation in Dunedin.  Longtime Los Angeles Angeles Scout Moose Stubing has left that team to work for the Washington Nationals.  Moose has been a frequent visitor to Syracuse over the years.  RULE 5 HELP:  The Blue Jays selected infielder Jason Smith from the Cubs in the rule 5 major league draft.  Smith, 28, will be placed on the 40-man roster of Toronto.  If he fails to make the club out of spring training, Smith can be sent to Syracuse or offered back to the Cubs for half the waiver price of $25,000.   At 28 years old Smith would likely clear and give the Chiefs additional infield potection.  At the present time, infielders include Chip Cannon and Kevin Barker at first base, Russ Adams and Ryan Roberts at second base, Sergio Santos and possibly Jason Smith at shortstop and John Hattig and Rob Cosby at third.  It’s more than likely that only six of the eight players begin the year in Syracuse.  The Jays also signed another big-time minor league free agent that will be added to the roster soon.  Look for an announcement on our website next week.

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