Results tagged ‘ Kevin Barker ’

THE GAMES BEGIN

The Blue Jays opened the spring schedule this afternoon with a 4-1 win versus the Boston Red Sox. 

Many of the players expected to be in Syracuse when the regular season opens performed well for the Jays.  Adam Lind started in left-field and went 1-2 with a triple before being replaced by John-Ford Griffin who went 1-1 with a double.  John Hattig was 1-2 with an RBI, Kevin Barker was 1-3. Non-roster invitee Jeff Duncan replaced Vernon Wells in center-field in the third inning and was 1-1 with a walk and a run scored.

On the mound Ty Taubenheim pitched a perfect 8th and Ryan Houston pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.

The most interesting part if the box score is accurate is that Ryan Roberts, primarily a second-baseman, played shortstop in relief of Royce Clayton while Rey Olmedo, a natural shortstop, relieved Aaron Hill at second base.

The Jays travel tomorrow to take on the Boston Red Sox in Ft. Myers at 12:30 PM.  Gustavo Chacin is scheduled to start for Toronto.

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

It is the Night before Christmas and we hope that everyone has reached their destinations safely and can now sit back relax and enjoy the greatest night of the year.

We here at MLBlogs.com hope that you have enjoyed our somewhat serious, somewhat funny post during the year.  We have enjoyed providing the Baseball/Chiefs fans with up-to date information that only Chiefs Blogs can provide.

So as you sit back and relax this evening with a glass of egg nog with the company of family and friends lets leave Santa with a list of things we would all like to see in 2007:

*  First Place finish in the I.L. East and a Governors Cup Championship and a trip to the Bricktown Showdown in Oklahoma City in September.

*  One more good season from Chad Mottola as he continues to rewrite the Chiefs record book.

*  A healthy John Ford Griffin so he can duplicate his 30 HR’s and 103 RBI’s from the 2005 season.

*  Adam Lind all season

*  Kevin Barker, Chad Mottola and John Ford Griffin in the 3-4-5 spot.

*  25 starts from Dustin McGowan, John Banks, Ismael Ramirez, Ty Taubenheim and Casey Janssen without being called up once.

*  No Rainouts the entire season.

*  For Nick Pirro and the County Legistlature to approve funding for the relacement of the artifical turf, new video scoreboard and lights so our centerfielder can see the ball.

*  A new shortstop or a good deal of improvement from Sergio Santos in 2007.

*  Lee Gronkiewicz to save 35 games.

*  No injuries in Toronto (unless it’s Frank Thomas).

*  Frank Thomas to rehab in Syracuse for a week.

*  More fans to watch Chiefs Baseball than ever before.

*  A positive story about the Chiefs from our local newspaper.

*  Russ Adams to rebound from his 2006 season and get back to the major leagues.

*  Chiefs players to be the envy of the I.L. with our hot new uniforms.

*  Snow on April 5th, now that we are Opening the season in Durham.

*  70 degrees and sunny on April 14th vs Ottawa for the Home Opener.

*  Scooch to have another mascot to help him at the stadium.

*  Jeff Costello and the Everything Irish Committee good weather on July 12th so they don’t get rained out for the 3rd straight year.

*  Cooler weather for our next Dog Lover’s Night this summer.

*  A new Picnic Area for fans to enjoy.

*  Bud Poliquin to actually stay for a game.

*  And good health to everyone young and old for the year to come.

                              MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DID YOU SAY BUD!

Our good friend Bud Poliquin wrote today that he wondered why County Executive Nick Pirro did not chastise the Syracuse Chiefs for a poor record like he did the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday.  First of all, the question should be why would any governmental official question the player development agreement that any professional team has.  Columbus with the Crunch or the Blue Jays with the Chiefs. In baseball, it works like this – the Chiefs provide a facility for the major league club (Toronto) to send their players to play for the season.  The Chiefs take care of travel, equipment, umpires, etc..  The Blue Jays provide 30 players, coaches and pay for their salaries that in 2006 totaled over 2.5 million dollars.  The Chiefs can ask their parent team to bring back players they believe are good for the team and community, ie Chad Mottola, Kevin Barker, etc..but can’t insist that they play here.  Example #1 top Blue Jays prospect Chip Cannon plays first base so does veteran Kevin Barker.   Cannon will play in Syracuse at some point in 2007 with Barker moving to DH or the outfield.  I believe in Hockey certain players need to play in Syracuse to find out if they can reach the next level – the NHL.  I can excuse Nick for not understanding the process, but Bud!! No major league organization can promise you a 80-60 season, just as I’m sure no hockey team can promise you a Calder Cup Championship team.  And by the way the 2005-2006 Crunch totaled over 100 points and had a pretty darn good club.  And the 2005 Chiefs finished 71-73 and were in the playoff race until the final two weeks of the season (only 4-games back on August 24th ).

The real issue, the one that Bud missed is that facilities like the War Memorial and Alliance Bank Stadium need to be taken care of by our community leaders.  That’s their job.  Not to be player development people.   Our job as operators of franchises are to make sure that the Toronto’s and Columbus’s want to stay here and send their players to our city.  We as operators must also contribute to the leagues we play in and not force those league’s to question our community’s commitment to our sports. 

Although only 10-years old Alliance Bank Stadium now needs new turf, the scoreboard is obsolete and seldom works properly, seats have begun to need major repair and the lighting failed major league baseballs latest testing.  The War Memorial  has seen it’s better day – like maybe when the Syracuse Nats played here.  Although the Veterans display is outstanding the remainder of the building is still stuck in the 60’s.  The players locker rooms are totally unacceptable for this level of Hockey and their playing surface (the ice) has been a problem since they returned in 1994.

Maybe it’s time that someone else was in charge of these decisions.  A group of  individuals who understand professional sports and facility management is needed.  Our County Executive, Deputy County Executive and Legislature are good people – but unfortunately in these two areas, they are either getting bad advise or they are in over their heads.

But that doesn’t excuse our good friend Bud Poliquin who shouldn’t be questioning why our County Executive said what he said and excused the Chiefs on field performance –  but rather why did he say it at all.  Bud seldom misses the point but today he wasn’t even close.

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.

WINTER HAPPENINGS

Former SkyChiefs first-baseman and current IL MVP Kevin Witt is heading back to Japan next season.  After being taken off the Devil Rays 40-man roster, Witt announced that he will be playing for the Tohku Rakuten Golden Eagles.  Witt was in Orlando for the Winter Meetings to collect the Joe Bauman Award, awarded to the Minor League player with the most home runs this season.

Speaking of MVP’s Blue Jays prospect Chip Cannon was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League

Cannon, 25, nearly became the first player to win the AFL Triple Crown, leading the league in home runs (11), RBIs (29), total bases (75), slugging percentage (.714) and OPS (1.188). He was second in on-base percentage (.474), tied for second in hits (37) and finished fourth with a .357 batting average.

It will be interesting to see where the Jays start Cannon this season now that they have resigned Kevin Barker to a Minor League deal.

THIS AND THAT

Just 21 more weeks until OPENING DAY 2007 at Alliance Bank Stadium……How about those Blue Jays signing FRANK THOMAS for thier designated hitter spot.  That all but assures that super prospect ADAM LIND will start the season in Syracuse for 2007.  A potential Chiefs lineup that includes Jeff Duncan CF, Adam Lind LF, Chad Mottola RF, John-Ford Griffin-DH, Kevin Barker-1B, Rob Cosby-3B, Curtis Thigpen-c, Russ Adams-2B, and Ryan Roberts/or Sergio Santos SS wouldn’t look so bad…..Former Chiefs in the news – catcher Ken Huckaby signed with the Dodgers and will likely spend the season in Las Vegas (PCL), Former Chiefs infielder Nelson Liriano was named hitting coach for the KC Royals single A team in Wilmington….Former Chiefs outfiedler Rick Leach was the Michigan quarterback for four seasons under Bo Schembechler, who passed away on Friday.  Rick was heard earlier today on ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick show talking about his former coach…Prediction time:  Uconn 31 Orange 27 and Michigan 16 Ohio State 14…..Dont forget to listen to “INSIDE PITCH” on Saturday November 18th on ESPN RADIO 1260 AM at 9:00 AM when Chiefs General Manager John Simone and Bob McElligott talk to Chiefs players Chad Mottola and Kevin Barker……It was reported today that Doug Davis, who managed New Hampshire (Eastern League) last season will be named the Chiefs next manager.  Mike Basso, who managed the team last season would become the organizations roving catching instructor.  Look for an announcement from the team on Monday…..Chiefs Annual Stockholders Meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 21st at Alliance Bank Stadium.  The ballclub will report its financial statement for the year ending 2006 and give an overview on the upcomming 2007 season….Have a great weekend.

JAYS ADD ROONEY LOAD UP ON PITCHING

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to load up on pitching by adding righthander  Matt Rooney to their 40-man roster.  Rooney, 26, signed as a free agent after spending most of the 2006 season at Sacremento (PCL) when he recorded a 2.95 ERA in 47-relief appearances. He also appeared in 3-games with Oakland.   Rooney pitched in the IL with Toledo in 2004 and 2005.  Rooney joins a group of off-season free agent pitching help that includes Germi Gonzalez, Beau Kemp, Blaine Neal, Jason Scobie and Jean Machi.

That list will join Blue Jays prospects (starters) Josh Banks, Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan, Ty Taubenheim, Ismael Ramirez, David Purcey, Michael MacDonald, Kyle Yates, Ricky Romero and veteran Josh Towers and relievers Ryan Houston, Davis Romero, Francisco Rosario, Jamie Vermilyea, Lee Gronkiewicz, Jordan DeJong, Tracey Thorpe and possibly late season acquision Jermey Accardo.

That’s alot of pitching to choose from with a whole off-season to go.

For more information on Free Agent signings make sure to listen to “INSIDE PITCH” this Saturday, November 18th at 9:00 AM on ESPN Radio 1260 AM when Chiefs GM John Simone and Bob McElligott talk to Chad Mottola and Kevin Barker who will both return to Syracuse in 2007 and take your calls on anything baseball.

BARKER AND MOTTOLA BACK

Jordan Bastian the beat reporter for BlueJays.com reported late yesterday that the Blue Jays have signed seven Minor League free agents to contracts including outfielder Chad Mottola and first-baseman Kevin Barker and extended invitations to Spring Training to all seven.  Other players signed include pitchers Geremi Gonzalez, Blaine Neal, Brian Wolfe and Beau Kemp and outfielder Jeff Duncan.  Look for an official release from the SkyChiefs on Monday. 

THIS AND THAT

The Tigers need to win tonight or the season is over.   Let’s hope it goes seven to extend the baseball season for a few more days….Is it me or did the national media make a major case out of Kenny Rogers pine tar incident.  Not that we have any knowledge of wrong doing with pitchers in the minor leagues, but has anyone ever looked at or touched a catchers shin guard or chest protector and wondered why its sticky??? And if Tony LaRussa makes a major case out of it, wouldn’t that prevent his pitchers from doing the same?  Even our own Bud Poliquin had to be schooled by Steve Grilli on radio this week on what he did back in the 70’s…..Minor league free agents were announced this week and the Blue Jays have 19 players eligable.  Names of interest who could play elsewhere include Mike MaHoney, Luis Figueroa, Wayne Lydon, Ben Howard, Rodney Ormond, Adrian Burnside and Kevin Barker. Figueroa would like to return in 2007.  Lydon and Barker might move on.  Next week we will publish players we might want to see in Syracuse that are available….”Inside Pitch” airs tomorrow (Saturday October 28th) at 9:00 AM on ESPN Radio 1260 AM.  Guest include Tigers pitcher Jason Grilli and Major League Baseball Executive Vice President, Baseball Operation Jimmie Lee Solomon from the commissioners office.  We will also have time to talk World Series, hopefully game 6, turf vs grass, and major league affiliations…..Inside Pitch is also the lead in for Syracuse University vs Louisville pre-game show hosted by Matt Park…Our weekly Football prediction Syracuse 17 Cincinnati 16……Pop Warner football invades Alliance Bank Stadium this weekend.  Friday-Sunday over 12 games will be played by area Pop Warner teams….Have a great Weekend….

Arizona Fall League

SkyChiefs catcher Curtis Thigpen had a huge day for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League on Wednesday driving home six runs, including a three-run homer.  Fellow Jays prospect Chip Cannon collected four hits including his fifth home run of the fall season.  Entering Play Thursday Cannon is tied for the AFL lead in HR and is fourth in the league with a .372 average.  With Kevin Barker electing to become a free agent this week, Cannon will have a good shot at being the starting first-baseman in Syracuse. Thigpen is hitting .308 with 2 HR and 11 RBI.  Dustin McGowan started the Fall season off losing his first two starts but was victorious in his most recent start on Monday tossing five innings and allowing two runs on six hits walking two and striking out one.  Other Jays prospects in Arizona include pitchers Jordan DeJong (2-0, 3.38), Kyle Yates (1-0, 1.86) and Tracy Thorpe (0-0, 10.80) and infielder Ryan Klosterman (.308-0-3).  To follow all the action in Arizona, including the GAMEDAY live feature, click here http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/index.jsp?sid=l119

–AG

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