Results tagged ‘ Syracuse Chiefs ’
Coming up, an all new Hogan’s Heroes…..find out what the boys from Stalag 13 are up to this afternoon…..then, on the news at 5 o’clock, one pitcher’s journey from San Diego State to Central New York…..a touching, compelling story that you’ve never, ever heard…..
But first, time for America’s fastest growing sensation….Rate the IL Hotel! Now, let’s check in with our host with the most (subjectively, of course), Jason Benetti!
Alright, folks, you know how it works. I’ll detail the pros and cons of the IL hotel in question. Then, I’ll arbitrarily assign a point score from 0 to 50 to the hotel.
First, let’s flash back to last week’s contestant….
The Park Inn Toledo. Score: 12. Shoddy web-surfing dooms duck-in-room-obsessed housekeeping staff to 25th percentile.
This week’s contestant: The Hyatt Regency, Downtown Columbus.
They said it: “Without question, one of the finest we stay in. When you couple its proximity to the ballpark with the ability to walk to the local establishments in the arena district, it’s one of the best! Too, the fact that it’s a couple miles from the finest university in America makes It all the better.”
-Matt Andrews, Voice of the Louisville Bats, unabashed Buckeye partisan and exclamation mark abuser.
- First impression. As we walked into the spacious, neo-contemporary lobby, the not-so-faint sound of screaming emanated from the “Big Bar” on the 2nd floor. It sounded as though there was a party of 200 upstairs, all laughing and howling at once. After completing a nighttime bus ride through Ohio, there’s nothing more uplifting than life happening for others. It makes you, embattled baseball traveler, want to keep your eyes open for a little longer.
- The internet. The Park Inn should take wi-fi lessons from the Hyatt. The thing is meteorically fast. Al Cowlings-in-a-Bronco fast. A white Bronco. Yeah, that fast.
- Room size & view: To crib a line from one of our traveling party, I could have played football in my room. There was enough space for 20 of my suitcases beyond the foot of my bed. Something about openness in a room makes the place seem more inviting. Also, the landscape directly outside of my 17th-floor window included quite the maze of Columbus highways. That was fun to look at for at least 30 seconds.
- Food radius. Within short walking distance: Gordon Biersch, Buca di Beppo, Starbucks, Boston’s Pizza and Ted’s Montana Grill, among others. That’s four-game-set heaven.
- Fragrances. While ginger on my snaps, in my ale and on Gilligan’s Island are all encouraged, ginger in my shampoo is frowned upon. Why do hotels feel the need to transform their guests into metrosexual Spago chefs? Editor’s note: The prior term may be redundant.
- There’s no such thing as a free web. The internet at the Hyatt costs $9.99 a night. I doubt I’d be as cranky about this had I not seen a local company’s self-serving commercial which extolled its own virtues for furnishing the community with complimentary internet. Where were you when I was traveling, 21st Century Robin Hood?
- Room service. After Monday’s 6:35 PM game, I was hungry. I also was busy. With the quick turnaround to Tuesday’s 11:35 AM first pitch, I had some homework to do in a short window. So, my solution was delivered food. I opened the guidebook on the desk in the room to the tab marked “Room Service.” The cover page displayed a picture of some pretty little waffles with berries on top. This looked tasty. There’s a reason waffles were featured. The menu consisted of three categories: breakfast, alcohol and snack food. The third category struck me as what I was looking for…..until I noted that one of the signature items was a 70-dollar cheeseboard which allegedly served 20 or 30 people. Imagining the entire roster of the Columbus Clippers gnawing on a wedge of brie the size of the oatmeal crème pie from Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I went to bed smiling and hungry.
- Fits and starts. The beds, once again, suffered from a lack of fitted sheets. For tall baseball-types, this, I’ve been told, makes for a rough night of sleep.
Score: 45. If they hand me 30 bucks for the internet and a late-night burger next year, they’ll get a 48 or better.
Thanks for joining us for Rate the IL Hotel! As always, contestants not chosen will receive a Rate the IL Hotel! jean jacket. Wear it in the fall, winter, spring or summer. It’s truly a garment for all seasons.
Chiefs open an eight-game homestand Thursday at 7 P.M. against the Gwinnett Braves….talk to you then.
We’re all out of catchy titles, so this new feature to the blog will be called Questions and Answers. It’s really pretty self-explanatory.
Jason Benetti (Q): When did you know that life was about to change for you?
Drew Storen (A): Probably the second after Bud Selig said my name. It’s never really something I thought about Since then, having all the people call me and all the people who texted me right after I got picked, I kinda realized, “OK, things might be a little different now.” It changes me as a baseball player, but the big thing for me is to not change as a person.
Q: So it wasn’t before that?
A: It got a little crazy I guess at Stanford when we went to the College World Series. It was a pretty cool experience and I guess my career got put into the spotlight there in my little town. I was not a big child prodigy, I was never a Tiger Woods-type guy.
Q: Have you done much self-reflection over the last six months to a year about how to handle something like this or are you sorta taking it in stride?
A: I’ve kinda always known how to handle it, fortunately. My dad and mom have been very good to me growing up. I was around it, so I’ve seen it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that kind of support system where I feel like I knew what I was getting into. I feel like I’ve handled it pretty well and it is tough to have it all soak in. Even the experience the last couple of days has been kinda crazy. The Clippers and the Toledo Mud Hens. Those are teams I used to watch the Indianapolis Indians play. That’s a little bit different for me. When I was 10, our hats for our All-Star Team were the Syracuse SkyChiefs. It worked out because we were Skiles Test, so my dad got us Syracuse SkyChiefs hats.
Q: What do you throw?
A: I go four-seam, two-seam fastball. My two-seam I make like a sinker so when I come into situations where I really need a groundball, I can use that. Curveball, slider-cutter, pretty much a slider. I have a changeup I don’t really through too much but I’ll tend to work in once in a while.
Q: What was the experience like at the College World Series (with Stanford)?
A: It’s nuts. It’s different. It’s essentially a Saturday football game for baseball. It’s a cool experience because you’re in Omaha in a great city and with the way it’s set up at Rosenblatt for now is you have the stadium, houses and there’s a state fair atmosphere for baseball. It’s a whole town fired up about college baseball. For us, it was a pretty unbelievable experience all around.
Q: What was it like playing for Mark Marquess at Stanford?
A: It was a blast. I loved it. He’s a legend. He runs a tight ship and he knows what he’s doing, what he needs to win and to get the most out of what he brings in there. I wouldn’t pass it up for anything. It was great. I miss being around Stanford but at the same time this is a great opportunity. I look back with fond memories and still keep in touch with him and I’m really happy to see that they’re doing well this year.
Q: You cracked half a smile when we were talking about Stanford. Do you think about Stanford often?
A: I’m excited at some point to go back and finish. It’s not just the baseball. It’s the whole thing. It’s the people, the learning. It’s just a unique experience all around. A lot of people don’t know there are only 6,000 or so undergads there. It’s a campus full of extraordinary individuals who are excelling at the top of what they’re doing. Whether it’s in writing, science or their respective sport. You have so many Olympians there too. You meet a lot of cool people. I lived in the same building as Michelle Wie, so I got to know her a little bit. It’s one of those experiences I never really expected to have.
Q: You used the word “extraordinary.” When did you realize that you fit in there?
A: <laughing> I guess I feel like I’m kinda tagging along. I feel fortunate. I wouldn’t say I’m extraordinary, but I feel fortunate with where I’m at.
Q: People have written about the fact that you draw and that you’re an avid designer. Do you still do that during baseball season?
A: it’s tough. There’s not a whole lot of time. A lot of the free time is spent sleeping. Whenever I do have the free time, I like to do it. That’s one of the things I’m really excited about going back to school for is ’cause it is something I’m really passionate about and would love to do something where I can combine baseball and design–maybe work for Nike and design cleats or something.
Q: What have you designed?
A: One of the last classes I took was a drawing class where we got to design stuff and I actually designed a pair of cleats. That was probably my best work.
Q: What was special about those cleats?
A: They looked cool. They’re kinda like the Kobe Bryant basketball shoes from a couple years ago. They’re different. They’re kinda clean. When I played in the field, I was pretty slow, so I was trying to make sure if I was designing a cleat as a fielder, I’d want something that makes me look fast regardless. I used to rock the Pumas when I played in high school just ’cause I thought they made me look fast. It’s maybe something I do when I design cleats.
Q: You used to umpire?
A: It was my sophomore or junior summers I did that. It was Babe Ruth. A pretty recreational league. I have some pretty solid stories about guys going full wind-up with guys on base, trying to pick somebody off, I call a balk, coaches would come out and argue with me….it was an interesting experience. It makes you appreciate the umpires behind the plate a little bit.
Q: What did you do this offseason?
A: I finished up the fall league right before Thanksgiving, went home, spent Thanksgiving and Christman with the family and kinda relaxed. After that, I went down to Sabblebrook Resort in Tampa after New Year’s and worked out with other guys from our agency. I got to work out with Ryan Zimmerman, Maxwell, Clippard. Ryan Howard and Jeter were down there. It was a bunch of guys who were big time guys. It was a great experience to be around those guys and see how hard those guys work. They’re that good and you see the reason why.
Q: You’re a Stanford guy, people assume that you’re kind of a dork and read a lot. Do you?
A: It’s something I’m starting to get into a little bit more. I just finished the bullpen gospels. That was a great book. A buddy of mine just gave me a list of books that I’m gonna try to order some when I get back. I listen to audio books when I drive when I make the standard long trips. With the long bus rides and a lot of down time, instead of fooling around and playing games on my iPhone, I’ve started to read a little bit more.
Q: Your parents were in town. What was that like?
A: It’s cool to have them see where I’m at. My dad’s only seen a handful of games in person and it was the first game my mom had seen in person. They listen to all of the games on the radio and they follow it. It’s great. It’s cool to be around Indianapolis. I have a few of my friends coming over tonight from Indianapolis to see me play. I haven’t been able to experience this being on the far east coast and on the far west in college. There’s not a lot of times when people from your hometown get to see you play so it’s pretty special.
Q: If I were in Brownsburg, Indiana for 24 hours, what would I do?
A: You could go to Wal-Mart. There’s Pizza King. It’s a pizza place where they have a train that delivers your drink on a train.
Q: Honestly? That actually happened?
A: Yeah, that was our junior high hang out. There’s a movie theater in Brownsburg now, so that’s bigtime. If you’re there in August, you can see the NHRA Drag Race. If you google Brownsburg, Indiana, that’s one of the coined terms, “The Drag Racing Capital of the World”, I guess…..oh, and sit in traffic. Maybe in the winter, high school basketball’s good to go to.
Q: Did you play?
A: I did.
Q: Were you good?
A: I act like I was. I was a good shooter. I hung. I was actually high school teammates with Gordon Hayward from Butler. I got to play against guys like Eric Gordon. Playing Indiana high school basketball was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
Q: Gordon (Hayward) is a pretty tough rebounder now.
A: He was about as tall as me when I was playing with him. Once I was done, he decided to grow a foot and move on to bigger and better things. I grew up with him, we lived in the same neighborhood when I moved to Brownsburg. I was so fired up watching him play in the tournament.
Good morning, Vietnam…..or, alternatively, Columbus.
Good morning from the Buckeye State….
Good day from Toledo…..
The Chiefs saw Chuck James start last night filling in for
Luis Atilano who was called up to the majors. (More on that in a moment).
James threw five innings, gave up just one hit and struck
out five in an 8-3 Syracuse win. It was the first start for James since August
6th, 2008 as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He worked quickly,
threw strikes and looked impressive for a guy that hadn’t pitched at all last
After the game, James talked about coming off of a rehab
stint in extended spring training saying, “I’m sure there’s gonna be times that
I’m tired out there and all that, so it’s just good to come back and pick (up)
where I left off.”
Chiefs manager Trent Jewett was happy with James’ outing
too. “He pitched with a lot of confidence. I thought his rhythm and his pace
and his ability to throw the ball where he wanted was excellent. You want to be
cautious coming off an injury like he sustained, but he did everything you want
a pitcher to do. He worked both sides of the plate, I thought he read bats
well. Not much more you can ask out of a guy,” Jewett said.
As for Atilano, he started for the Washington Nationals last
night in place of Jason Marquis and picked up his first major league win. It
was the first major league appearance for Atilano who threw six innings and
gave up just one run.
After the game, Atilano told MLB.com that he was excited not
just to start, but for the chance to pitch to Ivan Rodriguez.
“I threw to Pudge, hopefully a Hall of Famer. My dream
would have never been better if I didn’t pitch to Pudge. Pitching in the big
leagues and then pitching to Pudge was just incredible. Winning the ballgame is
Atilano was off to a 2-0 start for the Chiefs.
Today lefty Aaron Thompson will start for Syracuse after
being called up from AA-Harrisburg. The Nationals picked up Thompson at last
season’s trade deadline in a deal for Nick Johnson. Thompson’s 1-1 with a 2.87
ERA this season with the Senators.
We’ll see if he can make a start like Chuck James did
yesterday helping the Chiefs to take game one of the series against Rochester.
First pitch is at 2 p.m.
Quickie gameday ramblings:
*The world series trophy from 2008 is here in Allentown tonight. Any messages to pass along to it? We’ll see if we can get Eric Bruntlett to say a few words about it pregame….
*Spent a few minutes with Matt McClusky on 1410 AM in Watertown this afternoon. I’ll be on the show talking Chiefs at 4:15 every Tuesday afternoon. Check him (and sometimes me) out at wner1410.com.
*We’re likely going to have a special guest on the broadcast Friday night….stay tuned….
*Zech Zinicola (last night’s save-man) and I chatted for a few minutes earlier today. Couzens is posting the conversation on YouTube right now: http://www.youtube.com/syracusechiefs.
*Checking out of the Hotel Bethlehem is like going home after a weekend at grandma’s house–you’re sick of being offered hard candy and you can’t get the image of a yellow flowered bedspread out of your head.
Enjoy the game tonight…..On Deck Show @ 6:30….Couzens and I have the call at 7.
We are coming to you live from the Hotel Bethlehem in Allentown, which seems to have a history of being on fire:
The hotel is taking precautionary steps to make sure this never happens again. First, it has a rule that the wireless internet signal cannot be strong on the seventh floor.
We were rained out last night, so Mike and I went to the Apple store. My computer power cord ceased to work yesterday morning, so I began to search for a new one in Scranton before yesterday’s
game river. I found an apple service center in Scranton and called to see if the store had power cords on sale. This exchange ensued:
Me: Do you sell Mac power cords?
Sales guy: No, but we should. People call for them all the time.
Me: Do you know where I might find one?
Sales guy: Your best bet is the Apple Store in Allentown.
Moral of the story (and travel tip): If you need electronics in Scranton which are not made by Atari and do not involve rotary technology, go to Allentown, the comparative Silicon Valley of the Keystone State.
The Chiefs will throw Shairon Martis tonight against Lehigh Valley’s IronPigs. He got a no decision in his first start against the snouted ones.
Couple of notes:
*OF Marvin Lowrance has a hit in five of his first six Triple-A games. The guy, according to the Nationals, has worked diligently on his defense over the past year.
*RHP Andrew Brown has been added to the roster, giving the Chiefs a full cabinet of 24 players. Brown last pitched in the IL with Buffalo in ’06.
*4 of the top 10 batting averages in the Nationals’ farm system come from Syracuse (Lambin .375, Mench .348, Whitesell .308, Bernadina .300)
*Tommy John will throw out the first pitch tonight at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. Here’s his website: http://www.tommyjohn.net/. Unfortunately, the Google Ad on the right side of the page seems to always say something about “ulnar ligament pain.” I’m not joking.
Follow me and Couzens @ChiefsRadio on Twitter. Or, if you would rather avoid us, follow the team @syracusechiefs. If you follow us, though, I promise each and every one of you a piece of hard candy from the creepy jar in the room here at the Hotel Bethlehem. While I don’t break promises, you may break a molar.
Good morning from the booth at Alliance Bank Stadium. The Chiefs are off and rolling, on pace for 144-0. A few notes from the first two wins over the IronPigs from Allentown:
Good afternoon, folks. You may or may not be aware that the Nationals are planning to release their 25-man roster this afternoon either before or after their exhibition game with the Red Sox at 4:05 today. There are rumblings already of the roster, but nothing 100% official as yet.
What we do know is this: Garrett Mock is the Nats’ fifth starter, So, Scott Olsen has been optioned to Syracuse. So has outfielder Roger Bernadina. Eric Bruntlett and Mike MacDougal have been re-assigned to minor league camp (meaning they’ll likely be inhabiting Alliance Bank Stadium soon).
Olsen threw a gem in his final start in Spring Training. That, though, did not outweigh some rather troubling performances to him and the team early in March. Olsen, coming off a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder last season, will open the season in Syracuse.
Bernadina, too, has had injury trouble. Soon after being summoned to the Beltway last year, Bernadina broke his right ankle trying to flag down a Dan Uggla fly ball. He, like Justin Maxwell, could still be part of the Major League team sooner rather than later. It’s easy to draw that conclusion–each spent (or seemingly would spend) a good chunk of the season in Washington in ’09.
More as it comes across.