Results tagged ‘ Syracuse Chiefs ’

Who’s on first? And everywhere else?

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.


Stories From Above–empty the notebook edition

Hardest working guy in show business:


 Again, a rainout.  Nats and Yankees won’t be made up. 

I just finished lunch at a nice little Italian place here in Viera as a prelude to whatever adventure this afternoon had in store.  I asked the waitress, “If you had a day off in Viera, what would you do?”  She replied, “Go shopping.”  I then asked if there was anything historic to be seen.  She said “Downtown Melbourne.  It’s not really historic, but it’s better than Viera.” 

So, this post has no charm.  No pre-Modern American flair.  It does, however, give me the opportunity to discuss a number of things that have been stewing within me for days (if not hours).  Off we go:

*Ran into Mike Daniel, one of the late, late callups to Syracuse last season, this morning.  He’s still excited about the Saints Super Bowl win.  He also finished his degree at UNC this offseason.  Really good kid….and someone to keep your eye on to be outfitted for a Chiefs jersey soon.

*Driving to Orlando Wednesday was treacherous.  I was moving along at 75-77 in a 70 zone (please don’t call the fuzz on me) and people were zooming by me like they were jet-propelled.  I have seen 0 state troopers on the highways. 

*Total Eclipse of the Heart came on the radio Wednesday night, reminding me of this Big 12 YouTube debacle.

*Restaurants should be required to play music that goes along with their menus.  I ate chicken parm this afternoon while Kelly Clarkson made sure I knew she was already gone.  You serve Italian, you play Italian.  This rule will ensure that nobody will ever open an Owl City Cafe.

*I met a criminal Monday morning.  I was in line for security at the Charlotte airport.  The man in front of me was yapping loudly on his little Bluetooth headset.  Then, his conversation ended and the guy behind me picks up.  Here’s the one-sided conversation:

“Yeah, I’m in line at airport security.”
“I was in bed, already three hours asleep.”
“That’s ridiculous.”
“Why would I do that?”
“I’m happy with the way things have turned out.”
“I was already asleep, that’s ridiculous.”
“Well, I bet the office isn’t in a good mood this morning.”
“What?  If I wanted to get into Betsy’s house, I would have knocked on the door.”
“That’s crazy.  Why would I want to do that?”
“This is one of the strangest phone calls I’ve ever gotten.”
“Yeah, I’ll talk to you later.”

Far as I can tell, this guy was being accused of breaking into Betsy’s house. 

Here’s my problem with his alibi.  When the phone call ended, he did nothing except complain to me about how long security was taking.  If I were erroneously accused of unlawfully entry at my ex’s house, I’d have called a friend immediately to talk about how ridiculous the accusation actually was.  Nope.  This guy just stood there…..and got agitated with the security line.   Sadly, only I–and you, dear reader–know that this guy’s airtight alibi might have some gaps.  Tough day for Betsy.

Off to Kissimmee tomorrow to see the ‘stros and Nats.  If we don’t get another few feet of rain, that is.


Stories From Above–when food attacks edition

Before I forget, please note that certain words (like “Cheerios” in paragraph three) in this blog post (and my last one for that matter) are gray.  If you click on those (or open them in a new tab with CTRL + T), you will see pictures which correspond with words.  It’s sorta like a children’s book.  Word + picture = recall.  The cow says…..moo.

My day started with breakfast at the team hotel.  It was a free breakfast, so I expected something decent.  I couldn’t complain.  I had two muffins and a few cups or orange juice.  I was just about comfortable with the amount I ate, but cereal was going to be the coup de grace (This is not to be confused with the coup de tat.  That’s where the Frosted Flakes seize the waffle machine and all of its batter in a rush of strategic genius.)

So, I walked over to the Cheerios, grabbed a bowl and looked for the milk.  One white jug of 2% and…..another white jug of 2%.  Come on.  Drinking 2% milk is like cleaning out your refrigerator.  It’s disgusting and there’s always someone else who enjoys what’s found while doing it.

With zero cereal in me, I hit I-528 west and zipped over to Orlando to meet the Simones.  With the Nationals all the way in Jupiter to play the Cardinals, we decided to take in the Braves and the Mets at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.  In the first two innings, we saw six runs, former Toledo Mud Hen Mike Hessman, former Pawtucket Red Sock, Minnesota Viking and X-Files Creator Chris Carter (who hit a torpedo of a homer against Derek Lowe) and former Charlotte Knights Manager Razor Shines.  Some of the stars were resting.

In the third inning, I was lured by a concession stand selling slushies.  The flavors available were cherry, lemonade and mixed.  I–like anyone else with the sensory systems of a teething four-year-old–chose “mixed” in a heartbeat.  Problem, though.  I was second in line.  The father, daughter and granddaughter trio in front of me couldn’t decide what they wanted.  They chose an order of churros and a cheesesteak for a main course without much hesitation.  The drink was the sticking point.  The granddaughter asked for a sweet tea.  Vendor said no.  I was a little frustrated, but I thought it was ultra-cute that the tiny red-headed kid ordered a sweet tea at the equivalent of a hot dog cart.

Then, the girl picked “water.”  Woman at the cart:  “We don’t have any, sorry.”  You don’t have water?  Is this baseball competition happening in Khartoum?  Thankfully, the daughter spied a bottled beverage stand adjacent and took Picky Orphan Annie with her.

It wasn’t over, though.  No no.  The patriarch of the family got his Churros and almost instantaneously erupted a fit of rage.  Seriously, he went emotionally from 0 to 60 in about 1.5 seconds. 

Man (fiercely):  There are only two Churros here.
Woman at cart:  That’s what an order is.
Man (angrily):  The menu says three.  I know I read somewhere that you get three!
Woman:  No sir, two.
Man (screaming, now):  The sign, here, it shows three!!!!

The guy didn’t get his Churros.  Was he in the right?  Does he have a valid claim of false advertisement?  Is the representation more prominent than the writing?  You be the judge.

Tomorrow, Nats and Astros.  Keep an eye out here, on and on our homepage.

J. Benetti     

Stories from above–precocious edition

Ever wonder what it was like to watch Mozart play the piano at age six?

Stephen Strasburg tossed some pretty memorable pitches today (just ask the radar gun ).  He threw two scoreless innings and struck a couple of batters out–Miguel Cabrera on a fastball at 98 and Brent Dlugach on a lethal curveball.

Strasburg did allow two hits, the first of which came from an ’09 Toledo Mud Hen, Don Kelly.  The young man from Tony Gwynn’s San Diego State program, though, was generally confounding to both Tigers and electronics.

Clubhouse highlight of the day:  A reporter from the Far East asked Strasburg after his start, “What do you think of your new teammate, Chien-Ming Wang?”  Collectively lacking a nose for symmetry, the horde of reporters neglected to rush to Wang to ask his opinion of his young comrade from America.

On a personal note, I have eaten dinner at two separate locations so far–with many still yet unexplored.  I’m heartened that this city stands by its motto.

Persona non grata of the day:  This guy.  Remember who came after The Beatles on Ed Sullivan?  Me neither.

Check out Inside Pitch for a conversation with Tim Foli and postgame comments from Stephen Strasburg and our YouTube page for video coverage .

Sat with Justin Maxwell’s better half during the ninth inning.  They’re expecting another child (a girl) in April.  Congrats to them.

Will Dogen come back to life tonight?  Is Kate dead?  Do any of you embrace Lost like I do?

J. Benetti

Wang close to agreement with Nats

The Washington Nationals are close to an agreement with former New York Yankees righthanded pitcher Chien-Ming Wang it was reported tonight by MLB Networks Jon Heyman.

Wang, 29 would need to begin the season on the disabled list, but eventually would make a few re-hab starts before joining the Nationals sometime in May. A start or two in AAA-Syracuse would sound nice for Chiefs fans.

Stay tuned to Chiefs Blogs for further up-dates.

Hot Stove ignites old and new flames in Syracuse

randy 2.jpg

The guest list for the 48th Annual Hot Stove and Dinner will be filled with stars on and off the field from the Syracuse Chiefs and the Washington Nationals. However, it has just been recently announced that Randy St. Claire, former Chiefs pitcher and current Nationals Pitching Coach as well as Collin Balester, Nationals’ top right-handed pitching prospect will also be in attendance this Friday Jan 16 for the annual event.

Randy St. Claire was a Chiefs pitcher for the 1993 and 1994 seasons. In 1994 he was named to the International League’s All-Star Team. He was also a big part of the Chiefs team that went to the Governor’s Cup finals in 1994. St. Claire also set a team record with 33 regular season saves, 13 of which earned in the month of August, another club record in itself.

St. Claire arrived in professional baseball when he was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Expos in September of 1978 and made his major league debut for the team in 1984. St. Claire spent ten years in the big leagues as a player then reverted to coaching in 1996. After seven years of coaching in the minor leagues, he made his big league pitching coach debut in 2003 replacing then Expos (Nationals) pitching coach Dick Pole.

Randy 1.jpgTo his credit, St. Claire coached some of the finest talent in the major leagues including Luis Ayala, Chad Cordero, and Shawn Hill. He is also given credit to the entire back end of the 2005 Nationals bullpen that participated in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Randy St. Claire is the NL East’s longest tenured pitching coach. 


Collin Balester, 22, was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. Throughout his young life, with his father’s influence, he has heavily participated in baseball. He even attributes his arm strength to surfing. That work finally began to pay off as he was drafted by the Montreal Expos and then made his professional debut for the Expos’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2004 at the age of 18. He pitched in 5 games and collected a .215 opponent batting average, 7.7 strikeouts per 9 innings, and no home runs allowed in over 24 innings.

Collin%20Balester.jpgIn his first complete season, Balester posted an 8-6 record with an impressive 3.67 ERA with the Savannah Sand Gnats. He went on to post exemplary stats during his time in the minors, and Balester got the call to “The Show” and made his major league debut on July 1, 2008, where he pitched 5 strong innings against the Florida Marlins and came away with his first big league win.

Balester pitched in 15 games last season for the Nationals and in 2009 will enter his first full season in Major League Baseball.

For more information about the Syracuse Chiefs Hot Stove Dinner and Auction visit us on the web at

Find out more about Collin Balester with Bally’s Blog at

Teddy makes a detour in Syracuse for Hot Stove

teddy.jpgToday we announced that Teddy Roosevelt, the infamous mascot and racing President for the Washington Nationals will be in attendance at the 48th Annual Hot Stove Dinner and Auction this Friday at 5:30pm at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, NY.

Plagued by loss after loss to the likes of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt will start his new year off by racing to Syracuse, and welcoming the Chiefs to the Nationals organization.

The 26th President is known by Nationals fans as the racing president who never wins a race. For all those who do not know, the president’s race is a fan favorite in Washington. Beginning in 2006, the fourth inning of every home game marks the time of the relay race and the four presidents race along the warning track with the finish line at the Nationals dugout.

Since the inception of the races, Teddy has yet to win due to actions like stopping to pose for pictures, skipping race to help grounds crew, getting distracted by a kangaroo, or stopping to chase a panther. He has been disqualified a number of times for actions such as riding a golf cart in foot race, cutting across the field and even cheating by running in a walking race.

Voted 2007’s “Best-on-field-promotion” in all professional sports, the Presidential Races has captured the laughter of many and Syracuse will get a glimpse of that as Roosevelt adds his name to Hot Stove guest list.

For more information on the 48th Annual Hot Stove Dinner and Auction check us out at

For more information on Teddy Roosevelt and the Presidential Races, check out Teddy’s blog at



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