Seth Stohs who runs the outstanding Minnesota Twins blog SethSpeaks.net and is a must follow on twitter @SethTweets recently spent a weekend behind the scenes with the Twins Class-A affiliate the Beloit Snappers. Stohs writes about his experience with the club and offers an inside look at the preparation that goes on for both the players and front office staff of a minor league baseball franchise, as well as provides his scouting report on a number of the Twins young prospects.
It’s been a homecoming of sorts for Texas Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden. When the Rangers switched Triple-A affiliates moving from Oklahoma City to Round Rock, it meant that Teagarden, who has been up and down with the franchise since his major league debut in 2008, would be playing minutes from Austin, where he spent his college days. Teagarden caught the final out of the Texas Longhorns 2005 College World Series championship. In the story, Teagarden talks about his return to the Austin area, and the support that he still receives from Longhorns fans.
The Huntsville Stars the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers and Jerry Damson Honda are running their second annual Car Survivor contest. On July 20th during the Stars game against the Chattanooga Lookouts, five fans entered the 2007 Honda Accord parked outside the main gate at Joe Davis Stadium. When they leave is up to them. By rule they get a 15 minute break every 6 hours. So that means 23 of their 24 hours each day will be spent in the vehicle. The last one out wins the car. Last year’s contest went eight days before the final contestant folded. There is no air conditioning in the vehicle so they will only have the luxury of having the windows rolled down to circulate air. The five day forecast in Huntsville shows high of at least 87 degrees for the next five days with a couple of days over 90. I have posted the contestants into videos below. Contestant Susan is tweeting from the vehicle and you can follow her @BayouBabe1210 the Stars are also tweeting updates from the contest @CarSurvivor. In addition they are running 24 Hour per day U-Stream coverage, which you can watch below the contestant intros.
UPDATE #1: After 20 Hours, none of the five contestants have left the 2007 Honda Accord.
UPDATE #2: 7:38 p.m. Central: Deborah has just left the car. She’s the first one to leave. Down to the final four.
UPDATE #3: Susan bowed out after 26 Hours. Down to 3 left in the car.
UPDATE #4: Jan has left the car. Down to the final two.
UPDATE #5: As of 11:00pm EST on Sunday both Shawn and Nathan still remain in the car. Going on their 5th day in the vehicle.
UPDATE #6: No sign of either contestant leaving the car as the contest nears the end of its 6th day.
UPDATE #7: Car Survivor is in it’s 8th day with no sign of stopping.
UPDATE #8: Car Survivor is over. Shawn wins in the 9th day.
Jason Bristol, a must follow on twitter @JasonBristol, sits down with former Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect & Miami Hurricanes quarterback Kenny Kelly who talks about his full on crash into a concrete wall during an Independent Atlantic League game against the York Revolution. The crash seen in the video below is incredibly violent. Kelly was taken by ambulance from the field following the collision. Kelly, who plays for the Road Warriors sits down with Bristol and talks about that night, his comeback from the injury, and being thankful to not be more seriously hurt.
One night after Luis Mendoza fired a controversial No Hitter in Triple-A against the Memphis Redbirds, the combo of Will Smith and Kelvin Herrera combined for a No Hitter of their own for the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals against the Arkansas Travelers. Smith went 7 innings allowing no hits, a pair of walks, and striking out five. Herrera closed it out with two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth to close out the no hitter. In addition the Naturals turned a Triple Play after Smith walked the first two batters in the 6th inning. Travelers pitcher Matt Shoemaker was a very tough luck loser as he went 9IP, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 8K’s and got the loss.
The folks at InsideTheRockies.com have put up a phenomenal piece chronicling Tyler Matzek‘s return to Low-A Asheville following nearly a month long return to California to work with his youth pitching coach Lon Fullmer, and return to the hybrid version of the Dr. Mike Marshall pitching style that he had grown up with. See below for the differences in Matzek’s delivery between high school in 2009 and now as a pro in 2011. The pitching techniques taught by Dr. Marshall, the 1974 National League Cy Young Award Winner and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, are all but blackballed by major and minor league pitching coaches. Among the drills that are part of the program is pitching with 20 pound wrist weights and using an iron ball (see video below). The Inside the Rockies article goes in-depth with Fullmer who describes returning Matzek to the style of pitching he grew up with. The drastic action of sending Matzek home came about after the lefty got off to a 0-5 start with an ERA of 10.71, and 61 walks in 42 combined innings between High-A Modesto and Low-A Asheville. It will be interesting to see what kind of a difference the change in approach makes for Matzek, who was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Again the Inside the Rockies piece is a must read.