Former Mississippi State pitcher B.J. Wallace who the Montreal Expos selected with the 3rd overall pick in the 1992 draft was arrested today when issued a search warrant on his home and reportedly found four “Shake and Bake” meth labs inside. Wallace was charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wallace played just three seasons in the minors and was out of baseball by the end of the 2006 season. You can read more about the bust and Wallace’s previous run ins with the law via the story link below.
For 32 games in 2005 Valentino Pascucci lived his dream of being a major leaguer hitting .177 with 1 Double, 2 Home Runs, and 6RBI’s in 62 at-bats with the Montreal Expos. Since then, the 32 year old first baseman has spent the last seven years trying to get back. In addition to a stint in Japan in 2006 with the Chiba Lotte Marines, and 14 games with the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League, Pascucci has been a Triple-A stalwart with a career that has included stops with the Edmonton Trappers, Albuquerque Isotopes, New Orleans Zyphers, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Portland Beavers, and most recently the Buffalo Bisons which has been his home for the last two seasons. Since his Triple-A debut in 2003, Pascucci has blasted 168 Home Runs at the level. In the outstanding read, Pascucci talks about refusing to give up on his dream, the frustrations of not yet getting a second chance at the big leagues, raising a family during his long journey though baseball.
Bisons slugger experiences the waiting game — Buffalo News
Long after retirement and after a few years of coaching high school ball, Jimmy Jones picked up the phone and called his old pitching coach Bob Cluck, who was a consultant to the San Diego Padres, with an interest in coaching in the minor leagues. Soon after the conversation Jones, who debuted with the Padres, and pitched for the Astros, Yankees, and Expos before ending his career in 1993, found himself back with San Diego as a pitching coach on their Rookie League team in Arizona. The Padres have thought highly enough of the work Jones did in Arizona to promote him to Double-A where he is currently the pitching coach for the San Antonio Missions. In the story, Jones, who was the 3rd overall pick in the 1982 draft (two picks ahead of Dwight Gooden), talks about how he learned from the Hall of Fame teammates he played with in the bigs, coaching some of the Padres top pitching prospects, and what it means to coach within the organization he made his major league debut. It’s a great read.
Multiple sources across the web are reporting that former New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, and Texas Rangers pitcher Hideki Irabu was found hung in an apparent suicide earlier today. He was 42. Irabu who was originally purchased by the Padres from the Chiba Lotte Mariners of Japan’s Pacific Coast League refused sign with San Diego and was traded to the New York Yankees where he began his big league career in 1997. Irabu underachieved for most of his career in the states with his best year coming in 1998 when he went 13-9 with a 4.06 ERA for the Yankees. He finished his career going 5-15 over three seasons with the Expos and Rangers before going back to Japan to finish out his career. In 2009 Irabu came back to the states signing with the Long Beach Armada of the Golden League. You can watch his welcoming press conference below. Baseball card collectors will remember the 1997 Hideki Irabu Bowman Chrome Rookie being one of the most sought after rookie cards of the 1990’s when Irabu first hit the major leagues.
Since 1993 the Philadelphia Phillies have hosted teams of area high school all star players in a summer baseball tournament called the Carpenter Cup. Back in 1994 one of those all stars was current Phillies catcher Brian Schneider. Since joining the Phillies in 2010 after a decade long big league career with the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets, Schneider jumped at the chance to chair the tournament. It so happened that his old Carpenter Cup team Lehigh Valley won the 2011 championship, and as a result they were treated kings by Schneider at Citizens Bank Park. In the story, Schneider’s old Carpenter Cup coach talks about coaching Schneider and the experience had by this year’s Lehigh Valley team. It’s a pretty cool read.
Schneider made sure champs were rewarded
The Montreal Gazette just put out an article stating that a group of Canadian businessmen have interest in bringing baseball back to the city of Montreal. This comes seven years after the Montreal Expos played their final game in the city before becoming the Washington Nationals. According to the article, former Expos broadcaster Rodger Brulotte was approached by an unnamed business group who plans on exploring a plan to bring major league baseball back to the city. The story looks at where the group might be able to build a new stadium, explores the precedent for major league teams returning to the cities they left, and talks about the remaining baseball support still left in Montreal.
Expos could be back in town — Montreal Gazette
Jessica Quiroli has a great piece out on BaseballDigest.com where she talks to Phillies Cy Young Award Winner Cliff Lee about his early days of baseball. Lee offers insight on his focus going through the college ranks at Meridian Community College, the University of Arkansas, and the farm systems of the Montreal Expos and Cleveland Indians. The story is a great read from Quiroli who is a must follow on twitter @HeelsOnTheField and a must read on her blog High Heels On The Field.
Phillies Cliff Lee Reflects On College, Minor Leagues — BaseballDigest.com