Tag Archives: Baseball

Beamer, Benz, or Bentley…or Broken Down Car: Why Minor League Players need YOUR Help!

I know many of you read this article when it was published on tossitaround.com, but here it is again for those of you who did not!  Enjoy 🙂

If you like rap music, you’re probably familiar with the song “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” by Lloyd Banks.  And when driving into a player’s parking lot, even in the minor leagues, that song has a lot of truth to it.  There are a number of players that were high draft picks and awarded themselves with a new car, some players who came from wealthy families and already had a nice car, and many players who drove what their parents gave them for their 16th birthday.   It’s important to remember that not every baseball player automatically comes with an in disposable income.  For the players that didn’t have the luxury of bringing their car on the road with them to whichever small, ‘last-one-out-shut-off-the-lights’ kind of town (think Elizabethton, TN), I’ve known them to buy bicycles at the local thrift or Goodwill store–partially for entertainment, I am sure–but also because packing more guys than there are seats into a sports car can get pretty uncomfortable.

I’ve first handedly seen a couple of players riding their bikes home after a game, gym bag on the handle bar, pitching arm only feet away from traffic at 11:30 at night…not something a coach or a general manager probably wants to see.  I’ve also seen a very well-liked, highly touted prospect stop and give a ride out of the parking lot to a handful of Latin players who were headed home in the pouring rain. At a season opener introduction ceremony in 2009 for the team I worked for, an announcement was made that a player needed a car and would be willing to pay whoever could help him out whatever he could afford (a very small amount)—he had a car within a couple weeks.

In most cases, before they turn into a millionaire or an Alex Rodriguez or Joe Mauer, they struggled in the years before.  Many minor league teams, especially at the Rookie level (some rookie teams are located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Mesa, AZ…places not known for cheap rent) offer host families to cut the cost of renting an apartment—something that comes very much in handy when you’re 18 or 19 or 20 years old and even after that.

Often, season ticket holders also turn into “team moms.”  The two years I was with the Ft. Myers Miracle, a couple that were season ticket holders took a few players under their wings and had them over for dinner, took them out to eat, and brought cookies and brownies for the entire team once or twice a week.  To a small town, a baseball team provides excitement and entertainment and this is that town’s way of thanking them.

Until you hear them talk about how nice it was to have a home cooked meal, or how great the “spread” was in the clubhouse  when a major league player was in town rehabbing, most fans don’t know how much being on the road for seven or eight months makes these “boys” miss the little things at home.

If you have a minor league team in your town or city of any level, reach out to the media relations director (who is in daily contact with the players) or the community relations director and see if you can help in any way.  A future MVP or Hall of Famer will remember you long after buying his first Beamer, Benz, or Bentley.

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Florida Bound….But for now, the Indianapolis International Airport

It’s not often I have not one, but two hours of free time on my hands where I don’t have ANY homework waiting for me.  No Stat S-300 folder sitting lonely in my backpack, no “Espanol Tareas” to complete (Spanish homework) and no Sport Marketing P418 waiting for me to figure out what market I am targeting for the next up-and-coming sport product.  No, readers, I am sitting in the Indianapolis International Airport, very new and clean might I add, waiting for my 7:14 p.m. flight to Ft. Myers, Florida, home of the Spring Training Minnesota Twins, their High-A affiliate Fort Myers Miracle, and many of my good friends that I have made since making this sandy, sun-filled state my second home.

Currently, I am sitting at an un-named sports bar watching the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team hopefully defeat Northwestern…and if they lose, hopefully it’s  in exciting fashion….an exciting loss is almost as good as a win for us these days.  Ah, but I am optimistic that by the time I return to IU to see if I have really outgrown Kirkwood and Walnut that the basketball team has redeemed itsself.   To might right is a man dressed in a suit that is worth at least five times that is currently in my bank account talking about “capital trust, capital qualified, and capital non-qualified trust” on his BlackBerry Tour.  To the left of me is a man from the East coast, only identifiable by his thick accent that I hear all too much on the IU campus.  His heaping plate of pasta and bread sticks that he brought from the “authentic pizzeria” across from the bar also gave him away.  Have you ever seen the movie “For Love of the Game?”  If you have, remember the man in the airport rooting for the Yankees?  According to IMDB, his real name is David Mitchell Evans.  Anyway, he precedes to name every Yankee player and their number dating back eons and is a general annoyance to everyone else in the bar.  Yeah, that is who I am sitting by right now.  Between him and Mr. Business on my left (Tour still glued to his right ear discussing an account in Persia), I am stuck somewhere between the Bronx and Wall Street.

I also just ran into my journalism Sport Research J-460 professor, on his way to Maryland, where he lives permanently.  Good think he canceled class today…apparently we both had important flights 🙂

Oh, IU is leading 20-17 over Northwestern.  HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOOOOOSSSIIEERRRS!

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Take Me Back to Florida!

This time last year, I was preparing for the big move to Florida….and currently, I am stressing about job searching, studying for my Spanish final, and how I am going to handle 19 credit hours next semester.  However, I just found out I can graduate in June instead of August–that definetely brightened up this 13 degree weather day!

Speaking of weather, TAKE ME BACK TO FLORIDA!  Not only do I miss the amazing weather (ok, June, July and August was downright BRUTAL), but I miss the whole experience I had from January 2009-August 2009 while I was down there.  Anywhere from 70-100 hour work weeks (yes, 100 hours in a week.  I reached that feat twice last summer) that included dressing up as the mascot, supervising an all-night Boy Scout overnight in the outfield, and re-programming cash registers weren’t always a blast, but when I look back, I really did love it.  After so long, it’s almost like I got a euphoric high off working so much and not really knowing what I would be doing everyday.

It’s this experience I had that helped me figure out that I don’t want to do a normal 9-to-5 job after college.  My mom is a retired 7th grade English teacher, and she always says that teachers have the best schedules–you work the same hours your children are in school, you have the same breaks, and you have the summer off.  I 100% agree.  My mom was a GREAT teacher–however, I would not be.  When the day approaches that having a family presents itself, I’ll worry about how my job plays into that.  But now, with graduation 6 months away, I want nothing more than to move, hopefully start a promising job, and be on my own.

Yes, I said be on my own.  So many people say to “Stay in college as long as you can! The real world isn’t that great! Become a lifelong member of Kilroys!”

As cool as that sounds, I really DON’T want to stay in college for as long as I can.  I realize that the “real world” includes bills, being cut off from my parents (more or less…hoping for a little help from M & D to get me started….Hi guys!), and essentially being broke for a while (funny side note–we went to visit my sister in Nashville right after she graduated and to save money, she turned her heat down to 60 degrees…We were so cold that my dad threw some money on her bed just to get her to turn her heat up!).

Keeping the fore mentioned in mind, I know it’s not always going to be fun, I can’t buy all the things I want or used to buy (I will be switching to ALL generic brands at the grocery…luxury of a struggling college student: parents lovingly (or reluctantly) pay for my groceries!) and the work holiday parties will be mildly dull compared to the weekends out in Bloomington.

I would love to be Peter Pan and “never grow up,” but it’s approaching…quickly.

As Asher Roth shouts “I love College!!!!” in his ridiculously popular song (circa last year), I agree–I love college…but not enough to stay forever.

So in June, I will take my last victory lap around Kirkwood and Walnut (don’t worry, I’ll be back to visit) and switch out my “going out clothes” for work clothes.

So from now until then, check back about my job hunt, finishing up college, and other witty pieces of enlightenment.

Happy Holidays!

np

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Extra Innings

 

Back at School! .... yes, it is a fixer-upper!

Back at School! .... yes, it is a fixer-upper!

 

Wow, it has been far, far too long since I let all my readers (yes, plural…Mom, Dad, Hillery) hear about the ins-and-outs of MILB. For times sake, yours and mine, I will just quickly re-cap basically the rest of the summer:

-The All-Star Game was great–so much fun!  (side note: our entire party deck was destroyed in an HORRIFIC storm the night before the game…with a quick cleanup and a few repairs, we were still able to have a few beer/drink remotes on the deck. )

-The Miracle went through a couple weeks of EXTREMELY long games (4-41/2 hours each) that made for some REALLY long workdays.

-The Miracle made several roster moves, and even had a member of the 2008 Miracle “make it”…. Jeff Manship was called up by the Twins in mid-August and has been pitching great!  Steve Singleton also got called up to AA  and had a great remainder of the season in New Britain.

-Speaking of Singleton, I might add that I was his partner during baseball camp  and got nailed directly in the shin which resulted in a nasty bruise…no defense on his part.  I was soon delegated to just throwing baseballs back into the bucket. 

Visit miraclebaseball.com for more news!

-Not only did I pass Econ (phew!), I also took Spanish II and Government….I highly suggest taking summer classes!

-One of the other interns (Taylor) and I became BFF’s (I know you appreciate ‘abbrev’s’, Hill) and I talk to her a few times a week while she is at school in North Carolina

-My roommate over the summer, Tracey, moved into a new condo with some girls she works with.  She still works on the beach at a resort, lucky her! (ROUGH LIFE, T-MONEY!).

-I moved back to Indiana on August 14th and got to spend a couple days at the lake with my family…great to see everyone!  I also got to go back up during Labor Day weekend with my family and some friends.  My wake-boarding skills were a little rough, considering it had been over a year since I had last been out on the water!

So, now we’re back to the present, and I am currently finding myself with about 45 minutes of extra time before my next class, which is highly unusual. I’m taking 15 credit hours, and my K300 Stats class has been one of the most challenging classes I have ever taken.  I wish I could say I liked challenges (and I do, just not mathematical ones), but when its detrimental to my GPA I feel a little disgruntled towards the subject.  Spanish III is also a challenge, but I try to remember that knowing Spanish is essential in the sports world, especially baseball. 

My schedule isn’t the best; I usually like to get all my classes out of the way by two or three in the afternoon so I have the rest of the day to work, study, or here lately, JOB SEARCH!  But, alas, that is not the case this semester and my classes start at one or later every afternoon, except for Friday (my 7th semester without Friday class!).

When I do have spare time, I’m an active member of IU’s Hoosier Sports Business Organization and volunteer in the IU Athletic Media Relations Department.  Oops, did I say spare time?  I wrote that last line almost two days ago, and here I am, on the 1st floor of IU’s library, procrastinating studying for my Stats test tomorrow.  So no, this is not spare time.  This is time being wasted.  But….as John Lennon said…”Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”  

So here’s to me, for wasting time.  And here’s to you, for reading this.  I thank you, and will be back again soon!

 

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FSL South 1st Half Division Champs!

1st Half South Division Champs!

~All-Star Game~

Chris Parmelee, Champion of the HR Derby!

Chris Parmelee, Champion of the HR Derby!

Hey fans (if there are any out there…)!   I know I have been a little here-and-there on my updates, but I am in the middle of taking Spanish II and Gov, on top of working,so life is a little busy right now! On a GREAT note, Econ ended well and my grade will transfer back to IU as I had planned. 

  Anyway, the Miracle wrapped up the first half of the season by clinching the FSL 1st Half Division title and hosting the 2009 Florida State League All-Star Game. It turned out to be about a 29-hour work weekend (Friday and Saturday) but it was a great time and the Miracle received compliments right and left about the production of the entire weekend.  The South lost the game, but our own Chris Parmelee won the FSL All-Star Game Home Run Derby!  Starlin Castro of Daytona was the MVP of the game, going 4-for-4 on night.   

Here are a few links to some interesting game recaps and photos!  

http://www.miraclebaseball.com/news/?id=7579  (Miracle Recap)

http://www.miraclebaseball.com/fanzone/index.php?cat_id= 

 http://prismpressgroup.org/?p=3775 (GREAT pictures by Prism Press Group!)

http://prismpressgroup.org/?p=3956 (All-Star Game overview and recap)

http://prismpressgroup.org/?p=3953 (HR Derby coverage)

Prism Press Group did a great job with their coverage of the game, and Dave Dorsey, of the News Press, had his story (the Miracle recap) featured on MiLB.com!

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Draft Review

IU Pitcher Matt Bashore

IU Pitcher Eric Arnett

IU Catcher Josh Phegley

 

Just a quick post to keep you updated after Day 1 of the Draft!  Highlighted is the TWINS PICK OF INDIANA HOOSIER PLAYER MATT BASHORE!  Congrats! Eric Arnett of the Hoosier was also drafted to the Brewers, while Hoosier Josh Phegley was selected by the the Chicago White Sox!

http://www.examiner.com/x-8981-Minnesota-Twins-Examiner~y2009m6d9-Twins-draft-review–part-one  (review of Twins picks)

http://www.indysportsnation.com/isn-060909-hoosiers-mlb-draft,0,1117643.story ( review of Bashore, Phegley, Arnett)

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Miracle News and Player Profiles!

 

Our beautiful stadium--Home of the Spring Training MN Twins and Fort Myers Miracle!

Our beautiful stadium--Home of the Spring Training MN Twins and Fort Myers Miracle!

 The Miracle are currently 34-19 and in FIRST PLACE IN THE FSL SOUTH!  We’re (not that I technically play but…) 6 1/2 games ahead of the Charlotte Rays, our I-75 rival.  After a few bumpy games in the past week or so, including a season long 3-game losing streak, we’ve (again, there is no jersey bearing my last name on the back) beat Clearwater the past two nights by 1 run a piece.  LHP Spencer Steedley is 4-0 with an 0.67 ERA and Ben Revere is hitting .339 through last night.  The All-Star game is coming up on June 20th (and it’s @ our stadium!) and we have a record 8 All-Stars on the South team, including, P David Bromberg, P Spencer Steedley, P Carlos Gutierrez (will not play due to AA promotion), C Danny Lehmann, OF Ben Revere, SS Chris Cates, OF Chris Parmelee, and IF Steve Singleton. 

I am doing short, fun player profiles on our All-Stars, and have 3 to share with you all that I did yesterday!  

1616.jpeg.300Name: Chris Cates

My family: The most important people, ever.

Best concert I’ve been to: Keith Anderson

Playing baseball at Louisville was: Awesome and unforgettable

Best road trip city: Tampa, because it’s my home town

I have always wanted to: Host my own talk show

I’m known for: My height

On a day off I: Go home and spend time with my family

Favorite food: Pizza

Day or night: Both

Fort Myers is: Nice

 

1627.jpeg.300Name: Ben Revere

Funniest teammate: Chris Cates

Best dressed on the team: David Bromberg

The next car I buy: Lamborghini

Team with the best uniforms in FSL: Charlotte Stone Crabs

Lexington, KY is: No place like home

My family: The love of my life

Favorite city: Atlanta

After a game I usually: Eat

Best advice: Play hard every day

Favorite dessert: Twizzlers 

 

1630.jpeg.300Name: Steve Singleton

California: Beautiful

In my refrigerator: Gatorade and a watermelon

Biggest pet peeve: Floating debris in my water at restaurants

Best Halloween costume I ever had: Officer Jones from Reno 911

Early Bird or Night owl: Early bird

Favorite cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

If I could be anyone, I would be: Tiger Woods

Coke or Pepsi: Pepsi

Siblings: 1 brother

iPhone or BlackBerry: iPhone

 

I will hopefully finish up the other 4 today and get them posted soon!  

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