News Columns & Blogs

What Would You Say?

Today’s blog title is the first in a series of Dave Matthews Band songs. I expect the series to stop at one, although the way the Wingnuts players follow manager Kevin Hooper is similar to Ants Marching. That was a lame joke. I apologize, but I really wasn’t too motivated to come up with another DMB song off the top of my head.

Now that it’s the second half, I’m going to do my best to blog more often. Today’s blog title comes from the challenge that has arisen during the last couple weeks or so — what can you say about this team that hasn’t already been said? They’re good. They can pitch. They can hit. Pretty much every position player and starting pitcher is putting up good numbers. We get it.

So I guess I’ll just have to be more creative from now on. And I’ve tried to be in my game stories — like the one last week in which I broke down the game against Sioux City into the three at-bats by Wingnuts slugger Greg Porter against pitcher Trevor Fox. I don’t think that idea completely materialized into what I had in my head, but the execution was still decent.

I just have to start watching games differently, looking for that one situation or trend that changes the game that a fan might not immediately notice or think of. Baseball game stories are harder to write in the sense that in football and basketball, those trends establish themselves all the time. In baseball, they may take longer than one game to develop and it’s easy, for one game story at least, to get caught up in writing a lot of play-by-play.

So since the Wingnuts have clinched a playoff spot and have their fate sealed until September, they can do things they might normally not do. I’m going to try to take similar chances in my writing, though I know it won’t always happen that way. Wish me luck.

The coaching staff _ consisting of Kevin Hooper, Chris Mileham, Luke Robertson _ and GM Josh Robertson were out on the field at around 4:15 today playing some sort of baseball/golf hybrid game. I wasn’t sure exactly where the “holes” were, but they seemed to know and that was good enough to me. They’d start from a long distance and try to get a baseball in the “hole” by hitting it with a bat. I didn’t completely understand it, but they seemed to be having fun. I’ll ask J-Rob what it was when he comes to the press box later.

St. Paul is in town today, and why wouldn’t it be? Wichita hasn’t seen enough of the Saints already, and it’s completely acceptable for professional baseball teams to play 15 times during the first 48 games of the season. I get that there’s only 10 teams in the American Association, but this is getting a bit ridiculous. Thankfully, I don’t think St. Paul returns for the rest of the season.

This St. Paul stop is a little better, though. The Saints now employ Jason Cooper, once a third-round draft pick of my Cleveland Indians. Cooper seemed to once be on the verge of cracking the major league roster as a potential fourth outfielder, but he was passed in prospect status by fellow former Pac 10 player Ben Francisco (Cooper - Stanford; Francisco - UCLA), and now it’s Francisco putting up horrendously awful numbers for the Tribe, not Cooper.

Anyway, I’ve worn a Cleveland Indians polo shirt to the game in honor of Cooper, who actually began this season  in the Mets organization. Wingnuts radio guy and Mets fanatic Steve Schuster is toeing the company line, wearing his Wingnuts gear instead of a Mets shirt. Apparently his love for Cooper isn’t quite as strong.

Finally, today the Wingnuts purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Joe D’Alessandro from the Frontier League. D’Allesandro supposedly runs it up there at 95 MPH, which I’ll believe when I see since that information came from Josh Robertson. No offense to the GM, but Jose Amado and Leivi Ventura were supposed to hit 20 homers for the Wingnuts last season, too. Both were awful. We’ll see if D’Allesando, who has mediocre numbers as a pro, can change my level of trust for J-Rob when it comes to his evaluation of players.

Talk to you soon. Tomorrow, maybe???