Notes from Orem, Day 1

Orem Owlz manager Tom Kotchman explains the ground rules for Idaho Falls manager Darryl Kennedy during the lineup exchange before Friday’s game.


This was my first road trip to an Angels affiliate since my move to Florida, so it was a bit reassuring to walk into the Orem Owlz office Friday and see old friends.

With Rookie-A ball, it also means a lot of unfamiliar faces who have the general expression on their faces of, “Who is this guy and why is he in the dugout taking photos of us?” Not that they resent it. They’re just excited that someone is shooting photos and video.

The familiar faces are, of course, manager Tom Kotchman and pitching coach Zeke Zimmerman. Joining them this year is hitting coach Mike Eylward, who played in the Angels system from 2001 through 2007. It’s exciting to see kids I saw start their careers in pro ball (always with Kotch) become coaches, passing along to the next generation what they learned in the Angels farm system. “Ellie” joins Kernels pitching coach Brandon Emanuel and roving catching instructor Tom Gregorio as the ones I saw start out with Kotch long ago.

Once word gets around, I start getting approached by players’ families and loved ones in town, asking what I’m doing, can they buy the photos, will they be on the Internet, etc. The circle begins anew each summer in Orem. 🙂

Friday was Pioneer Day in Utah, which is the rough Mormon equivalent of July 4th. It’s an official state holiday, which meant this game was going to be a sellout and there would be fireworks afterwards.

A couple hours before game time, word began to circulate that the Salt Lake Bees game up the freeway had been postponed. According to the Portland Oregonian, seven members of the Portland Beavers came down with the flu in Reno and the team didn’t want to travel to Salt Lake City. Angels farm director Abe Flores and roving infield instructor Rob Picciolo were up in Salt Lake, so they decided to come down to Orem for the night.

I have plenty of photos and video, which I’ll post today as time permits. Please keep checking this page as I will continue to update it when I can. All the photos I shoot this weekend will eventually be available in the Digital Photo Gallery.

If you’re wondering why they’re wearing the camouflage jerseys, it was a promotion. The Owlz auction off the jerseys and the winners collect them from the players after the game. They don’t normally have such poor color coordination in their apparel.

The Nick Adenhart memorial banner on the left field wall.


Supplemental first-round draft pick Garrett Richards made his professional debut Friday night.


Click Here
to watch video of Richards’ start
. You need Windows Media Player and a
broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch.

Second baseman Jean Segura.


Left fielder Justin Bass.


Third baseman Casey Haerther.


First baseman Dillon Baird.


Designated hitter Michael Wing.


Pitcher Carson Andrew relieved Richards, who was on a 20-pitch limit in his first game.


Right fielder Richard Cates.


Shortstop Jon Karcich homered to lead off the bottom of the 4th.


Catcher Braulio Pardo’s derriere takes one for the team.


Center fielder Travis Witherspoon.


Pitcher Adam Clerici.


Pitcher Yeison Almeida.


More to come!

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