Coast to Coast: Pull Up a Chair
The Brevard County Manatees are the Milwaukee Brewers’ affiliate in the Florida State League, the equivalent of the Angels’ Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the California League.
The Manatees have no radio contract. They’ve already clinched a playoff appearance next week, a best-of-three series against the Tampa Yankees. I offered to webcast the games for free. The Manatees said yes.
By coincidence, the regular season concludes this weekend with the Yankees in town for three games against the Manatees. We’re going to use the series as a “playoff preview.”
Most minor league teams have to pay to put their broadcasts on the radio, which is why several broadcast only on the Internet or have no broadcast at all.
Our project is definitely on the cheap. I bought a gaming headset last week for about $40 at the local Best Buy. It plugs into my laptop computer, which will connect to MLB Advanced Media via the Internet. We’ve already done a couple games no one knew about to test the technology.
Believe me, it won’t be Vin Scully.
It’s just a way to get the games online so the players’ parents can listen around the world. Hopefully the locals here in the Space Coast will listen too.
And being an Angels fan, how could I possibly pass up an opportunity to beat the Yankees?
UPDATE September 4, 2009 3:15 PM PDT — My webcast debut has to wait for another day, as we’re rained out. Makeup twinbill tomorrow at 2:00 PM PDT.
Coast to Coast: Fear the Sea Cow
|On the left, Martin Maldonado catching for the Orem Owlz in August 2005 at age 19. On the right, Martin catching today for the Brevard County Manatees in the Florida State League.|
I worked my first photo shoot today for the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers affiliate). They were playing the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins affiliate). Both teams are in the Advanced-A Florida State League, the same level as the California League where Rancho Cucamonga plays.
“Fear the Sea Cow” is the Manatees’ slogan for 2009. Manatees are sometimes known as a sea cow. They are the most docile creatures you’ll meet, so I’m not sure what there is to fear, but I digress …
One aspect of minor league baseball I love is running across old friends.
The stats sheet for Jupiter showed Alfredo Amezaga, who was in the Angels system from 1999 through 2004. He’s now with the Marlins; he did a rehab stint in April with the Hammerheads, so he wasn’t here, but that would have been neat to see him again after all these years.
The Manatees catcher looked familiar. When his name was announced, “Martin Maldonado,” I realized he’d been in the Angels system from 2004 through 2006, then released. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him today but I’m sure we’ll sit down before the season is over and renew our acquaintance.
The starting pitcher for the Manatees was staff ace Evan Anundsen, who entered the game with a 1.85 ERA and a team-leading 87 1/3 innings. Selected in the fourth round of the June 2006 draft by the Brewers, his career ERA entering the season was an unremarkable 4.46. But this year, the 21-year old leads the league in ERA and is among its strikeout leaders.
Jupiter third baseman Matt Dominguez got ejected at the plate for arguing balls and strikes after striking out to end the first inning. For a 19-year old, that was a veteran move to get a day off when the weather is hot and it’s a day game after a night game. 🙂
The Hammerheads took the field and began to warm up for the bottom of the first but, before Logan Schafer led off, Manatees manager Mike Guerrero and Jupiter manager Tim Leiper began jawing at each other. The two umpires finally had to separate them after Guerrero left the third base coach’s box and confronted Leiper at the visitor dugout railing.
Now there’s something you don’t see every day.
The Manatees eventually won, 7-4, helped by five Jupiter errors. Anundsen gave up two runs in six innings, striking out nine and watching one. I need to bring my camcorder next time he pitches to tape him.
In addition to Maldonado’s photo above, here are some more photos from today’s game.
Manatees starting pitcher Evan Anundsen is one of the top starting pitchers in the Florida State League.
Manatees manager Mike Guerrero jaws with Hammerheads skipper Tim Leiper in the middle of the first inning. Apparently Leiper said something about one of the Manatees players and Guerrero took exception.
Manatees center fielder Logan Schafer doubles to lead off the bottom of the first.
Manatees left fielder Lee Haydel entangles with Jupiter shortstop Osvaldo Martinez after he doubled. An errant throw allowed Haydel to advance to third.
Coast to Coast: Space, the Final Frontier
There’s only a temporary home page, but my new site SpaceCoastBaseball.com is operational. Please feel free to take a look.
I’ve had meetings this week with several people regarding the site, including the Brevard County Manatees, the Brewers’ affiliate in the Florida State League. The Manatees are already in the playoffs, having won their division’s first half. I hope to use August to gear up for covering their post-season with photos and video, similar to what I do with FutureAngels.com.
I also met with the folks at the Cocoa Expo Sports Center, which was at one time the spring training complex for the Houston Astros and later the Florida Marlins. The stadium still has the Marlins’ teal color. The new Florida Winter Baseball League will play at Cocoa Expo later this year.
I’ve also talked briefly with the Gulf Coast League Nationals, D.C.’s version of our Tempe Angels, but need to follow up.