Tagged: Webcasts

Angels Baseball on MiLBRadio.com

MiLBRadio.com appears to have nothing to do with MiLB.com, Minor League Baseball’s official site. It’s a podcast show airing live every Wednesday evening that focuses on the minor leagues.

The last episode on January 14 interviews Salt Lake Bees broadcaster Steve Klauke. This week they interview Rancho Cucamonga Quakes broadcaster Jeff Levering.

Looking back through their archives, they seem to have quite a bit of Angels minor league coverage.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Adam Pavkovich hit a two-run single in the bottom of the 9th on September 6th to give the Bees a 2-0 playoff series lead against Sacramento.

Not much longer before the regular season begins, which means our traditional Minor League Game of the Week series is about to reach its crescendo.

This week it’s Game #2 of the best-of-five series between the Salt Lake Bees and the Sacramento River Cats (A’s affiliate). The two teams were playing for the Pacific Conference title, and the winner would go on to face the winner of the American Conference for the PCL title.

Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player to listen.

Next week it’s Game #1 of the Midwest League Western Division playoff series between the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Clinton Lumberkings (Rangers affiliate). The C.R. roster should arrive more or less intact in Rancho Cucamonga to begin the 2008 season.

And our final webcast in two weeks will be the epic 16-inning battle between the Orem Owlz and Great Falls White Sox for the Pioneer League championship. Owlz’ ace Jordan Walden faced White Sox ace Aaron Poreda in a battle of two top pitching prospects.

Be sure to check this blog starting Sunday night for my reports directly from the Angels’ minor league camp in Tempe, Arizona. Hopefully I’ll have video footage to go along with the blogs.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Trevor Bell pitched seven shutout innings on August 24, 2007 when the Kernels visited Quad Cities.

August 24, 2007 — Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Cedar Rapids Kernels visit the Swing of the Quad Cities as both teams seek post-season playoff slots.

With everyone finally healthy, by late August the Kernels were firing on all metaphorical cylinders.  This game features all the regulars who should be at Rancho Cucamonga in 2008 — P.J. Phillips, Peter Bourjos, Wil Ortiz, Mark Trumbo, Hank Conger, Matt Sweeney, Ryan Mount, Trevor Bell, and Barret Browning.

For Trevor Bell, he was as hot in August as the rest of the Kernels.  In that month, Trevor was 4-0 with a 2.20 ERA.  In 41.0 IP, he struck out 29, walked just five, and gave up just one homer.

Although the Angels have been affiliated with Cedar Rapids since 1993, Quad Cities was a long-time Angels affiliate as well, starting with the Angels’ second year of existence in 1962.  The Angels were in Davenport from 1962-1978, then returned for 1986-1992 before switching their Midwest League affiliation to Cedar Rapids.

I’m hoping this year I can catch at least one Kernels road game at Quad Cities.  Historic John O’Donnell Stadium is one of the most picturesque ballparks in the minors.  Literally against the Mississippi River, the Centennial Bridge arches across the water next to the stadium.  The field does flood now and then, forcing the ballclub to move elsewhere, but a recent renovation project supposedly will help protect from future floods.  (I’m sure Mother Nature will have something to say about that …).

The franchise has gone through several names over the years.  When they were affiliated with the Angels, they were known as the Quad Cities Angels but also known at times as the Quad Cities River Bandits.  A previous owner changed the team name in 2004 to the Swing of the Quad Cities (ick!), but new ownership this winter changed it back to River Bandits.  Unfortunately, they also sold the stadium naming rights, so it’s now called Modern Woodmen Park.  Supply your own punch line.

Click Here to listen to the game.  You need Windows Media Player.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Michael Collins hit three singles in the Travs’ July 26 game against Tulsa.

July 26, 2007 — The Arkansas Travelers go twelve innings against the Tulsa Drillers.

This game was historic for reasons far more important than who won and who lost.

Four days earlier, on July 22, Tulsa first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was killed by a line drive in the 9th inning of a game at Arkansas. The schedule ironically brought Tulsa back to Dickey-Stephens Park four days later, having to return all too soon to where the tragedy occurred.

The baseball world rallied around Coolbaugh’s family and the Drillers. Before the July 26 game, Travs players stood at the ballpark entrance and collected donations. When Tulsa took the field defensively in the bottom of the 1st, the Travs fans gave them a standing ovation.

You can still donate to support the Coolbaugh family. Click Here to visit the MiLB.com Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund page.

The Travs came into this game with an eight-game winning streak, moving into the second-half divisional race. Starting for Arkansas was Brok Butcher, his third start after a promotion from Rancho Cucamonga. Butcher had allowed no earned runs in his first two starts, continuing a remarkable season with a 2.69 ERA for the Quakes in the California League.

Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Mike Eylward hit a grand-slam, double and two singles on July 18, 2007 when the Bees faced the Tacoma Rainiers.

July 18, 2007 — The Salt Lake Bees go extra innings with the Tacoma Rainiers in a Pacific Coast League contest.

Welcome to the Mike Eylward show. "Ellie" was 4 for 6, hitting a grand-slam, double, and two singles.

It helped, but it wasn’t enough, because this was a typical Salt Lake City baseball game. The high altitude (4,500 feet) and ample power alleys inevitably result in high scoring contests. So this was a real roller coaster of a ball game. Just when you think one team has it put away … the other comes back to take the lead.

Outfielder Adam Jones and pitcher Kameron Mickolio, just traded to the Baltimore Orioles in the Erik Bedard deal, appear in the game for Tacoma, the Seattle Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate.

Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Esmerlin Jimenez pitched six shutout innings on July 9, 2007 when the Orem Owlz hosted the Casper Rockies.

July 9, 2007 — The Orem Owlz host the Casper Rockies in a Pioneer League contest.

It’s a decidedly one-sided contest. Let’s be blunt. The Casper team was awful. They lost this three-game series by scores of 11-10, 7-3 and 13-2. Casper committed 13 errors in the series; Orem only one. (You won’t play long if you make a lot of errors in front of Tom Kotchman.) Nine of the Owlz’ runs in the series were unearned.

The Rockies finished the season 22-53 (.293) overall.

Easy pickin’s.

I was there for the series, shooting photography for both teams. The Casper Rockies are owned by Kevin Haughian, who was the General Manager of the Lake Elsinore Storm in the 1990s when they were the Angels’ affiliate in the California League. Before that, he was the Assistant GM for the Palm Springs Angels, the franchise that relocated to Lake Elsinore after the 1993 season. Kevin’s an all-around good guy so I try to help out his team by shooting road shots if I see them in Orem.

Video highlights of the series appeared on this blog after each game. Click Here to watch video highlights of this game. You need Windows Media Player and a broadband Internet connection (cable modem, DSL) to watch.

Orem starter Esmerlin Jimenez pitched six shutout innings, but shortstop Andrew Romine stole the spotlight with a grand-slam for his first professional homer. You’ll see it in the video.

Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player.

The Minor League Game of the Week

P.J. Phillips hit two doubles in the Kernels’ July 2 game against Kane County.

July 2, 2007 — It’s Future Angels vs. Future A’s as the Cedar Rapids Kernels host the Kane County Cougars in a Midwest League contest.

One of my guilty pleasures during the off-season is to listen to Kernels broadcaster John Rodgers on a cold January weekend morning. Listening in January to John calling a July game reminds me of what’s to come in another six months.

John is now the dean of Midwest League broadcasters. He’s been with the Kernels for twelve years, but he’s respected throughout the league for his hard work and effervescent personality. John’s broadcasting style is definitely old-school, peppering his prose with phrases like "worm-burner" or "Uncle Charlie." A student of history, he revels in the history of the franchise, the league and the game in general.

Because the Kernels are community-owned, the community is part of the broadcast. Members of the community will be interviewed on-air during the game, from teachers to retirees to children.

For those of us who live in Southern California, Kernels broadcasts might seem a bit "corny" (hey, they’re called the Kernels for a reason) but I wouldn’t change a single word. I always enjoy visiting Cedar Rapids, where on the whole people are far more genuine and humble than they are here in SoCal.

Jeremy Haynes pitches seven shutout innings for the Kernels. At age 21, he doesn’t get the attention that "name" prospects do, such as Sean O’Sullivan, Trevor Bell and Jordan Walden. Jeremy was a 37th round draft-and-follow pick in the June 2005 draft. He signed in May 2006, just as he was about to go back into the draft pool. We shouldn’t be surprised that he was a Tom Kotchman find. Jeremy finished 2007 with a 3.06 ERA in 19 starts, a 75:41 SO:BB ratio in 94.0 IP, and most telling was that he gave up only three homers. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does this year with Rancho Cucamonga in the high-octane California League. I’ve yet to see him pitch, so I’m looking forward to his stint with the Quakes.

Left fielder Stantrel Smith homers, a fairly rare event for Stan, and shortstop P.J. Phillips hits two doubles. Submariner Aaron Cook closes it out with two shutout relief innings.

Click Here to listen. You need Windows Media Player.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Garret Anderson (pictured) and Maicer Izturis were in the lineup on rehab assignment July 1 when the Quakes hosted Lancaster.

July 1, 2007 — The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes slug it out with the Lancaster Jethawks at The Epicenter.

Lancaster was the California League’s top offense in 2007. They scored 1,081 runs in 140 games — that’s 7.7 runs per game, and 206 more than the second highest, Lake Elsinore. That number was helped, naturally, by playing in their high-octane high-desert ballpark, Clear Channel Stadium (formerly known as The Hangar). But those numbers are just so far beyond anyone else that you have to give their offense some credit, and they certainly brought their bats this day to The Epicenter.

The Quakes brought their own bats too, led by catcher Ben Johnson, who hits two homers and a double. Outfielder Chris Pettit, recently promoted from Cedar Rapids and in the middle of a standout season that will earn him the Angels minor league player of the year award, also homers.

On the mound for Rancho Cucamonga is Tim Schoeninger, making his Cal League debut after an outstanding first half with Cedar Rapids. Also in the lineup for the Quakes are Angels players Garret Anderson and Maicer Izturis, making rehab appearances.

Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player to listen.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Jordan Walden made his professional debut on June 21, 2007 against Ogden.

June 21, 2007 — Jordan Walden makes his professional debut as the Orem Owlz host their Pioneer League rivals, the Ogden Raptors. Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player to listen.

Orem and Ogden have a great rivalry. Orem is to the south of Salt Lake City. Ogden is to the north. Orem is in the heart of Mormon country. Ogden is a blue-collar community descended from the Old West’s major railroad hub. Orem is an Angels affiliate, Ogden is a Dodgers’ affiliate.

It’s always fun when these two teams hook up. Ogden fans drive down to Orem and get rowdy. Orem fans will drive up to Ogden to support their players, but get razzed by the blue-collar crowd. Ogden has staged promotions making fun of their Mormon friends.

But there are a lot more division titles and pennant in Orem than in Ogden. Nyah.

As noted, J-Wal makes his first start. Walden would go on to start for the Owlz in the Pioneer League title game against Great Falls. He recently ranked third on the 2007 FutureAngels.com Top 10 Prospects Report. In my recent interview with Angels’ farm director Abe Flores, he compared Walden to John Lackey. Some have compared Walden to Roger Clemens (without the HGH allegations).

Plenty other players contribued in this game. Second baseman Hector Estrella was 3 for 4 with a homer and two singles. Right fielder Donato Giovanatto was 3 for 4 with two doubles and a single. Shortstop Jerry Gonzalez added three singles.

This was the third game of the season for the Owlz, who ended up the Pioneer League champions yet again under manager Tom Kotchman.

The Minor League Game of the Week

Adam Morrissey homered on his birthday when the Travs hosted Wichita on June 8, 2007.

June 8, 2007 — The Arkansas Travelers host the Wichita Wranglers in a Texas League contest.

FutureAngels.com was there to cover the game. It was my first visit to Dickey-Stephens Park, the Travs’ new stadium in North Little Rock after 75 years at historic Ray Winder Field in Little Rock.

You’ll find video clips from this game in the FutureAngels.com Video Gallery.

Second baseman Adam Morrissey was the big story. A former Cubs, A’s and Rangers property, Adam took his minor league free agency after the 2006 season and signed with the Angels.

June 8 was Adam’s birthday, so his teammates set up the native Aussie for a prank in the bottom of the first inning.

As he came to bat, they arranged for the PA to play the suggestive "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls, an Australian rock band. Adam responded with a homer over the center field batter’s eye, the first in the park’s history.

Morrissey was 3 for 5 in the game, adding two singles. He was interviewed after the game by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sportswriter Todd Traub.

Click Here and you can watch Adam’s homer and his post-game interview. (You need Windows Media Player and a broadband Internet connection.)

Nick Adenhart, the Angels’ top pitching prospect, was the starting pitcher that night. Click Here to watch a video clip of Nick pitching that night.

Click Here to listen to the game.

Next week, we’ll kick off the Orem Owlz’ 2007 season with Jordan Walden’s first professional start.