Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Mizzou Baseball Fall World Series is the annual end-of-fall-practice intrasquad series of games. Fans are welcome, admission is free. The tentative dates and times:
Friday, October 16 (evening game)
Saturday, October 17 (2PM)
Sunday, October 18 (2PM)
Those times are approximate.

The Tigers are currently in their Fall Practice season. They are playing intrasquad games nearly every day during the late afternoon-evening hours, which are usually open to the public. held an online chat with former Tiger and current Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler.
There's just a ton of competition at 2B. It seems like everywhere you go there's a guy that will make an impact on the competition. It's fun to be in there and keeping up with the rest of the guys.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes: Prospect Reports

Ryan Gebhart makes the grade in two reports from
Draft 2011: Top 200 Prospects
Gebhart is the only Mizzou player on the list, coming in at #155

Alaska League: Top 25 Prospects: Gebhart comes in at #10
... His impressive physical frame and raw talent as a switch-hitting center fielder impressed scouts and league managers alike-and more than one observer thought he might have the best upside of any position player in the league, particularly since he was just a freshman. Gebhart had no discernible weaknesses or holes in his swing from either side of the plate, and he flashed impressive bat speed, particularly from the left side.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes: Big 12

Big 12 teams hope to answer questions (
• After the Longhorns, everyone in the Big 12 has several questions to answer this fall.
• Barring a surprise in the spring, there’s a good chance Kansas finishes near the top of the Big 12.
• Missouri coach Tim Jamieson has his work cut out this fall.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Off-Season Pastimes: The 5th Inning

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." (Rogers Hornsby)

Still 148 days until the 2010 season begins. What can the avid college baseball fan do in the off-season to stave off the dreaded baseball-deprivation blues?

Read a Baseball Book: The 5th Inning, by E. Ethelbert Miller

If you're one of those people who groans every time someone says "Life is like Baseball", you will not want to read this book. In fact, you probably should stop reading this book review. While I sometimes doubt if life really is like baseball, I faithfully hold the truth to be self-evident that Baseball is like Life. E. Ethelbert Miller apparently agrees:
I fell in love with baseball and lost my virginity to a glove. Gloves with names like Bobby Shantz and Elroy Face. How ironic to always be given a relief pitcher's glove.
Miller talks about his love of baseball in his youth, but in the heart of the order of this memoir he connects the experience of a man turning 50 to the 5th inning of a baseball game.

This book is a riff on middle age, marriage, fatherhood and failure. In baseball the fifth inning can represent a complete game. The structure of this book consists of balls and strikes.
. . .
When a person becomes 50 or approaches the years that follow, his story is
almost over.
Over and over, as he talks about his life, his loves, his failures, he weaves baseball in and out of the narrative.

These short chapters are the equivalent to balls and strikes. If I write too many of them you know I'm having trouble trying to find the plate. That's how one's life can begin (or end). Several years of college and you still don't know what to do. Thirty years working in the same place and you wonder - why?
Quotes like that one remind me of my own thoughts on how we as fans - who so often expect perfection out of our heroes - would benefit by remembering that life and baseball are alike. We follow Mizzou Baseball alums who keep battling on and on through the years of ups and downs in the minor leagues, and we scratch our heads and wonder why they don't see the futility of it all. The answer is that they do see the futility, but are still struggling to write the next chapter in their lives, just as we all so often continue to repeat the same routines day after day, season after season. Before we can begin to think about walking away from it all, before we veer off from the familiar rhythms that have defined our lives, we have to reconcile the totally inexplicable fact that we have devoted so many innings, so many games, so many seasons to something that will probably not carry us to the ninth inning, let alone lead to the glory we imagined when we were young.

As a man in my early 50's, Miller's memoir spoke to me like it might not to a young guy in his twenties. While most of his specific experiences were very unlike mine (Miller is an African American, a self-described "literary activist and poet"), his words forced me to look at my own life in the middle innings, as the writing of it apparently did for him.

Is this how the memoir pokes the writer in his side? A catcher throws a ball back to the pitcher - a bit harder - just to get his attention. He wants the pitcher to concentrate. I need to breathe and write more . . .
We could all stand to live a little more intentionally and stop coasting by on our talent or on our past success. I recommend this short book (167 pages of 3-up-and-3-down quick chapters) for anyone who suspects they need to get their head back in the game.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors: Ian Kinsler joins 30-30 club

Kinsler joins 30-30 club (Star-Telegram)
Ian Kinsler said in spring training that if he hit 30 home runs and stole 30 bases this season, he hoped it would help the Texas Rangers significantly.

Kinsler launched home run No. 30 into the left-field bleachers Friday night, cementing an 8-3 victory over Tampa Bay and his place in baseball history.
. . .
"I’ve been sitting on 29 for half a month now and it took awhile to get the last one," said Kinsler, who had gone 78 at-bats since hitting his 29th homer.

Kinsler said he wasn’t pressing to reach No. 30, but it had crossed his mind while he was in the on-deck circle and driving to the park. He got the first half of the 30 on Thursday against Oakland when he stole his 30th base.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

The dream was falling apart (San Francisco Chronicle)

Garrett Broshuis: The dream that I had lived since I was a boy was falling apart. I had been given one game, and I didn't take advantage of it. As so often happens in this game, just as I had regained hope it had again been ripped away from me.

I'm not sure how much longer I can keep playing. Unless a person has some big league time, the minor leagues pay players so little that it is difficult to keep playing financially. I also have a wife that I have to think about. I love her dearly and I'm forced to be away from her for six months out of the year. She's very understanding, but I know how tough it is on her. It's tough on me.

Ian Kinsler is on the brink of a 30-30 season with the Texas Rangers (

■ According to, former Tiger Jayce Tingler is managing the Texas Rangers' prospects in the Fall Instructional League in Arizona this year

Bryson LeBlanc Is Cowlitz Black Bears Head Coach (
Bryson LeBlanc is the first ever coach of the Cowlitz Black Bears. LeBlanc serves as the volunteer assistant coach for the University of Oregon, under legendary coach George Horton. "He's energetic, knows the game, and has the contacts to bring top college players to the Black Bears," said Cowlitz general manager Grant Wilson in making the announcement. A graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Biological Science, LeBlanc played for coach Tim Jamieson and the Tigers for two seasons. As a senior he helped Missouri reach the Super Regionals for the first time in school history.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Practice Report: Nice Hair

I stopped by Simmons Field Wednesday afternoon for a short while, to watch the players in a Scout Day scrimmage. Several major league scouts were watching the proceedings, most of them from the seats behind home plate.

While I watched, Brett Nicholas hit an authoritative home run to left center, off Jake Walsh. There appears to be quite a competition for the job of starting catcher among several good candidates.

The player who caught the most attention while I was there was a former player who showed up to watch the scrimmage. He was greeted by Luke Cassis, Evan Pratte, Jonah Schmidt, Ryan Lollis and Kyle Mach (both back at Taylor Stadium after finishing their rookie seasons in the minor leagues). Every one of these greeted him with virtually the same first words:
"Nice hair!"

Brock Bond swore to them all that his hair was just as curly and just as full of blonde highlights back when he was a Tiger as it is now. No one believed him.

But after the excellent All-Star season he had with the Connecticut Defenders, he can do whatever he wants with his hair and no one will complain.

And that's my Practice Report for today. Just brimming with expert insight and analysis. But I had a good time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Qutoes & Notes


Top 40 Recruiting Classes for 2009-2010, according to Collegiate Baseball Weekly
Missouri's current recruiting class is ranked 32nd among D-1 programs. Florida is #1. Big 12 teams on the list include #12 Texas, #13 Nebraska, #17 Oklahoma State, #23 Oklahoma, #36 Texas A&M and #38 Texas Tech.
MU in the Minors

Playoff time is good news/bad news for players (Garrett Broshuis' Prospect diary at BaseballAmerica)
"Well, we're in the playoffs, we might as well win a ring."

This realism typifies the regard that most players hold towards the minor league playoffs, as I've heard this around 148 times over the past two weeks in three different languages. Six months of constant travel has left all of us both mentally and physically exhausted, yet we're competing with a determination rarely seen in the regular season. At our essence we're all competitors, and the playoffs offer a higher level of competition.
Villalona: teammate turned murder suspect (Life in the Minors, a blog by Garrett Broshuis)
. . . Again, I hope that Villalona didn’t commit this murder, but if he did, justice needs to be served. The thought still reigns as almost incomprehensible, but I have to remember that my teammates don’t grow up in cushy little suburbs in the United States, playing 60 games a year for traveling Little League teams that extort $5,000 for the “opportunity” to play. Instead, they come from a still developing country with a high crime rate, where $5,000 represents more than half of the average household income.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes


NCAA cracks down on baseball advisers (
The NCAA Eligibility Center recently distributed a questionnaire to college baseball players that suggests tighter oversight of advisers in the draft. Many agents questioned where the initiative will lead, only seven months after an Ohio judge upheld former Oklahoma State pitcher Andy Oliver's right to representation in the draft.
. . . obtained a copy of the form, which includes 16 questions for coaches to distribute to recent recruits and current college players who were selected in the June draft but didn't sign professional contracts.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

Royals' top pick Crow eager to pitch for his favorite team (KC Star)
Aaron Crow is a lifelong Royals fan. And why not? He grew up in Topeka, then starred at Missouri and has been to games at Kauffman Stadium since before he can remember.

Here comes the slap of reality.

“I’m too young to remember George Brett,” he says.

Instead, Crow was drawn to his home team by Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye. Starting now, he’ll be a central part of the franchise’s effort to create a new string of stars for a new generation of local kids to grow up cheering.
. . .
Part of the reason the Royals were so excited when Crow fell to them in the draft — many predicted he’d be selected in the top five — is that it shouldn’t take too long for him to reach the majors.

Many talent evaluators see a pitcher polished enough that he’d be in the major leagues now if he’d signed with the Nationals last year. Crow, who will turn 23 in November, went 13-0 with a 2.35 ERA his junior year at Missouri.

He’s 6 feet 3 and 195 pounds, with a competitive presence on the mound to go with what could be three above-average pitches: a sinking fastball that works in the low 90s but has touched as high as 97, a hard slider and a change-up that Crow thinks is much improved from his college days.
. . .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

2010 Schedule

■ The University of Houston 2010 Schedule is now published. The Cougars are taking part in the College Classic at Minute Maid Park, scheduled to play Missouri on Friday, March 5th at 3:30 PM.

We are compiling, piece-by-piece, a tentative 2010 schedule for Mizzou, as we receive information about various dates. Click HERE to see our partial 2010 Schedule.

Again, if anyone comes across a copy of the Tigers' complete tentative schedule for this coming season, we'd love to see it. E-mail me at

Friday, September 18, 2009

More on Aaron Crow and the Royals

Crow's dream comes true with Royals (Columbia Tribune)
A lifelong dream is about to come true.

Former University of Missouri pitcher Aaron Crow yesterday signed a major league contract with the Kansas City Royals, the team he grew up rooting for.

“I’ve been a Royals fan forever,” Crow said after the draft. “I was excited when they picked me. … I was excited when it happened, and I’m happy with how it worked out.”
Lifelong Royals fan Aaron Crow gets rich, thoughts follow (
If it matters, I think the Royals "won" the negotiation, but not by a blowout.
. . .
There's a decent chance that Crow enters as the organization's best overall prospect, at least in some evaluations. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas slipped this year in the minds of some, leaving 6-foot-5 lefty Mike Montgomery -- 6-4, 2.21 ERA, .201 BAA at Class A this year -- as the system's best prospect.

Crow hasn't pitched in what you'd call a highly competitive environment since the spring of 2008, so big declarations are a bit premature, but some will no doubt view his quick-to-the-bigs stuff as the best in the system.
■ From
For the guarantee, he'll learn at least $3 million over the three years of the contract he signedThe best case scenario for him is $4.5 million. This means it's a split contract, meaning he'll receive X number of dollars if he's in the minors and X number if he's in the majors.

Aaron Crow signs with Royals

Royals sign '09 first-round pick Crow (
The Royals have reached an agreement with pitcher Aaron Crow, their first-round choice in June's First-Year Player Draft, on a three-year Major League contract beginning in 2010, the club announced Thursday night.

The club did not disclose terms of the contract, but it was believed the deal was for a guaranteed $3 million plus incentives. Crow will go on the Royals' 40-man roster and be invited to Major League Spring Training next year.
. . .
The Royals will introduce Crow at a news conference at 2:20 p.m. CT on Friday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

J.J. Picollo, assistant general manager in charge of scouting and player development, said the Royals pushed to get the deal done so Crow could report to the Arizona instructional league on Sunday. The league begins on Monday.

"It was important for Aaron to get out and play," Moore said. "He was drafted by his boyhood team and he wanted to get out and pitch. He wanted to get out and go."

Crow, Royals reach 3-year deal (Topeka Capital-Journal)
The Kansas City Royals and former Washburn Rural and University of Missouri pitcher Aaron Crow agreed to a three-year deal Thursday that will put their first round draft pick this year on the club's 40-man Major League roster beginning in 2010.
. . .
Kevin Crow, Aaron's father, said his son and family were relieved that the draft process that started in the summer of 2008 when Aaron was drafted by Washington as the ninth overall player was finally over.

"We couldn't be more excited for Aaron," Kevin Crow said. "This has been a long journey and he's very relieved that it's over. He's so looking forward to playing again with a team of guys who have the same ambitions he does."
. . .
Crow did not pitch competitively this summer as negotiations with the Royals dragged on, his father said. He maintained a steady workout schedule of long toss, running, lifting and bullpen sessions.

Kevin Crow would not comment on the financial terms of the contract or what broke the ice in the negotiations.

"But I think it's fair to say that once the Royals realized Aaron was not under the Aug. 17 signing deadline (because he had played in the independent leagues and had no college eligibility), that's when things began to move," Kevin Crow said.
■ I've been asked whether I would reboot the current You Make the Call poll (left-hand nav bar on this page) on which current MU alum in the minors is most likely to make the Major Leagues, given that Aaron Crow was left off the ballot.
First of all, I'm not sure anyone takes this poll all that seriously so that it matters much what I do. But perhaps when the current poll is done (at the end of October), I'll take the top 3 vote-getters and match them up against Crow in a run-off poll. It works for NASCAR.

Based on current vote tallies, that would pit Kyle Gibson, Brock Bond and Rick Zagone against Crow (with Evan Frey bumping competitors into the wall as he comes up fast on Zagone's tail)

That should provide some incentive for energetic ballot-box stuffing between now and then.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Royals close to signing Aaron Crow

Royals work on sigining first-rounder Crow (
The Royals and first-round Draft pick Aaron Crow are reportedly on the verge of agreeing on a Major League contract, but a top club official said Thursday that although the sides have been talking, no deal had been reached.

However, sources indicated that Crow, taken 12th overall in this year's First-Year Player Draft, was about to agree to a Major League contract worth $3 million plus incentives. If he signs, he would go immediately on the Royals' 40-man roster.

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ From We Are Mizzou, a great photo titled Tigers in Action: Michael Liberto goes all out

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

■ San Antonio lefthander Nathan Culp finished the season with just 33 walks in 161 1/3 innings; 18 in 41 1/3 innings (3.92/9 IP) against Midland, and 15 in 120 innings (1.13/9 IP) against the rest of the league. (

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Aaron Crow signs with Kansas City Royals ????

I've heard rumors over the last week that this was soon to happen, and now I'm reading on that Aaron Crow may indeed have signed.

More details when we hear 'em.

Mizzou Baseball Quotees & Notes

Fall Practice Report

■ From

tigereye: Saw some of saturdays and all of sundays [scrimmage games]. The pitchers threw only fast balls as stated. Although I think i saw a few changeups, Tep I thought had the best location of all pitchers. Did not know who all was who. Anderson also looked good. Saturday Schmidt hit a HR that was a blast. Amp hit one on Sunday. Garcia hit one to the warning track at centerfield that was caught with the wind blowing in.

Brown has some speed as does Champagne. Saw Liberto and Santo at SS, Garcia and Mach at second on Sat. Garcia and Santo at SS, Liberto and Mach at 2nd on Sun. 3rd base was Scheiber, Thigpen, and who I believe was Dudenhoffer. Opel and Brown are good outfielders. Gebhardt also looked good.

Senne bunted the whole weekend. Someone said he had a hurt finger.

The at bats I liked were from Brett Nicholas who was at first on Sunday and he just hits the ball hard with an approach.

These are the few players whose names I was able to find out. There were a lot of parents there on Sunday and was able to get those few names. Tigers may be alright. Young kids look great.

9ozwhitething: I saw all of Friday and Saturday. I too thought Anderson looked good. Gebhart hit a line drive to RF fence for triple but otherwise no one touched him. I was impressed with Garcia at the plate and in the field as well. Ampleman and Schmidt hit home runs.

Tepesch looked very good with only FBs. I thought freshman Cody King looked good. I thought Tyler Clark looked good as well. Ryan Clubb did not throw.

Ben Turner had a couple of hard hit singles and Connor Mach made a great play at second base. Thigpen looked good at third. Santos had some real good plays at SS. No one stood out at first in my opinion. Four different catchers played. Gaden, Turner, Ampleman, and Nicholas. A ton of outfielders played. Gebhart and Brown looked very impressive. Gebhart stole third with left handed hitter at plate. Brown stole second easily. I am looking forward to pitchers mixing in off speed stuff. Oh yes, Senne looked good bunting!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors

A blast from a past posse (American
I love irony, and here was a little delicious double dose that came through the mailbox of Herald interactive media director Andy Perdue on Friday...

"Hi Andy, I just thought y'all might find it interesting that the Salem-Keizer player (Ryan Lollis) that got the game winning hit in the 13th inning last night is my younger brother. This is significant because I was a pitcher for the 1999 Tri City Posse championship team of the Western League.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

2010 Schedule

An anonymous fan posted a comment on our constantly-changing 2010 Schedule thread:
Seems like a hard way to piece things together. Why not get the schedule from a player or coach? :)
My answer:

The coaching staff will not release the schedule until they have it fully completed, with all contracts signed and all details done. At some point in the fall, I usually do get an e-mail from some anonymous player or a player's family member with a copy of the tentative schedule attached. And, by the way, my e-mail address is

MU in the Minors

After 13 innings, Volcanoes champs again (
A 2-1 victory Thursday against Tri-City in 13 innings wrapped up the NWL championship for the Volcanoes, their third title in the past four years.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 13th, Ryan Lollis lined Charles Ruiz's 3-1 fastball into center field, scoring Dan Cook with the winning run.

The title-clinching game-four victory before a sparse but enthusiastic crowd of 894 at Volcanoes Stadium was the franchise's fifth NWL title since it moved to Keizer from Bellingham before the 1997 season.

■ Jonathan Mayo highlights former Tiger Garrett Broshuis among others in Bards of Baseball dabble in verse (

"This game can be such an emotional game, whether you're in the big leagues or in the Minors," said Broshuis, who writes his own blog as well as a journal for Baseball America, but hasn't dabbled in writing poetry. "No matter how good a person is, he's not going to succeed all the time. There will be days you'll come home, be all alone and need to get away from the game. For a lot of guys, it's video games, for some it's poetry."

Broshuis was introduced to the form in another language. A Spanish minor at the University of Missouri, he studied a bit of Spanish literature, and he found he truly enjoyed the poetry part. He counts Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda and Ruben Dario among his favorites.

"In another language, you had to explore the meaning a little more," Broshuis
explained. "It was harder, but it was more fruitful."

Broshuis sees his interest in poetry in the same light as some of his teammates' love of music lyrics. It provides the same kind of outlet, a similar escape. It's possible
some of his teammates wouldn't see it the same way, but it's not something he feels most in the clubhouse know about.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Freedom can be overrated is the name of Garrett Broshuis' latest blog entry at Baseball America:
Freedom. William Wallace wanted it; so did Thomas Paine. We, as men, have made
progress, but we're still enchained, held captive by that most inescapable force: our wife's commands. Yet in this game, that blissful state of pure freedom can be attained, as you hardly ever see your wife. . . .
■ Comments about Brock Bond at McCovey Chronicles:
Brock Bond: not a sexy prospect, but you have to give the man credit for what he’s accomplished this year: a .429 OBP, 67/69 K/BB, 21 doubles. He was caught stealing more times than he was successful, so likely he lacks blazing speed, but he certainly looks like he has the makings of a useful #1 or #2 hitter some day. You’d assume his numbers wouldn’t be much worse in the PCL next year, so perhaps we’ll get a look at him in Spring Training in 2011.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mizzou Baseball on Twitter

Someone close to the Mizzou Baseball program has started a Twitter account ( Recent posts:

■ Get an early glimpse of the '10 Tigers on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 10am. Swing by Simmons field before your tailgate!

■ Old scoreboard..history... new scoreboard.... on deck.

■ Good practice today... One more day until intrasquads begin

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

2010 Schedule

■ The Rice Owls have released their 2010 schedule, which confirms what we had already deduced, that Mizzou and Rice will NOT play one another at the Houston College Classic the weekend of March 5-7, even though both teams will be participating.

■ The New Mexico State Aggies have released their 2010 Schedule, which includes their participation in the Cactus Classic in Tucson during the opening weekend of the season. They will be playing Missouri on Saturday, February 20th at 7:00 PM.

■ We now have compiled approximately 17 games (30%) of the tentative 2010 schedule: Updated schedule HERE

MU in the Majors

Another defeat, another day (AZ Snakepit)
Yet another homer followed for the Dodgers in the fourth, and the Chase Field crowd started a chant aimed at Max: "Are you Petit in disguise?" Well, actually, they didn't, but could hardly be blamed if they did so. Furcal managed to bunt for a clean double, leading off the LA fifth, sending it over the head of the onrushing Reynolds, but was held there thanks in part to Max Scherzer's (04-06) butt, which blocked a liner back up the middle.
. . .
Scherzer ended up going seven innings, a feat which seemed pretty unlikely early on in the game. Obviously not a quality start, with four runs allowed, but his first-pitch strike rate was up at 66%, and he only walked one while scattering seven hits. He only struck out three, his lowest number since June and third-lowest of the season - on the other hand, it is the first time in his career that he has gone seven or more innings in consecutive games. I think he may be eased off down the stretch, with word of him being skipped for his last start entirely. Certainly,
no point overtaxing anyone, be it Scherzer, Dan Haren or anyone else.
MU in the Minors

Wrapping it up (
Fortunately, there was a surprise that was just as nice as Miclat was disappointing, and that was Rick Zagone’s (05-07) success. Coming out Missouri, Zagone had a good season with Aberdeen in 2008 and kept the ball rolling right through Delmarva and into Frederick. The best part of watching Zagone’s promotion was that his numbers didn’t take a serious dive after the promotion. He ended the year with roughly the same numbers of strikeouts and less walks with the Keys as with the Shorebirds. He’s still a long way from Baltimore, but so far, so good.

Other Baseball Stuff

"It's a baseball game; it's not a physically taxing sport." (

Interim manager Jim Riggleman feels baseball is not that hard of a sport. Not hard in the sense that it takes a toll on a player physically. Prior to tonight's game with the Phillies, Riggleman was asked how he plans on handling his offense players when it comes to them losing a step.

"I never like to use that word 'fatigued' or 'tired,'' he said. "I think it gets way over used in baseball. We're not running up and down the court, we're not playing football with equipment on in 100 degree temperature. It's a baseball game; it's not a physically taxing sport.
. . .
My feeling is you ought to be ashamed of yourself if you get physically tired of playing baseball because it shouldn't be that physically taxing. I could point to Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken, Jr. and I think they would be on my side in that argument, but I don't expect everybody to be like that. I think guys need off days so that the other players can also stay sharp, so I won't concede to the fatigue factor."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Practice and other Quotes & Notes

Fall Practice

I dropped by Simmons Field yesterday after work, watched the team at practice. A few notes:

• Lots of new faces, most of them I didn't recognize.

• I did notice freshman Eric Anderson. He's hard to miss - built like a football player

• Freshman Blake Brown also caught my eye - and my ear. Extended batting practice was going on for most of the time I was there. At one point, I was watching Aaron Senne and some other players hitting off a tee into a net, and heard the unmistakable and incongruous sound of a wooden bat hitting a ball. Blake Brown was taking his turn at bat with an actual wooden bat. I noticed he switched to a metal bat later.

• Because of the construction going on down the left and right field lines, the bullpens are not available. Instead, the coaches have set up a bullpen of sorts under the green-roofed pavilion, with a pair of pitching mounds built up at the north end and a pair of home plates at the far south end. Seems to be working out fairly well.

• Luke Cassis is better at throwing BP than he is a hitting fungoes.

• Mike Alden and Tim Hickman showed up to watch the BP for a few minutes. Must be nice to have a job where you can legitimately get out from behind the desk and go stand behind the batting cage and call it work.

• It was a beautiful day for a ball game - or ball practice. Can't wait for the real thing

2010 Schedule

Texas A&M has posted their 2010 Schedule. Mizzou will play A&M at College Station the weekend of March 26th-28th.

MU in the Minors

Connecticut Defenders defeat Reading Phillies, 5-1, to set franchise record for wins (The Raw Feed)

Brock Bond (06-07) finished the afternoon 0 for 2, drawing a pair of walks, finishing the season with a .333 batting average and an Eastern League Batting Title.

There is not enough that can be said about the performance by RHP-Garrett Broshuis (02-04). The veteran righty tossed six strong innings allowing just one run on three hits while striking out a season high seven.


Q&A with Dayton Moore, GM of the Kansas City Royals (

nwroyal: Any update on the Aaron Crow (06-07) negotiations? If he signs soon, will he pitch in the Arizona Fall League?

Moore: Nothing to report at this time. We are very hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement. As you know, Crow played at a local program and this is his boyhood team. It is our expectation to make him a Kansas City Royal.

You Make the Call: Who will make it to the Show?

It's time for another "You Make the Call" poll. Our question this time around:
Which MU alum has the best shot at making the Major Leagues?

The list of nominees includes all of those currently in the affiliated Minor Leagues. For the sake of keeping the list a bit shorter, I did not include those in the independent leagues.

That means I also didn't include Aaron Crow, whose last team of record is the independent Fort Worth Cats, and who has yet to sign a contract with the Kansas City Royals organization.

Full stats for all of the nominees can be found at

The voting ballot is in the left-hand side-bar on this page. You can vote for more than one player, and there are ways to vote more than once. As always, this is not intended to be a scientific poll, but please don't go too crazy with the ballot box stuffing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2010 Tentative Schedule

The following are the known dates and opponents on the 2010 schedule, compiled from a variety of sources. Last Updated September 10, 2009

■ February 19-21 Cactus Classic @ Tucson, AZ

• New Mexico State, Saturday, 2/20 @ 7PM
• Also Washington and Gonzaga, dates unknown
• MU likely to play 4 games in this tournament
■ February 26-28 Auburn Classic

• Auburn, Saturday, 2/27
• Boston College, date unknown
• Florida Atlantic, date unknown

■ March 5-7 Houston College Classic

• Houston, Friday, March 5th, 3:30 PM
• Texas Christian, Saturday, March 6th
• Texas, Sunday, March 7th
■ March 26, 27, 28

• Texas A&M @ College Station

■ April 7th

• Southern Illinois-Edwardsville @ Simmons Field
■ April 14, 6:30 PM
• Missouri State @ Springfield
■May 4, 6:00 PM
• Missouri State @ Simmons Field

■ May 21, 22, 23
• Texas @ Simmons Field

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU in the Minors & Majors

Internet has brightened the spotlight for Minor Leaguers is the name of a feature article in Baseball America by Garrett Broshuis (02-04)
Players use Facebook and Myspace to communicate with each other and to friends and family back home. Pictures, comments, and the occasional prank are all posted.

Regardless of whether or not the Internet has ultimately eased the lives of players, it certainly has revolutionized the manner in which fans follow the game.

"It's helped the minor leagues tremendously," Turner declares. "The whole minor league boom and the rise of the Internet, I'd like to see a study done to see just how closely they're correlated. They've certainly taken place over the same time period."

Now if something could just be done about those grocery store sandwiches.
■ Gary SouthShore RailCats pitcher Andy Shipman (03)was named Northern League Relief Pitcher of the Year (OurSportsCentral)
Shipman, who was acquired by the RailCats on June 3rd after beginning the 2009 season with the Kansas City T-Bones, went 4-3 with a 1.85 ERA appearing in 36 games for the RailCats. On the year, the right-hander led the league with 42 Rolaids Relief Points (saves times 3, plus relief wins times 2, minus relief losses times two) and had a league-best 14 saves. After a slow start with the T-Bones, he still finished with a 4-4 record and 3.45 ERA overall. Shipman was third in the league in appearances (41) and led the league in games finished (35).

Shipman was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox as a non- drafted free agent in 2003 following his junior year at the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO). He played parts of two seasons for the Red Sox organization prior to getting traded to the Chicago Cubs in July of 2004. Pitching three seasons for the Cubs organization making it as high as Class AAA in 2006, he then played in the Oakland Athletics farm system in '07 and '08. He first joined the Northern League in August of 2008
Rare feat puts Goldeyes in series lead (Winnipeg Free Press)
For posterity, the triple-play went 5-4-3 — third baseman Vince Harrison spearing a grounder off the bat of Fargo’s Ruben Salazar, tagging (more or less) DH Nic Jackson running by, throwing to second baseman Josh Asanovich who touched second to put out Fargo’s Mike Coles and then throwing to first baseman Cody Ehlers (01-04) to get Salazar for the third and final put-out.
Scherzer eases durability concerns (
Scherzer (04-06) thinks the label ultimately was a result of slamming his finger in his apartment door just before the start of his junior season at Missouri in 2006. He cut his finger and even after taking 10 days off still felt pain while throwing, causing him to change his mechanics to compensate.

"As soon as you alter your mechanics even the slightest bit, that's what starts messing with your shoulder," he said. "I learned a hard lesson not to do that."

Scherzer wound up with biceps tendinitis, and some considered him a health risk going into the draft. He also missed time last season because of shoulder fatigue and
was set back to start this season due to inflammation in the deltoid muscle in
his shoulder.

"If I take the ball every fifth day and go out there and have success, nobody will worry about my shoulder," he said.
Recruiting & Compliance

■ Rick Allen has a new blog post up at, on Campus Visits 101:
This article has addressed the difference between official and unofficial visits and outlined the rules for each. However, knowing the rules is only the starting point.

Many parents and athletes are so excited and happy about being noticed and recruited, that they often forget the ONE THING that is vital to their future success and happiness playing the sport they love at the level they aspire. That one thing is proper preparation for the visit!
He also has a detailed recruiting calendar for September and October for all sports, including Division Baseball.
Sept. 1-10 – Quiet Period (Recruits and parents can visit campus, but no off-campus recruiting by Division I coaches)

Sept. 11-Oct. 31 – Contact Period (Division I coaches can conduct off-campus recruiting)
Our thanks again to Rick Allen,father of former Tiger Ryan Allen (07-09), for providing this information on recruiting and compliance.

Art & Baseball

Garrett Broshuis, on his Twitter page, links to Para Rumbiar at
I write from Caracas, the murder capital of the world, where I’ve been employed by the Leones to score runs and prevent balls from falling in the outfield. At the ankles of the Ávila Mountain amongst a patch of dusky high-rises, the downtown grounds of el Estadio Universitario packed beyond capacity are ripe for a full-bodied poem. A mere pitching change is an occasion “para rumbiar,” and the purse-lipped riot squad is always on the move with their spanking machetes swinging from their hips.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

For Your Weekend

Sugar, a baseball movie I reviewed earlier in the summer, was released on DVD this week. If you're looking for a good movie to rent for the holiday weekend, I highly recommend this one. Read the review.

2010 Schedule Update

Washington has released their 2010 schedule, and it shows them playing in the Tucson tournament on the opening weekend of the season, a tournament Mizzou is also reportedly playing in.

Auburn's 2010 Schedule is now posted, including the details of the Auburn Tournament the second week of the season (2/26-28). Auburn, Missouri, Boston College and Florida Atlantic are in that tournament, with MU faces Auburn on Saturday the 27th.


Always a Gamble (Baseball America)

It's a gamble when a first-round draft choice turns his back on pro ball. And rarely does the player hit the jackpot, at least in baseball.

When the deadline passed for players to sign out of this year's draft, there were only three first-round picks left unsigned—including Aaron Crow.
. . .
In the 20 years prior to 2009, there were just 16 first-round draft picks who did not sign. Rarely has the player benefited from his delay. Just nine of those 16 were selected in the first round a second time. Just three of them have appeared in more than 300 big league games

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

MU Baseball History

Former Major Leaguer Phil Bradley returns to coach Missouri softball (Columbia Missourian)
Phil Bradley (79-81) is back at at the University of Missouri.

The former Tiger quarterback and baseball player has been named a volunteer assistant coach for the Missouri softball team. Bradley, the Missouri starting quarterback in 1979 and 1980, made his Major League Baseball debut in 1983 with the Seattle Mariners. Bradley was an All-Star in 1985 as a Mariner. He also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox before his career ended in 1990. He will work specifically on hitting with Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine.
Link: Phil Bradley's #15 retired at Simmons Field

2010 Schedule

St. Louis University has released their 2010 Schedule, and Mizzou is NOT listed.

MU in the Minors

Railcats close out regular season (

The RailCats announced some team awards in a pregame ceremony. Closer Andy Shipman (03), claimed off waivers from Kansas City early in the season, is the Pitcher of the Year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Schedule

■ Texas Christian University has released its 2010 schedule, with a detail that gives a new wrinkle to the Houston Astros College Classic the first weekend in March. TCU shows them playing Texas Tech, Missouri and Rice. The other two teams on the tournament roster are Houston and Texas.

I have received confirmation that Mizzou will indeed be playing Texas on Sunday of the Houston College Classic. It would be considered a non-conference game, not counting in the Big 12 standings, similar to the annual MU-KU game at Kauffman Stadium.

It would seem logical by process of elimination that MU's first game of the weekend will be against Houston, with TCU showing MU as their Saturday opponent. The Tigers will evidently not be facing Rice that weekend.

Or I could be wrong.

Most years, the Big 12 teams do not play one another in the tournament. For example, in 2009, Texas A&M, Baylor, Rice, UC-Irvine, Houston and UCLA were the participants, but A&M and Baylor did not play one another. Going back to 2003, no Big 12 team has played another in the tournament. Apparently there is a different plan for this year's tournament.

■ In other 2010 Schedule news:
• Mizzou's season will begin February 19th in Tucson, AZ, at the Cactus Classic tournament. Teams and schedule still unknown.

• The second weekend of the season (2/26-28) will find the Tigers at a tournament at Auburn. The slate of teams includes Auburn, Boston College, Florida Atlantic and Mizzou, according to

• The Houston College Classic will be on MU's 3rd weekend (March 5-7).

• The only other confirmed opponent in 2010 is a game against SIU-Edwardsville on April 7th at Simmons Field.

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

2010 Schedule

■ The Texas Longhorns are the first big 12 team to release a 2010 schedule. The Horns will come to Simmons Field for the LAST weekend series of the season in 2010, May 21-23.

The Tigers and Longhorns will actually be on the same field much earlier in the season, both at the Astros Classic March 5-7, but they will not play each other during that tournament. They join Texas Tech as Big 12 invitees, playing against Texas Christian, Houston and Rice.

The only other confirmed contest we have found for the Tigers' 2010 schedule is an April 7th matchup against SIU-Edwardsville.

Student Athletes

■ There's a new blog called We Are Mizzou, self-described as "The Home of Mizzou Student Athlethe and All Things Black and Gold". It's apparently run by the Student Athlete Advisory Council. The current post is about a Mizzou Baseball athlete: Plackis Hits a Grandslam in the Community:

Andreas Plackis, a sophomore on Mizzou's baseball team set a goal this summer to do 120 community service hours and ended up doing a total of 152 hours of Community Service during the summer! Andreas is the perfect example of a scholar-athlete going above and beyond to serve the community.

Below are Andreas's personal thoughts and experiences regarding life and community service throughout the summer. . .
MU in the Minors

Culp of Cheer (
Missions starting pitcher Nathan Culp continues to post impressive showings, working six innings of five-hit ball against Frisco last week. He's 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 16 home starts and on 13 outings, he has not walked a batter. Last week's win, his seventh on the year, was the 17th occasion when he has surrendered two or fewer runs.