Friday, July 31, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Garrett Broshuis (02-04) definitely has a future in baseball, even if it's only as a writer. Not the career he had dreamed of, but he can definitely throw a wicked slider with words.

He shares his heart in a great post on his BaseballAmerica Prospect Diary: Suitcase chronicles: Packing the bags again (Baseball America)

I attempted to fold myself next to my shirts in my ginormous bag, hiding myself from this misery. Maybe it would be a magic bag and I would be transformed into a power-throwing lefty with a sharp breaking ball, but the zipper became stuck as I attempted to close it. I jiggled it back and forth, but to no avail. It smelled like baseball in there anyways, which at that moment was even worse than BBQ.

Read the rest HERE. Don't skip it. Click on the link and go read it.

You Make the Call: Publishing Recruit Names

Our latest "You Make the Call" Poll is finished, and the results are as follows:

Should MU Baseball release names of signed recruits?
18% (11 votes) No. The coaches have better things to do with their time and energy

6% (4 votes) No. We need to protect our recruits from the attention of MLB scouts

32% (19 votes) Yes. It's almost impossible to hide a good player anyway these days

57% (34 votes) Yes. It would provide great publicity and promotion for the program.
Should publish info on MU recruits?
5% (3 votes) No. Doing so is a disservice to MU Baseball

16% (9 votes) No. If the Coaches don't want that info published, stay out of it.

23% (13 votes) Yes. The publicity helps the MU Baseball program

55% (31 votes) Yes. Fans and followers deserve to know more about recruits

Percentages add up to more than 100% because voters were allowed to vote for multiple answers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors & Minors

Kinsler sits, hopes to return to Texas Rangers today (Dallas Morning News)
The strained left hamstring that forced Ian Kinsler (03) out of the game on Tuesday also kept him out Wednesday against Detroit. Kinsler, though, is optimistic that he will be ready to play today.

Still, the Rangers reinforced their infield by recalling Joaquin Arias and optioning right-hander Doug Mathis (05) to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"It's a lot better, and I'm getting treatment on it," Kinsler said. "I think I could pinch hit, but I'm just going to give it a com"We definitely had to get some backup on the infield," manager Ron Washington said.

"Mathis was a guy that still had options left and it made sense, but it was a tough decision."

Mathis was an emergency starter Tuesday when Vicente Padilla (swine flu) couldn't go.

"It's just bad timing on my part," Mathis said. "I understand the decision. I could be upset about the whole thing, but that's not me. I just need to go down there, pitch well and get back up here."

Off-Season Pastimes: The Fifth Season

"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)

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 Fifth Season, by Donald Honig

During my late teens and twenties I read every baseball history book I could lay my hands on. I had been a fan of the game since my dad took us to semi-pro games back in Sioux City, Iowa, when we were just kids. But I became a serious follower of baseball by immersing myself in the history and lore of the game, reading about the players who left their mark .

Donald Honig has written several books on baseball history, specializing in collections of in-their-own words interviews with former ballplayers, such as Baseball When the Grass was Real and The Image of Their Greatness.

In this latest book, Honig writes about himself, telling about growing up in Brooklyn and his experiences as a baseball fan and as a baseball writer.

By my estimate, at least 70% of the book is cut-an-pasted from his previous oral history books and articles, interspersed with new paragraphs detailing how he got those interviews and his own reflections on those players.

The parts that are about the author's life are pretty standard for a baseball fan bio, including the typical childhood growing up in a family worshipping an east coast team (the Dodgers) and memories of early brushes with baseball greatness. Occasionally his skill as a writer enlivens the memoir:

I saw Reiser steal home in 1942, during a doubleheader with the Cubs. There he was, inching down the line a half-crouch, watching the pitcher like a famished predator, and then - a roar from the crowd - he became a flash, a stitch of uniformed lightning, and eruptive blast of dust, sliding around home with gritted teeth, one hand thrown back to brush across the surface as the crouched umpire swung palms down over him.
The most interesting parts of the book are the author's-perspective rehash of those interviews with the baseball greats, like DiMaggio and Williams and Reiser.

In my first-person opinion, I highly recommend you read Honig's earlier books, like I did years ago. They are a great way to learn about the history of baseball through the eyes of the men who played the game. You'll have to hunt for them in used book stores and libraries, since most are not still in print. But you'll get more of the ballplayers' words in the original versions and less of Honig's personal thoughts about those interviews.

The search is worth the trouble. The casual fan of the game doesn't realize what he or she is missing by not understanding what has gone before to produce the grand old game we know today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Effect of New Scholarship Rules in Division I Baseball

The following article is from, the website of Rick Allen (father of pitcher Ryan Allen). Through Allen Athletic Consulting, Rick provides expertise in NCAA recruiting, academic requirements, eligibility, transfer issues, and financial aid rules to college and high school student-athletes, parents, coaches and booster groups.

With the NCAA Division I baseball scholarship changes coming into full effect during the 2009-10 academic year, walk-ons will take on more important roles on baseball rosters. Each Division I institution will be limited to 27 counters (athletes receiving an athletic scholarship) among their roster limit of 35 players, with the other 8 spots being occupied by walk-ons who will receive no athletic scholarship.

Here are some situations that already have – or could – take place with the new rules becoming effective this Fall:
  1. Division I rosters of no more than 35 players must be established the day prior to the first contest in February. Coaches can have more than 35 players during the Fall and January practice periods, but must be at no more than 35 before the start of the season. Walk-ons who are on teams that have more than 35 players participating in fall practice sessions must be aware that they are at increased risk of being cut from the team. Once a player is cut from the team, he will not be able to use the athletic facilities to work out and will have no practice opportunities with the team.
  2. A student-athlete who is receiving an athletic scholarship must be included in the counter limit of 27, and the total roster size of 35, even if they are injured and unable to play. So a walk-on who has been performing well during practice sessions must be aware that they may be cut from the team to make room for an injured player receiving a scholarship because the injured player must be counted among the 27 and 35.
  3. Juniors at Division I programs who choose to return to school for their senior year may be asked to return as a walk-on as their scholarship was probably already “given away” in the recruitment of an incoming freshman. This has already been the case for a number of years, but may become more common as the opportunity for coaches to give 5% or 10% scholarships to late signees is only available in rare situations.
Some baseball programs have established their own set of “rules” for distributing scholarships. Some let recruits know up front that their scholarship will decline each year after their freshman year, while others may inform the players after their enrollment that there will not be a baseball scholarship for their senior year if they return.

Players and parents should be asking about the effect of the new financial aid rules on their baseball scholarship so they will know well in advance. For those who are walk-ons, especially at programs that have more than 35 players participating in Fall drills, it will be extremely important to assess your chances of making the 35-man roster that will be in effect for the season. For those who choose to transfer, it is quite possible that a fresh start at an NCAA Division II or NAIA program may result in increased opportunities for financial aid, for playing time, and for a better opportunity to be drafted due to the increased playing time.

For more information from the parent of a college baseball player who is also an expert with over 20 years experience in NCAA rules regarding recruiting, eligibility, financial aid, and transfer issues, go to and register for our free newsletter, or contact Rick Allen at 918-994-7271 or

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Crow signs ???

From comes this rumor:
Aaron Crow, Myers, & Dwyer deals are done - Commissioner's Office is giving the R's the chance to withdraw them as they are well over slot, otherwise the All Star Game for 2012 will be moved from KC to Boston. Source: Peter Gammons on ESPN Insider

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

■ From The Raw Feed: OF Teodoro Martinez, 1B Jhonny Gomez, and 3B Alfredo Chalas were selected to play in the Dominican Summer League All-Star Game...Manager Jayce Tingler (00-03) was named to the game as a coach.

Below: Former Tiger Jayce Tingler, center. Photo from

Scherzer shines as D-Backs blank Bucs (

Max Scherzer (05-07) turns 25 on Monday, when he will presumably receive several boxes of gifts to mark the occasion.

What he would most like, however, is for someone to package what he came up with on Sunday.

"That's as good as it gets," Scherzer said after having pitched as good as anyone can.
In hurling the first seven innings of the D-backs' 9-0 victory over the Pirates, Scherzer was nearly automatic, a strike-zone-seeking missile burning a trail across the plate.

In a performance Arizona manager A.J. Hinch called "great" and "dominant," Scherzer threw 85 of 109 pitches for strikes and fell behind by two pitches against only one of the 26 batters he faced.
. . .
Scherzer put the Bucs (43-55) on serious K-rations from the outset of this one. His first eight pitches of the game were strikes, and he made 15 of them among 18 first-inning offerings.

Then he grew sharp. Snapshots of a precise recital to admire:

• First-pitch strikes to 20 of 26 batters.

• Three-ball counts to two of the 26 batters, and two-ball counts on only two others.

• At one point, midway through the fourth, Scherzer's strikes-to-balls ratio was 44-9.
• He did not deliver his 20th ball until his 100th pitch

Kyle Gibson waits out injury, negotiations with Minnesota Twins (

"We're just letting the process work itself out," said Gibson, who is recovering from a broken bone in his right forearm suffered while pitching for the University of Missouri this spring. "At times, it's going great. At other times, it's not so great.''

Negotiations between the two sides were expected to be slow. Gibson wanted to rest the arm, even before the injury was revealed, and didn't expect to sign with a team until the end of July.

Now, Gibson and his father, Harold, expect negotiations to go on until the Aug. 17 deadline set by major league rules, although they both expect him to sign with the

"There's two sides to it," Harold Gibson said. "The Twins have to make a business deal, and Kyle has to make a business deal. Kyle hasn't made any demands, but he wants to be treated like a top 10 pick."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Falmouth sweeps twinbill (Cape Cod Online)
Missouri’s Conner Mach hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and the Commodores held off a late rally by the Anglers to win the first game of a doubleheader 7-6, then TCU righty Kyle Winkler shut down Chatham 5-2 to complete a Falmouth sweep at Guv Fuller Field.

Mach’s shot – his second of the summer – bounced off the glove of Chatham left fielder Steven Brooks, who suffered a knee injury on the play but walked off the field.
Ryan Gebhart is playing in the Alaska Baseball League (ABL) for the AIA Fire. He has started every game since his arrival at CF and is hitting leadoff for his team. He has played every inning of every game since his arrival in Alaska. He is hitting around .270 which is third on his team. He will be playing in the NBC World Series in Wichita, KS in August for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots as each team can add a limited number of players for this tournament. Ryan will be playing CF and leading off for the Glacier Pilots. The team website for the Athletes in Action (AIA) Fire is

■ More detail on NCAA Proposes Ban on Composite Barrels from Baseball America:
"Because all bat designs must pass this test before mass production, this research indicates that the performance of such bats changed thereafter, mostly likely due to repeated, normal use and/or intentional alteration," the memo said. "Offensive statistics at the Division I level also indicate a significant increase in batting averages and home runs the past two seasons."
. . .
Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin, a former chair of the Rules Committee and the current president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, began lobbying other coaches and administrators to take action midway through the season after noticing greatly enhanced exit speeds off some composite bats. Typically, Corbin said, balls that are squared up by hitters with good bat speed will come off normal metal bats at 95-99 mph. But this spring, Corbin and his staff noticed a number of exit speeds in excess of 110 mph, topping out at 117. Obviously, that kind of bat performance is a threat not only to the integrity of the game, but also to the safety of the players on the field.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Erik Dessau (04-05) playing for the Calgary Vipers of the Golden League.
Current stats: 6-1, 3.61 ERA, 62.1 IP, 32 R, 25 ER, 70 H, 20 BB, 44 SO

Goldeyes eke out win over T-Bones (Winipeg Free Press)

Kevin West homered three times for the Winnipeg Goldeyes (32-23), but a walkoff home run by Cody Ehlers (01-04) made the difference as the Kansas City T-Bones (26-31) fell 10-8 at Canwest Park tonight in Winnipeg, Manitoba
. . .
Justin James (02-03) relieved Villarreal and allowed two walks and a single before giving way to Chris Rhoads with the bases loaded and nobody out. A double play from Brown scored the first run before an RBI single by Ehlers made the score 7-0 after seven.
. . .
Nate Cotton entered to close the game for the T-Bones and surrendered a one-out home run to West, his third of the game. After an infield single by Brown with two outs, Ehlers finished the game with a two-run home run that capped the score at 10-8.

Memories of pinstripes (Winnipeg Sun)
As for his first season with the Fish, Cody Ehlers admits it took him some time to adjust to the pitching in the Northern League after spending five seasons in the Yankees organization -- including two years with Double-A Trenton of the Eastern League.

"It's been a little up-and-down, not as consistent as I'd liked, but it's been fun though," said Ehlers. "In affiliated ball, they're trying to throw it by you every pitch. Here they sometimes throw you 2-0 curve balls and stuff like that. It's a bit of a change. It's an adjustment."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Recruit: Jesse Santo, SS

5' 11", 180 lb, R/R
Eastern Oklahoma State College
Passaic Valley HS (NJ)

2009: .400 Avg, 58 G, 15 2B, 4 3B, 17 HR, 66 R, 82 RBI, 24 SB, .729 SLG%, 21 BB, 7 HBP, 43 SO, .452 OB%, 18 E, 0.927% Fielding

■ Teammate of Mizzou Recruit Jeff Scardino

■ 2009 NJCAA 1st Team All American

■ 2007 AP New Jersey All-State

No. 13 Lions drop season finale to Mountaineers (
Eastern Shortstop Jesse Santo crushed a two-out, grand slam off Lions starter Jordan Pratt of Harrison, Ark., as part of a five-run fourth inning that got Eastern within 12-6. Two costly two-out errors kept the fifth inning alive for the Mountaineers, and first baseman Stephen Hagen made the Lions pay with a grand slam off reliever Daniel McKinney of Spiro, Okla., to top off another five-run outburst.

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes: The end of composite bats??

Rules Committee Recommends Moratorium on Composite Barrels (Baseball America)
The NCAA has devised a solution—at least temporarily—to its bat rolling dilemma. Multiple sources have confirmed that the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has recommended a moratorium on bats that use composite barrels, which tend to over perform near the end of their life cycles and are susceptible to a form of tampering known as "bat rolling." The moratorium will be considered (and likely
approved) by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel at an August meeting.

This is a positive step to address a major issue that has exploded in college baseball over the last two seasons. We’ll have plenty more on the composite bat debate in this week’s On Campus.
NCAA moratorium on composite bats is the title of a message board thread at
chipporter: From a manufacturers website about a letter he received from the

"A memo in part from the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee:

SUBJECT: Composite Bat Moratorium.

This correspondence is being sent on behalf of the Baseball Rules Committee, alerting the college baseball bat manufacturing community to an important action being taken in regard to certain bats that have been used in NCAA competition. After significant dialog and review of research collected during the Division I Baseball Championship, the committee is proposing an immediate and indefinite moratorium on the use of composite barreled bats. The committee believes this action is needed in order to protect the integrity of the game and to enhance the safety of the student-athletes. "

Kendall Rogers: This thing could be the beginning of the end of metal bats...... emphasis of the word COULD.

■ For more details on the concerns of the NCAA, read Baseball rules panel seeks to deter rolling at
The NCAA, now in its 10th season of restricting the performance level of non-wood bats, has specific standards delineated in the baseball rules book, including weight-to-length ratio, length, diameter and other specifics. All bats also had to pass the “ring test,” in which a ring is slid down the barrel of the bat to ensure it has not been dented or flattened. If the ring stops, the bat has become “out of round” and is not legal. Most of the bats removed did not meet the ring test.

A compression test, which checks how much “give” a bat has using a vise-like device with sensors, was added this year. The give of a composite bat increases as it is hit multiple times, creating a spring-like effect. The compression test can detect the effect created by “rolling” a bat, a process that replicates the effect of a well-used bat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Off-Season Pastimes: Safe at Home

"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)

What can the avid college baseball fan do in the off-season to stave off the dreaded baseball-deprivation blues?

Read a Baseball Book: Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, by Alyssa Milano

Yes, THAT Alyssa Milano. I've even provided a photo of her here, for informational purposes only.

I've been pulling new baseball books of the shelves at the Columbia Public Library over the last few weeks, in an effort to stave off those dreaded Off-Season Blues. When I saw this one I was, shall we say, doubtful that it would provide the same sort of baseball fix as previous book, Catcher (see my review).

And I was right. Milano's book is nothing at all like Catcher. But it's a good book on its own terms, and a fairly serious book on baseball (Joe Torre wrote the foreword).

The TV actress tells a classic father-and-son baseball story, only this time it's father-and-daughter. Growing up in New York with a father still pining for the Brooklyn Dodgers, she was raised to be a rabid fan. After her family moved to Los Angeles for the sake of her acting career, they rediscovered the Dodgers of her father's youth and have taken their fandom to new levels.

All that is to say she is a genuine fan of the game, not just a celebrity trying to draw attention to herself by making a real-person connection with people.

I will admit I did not read the entire book word-for-word cover-to-cover. Some of it would be more interesting to readers who are more into celebrity stuff or for female readers.

My wife took a look at the book and found the perspective from a female fan's point of view to be interesting. There's an entire chapter on baseball fashion, which is not surprising since Milano has her own line of officially licensed sports clothing designed specifically for the serious female fan (no pink).

Her thoughts on the trials and travails of professional ballplayers in the constant glare of the celebrity spotlight are unique, as described from a perspective square in the middle of that same tabloid glare. She actually helped me to understand more of what it must be like to have every move you make plastered on the front pages.

I could do without the section on ballplayers she has dated and some of the other celebrity-chick stuff, but I do give the book a thumbs up as a worthwhile read (or skim), especially for female fans - or for you guys who will be interested in the glossy photo pages in the middle of the book.

And everyone who grew up going to games with their dad - or with their own children - will connect with her story of what she calls the "generational gift" of baseball.
A father and daughter found common ground that day. And even now, baseball connects us. Despite the life experience and time that could have come between us as I grew up and became a woman, despite sometimes not having anything to say, we can always talk about baseball.

On that day back in the early 1980s, baseball and the Dodgers gave me new ways to connect with my father. It wasn’t the same as watching the Yankees back in our living room in Staten Island, but it was as close as we were going to get. It was something that we shared as a father and a daughter, something that tied us to home, like the pastina I tried to make, only better because you can’t overcook baseball and make it inedible.
Milano, by the way, also has a regular blog about baseball (and about her clothing line) called touch 'em all.

Previous Off-Season Pastimes suggestions:
• Watch a baseball movie: Sugar

• Read a baseball book: Catcher

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ Some MU alums participated in the Show-Me Games Baseball competition over the past weekend, according to the Columbia Tribune:
With O’Fallon beating Off in the Corner 3-2, Whitesides stepped to the plate in the fifth inning and lined an 0-2 pitch over the right-field fence to put his team in front for good. Wes Fewell (99-02), a Hickman teammate of Whitesides who played at MU, scored on the blast that made the score 4-3.
. . .
Former MU pitcher Ryan Gargano (07-09) struck out 11 and allowed only five hits through six innings to help Columbia take a 10-3 lead into the seventh. When O’Fallon scored five runs in the top of the seventh off reliever Justin Jones to close to within two, Haskell called on former MU ace Danny Hill (03-04) to get the final out. Hill, a third-round draft choice of Toronto in 2004 who advanced to the Blue Jays’ AA affiliate before being released following the ’06 season, escaped the bases-loaded jam with a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch.

■ I stumbled across some great photos of Mizzou Baseball recruit Blake Brown at

Procuring the '09 All-Stars (
25 of the 72 players that were selected to participate in the All-Star Game were former first-round picks. Four of those first-rounders were the first overall picks in their respective drafts (Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer and Justin Upton).

Eight more all-stars were taken in the second round, two in the third, four in the fourth, two in the fifth, five in the sixth and two in the eighth. Five players were taken in the 11th and 13th rounds, and eight players were taken in the 20th round and beyond. There are always later round gems to be unearthed, but I think it’s clear teams are much more likely to land a potential and perennial all-star with their first-round picks.
. . .

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors: Walk-offs

Grand Finale: Folgia's home run helps rally Scrappers past Tigers (
Greg Folgia’s (07-09) walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth helped lift the Scrappers to an 8-6, come-from-behind victory over the Oneonta Tigers in New York-Penn League action Sunday at Eastwood Field.

“I was looking for a fastball, hoping that he [reliever Jose Ortega] wouldn’t throw his wicked slider and that is exactly what he threw me,” Folgia said. “We won and that is all that counts. It was a great win, especially the way we had to come back but to sweep Oneonta, an excellent team and the leaders in the Stedler Division, made it all the more special.”

Folgia finished with five RBIs.

“I never had [five] RBIs in college so I will have time to digest what just transpired. This will make our bus ride to Aberdeen a little more comfortable,” Folgia said.

A 40th round draft pick this past June out of the University of Missouri, Folgia has impressed the Indians’ brass, especially manager Travis Fryman.

“To tell you the truth, I am glad that it was him [Folgia]. You gotta love the kid. He’s extremely intense, works hard and is always ready to play,” Fryman said.

Kinsler starts with homer, then walks off (
Ian Kinsler (03) started Sunday's game with a home run. It's fitting he ended it with one, too.

"What a win," manager Ron Washington said of his team's 5-3 walk-off win on Sunday against the Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "They never quit, and tonight was an example of it. It was great. We needed it."

Kinsler hit the second pitch he saw from Twins starter Francisco Liriano over the left-center wall to put the Rangers ahead, 1-0, in the first inning. The slugging second baseman finished the game 12 innings later. The Twins brought in former Ranger R.A. Dickey, who has since added a knuckleball to his repertoire. Kinsler swung hard at several pitches before connecting on his game-winning shot.

"It was a fastball that he tried to get by me," Kinsler said. "He had a good fastball before. He's tough with that knuckleball floating in there. If I was surprised, I wouldn't have hit it over."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Trevor Coleman (07-09) is already having an impact behind the plate wit the AquaSox, according to
Everett can thank Stanton for that. The compact right-hander’s secret weapon was his slider, which had Vancouver’s batters fishing as if they were in town for the summer Sockeye run. Any time Stanton had a right-handed batter at two strikes he lured him in with a slider that started out over the plate, only to dart well out of range. More often than not the batter bit, flailing helplessly at a pitch he couldn’t reach. Seven of Stanton’s nine strikeouts came via a swing-and-miss at the slider.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Stanton said about his slider. “Usually my curveball is my go-to pitch. But today (catcher Trevor) Coleman was calling fastballs in, followed by sliders. I guess they weren’t picking up the spin. It was a little sharper, a little harder today, and I kept it in the dirt.”

The net result was probably Everett’s best start of the season. Stanton allowed just three hits and three walks during his seven shutout innings. He got stronger as the game went along, fanning two batters in each of his final three innings of work.
Zagone dominant as Keys win, 5-1 (Frederick News Post)
Rick Zagone is considered one of the Orioles' better pitching prospects and Wednesday night it was evident why.

The left-hander allowed one run on three hits in seven innings and struck out six with no walks as the Keys beat Kinston 5-1 at Harry Grove Stadium. He retired the first 12 batters he faced and pitched six perfect innings.
. . .
"Two starts ago, he had trouble throwing strikes and his last outing he threw strikes, but not many quality strikes," Keys pitching coach Kennie Steenstra said. "Tonight, he pitched down in the zone much better and mixed his pitches a bit better."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes: Cape Cod & Austin

Tepesch aims to improve stock (
Missouri right-hander Nick Tepesch, pitching for Falmouth on the Cape this summer, was a 28th-round selection out of high school, but wanted first-round money and declined to sign with Boston. He has shown first-round stuff in his first two years as a Tiger, but not first-round command, and on Tuesday night his stuff was down as well.
■ Morris blast leads Commodores to 5-4 win (
Nick Tepesch took the mound for the Commodores and had a solid outing, giving up just three earned runs and striking out five over five and a third innings of work.
■ The judge finally throws the book at Augie Garrido. Sort of. Texas Baseball coach sentenced (
Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido was sentenced Thursday to four days in jail for a drunken driving conviction, though he might not serve any time.

Garrido's attorney, Michael Burnett, said Travis County jail officials will decide how long to keep the winningest coach in Division I after he reports sometime before Aug. 15. Burnett said the 70-year-old Garrido received two days' credit when he was arrested and could earn the other two days simply by getting processed.
■ The Austin American Statesman reports the same, only with a long page of reader comments, which are more interesting than the article
By TrophyMom: I am stunned …. not at the sentence, but about my emotions…. I never, EVER though I could feel sorry for someone convicted of DWI. I hope Mr. Garrido’s 4 days fly by quickly, safely, and uneventful

By todd: If only he wouldn’t have pulled the starter in the first game against LSU, he would not be doing any time. We would have had a parade instead.

By Link: What an absurd, ridiculous time we live in. The man has done incredible things with young people. He’s loved by many, respected by even more. I hope MADD, the courts, and the prosecutors are happy. They win again. The rest of us lose, however, and justice is casually thrown out the nearest window. I wish I were as perfect as these do-gooders. Certainly, none of them has ever tasted alcohol, let alone driven drunk.

By Please: It may be 4 days in jail, but after he gets out, OU will still suck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors: 1/2-Season Update


Ian Kinsler (03): Texas Rangers.

Starting 2nd baseman; Kinsler is having a fantastic year, but was edged out in the vote to be a starter in the All-Star game, and then was not chosen by the manager to be on the team

.250 Avg, 87 H, 19 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 55 RBI, 39 BB
Max Scherzer (04-06): Arizona Diamondbacks

Having a good year with the Diamondbacks, still having some trouble with getting run support. Got his first major league win on May 16, more than a year after his first start.

5-6, 3.64 ERA, 96-1/3 IP, 9 HR, 39 BB, 97 SO, 1.35 WHIP
Doug Mathis (05): Texas Rangers

Mathis began the season in Triple-A, but got the call up to the Rangers at the
beginning of June.

0-1, 2.16 ERA, 16-2/3 IP, 4 SO, 1.08 WHIP


Andrew Johnston (05): Tulsa Drillers (Texas League), Colorado Rockies organization

Leads the Texas League in Saves

1-3, 2.95 ERA, 37 G, 23 Saves, 36-2/3 IP, 28 SO

Evan Frey (05-07): Mobile BayBears , Arizona Diamondbacks organization (Southern League).

Frey has struggled some in the step up to Double-A, but is putting together a
respectable season.

.247 Avg, 34 R, 78 H, 12 2B, 4 3B, 32 RBI, 17/26 SB
Brock Bond (06-07): Connecticut Defenders, SF Giants organizations (Eastern League)

Bond is having a stand-out year in Double-A and was selected for the Eastern League All-Star game. For several weeks he led all levels, including MLB, in consecutive games reaching base, finishing with 54.

.342 avg, 278 AB, 59 R, 95 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 39 BB, 11/24 SB, .432 OBP
Garrett Broshuis (02-04): Connecticut Defenders, SF Giants organizations (Eastern League)

Brosh has had a nightmare season, moving from team to team and level to level more often than Myron Noodleman. For all the details, read his latest blog at To summarize, he has been in extended Spring Training, then single-A (because there was no room at AA or AAA), then to AA Connecticut, then an all-too-brief call-up to AAA San Jose, and now is back at Connecticut (with Brock Bond). His combined stat line looks pretty good for someone who is getting little respect from the Giants organization:

8-2, 2.38, 16 G, 75.2 IP, 62 H, 21 R, 20 ER, 5 HR, 12 BB, 39 SO
Nathan Culp (04-06): San Antonio Missions, San Diego Padres organization (Texas League)

Culp has shown flashes of brilliance in 2009 - and flashes of inconsistency.

5-6, 4.38 ERA, 96.2 IP, 111 H, 54 R, 47 ER, 13 BB, 36 SO


Hunter Mense (04-06): Jupiter Hammerheads, Florida Marlins organization (Florida State League)

Mense has been installed at first base for the Hammerheads. A quote from his blog, dated July 3:

The second half has started on a really rocky path for me, I've got my four wheel drive on though and I'm trying to endure it the best that I can. I swear that there are some times when I absolutely hate baseball! It's such a frustrating game, but whenever you succeed it just makes it that much better. Baseball is something that I have such an extreme passion for.

.234 avg, 74 G, 23 R, 63 H, 12 2C, 2 3B, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 20 BB, 38 SO, 2/4 SB
Rick Zagone (06-08): Frederick Keys (High-A Carolina League), Baltimore Orioles organization

Began the season with the Delmarva Shorebirds, his season began with a flourish going 4-3 with a 1.92 ERA in his first nine starts. Since then he has struggled a bit.

Keys stats: 0-2, 6.60 ERA, 3 G, 15 IP, 18 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 2 HR, 6 BB, 13 SO


Trevor Coleman (07-09): Everett AquaSox (Northwest League), Seattle Mariners organization

Drafted in June, Coleman just signed with he Mariners this past week and has appeared in one game so far for the Short-Season AquaSox.

Lee Fischer (07-08): Kannapolis Intimidators (South Atlantic League), Chicago White Sox organization

Fischer began the season at Bristol and now is with Kannapolis, getting little
playing time

.300 (9 G, 20 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 3 2B, 4 RBI
Greg Folgia (07-09): Mahoning Valley Scrappers (New York-Penn League), Cleveland Indians organization

There were some rumors that Folgia wanted to return to the Tigers for another season, but finally chose to make the leap to the pros.

.229 avg, 19 G, 70 AB, 10 R, 16 H, 4 2B, 0 HR, 5 BB, 15 SO, 1/2 SB
Ryan Lollis (06-09): Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Northwest League) San Francisco Giants organization

Drafted in June, Lollis signed quickly and has been having a fairly good season
so far.

.333 Avg, 66 AB, 11 R, 22 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1/3 SB, .500 Slg%
Kyle Mach (06-09), Arizona Giants (Arizona League) San Francisco Giants organization

Drafted in June, Mach signed quickly and was assigned to the Rookie league

.227 avg, 11 G, 44 AB, 8 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 13 SO


James Boone (03-05): Sioux City Explorers (American Association)

Released by the Altoona Curve in June. Stats with Explorers:

.326 avg, 11 G, 43 AB, 8 R, 14 H, 6 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 4 SO, .535 Slg%
■ Erik Dessau (04-05): Calgary Vipers, Golden Baseball League

Cody Ehlers (01-04): Winnipeg Goldeyes, Northern League

.255 avg, 43 G, 161 AB, 21 R, 41 H, 9 2B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 12 BB, 31 SO
Justin James ( 02-03): Kansas City T-Bones, Northern League

3-5, 7.04 ERA, 13 G, 61-1/3 IP, 77 H, 48 R, 48 ER, 11 HR, 21 BB, 53 SO
Taylor Parker (03-06): Fort Worth Cats, Texas League.

2-0, 5.63 ERA, 16 G, 24 IP, 19 H, 17 R, 15 ER, 1 HR, 16 BB, 17 SO
Andy Shipman (03): Gary South Shore RailCats (Northern League)

Began the season with the Kansas City T-Bones, Northern League. Was released in early June and picked up by Gary. Was selected for the Northern League All-Star Game

Stats with the RailCats:

3-1, 0.53 ERA, 15 G, 6 Saves, 17 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 15 SO


Torre Tyson (95-98): Head Coach, Charleston Riverdogs, Class-A NY Yankees organization (South Atlantic League)

Jon Williams (98-01): Hitting Coach, Idaho Falls Chukars, KC Royals organization.

Jayce Tingler (00-03): Head Coach, Texas Rangers' Dominican Summer League


Jacob Priday (05-07)and Kurt Calvert (06-08) have retired from baseball.


Aaron Crow (06-07): Drafted in June by the Royals

Kyle Gibson (07-09): Drafted in June by the Twins

Aaron Senne (07-09): Drafted in June by the Twins. Word is he will likely return to the Tigers next season

If you have further information about any of these players, or corrections to my info, please e-mail me at

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes: Summer Ball

Blues finish sweep of Mavericks (

Chal Fanning (MU pitching coach, 97-02) had a sense his team would be good. He just knew he’d have to wait for it to be this good.

Summer collegiate baseball teams can be tempted to comprise their rosters more heavily of players from schools that didn’t make NCAA playoff runs, so that they can play at the highest level as soon as the summer starts, quickly forming an identity while filling seats. But for Fanning, the manager of the San Luis Obispo Blues, patience is paying off.

Of the 37 players listed on the Blues’ roster, 19 hail from programs coming off of NCAA Tournament appearances.
. . .

Kelly Fick
, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound left-hander entering his junior season at Missouri, started Sunday for San Luis Obispo, scattering six hits in six innings of work.

“Early on, I wasn’t at my best,” Fick said, “but I finally found it in those last three innings (I was in).”

Fick (5-0) gave up his first earned run of the season in the third inning after Anthony Williams hit an RBI double that pulled the Mavericks within 2-1. Fick finished with four strikeouts and didn’t walk any batters in a brisk affair that took only two hours and three minutes.

“A couple pitches got away from him,” Fanning said, “but he buckled down and threw well. He probably could’ve thrown a complete game.”
Bombs Away ( highlights a current Tiger and a Tiger recruit [with VIDEO]:
And some of the talent is going to stay in Mid-Missouri in the fall. Pitcher Zach Hardoin signed to play at Mizzou.

"I'm going to have to pitch to live up to the expectations of people at Mizzou, and help the team stay on the winning track and continue to be good," said Hardoin.
. . .
"Zach will be a good Big 12 starter. He's got three solid pitches: fast, curve, and change. He's got a phenomenal curveball. It's one of the best curveballs in the league," Kindle said.
. . .
"Ryan Allen's probably one of, if not the best pitcher on our staff. He's got a .30 ERA and he's done everything we've asked him to do. He's come out and given us solid innings. He's found his stuff again," said Kindle.

Allen credits a new outlook on his success.

"One thing I'm trying to do is come out and have fun at the ballpark. Find any ways I can to make it fun. Whether it's batting practice, sprint around after fly balls like you're an outfielder," said Allen.
. . .
Both Hardoin and Allen carry an ERA less than one.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Brosh Back

Garrett Broshuis' (02-04) latest Baseball America blog is a must read for those who know him. Clink the link to Suitcase Chronicles: Keep your bags packed and read the whole post, not just this excerpt:
"Well, I got bad news and bad news," I was told the next day while doing the bucket during BP, baseball's version of the walk of shame. This was not what I wanted to hear. "You're going back to San Jose tonight. And you're going to Double-A Connecticut tomorrow."

I felt like someone had tied me to a road, poured hot asphalt upon me, and taken a steam-roller to me—not once, but a dozen times as if all of the hope left in my seemingly meaningless baseball existence needed to be purged, made flatter than the pre-Columbus earth. I wished more than anything to be given another chance. I hadn't made a good first impression, but being the type of pitcher that can study hitters and adjust accordingly, I hoped to make a couple more starts. This foolish hope expunged, I again couldn't sleep.
Back with Connecticut, Broshuis likes what he sees (
Dodd Stadium is a regular stop on Garrett Broshuis' minor league tour, so he's seen his share of Connecticut Defender teams.

This year's edition has made quite an impression on the veteran minor leaguer since joining the team about a week ago for his fourth stint here in four years.

”You can see how positive of an outlook this team has,” Broshuis said. “I've only been here one week and there's a lot of fight on this team.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Art & Baseball: Legos

Mizzou in the Minors: Coleman signs

■ Trevor Coleman (07-09) has signed with the Seattle Mariners. He has joined the Everett AquaSox of the Class A Northwest League.

■ The Columbia Tribune reminisces about MU alums in the All-Star Game in All-Stars and stripes:
A pitcher on Missouri’s College World Series runner-up team in 1958, O’Donoghue went 26-39 with a 5.54 ERA over his first four minor league seasons. But something clicked in 1964.

“And now, here I am as a 25-year-old in the bullpen watching Sandy Koufax warm up and hearing my name introduced with Hank Aaron and Eddie Matthews and Pete Rose,” O’Donoghue said. “For one year, I was there with the very best players in the game.”
. . .
The finest year of Laudner’s baseball life came in the twilight of a nine-year career with the Twins.

“It was unbelievable,” Laudner said. “I grew up in Minny, and if you had told me I’d play in the major leagues, then win the World Series and make an All-Star team, I’d say you were nuts. I accomplished everything I could have ever wanted.”

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

Not meant to be for Kinsler (Dallas News)
Sure enough, Dustin Pedroia has decided to not participate in the All-Star Game as the starting second baseman for the American League so that he can stay home with his pregnant wife. The most logical replacement for his spot seemed to be Ian Kinsler (03), who finished second in balloting to be the starter as well as the last player on the roster. Oh, yeah, Kinsler plays second base.

But Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon went with one of his own, first baseman Carlos Pena, who is hitting 23 points worse than Kinsler and with only four more home

Kinsler has had three chances now to make the his second straight All-Star team and missed out each time. Talk about not meant to be.

■ A good article about a former winner of our annual Base Cadet award: Kinsler uses trickery, proper timing when stealing third base (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Ian Kinsler has attempted to steal third base 21 times in his career, and the Texas Rangers’ second baseman has never been thrown out. He swiped No. 21 on Thursday night and scored moments later on a wild pitch.
. . .
"It’s more of a bait move," he said. "You try to make the pitcher think that you’re going. It’s about that and timing."
. . .
All-Star Bond impressing for Defenders (Norwich Bulletin)

Right now, everything is going Brock Bond’s (06-07) way.

“That’s the way baseball is,” he said. “Some days things don’t click and you don’t know what’s the problem. Luckily, I’ve been getting some pitches to hit and seeing the ball pretty good. I’m sticking to my approach, and it’s going good.”

Going good includes a selection to next week’s Eastern League All-Star Game.Had it not been for a tough grounder called an error instead of a hit on Wednesday in New Britain, Bond would have reached base in 55 straight games. For now, the streak ended at 51 games.
In praise of Brock Bond (Greg's Connecticut Defenders Blog ) [with photos!]

I mean really...a 3 for 3 game tonight with a walk and two runs scored just what you want from your leadoff batter--his BA is up to .341 and he was part of three DPs turned by CT tonight. Last night in NB he was 2 for 2 with three walks and he's reached base in like 50+ games in a row now. On yeah CT wins 4-2 in front of 5300+ at Dodd.
Fish make grade (Winnepeg Sun)

1B Cody Ehlers (01-04) (B-) -- The first-year Fish hasn't hit quite as well as expected but had 21 RBI in 39 games and delivered in some big spots.
■ From a comment on
You can credit Torre Tyson (95-98), Charleston’s manager for the behavior of the kids coming through there. He demands it. He kept very close handle on Tabata, and
never had these issues. Tyson’s only 32-33 years old, but, grew up in a baseball family. His father Mike was a middle infielder with the Cards in the ’70s. His close friend was Joe Torre….that’s his connection. He was a minor league infielder out of the Red Sox system, was released and hooked on with the Yanks. He’s going to make somebody a fine manager soon.

All-Star Plans ( Max Scherzer is going to Southern California for some surf and beach time with family.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

■ Matt Nestor takes a different look at Ian Kinsler and the All-Star Game in Take Two:

So, if Brangelina or TomKat had been in the running, would they now be making
the trip to St. Louis?

That’s right, America’s fascination with cutesy jerry-rigged nicknames is how “Bran-Torino” got into the All-Star Game and how Ian Kinsler got totally screwed.

I'll let you read the rest to learn more.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Big 12: Cowboys in trouble with NCAA

Oklahoma St. faces major violation (
Officials at Oklahoma State said Thursday that a former baseball player accepted a used car as a gift while he was in a summer league in what the NCAA contends was a major rules violation that could cost the program.

A letter sent May 28 from the NCAA to Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis asks university officials to meet Aug. 7-8 with the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis.

Oklahoma State spokesman Gary Shutt said the player received a 10-year-old car from an out-of-state family he stayed with while playing in the summer league. He said the university contends it was not a major violation, in part because the family had no prior connection with Oklahoma State athletics.

He said the player did not appear in any games for the Cowboys after receiving the car.


Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

Mense adjusting to new league (Liberty Tribune)
Hunter Mense (04-06), a 2003 Liberty High graduate, has struggled with the bat in the early stages of the season with Jupiter (Fla.) Hammerheads in the Florida Marlins chain.

Mense, 24, is hitting .227 through Monday, July 6 with one home run and 16 runs batted in 68 games with the Hammerheads. He has turned it up in the month of July so far, hitting .263.

While dealing with a new league offensively, Mense is also going through a position change, playing first base with Jupiter. He played outfield most of the time for the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers last season.
Kinsler edged by Inge in Final Vote (
The Rangers second baseman lost out to Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge in the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote for the American League team. The final results were announced on Thursday afternoon for the 80th annual All-Star Game to be played in St. Louis on Tuesday.
. . .
Kinsler took the close loss in stride.

"It's not disappointing," Kinsler said before the Rangers' game against Seattle on Thursday. "It's something that's cool to be a part of, but at the same time, if you don't go, there's only a certain amount of guys who can go."
Brock Bond got aboard on an error to start last night's game off and extended his on base streak to 52 games (

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes: Fick & Wall Street Journal

I'm guessing Kelley never thought he'd see the day when his name shared a headline with the venerable WSJ.

Kelley Fick is tearing up the California Collegiate League. Stats as of July 8:
4-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 CG, 28 IP, 18 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 22 SO, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, Opp BA .180
■ In the better late than never category, I happened upon this month-old article in The Wall Street Journal: America's Best Baseball Schools

To ascertain which schools have done the best in recent years at producing players who make an impact in the majors, The Wall Street Journal analyzed each draft from 1996 through 2008. Each school that has produced at least four major-league players from those drafts was ranked by adding its total "runs above replacement" for hitters and pitchers.
. . .
California schools make up four of the top five—USC, No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Pepperdine, with Miami in between. But more than anything, the analysis shows how difficult it is for even top colleges to produce top-flight major-league players. Mr. Pujols has single-handedly been more valuable statistically than the offensive alumni of every college during the past dozen years, save Miami and UCLA.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

Voting for Ian Kinsler could mean winning a prize (Dallas News)
The Rangers are offering fans an incentive to voting for Ian Kinsler (03) as part of the on-line balloting for the final spot on the American League team. Fans could win one of two packages:

A suite for 20 at the Rangers game with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, July 21 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington or an All-Star package featuring autographed bats from Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, and Michael Young.

You have until Thursday at 3 p.m. to get your vote in.
Kinsler deserves to be on All-Star team (Tahlequah Daily Press)

Ian Kinsler (03) has helped the Rangers become a playoff contender in the AL West despite slugger Josh Hamilton missing time on the disabled list. Other than
maybe Dustin Pedroia, he has established himself as the best second basemen not
only in the American League, but in all of Major League Baseball.
Surprised Kinsler was overlooked? Don't be (

So, as opposed to a year ago when AL manager Terry Francona at least was able to
undo the injustice by adding Kinsler to the team, this year, AL manager Joe
Maddon had to address the oversight of Toronto's Aaron Hill, who has had the
best first half of any AL second baseman, leaving Kinsler as the odd man out.

James Boone (03-05) has signed with the Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association.

Frey learns from the best (Columbia Tribune)
Being around veteran major leaguers such as Gibson, now the Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach, and Brett Butler, the manager of the Triple-A Reno Aces, during spring training forced Ryan Frey (05-07) to empty his head of star-struck thoughts and fill his mind with the little tidbits of advice that will advance his baseball career.

“I got tons of information on outfield play, hitting, baserunning,”
■ Closer Andrew Johnston (05), who leads the Texas League in saves, has been placed on the disabled list ( has an interesting feature on Athletes, teams, fans embrace social networking

Social media sites are still in their infancy. But they've gone from an uncertain novelty where anyone can post a picture or quickly write a few words to a popular conversation tool among athletes, teams and fans. That transformation has taken only a few months. The sites have allowed athletes and leagues to bypass the media and communicate directly with fans.
. . .
But leagues and players also have to be aware of the potential dangers of giving the fans a closer look at the lives of athletes.

"We have our security meetings, and that comes up," said Rangers reliever Doug Mathis, who has the same Facebook page he started in college. "They say to watch what you put on there and watch who you are friends with because there are a lot of people that you never know what their motive is for doing that."
■ He hasn't been getting much publicity online, but former Tiger shortstop Lee Fischer (06-07)is still making the plays in the pros, according to

The offense gave him all the help he would need in the bottom of the fourth,
tallying five runs off of Delmarva starter Oliver Drake (4-5). Each of the first five hitters reached base and scored in the inning, with Lee Fischer picking up a clutch, bases-loaded double to drive in two.
Garrett Broshuis (02-04) must be getting plenty of frequent flyer miles: Broshuis' return too much for Rock Cats (Norwich Bulletin)

Garrett Broshuis, making his first start for Connecticut since last season, blanked rival New Britain for 6 2/3 innings Tuesday night to lead the Defenders to a 3-0 win.

Broshuis, who joined the team from Triple-A Fresno just days earlier, allowed six hits and one walk while striking out two. Matt Yourkin and Dan Otero closed out the final 2 1/3.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes: Summer Ball

Garrison McLagan played a key role in the Hannibal Cavemen's vistory this weekend, accouring to
That run came in the tenth inning, with the contest tied 4-4. In a stroke of luck, Quincy’s John Myers overthrew a routine ground ball, allowing Bryce Tafelski a free pass to second base and setting the table for the University of Missouri’s Garrison McLagan.

“I just wanted to go up there and be aggressive because I knew he was [throwing] lots of fastballs,” McLagan said.

That aggressive approach paid off when McLagan blooped a shot over into left-center field, lifting it just enough to give Tafelski the cushion he needed to plate the winning run.

“I kinda watched it,” McLagan admitted. “I was seeing if it was going to get into the gap. I was going to take two if it got past them.”
Commodores outscore Cotuit 14-9 (
Nick Tepesch (Missouri) was on the mound for the Commodores and bounced back from a rough outing in his last start. Over six innings of work, Tepesch allowed just three earned runs on eight hits. photo album of the Cape Cod League, including Nick Tepesch.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Poll: Publishing names of Mizzou Baseball recruits

A discussion at this weekend brought up (once again) the topic of publishing the names of Mizzou Baseball's signed recruits.

For a number of years now, Tim Jamieson's coaching staff has chosen not to release any information on signed recruits for the program.

I don't know any sort of percentage, but the vast majority of D-1 baseball programs do release that information. Most other MU sports release their recruit signings. For Football and Basketball, signing day is a big event. Football holds a big press conference that has turned into quite a spectacular annual event.

Multiple internet organizations and traditional newspapers expend a great deal of time and space to reporting on potential recruits and signed recruits. Take a look at during football and basketball signing periods. Gabe DeArmond would probably tell us that a significant portion of his subscriber base is due to his in depth reporting on recruiting for those two power sports. I've taken my cue from his site and those like it on what kind of information will draw people to a college sports website.

For some reason, MU Baseball opts out of the hoopla.

And let me say that I fully support the right of Jamieson and staff to make this decision. They're in charge.

That doesn't mean I have to like it or agree with their choice.

Without a doubt the number one comment I get from followers of about my blog is that they appreciate the reporting I do on MU Recruits. The recruits themselves - and their families - contact me and thank me for providing recruiting information.

The most frequent explanation I hear for a baseball program not releasing that information is that they don't want to tip off pro scouts about a good recruit that had been under their radar. As one person wrote, in that discussion:
Actually, the MLB overlooks tons of players. Many of times, pro teams will draft a kid late knowing that no other teams know about this kid. They will still pay him a hefty bonus because his talent merits a higher draft round talent. Look up Will Middlebrooks' story from Texas A&M. Unknown recruit who never got a look from anyone or anything. Once he signed with A&M and the list was released, scouts naturally flocked with interest. This resulted in a hefty signing bonus and A&M losing a great player.
And so I ask this question, because I really do genuinely want to know what you think.
• Should the MU Coaches release this information?

• And if not, then should be digging up and reporting the names and details of MU Recruits?
There are two polls in the left-hand column on this page where you can give me your thoughts. You can click on multiple answers / reasons if you agree with more than one statement on either of the questions. Or post a reply to this blog post. Or join in on the discussion. Or send me an e-mail at

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

Ian Kinsler (03) was once again edged out of the starting 2nd baseman role for the American League team in the MLB All-Star game. For the second straight year, his former Arizona State teammate Dustin Pedroia, now of the of Boston Red Sox, was voted in by the legions of "Red Sox Nation". Kinsler had been leading in the vote as of last Tuesday, but was passsed by Pedroia and edged out by 73,000 votes. Kinsler was not chosen as an AL reserve.

■ Closer Andrew Johnston (05) picked up the save as the North beat the South 2-1 in Thursday's Texas League All-Star Game. (

■ Missions starter Nathan Culp (04-06) worked through 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He did not walk a batter and tied his season high with four strikeouts. (Our Sports Central)

Off-Season Pastimes: Catcher

"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)

What can the avid college baseball fan do in the off-season to stave off the dreaded baseball-deprivation blues?

Read a Baseball Book: Catcher: How the Man Behind the Plate Became an American Folk Hero, by Peter Morris

Warning: Reading this book should only be attempted by die hard baseball fans who revel in knowing the minutiae and history of the game.

This book could be subtitled, Everything You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know About the History of Catchers in Baseball.

The author has done his research well for this book, providing an incredibly in-depth description of the evolution of the catcher's role, his job, his equipment and his reputation, mostly confined to the era from the 1870s through 1910.

Along the way, he weaves in analysis of the evolution of late 19th century American culture and mythology, comparing the Catcher to no less than Daniel Boone, the American Cowboy and Ulysses S. Grant.
The catcher would embody many of the traits of the archetypal American hero, including courage, resourcefulness, and a unique fitness to a specific task. He would bring those attributes to the industrial city and demonstrate that they still had value in the quintessentially American game of baseball. Finally, while he belonged in his new environment, he never belonged to it. He managed to retain a strong hint of the
While some of the cultural analysis seems a little over the top and some his extended ramblings read somewhat like a scholarly research paper, I found that I was learning things about the development of baseball and of the catcher's role that I never knew before - and that's saying a lot for someone as obsessed with baseball history as I am.

One of the best features, for me, was the extensive quotations from newspaper and magazine articles of the era. For example, this is from a 1909 article in a Washington newspaper:
The catcher is the armored cruiser of the baseball diamond. He wears a mask to prevent him from trying to catch foul tips with his teeth and a chest protector stuffed with wind to keep stray balls from burrowing into his thorax and spraining his vermiform appendix. Thus armored he is required to crouch behind the batter, brush the bat out of his eyes, watch the bases, dig wild balls out of the atmosphere, keep the opposing players from sliding home by letting them slide into his ankles with his spiked feet and quarrel with the umpire besides running half a block over small boys after a foul ball every inning. Some men do this for pleasure. But then, others dive off the Brooklyn Bridge for pleasure too.
I thoroughly enjoyed wading through this book, even spending a bit of time in the 100 pages of appendixes, footnotes and index. It took me a good 2-1/2 weeks to complete the read - it would no doubt provide many less book-wormish fans a entire off-season's worth of slow hibernatory digestion.

One can only hope that Mr. Morris is working on a sequel covering the development of the role of Catcher in the century since. I'd love to see a comparison between the abilities and reputations of catchers like Berra, Bench and Rodriguez to Bresnahan, Kelly and Ewing of the 19th century.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Bond. Brock Bond

Former MU second baseman hits big in Minor Leagues ( AUDIO LINK)
Steve Decker, head coach of the Defenders, compares Brock Bond's (06-07) style of play to former St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Fernando Vina.

"Brock's a switch hitter, he knows how to work the count, he knows how to get on base, he has a two strike approach, he can bunt, he's a very good solid leadoff guy."
. .
"His tool grade isn't off the charts, but when you watch him play day in and day out you know he's a tough kid and goes up there and battles everyday and helps ballclubs win. And you know what, he's going to grind his way into being a big leaguer if he keeps playing like this."

And, for now, that's impressive enough for the guy who was the 734th player selected in the 2007 draft
Four Defenders named Eastern League All-Stars (Norwich Bulletin)
Madison Bumgarner, Brock Bond, Eddy Martinez-Esteve and Joe Paterson have all been selected to play in this year’s Eastern League All-Star Game, set for July 15 in Trenton.

The San Francisco Giants’ No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, the 19-year-old Bumgarner has compiled a 1.96 ERA and 5-1 record since his promotion to Double-A on May 9. Meanwhile, Bond, a second baseman, is hitting a team-high .326, ranks third in the league in runs scored (49) and currently boasts the longest active on-base streak in the major or minor leagues at 45 games.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes: Senne, Big Hits & A Fine Line

Senne likely to turn down Twins (
It looks like Rochester native Aaron Senne will go back to school instead of signing with the Twins.

The former Mayo star was taken by the Twins in the 32nd round of the baseball draft over two weeks ago.

Senne says the Twins' current contract offer is lower than he expected, and will go back to Missouri for his senior season, unless the Twins up the offer.

This is the second time Senne has turned down the Twins. Three years ago, he was taken by Minnesota out of high school but chose to play college baseball.

Also see video HERE (showing Senne as a pitcher in high school)

■'s hits per month (translation: how many people visit this website) have been steadily climbing since switching to the Blogger platform. And oddly enough, my June hit total was 26% more than May – even though the Tigers' season the season ended on May 31st.

I thank RockMNation in part because my Counter software tells me that I get more referrals from RockMNation than I do from Google or any other site.

So thanks to the guys at RockMNation for the lift. And thanks to all the faithful followers of for making this all worth the trouble.

■ I generally avoid posting much stuff on MU's Big 12 opponents. I have plenty to do just keeping up with the Tigers. Let some crazed Jayhawk fan waste his time blogging on

But, the Daily Texan has a pretty good [and entirely objective] profile titled Garrido unmatched on 40 acres. A sample:
Imagine Yoda coaching college baseball, but without the green skin and at least 4 feet taller.

He would watch from the dugout, waiting for the perfect opportunity to share his endless wisdom. Wisdom sometimes related to baseball. Equal parts philosopher and tactician, Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido is the Yoda of college baseball, constantly stressing the spiritual aspect of a game better known for superstitions.

And he can’t quite put a finger on where his unique coaching style came from. He has continually grown in his 41 years of coaching college baseball. He doesn’t have one great influence guiding him; instead, he remembers a pearl of wisdom from his mother that helped shaped his coaching style.

“She told me, ‘There is a mighty fine line between philosophy and bullshit. . . ”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors & Majors

Ian Kinsler's All-Star bid jeopardized by Pedroia's surge (
It’s too late for Ian Kinsler (03) to hire a campaign manager for his All-Star bid, but that doesn’t mean the Texas Rangers second baseman isn’t keeping an eye on the voting.

Online voting for the game ends Thursday, and he holds a 6,830-vote lead over Boston’s Dustin Pedroia in a bid to make his first All-Star start.
Garret Broshuis (02-04), exiled to Single-A ball so far this summer, due to "overcrowding" in the higher levels, was finally rewarded for his patience.
Right-handed pitchers Garrett Broshuis and Joe Martinez were both transferred to Fresno (AAA) today. Broshuis, San Jose's career leader in victories (22), was 6-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 13 appearances (seven starts) with the Giants this season. (

You Make the Call: 2009 MVPs

The voting has closed in our You Make the Call poll for the MVPs of the Year. The results are always interesting in these polls, reflecting general opinion of followers of, mixed with evidence of an impressive level of Internet know-how and time-on-their-hands by certain friends and family members.

The results:

Pitcher of the Year: Kyle Gibson, by a landslide. Only Phil McCormick and Ryan Gargano made any significant showing in the wake of Gibson 75% vote total.

Player of the Year: Kyle Mach and Greg Folgia battled this one out, with Mach taking a convincing lead in the latter weeks.

Newcomer of the Year: Conner Mach finished strong, like his brother, outpacing his nearest competition, Michael Liberto.

Congratulations to the winners! Your trophies are in the mail!

Coming soon: Our next You Make the Call Poll will ask: Which MU alum currently in the Minors has the best chance of making the Show?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Streaks, All-Stars, amazing plays

Brock Bond (06-07) extended his on base streak to 44 games going 3 for 5 with two runs scored. The streak is the currently the longest active one in MLB and Minor League Baseball. (OurSportsCentral, 6/29)
• On Tuesday night, the 30th, he extended that streak to 45 games

■ From The Loss Column:
Perhaps the best example of why I love writing this column is discovering jewels like Rick Zagone (06-08), who has been promoted to Frederick. Zagone made his debut against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) and did not disappoint with six innings of three hit shutout ball, allowing just one walk and striking out five.
Andy Shipman (03) has been selected for Northern League All-Star Game (

Four-time All-Star Jay Pecci headlines a list of seven Gary SouthShore RailCats players tabbed to participate in the 2009 Northern League Field of All-Stars Game, the league announced today. Pecci will be joined by Eric McNamee, Steve Haake, Mike Massaro, Andy Shipman and Eddie De la Cruz.
. . .
The RailCats closer, Shipman is one of three members of the bullpen named to the All-Star Game. Released earlier this season by the Kansas City T-Bones, Shipman has been lights out in 11 appearances for the RailCats, posting six saves and a 0.82 ERA in 11.0 innings of work. Shipman has allowed only nine hits and three walks while striking out 12. This is the third All-Star selection of Shipman's professional career, but first since the 2005 Southern League (AA) All-Star Game.
Mobile guns down Barons at plate, snapping skid (

Center fielder Evan Frey (05-07) gunned down Birmingham's C.J. Retherford at the plate, preserving a 6-5 victory for the Mobile BayBears and snapping the club's four-game losing streak Monday night.

Birmingham stormed back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the seventh, but Peter Clifford's two-run double in the eighth put Mobile ahead for good. Birmingham trimmed the lead with a Stefan Gartrell solo shot in the bottom of the frame and threatened again in the ninth before Frey's game-ending throw.

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

West leads in GAC North honors (Suburban Journals)
Not only was the St. Charles West baseball team the best in the Gateway Athletic Conference North, but the Warriors might have been the second-best team in the GAC South by spring's end, too.
. . .
MU recruits on the All-GAC North baseball first team:

Pitcher: Andy Heifner, senior, St. Charles West

Heifner led the conference in strikeout average with 10.73 per game in 45 2/3 innings. His masterpiece was in the district semifinals against Zumwalt West when he
earned the win with a 3-hit shutout effort through four innings. The Jaguars averaged eight runs per game. He finished the season with a record of 4-2 and ERA of 1.69.

"The thing people don't realize about Andy is he's just been focusing on pitching the last couple of years," Rico said. "Going into his senior year, it was one of those things where we'd hope he'd do good and he came out and had an unbelievable year for us and was one of the most dominating pitchers in the conference. We knew whenever he was on the mound, we'd be in the ball game."

Outfielder: Brannon Champagne, senior, St. Charles West

One of the most decorated high school athletes to come out of St. Charles County in this decade, Champagne was the ideal leadoff hitter and center fielder. He hit .429 with 10 doubles, and led the conference in stolen bases (27) and runs (42). A proud athlete, with a rich family background in St. Charles, Champagne got two hits off Zumwalt South in his final game with the Warriors. Champagne and Heifner will be teammates at Mizzou this fall.

"He's made a name for himself the last four years," Rico said. "Honestly, he's been in the running for the Player of the Year all four years. He's just that all-around player that can change the outcome of a game all by himself. He can bunt his way on, steal a base, or hit one out to beat you. We went into the season knowing we'd need a lot out of our seniors, and Brannon took that in stride and was our table setter. What impressed me the most was his ability to be that spark."
A record season for Dane and Flip (Edwardsville Intelligencer)
The Edwardsville Tigers baseball team enjoyed much success in 2009 and a big reason for that was the two juggernaut bats nestled in the middle of their lineup.

Senior center fielder “Great” Dane Opel and junior third baseman Michael “Flip” Failoni roared into the EHS record books this season with their wicked offensive mastery.
. . .
Opel swatted 18 homers to surpass Danny Jackson, the offensive benchmark at Edwardsville, who held the coveted record with 16 bombs in 2000.

As for RBIs, Jackson had been second on the list with 57, trailing Tim Hansel and Matt Bogle by one, as they had 58, but not anymore.

Opel is the new leader there with 62 RBIs while Failoni is perched directly behind
him with 61 runs driven in.
. . .
“It’s going to play out through this entire summer,” said Opel. “We’ll see how I do and if they like me and that kind of stuff. They took me as a summer follow, so they can follow me throughout the summer obviously. I don’t know what they think I’m worth. If the offer is good enough to make me miss college then I guess I’ll sign, but I don’t know if I really see that happening. Either way it’s a good choice, but it’s just going to come down to which one works out better for me. I guess I’ll talk about it with my family and see which one works.”