(Willmar, Mn) The Willmar Stingers season is upon us and I couldn't be more excited. This begins the third season in Willmar for the Stingers and it has been my pleasure to be the stadium "Voice of the Stingers" during that time. Due to the heavy schedule of games I do take a few games off each year to get in a little family vacation time but I'll be out there barking for most games again this season.
During these past two and upcoming third year I have greatly enjoyed barking out announcements, interacting with game contestants on the field and engaging in some lively banter in the press box during warm summer nights. Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak have been great guys to work with as have the cadre of interns that help make all the games and promotions happen.
This year they are adding "Barry" the bear mascot to the evening festivities, so I'll have a big furry critter to take some pot shots at this year while he is delighting the young fans with his antics. I am sworn to secrecy about the identity of Barry, but I can tell you he will do a gret job.
The Stingers open the season with a bunch of new players and some familiar faces as well. Manager Matt Hollod returns for his third season along with his buddy and pitching coach Tyler Shepple. I host "The Matt Hollod Show" every Friday morning at 1005am on KWLM. We talk Stingers baseball with Coach Hollod and at least one player during the season.
Fireworks and givewaways all season long at "The Beehive," so make sure to get your tickets and join in the fun, I know I will be there.
(Willmar, MN) --05-16-2012-- So if the Twins didn't have the most beautiful ballpark in America according to some national publications, would anyone be going to watch this awful team? There is no way I'd be spending my hard earned money to go to the Dome and watch the Twins lose three out of every four games. Actually as a partial season ticket holder since target Field opened I have been a no show to a game I had tickets for already. I had tickets for a week night game last year in September and decided I didn't want to spend more money than I had already to watch the Twins play Kansas City, again.
They continue to draw consistently over 32-33,000 fans every night even as they slip into another horrible season of not just losing, but not even being competitive. I don't think I'm way out on a limb saying they have the worst starting pitching in major league baseball. They also have several waiver claims holding down spots in the starting lineup on a nightly basis. Clete Thomas, Eric Komatsu and Darin Mastroianni were all castoffs from other organizations that Twins claimed and immediately put into their starting lineup. Well they claimed Mastroianni during the winter and he was playing well in Trilpe-A.
At the game on Monday night with my dad and friends JP Cola and Tom Fahy fans were booing Joe Mauer, booing our favorite son! I guess he's not the favorite anymore. That's what happens when you get a new building and ask fans to pay trilpe what they did to go to a game just a few years ago, they expect more, and rightfully so.
If not for the new ballpark the Twins would be playing in front of a gathering, not a crowd. If they don't start to improve the ball club soon, that may be the case again, sooner than later.
(Willmar, MN) Last week was a great week for the sports fan, started with the Final Four and ended with Bubba winning The Masters. In between the major league baseball season got underway and with that my rotisserie baseball auction. It's like fantasy baseball but for more serious players who want a more realistic representation of what it would be like to put together a major league team.
That brings me to the title of this post. Yes indeed I did wind up with Delmon Young on my roto baseball team. Seemed like the price was right, defense doesn't matter in rotoball so when Delmon misplays a flyball and runs half heartedly after it, I don't care just drive in a run while at the plate.
Players I coveted the most went for moree than I wanted to "pay." It's pretend money, we have $260 Rotobucks to buy 22 active players so I had a hard time going to $43 for Tampa 3B Evan Longoria, he was #1 on my list. Instead I picked up Adrian Beltre, Tex third sacker for $37. Decided against getting one of the big three first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, they all went for $46, picked up Paul Konerko instead for $33. Couldn't get Jays P Brandon Morrow, he went for $33, settled for Hiroki Kuroda for $24.
We are a group of 12 guys from the area who follow baseball extremely closely, especially the American League since that's the only players we can use. We know our AL middle relievers and utility players like no one's business so I think it's an interesting point how much some Twins players were auctioned for among us Twins fans and rotoballers.
The highest paid Twin? Joe Mauer of course but for a career low $21, he was $31 last year. Justin Morneau next, I'm a believer but finally dropped out of the bidding at $20, he was $37 last year. Scott Baker was kept from last year at $20. How about Twins "Ace" Carl Pavano? $2, yes two bucks for the Twins ace. Heck Matt Thornton a White Sox middle releiver went for $21 just on a hunch he may close for them.
Other Twins signings, Frankie Liriano $17, Denard Span $13, Jamey Carroll $4 with a few Twins kept from last year on some rosters like Matt Capps for $4 and Josh Willingham for $9. It doesn't look like there's a lot expected from the Twins players this year, at least using our little sample of baseball fans.
Well it's not the worst thing to expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised, that's my spring eternal hope for the Twins this season, just don't be terrible.
Here we go, March madness starts in February for high school sports teams. It's a very exciting time of the year but quite busy. I'm hoping to be in Marshall tonight for girls Section 2AAA basketball for the Cardinals. We'll have that game on KWLM. I'll get a chance to ride the team bus down to Marshall and enjoy the ride, normally I drive myself because the teams have to leave so early to get there ahead of the preliminary games. At tourney time though there's just the one game so my nap time isn't cut into quite so much. :-)
Tomorrow night I'll head for St. Paul and stay at the Cardinals team headquarters for the state wrestling tournament. They'll take on top ranked Apple Valley in their opening round match at 9am. Thank goodness Chad Carlson, former state champion, will be along to provide the play by play, I'll handle color duties. We'll have the Cards dual meets for you on Thursday. If the girls game tonight is pp'd it will be held on Thursday night in Marshall, then I don't know what I'll do.
Friday night up to St. Cloud Apollo as the Cardnal boys finish off their regular season trying to claim the Central Lakes Conference title. It would be their first since 2008, that would be a great accomplishment.