Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Praise for Pawlowski

Kendall Rogers from Yahoo Sports lists 10 Coaches that are having positive impacts on their programs. Including one of our favorites:

John Pawlowski, Auburn

How he got here: The Tigers were attracted to Pawlowski a couple years ago because of his ability to make College of Charleston a consistent winner. Well, it didn’t take Pawlowski long to bring a winning attitude to the plains. Pawlowski guided the program to 31 wins in his first season, but took a huge step forward in ’10 with the program’s first SEC tournament appearance since ’03 and an NCAA regional appearance. AU fell short of reaching the CWS, but a statement already was made. Pawlowski plans to have the Tigers competing for big things in the future. AU finished the ’10 campaign with an impressive 43-21 record.

Ten special coaches make their marks - College Baseball -

Goal One on the season was making it to Hoover. Everything else, from the Regional Host to the Creede Simpson heroics, was just icing on the cake.

Now the real task begins; molding the future Auburn teams in Pawlowski teams. That means a slow shift from the ridiculous home runs numbers to a small ball approach. A focus on quality pitching and using pitching matchups competently.

Most Auburn fans didn't know what to expect when CJP was hired. Now we do, and personally, I couldn't be happier with the direction of the program.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Kraken Returns, Now What?



It kind of slipped under the radar because it hit around the same time Nick Saban was putting Agents on Notice (You've been warned playas, the Sabear don't take kindly to opposition trifflin' with his product); Kevin Patterson, Justin Fradejas and Bradley Hendrix announced they were all returning for their senior seasons. Patterson is the biggest surprise of the group because something happened for KP to go from this:


Auburn first baseman Kevin Patterson is one of those Cape League rarities – a third-year player. But it doesn't sound like he'll be spending a third full season with Cotuit. Tampa Bay drafted him in the 23rd round.

“We're just waiting to see,” he said of his status. “I talked to Tampa just before coming up, and they said they would watch me play some this summer, and probably by July we'd start talking. I'll probably sign sometime in July.

“I'm having fun up here again, but I'm ready to get that process over with and get started at the next level.”

Patterson, a 6-4, 230-pound slugging first baseman, had 16 homers at Auburn in just 124 at-bats this spring. Through eight games at Cotuit, he had fanned 10 times in 26 at-bats, but had a .387 OBP as he readjusted to wooden bats.

“I had a good year at school, but just didn't get to play enough,” he said. “I'm up here to get wood back in my hands and keep working at it.”

Patterson was a 24th-round pick of the White Sox out of high school.


To this:


"I am coming back because Auburn is a great place to play. Even though I did get drafted, after looking at all my options I felt that coming back to Auburn and playing every day and being in a fulltime role would help me from a baseball standpoint," Patterson said. "More importantly I am two semesters away from finishing my degree. I just had to take a step back and look at the whole big picture. One more year of school in the long run will probably be more beneficial for me."


So what does that mean for Auburn? Well, the already crowded infield just got a lot more crowded. As I see it, Coach John Pawlowski has a couple of options:

    1. Play KP at first base full time. Spell him when need be.
    2. Play KP at DH against righties and lefties
    3. Keep KP in the same role as last year.

I don't think option 3 is still viable as Patterson (The Kraken) alluded himself to playing full time. So KP will play everyday, but where? DH is where he is most comfortable, but 1B is where he needs to most work to improve his draft stock. For Patterson, his summer and fall workouts will mean the different between being David Ortiz or being Adam Dunn. I think KP would like to be more like Dunn, a power hitter who plays the field. It's no secret what Patterson needs to improve on, he has to improve against Lefties and he was to work on his range a bit so he can remain a viable option at 1B.

So who does this affect the most? Patrick Savage. Savage was probably next in line at 1B and was having a stellar summer in the Valley League where he's leading his team in AVG, OBS, and Runs. Savage seemed due for a breakout in 2011, but now that will be delayed.

This will also affect Dan Gamache. Gamache, to me, was a perfect fit at DH, and if the addition of Zach Alvord causes some major lineup reshuffling then Gamache might be losing out.

I'll keep a close eye on the Auburn Fall World Series and see if Pawlowski tips his hand a little bit. I'm glad Kevin "Kraken" Patterson is returning, I just don't envy the job Coach John Pawlowski faces now that he's decided to return.


Auburn gets CB Commit from Devin Gaulden. Auburn fans search internet furiously.

This is a rare one. An extremely rare one. First a little background on my love/hate relationship with football recruiting. I follow it, but I don't follow it closely. I'm not a star watcher and I will never find myself getting excited or claiming a "recruiting national championship" like some schools. Still, the whole process does hold some bizarre fascination to me. The camps, the rankings, the subtle move to AAU style recruiting that's underway, the back and forth between competing websites; THAT is what I get interested in. So that's why this story (which is a rarity for a blog that normally focuses on Auburn baseball) should be talked about.

Auburn got a Cornerback commitment and for the people that actually do follow Auburn recruiting, it came as a headscratcher. Not because of the commitment but because of how it was announced. Normally, you could expect a site like or InsideTheAuburnTigers to break the news of the commitment. Maybe with a tweet or with paywall locked post. This was not the case for University School (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) CB Devin Gaulden, who's commitment was broken by an on-the-fringes website and a twitter account that went a solid 7 months between tweets.

I first heard about it through Andy Staples twitter account and this tweet:

But where's his teammate Nacho going? RT @larryblustein: University School DB Devin Gaulden commits to Auburn! about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by 1 person

On a side note, can anyone explain the Nacho reference? There's not a guy named "Nacho" on the roster of University School. In fact, Rivals only lists 1 other player as a recruit from University School.

A little background shows that the blog Gridiron Studs first reported the commitment. On Monday July 19th. Auburn fans started talking about it today (Thursday). In the world of internet college recruiting where commits offers and known and tweeted about and posted within minutes, for an announcement to take 4 days is Pony Express-like delivery. So what do we know?

Well, we know Gaulden is 5'10, 175 lbs, and runs a 4.56 40. We know that from Rivals. We know he plays for University School of Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale whose athletic identity looks like the University of Miami and the University of Oregon had a drunken hookup.

We also know Gaulden recently attended an Auburn camp and picked up an offer there:

Cornerback Devin Gaulden was starting to turn heads and rack up offers when he received an offer from the Auburn Tigers. That was all Gaulden needed to put an end to the process.

“I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity Auburn was offering,” said Gaulden

Things happened fast but fate also had them fall in place. Gaulden and his family were headed to Alabama last weekend for a family reunion and it just so happened to be the same weekend that Auburn was having their camp.

“Coach Thigpen and I spoke on the phone and he wanted me to come to the camp,” Gaulden explained. “So I went and I killed it. The entire staff loved me and everything went from there.”

Late Monday night Gaulden felt like an offer from Auburn was coming and indeed it did on Tuesday. After a conversation with the staff, Gaulden made the commitment to Auburn.

“What really got me was the coaching staff” said Gaulden. “Coach Thigpen and Lolley, they are the secondary coaches and they can help take my game to the next level. Plus I love the atmosphere around campus.”

Oh, and we have film and a smooth jam to boot. Oh yeah, that's some underground recruiting:

So what can we make of the guy? Apparently his video was posted on a scouting service (the aforementioned Gridiron Studs not to be confused with GridIron Kings, the elite 7-on-7 Camp in South Florida). Gaulden is the definition of "under that radar" in terms of College Football Recruiting. The U-School is a relatively new program with its first D-1 Commit coming last year (David Perry to MIami). He stared attending camps and turning heads:

On the opposite end of the ball was Devin Gaulden (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School). Gaulden refused to give into any idea that the offense would dominate the individual, doing far better than holding his own. Gaulden did a great job of playing the ball and jamming the receivers. He also ran a 4.22 shuttle, 4.56 40 and had a 8-foot, 9-inch broad jump en route to winning the DB MVP.

Gaulden says he was considering Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Duke, and Marshall. His experience is extremely limited. He only played in 5 games last year (due to injury apparently) and is a converted basketball player:

Until last season, Gaulden’s sport of choice was basketball. His array of skills and talent helped him excel at the guard position. Apparently hours of crouching down in front of rim attacking opponents honed Gaulden’s cornerback skills. He appeared at University School in 2009 just as green as the grass below his feet. However, his God given talent, good coaching and a will to compete helped Gaulden speed up his learning curve and transform himself into a D-I worthy prospect.

Due to injury, Gaulden only appeared in five games for the University School Suns (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) in 2009. He displayed his great potential in those contests but did not lay down enough body of work to send a rush of colleges to his doorstep.

“At this point, schools have not been in contact with me,” Gaulden explains, “but I don’t let that it get to me. I just use it as motivation because I’m definitely one of the best DB’s in South Florida.”

But at least one game was missed because of this:

University School defensive back Devin Gaulden was suspended two games by the Florida High School Athletic Association following his ejection from Friday's game against Nova. Gaulden was ejected after throwing a punch at an opposing player in the first quarter.

Bottom line, Gaulden impressed at Camps and Auburn offered early:

Nowhere was Gaulden’s potential more apparent than when he appeared at the Shuman’s National Underclassman Combine in Orlando earlier this month. It’s one of the top events for potential college prospects that takes place across the country. Gaulden put his money where his mouth is by putting up a 4.50 in the forty, 4.2 in the shuttle and the handcuffs on all of the receivers he went up against in one on one drills.

“My press coverage technique is a huge strength of mine,” said Gaulden. “I am very physical at the line and I also have good feet to move with receivers.”

Gaulden’s performance was strong enough for him to walk away from the event as the Defensive Back MVP and an invite to the Top 100 in Atlanta this summer. The Top 100 takes the best of the best from the various combines across the country and brings them to one location to compete alongside and against each other.

It’s only a matter of time before the colleges come knocking on Gaulden’s door looking to secure his services. It’s a moment he has prepared for but he’s more focused on advancing University School’s team goals for 2010.

“My primary goals are helping my team in any way I can because last year was a disappointing season,” said Gaulden. “My individual goals are playing in all games this year and simply dominating opposing wideouts but my team goals come first.”


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Darvin Adams NCAA 11 Cover

As usual, the bigger version can be found here.


So where do we go from here Soccer?

Ok Soccer you got me. You've managed to wiggle your way into my brain after entertaining me for a month during the World Cup. I got caught up in all the Landon Donovan excitement. I found myself sleeping with the TV on ESPN so I would be woken up by the dulcet tones of the vuvuzela and Ian Darke. I even felt a bit of pain when Ghana knocked the US out. You did your job soccer, you made me a fan, but don't lose me just yet. I have to tell you this has happened before. I went on a Hockey kick for a while when the Florida Panthers reached the Stanley Cup finals. Really only because my 12 year old brain thought this:

was the coolest logo in the world. Well, that love for hockey has faded. Not even Barry Melrose and his sweet mullet could make me passionately follow hockey again. So I'm presenting you with a chance, soccer. You can reach elite territory in my sports-filled brain. You can reach Tier 1 Status. What are the tiers you ask? Let me share with you soccer:

Baseball, Football, College Basketball
Australian Rules Football, Rugby, World's Strongest Man
Golf, Hockey, Nascar, Winter Olympics
NBA, Jai Alai, UFC, WWE

That's some elite territory to be in, soccer. But you did your job, you managed to make a random guy in Auburn, Alabama a fan. Apparently, I wasn't the only one:

Chuck Culpepper, author and a former sport correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, recounts a conversation he had on a flight recently in which the World Cup became a topic of conversation.

"I sat next to a man who said his 20-year-old son, a student at Auburn University in Alabama (a state synonymous with American Football), would wake early during the World Cup, paint his face and join a gaggle of friends at a bar to watch the matches during breakfast hours."

"If you had told me in 2002, when the United States reached the quarter-finals, that even this nugget would happen in Alabama in 2010, when the United States did not quite reach the quarter-finals, I would not have believed you. The number one reason this happened in Alabama: TV coverage," Culpepper added.

So what do we do now? Well I know my next strategy will be a 3 part plan:

STEP 1- WATCH MORE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (MLS) - ESPN is going to be playing to everloving mercy out of some MLS matches; so I might as well watch. Hell, they are even adding Thierry Henry and hear that guys is supposed to be pretty good. So I'll watch more soccer on an American professional level and see if I can follow. If it can retain my interest then we are on the right track.

STEP 2- FIND AN ENGLISH PREMIERE LEAGUE (EPL) TEAM- Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy, has a great piece where he chose an EPL team to better understand the game. It's a brilliant move and one that I plan to copy. Not only for Simmons's sake, but because I've seen it work before. I've had friends who chose one random baseball team and then followed them closely and it helped them develop a love for the game. So I'll do my research and pick my team. Who knows who it might be. Right now I've leaning toward Wigan. Not to flashy, new to the EPL. I was thinking about Hull City (they are the Tigers after all) but they've been relegated, or I could go completely bandwagon and go with Aston Villa. That will be the fun part.

STEP 3- WATCH SOCCER IN AUBURN- Finding Soccer on TV this fall, but I need to experience it up close. Sadly the only professional teams that are within driving distance are women's teams. Even that team (the Atlanta Beat of the WPS) are not exactly stellar (2-7-4 on the year). Still, you have to admire the love for women's soccer. Look at the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) which has more teams and in some of the most random places (Brandon, FL and Carmel, Indiana among others). But I don't have to go far to watch good (or even decent) Soccer. I'll just stay right here and watch the Auburn Women's team. The schedule seems nice, the facility is gorgeous, and the tickets are cheap. Even better, they've got some pretty solid talent including All-SEC Selection Katy Frierson.

So get ready soccer, you've got the rest of the summer to convince me to say. You don't want to fall down to Tier 3. That's a tough group to work your way out of.


The Boss and Bo


George Steinbrenner passed away last week, I don't have much thought either way on "The Boss" (my allegiance is torn between the Braves and the Royals) but as every remembers King George it's good to find that Auburn connection. Larry Vetel passes this story along:

Mr. Steinbrenner had a special word or two for the Gators’ opponent that day. I am writing this as a quote even through I may get a word or two wrong because it was such a remarkable comment.
“I have a special reason for wanting the Gators to win today. This team has a guy that we (the Yankees) drafted and no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t sign him. You can’t tell me things are on the up and up at that place when a kid from that background can turn down $150,000.”
The opponent was Auburn. The kid was Vincent “Bo” Jackson.
The Yankees didn’t return to the World Series that year. In fact the Yanks didn’t make it back to the fall classic until 1996. Bo Jackson did pretty well at Auburn and afterwards.

For those who don't remember Bo Jackson was originally drafted by the Yankees, but turned them down to play at Auburn. Steinbrenner wasn't too happy about it:

[Bo] also said he always had extra motivation to play well against the New York Yankees because he believed team owner George Streinbrenner had told people that he had accepted a payoff to attend Auburn after he passed up a $250,000 signing bonus with the Yankees.

"He said in print the reason Vincent Jackson didn't sign with the Yankees was because since he signed with Auburn University he and his brothers and sisters are all driving nice cars and his mother just became owner of a chain of 7-Eleven stores," Jackson said. "I'm thinking, 'How can he say that?' And if it's true, where's the Porsche I'm supposed to be driving."

Jackson said he chose college because he wanted to be the first in his family to go to a four-year school. It took a little longer than originally planned, but in 1995 he earned his degree in family and child development from Auburn.

I guess it still worked out for old George. He managed to snare "Bo-Lite" a few years later:


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Mario Fannin NCAA 11 Cover

My first attempt at one of these. I still have a couple of tweaks to make and software to find and splatter brushes to try out. Still, for those who are itching, here's a quick and dirty cover to make your Cover AUthentic. Here's a link to a bigger version. I might try to do a couple more of these so if you think of any you want to see just shoot me an email or leave a message in the Comments.


Tuesday Quick Hitters





A ton of Auburn baseball related goodies to go through this week. Kind of scattershot, but here we go:

  • SUMMER BALL: Auburn still has quite a few players competing in Summer Leagues. Most notably Justin Fradejas and Stephen Kohlscheen who were named Valley League All Stars. Kohlscheen has been the most pleasant surprise. Going 3-0 in 2 Starts, tossing a 1.08 ERA, with 8 ks in 16+ innings pitched. Pretty impressive. Patrick Savage was also named a Valley League All-Star which is a huge plus for Auburn this spring. Fradejas was selected but will miss the game due to injury (no word yet on what that injury might be.)
  • Ryan Jenkins talks about what it means to go from worst to first for the Burlington Royals.
  • Cole Nelson and the Detroit Tigers have officially come to terms. Cole will start his Pro career with the GCL Tigers.
  • Nice Feature on Hunter Morris and introduction to the minor leagues. To be fair, it took me about 3 times to get through the article because the opening paragraph was starting to border on slash-fiction. Still it's a quality read:
    • Hunter Morris found the Miller Park air refreshing and breathable. The roof panels were open, and sunny skies splashed down upon his chestnut hair while he was noticeably perched on the top seat of the home team dugout, watching Prince Fielder work at the position he hopes to anchor someday.
  • While was are still waiting for him to choose between Auburn and the Brewers, Gulf Coast Signee Andrew Morris is doing well in the Honkball Baseball Tournament in the Netherlands. He started the first game for the NJCAA All Stars and got a No Decision against Chinese Taipai. He tossed 4.2 IP/8k/5bb/1er.
  • BO THE ALL STAR- Both USA Today and the LA Times have nice feature pieces on Bo Jackson and the 1989 All Star game. But really, the only place you need to go for all things Bo is The War Eagle Reader.
  • Ben State was honored in his hometown and by the area minor league baseball team, the Delmarva Shorebirds.
  • Nice Q&A with Former Auburn closer Austin Hubbard. Including this nugget:
    • 4. As a former Auburn pitcher, how do you feel about the rivalry with Alabama, and the Crimson Tide's national football title?

      We don't like Alabama. We will play with them again this year, like we have the past five years. Alabama is not a good subject, but, hopefully, we beat the crap out of them. We don't like Alabama and they don't like us — that's what it's all about.

      5. How would you describe the Auburn-Alabama baseball rivalry?

      You can't say it's the same as football. But, no matter how bad we are struggling, or how bad they are struggling, it's going to be a close game. We legitimately don't like each other, even though we have buddies on the team. Once the game starts, it's pretty serious.

  • Grant Dayton continues to do good things for the Jamestown Jammers, lowering his ERA to just a tick over 1.20.
  • RECRUITS? News of incoming players is always slim. In fact, you never know just who the Tigers have signed until Auburn issues a press release. Very different from football recruiting. We do know (or we think we know) that Auburn has signed Chase Williamson out of UMS-Wright and Trey Cochran-Gill from Tallaseee (and maybe earlier Theodore). One by a newspaper throwaway line and the other from a local radio interview with TC-G's head coach. Trey is also QB for the Tallassee Tigers. An all-star selection with some nice numbers to boot. I'll admit Williamson completely snuck under my radar because apparently he announced back in early June.
  • Some dude with a blog (this of course coming from some other dude with a blog) lists former Tiger Levale Speigner as a "failed prospect". That I disagree about. Levale was rushed through the Nats system (as they are want to do with prospects) and was never given a chance to settle in. You still have to admire everything he's gone through. He went from the show to the Dominican Summer Leagues and now he's back and just a tick below Seattle and back in AAA.
  • OH MUMMY- Yes, Trent Mummey is on an absolute tear for Aberdeen. A few nights ago he was just a single away from the cycle and capped it off with a Walk-Off Grand Slam. A slam, thanks to the powers of the internet, that was preserved on YouTube.



Another Open Letter to Auburn Wives and Girlfriends

Hey, honey. First, a little explanation is in order I guess. You probably already know what's going on after my letter last time. In an attempt to be completely honest I should tell you that I didn't leave dinner with your parents last night because I was sick (although the talk of your mom going through menopause and getting "the heat" as your Dad called it was making me a little nauseous). No, I actually left because I needed to get in line at Gamestop. Yes, it's that time again. NCAA 2011 came out last night (or this morning, to be honest I don't know, I've been so giddy and excited over the release for the past three days that I've been in a Redbull induced buzz for 64 hours, so my days are starting to run together). So instead of finishing that thrilling conversation with your folks, I spent 5 hours in line listening to store clerks argue about Battlestar Galactica. Still, it was worth it because it's that time again. NCAA 2011 is here.

Now, before you start going into me about how I don't spend enough time with you and "Why Don't You Ever Get Excited about something we do, like you do for 'that game'". A couple of things, "that game" as you called it, is more than a game. It's a passion. We'll go in to the later. As for spending time with you? Let me remind you about what I did, not 2 weeks ago. That's right. I was there (with you) for a midnight showing of Eclipse. Me, you, and theatre full of librarians and teenage girls. Even though I have issues with Twilight at its very core (Bottom Line: Vampires are Dracula abominations that shouldn't "sparkle" in the sun; they should burn like the hell beasts they truly are) I still supported you. Yes, I did sneak a flask into the theatre but honestly that was the only way I was going to make it through. I was there and I supported you in all that Twilight nonsense (whatever "that" ends up being, hopefully we've only got 3 years left on this crazy train of vampires and Forks and werewolves and, ugh just the fact that I know all this makes me want to watch Australian Rules football, if only to feel manly again).

So, I got on the Twilight bandwagon with you. I even let you call me "Edward" a couple of times when we made out. I didn't even mind it when you wanted to name our new dog Jacob. I've been with you through all that and I've paid my dues. I even tried to read the books. I guess the key word should be "tried". Actually, I ripped out pages of my third copy of Phil Steele in the book instead of actually reading Twilight. Oh, I guess I should also explain why I bought 3 Copies of Phil Steele's football Annual. It's simple. I keep one to preserve, keep one for the bathroom, and a third for notes. Not to make it a bargaining chip but I tolerated and supported you turning into a preteen girl again (without the Lisa Frank notebook and slap bracelets) with Twilight. Simple as that. That should at least buy me a month of uninterrupted gaming.

You said, "It's the same game every year". It's not. Each year is different. What's new for Auburn in the game? Two words: Cam Newton. That's right. No more fixing Kodi Burns's passing attributes or making Chris Todd actually semi mobile (seriously, he was a dang statue in NCAA 10). I've got a QB that has both. Do you know what I could do with a legit mobile QB in the game? Hello Flexbone!

This year Tim Tebow is on the cover. That alone should be reason to buy the game. Hail Tebow, full of speed, the football is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst QBs, and blessed are the fruits of thy funky throwing motion, touchdowns. Hail Tebow, QB from Florida, who has a ring and Heisman but still couldn't beat Auburn. Every time I look at the cover I'll be reminded of Urban Meyer trying to unsuccessfully ice Wes Byrum and Trey Smith rolling into the endzone after a blocked punt. Good times, Tebow, good times.

There's also Team Builder. You kept wondering why I got to be good friends with your cousin down at the University of South Alabama. That's because I wanted to make sure every detail of the uniforms and logos would be perfect for my created team. Hopefully, and with a little luck, my plucky created South Alabama Jaguars will replace Vanderbilt (or even Alabama) after a few solid seasons.

Finally, you wondered what I had been doing for the past two weeks. Why I had a notebook with every Auburn player on the roster and what you called "some weird math in the margins". That "weird math" is my player rating formula which (after carefully cross checking with the actual EA Sports formula) will give me the most realistic Auburn football experience.

So where do we go from here? Well I have you covered. I have already TiVO'd 4 episodes each of Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva, plus there is some movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt as a mom-turned-prostitute. I might watch that with you, actually, but I think the movie I want it to be will be a lot different from the movie on Lifetime. Why do you think I put two TVs in the living room? You can still watch your shows (but only on the little TV during gametime, please) and I even bought you a nice pair of headphones so you can listen in peace.

In closing, we've gone through this time before. Yes, it can be a little trying, but we can get through it. We have for the last 5 years, we can do it again. A video game won't ever be able to replace you. However, EA sports might be working on it. So you're still good. For now.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Show Update (July 8)

Pretty quiet on the Auburn in the Pros Front. Hunter Morris continues to be a doubles machine (it was pointed out that the parks in the Midwest League are pretty spacious and are pitcher's parks). Bryan Woodall had the worst outing he's had at Visalia this year giving up 4 ER (he head previously never given up more than 1 ER), still the Rawhide kept the lead and he still did his job (even though he made it close). There's an old adage about Closers in non-save situations. It could probably apply here as Bryan came in with a 7-1 lead and left with a 7-5 victory.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big Show Update (July 7)

Big Night for Josh Donaldson as he proved to be a difference maker for Sacramento and snapped an ugly hitting drought:

Josh Donaldson was in a 1-for-20 slump when he stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh.

The River Cats catcher had been dropped to eighth in the batting order Tuesday night, and was showing no signs of getting on track with a double play, an inning-ending groundout and a swinging strikeout in his first three at-bats.

But as has been the case with Sacramento against the Reno Aces this season, Donaldson found the right time to come through. The 24-year-old prospect smashed a two-run home run in the seventh to bring Sacramento within a run and another two-run blast in the eighth as Sacramento rallied for a 14-13 road victory.

Not a good go round for Paul Burnside, making his first start for Great Falls. Billings ripped him for 4 runs in 4 innings. Other than that, pretty quiet night all around (and a forgettable night by Josh Sullivan and the Tri-City Dust Devils


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Big Show Report (July 5)




Nice night for Ryan Jenkins (above) who hit his first Pro HR for the Burlington Royals:

With Elizabethton (8-6) up 1-0 heading to the fourth, Burlington (9-5) got to work. After a leadoff groundout, the Royals notched six hits over the next seven batters. Alex McClure, Reggie Taylor, and Alex Llanos each notched RBI base hits, with Ryan Jenkins clubbing the big blow-a two-run double to right-center.

Two innings later, Jenkins struck again, this time with a solo shot to left-center, his first of 2010. Three batters later, Llanos finished the scoring with an RBI single to push the lead to 7-1.

Also another solid performance from Trent Mummey as well, who added 2 more hits to his already impressive start for Aberdeen.


Good Bounce Back for Taylor Thompson. In just his 3rd appearance on the year, he picks up a save for the Intimidators, pitching 2 hitless innings.


Tuesday Quick Hitters



First of all, War Damn America, nice to be back after a restful and festive July 4th Holiday. Here's some Auburn baseball news and notes from around the interwebs:

  • Trent Mummey- Lots of new from the Mummey. One Oriole blogger tells what he expects from Trent. Trent is having a solid start for Aberdeen and is raising a ton of eyebrows. He's batting .325 and already hit his first HR a couple of days ago.
  • While I keep constantly refreshing the MLB transaction page to see if he's signed with the Brewers, pitching prospect Andrew Morris is scheduled to play in a JUCO All-Star game in the Netherlands (Haarlam, Netherlands actually. Perhaps they have an Apoolo Theatre there).
  • Former Auburn WR Montez Billings could have been a Diamond Tiger too:
    • If you weren't playing football what career would you pursue?
      "I'd probably still be playing baseball. I've played baseball all my life. I was a pitcher, but I stopped in high school because I wanted to play football."
  • The official site catches up with Mike Bianucci.
  • Gabe Gross talks about his adopted hometown/team, the Orioloes (?)
  • Casey McElroy stays hot in Summer Baseball Action.
  • Here's a Great Flickr Stream with about 400+ Auburn baseball Photos. Including Auburn's ill-advised Yankee Uniforms. The above picture is Copyright AUJM. Hopefully it's cool that I snagged for a blogpost. If not, I'll take it back down.
  • Nice Local paper profile on Cole Nelson
  • Another recruit is going to the MLB instead of coming to the Plains. Brandon Allen from Milton, Florida decided to sign with the Giants. It's old news and I wouldn't have mentioned it earlier, but this pull-quote just irked me a bit:
    • "Last week I had my mind set going to Auburn," Allen said. "Yesterday, a friend of my mom's who played pro ball called to talk to me, and it hit me that (going pro) was the right thing to do. There's not many disadvantages because I'll have my school later."
  • Hunter Morris continues to have a solid start with Wisconsin and spent some time showing former Alabama Pitcher Jimmy Nelson around a Brewers game.
  • Garrett Bush looks like he was ended up at Seminole State Community College for next year. No official confirmation, but I have a hard time believing there are two people named Garrett Bush, both from Jacksonville, and who both pitch.
  • If you'd like something to laugh at, I'd try checking out "The Capstone Report"' and their try at satire with a piece entitled, "What I Like About Auburn". Be sure to check out the comments section, where a commenter rambles about how much Auburn sucks and such. For the record, the Poem he refers to is "The Deserted Village" and it's by Oliver Goldsmith. I'm still unsure why I would knock an Auburn fan for not knowing that. Then again, I wouldn't knock Alabama fans for not knowing that Tuscaloosa is named for a Choctaw Chief and roughly translates to "Black Warrior".
  • Finally, Auburn missed out an a chance for me to scream, "SUPER FUDGE" every time a certain player stepped on to the field:
    • Quarterback Walker "Fudge" Van Hooser of Trinity Presbyterian in Montgomery, Alabama has verbally committed to play college football at Tulane. Fudge Van Hooser attended camp at both Tulane and Auburn. "Auburn was very interested in me. I went to their one-day senior camp and did real well. Coach Gus Malzahn liked me but I realized that I wanted to go to Tulane much more than to go anywhere else," Van Hooser said.



Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday Quick Hitters: Cougars, Chicks, and MRDR BRD

Not much on the old google today, but some quality stuff nonetheless.

Clete Thomas - A bit of old news, but Clete Thomas suffered a season ending injury:

In other news, the Free Press is reporting today that Toledo OF Clete Thomas will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee. This is the same surgery that Indians OF Grady Sizemore underwent last week. The rehab will take 9-12 months.

This is obviously bad news for Thomas. Clete was expected to make the big club out of camp this year after being a staple of the Tigers bench for most of the last two years. The signing of Johnny Damon likely cost Thomas a roster spot and a shoulder problem landed him on the DL to start the year.

Thomas has been passed over by Brennan Boesch and probably Casper Wells on the Tigers depth chart even before this knee injury, so even without it he might have had trouble returning to Detroit this year. Now, he’ll likely have to prove his health next season before the Tigers can use him, either as a reserve, or as a trade chip.

This sucks for Clete. Personally, I'd think he'd be better off finishing up his contract with Detroit, rehabbing, and testing the waters as a Free Agent. If I had my way he'd be in a Braves Uniform next season (whether Gwinnett or Atlanta), Lord knows the Bravos could use a a few more OFs. Still, the main reason of bring this up was to remind the world of "Clete's Cougars". One of the best cheering sections in baseball (Picture above and below).

Bo Jackson- Yesterday, in 1986, Bo Jackson made his Pro Baseball debut. Most Auburn fans have already heard the story of Bo choosing baseball over the football (or specifically the Tampa Bay Bucs), a story that at least made Sports Illustrated take notice:

Today's youtube finds, in celebration of Bo's time with the Chicks:

AUBURN IN THE POLLS: Tigers finish the season #19 in NCBWA and #19 in Baseball America


Jamestown Jammers relief pitcher Grant Dayton knows how to make a good impression.

After reporting to the team at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dayton pitched three innings of no-hit ball and picked up his first New York-Penn League win in a 6-0 shutout over the State College Spikes.

COLE NELSON DOES SOMETHING: Honestly, that's the best way to describe this article:

Edina amateur baseball pitcher Cole Nelson, coming off a successful year at Auburn University, was throwing 92 mph Tuesday, June 29, at Dakota Field in a game against St. Louis Park.

Park's Gabe Eikum, like Nelson a lefty, wasn't sending the radar gun to the top that night, but his masterful pitching performance helped his team win the Riverview League game, 9-1.
Eikum, 27, was impressed as he watched Nelson, 20, who was recently selected in the 10th round of the major-league amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers.
"When we faced Nelson last year, he was unhittable," said Eikum. "Tonight, we hit him pretty well, and we already had the lead when I went out there."

What does Eikum think about Nelson turning pro?
"He's got a chance," he said. "But baseball is a funny game. You can have the best stuff in the world and not make it."

"Guys like Nelson make us focus," said Paulsen, who went two-for-two against the Edina ace. "Everyone on our team can hit a fastball ... he's going to have bad dreams about us."
The same can be said for hitters who have to face Eikum, who allowed Edina only two hits in seven innings.

So, after a little research, it sounds like Cole is spending his summer playing for his hometown Class A Minnesota (warning, link contains HEAVY use of Heart's Barracuda) Amateur Baseball team, the Edina General Sports ESox (which sounds like a Japanese Baseball Team). I'm pretty sure that's him towering over everybody else in this picture:

It's a league/team generally made up of college age amateur players and Cole just didn't have his best start.

Finally, MRDR BRD Waits:


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