August 2010

One more time (Crustacean Nation)

~Andrew Buchbinder, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations

Did August 28 sneak up on anyone else out there? I mean, weren’t we just getting ready for Open House? Preparing for the Salute to Troops? Shooting ESPN commercials?  Gearing up for Independence Day Fireworks? Taking in the tunes with the 10th Avenue North Christian Concert? Upsetting a 300+ pound human being while amusing an entire country with the Crawdads Conditioning Challenge?

Could those all have really already happened?  Are they already scripted pages in the 18th chapter of Crawdads Baseball here in Hickory?  I guess so.

It’s kind of a surreal feeling when you reflect on another season in the books.  It’s bittersweet when you say so long to another group of seasonal interns that have been your family for the past six months.  And, above all, it’s a rush and a reminder-of-why when you see a packed house of 4,444 fans come out for that last round of fireworks that we had last night.

As we get ready for the regular season home finale tonight, I’d like to take advantage of this forum to say thank you to everyone that came out and supported us this season.  It was a fun 2010 campaign, and it would be nothing if we didnt have the phenomenal community and fan support that we are lucky enough to enjoy, but never take for granted. 

Another thing we never take for granted is the hard-work put in by everyone that chips in to make each game a possibility.  From those seasonal interns to the game-day staff, we appreciate it all and are glad to have shared in another journey with you.

Well, time to get set for tonight’s Team Card Set Giveaway, Fan Appreciation Night and Game Worn Jersey Auction, wrapping up the home schedule with a bang!  Hopefully, we’ll see everyone out tonight, and hopefully we’ll have some playoff baseball in September as well!  As always, Go ‘Dads!

Andrew Buchbinder is in his second season as director of broadcasting/media relations with the Crawdads.  He previously served in similar capacities with the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) and the Bakersfield Blaze, the ‘Dads High-A affiliate in the California League.

Look Around the Texas Rangers Organization (Radio Readings)

-Graham Doty, Broadcast Assistant

The Texas Rangers organization has had quite a season so far.  The Rangers are red hot and have one of the best farm systems.  The Rangers have a lot of talented pitchers in the minors and it certainly shows.  Let’s take a look at all of the Texas Rangers teams and some former Hickory Crawdads.

Texas Rangers
The Rangers have had an outstanding season so far.  They are hoping to make a deep run in the postseason this year.  They recently added one of the best pitchers in the game in Cliff Lee.  They have an MVP candidate in Josh Hamilton who is leading the majors with a .357 batting average.  The Rangers are 63-45 overall and have an 8.5 lead over the Oakland A’s in the AL West.

AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks
The RedHawks are 59-52 overall.  They are currently in 1st place in the PCL American South division.  They currently have a 2.5 game lead over the Albuquerque Isotopes.  They lead the league with a team ERA of 3.81 and they have also given up the fewest earned runs in 414.

AA Frisco RoughRiders
The RoughRiders are 59-50 overall.  They clinched the first half by 2.5 games over the Corpus Christi Hooks.  In the second half, they are currently 2nd in the TEX South division.  They are one game behind the Midland RockHounds.  The RoughRiders lead the Texas League with 35 triples.

Former Crawdads pitcher Tyler Tufts is pitching for Frisco.  He has appeared in two games and has pitched two innings with no walks and two strikeouts.

High A Bakersfield Blaze
The Blaze are 55-55 overall.  They are currently in 1st place in the CAL North division in the second half with a 26-14 record.  The have a six game lead over the Stockton Ports.

The Blaze have a lot of former Crawdads.

RHP Andrew Doyle has pitched one inning with no hits, runs, walks or strikeouts.

RHP Wilmer Font is 1-2 in nine starts with a 3.86 ERA.  He has pitched in 49 innings giving up 26 runs, 32 walks and 52 strikeouts.  Opponents are batting .217 against Font.  He is currently on the DL.

RHP Danny Gutierrez has one start.  He went 3.2 innings and gave up 7 earned runs with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.  He picked up a no decision.

RHP Trevor Hurley is 0-1 in 8 games.  He has a 2.51 ERA and has 1 save.  He has pitched 14.1 innings giving up 7 runs, 8 walks and 14 strikeouts.

RHP Hector Nelo has pitched in 7 games.  His ERA is 3.97 and he has pitched 11.1 innings.  He has given up 8 runs, 7 walks and has 9 strikeouts.

LHP Robbie Ross is 3-2 in 5 starts.  Ross has a 4.28 ERA in 27.1 innings.  He has given up 19 runs with 9 walks and 25 strikeouts.

RHP Joe Wieland is 3-2 in 7 starts.  His ERA is 6.53 and he has pitched 40 innings.  Wieland has allowed 30 runs with 6 walks and 48 strikeouts.

C Vinny DiFazio is batting .143 in two games.  His only hit has been a home run.

OF Cody Podraza is batting .444 in 8 games.  He has 3 doubles and 6 RBI.

OF Miguel Velazquez is batting .293 with 4 home runs and 22 RBI.

Low A Hickory Crawdads
The Crawdads are 63-46 overall and are currently in second place in the SAL Northern division.  They are just 1.5 games behind the Lakewood BlueClaws.  The Crawdads are one of just three teams in the league to have at least 60 wins.

Class A Short Season Spokane Indians
The Indians are 27-20 overall.  They clinched the first half of the NOR East League.  They are currently in 2nd place in the division in the second half.  They are one game behind the Yakima Bears.  The Indians are 1st in team ERA with 3.11.  The pitching staff has allowed the fewest runs with 172.  They are also getting it done with hitting.  The Indians lead the league with a .268 batting average and 211 RBI.

AZL Rangers
They are 20-16 overall and are in 1st in the AZL West.

DSL Rangers
They are 31-20 overall and are 1st in the DSL San Pedro.

Graham is in his first season as
broadcast assistant with the Crawdads.  The Oxford, Mississippi native
graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2010 with a degree in
broadcast journalism.  He has spent the last two summers broadcasting
games for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Baseball League.  He
enjoys all Ole Miss Athletics and spending time with family and friends.

Lakewood vs. Hickory (Radio Readings)

-Graham Doty, Broadcast Assistant

The Lakewood BlueClaws have had an amazing season.  They clinched the first half by two games and they currently lead the second half by 1.5 games.  The Crawdads have been right on their heels all season.  The Crawdads play the BlueClaws in only one series this season and it is shaping up to be huge.  Lakewood comes in to town on August 25th for a four game series.  Since these two teams have been the best two teams in the league for most of the season, I thought it would be interesting to look at the two teams remaining schedules until the showdown in late August.

First let’s take a look at the Lakewood BlueClaws.  Their current overall record is 66-43 and they are 24-15 in the second half.  They have 30 games left in the regular season.  Of those 30 games, 17 games are at home and 13 are on the road.  The BlueClaws also have an easier schedule too.  Their opponents combined winning percentage is 47.4%.  The good news for the Crawdads is that when Lakewood rolls into town, they will be in the middle of an eight game road trip.  They play at Hagerstown on August 24th and then have to ride down to Hickory and take on the Crawdads the next night.

Now, let’s look at the Hickory Crawdads.  Their current overall record is 62-46 and they are 22-16 in the second half.  They have 30 games left in the regular season.  Of those 30 games, 13 are at home and 17 are on the road.  The Crawdads have a tougher schedule than the BlueClaws.  The Crawdads opponents combined winning percentage is 52.8%.  The Crawdads will be in the middle of an eight game home stand, so they won’t have to do any traveling.

This is shaping up to be a huge series.  These have been the best two teams in the South Atlantic League all season.  They are two of the three teams in the entire league to have at least 60 wins.  Crawdads fans have been waiting to play Lakewood for a long time.  More than likely, the winner of the Hickory/Lakewood series will win the second half.  The Crawdads would like nothing more than to beat the BlueClaws and to win the second half.  The Hickory fans have been great all season.   With 13 homes remaining, let’s finish strong.   Come to the ballpark and bring your family, friends and neighbors.   Let’s cheer the Crawdads on to victory.

Graham is in his first season as
broadcast assistant with the Crawdads.  The Oxford, Mississippi native
graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2010 with a degree in
broadcast journalism.  He has spent the last two summers broadcasting
games for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Baseball League.  He
enjoys all Ole Miss Athletics and spending time with family and friends.