Keith Ginter was robbed at gunpoint a few years ago.

You can read about it here.

And here.

Boy, am I gonna miss Keith Ginter! He was the sole reason I went to McCoy Stadium.

Chad Spann update!

Well, the story's from August, so it's not exactly fresh news. See that? I'm keeping it real!

If you recall, Spann was released when Jeff Natale returned from his fractured ulna. Or arm or whatever. I was heartbroken by Spann's departure! At any rate, he wound up on the Royals' AAA team in Omaha.

Spann hadn't planned on returning to baseball that season, so he got hisself a jobby-job back in Georgia. But guess what? He got hired!

"I had some independent offers and a couple of 'A' ball offers," he said. "But I was waiting for something like here, where maybe a couple of guys got injured."

Oh, dear.

"Well, I kinda need a job."

Congratulations to Charlie Zink for being nominated for minor league Starter of the Year! Too bad he lost to Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner plays for the Giants single-A affiliate.

2008 was a great year for Zink. I hope he realizes it's all downhill from here.

Maybe I shouldn't feel too bad for Zink. If your two career choices are 'Professional Golfer' or 'Spending the Summer in RI as a Minor League Starting Pitcher Who Appeared in a Major League Game That One Time', then I guess you're doing okay. Some people toil away in factories and feed their kids tomato soup and hot dogs.


Marshon Invasion!!!

A couple of years ago, I decided to re-sportsify my off season with a little college basketball and minor league hockey.

I've been to a couple of PC Friars games. They have a new coach, you see. I went to Providence College yesterday to buy tickets and OH MY GOD. They are not damn playing. I walked through a HALLWAY OF LEGENDS with a glossy parquet floor and spotlights and framed jerseys to get to the ticket office. I guess I never fully appreciated college sports!

PC won last night. Marshon Brooks went berserk! It was a lot of fun. I won't get into it too much further, because I'll just embarrass myself.

Day Man! aaaah-ahh! Fighter of the Night Man! aaah-ahhh!

2009 Pawtucket Red Sox Schedule

The Red Sox first home game is not until April 17th, when they host the sad, sad Iron Pigs. God, I could be dead by then!

I took a sneak "peak" (sic) at the '09 schedule on their official web site. U can 2.

It's not like Pawtucket is anything special, either.

The Richmond Braves are now the Gwinnett (County) Braves. Up here, we don't mess too much with "counties", since no matter where you are, you're somewhere. The ballpark will open in April, natch. Screw you, Richmond.

The Buffalo Bisons are now very excited to be affiliated with the Mets. The Mets are back in the IL!

The Columbus (Ohio) Clippers are now affiliated with the Indians. Terrific! Makes perfect sense, right, JORDAN BROWN??

The Toronto Blue Jays AAA team is now in the PCL. Yes, it is the conveniently located Las Vegas 51's. Must be so great to have to call players up from Nevada to Canada. I'll bet everyone's really pissed off!

So, yes, Syracuse and its choo-choo lifestyle will be a Nationals affiliate. Maybe Elijah Dukes will rehab there!


Syracuse Diary:

Over the summer I went to Syracuse for baseball games. I decided to stay in Utica, a little under an hour from Syracuse. I have mentioned all of this before in varying degrees of detail.

On the way to Utica from RI, I noticed my car hitching a little bit on the NY Thruway. I was somewhere between Schenectady and New Amsterdam. Wait... not New Amsterdam, but something Dutch-like. It was in the middle of nowhere, let me put it that way.

I stopped at one of those awful service plazas. I checked my oil, which seemed low. I added a quart and started my car. It seemed fine. I headed back out and everything seemed okay. So there.

Once in Utica, we checked into our shabby motel. It seemed to be run by a family. They were all very sweet and very helpful. You know what I do when I stay in a rundown motel? I pretend I'm staying at someone's house. When you look at it that way, it's more charming. The imperfections are just like any you'd find at a normal residence.

And so in order to get to the ballpark, I'd drive about an hour on the back roads from Utica to Syracuse. I was still nervous about my car, so I wanted to stay off the highway. I AM NOT AN AUTOMOTIVE CLUB MEMBER! That is my confession. I am uncomfortable with auto clubs lobbying for more roads in an anti-environmental way. But it was cute, traveling through the small towns and farms.

You know how when you're in a strange city, once you're there a little while, you get a sense of its layout? Not Syracuse. None of it made sense to me. It was a junkyard, a financial district, a waterfront, a shipping zone, and a shopping mall, all with University buildings in the background peeking through. Syracuse sees you, but you really cannot see Syracuse. I spent most of my time there lost, getting on and off the freeway.

The ballpark, which is called Alliance Bank Park or something, is in a non-residential, warehouse-y traintrack area. Right next to a generic mall. The tracks creep around behind the scoreboard... we went up there and collected snail shells and peeked through the wild shrubs at batting practice. It really felt like an invasion of privacy... they were right there!

Okay, wait, I was talking about my car. On the way back home, I opted for the painfully long ride home on route 20 instead of the thruway/Pike. Most of it was okay! And then I hit Albany. The car started hitching and hiccuping. Up into the Berkshires, amid the trees and mossy rocks. Winding. Creeping up hills, trying not to panic. The check engine light comes on. I pull over and turn the car off. Start it again and go, go, go until I see a garage. I stop, wait, the gent suggests another place for a diagnostic check.

But guess what? I kept driving, right by the other garage! All I wanted was to get out of there, get to Springfield at least, out of the woods!

Of course I made it to Springfield, and of course my car finally died there. I had to wait for someone to come get me... someone with an auto club membership. I was in a hospital zone. Bought a paper, found a picnic table where nurses and surgeons probably stepped out to smoke and sat and ate crackers and listened to my tiny radio.

I had to leave my car in Springfield. If you are ever towed away in Springfield, MA, please hope to get Jose. It was a trying day to say the least, but I think I handled it well.

In summation, Utica is a shithole! Talk about a city that just gave up!! At least Buffalo is trying! Stay the hell out of the Berkshires if your car has over 100,000 miles on it!

Oh, and the Syracuse Chiefs are now affiliated with the Washington Nationals. Former WS Champ Tim Foli was just named their new manager. He was on the '79 Pirates. I'll have break down the affiliation changes separately.


your fond, fond heart

I am tied for first place in my fantasy football league. Not bad for a baseball fan!

I have received my 2009 PawSox tickets. Already.

Gil Velazquez, Josh Wilson, and Chris Smith are on the free agent train. Someday I am going to write a story about Chris Smith, overlooked Pawtucket superstar.

Would anybody like a cat?

I'm going to start thinking about posting more. I may break down my trip to Syracuse, which was pretty miserable and please, don't ever make me spend four days in Utica again.

I found an apartment that I love. It's in an old schoolhouse and it's tiny and old but I love it. No pets, though, which is why I have to either give my cat away or kill her in a way that looks like an accident. Maybe I'll knock her off the porch. Ooops!

Love me tomorrow, not today.