Thursday, 17 July 2008

Farm Report: All-Star Game Edition

As we wait for real baseball to resume once again, some good news from the system:

* Dave Purcey, the sole Chiefs rep at the AAA All-Star Game last night, got the start for the International League and responded by chucking 2 perfect innings against the best of the Pacific Coast League. (Mark Saccomanno? Any relation to Bob from NYC?) The IL lost, though I doubt that anyone really cares.

Big Dave didn't allow a hit, K'd 3, walked none, and demonstrated major league command of his arsenal. I'd figure he'll be starting on Tuesday against the O's at Camden Yards in a nice, low pressure return to the bigs. We at The Southpaw have sole bragging rights if he does make something of himself (and alternatively, would quietly drop the matter entirely if he doesn't).

* The Fisher Cats are in the midst of a crappy season collectively as a team, but that matters less to us here than the fact that they do have some fast-rising (star?) talent in the making. The hosts of the 2008 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game (no shit, that's what it's actually called; no word if players wear ads for "Fly Emirates" on their jerseys) had 4 of their own men see action in the AA showcase: Travis Snider, Kiwi Scott Campbell, Brian Jeroloman, and closer Zach Dials. Jeroloman had a hit and scored a run in his lone AB, Campbell went 1 for 2 leading off, Snider went 0 for 2, and Dials picked up a hold despite allowing a run in his only inning of work. The Eastern League won 5-3.

Best of all though, Snider channelled the spirit of Josh Hamilton to wow the fans during the homerun derby (though he actually won the thing). Plagarizing liberally from theUnion Leader:

Snider flicked a switch that began an electric night. The kid bashed homers onto the train tracks beyond right field and pulled a Roy Hobbs with a shot into the bulbs atop the light tower.

As a heavy favorite in his home park, Snider barely advanced out of the first round as six sluggers took their hacks. In later rounds, including a couple tie-breakers, he sent vapor trails over the right-field wall. The 5-foot-11, 245-pounder had the benefit of his own batting practice pitcher, Ken Joyce, who fed The Franchise a diet of waist-high fastballs.

"I was finally able to relax and let it fly. Good things happens when you don't think and just hit," Snider said. "I've got give a lot of credit to Kenny. We've been working on this together for a couple weeks..."

Snider, Toronto's No. 1 prospect, homered four straight times in the second round and finished with 10 dingers. In the finals, which took place in the middle of the second inning "a terrific format for fans"-- Snider toppled the league's leading home run hitter, 7-6.

"The young legend keeps growing," Fisher Cats manager Gary Cathcart said. "He understood that whole scenario, how it was going to unfold being the hometown guy. It took him a couple rounds to get going, but it was almost like he started doing it because he knew he was going to do it. He's just one of those guys. Think about it. Three years from now, he'll have five years of pro ball, and he'll be in the big leagues at 23."

Yes, indeed.

The Jays resume action tomorrow night, when they try to piss in the Rays Corn Flakes down at the Trop. I have gone on record saying that I'm not against the Rays for the rest of this year when they're playing everyone else; after all, if they do win a playoff berth that means one of the Yankees or Bosox doesn't get to see any October ball this year. I'm just saying is all.

-- Johnny Was

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