Let's talk Minor league baseball
by, 09-08-2013 at 08:33 PM (1052 Views)
The NY-Penn League season is almost over. For the 3rd time in 4 years, the Tri-City Valleycats, affiliated with the Houston Astros, have reached the league championship series, after sweeping away Aberdeen, 2-0. According to an article on the team's website today, the LCS won't start until Tuesday vs. either top-seeded State College, the Pinckney division champ, or runner-up Jamestown.
The Valleycats, admittedly, might not have made it if not for a boneheaded decision by Aberdeen manager Matt Merullo. He pulled his starter, Hunter Harvey (not sure if he's related to the Mets' Matt Harvey), after 5 no-hit innings. Let me repeat that. 5 no-hit innings.
You can file that under, What was he thinking?!?
Blame it on the overprotection of young arms rampant in baseball today. Had Harvey remained in the game, maybe he goes the distance, maybe Aberdeen finally scores, and we go to a rubber game today. I'm not sure of the pitch count----the local paper's account won't be published until Monday for stupid reasons unrelated to the game itself----or any organization-mandated innings limit, but one or both might've forced Merullo to go to the bullpen a wee bit too early. The Valleycats, of course, said thank you very much, and proceeded to score 2 runs in the 7th, and 1 in the 8th. Ballgame over. Series over.
Tri-City won their first title in 2010, and just missed another last year. Not bad for a team that foolishly gave up their radio contract that same year to cater to the internet, never mind the fact that not everyone has internet access. No games were shown on local TV this year, not that it would've impaired attendance at the ballpark. Seems the only things that would are bad weather or the threat of same. There were tons of empty seats on Saturday night, just as there were 4 days earlier, when the 'Cats wrapped up their 5th Stedler Division title and 2nd in a row, 3rd in 4 years.
If 1st year manager Ed Romero isn't named manager of the year, then something's wrong.
One thing seems certain. Romero may be the first Valleycats skipper not to return for a 2nd year, if past history is any barometer.
I may be a Mets fan, but I'm also a Valleycats fan, attending my share of games every year for 12 seasons running. Sooner or later, Houston will find the winning formula at the big league level again, as they have a few ex-Cats on the current roster (i.e. Jose Altuve, JD Martinez), and traded another (Bud Norris) at the deadline. Meh. Sooner or later, there'll be a Valleycat on every major league team. It just happens that way.