Tag Archives: luggie notes
Seventeen years ago (+3 days) I posted a profile of the Beloit Snappers to my Lansing Lugnuts blog.
Although blogs hadn’t yet been invented, seventeen years ago I kept a Lansing Lugnuts weblog, which I called Joel’s Lansing Lugnut Notes. The 1996 Luggies were a new team. I began keeping the online journal because I’d been watching Midwest League (MWL) play for several summers and figured I had something to contribute to the Lansing discussion. As things worked out I did a writeup after each series, and composed a few other pages as inspiration struck. I plan to repost all of the weblog entries, and most of the other pages, to this journal over the next few months. Most will be posted 17 years to the day after they were originally written.
This book is almost entirely about how the Diamonds died. It’s a portrait of the owners, the team officers, and the city slowing coming to realize that the team was no longer viable, and of the efforts of a large number of people to stave off what was perhaps inevitable. It’s also an exploration of the causes of that death. Waterloo Diamonds is a wonderful, if sad, book, and its great strength is its sympathetic portraits of the principal characters. They didn’t all agree, and their differences are the drama. Excellent book; if you can find a copy I highly recommend it.
The pitching resembles Lansing’s. Southpaw Valerio De los Santos is among the league’s leaders in wins (8) and is third in strikeouts (96). Righty Peter Benny has decent stats, but not to get excited about. Tony Pavlovich is being used as a closer, without great success; Darren Berninger, also being used in relief, has had some success with weaker stats. Lefty Jason Dawsey doesn’t seem to have a set role but does show promise; his strikeout pitch is effective.
Tuesday’s was the fourth consecutive excellent game; Wednesday, while less than perfect, was an easy win. Thorn’s CG was 99 pitches, according to pitch chart (I sat behind the gun again).
Since the Royals have Beltran and Blosser pegged as potential big-league stars, they want them someplace they’ll play every day. They don’t think of Schafer that way, so every day isn’t a concern. Filling the Lugnut roster is a concern; he stays. (As always: I’m guessing. But this isn’t a difficult situation to decipher.) Continue reading
This team also has one excellent pitcher: Lorenzo Barcelo has 7 wins, a 2.13 ERA, and a good strikeout ratio. The pitching staff has a couple weak spots but is generally very solid; runs will be earned. Closer Santos Hernandez has 19 saves, to lead the league. Jim Stoops, also used in late relief, appears to have a wicked strikeout pitch and excellent control.
Lots of roster switches lately, and almost certainly more to come. We get to learn some new players, and see how the team starts to fit together. In some ways, this is the most interesting time to watch the Midwest League; entire teams change character, and sometimes the reason is obvious. It can be glorious. Or it can be frustrating.
Perhaps you remember pictures of a flooded ballpark during the 1993 Mississippi River floods; John O’Donnell was that ballpark. The ballpark is directly on the river and everyone says the view from the grandstand is tremendous. This is the league’s favorite ballpark. It’s also the ballpark with the most games postponed due to weather….
New (half-)season; new attitude. Let’s hope this lasts.