Lugnuts Notes: Series at Kane County Cougars

May 4 thru 7

  • Cougars 3 games, Lugnuts 1 game
  • Lugnuts are 15-16 (.484)
  • Third place, 5 games behind the Battle Cats. The division’s now spread to 7.5 games.

[Jose] Cepeda’s hit streak has reached 28 games.

After a long string of games where one team usually clobbered the other, the Nuts went on the road and played four fairly close games. Unfortunately they lost three of them, but at least they played well.

The good news of the road trip is that [manager Brian] Poldberg’s finding ways to use the bullpen. Scott Key had a good outing, which I hope is an omen, and Modesto Villareal has evidently been assigned to relief work. I still expect one or two of the relievers to improve dramatically, but we need better relief now, regardless.

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1 Response to Lugnuts Notes: Series at Kane County Cougars

  1. joel says:

    Posted a day late: I was working on this yesterday morning when the power failed–which killed our router. New router this morning; working now….

    The Midwest League on the Web in 1996 (part 1)

    When I started posting these Lugnuts Notes, minor league baseball information on the web was really quite sparse. By the end of the 1996 season things had improved, but only half of the Midwest League’s teams (and a similar number of MWL-covering newspapers) were on line. Today, let’s look at the official team websites at season’s end–the list is accurate; the descriptions, though, are from memory:

    • Beloit Snappers: No team website.
    • Burlington Bees: No team website.
    • Cedar Rapids Kernels: The Kernels website was one of the best-designed of the early websites, though the content was thin–mostly press releases. I’m pretty sure Cedar Rapids was the first MWL team to post daily box scores. And during 1997 they began posting the daily press guide as a PDF file; I loved it.
    • Clinton LumberKings: No team website.
    • Fort Wayne Wizards: The Wizards’ website–called Amazing Baseball, which was the team’s advertising slogan–arrived in mid-season. It was a flashy, typical-of-1996 design, with relatively fancy graphics and some real content (rosters, information about the players, and the like). My memory is that the design didn’t change significantly until they moved to the MiLB servers in, I think, 2005; by that time, it was old-fashioned. But was always strong on content.
    • Kane County Cougars: The Cougars first website was FanLink’s third Midwest League website, and was much like the Quad Cities site, which I describe briefly below. I think the FanLink version of the Cougars’ site only lasted the one season; they went to a self-hosted site that was adequate but a bit sluggish the next summer.
    • Lansing Lugnuts: No team website. But this one’s odd: I saw lots of evidence that a Lansing team website was actually developed early in the season, but it was never made public. (Late in the season, I was contacted by a Luggie staffer about possibly working on their website, but nothing came of that. I did contribute to the Luggie yearbook for a couple years.) The team’s official website debuted with the opening of the 1997 season; the current website is essentially the same design.
    • [Battle Creek] Michigan Battle Cats: No team website. The Cats wouldn’t develop a serious website until Scott Sailor arrived in the front office, in 2002.
    • Peoria Chiefs: The Chiefs’ website arrived in mid-season. It was by far the best of the official sites in 1996, though I remember it as a bit slow over dialup connections. This site had information about the team, advice about buying tickets, and (unique to early Midwest League websites) gave a real sense of the team’s history.
    • Quad City River Bandits: FanLink was trying to build, in 1996, the centralized minor league website that was eventually constructed by Minor League Baseball. They offered minor league teams a standard, well-designed website template that included all the necessary basic team information. It was attractive, well-arranged, and even now I think a good effort. The business failed, I think just before the 1999 season. I had some disagreements with FanLink proprietor Jeff Williams, but was unhappy that his business went under.
    • Rockford Cubbies: No team website. The Rockford franchise never developed a website.
    • South Bend Silver Hawks: No team website.
    • West Michigan [Grand Rapids] Whitecaps: The Whitecaps’ website showed up late in the season. The initial effort was unimpressive, but over the years it developed into a modern and sophisticated operation. Of all the teams that moved their websites to the MiLB template, this is probably the site that converted with the least effort. (This depends, of course, on technology compatibilities: It may, in fact, have been the hardest conversion.)
    • [Appleton] Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: The Rattlers had a FanLink website, but it wasn’t built exactly to the standard template used at QC and Kane. I always suspected this was Jeff Williams’ first effort, and that the standard design reflected things he learned while building this one. But that’s just a guess. After FanLink failed, Jeff continued to maintain this site under another business name; this effort may only have lasted one season.

    Enough for now. I’ll discuss some other team-specific sites in a few days, then walk you through the Midwest League’s early on-line press coverage.

    In the event you’ve just stumbled onto this entry, here’s an explanation of what I’m up to.

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