May 20: Off Day
May 21 thru 24
- Lugnuts 3 games, Silver Hawks 1 game
- Lugnuts are 23-24 (.489)
- Third place, 3.5 games behind the Whitecaps, one game behind the Battle Cats. The Wizards are two games back.
- Beltran and Blosser are on the DL. Doug’s broken his wrist and will be out until July. The team seems to expect Carlos back soon, which will make the outfield interesting.
- Rick Pitts was returned to extended spring. I expect he’ll go to one of the short-season teams when they’re made up in June.
Jose Cepeda was Baseball Weekly‘s “Hot Prospect of the Week” in this week’s issue.
Better baseball, this series. [Blaine] Mull and [Todd] Thorn had good outings, and [Scott] Key had a terrific relief appearance. [Matt] Treanor and [Gary] Coffee have been improving their hitting marks.
The Nuts are just past the midpoint of a three-week stretch against the Eastern Division, mostly playing home-and-away sets of four games. With the season’s midpoint nearing, these sets should help determine the division’s first-half championship.
Short notes about two ball players who occasionally looked impressive but rarely played well in Lansing:
Shedrick Pitts, Jr would report to Spokane in June and finish the season there. He’d be back in Lansing in both 1997 and 1998; over the three seasons he’d play 133 Midwest League games with a painful .214/.274/.276 slash line (1 HR; 26 SB). The Royals released him after the 1998 campaign, after which he caught on with the independent Texas-Louisiana League for a couple seasons.
Rick’s now coaching inner-city baseball in the Seattle area. The team website has a short biography.
Doug Blosser hit one of the longest home runs I ever saw, sending a rocket over the food court and completely out of the Lansing ballyard to right field. His brother, Greg, played a couple years in the majors with the Red Sox.
After his wrist healed Blosser also reported to Spokane. He played horribly–my Spokane correspondents thought he reacted poorly to the demotion–and got demoted yet again, to the Gulf Coast Royals. He’d return to Lansing in 1997, again earning reassignment to Spokane, where he finally played well.
On January 24, 1998, Doug died in a car crash in Sarasota. Yes, it was a shock.
In the event you’ve just stumbled onto this entry, here’s an explanation of what I’m up to.