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Umpires are an absolutely crucial and generally under appreciated part of the baseball at all levels, but the umpire should never upstage the game. Baseball is first and foremost a game for the fans and the players. The umpires are there to support the game, not distract from it. That’s the theory, anyway.

And then something like this happens. An umpire at the Daytona Cubs’ game ejected the stadium music guy Derek Dye for playing “Three Blind Mice” following an iffy call. According to Baseball America (with an asset from one Roger Fritz), this is the first music man ejection in the Florida State League since 1985.

Umpires do take a lot of undeserved and unnecessary abuse from the media and fans alike, but this sort of a response is just over the top. Still, the ejected Mr. Dye appears to have handled the situation well (assuming that is his real Twitter account). The Daytona organization and fans seemed to make the best of things as well. At the end of the day, I think this is just yet another example of why minor league baseball is unlike anything else in sports.

And with that, I would like to officially open the floor for musical suggestions. Now that “Three Blind Mice” is probably off the table, and remembering that a minor league game should always be a family friendly entertainment venue, let’s have your ideas for future music selections that could be used by minor league stadium music guys around the country.

I’ll open things up by nominating “Send In The Clowns.” How can an umpire get upset listening to that?

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa gave up eight runs in a crushing fifth inning that led to an 11-6 loss.
Tennessee – Tennessee won the suspended game 4-2, and then capped off the night with a 1-0 win in Game Two.
Daytona – Despite three errors and the lack of a music guy, the Cubs were able to win the game 2-1.
Peoria – In a game that was almost a one man show, the Chiefs prevailed 11-10.
Boise – The Hawks rode a big fifth inning to a 14-10 win.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs cruised to a 4-0 win.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Ty’relle Harris is back in Iowa and still starting. Whether he is being stretched out or just filling in for a rotation that has been rapidly depleted by Chicago remains to be seen. He gave up five runs (four earned) in his four inning start.
  • [Iowa] If the Cubs keep trading, Michael Bowden could get another chance in Chicago. He pitched three more scoreless innings and struck out six in this game.
  • [Iowa] Surrounded by promotion rumors, Brett Jackson finished 3 for 5 with a double and his 12th triple.
  • [Iowa] Also featured in promotion rumors, Josh Vitters hit his 16th home run of the season.
  • [Iowa] Welcome to Iowa Greg Rohan. The Triple A Cubs’ new first baseman started off his Iowa career in a Rizzo-like fashion by hitting two home runs as part of a 3 for 4 game.
  • [Tennessee] Pitching was the star in both of the Smokies’ games. Dae-Eun Rhee, Trey McNutt, and Kevin Rhoderick all three pitched quite well in the opener. Dallas Beeler and Brian Schlitter were both brilliant in Game Two.
  • [Tennessee] Thanks to the suspended game, Greg Rohan appears to have played for two different teams in two different leagues on the same day. He doubled in Game One before it was suspended. His replacement, Nate Samson, homered.
  • [Tennessee] Justin Bour‘s solo shot, his 12th home run of the season, was all the scoring the Smokies needed in Game Two.
  • [Daytona] Lendy Castillo continues his rehab work and his apparent conversion to a starter in Daytona. He pitched four innings for the Cubs, allowed one run on three hits, and struck out four.
  • [Daytona] Eduardo Figueroa was very good in relief. His three inning stint was marred by a single hit.
  • [Daytona] Micah Gibbs picked up his third stolen base of the season in this game. You remember correctly. He is in fact a catcher.
  • [Daytona] Rubi Silva drove in both of the Cubs’ runs. Silva, who was playing center field in this game, could yet be moved to Tennessee before the end of the year.
  • [Daytona] Ronald Torreyes had yet another two hit game. He is hitting .366 over his last ten games.
  • [Peoria] In one game Dustin Geiger put up enough stats to make a pretty great series. He finished this phenomenal game 3 for 5 with a double, two home runs, and eight (EIGHT!) RBI. His second home run was a three run bomb in the ninth that put the Chiefs ahead for good. He now has 13 on the season.
  • [Peoria] Javier Baez and Pin-Chieh Chen both had two hits and a double apiece.
  • [Peoria] Bryce Shafer struck out four of the five batters he retired.
  • [Boise] Xavier Batista and Stephen Bruno each hit home run number one for the Hawks.
  • [Boise] In all, six different Hawks finished with more than one hit. Every member of the starting lineup had at least one hit in the game.
  • [Arizona] Pierce Johnson and Carlos Martinez-Pumarino both pitched well early in the game, but the really impressive performance game from Steve Perakslis. He struck out five in his two innings of relief.
  • [Arizona] Albert Almora hit lead off and finished the game 3 for 4 with a stolen base. Jorge Soler finished 2 for 4 with two steals.

Other Minor League Notes

  • For the time being, I am dropping the Minor League Standings section of the Daily. Only Boise and Arizona are currently in a realistic playoff hunt, and I will continue to update you on those chases from time to time in this section. Should Tennessee or Peoria or any other team jump into the playoff chase, I will be certain to cover that under the Notes as well. I no longer see the point in updating exactly how many games behind Iowa happens to be on a daily basis, so we’ll just focus on the potential playoff teams for now.
  • And speaking of Tennessee, they suddenly find themselves just four games out. Time is running out, but they are poised to make a run.
  • With their win, Boise holds a two game lead in their division.
  • Dustin Geiger’s day was not only spectacular, it was record setting.
  • Rock Shoulders has advanced to the Final Four in Minor League Baseball’s Moniker Madness. A name like Rock Shoulders cannot be allowed to lose. Go forth and vote!
  • There was a second game in Arizona last night (or rather, very early this morning), but I could not wait up for the final. When I fell asleep, Loiger Padron had struck out five and the game was tied at two after five. The box score should be available here by the time you read this.
  • ChiTown

    Is Christian Villanueva going to make his debut with Daytona today? I am excited to see what he can do. Does he have a higher ceiling than Vitters?

  • Crockett

    In my mind, he absolutely has a higher ceiling because his defense is so good. He may not be the pure hitter Vitters is, but has shown the propensity to take a walk at a much younger age. He’s not a big guy and may eventually move to 2b, but right now, I’d have him no lower than equal to Vitters with the chance to be significantly better.

    • Jack Weiland

      His ceiling is probably higher, but he’s also further away. I think they’re comparable prospects and it probably comes down to what you value more than anything.

  • Robbo

    Luke, how about “Idiot Wind” by Bob Dylan or “Blind Man” by Aerosmith

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right
      Here I am, Stuck in the Middle with You…..”
      –Stealer’s Wheel

  • wayner21

    Does Almora project as a potential lead-off guy when/if he makes it to the bigs?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think that’s among the possibilities, but I don’t think that’s the expectation.

  • CubbiesOHCubbies

    What is the realistic expectations of a guy like Stephen Bruno??? I seem to be seeing his name quite a bit lately as having a good game and was just wondering what a guy like him projects out to. When he was drafted I heard one or two people mention Pedroia but that seems like a reach. Whats his potential?

  • AP

    I tried to think of something real clever, but all I could come up with was “Help!” by the Beatles.

  • gratefulled

    Wow, went to the I-Cubs game last night and now wish that I didn’t. That was a terrible experience. The coaches have quit, the players have quit, you could even tell the freaking PA didn’t want to be there. I wonder if there is some kind of refund I can get for the remainder of my season tickets. F’ing lame.

    • willis

      Sucks to hear. Because of that though I wish they’d go ahead and get Jackson and Vitters out of that sinking ship.

  • JOHN

    Too bad we can’t a first baseman at every position. We have a lot of them.

    • JOHN

      have*

  • Idaho Razorback

    Jay Jackson is officially done.

  • Other JP

    Dumb question. Since most of our minor league teams have losing records (and some are really bad), has anyone done any research on the minor league teams’ records versus a major league team’s ability to bring up quality prospects?

    I’d think it would be a given that if your minor league teams are kicking the crap out of everyone, it is because you have better players in the minors. Therefore, you have the ability to bring up great prospects (feed the major league club).

    • AB

      it also could mean you have prospects that are too old and more mature physically for their level that feast on inexperienced or crappy pitching.

  • AB

    Luke

    did Greg Rohan actually play at AA and AAA yesterday?? or were his numbers and appearance in the box score in the AA game a carryover from the suspended game??

    • mak

      Correct, suspended game from night before, he was called up after game was suspended.

  • Ogyu

    I suggest any song by Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder. If the umpire objects, tell him he’s paranoid.

  • Eric S

    As far as song choices go how about “Running Blind” by Godsmack?

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Smokies are HOT and Billy Hamilton has been cooled off by Smokies Pitching. He has only been on base twice in 4 games…..which is a huge reason why the Smokies have won 4 straight.

    The Smokies have won 4 straight and find themselves back in the hunt for a playoff spot. Currently, the Smokies are 4 games back of Chattanooga. But…there are 31 games to go, and 16 of those are at home…..remember…the smokies won 11 straight near the end of the 1st half…and those games could actually help them get into the playoffs should the Jackson Generals eclipse the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Northern Division (Jackson won the 1st half…and if they win the 2nd half; the second playoff spot goes to best overall record). Call me crazy….but I am excited about the chance the Smokies have in front of them.

    Yesterday was very exciting….after Tuesday night’s storm in the 4th inning, yesterday’s “resumed game” was further delayed by rain by about 90 minutes…..then another 7 inning game followed….but as noted above in the notes, the Smokies were victorious in both games. It was a late night to be a fan…but hey…these are the dog days for me too….and damn it….I’m gonna support these kids.

    A few observations:
    Dallas Beeler is a solid starting pitcher. Don’t let the record fool you….he has pitched well this year. It seems like every time he takes the mound he gets no run support. Same thing last night…but to hold a team to 1 hit and have to be pinch hit for in the 5th because of a scoring chance…I felt bad for him. But…he did an incredible job last night. Very poised, and for me….a good pitcher with a bright future.

    Trey McNutt is adjusting to life in the bullpen. I still have not seen a great outing…but he is getting the job done, and that’s what counts. Today is his birthday….so Happy Birthday Trey.

    Kevin Rhoderick and Brian Schlitter are back into form, and doing a good job in the bullpen. Frank Batista is also anchoring the team as closer. Really like our bullpen.

    Justin Bour continues to rake. He hit a walkoff bomb on the first pitch of a 0-0 game in the home half of the 7th (shortened game due to storm Tueday night). He has carried this club all season. I am a little shicked that Rohan got the call to AAA ahead of Bour…..maybe Buddy Bailey was able to convince the brass that the Smokies are in the hunt fo rthe playoffs and without Bour we are cooked. Regardless…..the guy continues to hit and deliver.

    Nate Samson is Mr. Everything for this team. He is a fan favorite. Signs autographs for kids every night. Volunteers in the commmunity. Plays multiple positions and has even pitched 3 times this year. He is a utility guy in his 6th year in the minors. He’ll likely depart the organization next year for greener pastures….but I must say, watching him hit a decisive HR last night to give us a 2 run lead in game 1 was AWESOME!! Could not be happier for this grinder. His coaches and teammates love him and so do the fans. He gets the most out of his abilities, which may or may not get him a promotion to the big leagues some day, but in the history of the Smokies, I’d have to say that Nate Samson is one of the best guys to ever play at Smokies park. I root for Nate every night, and he plays hard whenever he takes the field. Class act.

    Finally, no one has been harder on Junior Lake than me….but I have to admit, during this 4 game series he has been pretty solid on defense. Most of the year, we have to hold our breath on a ball hit his way…but in a series where baserunners are at a premium becuase of the havoc that Mr. Billy Hamilton has….Junior Lake’s defense has been STELLAR. Hopefully, now that trade speculation has ended (for now) Junior can get going ans help this club win. He is certainly helping this week.

    OK, that’s all for now. Smokies go for the sweep tonight at Smokies Park. GO SMOKIES!!

    Brandon

    • Edwin

      Dallas Beeler is currently striking out 4.6/9 in AA while walking 3.1/9. That gives him a K/BB ration of 1.5. This is in AA. I don’t think his future is too bright. I would think that of any of the AA starters, Nick Struck has the most potential.

      Rohan has been puttting up a slightly better slash line than Bouer, so I’m wondering if the call up was due him being 26 and Bauer being 24.

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        Regarding Rohan and Bour, I think age definately had something to do with it. Just can’t replace Bour’s bat in the Smokies lineup right now.

        Regarding Struck vs Beeler…..this is the beauty of seeing games in person vs. looking at stats. I agree that Stats are important…..and Nick Struck has a pretty good record in games he has started. Look at the run support he has gotten. Beeler has had to be ultra-harp in order to win because the run support simply has not been there this season. Now…..I’ll be the first to say that Beeler has had a few terrible outings this season, but as a fan who has only missed 2-3 home games this season….I like what I see in Dallas Beeler. Nick Struck has been pretty good….but if I could choose 1 to pitch in a do or die game this season….I think I’d pick Beeler.

        Then again…..the stats probably prove this to be the wrong move.

        My 2 cents from my perch.

        Brandon

        • Edwin

          I do enjoy the nice recaps you do of games, but I think it’s a good demonstration as to why looking at stats is important when following prospects. It’s one thing to like a player’s performance, and root for that player, but sometimes us being fans can blind us to certain things. Like Beeler’s low strikeouts. Going forward, his strikeouts need to improve, or he probably won’t be anything more than AAA fodder.

          Again, I truly appreciate the game recaps, and I’m jealous that I don’t live close enough to regulary attend minor league games for any of the Cubs affiliates.

        • willis

          Brandon-what’s your opinion on Jockisch? Anything there? I’ve heard his ceiling isn’t real high but with the way he’s been pitching, makes me curious as to what people who have seen him this season think.

          I’m heading to Jackson over the weekend to check them out. Probably Sunday’s game. Can’t wait.

        • Nathan

          The Cubs FO would not leave Bour down because of the playoff race. If they thought it was beneficial to move him up to AAA he would be up regardless of the Smokies playoff chances

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      Glad to see your more balanced take on Junior Lake. You blasted him last week.
      Is Jae-Hoon Ha about to come off the DL?

  • kubphan82

    Rock Shoulders
    Riders of Rohan…
    Nick Struck…
    Rebel Ridling…
    Reggie Golden…

    We have some pretty cool names in the minors… Obviously Rock Shoulders heads the list, but I’m a LOTR nerd and will be rooting for Rohan to do some damage… Think it would be cool to have a “Riders of Rohan” section in the bleachers ;)

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