February 2012

Dedicated to Quantum Leap and Al Leap…Happy Birthday Terence Long and Ja Rule

How could I pass up a day to make a cheesy play-on-words with Leap Year? It’s easier than the Seinfeld episode when Jerry meets a detective named Bookman in his overdue library book-case.  For some reason, the first thing that popped in my head this morning was Quantum Leap, not sure why.

On September 25, 1991 this episode aired - Play Ball - August 6, 1961

I probably saw a few episodes of the show, but never got hooked like I did with Lost or Dexter.  After doing some research, I found this episode titled “Play Ball – August 6, 1991.”   Here’s the official description of the episode from IMDB (one of my favorite websites): “Sam is a minor league baseball pitcher who has plenty of female admirers and a porcine team mascot to watch out for.”

Ironically, Scott Bakula, who played Dr. Sam Beckett appeared in one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen – Major League, Return to the Minors.  And to get even more ridiculous with all these name-games, did you notice the last name of Beckett?  Yes, Josh Beckett is a former Sea Dog. I just couldn’t resist.

Now on to Al Leap.  He’s the only professional baseball player on Baseball Reference with the last name of Leap.  Here’s a link to his page http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=leap–001car.  Leap played nine minor league seasons, including a stop with the 1950 Elmira Pioneers of the Eastern League.   The Pioneers were 58-81, the second worst record in the E.L.  Only the Scranton Miners’ fans were complaining more, they had a 54-85 record.  Guess their affiliate?  The Boston Red Sox.

Notable Leap Day Birthdays: Ja Rule (Leap Day Age: 9; Real Age: 36), Tony Robbins (Leap Day Age: 13; Real Age: 52) and Dennis Farina (Leap Day Age: 17; Real Age: 68)

Major Leaguers with  Leap Day Birthdays: Terence Long, Bill Long, Jerry Fry, Al Autry, Steve Mingori, Al Rosen, Pepper Martin,Ralph Miller, Roy Parker, Ed Appleton and Dickey Pearce.

Terence Long celebrates a Leap-Day Birthday. What a leap this was at Fenway Park! (Photo courtesy of AP)

 Very interesting that former A’s outfielder Terence Long was born on Leap Day.  He made one of the greatest catches in the history of Fenway Park, taking away a “long one” from a current Oakland Athletic.  Game recap: http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=220807102
With the Red Sox starting up Spring Training on Saturday, the Sea Dogs begin their exhibition games on March 14th versus the New Britain Rock Cats.  Below is a full schedule.  Here’s a tremendous ticket promotion the Sea Dogs are offering ONLY on Leap Day – Click here for the details 
I’ll be heading to Spring Training in a few weeks, and can’t wait to see the JetBlue Park.  It’s nice that the entire complex houses the Major and Minor League complexes.
Tune into my Talk Show, the Saturday Morning Jab from 8 AM-12 PM.  You can listen online at thebigjab.com.
DATE OPPONENT AFFILIATION SITE
Wed. March 14 vs. New Britain Rock Cats Twins Ft. Myers
Thur. March 15 @ Bowie Baysox Orioles Sarasota
Fri. March 16 vs. Bowie Baysox Orioles Ft. Myers
Sat. March 17 @ New Britain Rock Cats Twins Lee County
Sun. March 18 CAMP DAY
Mon. March 19 vs. Montgomery Biscuits Rays Ft. Myers
Tues. March 20 @ Montgomery Biscuits Rays Port Charlotte
Wed. March 21 vs. New Britain Rock Cats Twins Ft. Myers
Thur. March 22 @ Bowie Baysox Orioles Sarasota
Fri. March 23 vs. Bowie Baysox Orioles Ft. Myers
Sat. March 24 @ New Britain Rock Cats Twins Lee County
Sun. March 25 CAMP DAY
Mon. March 26 vs. New Britain Rock Cats Twins Ft. Myers
Tues. March 27 @ Montgomery Biscuits Rays Port Charlotte
Wed. March 28 vs. Montgomery Biscuits Rays Ft. Myers
Thur. March 29 @ New Britain Rock Cats Twins Lee County
Fri. March 30 @ Bowie Baysox Orioles Sarasota
Sat. March 31 vs. New Britain Rock Cats Twins Ft. Myers

- All games scheduled for 1:00 pm -

Spring Training sights and sounds…Best athletes turned actors

With Spring Training games right around the corner, the Red Sox continue their full squad workouts at the beautiful JetBlue Park.

Red Sox open up exhibition schedule on March 3...Sea Dogs start Spring Training games on March 14 vs. New Britain

The media coverage in Ft. Myers has been unreal, and I would like to thank everyone who has covered this team, providing us with some unbelievable interviews and pictures.  Below is a few links you should check out.  I love technology!

Enjoy the audio, video and photo links below…They involve former Sea Dogs

Wow, that didn’t take long…Injuries already piling up

  1. I was the broadcaster in Erie during the 2004 season, and loved watching Joel Zumaya pitch…tough to see him out for the season.  I thought that was a great pickup for the Twins.
  2. Speaking of closers, Chris Perez of the Indians is out 4 to 6 weeks with an oblique strain.
  3. From Matt Snyder of CBS sports.com Cardinals utility man extraordinaire Allen Craig is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, reports MLB.com. “
  4. Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson returned to the field on Sunday in Florida, marking the first time he’s suited up since suffering a concussion in a car accident Monday.

Meet the 2012 Sea Dogs on April 3 at the Portland Expo

What’s the first thing you think of when you here Welcome Back?  For me, it’s Welcome Back Kotter, anyone else?  Can’t help but think of those great TV shows from my childhood.  But to serious matters, on April 3rd at the Portland Expo the Sea Dogs will hold their annual Welcome Back dinner in conjunction with Youth Alternatives Ingraham.  This is your chance to get autographs, photos and maybe some hitting tips from my favorite players.

With the Grammy’s on Sunday night, here’s my Top 1o list of Athletes Turned Actors.

  1. Jim Brown - Pro Sports Career: Played football for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965.
  2. Carl Weathers - Pro Sports Career: Played football for the Oakland Raiders & the British Columbia Lions from 1970-1974.
  3. Chuck Connors – Pro Sports Career: Played baseball for the Chicago Cubs & Brooklyn Dodgers from 1949 to 1951. Connors also played basketball for the Boson Celtics from 1946-1948.
  4. Fred Dryer - Pro Sports Career: Played football for the New York Giants & Los Angeles Rams from 1969-1981.
  5. Merlin Olsen - Pro Sports Career: Played football for the Los Angeles Rams from 1962-1976 and was known as one of the “The Fearsome Foursome”.
  6. Alex Karras - Pro Sports Career: Played football for the Detroit Lions from 1958-1962 & 1964-1970

    Ray Allen and Denzel Washington in He Got Game

  7. Bob Uecker - Pro Sports Career: Played Baseball with Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies & Atlanta Braves from 1962-1967
  8. Rick Fox - Pro Sports Career: Played Basketball with Boston Celtics & Las Angeles Lakers from 1991 to 2004.
  9. Terry Bradshaw – Pro Sports Career: NFL Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Stealers
  10. Ray Allen- Pro Sports Career…Hey, I’m from Boston, I loved He’s Got Game

Have a great start to the week…Can’t wait to watch baseball again.  Seems like the off-season was quick, yet long.  Does that make any sense?

Meet my new assistant Dan Acheson

The great thing about my job is the people I work with.  Each season, I’m privileged to have a new assistant.  Below is Dan Acheson’s introduction to all of you.  Enjoy!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hey everybody!

Nice to meet you via the blogosphere. A special thanks to Mike Antonellis for letting me crash his domain for the 2012 season. My name is Dan Acheson and I will be Mike’s partner on the radio for the upcoming year and I couldn’t be more excited.

Daytona is known for the big event this weekend...Start your engines

A little background about me: I hail from the small town of Sanbornton, NH – New England born and bred. After graduating high school, I attended Emerson College in Boston, MA earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism. During the summers of my junior and senior years, I was the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Sanford Mainers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in Sanford, ME.  The job was perfect. I learned a lot about the business, met some amazing people (including Mike and Sea Dogs’ Media Relations guru Chris Cameron), and realized that this was the field for me. In 2011, I took that passion to Daytona Beach where I was the Assistant Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations with the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League alongside Robbie Aaron and Chad Seely. Talk about
an all-inclusive experience! Probably the most intense job I have ever held, but, again, it just fueled the fire within me and proved that this is what I want to do for a career. It didn’t hurt either that when the dust settled, the Daytona Cubs were the last team standing in the FSL and took home the championship. All in all, not a bad first season in professional baseball. Now I know it’s unreasonable to expect a championship every season, but one thing that is for sure is this year’s ride from start to finish will be just as exciting.

Thanks for welcoming me into your homes this season. I hope to bring you just as much enjoyment about baseball through my thoughts and words as I get from doing this for a living.

Broadcaster’s Best Friend – The Scorebook

I get this question all the time, “How do remember everyone’s at-bat during the course of the game?”  It’s very simple, my scorebook holds all the numbers and chicken scratches to make me sound smart.  During my career announcing baseball, you start figuring out little tricks to remember certain plays.  I’ll mark an infield hit as IF-1B, put a mark in the direction where a baseball is hit, and the backwards K for a called third strike.  I know most of my peers share this same dorky feeling, but there’s something special about filling out your scorebook before the game.

I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s the time when things calm down before the game, and you’re the juices flowing for another broadcast.  Since my first game in 1997, I’ve used a four-colored pen (get made fun of a lot, but they work great) so that I can color-code certain plays.  Here’s a simple breakdown of what the colors represent: Green =  for any reaching base (except for an error, that’s in red), Red = player reaching on an error, RBI or run scored, Black = any out and Blue is what I use to write in my lineups and pitchers section.  Last week my Bob Carpenter scorebook arrived in the mail, and it got me even more excited for the season.  Bob is a Major League broadcaster with the Washington Nationals and has been in the scorebook business for over 20 years.   During one season I used a different scorebook, and it didn’t feel right.  Almost like I was cheating on Bob’s book.  I’ve included some photos of some interesting games.  I’ll post more during the season.   Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the blog entries, and you can follow me on twitter at seadogs radio or e-mail at the seadogsradio@gmail.com

 

My weekends in the off-season…two adorable nieces

Most people think that baseball front office staff lock the gates at the end of the season, and unlock them right before opening day.  If they only could, but if they did, the product wouldn’t be the same.  My situation is a lot different from my co-workers.  I’m a seasonal employee with the Sea Dogs, but I’m very busy in the off-season with a variety of freelancing jobs.  After the 2011 season ended, I was very fortunate to be offered a slot as a talkshow host every Saturday morning (8-12 PM) on 96.3 FM  in Portland, Maine. My new gig also includes: filling-in during the morning and afternoon shows, play-by-play for high school football, producing Celtics Basketball and the studio host for Maine Red Claws basketball.  This has been the best off-season job I’ve ever had.

My broadcast view at UNE

My second freelance gig is providing play-by-play for the University of New England basketball and hockey.  I love covering college sports, because it’s all about winning.  Don’t get me wrong, the Sea Dogs are trying to win every game, but minor league sports is about developing.  The intensity and competition of college sports is so exciting as a broadcaster and a fan.

As the truck left Fenway on Saturday, I’m beginning to plan for the 2012 season.  My assistant Dan Acheson started in the office last week, and will be a vital part of the broadcast for next season.

The start of the season is near, and I have purchased my scorebook.  That makes the season feel closer.

I’ve also had the pleasure of calling a few UMASS-Lowell games.  In Division II and III basketball, they play doubleheaders with the women’s game first followed by the men’s.   There’s usually a 1/2 break in between games.

In closing, I had to put a picture of two very important people in my life – my two nieces.  It’s pretty amazing how two people, no older than the wind pants I’m wearing, have had such an impact on my life.  Now I understand what people mean when they say “kids will change you.”  I don’t have any of my own, but my nieces have had a huge impact on me.

Ashley holding her baby sister Erika...Ashley is my god-daughter.

A few Super Bowl tweets by former Sea Dogs

Can’t wait for the game tonight. I’m heading home to enjoy the Super Bowl with my family, and get to see my nieces on Monday.  What a perfect weekend!

Here are some Super Bowl tweets from former Sea Dogs

Ryan Kalish @Ryan_Kalish - Regarless of the result of the game today Tom Brady has already won… Anyone who wants to argue that… Well u cant #youwilllose

Aaron Bates @A33bates - Anyone else restlessly awaiting super bowl Sunday?

Kevin Millar @kmillar 15 - Tackle the 1st person you see this morning! If they ask why? Tell them it’s football Sunday!

Anthony Rizzo @TheRizzMan27 - Who’s winning the Super Bowl? I think is could go either way.

Ryan Dent @rddeucess - Sweet…ill be flying during the entire super bowl #NOTcool

Daniel Nava @dnavs33 - Sunday set: church, SB!!! Let’s go Pats!!! Can’t wait to get it goin!

Jon Lester @jlester31 - Game time #Patriots

David Ortiz @davidortiz - Big thanks to @Patriots Tom Brady for donating a signed football to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund Auction

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