Archive for May 4th, 2009

Blame It On The Rain

May 4, 2009

(PR) (Bowie, MD)- The game between the Trenton Thunder and the Bowie Baysox, scheduled for Monday night at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, MD has been postponed because of rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday, May 5th. The first game of the double-header will begin at 6:05 p.m. Both games will be seven-innings.

The pitching match-ups for both games of the double-header are TBD.

Mendy’s Back

May 4, 2009

The Thunder received infielder Carlos Mendoza from Scranton earlier today, giving them the maximum 24 players.

The team is still without a fifth starter, so to avoid a bullpen start, another pitcher would need to be added by Friday.  Chad Jennings wrote the other day that Jose Gil was still with Scranton despite being assigned to Trenton, so it’s safe to assume he’ll be the guy taken off the roster.

Mendoza, utility infielder and utlility translator, was inactive while with the Thunder earlier this season.  In Scranton, he hit .222 with a double, an RBI and a walk in three games.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Back To The Future(s): Ramiro Pena

May 4, 2009

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BRONX, N.Y. — Ramiro Pena seemed a bit out of place at last year’s Futures Game, didn’t he?

If you picked up any of the prospect books or magazines, you had to flip through quite a few pages to get to his name, and that’s if he was even in there at all.

But there was Pena, getting to play at the original Yankee Stadium, sharing the field with players who seemed destined to play Major League Baseball.

Matt LaPorta?  He made his big league debut just yesterday.

Shairon Martis is the Nationals best starter.

Elvis Andrus just played on ESPN’s nationally televised Sunday Night Baseball.

And the list goes on and on.

And it’s now a list that includes Pena.

To everyone’s surprise, even his, Pena made the New York Yankees out of spring training.  After playing a grand total of zero games at third base all of last season with the Trenton Thunder, that’s now where he’s been finding himself playing at the new Yankee Stadium, filling in until Alex Rodriguez returns from hip surgery.

Many people seem to think that Pena, who skipped Triple-A Scranton all together (outside for an appearance in the Bricktown Showdown last year) won’t be heading there anytime soon, even once A-Rod comes back.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the friendly native of Monterrey, Mexico in the spacious clubhouse of the new Yankee Stadium.  Here’s how the conversation went…

Mike Ashmore: I haven’t seen you since you helped the Thunder win the Eastern League Championship last year…it must have been quite a ride since then.

Ramiro Pena: “It’s been pretty good.  Last year, things finished good (in Trenton), we won the championship.  Then I went to Triple-A for a game, which was good.  Spring training was good also.”

MA: I don’t think anyone gave you a chance to make this team out of spring training.  What did you have to do this spring to more or less create this opportunity for yourself?

Pena: “I was working hard.  Every day, I was focusing on my game.  I was trying to move runners, steal bases, play good defense.  Just be more consistent.”

MA: They have you playing third base up here…I don’t remember you playing third at all in Trenton.

Pena: “In the minor leagues, I didn’t ever play at third or second.  In spring training, the coaches talked to me and said I’m going to start to play both positions.  I was good with that.  I started to practice some things at second.  In the last half of spring training, I started to take some ground balls at third.  And that helped me.”

MA: We talked about nobody really thinking you had a chance to make this team out of spring…but at what point did you feel like you had a legitimate chance to make it?

Pena: “At the end.  When they said Alex was hurt, I thought maybe they need another guy.  (I thought) I’m going to work hard, but I don’t think I’m going to have that chance.  I just tried to work hard and make a good impression.”

MA: This clubhouse has got to be 20 times bigger than what you had in Trenton last year.  Tell me what it’s like to be in here and to be a part of this…

Pena: “It’s amazing being in this clubhouse with all these guys.  Playing games, everything.  It’s good, man.”

MA: Tell me about getting to play in the new Yankee Stadium and being a part of something special like this…

Pena: “It’s good.  The first day here, Opening Day…I thought I might be here at some point in the season, but I never thought I’d be here for Opening Day, you know.  That was special.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Yankee Stadium Photojournal

May 4, 2009

By now, everyone’s seen pictures of the new Yankee Stadium.  And really, these will be no different.  But, I figured I’d might as well share them anyway…I shot these on my first trip to the new place, which was about two weeks ago now.

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Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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