Category Archives: General Topics

Rangers draft paralyzed outfielder Johnathan Taylor

From NBC Sports Hardball Talk:

The Rangers used their 33rd-round pick Wednesday to draft University of Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor, who was paralyzed after an outfield collision in March and is considered unlikely to walk again.

Taylor fractured two vertebrae in his spine in a collision with teammate Zach Cone three months ago.  Cone was the Rangers’ second-round pick, and it looks like the team decided it’d be a nice gesture to select Taylor afterwards.

The paralysis has affected all of Taylor’s extremities, so he is considered a tetraplegic.  He has some use of his arms, but no feeling in his legs or fingers.  Still, he is able to use his hands again and even play video games.  Since his spinal cord wasn’t severed, the hope is that his condition will continue improve with time.

Taylor hit .335 with a team-best .442 OBP for the Bulldogs in 2010.  He was playing in Georgia’s 11th game of this season when he was injured.


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It’s hot in Texas, so why the black jerseys?

The Grand Prairie AirHogs baseball team played the Amarillo Sox today at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie. What was funny about the event was the AirHogs chose to wear thier black jerseys. Now anyone in Texas can tell you if you are out in the hot Texas sun, that’s the last color you want to wear in the direct sunlight.

The pitching coach for the AirHogs agreed. Let’s listen to Coach Thad Markray of the AirHogs:


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Wake Up Call: Your AirHogs break the slide!

What a relief it is to end a 4 game losing streak right?

Meanwhile, I had a chance to sit down with AirHogs closer, Big John Hunton. Check out this interview.

And then I caught up with him after he got his uniform on.

He’s a good guy, and we AirHogs fans should be glad he’s here. Just a great guy.

Now, would you like to know who gets my vote for the best AirHogs fan?

Nathan is a great kid, he just passed the first grade. He loves coming to QuikTrip Park to get autographs. It doesn’t have to be just AirHog autographs either. He just loves being able to get any and all autographs of his big league heroes, no matter what team they play for. I’ve been watching Nathan do this for a year now, and it warms my heart that kids still see big league ball players as heroes. I still believe there is something honest and pure in that notion. Hats off to Lil Nathan!  Check out his pictures after the jump.

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Another reason to love Kansas

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st  Infantry Division greet Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the number 88 AMP Energy  Drink/National Guard car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as they participate in
driver introductions at Kansas Speedway, June 5. Nearly 300 Soldiers from the  “Big Red One” participated in the pre-race ceremonies including the driver  introduction cordon, the color guard and unfurling two giant American Flags
during the National Anthem. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jake A.)
This is my old Army unit from Ft. Riley Kansas!

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Bryce Harper Homered, Admired His Feat, Then Blew a Kiss to the Pitcher [Video] | The Big Lead

Want to see why there are brushbacks in baseball? Check out this video of Bryce Harper blowing a kiss to the pitcher after hitting a home run. Back in the day, that would have cleared the benches.
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A new sport I’m interested in, Lingerie Football League

I know there will be some ridicule here, but I am totally interested in Lingerie Football League.

I know what you are thinking, but I really am. Take a look at this clip:

Isn’t that some great action? I’ve sent off for my credentials to cover the games, wish me luck!

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Starting today

Starting today, visitors to the blog can use their Facebook or Twitter account to leave comments. This saves everyone a few steps and gives visitors control over which identity they use.  It’s a win for everyone.

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Someone hits the old guy and he loses beer

Some fan going for a foul ball bumps an older fan drinking a beer causing the old guy to spill it. Old guy demands another beer. Classic!
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USC gets stripped of 2004 Championship

Well it’s only taken 7 years to determine that Reggie Bush cost his school a national championship for taking money while he was a student at USC.

From ESPN:

The decision was not unexpected but required the NCAA’s May 26 rejection of USC’s appeal of sanctions stemming from the Reggie Bush investigation to move forward.

The BCS ruling vacated the results of the 2005  Orange Bowl — the national title game for 2004 — as well as the Trojans participation in the 2006 Rose Bowl, in which USC lost to Texas in the championship game.

You might think then that the team that played USC in that game would then be awarded the championship, Oklahoma, but no, that would be too easy.

As a result of the BCS’s Presidential Oversight Committee ruling, there will be no BCS national champion in the record book for the 2004-05 season.

“The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are
showcase events for postseason football,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock
said in a statement. “One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is
for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with
the NCAA’s recent action, USC’s appearances are being vacated.

“This action reflects the scope of the BCS arrangement and is consistent with
the NCAA’s approach when it subsequently discovers infractions by institutions
whose teams have played in NCAA championship events.”


Well, thanks for playing Reggie. Glad you could screw both schools out of some worthwhile recognition.



USC stripped of ’04 championship (ESPN)

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This better not screw up my swim party


With the El Paso Diablos (independent; American Association) on the market and many in the city not wanting to put any money into Cohen Stadium unless affiliated ball is in the offing, the future of the team is far from assured.

Owner Mark Schuster and Ventura Sports have the team on the market. In the meantime, needed improvements to Cohen Stadium are on hold pending new owners. GM Matt LaBranche has some modest improvements in mind — upgraded restrooms, a better playing field — but for anything major, indy ball may be a hard sell for millions in ballpark changes funded by the city.

As this article makes clear, there are plenty in the city pining for the original Texas League Diablos, the affiliated team owned and run by Jim Paul. That team ended up in Springfield, Mo. after Brett Sports took over from Paul, and there’s perhaps a little mythologizing from some in the city about the affiliated days: Paul was an aggressive promoter — a visionary in that respect — who relied heavily on ticket and item giveaways to draw crowds. It was not a sustainable business model (there is a reason why Paul sold the team), and neither Brett Sports or Ventura Sports chose to follow that business model. It’s an approach that seems to be working: the team is a solid draw (3,738 fans a game in 2010), despite playing in a 10,000-seat ballpark way too big for their needs.

But affiliated ball isn’t coming back soon, at least to the current Cohen Stadium, There was some talk about El Paso landing the relocating Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) before the team landed in Tucson, but it’s hard to tell how serious that talk was. Officials say they’d love to bring in another Pacific Coast League or Texas League team, but we don’t see that happening anytime soon. Right now independent ball is the only game in town, and it’s being run in a credible manner, despite Paul’s opinion that indy ball will die in El Paso. “Independent baseball is a tough sell,” he told the El Paso Times. “It’s hard baseball to make money off of. It’s a long ways to go to try to sell the names of cities coming in.”

Part of the issue may be realistic expectations. Folks in El Paso argue that their city is actually the largest market in the United States without affiliated ball, outpacing the likes of Portland, Oregon. But that depends on a rather silly interpretation of the statistics, focusing on the core Portland population and ignoring the suburbs: the greater Portland Metropolitan Statistical Area (as ranked in U.S. Census figures) population comes in at 2,241,841 in 2009 rankings; El Paso comes in at 751,296. When you look at MSAs, there are other cities lacking any sort of baseball, much less affiliated ball, that are larger than El Paso: New Haven, Orlando, Honolulu. El Paso is a major market, to be sure, but it’s not perceived as being especially affluent and maybe not as alluring as locals assume.

The AirHogs will be playing the Diablos on 6/19 and I will be having a pool party at Porter’s Pool in center field. I am hoping the Diablos will put former AirHog Chad Gabriel in center field so we can all chat with him.


Diablos on market; will city support indy ball? (Ball Park Digest)

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