Friday, April 04, 2008

Opening day has big league flair in Jupiter

The Jupiter Hammerheads had a pretty interesting opening night, employing a starting lineup that featured major league rehabbers Jeremy Hermida and Mike Rabelo.

Rabelo’s night didn’t go so well, 0-3 with two strikeouts, while Hermida doubled in his first at-bat and scored the game’s opening run.

Palm Beach countered with Tyler Herron on the mound, a former first-round draft choice who went to high school about 15 miles from Jupiter’s ballpark. He struggled a bit, allowing three runs in four innings and didn’t factor in the decision – a 5-4 Palm Beach win.

Herron was limited to four innings because Palm Beach is going with an eight-man rotation. The Cardinals are trying to develop starting pitching, so they are having two “starting” pitchers pitch each game, both maxing out at four innings.

The pitcher that starts the first game becomes the second pitcher used four days later. Should be interesting to see how it works this season.

Mascot shenanigans: The Fresno Grizzlies mascot is planning on a work stoppage is more fans don’t come to the ballpark. Fresno sent The Dugout the following press release on Friday. Enjoy.

Parker On The Verge Of Challenging Fans, Team To Pack The Park

FRESNO, CA – Seven days before the Fresno Grizzlies home opener against the Tucson Sidewinders, scheduled for Friday, April 11th at Chukchansi Park, the team’s beloved mascot has revealed that he is considering a walk-out. Electrified by the environment at Chukchansi Park last Wednesday when the Grizzlies defeated the San Francisco Giants in front of a Park-record 14,084 fans, Parker has informed management that he may stage a walk-out until the team packs the Park for their home opener.

“He wasn’t upset, but he was resolute that if Grizzlies fans could produce that type of atmosphere for an exhibition contest, it should be no problem to do it again for Opening Day,” said the team’s Vice President of Marketing, Scott Carter, who met with the mascot on Thursday evening as the Grizzlies kicked off the 2008 season in Portland, OR. “Parker is a baseball purist at heart, and like all baseball fans he realizes the special appeal that Opening Day has. His point was simple: ‘Real Fans Go To Opening Day’.”

The mascot, who debuted at Chukchansi Park on April 14, 2006, stunned the Fresno front office with his challenge. “He’s one of the most important, if not the most important, personalities in this organization,” said Grizzlies Executive Vice President Mike Maiorana. “It certainly wouldn’t be Opening Day without him.”

Parker was honored as the ‘Best Mascot’ in all of professional sports by industry publication following the 2007 season. According to GameOps, “Parker is an integral part of the game-day experience in Fresno, as well as a popular community ambassador…a great sense of humor, fun-loving and popular with fans.”

Though Parker could not be reached for comment at the time of this release, team officials have said they expect to hear from him on Monday, hopefully after he has reconsidered.
“Quite frankly, I don’t know what we’ll do if he carries through with this,” said Carter. “If Parker decides to walk away, we’re going to need the help of the entire Fresno baseball community, and we hope they’re up for the challenge of bringing him back.” The Grizzlies opened the 2008 season on Thursday night with an 8-4 loss at Portland’s PGE Park. The regular season at Chukchansi Park begins on April 11th when Fresno hosts the Tucson Sidewinders in Pacific Coast League action. For more information on the Grizzlies game schedule and promotional calendar, please call 559.320.HITS or visit

No comments: