Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rainout leaves St. Lucie ready for fresh start

The first half of the Florida State League season officially ended tonight. That was the good news for St. Lucie. The bad news was that rained splashed away the Mets game at Jupiter, depriving St. Lucie of it’s only chance to win a 20th game.

St. Lucie finished the first half at 19-50, making the Mets the lone affiliated team not to reach the 20-win mark. The Mets are only the sixth team to fail to win 20 games in a half since the FSL went to the split-season schedule in 1988.

The Dugout spent part of the day at Roger Dean Stadium, which was smacked by a line of South Florida thunderstorms most of the afternoon. Despite the rain, there were a few Mets who wanted a shot at that 20th win. Most, however, were looking forward to the rebirth of sorts starting Thursday.

“The first half is going to be finished, finally,” St Lucie manager Tim Teufel said. “When you have such a long half, it’s nice that in a day we’re starting fresh.”

Is Warthog that bad?: Winston-Salem is moving into a new ballpark next season, and the powers that be thought the Warthog nickname and logo (above) simply wouldn’t fit with the new d├ęcor.

Winston-Salem asked fans to suggest new nicknames. Warthog management narrowed it down to these five: Aviators, Racers, Rhinos, The Dash and Wallbangers.

Of these five, The Dugout reluctantly prefers The Dash, a nod to the combo name of the parent city. However, none of these five names is nearly as good as Warthogs. Put an end to the contest before less interesting heads prevail.

By the way, here’s one columnist who thinks he’s figured out exactly what the nickname will be, and his logic makes some good-ole southern common sense.

Next name, please: Fort Wayne is the latest minor league club to hold a nickname-the-team contest. Like Winston-Salem, the Wizards are moving into a new ballpark next season and likely expect a merchandising boost from a new moniker.

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