Sunday, June 08, 2008

San Angelo's Wiernermania elevates United League

Congratulations goes out to the San Angelo Colts, who today became the first United League team to ever claim the title of's Promotion of the Day.

Based in Texas, the six-team United League began play in 2006. It hasn't received much national attention, but as numerous leagues in the past have shown, making it to a third opening day is no small accomplishment.

San Angelo doesn’t offer many wild promotions. There are a few giveaways in the coming months, but none of which are likely to gain Promo of the Day honors. Still, the Colts seem to have found something good with Wienermania.

Judging from the pictures on the right, quite a few people brought their dachshunds to the ballpark in previous years. The dog owners appear to put quite a bit of effort into getting their pooches to look good. And San Angelo puts in its fair share of effort, too.

Several teams host wiener dog races. Few also hold the costume contests and other games the Colts provide. San Angelo is the host of this season’s United League All-Star Game, which is usually a pretty good sign of the health of a franchise. Here’s to seeing this promo featured many times in the coming years.

The Dugout hopes to have pictures from this year’s event for an upcoming blog.

Dueling stories: Sunday’s Florida vs. Cincinnati game featured two pitchers who leant stories to The Funniest Thing I’ve Ever Seen: More than 100 crazy stories from minor league baseball.

Florida’s Joe Nelson recently got called up to the bigs. The Marlins’ broadcast team relayed the story of how Nelson met his wife – the same story that’s featured in the book. That story deserves its own blog entry, so it is being saved for a slower day.

While waiting, peruse Majewski’s tale.

What, No Wake Up Call?
His given name is Gary Majewski, but his teammates call the Houston native “Tex.” Today, exhaustion makes his southern twang a little slower.

Yesterday’s longer-than-expected travel – the bus left his Charlotte Knights waiting at
the airport – combined with today’s already completed 10:15 a.m. start have left most of
his Charlotte Knights teammates short of rest.

The game hasn’t been over for more than 20 minutes, yet half of the Knights have already
headed home to bed.

Majewski is seated at a table eating lunch. He, too, would likely be on his way home if he weren’t so hungry and hadn’t agreed to an interview. Tex might be even more tired had he pitched in either of the last two games – both Charlotte losses.

Slumped over a sandwich, Majewski doesn’t look like a typical closer. The intimidating goatee is there, but with shaggy, curly hair and the wire rimmed glasses, the 24-year old could just as easily pass for a hip physics student.

Ah, but the attitude is there.

“You have to be just an arrogant bastard on the mound,” Majewski explained. “You have to be the biggest dickhead in the world. You have to learn to deal with it and [the coaching staff] has to learn to deal with you. When I’m on the mound everything is toned down. I don’t hear anything. From when I step on the mound until that last out, that’s the point of the game where I have to concentrate the most. That’s my job. That’s what I get paid to do.”

Majewski has another job with the Knights – one that’s as necessary as it is unofficial. Tex is a prankster. He likes to target players who are easily angered. It’s worth the screaming, Majewski
says, just to see the looks on their faces.

“I do it to keep myself sane,” he said. “You’re gone for eight months out of the year. You play for six months. There’s another month and a half for spring training. It’s like (the movie) Groundhog Day. Every day is the same. You have to do something to change it up
a bit.”

Gary Majewski: Jake Meyer and I were in Louisville in the hotel.
We had just gotten back from [lifting] weights. Our buddies, Aaron
Myles and Ryan Hankins, were going to get something to eat. Jake
and I got their room key and went into their room.

We went to the beds and put the mattresses [on the floor] and
the box springs on top. Then [we] remade the beds. Then we put
some plastic wrap over the toilet, underneath the seat. We also put
some K-Y jelly on top of the toilet seat.

We saw them coming back to the room so we took off. We got a
call about five minutes later from Myles. He’s mad because he
kinda dove into his bed without even thinking. Thump. So he’s fired

At the same time Hankins went to the bathroom. I guess he
walked into the bathroom and saw the plastic wrap, but he didn’t
notice the KY jelly. He had to take a No. 2. Needless to say he had alittle KY on his ass.

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