Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Respect the Home Run

Game 19: Durham Bulls 2; Norfolk Tides 5
Season: 11-8; Streak: 0-2
Wrap, Box, Virginia Pilot

The Bulls are surely glad to get out of Norfolk.

In some ways, yesterday’s game was over in the 1st inning when Norfolk scored 2 runs on a Josh Bell home run and never looked back. The Tides scored another run in the 1st, one in the 5th off a Ryan Adams home run, and a final run in the 8th off Josh Bell’s second home run of the day.

On the other hand, veteran Edgar Gonzalez had the longest outing of any Durham Bulls pitcher this year (seven innings). That will probably help the bullpen recover from this rough series of extra inning/nasty weather games. As for those two home runs, they are the first he’s given up this year, so we can hope he’s not going to be handing out too many more of them.

The Bulls left for Louisville, Kentucky not long after the game. The Bats are a Cincinnati Reds team run by one of the better managers in baseball, Rick Sweet. Although the Bulls and Bats only play 8 games in the regular season, we have met them in the playoffs (and beaten them) in the last couple of seasons. As a rule the competition is superb. They are 12-6 on the year and have a couple of Reds rehabbers with them. One of them, Johnny Cueto, will be starting against Alex Torres tonight.


A couple of days ago Rays Index ran a very interesting interview with Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon. Interesting from a Bulls fans point of view (and a Bulls players’ perspective) is Maddon’s confidence in his ability to evaluate minor leaguers. The implication is that if Maddon can’t fit a player into his way of putting a team together, then that player is probably out of luck when it comes to playing time with the Rays.


  1. I have been reading "The Extra 2%" about the Rays rise to the top in '08. It isn't too well written, but it does have some good information in it. Your post made me think of it, because of the section about Maddon's rise through the managing ranks of the Angels. His assignments really seemed to focus on developing high-level, but raw, talent. I can understand, based on his career, why he would feel strongly about the role of certain prospects in the Rays system.

    On a slightly related note, I also recently finished "The Bullpen Gospels" by Dirk Hayhurst and thought it was really fantastic and would suggest it to any fan of the minor leagues. It give a good insight into what life moving up the ranks is like and Hayhurst is a really strong writer. I am definitely going to get his next books when they come out.

  2. Have not read "2%" yet, but will probably get around to it. I can whole-heartedly agree about "Bullpen Gospels". Terrific read. Am concerned about Hayhurst going on DL since he spent last year on DL because of surgery and his last start was not a good one. If you happen to hear anything, please post since I won't be listening to opening to game tonight.

  3. Maddons assesment of minor league talent and not giving good players at AAA a chance to make the Rays and instead go after older beyond their prime players is probably why so many players jumped ship from last years Durham Bulls team this year to go elsewhere where they might get a real chance to make the show.

  4. Hm... I am not sure that I would agree with that assessment. They did sign three big name (my own definition of 'big name') free agents, but on their current 25-man roster I count 15 players that played significant time here in Durham. That's pretty good, if you ask me.

    I think if you were going to make a list of teams that bring in free agents and don't build from within, it would take you a while to get to the Rays.