Results tagged ‘ Brock Bond ’

Did the Grizzlies’ roster just take shape?

ImageSeveral moves were made today at the San Francisco Giants big league spring training: 21 players were reassigned to minor league spring training.

Several players were optioned to Fresno’s preliminary roster: Ehire Adrianza, Nick Noonan, Juan Perez, Roger Kieschnick, Jake Dunning, Chris Heston, Dan Otero, and Sandy Rosario. Each of these players is on the Giants 40-man roster.

Meanwhile, Boof Bonser, Steve Edlefsen, Heath Hembree, Michael Kickham, Tyler LaTorre, Mitch Lively, Shane Loux, Ricky Oropesa, Adam Duvall, Brock Bond, and Gary Brown were each “reassigned.”

Looking at the list of cuts today, most stand out as potential Grizzlies on Opening Day (April 4th). Adrianza and Noonan appear to be future Grizzlies up the middle of the infield. While Noonan has experience at second base, third base, and shortstop, Adrianza has played in 582 career games at shortstop and 1 at second base. Bond has played both second and third base in his career. The switch-hitting, on-base machine could fill wherever Noonan is not playing (or vice versa).

Perez and Kieschnick are going to be a part of a potentially loaded Grizzlies outfield to start the season. Perez has spent the last two seasons at Double-A Richmond, including a 2012 season in which he batted .302 with 11 home runs and 18 stolen bases (33 attempts). Kieschnick, despite missing three months with a shoulder injury, led the Grizzlies with 15 home runs in 2012.

Other possibilities in the Grizzlies outfield include Brown, the Giants’ 2nd-best prospect according to MLB.com, and Francisco Peguero. Peguero has stood out this spring, batting .424 in 13 games with the big club. He is competing with Cole Gillespie, Andres Torres, among others, for a spot in the Giants outfield.

LaTorre was assigned to minor league camp after returning from his time with Team Italy at the World Baseball Classic. LaTorre appeared in 2 games with Italy, going 1-for-4 with a walk.

Bonser, Heston, and Kickham are the frontrunners for the Grizzlies starting pitching staff. Bonser used the 2012 season to recover from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander started out of the bullpen with Fresno last July, but slowly worked his way back to a starting role. In 307 career games, Bonser has started 245 of them. Heston and Kickham are the rising prospects, who recently gained the attention of the Giants brass. Heston was the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year last year while Kickham is a hard-throwing left-hander. Those can be hard to find.

Dunning, Edlefsen, Hembree, Lively, Loux, Otero, and Rosario are candidates for the Grizzlies’ relief corps. Loux has plenty of starting experience in his career, but he pitched solely out of the bullpen in 2012. Rosario is the latest addition to the Giants organization. The right-hander posted a 1.04 ERA in 25 appearances with the New Orleans Zephyrs in 2012 while leading the team with 16 saves. The Grizzlies’ co-leader in saves from yesteryear, Hembree, will be looking to improve himself in the early part of this season to make sure he can crack the Giants’ roster soon.

Spinning Records

Todd Linden was named the Grizzlies’ Team MVP in 2012 (Don Davis)

The Grizzlies may have recorded their fifth winning season in franchise history in 2012, but there were plenty of other standout performances by the team and individuals. Below are numbers that either set records or were close to it from the Grizzlies this season:

Nick Noonan had a memorable day on May 20th at Round Rock after going 4-for-5 at the plate. Two of his four hits were home runs, including his first career grand slam. The part of his day that stood out the most, though, was his 8 RBIs, the most ever by a Grizzlies hitter in a single game in the franchise’s 15-year history.

Noonan and Conor Gillaspie each matched the Grizzlies’ team record for hits in a single game with five each. Noonan had five hits on June 12th versus Sacramento at Chukchansi Park, and Gillaspie recorded five hits on April 21st at Tacoma.

On May 22nd, Francisco Peguero became the first Grizzlies hitter since Michael Byas (2002) to register two triples in a single game. Peguero ended his season with the Grizzlies with 10 triples, which tied Nate Schierholtz (2008) for second-most triples in a single season in Fresno history.

With the help of Peguero’s 10 triples, the Grizzlies set a franchise record with 48 triples for the entire season, surpassing the previous record of 43 set in 2006. The 48 three-base hits were third most in the PCL.

Justin Christian and Brock Bond each set themselves among the Grizzlies leaders in batting average and on-base percentage with their 2012 performances. Christian’s .343 batting average ties Tyler Graham (2010) for the third best clip in a season. Bond’s .332 average and .422 OBP are tied for eighth best and fifth best, respectively, in team history.

A couple of records set that were lowlights for the season include fewest team stolen bases (64) and grounded into double plays (134).

Todd Linden returned to the Grizzlies in 2012 for his sixth season in his career after spending the last 2 1/2 years away from affiliated baseball. The switch-hitter spent the entire campaign with Fresno and established himself as the leader in most offensive categories for the franchise’s career leaderboard. Linden is first in games (558), hits (563), doubles (117), triples (19), home runs (83), RBI (310), runs (361), walks (267) and strikeouts (529).

Eric Hacker also returned to the Grizzlies in 2012 after spending the 2010 season with Fresno. The right-handed pitcher moved up the franchise’s career leaderboard in wins (3rd with 28), strikeouts (9th with 232), starts (4th with 54) and innings pitched (7th with 316).

Another pitcher, Yusmeiro Petit, placed his name among many several single season Grizzlies record boards in his first year with Fresno. The right-hander struck out 153 batters, which is the third most ever by a Grizzlies pitcher. He only walked 36, helping him tally the franchise’s best K/BB ratio (4.25). Meanwhile, his 166.2 innings pitched are ourth most thrown by a Grizzlies pitcher in a season.

Jean Machi and Heath Hembree each had 15 saves, which are tied for seventh most in a season by Grizzlies pitchers. It was also the second straight season in which two Fresno hurlers each had 10 or more saves. Marc Kroon and Dan Otero had 20 and 12, respectively, in 2011.

May 18, 2012 – 3 Things To Watch For

Fresno Grizzlies (27-13) at Round Rock Express (18-23)
5:05 PM PDT at The Dell Diamond
Radio: 105.5 FM “The Truth”

With a win, the Fresno Grizzlies will maintain the best road record in the PCL. They are 12-4 (.750) on the road, slightly better than Sacramento and their 12-5 (.706) road record. Fresno, Sacramento and the Reno Aces are the only three teams in the PCL with winning records on the road this season.

Tonight the Grizzlies will face a left-handed starter for the seventh time in their last 10 games. Fresno is 2-4 in the last six games against left-handed starting pitchers entering tonight. For the season, the Grizzlies are batting .277 against left-handed pitchers, compared to .310 against right-handed pitchers.

Brock Bond has a hit in 13 of his last 14 games and is batting .565 (26-for-46) in the month of May. Bond leads all of Minor League Baseball with his .565 batting average and .615 on-base percentage during May.

May 11th, 2012 – 3 Things To Watch For

Fresno Grizzlies (24-10) vs. Iowa Cubs (14-19)
7:05 PM game at Chukchansi Park
Ag Night, presented by Bayer CropScience

The Fresno Grizzlies will need a win to ensure a tie in the four-game series against the Iowa Cubs. Iowa has won the first and third games of the set. Fresno has not lost a series yet this season after taking three-of-four in the first seven series of the season. They then won two of three in a rain-shortened series at Colorado Springs last weekend.

Brock Bond has an eight-game hitting streak, currently the longest such streak by a Grizzlies hitter. Bond is batting .696 (16-for-23) with a .731 on-base percentage over the eight-game stretch. It is Bond’s longest hitting streak since the 2010 season when the switch hitter registered a hit in 10 consecutive games between August 28th and September 6th with Double-A Richmond.

With a win, Grizzlies starting pitcher Matt Yourkin will tie Steve Connelly (1999-2001, 2003) for fifth place on the Grizzlies’ all-time career wins list. Yourkin currently has 18 wins in his Fresno career. The southpaw has pitched for Fresno since 2010.

Walk Up Songs – 2012 Edition

A walk-up/warm-up song for a baseball player can be a very picky process. Players want a song that pumps them up and could help them focus for the task at hand. Some players care a lot more than others when it comes to narrowing down a song. A select few don’t even bother choosing one.

The songs can range from the obscure to more well known, the newer to the older, the serious to jokester. Below are a few of the songs chosen by the 2012 Grizzlies for this season.

Travis Blackley
Artist: Pendulum
Song: Set Me On Fire

Hector Correa
Artist: Don Omar
Song: Danza Koduro

George Kontos
Artist: Eminem
Song: Till I Collapse

Shane Loux
Artist: LInkin Park
Song: No More Sorrow

Jean Machi
Artist: Don Omar
Song: Los Banddiros

Wilmin Rodriguez
Artist: Omega
Song: Me Veo Con La Paca

Craig Whitaker
Artist: Branlley Gilbert
Song: My Kinda Party

Matt Yourkin
Artist: Metallica
Song: Creeping Death

Eli Whiteside
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Song: The Ocean

Jackson Williams
Artist: Korn
Song: Coming Undone

Brock Bond
Artist: Matisyahu
Song: One Day

Skyler Stromsmoe
Artist: Newsboys
Song: Born Again
Artist: POD
Song: Alive

Roger Kieschnick
Artist: Van Halen
Song: Jump

Todd Linden
Artist: Jay-Z and Kanye West
Song: In Paris (acoustic)

Francisco Peguero
Artist: Daddy Yankee
Song: Samos de Calle

Tyler LaTorre
Artist: Backstreet Boys
Song: Larger Than Life (the beginning, of course)

Where Are They Now?

Opening Day for the Grizzlies’ 2012 season is 35 days away (43 until the home opener on April 13th). While the next month will dictate how the Grizzlies roster shakes out, it is time to revisit the 2011 Opening Day roster. Some familiar faces may return to Fresno this season, but several players have moved on to other organizations. Check out the list below to see where they have landed.

The Grizzlies line up for the National Anthem at Opening Day 2011 (Don Davis)

Pitchers

RHP Josh Banks – signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Banks was without a job until February 28th when he signed with the Orioles on a Minor League contract. The right-hander is local to the Baltimore area as he is from Severna Park, Maryland.

RHP Casey Daigle – unsigned. Daigle pitched in 36 games with the Grizzlies last season. He did not pitch in a game after July 10th, however, as he ended the season on the disabled list.

RHP Steve Edlefsen – on the Giants’ 40-man roster. The right-hander made his Major League debut in 2011, pitching in 13 games with the Giants. The 26-year-old, who has pitched in Fresno for parts of the last three seasons, may once again start the year in Fresno this season, but he may also see significant time with the Giants.

LHP Alex Hinshaw – signed with the San Diego Padres. The left-hander was released this past offseason, before he was signed by San Diego. The 29-year-old attended San Diego State University, so the transition to America’s Finest City should be an easy one if he pitches for the parent club. Hinshaw was invited to the Padres’ Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.

RHP Andrew Kown – re-signed with the Giants; invited to San Francisco’s Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Kown is a candidate to once again pitch for the Grizzlies, depending on how he performs in Spring Training and what types of opportunities open up at the big league level.

RHP Marc Kroonretired

RHP Shane Loux – re-signed with the Giants; invited to San Francisco’s Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Similar to Kown, Loux will more than likely start the season in Fresno if he sticks with the Giants organization.

RHP Doug Mathis – signed by the Boston Red Sox. Mathis appeared in 13 games with the Grizzlies in 2011 before joining the Oakland A’s organization midway through the year. The University of Missouri product is in Boston’s big league camp this spring. Former Giants farmhand Tony Pena Jr. is also with Mathis in Boston’s Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.

RHP David Mixon – retired midseason last year. After appearing in seven games with the Grizzlies, the right-hander was sent to Double-A Richmond before joining High-A San Jose. In July, Mixon decided to step away from the game and step into a post-baseball career.

RHP Henry Sosa – traded to the Houston Astros midseason last year. Sosa is on the Astros’ 40-man roster and figures to contend for a spot in Houston’s pitching staff at some point this season. The Astros are a young team, and Sosa has only made 10 Major League starts in his career, all of which occurred last season.

RHP Ryan Vogelsong – re-signed with the Giants on a two-year deal. In case you didn’t hear, the right-hander had a good season last year.

LHP Matt Yourkin – re-signed with the Giants; invited to San Francisco’s Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Once again, Yourkin is in the same boat as Kown and Loux in terms of where he starts this season. If Yourkin pitches for the Grizzlies in 2012, it will be his third-straight season in Fresno.

Hitters

Left to right: Emmanuel Burriss, Conor Gillaspie, Brett Pill and Ryan Rohlinger (Don Davis)

C Chris Stewart – on the Giants’ 40-man roster. Stewart is competing with Eli Whiteside for the backup catcher role with the Giants.

C Jackson Williams – still within the Giants organization. Williams is attending big league Spring Training camp for the fifth straight season as a non-roster invitee.

INF Brock Bond – still within the Giants organization. Bond missed most of the 2011 season with an injury. He will be looking to bounce back in 2012, possibly putting up numbers similar to 2010, when he was named a Pacific Coast League All-Star.

INF Emmanuel Burriss – on the Giants’ 40-man roster. Burriss is competing for a role with the Giants full-time, either as a starter or as a utility player off the bench.

INF Conor Gillaspie – on the Giants’ 40-man roster. Gillaspie appeared in 15 games with the Giants last season as a September call-up. He first appeared with the Giants in a limited role during his first professional season in 2008, all of which was part of his contract. Gillaspie will more than likely start the year in Fresno with his play and opportunities opening up at the Major League level determining where he finishes the year.

INF Edgar Gonzalez – signed by the Chicago Cubs. Gonzalez was one of the mainstays in the Grizzlies lineup in a year filled with plenty of roster turnover. He signed with the Cubs organization entering the 2012 season and is participating in the Cubs’ big league Spring Training camp as a non-roster invitee. Plenty of competition exists for Gonzalez in the Cubs’ camp, but Grizzlies fans might have the opportunity to watch him play again in May when the Iowa Cubs pay a visit to Fresno. All of this, of course, depends on Gonzalez staying with the Cubs organization if he does not make the big league club breaking Spring Training.

INF Brett Pill – on the Giants’ 40-man roster. Pill is competing for a spot on the Giants 25-man roster breaking Spring Training camp. After primarily playing first base for his first five professional seasons, Pill gained some experience at second base with the Grizzlies in 2011. In addition to playing a handful of games at third in the minors, as well as taking some fly balls as an outfielder in Spring Training, Pill is adding versatility to help him make the Giants’ Opening Day roster.

INF Ryan Rohlinger – signed a Minor League contract with the Cleveland Indians. Rohlinger was traded to the Colorado Rockies in early June of last season, where he played in 70 games with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to end the year. The 28-year-old will attend the Indians’ Minor League camp after his deal with Cleveland did not include an invitation to the big league Spring Training.

OF Terry Evans – unsigned. Evans opened the 2011 campaign with the Giants organization, appearing in 39 games with the Grizzlies. He opted out of his contract at the end of May, freeing him up to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Georgia native played in 48 games with the Double-A Reading Phillies to close out the 2011 season.

OF Darren Ford – signed with the Seattle Mariners. The speedy outfielder was let go by the Giants this past offseason in a reshuffling of the 40-man roster. Ford battled injuries for most of the 2011 season, spending time at four different levels in the San Francisco organization. Ford received an invitation to the Mariners’ Major League Spring Training, but with nine outfielders already on the 40-man roster, Ford will have plenty of opportunity to compete for a spot with Mariners. Worse comes to worse, Ford will land with the Tacoma Rainiers. The Grizzlies play the Rainiers to open Fresno’s 2012 home schedule.

OF Tyler Graham – on the Giants’ 40-man roster. Graham led the PCL in steals in 2011, a year after he batted .343 over 109 games with the Grizzlies in 2010. The Giants added Graham to their 40-man roster this past offseason, meaning Graham could make his Major League debut in 2012 if an outfield spot opens up in San Francisco or, at the very least, as a September call-up.

OF Thomas Neal – traded to the Cleveland Indians midway through last season. Neal has secured a 40-man roster spot with the Indians entering Spring Training, but he is facing plenty of competition, including from former Grizzlies and Giants outfielder Fred Lewis.

Casey On The Mound

By: Noah Frank

In the middle of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, the San Francisco Giants selected a pair of players with the same last name in consecutive rounds: Bond. The first Bond— Brock— may be more familiar to Grizzlies fans, and the story of his accidental union with the Giants farm system is chronicled in greater detail here. Until now, Brock’s story had been more relevant to the baseball world than the other player who shares his last name, Casey Bond, a former outfielder out of Lipscomb University, who played just a single game above A-ball in his short minor league career. That may well change today.

In the film Field Of Dreams, Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones seek redemption for a young ballplayer named Archibald Wright “Moonlight” Graham, who appeared in one Major League game for the New York Giants, but never got an at-bat. Casey Bond had a similar experience with the Grizzlies, as that single game above Single-A came with the Fresno club on the road in 2008. He was a fill-in to provide extra depth while the team was in Tucson, near the Spring Training complex in Scottsdale where Bond was awaiting his more permanent assignment for the season. Bond was transferred to the Grizzlies and was on the roster for a few games, but did not get into a game until the top of the tenth on April 21st, 2008.

Casey Bond played in one game as a Fresno Grizzly in 2008. (Bill Mitchell)

Unlike Graham, though, Bond did get his at-bat. Pinch-hitting for relief pitcher Alex Hinshaw with two on and two out in a 4-4 game, he grounded out to end the inning. The Grizzlies would go on to score in the 11th, taking a 5-4 victory. Bond would never don the orange and black uniform again, as the Giants would not offer him a contract the following year.

“I 100% thought I had a shot at the big leagues,” says Bond about his time in the minors. “I had— just knowing myself and what the scouts told me— all the tools that it takes. Speed, defense, power, arm and average.”

To those who have read Moneyball, the game-changing book by author Michael Lewis, that may sound awfully familiar. The story centers around Billy Beane, a sculpted athlete of a man whom the scouts drooled over, only to find that the sum of his “tools” did not add up to a successful ballplayer. It is in that vein that Beane then searched out players who were underrated and underappreciated by the existing system, in order to piece together a team that could excel at individual skills well enough to compete with higher payroll teams.

How ironic, then, that Bond himself fit the Billy Beane mold, and is set to make his Major League debut tonight on the big screen, rather than in the actual big leagues. Bond plays the role of athletics pitcher Chad Bradford in the film adaptation of Moneyball, which premieres at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland tonight.

Bond as Bradford, the submarine-throwing relief pitcher. (Sony Pictures)

Bradford also hails from Jackson, Mississippi. As Bond was raised primarily in Georgia, he felt at ease playing the role of a character from the same region, allowing his natural soft southern drawl to play through in his lines. Interestingly, though, he was born in San Francisco, and lived in Pacifica for the first year of his life before moving to Washington State, and eventually the south. And while he returns to the Bay Area for the premiere tonight, both his place of birth and home to the team that drafted him, he will be wearing the colors of the team across the bay.Bradford was a submarine-style reliever whose unorthodox delivery helped him pitch parts of 12 seasons in the Major Leagues, including the 2001-2004 campaigns with the Athletics. The transition to a pitching role from his days as an outfielder was not a difficult one for Bond, who was predominantly a pitcher back in high school before a back injury forced him to pursue a career as a hitter.

“I would say it’s a little odd or strange that my ‘Major League debut’ would be in a rival’s jersey,” remarks Bond of his role as an Athletic. “I love the Giants and appreciated that opportunity, but I think anyone would love this opportunity.”

To stay in baseball shape for the role, Bond would go out and throw every day, just as he did in his playing days. Sometimes, if he had no throwing partner, that meant hurling a ball into a chain-link fence at a nearby park in Culver City, where Bond currently lives as he searches for his next part. Even now, after the filming is done, Bond continues to keep his arm strong.

“I stay in baseball shape because my roles require it,” he explains, but admits there is more to it than just that. “I’ll never let that go. Down the line I want to be able to throw a heater to my kid.”

Bond plans to stick with acting for now, but baseball will always be in his blood. (Peter Hurley)

“We had sessions where we would pitch off the mound, do some hitting,” Bond explains. “All I was getting was ground balls, and swings and misses.”He might have some extra motivation to keep his arm in top shape. After learning Bradford’s funky, almost underhand motion upon which his knuckles would sometimes scrape the dirt of the mound, Bond found he was having real success in scrimmage at-bats against other former ballplayers also acting in the film, such as former Giant Royce Clayton.

Might this story, then, come full circle once again? After all, at just 26 Bond is still relatively young, even by baseball’s harsh standards. With less mileage on his arm, he might fit the mold of a pitcher like Matt Yourkin, who did not make the conversion from first base until he was a senior in college, and who only became a starting pitcher for the first time in 2010.

“If someone was interested, I’d be more than happy to go out there and throw for them,” says Bond. “I had other offers from other teams (back in 2009), even to pitch.”

While Bond is focused on his acting career for now, through his own twists of fate he has learned not to rule anything out, to keep his mind open to the different possibilities the future might bring.

“I’m not counting anything out at this point. You never know.”

Prospect Watch: Charlie Culberson

By: Noah Frank

Every year,
as the bulk of the baseball watching populous turns its collective attention to
the playoffs– culminating in the Fall Classic– a handful of experts pack their
bags and head to Arizona. No, they are not flying south for the winter, though
the mild temperatures are certainly the reason that their destination is
situated where it is. These scouts and writers are headed to the Arizona Fall League, a post-season
prospect showcase of the best the minors has to offer. At first glance, this
was not somewhere one would expect to find Charlie
Culberson
.

culberson.jpg

Not only was
Culberson not among the top 30 prospects in the Giants’ system entering 2010,
according to Baseball America, he wasn’t even listed on the organizational
depth chart at second base, making his only appearance in their prospect
handbook as the fourth-string third baseman.

It’s funny
how quickly a professional baseball player can put his name on the map these
days. Let’s just say that whole anonymity thing isn’t going to last into next
year’s edition.

A career
.249 hitter with just a .312 on-base percentage through his first three
professional seasons, Culberson– still just 21– spent the year at High-A San Jose. After a lackluster April that
saw him hit just .212, he stormed out to bat .326 in May and a cool .400 in the
month of June. His overall average reached a season-high of .329 in late June,
but would tumble downwards in the second half, coinciding with the promotion of
top prospect and fellow right-side infielder Brandon Belt to Double-A Richmond.

Culberson
still finished the year at .290/.340/.457 with 28 doubles and 16 home runs, his
best season yet as a professional. The Giants liked what they saw enough to
give him a shot in the AFL, a talent-rich prospect zoo where he would be thoroughly
tested.

Even with
his improvements this year, nobody could have expected what Culberson
delivered. He hit safely in his first dozen games, batting .472 (25-for-53)
with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs, 15 runs scored and nine RBI. He
racked up eight multi-hit games over that stretch, including four of three or
more hits. As of November 5th he had settled down to a .417 average,
but still leads the league in hits (30), doubles (10), and extra-base hits
(14), while ranking second in slugging percentage (.694) and total bases (50).
Never mind that he’s doing all of this against the best competition available.

Culberson
may still have Brock Bond above him
on the organizational depth chart at second base, but he has likely passed Nick Noonan and may well see some time
in Fresno this year. A sandwich pick out of high school back in 2007, it has
taken Culberson a little while to achieve his potential. But with Belt flanking
him at first base, the Giants have a lot to be excited about in the future of
the right side of the infield.

(Photo Credit: Mills Fitzner)

Day In The Life Of…An Intern

By: Chris Kutz

When the word “Intern” comes to mind, most people think of a
young, nave college kid all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of ambition,
slowly eased into the business world by being assigned mundane duties such as
making copies, distributing mail, getting coffee for the entire office, or
anything else that falls under the last line in most job descriptions: “All
other assigned duties.”

Fortunately, my internship with the Grizzlies has
materialized into more than such a role. Sure, there are going to be times when,
as interns, we will be called to do such things as making copies because we are
stuck at the bottom of the totem pole, but it is safe to say we are allowed to
make the most of our own experiences here at Chukchansi Park.

Day in the Life of Graphic copy.jpg

When I step into the office around 10 in the morning
(without the office’s daily dose of caffeine mind you), I try to jump into a
project that was given to me the day before. It gives me an ease of mind
because I know what I need to do immediately while it also helps those hierarchically
above us who are also just getting into the office after a late game from the
night before (Groggy co-workers + energetic but conniving questions of “Do you
have anything for me to do?” = bad start to an always good day). For example,
right now I have been digging deep for some facts about your Fresno Grizzlies
so that we can share them with you via the spanking new video boards at
Chukchansi Park.

(Did you know Brock Bond reached base in 51 consecutive
games last year? That’s longer than some players’ careers! Or that Buster Posey
played all nine positions in one game during his time at Florida State? At the
same time? Ok, that last part was not true but the first one was. Either way, cue
the Chuck Norris-esque websites now, Giants fans, because the legend of Gerald
“Buster” Posey continues to grow.)

Now, I am a baseball junkie, hence interning with a
professional baseball team, so any cool facts/info I dig up about our players are
awesome to me, and I hope the fans find it interesting as well. The research
may become less exciting farther and farther in, but we when I stumble upon
something new, a dose of baseball Red Bull kicks in. Besides, things change on
the fly so often in the office, we all can be working on numerous things at one
time. This can help eliminate potential boredom. 

Other daily duties, specifically on game days, include
creating the pre-game scroll that we roll through on the video board with
statistical leaders in the PCL and on the Grizzlies. I usually start this
around 3 in the afternoon to make sure it’s done with plenty of time before
gates open at 5:30. Also, interesting facts and trends about the team we find go
on the scroll as well. As interns, we help set up the press box food so the
ravenous members of the media upstairs appease their growling stomachs (Lesson
#1 I learned during my first internship last season: Never screw up the food!
You can quickly learn the darker side of others when the spread does not meet
the standards of our entry-level foodies.)

During the game, I work in the video room, operating part of
the video board. A group of us throw up the headshots of players, stats, videos,
music, sponsorships, etc; all following the script laid out to us, trying to
provide the fans with information and entertainment to improve their experience
at the game.

After the game, around 10-ish or whenever the Grizzlies
finally claim victory, I edit some highlights from the game and send it out to the local television stations. This is something new from last year, but it is
very important for us and the news. It helps them have footage for their
telecasts, especially with late-game footage after the cameras have gone back
to station and begin prep for the late evening news. For us, it helps us give
those fans that could not make it out to the game some images and video they
can talk about the next day around the water cooler.

While the whole experience is worthwhile, my favorite part
of the internship gig is interacting with the players while trying to set up
interviews with media. Professional athletes and celebrities are often cast as in-human
because they play a character in our lives. We only see them on TV or on the
internet. Obviously, the Grizzlies are just your everyday human beings (with a
slight increase in baseball-playing ability relative to, say your neighbor);
not characters or robots without simple human interests like you and I. Since
baseball players have downtime, movies and music are always good topics of
conversations, as opposed to last night’s extraordinary (or less-than-ordinary)
performance at the plate.

Since I cannot say I have bad experiences with my internship
(and no, that is not being said because my bosses will more than likely read
this), I will provide insight into the one thing most people are baffled by the
most: the amount of hours put in. If you work for a baseball team, you will
probably be working at least 12-hour days during home games. Now, add eight of
those together for the typical homestand, you can find yourself working almost
100 hours in a week (homestands don’t always conveniently begin on Mondays like
most work weeks.).

A uniform “ugh” usually follows when others hear of so many
hours at work, but for all of us, it’s great because we are working jobs we
like. People work in sports because they want to be there; few, if any, settle
for a job in sports. Sports allow people to find something they are passionate
about and can be creative with. Twelve hours may be seem like more than
necessary, but when we walk into our office and see a baseball field outside,
apathy and boredom quickly disappear like a moonshot soaring into Borchard’s Orchard in left-center.

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