Results tagged ‘ Dr Pepper Ballpark ’

The Dandy Dozen: The ‘Riders Turn 12

It's shaping up to be another great summer at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

It’s shaping up to be another great summer at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

This article originally appeared in the March 21 edition of SportsPage Weekly, which is a free publication available throughout the Metroplex.  To view the article in the online edition, click here.

There are very few “sure things” in life, but when it comes to local sports and entertainment options, the Frisco RoughRiders are just about as close to a sure thing as you can get.  Year after year, Dr Pepper Ballpark hosts exciting baseball action, premium prospects and fun for the whole family.  Ask anyone who has ever been to a RoughRiders game and they’ll tell you how memorable the experience is.

It’s almost hard to believe, but the RoughRiders will soon begin their 12th season on April 3 at home against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals affiliate).  In honor of a dozen years of Frisco baseball, we present the top 12 reasons to catch the RoughRiders in action this season at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

#12 – A winning tradition

Everybody loves a winner.   And over the past decade the RoughRiders have been one of the most consistent winners in Minor League Baseball.  In 2013, Frisco finished with a 70-70 record, its eighth consecutive season with a .500 or better mark on the ledger.  The last time Frisco finished with a losing record was the only time in team history: back in 2005, when the team finished 58-82.  The streak of non-losing seasons is by far the longest in the Texas League; every other team in the circuit has had at least one losing season in the last three years.  The streak is the longest in Double-A and the third-longest among all 120 full-season minor league clubs, exceeded only by the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats (11 straight non-losing seasons) and the Advanced-A San Jose Giants (ten).  Including teams that play in short-season leagues, Frisco’s streak is the sixth longest; the Elizabethton Twins (25), Brooklyn Cyclones (13) and AZL Giants (13) have the longest such streaks in stateside Minor League Baseball.

#11 – History in the making

Baseball fans appreciate the sport’s history and tradition, and the Texas League plays an important role in the lineage of the game. The RoughRiders and their fans belong to a storied Texas League pedigree that dates back to 1888 (the American League was founded in 1901). A game at Dr Pepper Ballpark is more than just a chance to contribute to baseball’s history; it affords fans the opportunity to witness history as it happens. Notable Texas League alumni span the generations and include Major League Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Dizzy Dean, Joe Morgan and Whitey Herzog. It is a legacy furthered by many stars in the game today who also enjoyed success in the Texas League. Current Rangers Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus had All-Star seasons in the Texas League in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Outside the organization, an impressive crop of recent alumni continue to cultivate the Texas League brand as their big league careers flourish. The Texas League footprint extends across the Major League map and features young stars Mike Trout, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Lance Lynn, Jean Segura and numerous others.

#10 – Rehabbing Rangers

Matt Harrison was one of 13 rehabbers who played with the 'Riders in 2013.

Matt Harrison was one of 13 rehabbers who played with the ‘Riders in 2013.

Players, coaches and fans dislike injuries, but they remain an inevitable component of any professional game. For a major league club, the inconvenience of an in-season malady is lessened—somewhat—when an affiliate team plays in the neighborhood. No one in Frisco hopes for a rehab assignment, but when a Rangers’ regular tweaks a calf or strains a wrist, Dr Pepper Ballpark provides a two-fold benefit for both the player and the fan. Players can stay in the Metroplex to nurse an injury and play in an atmosphere that approximates a big league ballgame. On the other hand, fans receive a unique opportunity to view their favorite Rangers in a more intimate setting and at an affordable cost. A total of 13 Rangers players donned a RoughRiders’ cap for a rehab assignment in 2013, including pitcher Matt Harrison, who unfortunately started as many games for Frisco (two) as he did for Texas. Rehab assignments rarely occur with much forewarning, but thanks to Derek Holland’s dog, Wrigley, the southpaw has likely already booked a stint with the RoughRiders in 2014. Make sure you’re in the stands when the Rangers’ rehabbers visit Dr Pepper Ballpark.

#9 – A new skipper

For the first time in five years, someone other than Steve Buechele will write out Frisco’s lineup card.  With Buechele managing the Rangers’ Triple-A club this season, Jason Wood steps into the role for the RoughRiders in 2014.  Wood, a five-year major leaguer and veteran of 18 professional seasons as a player, will begin his fourth season as a manager in the Texas farm system.  The 44-year-old spent the previous three years as the skipper for Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.  He led the Pelicans to the playoffs in all three campaigns and looks to get the ’Riders back to the postseason this year.  While Wood is a fresh face in the dugout, the rest of his coaching staff will remain in place from the last two seasons.  Jeff Andrews returns as the team’s pitching coach following a season in which Frisco’s hurlers collectively set numerous team records.  This past offseason, Andrews was honored the co-recipient of the Rangers’ annual Bobby Jones Player Development Man of the Year award.  Jason Hart will begin his third season as Frisco’s hitting coach and his instruction has been lauded for helping former RoughRiders Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, Leury Garcia, Chris McGuiness and Engel Beltre all reach the major leagues over the past two seasons.

#8 – Affordability

One of the charms of Minor League Baseball is getting a big league experience without paying a premium price.  RoughRiders games are no different because the team strives to make sure everyone can afford to watch games at Dr Pepper Ballpark.  It can be a major strain on the wallet to attend other professional sporting events.  The average cost for a family of four to attend a Major League Baseball game is approximately $208; for an NFL game that number is $444, with the NBA checking in at $442 and the NHL at $355.  That figure for a Minor League Baseball game?  Just $61.  With RoughRiders tickets starting at just $7 (less than the cost of a movie theater ticket), attending a game at Dr Pepper Ballpark is very much accessible.  But say you’re interested in getting even more value at the ballpark.  The RoughRiders offer affordable ticket plans that include all-you-can-eat food and drink, and even packages that include alcohol.  These value-based ticket plans make attending games in Frisco possible without denting your bank account.

#7 – The other guys aren’t too shabby either

Tomorrow’s stars play today in the Texas League and 2014 is no exception. The RoughRiders will welcome a host of talent from around the circuit to Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, many of whom are ranked on the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list. The Tulsa Drillers figure to field a strong pitching rotation bolstered by top 50 prospects Jon Gray (#14) and Eddie Butler (#41). Both pitchers bring high-octane velocity to the Drillers’ staff and can touch the upper 90s on the radar gun. Catcher Austin Hedges (#24) of the San Antonio Missions is rated as the second-highest prospect at his position by MLB.com. His strong arm and good footwork behind the plate will give would-be base stealers second thoughts. Kyle Zimmer (#25), the number five overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft, is expected to start the season with the Northwest Arkansas. The Royals promoted Zimmer to Double-A late last season where he held a 1.93 ERA through four starts with the Naturals. Position players to watch for elsewhere in the Texas League include speedy leadoff hitter Delino DeShields (#66) of the Corpus Christi Hooks, Jorge Bonifacio (#91) of the Naturals and gifted batter Stephen Piscotty (#98) of the Springfield Cardinals. Every mentioned player has big league potential.

#6 – You won’t be the only one cheering

The vocal and expressive fan will find a home at Dr Pepper Ballpark. For nine consecutive seasons, the RoughRiders have led all 30 Double-A teams in total and average attendance. More than half-a-million fans routinely fill Dr Pepper Ballpark every season and the team averages better than 7,000 fans per game.  Not only is that the best in Double-A, but it’s also higher than 17 Triple-A teams! On 21 occasions in 2013, the ’Riders drew crowds of more than 10,000. Frisco’s fan base is second to none and players say the crowds enhance the in-game environment more than anywhere else in the Texas League. Bring a sign, be loud and shout until your voice goes out. You won’t be cheering alone.

#5 – More than just peanuts and Cracker Jack

RoughRiders cuisine far outstrips traditional ballpark fare. Sure, fans can still fill up to the gills on foot-long hot dogs and brats from Smokie’s Sausage Shack, but Dr Pepper Ballpark serves something for any palate. The new Beer & Barbeque stand will cook in-house, smoked Texas barbeque favorites while Lone Star Pizza offers a wide range of personal style pies. Deep-fried Oreos grace the à la carte lineup for the first time this season, and for those in search of a healthy option, Greek yogurt is also available. Of course, many Frisco fan favorites will be back on the menu as well, from fresh-spun cotton candy and funnel cakes to snow cones and freshly squeezed lemonade. Of course, few things taste better on a hot Texas night than a cold serving of Dippin’ Dots. It’s never summer without great food, great drinks and RoughRiders baseball.

Luke Jackson figures to lead a very talented starting rotation this season.

Luke Jackson figures to lead a very talented starting rotation this season.

#4 – An arsenal of arms

For the best pitching this side of Yu Darvish and Arlington, Dr Pepper Ballpark is the place to be. The RoughRiders will rely on their mound men to bolster the franchise’s quest for an eighth playoff berth. Right-hander Luke Jackson is expected to lead the group in 2014. The fireballer started the previous season with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach and made his RoughRiders’ debut on August 4, 2013. He didn’t miss a beat in Double-A and finished the season with 134 combined strikeouts at both Myrtle Beach and Frisco and held the eighth-lowest ERA among all full season minor league pitchers (2.04). Those numbers were a big reason why the Rangers named Jackson the club’s 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Alex Claudio figures to take the reins from Jackson and the starters as a key piece in the RoughRiders’ bullpen in 2014. The deceptive Claudio fools batters with his changeup and was named the Rangers’ Minor League Reliever of the Year last season. Another burgeoning prospect, Alex Gonzalez, hopes to excite the Frisco faithful this year. Don’t call him Alex, though. Gonzalez prefers the nickname “Chi Chi,” given by a family member. Baseball America rates the 2013 first round draft pick as the number six prospect in the Rangers’ organization. Fans on the wild side will anticipate the return of eight-year veteran Kevin Pucetas as he unleashes his newly developed knuckleball pitch on the diamond this season. Other highly-ranked pitchers that are expected to see time in Frisco this season include Alec Asher, Nick Martinez and Jerad Eickhoff.

#3 – Rougned Odor

Top prospect Rougned Odor is expected to begin the season at second base in Frisco.

Top prospect Rougned Odor is expected to begin the season at second base in Frisco.

Because the makeup of minor league teams are up to the discretion of the parent club, you never know who will be on the Opening Day roster until very late in spring training.  That is typically the case with the RoughRiders, but one player who looks very likely to be with the team on April 3 is second baseman Rougned Odor.  The Venezuelan with the memorable name is the Rangers’ top-ranked prospect according to Baseball America and he showed why during a 30-game stint with Frisco at the end of the 2013 season.  Odor was promoted to Double-A in early August and hit .306/.354/.530 with six home runs, eight doubles, two triples and 19 RBI.  And he did all of that as just a 19-year-old, the youngest player in Double-A.  (Projecting those numbers out over a 140-game season, he would have hit 28 homers with 37 doubles, nine triples and 89 RBI.) Now 20, Odor spent the first half of spring training in big league camp and hopes to use that experience to further propel his ascension to the major leagues.  For the time being, however, the spunky infielder with the big bat is expected to ply his trade at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

#2 – Family-friendly entertainment

The RoughRiders are well-known for making trips to Dr Pepper Ballpark about more than just the game on the field.  The atmosphere on game nights is a blast, even for folks who aren’t big baseball fans.  The RoughRiders employ a full-time entertainment director whose sole job is to make sure that families have fun when visiting the ballpark.  From spectacular fireworks shows following every Friday night home game to a collection of more than 180 hilarious on-field skits and promotions that rotate throughout the season, there is something fun for everyone who comes to a game.  Dr Pepper Ballpark even features a pool in right field and two playgrounds (including one specifically designed for two-to-five-year-olds).  And for a lot of fans, their favorite RoughRiders aren’t ones you might see in Arlington someday – they are Deuce and Daisy, the team’s loveable mascots.

#1 – The home of future Rangers

With Odor and a tremendous pitching staff leading the way, there should be another impressive assortment of talent on display at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season.  This has been the norm in each of the RoughRiders’ first 11 seasons in Frisco, and with the Rangers’ relentless pursuit of building a winning organization from top-to-bottom, don’t look for that trend to change anytime soon.  Since 2003, 107 former RoughRiders have reached the major leagues, almost one-third of all Frisco players.  In 2013, ten former ’Riders made the big leagues, including Nick Tepesch, Beltre, Garcia and McGuiness.  One look at the Rangers’ 40-man roster shows that half of its members played in Frisco.  Elvis Andrus, Harrison, Alexi Ogando, Holland, Leonys Martin, Profar, Neftali Feliz, Mitch Moreland, Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez are just a few of the Texas stalwarts who once wore a RoughRiders uniform.  Outside of the Rangers organization, All-Stars such as Ian Kinsler, Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez and C.J. Wilson all spent time in Frisco as well.

***

With the RoughRiders, fans get winning baseball, exciting prospects, delicious food, affordable family fun and the future of the Texas Rangers on display.  It all shows that the Frisco RoughRiders continue to be a sure thing for families and sports fans across the Metroplex.

The Eye in the Sky

DPB in evening glow

Have you ever thought about coming to a RoughRiders game but have a hard time getting off the fence because of the weather?  We all know that Texas weather can be a little unpredictable and sometimes it can be reassuring to just see whether it’s raining at the park, if the tarp is on the field or just how hot it is at Dr Pepper Ballpark.  Well fear not, loyal ‘Riders fans, because just in time for the off-season (yeah, maybe not the savviest timing…) we have been selected as an official weather-reporting station for WeatherBug.  As a result, we can now give fans access to the up-to-the-minute weather details, from the temperature, wind and even the time for sunset.

You can access the webpage for the new “Online Weather Center” right here.

As you can see on this page, there is even a live camera that regularly snaps a photo of the diamond below (unfortunately, I’m not sure it’s a suitable replacement for MiLB.tv, for those of you looking for a workaround to watch games over the internet).  Save the page in your bookmarks and you’ll always be able to know the weather when you’re looking to visit us for a game.  You can also find the link on www.ridersbaseball.com as one of the “‘Riders Links” below the video highlights and also as a link in the “News” section of the site.

Now, maybe if we all spend enough time staring at that webpage it will start to feel a little less like mid-July here in the Metroplex.

As always, thanks for reading!

- Alex

Home Sweet Home: New faces and a Rangers Rehabber

The RoughRiders return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. to host the same two opponents of last week’s road trip, the Springfield Cardinals and the Tulsa Drillers.  Frisco will play three games each against both teams, looking to recover from a tough six-game road stint.  Last week, the ‘Riders were swept by the Cardinals in three straight one-run games.  Frisco lost their first game against the Drillers, but won game two, ending a streak of six straight one-run losses.  The RoughRiders lost the series in Sunday’s matchup, ending the road trip in third place, twelve games out of first place.

This will be the first time for fans to see the four newest RoughRiders, who were added to the roster during the road trip. Infielder Ryan Rua was promoted from Class-A Hickory and the Rangers signed former San Antonio Missions outfielder Kalian Sams and assigned him to Frisco. Pitchers Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Martinez were promoted from Myrtle Beach.  Martinez will start Friday against the Drillers, and Eickhoff is scheduled to throw the following game.

This six-game home stand will be the last time this season that the ‘Riders will face the Cardinals and the Drillers and will be the next-to-last home stand of the season.

Rangers’ designated hitter Lance Berkman has been transfered to Frisco to continue his rehab assignment, and is expected to serve as the DH for the ‘Riders on Tuesday and Wednesday when the team hosts the Springfield Cardinals at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Berkman is rehabbing from inflammation in his left hip.

0813Blog_1

These are the matchups we expect to see on the mound for the upcoming two series:

Tuesday: RHP Neil Ramirez (9-3, 3.61 ERA)  vs RHP Seth Blair (3-9, 4.63 ERA)

Wednesday: RHP Luke Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs RHP Richard Castillo (7-7, 4.14 ERA)

Thursday: RHP Tyler Tufts (3-4, 3.28 ERA) vs LHP Tim Cooney  (6-7, 4.05 ERA)

Friday: RHP Nick Martinez (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs RHP Tim Gustafson (6-8, 4.76 ERA)

Saturday: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 6.55 ERA) vs RHP Christian Bergman (7-7, 3.28 ERA)

Sunday: RHP Neil Ramirez vs RHP Tyler Matzek (8-7, 3.43 ERA)

 

Tuesday, August 13   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Wednesday, August 14   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Dollar Dog Night
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Thursday, August 15   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • $1 Dr Pepper Thursdays

Friday, August 16  |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Tulsa Drillers (COL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Friday Night Post-game fireworks
  • Round the Bases Brew Tasting
    BrewTastingRoundBases
  • Smashburger SMASH inning

Saturday, August 17   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Tulsa Drillers (COL)
TV: KTXD    Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Free ‘Riders Tumbler
    ADVENT_Carrier_FREE_TUMBLER_RV_35ec4qpq
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Sunday, August 18 |   6:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Tulsa Drillers (COL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Kids Run the Bases
  • Raising Cane’s Grand Slam Sunday
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

 

- Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Truck horse - A very slow runner

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Home Sweet Home: Beginning the final month

The Frisco RoughRiders return home today on a two-game winning streak to begin the final month of the 2013 regular season and are looking to improve on their recent home struggles.

Frisco took to the road last week after having lost three games, including two straight shut outs, at Dr Pepper Ballpark.  The ‘Riders continued to skid in their first three games in San Antonio against the Missions, going 38 consecutive scoreless innings and three straight shutout defeats.  Odubel Herrera ended that streak, however, with an RBI double in the fourth inning on Friday.  Frisco’s six-game losing streak ended Sunday when the ‘Riders scored seven unanswered runs against the Missions to avoid the sweep.

The ‘Riders then traveled to West Texas for three games against the RockHounds.  After dropping game one in Midland, Frisco’s offense came alive on Tuesday, defeating the ‘Hounds 11-6.  Rangers pitcher and RoughRiders alum Matt Harrison began his rehab Wednesday as the ‘Riders won 2-1 to take the series.  This was Frisco’s first series win since the beginning of July.

The RoughRiders also announced today a list of roster moves as they ready themselves for this four-game home stand that will feature outings from Rangers rehabbers Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison. Carlos Pimentel has been promoted to Triple-A Round Rock and the RoughRiders received five players from the Advanced-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans: righthanded pitchers Jon Edwards, Luke Jackson, and Francisco Mendoza as well as infielders Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas. Four players have been transferred from Frisco to Myrtle Beach: Hanser Alberto, Odubel Herrera, Nick McBride and Kevin Pucetas.

080113_Blog

These are the matchups we expect to see on the mound for the upcoming two series:

Thursday: RHP Arlett Mavare (1-2, 4.74 ERA) vs RHP Donn Roach (6-9, 3.76 ERA)

Friday: RHP Tyler Tufts (3-3, 3.24 ERA) vs RHP Matt Wisler (5-4, 3.43 ERA)

Saturday: RHP Colby Lewis (0-1, 8.31 ERA) vs RHP Juan Oramas (0-2, 4.58 ERA)

Sunday: LHP Matt Harrison (2-2, 3.24 ERA) vs RHP Keyvius Sampson (9-4, 2.43 ERA)

Thursday, August 1   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • $1 Dr Pepper Thursdays
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Friday, August 2  |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
TV: KTXD    Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Friday Night Post-game fireworks
  • Smashburger SMASH inning

Saturday, August 3   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
TV: KTXD    Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Free ‘Riders Sunglasses
    COLONY_Carrier_FREE_SUNGLASSES_RV_dmk1tqax
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Sunday, August 4  |   6:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Kids Run the Bases
  • Raising Cane’s Grand Slam Sunday

 

- Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Death valley - a particularly deep outfield area in a ballpark.  Because of the depth, it is more difficult to hit home runs.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

That crazy Texas weather: ‘Riders rain delays

It’s often said that the Texas weather is unpredictable, that if you don’t like the weather just wait ten minutes.  Lately, those sentiments have been true.

Last week, North Texas was experiencing triple-digit heat, then Sunday, clouds covered the sky and the temperatures dropped into the mid-80s, just in time for the RoughRiders four-game home stand against the San Antonio Missions.

RainOut

The rain was on and off all day Sunday, but the ‘Riders and Missions’ 6 p.m. contest fell perfectly in a two hour dry window. Monday, however was a different story, as the rain caused a rare July postponement.  Today the teams will play a double-header beginning at 4:30.

The last time the RoughRiders had a July rain out was the summer of 2010 when Frisco had three postponed games in the month.

  • July 12, 2010 against Arkansas (North Little Rock).
    This is the most recent July rain out.  The ‘Riders and Travelers played a double header the next day (July 13), splitting the two games.
  • July 8, 2010 against Springfield (Springfield).
    Frisco and the Cardinals made up this game in a double header two days later on July 10, splitting the games.
  • July 2, 2010 against Springfield (Frisco)
    The RoughRiders and Cardinals made this game up the next day (July 3).  Frisco won both games of the double header.
    **According to all available records, this appears to be the only other time that Frisco had a  rain out at Dr Pepper Ballpark in the month of July.

Today’s game:

This is the third double header the RoughRiders have played this season, the second at Dr Pepper Ballpark.  The season opener on April 4 in Arkansas was rained out to the next day, and Frisco split the double header. May 29 in Frisco against the Springfield Cardinals was the second postponed game, and again, the ‘Riders made up the game the next day and split the two games.

Today, Kevin Pucetas (8-7, 4.84 ERA) is on the mound for game one at 4:30 p.m., and will face Matt Wisler (4-3, 3.15 ERA) for the Missions. Arlett Mavare (1-2, 6.12 ERA) will start the second game against Donn Roach (6-8, 3.93).  The second game of tonight’s double header will begin as close to 7 p.m. as possible.

Ranger’s center fielder Craig Gentry and third baseman Jeff Baker will continue their rehab assignments.

-Ryan

Baseball Term of the Day: Solid up the middle - Said of a team that has excellent players at catcher, second base, shortstop and center field.

Home Sweet Home: Turning things around

Ballpark_0715

The Frisco RoughRiders began a four-game home stand against the San Antonio Missions Sunday hoping to turn things around and put aside their recent struggles in July.  This month, Frisco has won just four of the 12 games, and went 1-5 on their last home stand.

This short home stand will also feature three Rangers rehabbers.  Craig Gentry, recovering from a non-displaced fracture to his left hand, started at center field on Sunday.  Outfielder Jeff Baker was placed on the disabled list June 18 after spraining his right thumb and will begin a rehab assignment Monday in Frisco.  Colby Lewis will also rehab with the ‘Riders for a second time this season, recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow from last July and has battled triceps tendinitis and muscular soreness since.  Lewis will make the start on Wednesday.

Nick McBride and Keyvius Sampson faced off yesterday.  These are the matchups we expect to see on the mound for the rest of this series:

Monday: RHP Kevin Pucetas (8-7, 4.84 ERA) vs RHP Matt Wisler (4-3, 3.15 ERA)

Tuesday: RHP  Arlett Mavare (1-2, 6.12 ERA) vs RHP Donn Roach (6-8-2, 3.93 ERA)

Wednesday: RHP Colby Lewis (0-0, 7.71 ERA) vs TBA

Sunday, July 14   |  6:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
TV:  KTXD    Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

    • Kids Run the Bases
    • Free ‘Riders Sunglasses
      TOTAL_AIR_Carrier_FREE_SUNGLASSES_RV_fpjozwjs (1)
    • Dairy Queen Triple Play

Monday, July 15   |  7:05 p.m.  | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details)

Tuesday, July 16   |  7:05 p.m.  | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

        • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Wednesday, July 17   |  7:05 p.m.  | RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions (SDP)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

          • Dollar Dog Night
          • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day:  Can of corn - An easily caught fly ball

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

What’s inside your PlayBall! program?

At every RoughRiders home game,  fans can pick up a free PlayBall! game day program as they enter the gates of Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Inside, fans can read about the day’s game in the “Leading Off” section and read fun facts about the individual ‘Riders players in “Outside the Lines.”  Toward the back of PlayBall!, in the section “7th Inning Stretch,” you can find a feature story on a certain player, coach or other special individual within the RoughRiders family.  Below are the two most recent feature stories from the last few home stands.

Playball

An Inspirational Sign

Former RoughRider Jake Brigham opened up about how his father has been his inspiration throughout his life.  Every day, Jake gets a call from his father, Earl Brigham-on an iPad. Earl Brigham is not a young or even a particularly hip parent. He loves technology, sure, but Earl doesn’t call his son on the iPad every day to be cool.  He calls Jake on his iPad because it’s the only way he can.    This story ran from May 13-20 and May 28 – June 2, shortly after Brigham’s promotion to Triple-A Round Rock on May 1, 2013.

Brigham

Best in the League

Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric McMahon and Athletic Trainer Carlos Olivas were honored as the 2012 Texas League Strength & Conditioning and Athletic Trainer of the year, voted on by their Texas League peers.  Read about the reactions from the two coaches, and what they say is different about working in the Rangers system.  This story ran from June 12-23.

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If you missed previous stories from the PlayBall!, they will be posted at the bottom of the team website  under the “Frisco RoughRiders Features.”

-Ryan

Baseball Term of the Day: “Play ball!” - The command issued by the home plate umpire to start a game or to resume play.

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day, America!

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The 4th of July, America’s birthday, is a day full of family time, fun and fireworks.  It is also a time when we remember our past and recognize the freedoms and liberties we have in this country.

If you are searching for something to do on this holiday, the RoughRiders have you covered!  The next three nights (July 4,5 & 6) fireworks will light up the Frisco sky at Dr Pepper Ballpark following each game.

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The RoughRiders will also be sporting their camouflage uniforms with their black hats.  *The ‘Riders are 9-1 all-time on July 4 and have won their last eight Independence Day games (including a 4-0 record against Arkansas, tonight’s opponent).*

So come on out to the ballpark and enjoy the holiday weekend with great baseball, delicious food and awesome fireworks displays.

CamoUni

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-Ryan

Baseball Term of the Day: America’s pastime - The game of baseball.

Pat Lobb Magic Swing promotion makes ‘Riders fan a winner

With one powerful swing of the bat, Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Frisco gave away a brand new 2013 Jeep Wrangler to a lucky Frisco RoughRiders fan at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Friday night.  Jana Tucker, a Frisco resident, was the lucky winner of the Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Magic Swing Promotion.

“I heard the crack of the bat and then closed my eyes-I was so freaked out,” Jana said.  “My hands started shaking, my knees went out from beneath me.  I couldn’t believe it.”

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Mark and Jana after the winning magic swing

The promotion awards the contestant with a brand new Jeep Wrangler if the RoughRiders hit a home run on the first swing of the bat during the bottom of the fifth inning.  That is exactly what ‘Riders All-Star catcher Tomas Telis did with the first offering from Jorge De Leon in the bottom of the fifth.

“I didn’t think the ball would go over the fence,” said Mark McEachern, a representative from Pat Lobb.  “I didn’t see it go over.  I just saw the crowd’s reaction.  I turned and looked at Jana and she looked at me like, ‘That just happened!”

The Venezuelan backstop, who had clubbed just two home runs in 40 games played this season, launched the first pitch of the inning onto the grass berm over the left-center field fence. The home run gave Frisco a 2-0 lead in an eventual 3-2 extra-innings loss against the Corpus Christi Hooks.

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”What a night for that to happen; [Ian] Kinsler [rehabbing] at second, the big Friday night crowd, the post-game fireworks-the atmosphere was just electric,” Mark said.

Steven Nelson, Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships with the RoughRiders has been working in sports now for around ten years in the Frisco area and says this is the most exciting thing he’s ever seen.

“When the swing of the bat happened and I saw the ball go off, I thought ‘please have enough to just go over the wall,” said Steven.  “I almost felt like I won the Jeep.”

This is only the third game this season that Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has given a local fan the chance to take home a brand new Jeep Wrangler, and the Frisco RoughRiders hope for more winners to come in the future.

“Thank you to the family and thank you to Pat Lobb. We are really excited for the partnership and look forward to continuing it for years to come,” Nelson said.

Pat Lobb Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Frisco just opened their doors in May, 2013. A part of the Pat Lobb Auto Group, the nearly 60,000 square foot facility is the premier Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in North Texas.

“It’s been an exciting promotion for Pat Lobb all season long,” said Mark.  “We’re excited to have this promotion and to be a part of the Frisco community.  We look forward to carrying the relationship forward with Dr Pepper Ballpark and the Frisco RoughRiders.”

Jana Tucker and her family have been to a number of games, and have attended two this season. “Thank you to Pat Lobb and the RoughRiders. We will definitely be going to more ‘Riders games in the future.”

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You could be next! Click here for your chance to win!

-Ryan

‘Riders Insider ranked MiLB Pro Top 10 for April

It is with excitement that we at ‘Riders Insider announce that our blog has been ranked in the Top 10 of all Minor League Pro blogs for the month of April.

Each month, MLB.com Blogs ranks the team and fan blogs based on popularity and page views.  In previous years, all team blogs were compiled together, both Major League and Minor League.  With that system, ‘Riders Insider consistently stayed in the Top 50, remaining near #40 for the past year.  Our highest rank in 2012 was at #32 in November (with ten Minor League blogs above ‘Riders Insider).

This year, MLB.com Blogs added the category of MiLB Pro, and during the first month of the 2013 season, ‘Riders Insider earned the #10 spot, sixth among minor league teams.

We would like to congratulate the top MiLB Pro blog of the month of April, Ben’s Biz Blog.  Above ‘Riders Insider, ranked at #9, is 45 Miles From Fenway, the blog for the Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Redsox).  In the 11th spot is Porcupines in Pinstripes, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders blog  (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees).

In keeping up with this blog, we strive to provide quality posts that our readers will enjoy.  We don’t always post about baseball; however, we like to provide you with the inside scoop on the Frisco RoughRiders as a team and individual players, the Texas Rangers and events at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Thank you to our readers for viewing our blog and placing us in the Top 10.  We are really excited about this ranking, so please help us maintain and move us up in the rankings.  We would love to hear from you about posts you’ve particularly enjoyed, or if you have suggestions on what you’d like us to cover in future posts.

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Frisco RoughRider’s April 2013 schedule.

In ‘Riders News:

We would like to wish pitcher Wilmer Font a happy 23rd birthday.

Last night, Carlos Pimentel threw seven innings of one-hit baseball and allowed just three baserunners as the Frisco RoughRiders went on to beat the Springfield Cardinals 1-0, tying the series at one apiece.  The RoughRiders conclude their series with the defending Texas League Champion Cardinals tonight at 7:09 at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO.

Frisco continues their road trip tomorrow as they face the Tulsa Drillers for the first time this season.

Baseball term of the day: Whiz chuck: a swiftly pitched ball

-Ryan

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