Results tagged ‘ sports ’

Baseball And Bacon, Part 2

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a popular party game where people try to link themselves to the Hollywood star. In May 2012, the writers of the Riders Insider Blog discovered four links from Bacon to the Frisco RoughRiders. Today, nearly four years later, we present…four more links. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is once again. The Circle of Bacon.

The first chain begins with none other than Kevin Bacon. He was in Apollo 13 with Ed Harris, who uttered the famous quote “Failure is not an option.” Harris was in Two Tickets to Paradise with Vanna White. White, best known as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune, was raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Pelicans are owned by the Greenberg Sports Group, an ownership group led by Chairman and Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg. Greenberg is also involved in the RoughRiders ownership as the Managing Partner and CEO. This completes chain one.

The second chain begins much like the first. Kevin Bacon was in Starting Over with Burt Reynolds, who was in Meet Wally Sparks with Geraldo Rivera. Rivera is an alumnus of the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. Tucson has hosted two different Minor League Baseball teams. The Tucson Padres served as the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres from 2011 to 2013, before moving to El Paso for the 2014 season. Previously, the city was home to the Tucson Toros dating back to the early 20th century. The team ultimately switched names to the Sidewinders and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2008. The Sidewinders were sold, moved to Reno, Nevada, and became the Aces after the 2008 season. Tucson is also home to many past and present-day baseball players, including Ian Kinsler, who was born and raised in the city. Kinsler is currently an infielder for the Detroit Tigers, but he was previously a Texas Ranger from 2006-2013. He played with the RoughRiders in 2004 and made rehab appearances in Frisco in 2009, 2010, and 2013.

Through current Riders manager Joe Mikulik, we can complete the third chain all the way back to the original source, Kevin Bacon. Mikulik was previously the manager of the Class A Asheville Tourists from 2000-2012 and was the team’s all-time leader in wins as a skipper. The Tourists played a minor role in the 1988 film Bull Durham. In the film Kevin Costner‘s character, Crash Davis, finishes his baseball career with the Tourists after being cut from the Durham Bulls and breaks the all-time Minor League home run record. Costner starred in the movie with Tim Robbins, who played the character Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh. Robbins and Bacon were cast as brothers in the movie Mystic River.

Lastly, Kevin Bacon was in Sleepers with Tom Signorelli. Signorelli was in The Trip with Michael Nader, who was in Bikini Beach with Donna Loren. Loren served as the “Dr Pepper Girl”, acting as the company’s spokesperson from 1963 to 1968. Dr Pepper, of course, holds naming rights of Dr Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders.

These chains explain how everyone in the world quite possibly could be connected to Kevin Bacon. Are you?

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: fuzzy concrete – Artificial turf.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Lights, camera, action! Riders shine in the spotlight

Tonight, for the second time this season, a Frisco RoughRiders game will be aired on Fox Sports Southwest.

During the last homestand, it was announced that the network will be airing at least eight Riders games during the 2016 season. The first game was a huge success, with fans across four different states tuning in to watch Frisco defeat the San Antonio Missions 6-5.

Ronald Guzman and Alex Burg both slugged home runs, as the Riders capped off their first four-game sweep of the Missions. Watch the highlights below:

RoughRiders broadcaster Nathan Barnett was joined by analyst Mike Bascik, a former Rangers pitcher, and Paul Kruger, the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Rangers. Tonight, Rangers Senior Director of Player Development Mike Daly will be on the air with Barnett as the RoughRiders host the Midland RockHounds.

In the past, select Riders games have been televised on KTXD 47. While this provided fans across the Metroplex with an opportunity to watch Riders games, it excluded additional fans from the remainder of the state and region.

Now, fans from the DFW area and beyond have the opportunity to watch the games on television tonight and at least six other times this year. Fox Sports Southwest reaches over 10 million cable and satellite TV homes in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, as well as nationally via satellite television and streaming online with Fox Sports Go.

After tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game against Midland, Fox Sports Southwest will air the following remaining RoughRiders games this season. Make sure to tune in on these dates and catch the Riders in action!

Date: Time: Opponent: Opponent Affiliate:
Monday, May 23 11:00 a.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, June 2 7:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Tuesday, June 14 11:00 a.m.  vs. Midland RockHounds  (Oakland Athletics)
Sunday, July 31 6:00 p.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, Aug. 18 7:00 p.m.  vs. Springfield Cardinals  (St. Louis Cardinals)
Sunday, Aug. 21 6:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Freak show stat – A baseball statistic that is cute or entertaining but of little real value; e.g., players’ double-figure totals in doubles, triples, and home runs

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Rehabbing with the Riders: Chris Gimenez

This week has been an eventful one for the RoughRiders, winning all five games at home. The Riders have also been joined by Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez, another highlight of the past few days in addition to the success on the field. Gimenez was added to the roster earlier this week on a rehab assignment.

During the Major League veteran’s time here in Frisco, Gimenez has been assisting the younger players and giving valuable advice to everyone in the clubhouse. Earlier this week, we caught up with him and chatted about the experience. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

Steve Goldberg: You had a chance to meet a bunch of these guys at Spring Training. What did you know about the Riders players coming in to your rehab assignment?

Chris Gimenez: It’s just a good group of goofballs. The one thing I’ve noticed is that they keep the clubhouse extremely light and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of music and a lot of talking. I think that’s good. That’s something you don’t see a lot of these days, with the iPads and iPhones. Everyone is in their chair playing on their different device. But this group is a good, close-knit group. These guys are having fun.

Chris Gimenez rounds the bases after hitting a home run in his first at-bat with Frisco.

Chris Gimenez rounds the bases after hitting a home run in his first at-bat with Frisco.

SG: How does being back here now compare to your own experience as a Minor Leaguer?

CG: This is the nicest ballpark I’ve ever played in aside from the big leagues, so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the Minor Leagues. From the ballpark, to the crowd, to the scenery around here, everything is gorgeous. Like I said, they take such good care of us around here that it really doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the Minor Leagues at all.

SG: Did you have experience working with Major League players on rehab assignments when you were in the Minors coming up?

CG: Absolutely. And at every level too. I always remember it being a really cool experience, just to try to talk to some of the guys. I’ve had some conversations with a couple of the guys down here that I’ve known for a little while as well. It’s nice to offer any sort of advice or just be there as someone to listen. Sometimes, you just need a deaf ear to fall on and somebody that you can just go out and have a normal conversation with. Someone that’s not a coach, someone that’s not trying to give you four different things you can do to fix your swing or to throw a strike. It’s the same for me. When you’re struggling, you just want to get out of it as quick as you can. But a lot of times, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do that. I think the biggest part of it is just trying to be relaxed as possible. Try to keep it like you were playing in Little League. We never had slumps in Little League because we always had fun doing it. That’s the motto I try to portray when I talk about stuff like that.

SG: You’re fighting for a spot as a catcher on the Rangers [25-man] roster. Does that competition impact you at all during these rehab games?

CG: Not at all. It’s out of my control. The only I can control is just trying to get myself back, in the best game shape I can possibly be in, and put myself in a position for them to have to make a decision on it. As much as I would like to say it’s in my control, I know it’s not. They’re going to have a decision to make.

So far, Gimenez is 5-for-14 (.357) with a home run and three RBI in four games with the Riders. He will be joined by fellow Rangers rehabbers Josh Hamilton tonight and Yu Darvish tomorrow.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: baby act – A play considered “ungentlemanly” in the late 19th century, such as a bunt or an intentional base on balls.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Cordell crushes his way into the record books

Ryan Cordell etched his name into the RoughRiders record books in the second inning of last night’s 5-2 victory over Corpus Christi.

Cordell blasted his second grand slam of the season, which is awfully impressive. But in addition, it was also his second one of the week. His first one was on Saturday against Northwest Arkansas.

With two grand slams already, Cordell became the only Minor Leaguer to reach that mark so far in 2016. He joins Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper as the only other player in professional baseball to accomplish the feat this year.

Cordell has already surpassed Frisco’s total number of grand slams as a team last season. The Riders only hit one, coming off the bat of Pat Cantwell on June 24 against Midland. Frisco’s largest number of grand slams as a team in a single regular season is five, occurring in both 2009 and 2013.

Last year, Renato Nunez (Midland) hit grand slams on back-to-back days against Frisco on September 5 and 6. The RockHounds hit more grand slams in 2015 than any other team in Texas League with seven, while the RoughRiders were tagged for a league-high five.

Brett Nicholas was the last player to hit two grand slams for the Riders in 2013.

The last time the Riders hit grand slams in the same week as a team was in 2013. Ryan Rua knocked one out against Corpus Christi on August 28, and Teodoro Martinez followed with another on September 1 at Midland.

Prior to Cordell, Brett Nicholas was the most recent Rider to hit two grand slams. His were also in 2013, on April 28 against Corpus Christi and August 18 facing Tulsa.

Mike Olt and Chris McGuiness hit grand slams two days apart in 2012, on June 9 and 11 against San Antonio and Midland, respectively. McGuiness went on to slug another one later in the season on August 12 at Northwest Arkansas.

Jason Botts and Ian Kinsler were the only RoughRiders to hit grand slams in the same game on July 21, 2004. Botts’ grand slam came off San Antonio’s Felix Hernandez, just over a year before “King Felix” made his Major League debut with Seattle in August 2005.

Cordell joins Nicholas, McGuiness, and Chad Tracy as the only players to hit two grand slams in the same season for the Riders. Tracy’s two came in 2009 on July 10 against Springfield and August 7 against San Antonio. Adam Fox also had two grand slams for Frisco, one in 2005 and another in 2009.

33 different players have combined to hit 38 grand slams for the Riders in team history. However, nobody has ever hit more than two. But if the bases are loaded again for Cordell in his time with Frisco, he will have a chance to become the first.

Riders grand slams by year (regular season only):

2016:

Ryan Cordell (2)

 

 

 

2013:

Brett Nicholas (2)

Jared Hoying

Teodoro Martinez

Ryan Rua

 

2010:

Emerson Frostad

Matthew Lawson

 

 

 

2007:

Brandon Boggs

Salomon Manriquez

 

2004:

Jason Botts

Patrick Boyd

Ian Kinsler

G.J. Raymundo

2015:

Pat Cantwell

 

 

 

2012:

Chris McGuiness (2)

Engel Beltre

Mike Olt

 

 

2009:

Chad Tracy (2)

Adam Fox

Tim Smith

John Whittleman

 

2006:

Casey Benjamin

Kevin Mahar

 

2003:

Ryan Soules

Laynce Nix

 

 

2014:

Trever Adams

Joey Gallo

J.T. Wise

 

2011:

Michael Bianucci

Renny Osuna

 

 

 

2008:

Ben Harrison

Stephen Murphy

Corey Ragsdale

 

 

2005:

Adam Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: apply the whitewash – To shut out; to keep the opponent from scoring.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Rangers vs. RoughRiders

Spring training provides the chance for players to prepare for the upcoming season. For those in the front office, it’s no different. Events go on year-round at the ballpark including the recent One Direction concert. Preparations for these events take many people working hard behind-the-scenes to make everything appear to be flawless.

The exhibition game between the Frisco RoughRiders and the Texas Rangers was no different and helped to kick off this year’s baseball season and introduced players to the North Texas community.

Fans lined up at the gates hours before first pitch anticipating seeing some of their favorite players. The teams played before a sold-out crowd of over 10,000.

RoughRiders alums Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus smile outside their former clubhouse. Fellow alum Scott Feldman also played during the exhibition game.

A member of the field crew puts the final touches on painting the RoughRiders logo on the field before the game.

Josh Hamilton is interviewed by members of the media before the exhibition game began. He hit an RBI double in the first inning to drive in two runs for the Rangers.

Company B Texas Ranger David Armstrong waits in front of the home dugout with Daisy. He was packing and throwing the heat delivering the ceremonial first pitch.

Ron Washington takes time out to sit in the dugout before the game began.

Mike Olt signs autographs for fans before the game. The 23-year-old Connecticut native was promoted to Frisco after splitting time last season between the Arizona Rangers and the High-A Myrtle Beach.

The Rangers played a series of exhibition games playing against the Round Rock Express, the Diablos Rojos del Mexico and the Frisco RoughRiders. They opened their season with a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Dave Anderson and Steve Buechele meet at home plate to exchange rosters and wish the other luck under the gaze of the watchful umpires. This is Buechele’s third season at the helm of the RoughRiders.

The crowd cheered for Bridgette Hammers’ rendition of the national anthem.

Josh Hamilton focuses on the flag while Ron Washington bows his head as the national anthem is sung.

The grass berm provided a great vantage point for families looking to relax on a warm, sunny day.

Left-handed hurler Tim Murphy eyes the plate with his first pitch of the game. Murphy gave up two runs in the first inning after hits by Josh Hamilton and Michael Young.

Yu Darvish, the Japanese phenom, threw four scoreless innings and struck out five RoughRiders in his North Texas debut. In his first MLB start, he led the Rangers to a win over the Seattle Mariners.

One of the two hits Darvish gave up was a single from Val Majewski. Majewski advanced to third on a single by Ryan Strausborger but the rally was cut short after a ground out by Zach Zaneski.

Darvish’s debut attracted over 100 members of the media. More than 20 of them were from his native Japan.

Jake Brigham came in during the fourth inning giving up an RBI triple to Frisco alum Craig Gentry. Gentry was 2 for 3 on the day also singling and scoring during the sixth inning.

David Murphy swings and misses on a pitch to Zach Zaneski. Murphy would account for one of Texas’ six runs after moving to second on a squeeze bunt from Craig Gentry, a wild pitch and a squeeze bunt by Jose Felix.

Young Rangers fans take the time out from the action to take a quick picture.

Chris McGuiness and Mike Napoli watch intently for the possible throw to first. The RoughRiders stranded three base runners over the course of the game.

 The vantage point from the Dr Pepper Patio gives fans the perfect opportunity to catch up while watching the game.

Nothing misses catcher Zach Zaneski’s eyes as he points towards second base.

An overthrow at second base allows Charlie Villanueva to slide in safely. The throw was backed up and no runs were allowed to score.

Michael Young waves to the fans with a smile on his face while walking with Elvis Andrus back to the clubhouse. The Rangers won over the Roughriders 6 to 1.

Photos By: Alex Yocum-Beeman & James Garner

Written By: Jarah Wright

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