Tagged: Vance Worley

Worley to DL, Kendrick to start. Alternatives?

Two possible starters waiting in Lehigh Valley
The Phillies have confirmed that Vance Worley has been sent to the 15 day disabled list with elbow inflammation. He will be eligible to return on May 27 and he will miss tonight’s start in Chicago in addition to two additional turns through the rotation (Monday vs Washington and Saturday May 26 vs St Louis). This could fulfill the prophecy of two starters going down long term every year. Elbow problems are serious stuff.
So in response, the Phillies have moved Kyle Kendrick back into the rotation and recalled Joe Savery to full a spot in the bullpen. But laying in wait are two pitchers that have been dazzling down in the minor leagues. One a veteran, one a young rookie.

Scott Elarton

Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG
AVG
LHV
INT
4
1
2.39
7
7
0
0
0
37.2
31
11
10
3
13
19
.225
.225
Minors

4
1
2.39
7
7
0
0
0
37.2
31
11
10
3
13
19
.225
.225

 

Scott Elarton was signed to give added depth to the Phillies rotation, the likely number seven starter after Kendrick. Elarton has started seven games with Lehigh Valley. He had one rough outing against the Buffalo Bisons where he gave up 8 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Other than that he has been masterful. Take out the Buffalo start and he has about a 0.52 ERA. Right handers are batting .190 against him. He’s 11th in the International League in WHIP at 1.17. Elarton’s turn to start comes up tonight against Indianapolis. We signed this guy for a reason. Should another starter go down in the Phillies rotation, expect to see Elarton get called up.

Tyler Cloyd

Team
League
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
AVG

REA
EAS
3
0
1.80
4
4
0
0
0
25.0
22
5
5
1
3
20
.239

LHV
INT
4
0
0.69
4
4
0
0
0
26.0
12
2
2
1
5
21
.145

Minors

7
0
1.24
8
8
0
0
0
51.0
34
7
7
2
8
41
.194

 

 

Tyler Cloyd was selected by the Phillies in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, Neb. He also pitched for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League following the 2011 season. Last season he split time between Clearwater and Reading and started 22 games, going 9-4 with a 2.77 ERA for the year and getting 128 strikeouts. He has seven starts this season between Reading and Lehigh Valley, winning pitcher of the week in two different weeks in April. Lefties are batting .167 against him while right handed batters have a .132 avg on him. He leads the Ironpigs in WHIP at 0.65. Today is actually his 25th birthday. That should tell you enough. The Phillies are notorious for keeping the young talent down as long as they can unless their hand is forced (see Freddy Galvis). If the Phillies had the need for a number 8 starter, I can’t say with any confidence that Cloyd would get the call even there. You’d be more likely to see Jose Contreras start after Kendrick and Elarton get moved into the rotation. I apologize for giving you that image. There’s a reason though he hasn’t progressed as quickly as Vance Worley, also drafted in 2008. In 2010, the Phillies used Cloyd predominately out of the bullpen, a transition with which he had some difficulty, finishing the year with an ERA over 5.oo, spending most of the year in Clearwater after only starting 9 games. So the bounce around did more harm than help. He started more games in 2011 and improved somewhat, but so far he has been excellent in 2012. It will take a desperate situation for Cloyd to get called up as a started anytime before September this year.

But… if Kyle Kendrick does not perform adequately in his fill in starts, it is possible the Phillies could move him back to the pen and call up Elarton. Less likely: Cloyd. Kendrick would have to get shelled though in consecutive starts. And the other facets of the game, the offense and the bullpen, would have to perform well so Kendrick would have to be the only scapegoat left to blame for potential losses. Translation: Everything would have to go wrong for Kendrick and right for everyone else. If tonight the Phillies lose 7-1, it won’t really matter since there was no offense. If Kendrick throws 7 innings and gives up 2 runs and leaves with the score 4-2, then the bullpen blows it, then the bullpen blame game will roll on. I can’t say for any certainty how much of a leash the Phillies will give Kendrick, both in individual games and in the rotation as a whole. But knowing what we do about Elarton and Cloyd, they can’t just say “We use the guys we have”. Because they have two more guys in Lehigh Valley just waiting for a call.

Disrespect

“That’s Baseball”
The words of Cliff Lee after pitching 10 scoreless innings lasts night. He was pulled in the 11th inning when Antonio Bastardo came in and gave up an unearned run as the Giants beat the Phillies 1-0. The Phillies couldn’t manage to get one run in eleven innings. Sound familiar? A 1-0 loss… something about October, the Cardinals… you know where I am going here. It is the second time in a week the Phillies have been shut out in a game. In their 5-0 loss to the Mets last week, the Phillies got six hits. Last night, only four Phillies got hits. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino’s batting averages both dipped below .300 after they both went 0 for 4.
It seems that every time the Phillies pitchers turn in a gem of a performance, the lineup hocks up a slimy one and spits right in their face. But hey, that’s baseball. Can we chalk it up to the fact that Utley and Howard are off the grid? Maybe. The Phillies have found ways to win this season without them. Perhaps we could say they just play terribly at ATT Park, where their record is now 18-27.
On the opposite end, the Phillies will begin a four game series at Petco Park in San Diego tonight where they are 22-4. The Phillies have pretty much owned that park, sweeping a series there last season. Can this trend continue? If there was ever a time to play a series at Petco Park, now is the time. Having “Continued Success” there would certainly lift them out of the funk they are in and help carry some momentum into Arizona. Vance Worley goes tonight. It will be his first outing ever against San Diego.
One thing I am convinced of: The era of “Pitching, Pitching, Pitching” is over. I never want to hear that phrase again.
Speaking of pitchers: Jamie Moyer. Nuff said. When he hangs up his glove, I would hope the Phillies at least have him in for a “Jamie Moyer Appreciation Night”. He doesn’t have to do the one day minor league retire as a Phillie deal like Pat Burrell is doing, but I would hope he comes back to throw out a first pitch. Charlie Manuel is on record as saying, “He better not pitch against us and beat us. Then I’m really going to be mad.” The Phillies host the Rockies for a three game series in June. Should Jamie Moyer pitch that week, there’s a good chance Charlie will be mad. Mad at who I wonder? His hitters for not hitting him or Ruben Amaro Jr. for not re signing him?

Rotation Russian Roulette

This year, the Phillies pretty much have their rotation set. In past years there were 5th started controversies or competitions but not so much this year. After Halladay, Hamels, and Lee, Vance Worley looks build on his successful 2011 year and Joe Blanton is hoping to come back from arm problems which kept his stats on the lower end for much of last year. So one through five are set. However, we know we are going to need six and seven.
Six and seven?
Yes, six and seven. The pitchers on the depth chart who will have to inevitably fill in for the two pitchers who will be taken out of the rotation due to injury or ineffectiveness (AKA stinking up the place). This is bound to happen. You might want to even use the dreaded “C Word” that Philadelphia fans hate to bring up. That word being curse. Is this rotation cursed? Let’s recap the several seasons and who suffered from time off the mound.
2007 Opening Day Rotation: Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jon Lieber, Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia
Casualty 1: Jon Lieber. Lieber didn’t make his first start until the Phillies 15th game of the season. After three starts and two relief appearances, his ERA was 2.57 with a 1-0 record. After his 12th start on June 20th, he was put on the DL with an ankle injury that would cause him to miss the rest of the season.
Replacement: Kyle Lohse. Lohse was traded from the Reds and went 3-0 with a 4/72 ERA in 11 starts.
Casualty 2: Freddy Garcia. In 11 starts, Garcia only earned one win, took five losses and posted a 5.90 ERA. This came to be known as “The ten million dollar win” since Garcia was on a one year, ten million dollar deal. His fall soon led to the rise of…
Replacement: Kyle Kendrick. After being called up on June 13, he went 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA. He did a good job of eating innings and keeping the team in the game but never really dazzled. His 07 performance secured a spot in the rotation in the 2007 postseason as well as the following season. More on him later.

2008 Opening Day Rotation: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Adam Eaton, Kyle Kendrick
Casualty 1: Brett Myers. Myers had a poor start to his season, going 2-2 in April with a 5.11 ERA. At the end of June he accepted an assignment to the minor league teams to get his pitching back on track. He his record before being sent down was 3-9 and gave up four runs or more in his last four starts in June. He returned in July to close out the year with an additional 7 wins and 4 losses and maintain an 3.06 ERA in 13 starts. The Phillies took advantage of the All Star Break, days off, and spot starts from JA Happ to work around Myers Minor League adventure.
Casualty 2: Adam Eaton. Eaton did not record his first win in 2008 until his 11th start on May 28. In July he was moved to the bullpen, and then sent down to the minors, leaving with a 4-8 record. The last image Phillies fans have of him is when he waved to the fans as he picked up his World Series ring.
Replacement: Joe Blanton. Blanton came to the Phillies from Oakland in exchange for three prospects. He took the role of the innings eater. In his 13 starts with the Phillies over two months, the team went 9-4 while Blanton only got decisions in four of those games, receiving the W each time.

2009 Opening Day Rotation: Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Joe Blanton, Chan Ho Park
Casualty 1: Chan Ho Park. After a drama filled spring training played out on TV, Chan Ho Park won the fifth starter job, beating out JA Happ and Kendrick. But after 7 starts in which he landed a 7.29 ERA, he was sent to the bullpen where he seemed to nicely fill the role of long man. These days he is playing for the Hanwha Eagles of Korea Baseball Organization and remains the Asian player with the most wins in MLB.
Replacement: J.A. Happ. If you watched “The Pen” on MLB Network, you got to see the drama for the 5th starter position play out. Cameras were there as Happ was told he would not be starting, but would still be on the team as bullpen long man. When Chan Ho was given the hook, he and Happ traded places. In Happ’s 23 starts, he went 10-4 with a 2.99 ERA. You’d think that would be good right? Good enough? Good enough to start in the postseason? Keep reading.
Casualty 2: Jamie Moyer. Moyer had a pretty rocky season. In his four starts in April, the Phillies went 3-1 but he gave up 4 runs in three of those starts and never went past six innings. By the end of June, his ERA was above six and he had a even 6-6 record. There were quite a few games where he gave up six runs or more and the Phillies did not take to this at all. He was sent to the bullpen in August following a grumble session with the media. He did manage to pitch well in some relief appearances following rain delays which were started by his replacement…
Replacement: Pedro Martinez. Nobody have Pedro a contract after the 2008 offseason and he showcased what he had in the 2009 World Baseball Classic playing for the Dominican Republic. Phillies scouts checked him out in July and he was signed to a one million dollar deal for the season, the definition of low risk high reward. In his return to New York on August 23, Martinez’s win against the Mets was preserved by a rare unassisted triple play by second baseman Eric Bruntlett in the bottom of the ninth inning. With his win on September 3—his third as a Phillie and his 100th as a National Leaguer—Martinez became the 10th pitcher in history to win at least 100 games in each league. The Phillies made it to the World Series in a much hyped return to Yankee Stadium. He pitched well enough in Game 2, leaving the game with the Phils trailing 2-1 but in Game 6 allowed four runs in four innings, leaving some to wonder if JA Happ should have gotten a spot in the rotation. He officially retired this past December.

2010 Opening Day Rotation: Hamels, Moyer, Blanton, Roy Halladay, J.A. Happ
Casualty 1: Joe Blanton.  Blanton suffered an oblique injury before opening day and was placed on the DL until he was ready to come back in May.
Casualty 2: J.A. Happ. Happ began experiencing elbow problems after starting two games. He made rehab appearances, one more start for the Phillies on July 25 where he gave up three runs in five innings, then was traded to the Astros for this guy…
Replacement: Roy Oswalt: Happ was traded for Oswalt in the semi annual Astros fleecing. He lost his first start after being whisked out from Houston, but in his next 11 starts, went 7-0.
Casualty 3: Jamie Moyer. The honored elder pretty much repeated his performance of the previous year but the Phillies were locked into waiting it out with him until he suffered a a sprain in his ulnar collateral ligament and a strain of his flexor pronator, which resulted in Moyer missing the remainder of the 2010 season.
Replacement Infinity: Kyle Kendrick. He initially was given a bullpen spot on the team, then was part of the opening day rotation, first filling in for Joe Blanton, then Happ. He was sent down to AAA for a day, only to be called up again when Moyer went down.

2011 Opening Day Rotation: Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt
Casualty 1: Roy Oswalt. Little Roy started out strong in his first starts in April, but on April 27 in Arizona, was pulled after three innings and then took a leave of absence from the team, citing “personal reasons,” namely to check on his family and home after a series of devastating tornadoes in Mississippi. He later returned to Philadelphia but his back problems forced the Phillies to place him on the DL. He returned to the team on May 17th but went 1-5 in his next 8 starts (even through in three of those starts he was the victim of the other Phillies curse, poor run support). Oswalt went on the DL for about six weeks over the summer with an ailing back. It was said this was aggravated by his use of an excavator assisting with tornado relief efforts.
Replacement: Kyle Kendrick. He’s up, he’s down, he’s all around. He starts, he relieves, he gets into bets with Cliff Lee. He does it all.
Casualty 2: Joe Blanton. Problems with his elbow put Blanton on the 15 day DL in late April. He made two starts but eventually was returned to the DL, and did not return to the active roster until mid September. This leads us to…
Replacement: Vance Worley, AKA VANIMAL. Worley made a few starts after Blanton went down and pitched well. But he was sent down to AAA when Oswalt came back from the disabled list. He was brought back up again when Blanton returned to the DL. He was sent back down again to bring up Mike Zagurksi, only to come back to the Phillies in mid June to return to the rotation. Most believed this yo yo system of call ups and bullpen trips messed with him a bit, but overall he had a great season with an 11-3 record and a 3.01 ERA for the season.

So now here we are in 2012. Predictions for who might go down? Glad you asked.

Predicted casualty 1: Cliff Lee. Currently experiencing abdominal issues and there is a chance that Game 2 NLDS performance affected him during the offseason.
Predicted casualty 2: Cole Hamels. Only because the fates are cruel. Cole has it all, talent, good looks, hot wife, kids, friends. I think we are going to pay for this easy going winter we had with a Hamels injury of some kind. Throw in the fact this is his contact year and it would be just the cruel twist of fate you only see in tragic movies.

As for replacements? Kendrick just signed for 2 years and Joel Piniero is on a minor league deal with “Just in Case” stitched on the back of his uniform. Don’t get me started on Roy Oswalt, that’s a whole nother mess I’d rather not bring up.

Reading Phillies announce 2012 promotions

In 2012, the AA Reading Phillies have their top 30 promotions of 2012, besting their top 20 of 2011 and top 10 of 2010. The list has reached 30, being leaked out in a six part series. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Baseballtown All-Star Classic
For the first time since 1974, the Eastern League All-Star Game will be coming to Baseballtown. On Wednesday, July 11, the Reading Phillies will be hosting the Baseballtown All-Star Classic where all-stars from the Eastern (Binghamton, New Britain, New Hampshire, Portland, Reading, and Trenton) and Western Division (Akron, Altoona, Bowie, Erie, Harrisburg, and Richmond) will face off against each other. Each team is compromised of at least one pitcher and one position player from each Eastern League team. The teams are selected through a combination of fan balloting and selections from managers, media, and team personnel.

2. Opening Night Double Header Double Bobble Head with Ryan Howard and the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, Tribute to Deputy Sherriff Kyle Pagerly
In December, a mysterious riddle surfaced regarding the 2012 season’s opening night giveaway. Many fans attempted to solve the mystery, and in January, the Reading Phillies announced that a very unique Ryan Howard and Crazy Hot Dog Vendor double bobblehead will be given away to the first 2,500 adults 21 and over courtesy of All-Star Distributing/Coors Light. The duo both made their first appearance at FirstEnergy Stadium in 2004, with the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor famously surprising Howard at the 2006 Baseballtown Winter Banquet. Along with the double bobblehead, fans are going to get twice the fun on Opening Night, as the R-Phils will be playing the Portland Sea Dogs in a doubleheader. During the first game, the R-Phils will be wearing jerseys honoring the late Deputy Sherriff Kyle Pagerly, with proceeds from a jersey auction and raffle benefitting the Kyle Pagerly Memorial Charity Fund. There will also be a ceremony between the games to pay tribute to Pagerly thanks to Rock Hits Y102.

3. Carlos Ruiz “Chooching” Train,
Last season, sounds of “Chooooooch” filled FirstEnergy Stadium when the Reading Phillies gave away a Carlos Ruiz “Chooching” Owl. In 2012, another “Chooching” giveaway will be rolling around the tracks as the first 3,000 adults 15 and over will receive a Carlos Ruiz “Chooching” Train thanks to FirstEnergy on Tuesday, August 14th.

4. Harry Kalas Talking Bobblehead, Tribute to the Philadelphia Phillies featuring FREE photos with BOTH the 1980 and 2008 World Series Trophies
One of baseball’s all-time greatest announcers will be featured in bobble head form as the R-Phils give away a Harry Kalas Talking Bobblehead to the first 3,000 adults 15 and over courtesy of Unique Pretzels on Monday, August 27th. Kalas started his Phillies announcing career in 1971 and was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award in 2002 by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, recognizing a broadcaster for major contributions to baseball. In addition to the Harry Kalas Talking Bobblehead, Phillies fans will be able to take a free photo alongside the 1980 and 2008 World Series Trophies thanks to 830 AM WEEU. The R-Phils will also be paying homage to the history of its parent club, the Philadelphia Phillies, throughout the night.

5. Vance Worley “Vanimal” Garden Gnome
Beginning in 2010, the R-Phils started a tradition that saw the team celebrate former R-Phils standouts in one of the most unconventional ways in Minor League Baseball—a garden gnome. It started with Ryan Howard. Then, in 2011, both Howard and starting pitcher Cole Hamels were recognized. This season, it’s Vance Worley’s turn as the Reading Phillies present the Vance Worley “Vanimal” Garden Gnome to the first 2,500 fans 15 and over on Wednesday, July 25. Worley last played in Reading during the 2010 season, where he was 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA. He was named to the Eastern League All-Star team in 2009 and 2010.

10.Mike Schmidt First Professional Home Run Photo T-Shirt, Jimmy Buffet Parrot Head Night, Play Catch on the Field
One of the most prolific players to ever play in Baseballtown will be honored on Tuesday, June 26 when the R-Phils will be giving away a Mike Schmidt First Professional Home Run Photo T-Shirt to the first 2,500 fans courtesy of Texstyles Screen Printing and Embroidery and Keystone Tees. Prior to the game, fans can do their best impression of the Hall of Fame third baseman during an on-field play catch session.

12. WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart Appearance with Autograph and Photo Session, Bret Hart VIP Session, Tribute to Professional Wrestling Night with Post-Game Wrestling and 2nd Annual Ladder Match, Fireworks
The Excellence of Execution. The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be. The Hitman. No matter how you know him, everyone’s familiar with WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, who will be stopping at America’s Classic Ballpark for an autograph and photo session on Friday, June 15th brought to you by All Star Distributing/Yuengling. For just $20, fans can meet the five-time WWE Champion during a Pre-Game VIP Meet and Greet session. After the game, Xfinity from Comcast will be presenting a fireworks display. Those won’t be the only fireworks, though, as the post-game entertainment will feature a series of wrestling matches from World Professional Wrestling, including the 2nd Annual Ladder Match courtesy of Rock Hits Y102.

14. Father’s Day R-Phils Richie Ashburn Style Hat, All Fans Play Catch on the Field with Dad Post-Game, Prostate Cancer Awareness with Game Worn Jersey Auction/Raffle, Kids Club Free Ticket with Family Play Catch on the Field with Dad, Father’s Day Kids Intro Dad on the Field, Special VIP First Pitch Packages Available where Child Pitches to Dad, Dollar Dogs
What better way is there to celebrate Father’s Day than by taking your dad to America’s Classic Ballpark? On Sunday, June 17th, the first 2,000 men 15 and over will receive an R-Phils Richie Ashburn Style Hat on behalf of Center Urologic Care of Berks County. The team will be donning a one of a kind jersey to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Each jersey will be auctioned and raffled off throughout the game to benefit the “Us Too” Prostate Cancer Support Network. In what’s become a yearly tradition, all fans can play catch on the field with their fathers during the post-game thanks to 830 AM WEEU and 69 News Berks Edition. Kids can also introduce their dads on the field. Going along with the holiday, sons and daughters alike can purchase a special VIP package where they throw a first pitch to their dads for only $50.

15. Belated Mother’s Day R-Phils Pink Jersey Tote Bag, Breast Cancer Awareness with Pink Game Worn Jersey Auction/Raffle, Kids Club Free Ticket Game with R-Phils Player Ice Cream Party and Chat Session, Belated Mother’s Day Kids Intro Mom on the Field, Carnation for Mom, Run the Bases, Dollar Dogs
On Sunday, May 20th, Mother’s Day may have been celebrated a week prior, but that’s not stopping the R-Phils from celebrating Belated Mother’s Day. The first 2,000 women 15 and over will receive a R-Phils Pink Jersey Tote Bag presented by Coventry Corners. As part of the Belated Mother’s Day celebration, kids can introduce their moms on the field before the game. The first 1,000 women who come through the gates will also receive a carnation from Royer’s Flowers and Gifts.

23. Jimmy Rollins Old School Bobble Head, National Hot Dog Day Celebration with $1 Hot Dogs, Jimmy Buffet Parrot Head Night, 4 for $49 Family Night
On Monday, July 23, the first 2,000 fans 21 and over will receive a Jimmy Rollins Old School Bobble Head thanks to All Star Distributing/Labatt Blue. The R-Phils will also be honoring everyone’s favorite cased meat with a National Hot Dog Day celebration. The concession stands will be grilling up dollar hot dogs throughout the night courtesy of 830 AM WEEU. While fans may be thinking hot dogs on the 23rd, VIST Financial Plaza will be filled with the sounds of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” because it’s Jimmy Buffet Parrot Head Night thanks to 830 AM WEEU as well. The night is also one of the 4 for $49 Family Nights.

Lakewood Blueclaws announce bobbleheads and signers

The Lakewood Blueclaws, the A-level affiliate of the Phillies, have announced who will be coming out to sign autographs for fans this summer and who will be having a bobblehead night. It’s quite an interesting list, mixing everything from local Olympic heroes to political hodgepodge.

 

2012 Bobblehead Giveaways
Chrisite Rampone – June 25th, 7:05 pm – Rampone, a Point Pleasant native and the captain of the United States Women’s Soccer team, will be “bobbled” by the BlueClaws in advance of the Olympics. The former Point Pleasant Boro High School and Monmouth University star has represented the United States in four World Cups (capturing the title in 1999) and this summer in London will be her fourth Olympics (including gold medal wins in 2004 and 2008). (Please note that the ZOOperstars appearance scheduled for June 25th has moved to June 26th)

Vance Worley “Made the Phillies” – July 14th, 7:05 pm – Worley becomes the 14th former BlueClaw to be “bobbled” as part of the “Made the Phillies” series. A 3rd round pick in 2008 from Long Beach State, Worley joined the BlueClaws later that summer and went 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA over 11 starts. He became the 34th player to go “From the Shore to the Show” when he made his Phillies debut in 2010 and in 2011, after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA with the Phillies, he finished second in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. His bobblehead is presented by Central Jersey Blood Center.

Bobblection – August 21st, 7:05 pm – BlueClaws fans will cast their votes for President on August 21st when a “Bobblection” comes to Lakewood for the first time. There will be 500 bobbleheads of both Barack Obama and the Republican nominee for President. As they enter the park, fans choose one bobblehead. Whichever bobblehead runs out first is declared the winner.

Mickey Morandini – September 1st, 7:05 pm – Morandini, who was named BlueClaws manager in November, will be “bobbled” for the first time by the BlueClaws on the final weekend of the regular season. He played 11 years in the big leagues including eight with the Phillies. He was an All-Star in 1995 and a member of the Phillies 1993 National League Champions club.

The “Bobbleection” should prove interesting. You find crazies on both sides of the aisle. I wonder what happens if the GOP has no nominee by the time this night happens? Their convention begins on August 27. Maybe they will just give out a generic Elephant repping the Republicans. Also Vance Worley is quite the popular dude this year. In addition to his Blueclaws bobblehead night, the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs will have a Vance Worley bobblehead night on May 1st as well as a Vance Worley replica glasses giveaway on May 17.

2012 Autograph Signers
Jim Kaat – April 26th, 6:35 pm – Kaat won 283 games over 24 Major League seasons, pitching for the Senators/Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, and Cardinals. After his playing career, he spent 22 years in the broadcast booth, calling Yankees and Twins games, and now works for MLB Network.

Mark Ballas – June 6th, 7:05 pm – Ballas, of Daning With the Stars fame, has been competing on the show since the fall of 2007 and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography in 2011. He was twice won the competition, with celebrity partners Kristi Yamaguchi (season six) and Shawn Johnson (season eight).

Bret “The Hitman” Hart – June 16th, 7:05 pm – A five-time WWE Champion, Hart follows in a long line of professional wrestlers who have signed autographs at BlueClaws games, including Mick Foley, Sgt. Slaughter, and King Kong Bundy.

Doc Gooden – June 30th, 7:05 pm – Gooden joins Kaat as a former baseball star to sign autographs at a 2012 BlueClaws game. He pitched for six teams in his career, including the Mets and the Yankees, winning World Series titles with the 1986 Mets and 1996 and 2000 Yankees. He became the youngest player to appear in an All-Star Game when he made his first of four appearances in 1984. In 1986, at age 21, he became the youngest pitcher to start an All-Star Game. In 1996, he threw a no-hitter while pitching with the Yankees, a game that was ironically broadcast by Kaat.

I always like WWE Superstars. Bret Hart is my all time favorite. This is not one to miss.