Results tagged ‘ Steve Hyder ’
With 72 games on the road in 13 different cities, minor league ballplayers and broadcasters are forced to eat out probably more than we would like. Although a home-cooked meal sounds like heaven to all of us, there are some great eats to be found on the road throughout the International League.
On the current nine-game road trip, I’ve had my first visits to Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse. The latter two locations have between them arguably the two best buffalo wings in the International League – if not all of minor league baseball. Now that I’ve given them the official taste test, here are my results.
2nd Place: The Anchor Bar – Buffalo, NY
This iconic establishment is the original birthplace of buffalo wings and is a must for visitors and locals alike. The story goes that on a late Friday night way back in 1964, the current owner’s mother was preparing a “fourth meal” for some after-hours friends and instead of putting a few pounds of chicken wings in a pot for soup, she decided to toss them in the fryer – the rest is history.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t help myself and ended up eating a wing before taking this picture. They had a great buffalo sauce and were some of the biggest wings I’ve had. For as tasty as the wings were, they were soured by my broadcast partner, Steve Hyder, continually telling me that they were good, but not the best …
1st Place: Change of Pace Sports Bar – Syracuse, NY
I know it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but Hydes was right. Change of Pace served some of the best wings I’ve ever had – and I consider myself a bit of a buffalo wing snob. Steve and I went here last night after the PawSox 4-3 win over Syracuse and were joined by a number of Chiefs’ front office members.
I learned from my previous mistake in Buffalo and took a picture before my first taste. On the left I had original buffalo wings, and on the right I decided to try their new chipotle BBQ citrus wings. Both were tremendous and had a better texture than the wings at the Anchor Bar. They were incredibly moist while staying crisp and, although I maybe liked the buffalo sauce at the Anchor Bar more, these wings overall were better.
For some reason I loved these vintage NFL pennants above the bar. As if the pennants weren’t enough indication that they haven’t re-decorated lately at Change of Pace, here’s the biggest clue:
If you can’t tell, above is framed a picture of Steve holding his six month old daughter Eva, standing next to Big East all-time leading scorer Lawrence Moten. The photo was taken in 1993 and has been in their front window ever since! Steve used to broadcast games for Syracuse University and remains close to many old friends in town.
Today is Game 2 against the Chiefs with Justin Germano making his third start of the season for the PawSox. First pitch from Alliance Bank Stadium is scheduled for 6:00, Steve and I will be on-air (with full stomachs) at 5:45 with the pre-game show.
For many of us, hot dogs, summer nights, home runs, and the smell of the ballpark are all things we associate with baseball. However, for the players (and broadcasters), one thing that goes hand-in-hand with this great sport is a good old fashion bus ride.
I’m currently on what is termed the “quiet bus” with PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler, atheltic trainer Jon Jochim, strength and conditioning coach Doug Griswold, my broadcast partner Steve Hyder, and about a dozen players.
My alarm went off at 4:15 this morning to make sure I got up in plenty of time to drive to McCoy Stadium for our 6:00 a.m. departure. As I’ve been told by multiple sources, “they never wait for the radio guy.”
Fortunately I made it to the ballpark at 5:30 a.m. and had plenty of time to put my luggage on the bus and grab a quick doughnut in the clubhouse provided by our great clubhouse manager Carl Goodreau.
We left the ballpark parking lot at 6:00 a.m. sharp and drove for about three hours before pulling over at a truckstop to stretch our legs and grab breakfast. A half hour later we were back on board and are now less than 30 minutes outside of Rochester where tonight the PawSox open up a three-game series with the Red Wings, the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate.
What do guys do on the bus you might ask? Well, it depends on the guy – and in this case – the bus. Since I’m on the quiet bus, everyone is either sleeping, listening to music, or watching a movie on their laptop. If the “loud” bus is like most, some are playing cards while others are watching a movie on the bus’ TV screens.
Our buses are great because not only do they have wireless internet, they also have electrical outlets for a laptop if your battery starts to run low. Having these two luxuries can make a guy feel right at home even if he’s driving through the middle of nowhere.
I have a feeling a more in-depth “bus tour blog” is in the wings. But for now, I hope you enjoyed riding shotgun with me and the rest of the guys on our way to Rochester. Pre-game coverage from Frontier Field starts tonight at 6:50 with first pitch scheduled for 7:05.
Talk with you then,
Although I strive to keep this blog nonpartisan, some people know that I’m a huge Mac user. Between my iPhone and MacBook pro, I’ve been a loyal Apple user for nearly ten years. Earlier this month, Fu Chunli, a resident of Qingdao, China, downloaded the 25 billionthapp through the Apple App Store. Her prize? A $10,000 iTunes gift card.
As you probably know from some of my recent posts, my broadcast partner Steve Hyder is currently in Ft. Myers for the rest of the week watching the final PawSox Spring Training games. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out his blog, Hyde’s Inside Pitch.
- It was easy to miss, but the regular season opener of the MLB season has come and gone. At around 6:00 this morning, the first pitch of the 2012 season was thrown – in Tokyo. That’s right, the Oakland Athletics were the “home” team facing off against the Seattle Mariners from the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The M’s edged the A’s in a 3-1, 11-inning affair. 44,227 of Japan’s biggest baseball fans were in attendance (126.1% capacity of the Tokyo Dome according to ESPN.com).
- Although he finished 0-for-4, it was great to see former PawSox and Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick as Oakland’s Opening Day right fielder. Part of the Andrew Bailey deal, Reddick spent parts of three seasons (2009-11) here in Pawtucket where he hit .243 with 32 home runs and 107 RBIs in 184 games.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka looked “impressive” in an intrasquad game against Red Sox minor leaguers this afternoon. Dice-K tossed the majority of two innings and looks to be ahead of his rehab schedule. The Sox have “indicated a June 1 return to the major league team is not out of the realm of possibility.” Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported today via Twitter that Matsuzaka hit 92 mph while landing 18 of 22 pitches for strikes. The righty has been out indefinitely with a sprained elbow.
- Right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook has a good chance of starting the season here in Pawtucket. Mike Antonellis, the “Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs,” reported on Twitter that Cook allowed one run over five innings in a minor league game this afternoon. Cook has spent the past ten seasons with the Colorado Rockies and is the winningest pitcher in the history of Coors Field.
- If you’re crazy about professional soccer, or just want to see something unique, make sure you’re in Boston on July 25th. Fenway Sports Management announced today that Liverpool Football Club will play AS Roma at Fenway Park.
I’ll sign off today with some gratitude: as we approach the end of March, over 6,000 people have read 45 Miles From Fenway this month – an all-time high. By Opening Day on April 5th, this blog will have over 16,000 readers since it began on January 3rd. I really appreciate your readership, support, and feedback!
A short while ago, PawSox fans on Facebook and Twitter submitted questions to our very own Pete Sachs in an off-season edition of “Ask Arnie.” Because of his question, Gregory Levinsky won four tickets to the double-header on April 7 thanks to our 125 Tickets in 125 Days promotion. We’ll make sure to keep the Ask Arnie feature going throughout the season. Thank you to all of the fans who submitted questions.
PawSox Fans: Do you evaluate yourself as a manager by the success of your teams? Or by the success of individual players making it to the major leagues?
Arnie Beyeler: I like to measure success with both. The priority is getting players to the next level – no matter which level that may be. That’s what it’s all about in the big picture, but I think winning is also a big part of a player’s development. Players learn how to win by playing the game the right way.
PSF: How much notice does a Triple-A team get when a player is called up?
AB: If the player is a starting pitcher or a young position player, sometimes they get a few days notice. However, the majority of the time they get told after a game and immediately leave to meet their new team whether in Boston or on the road the next day.
PSF: Which PawSox player(s) have the best chance to make the leap this season from good to great? Who is a dark horse this season to shine in Pawtucket that fans may not know about?
AB: That’s not a fair question for me to answer because we think all our guys have the opportunity to play in Boston in the future. With their help, it’s our job as development guys to make them better. Sure, some are closer than others, or may fill a need at the next level better, but we have a very talented group that we feel are just waiting their turn to get the opportunity to succeed up there.
PSF: How much different is the process of strength and conditioning for your players now compared to 10 or 15 years ago?
AB: Keeping fit has turned into a year round job due to all the money available at the major league level. Players can’t sit home and expect to keep their jobs anymore without getting stronger and better in the off-season. It’s very competitive at every level and as a result we ask a lot out of these guys.
For example, players lift weights throughout the season on a consistent basis depending on our travel schedule and their roles on the team. Pitchers lift the day after they throw and starters have a strict four-day workout routine between starts. It’s a little tougher with relievers since they could pitch any night. Position players do the organizational shoulder strengthening program at least twice a week and are expected to do an upper and lower body workout at least once per week. With our travel schedule that can be tough to accomplish. Keep in mind, all of this is on top of their daily work on the field (fielding, batting practice, etc.).
PSF: What are your impressions of the brand new JetBlue Park?
AB: The sight of the complex is very impressive. One of the differences between JetBlue and Fenway are the seats in the middle of the green monster with a net in front of them. The dimensions are the same: Pesky’s pole and how the wall jets straight back behind it, the deep triangle in center field, the bullpen nook in right-center and the angles down third base line.
PSF: Were you very familiar with Bobby Valentine before he took the Red Sox managerial job? How much are you looking forward to working with him this spring?
AB: Bobby Valentine has been a much respected figure in baseball for quite a while so I am familiar with that aspect of him. Prior to Spring Training, I had never met him or worked with him. His enthusiasm is contagious and he’s proving to be a great teacher of the game. He’s been extremely energetic and detailed oriented in his first couple of weeks down here and is very hands on in everything we do on each field with all the players.
So there you have it, the first “Ask Arnie” of 2012. Feel free to email or tweet me anytime with a question you’d like us to ask him while I’m in Ft. Myers March 18-25. Thank you again to Pete Sachs with the PawSox for coordinating all of the questions.
I’m off to record PawSox Insider with Steve Hyder. On this week’s show we’ll have International League President Randy Mobley, New York Yankees’ Beat Writer for the Wall Street Journal, Dan Barbarisi, and Chris Mellen of SoxProspects.com. You can listen to the show on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on 920 WHJJ.
Over the weekend the Boston Red Sox formally announced their 2012 minor league coaching staff. The Sox have added three new individuals for assignment in the 2012 field staff alignment, most notably Gerald Perry as the hitting coach here in Pawtucket.
Perry, the Oakland A’s hitting coach in 2011, was not resigned at the end of the season and was thus on the open market. Who did Oakland replace him with? 2011 PawSox hitting coach, Chili Davis. Who replaces Davis in Pawtucket? Gerald Perry, of course.
And around and around we go.
The new job for Davis reunites him with former San Francisco Giants teammate, and current Oakland manager, Bob Melvin. A three-time All-Star, Davis had a career batting average of .274, while belting 350 home runs and batted in 1,372 runs. Despite a 19-year major league career, the Jamaican-born 52-year-old is relatively inexperienced as a coach:
2003-04: Australian National Team Hitting Coach
2010: Dodgers’ Instructional League Hitting Coach
2011: PawSox Hitting Coach
Perry is a familiar face around McCoy Stadium, previously spending four seasons in the Boston organization as a minor league hitting coach with Single-A Michigan (1997) and Pawtucket (1998 and 2010), and was the club’s minor league hitting coordinator in 1999.
Perry enters his 29th season in professional baseball after being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th Round of the 1978 draft. A 13-year major leaguer and 1988 National League All-Star, Perry’s career was spent predominately at first base. The video above is Perry with our very own Steve Hyder at Media Day in 2010. Below is the complete minor league field staff list for this upcoming season. -AG
Pawtucket (Triple-A, International League)
Manager: Arnie Beyeler
Pitching Coach: Rich Sauveur
Hitting Coach: Gerald Perry
Athletic Trainer: Jon Jochim
Portland (Double-A, Eastern League)
Manager: Kevin Boles
Pitching Coach: Bob Kipper
Hitting Coach: Dave Joppie
Athletic Trainer: Brandon Henry - Begins his first year with Portland after spending the last two seasons as athletic trainer for Salem. He enters his sixth season with the organization having also served as athletic trainer for Greenville (2009) and Lowell (2008-07).
Salem (High-A, Carolina League)
Manager: Billy McMillon - Will serve as Salem’s manager after skippering at Greenville from 2010-11. He led the Drive to the South Atlantic League Championship Series in his 2010 managerial debut.
Pitching Coach: Kevin Walker
Hitting Coach: Rich Gedman - Joins Salem after serving last season as hitting coach for Lowell in his first coaching position in affiliated ball.
Athletic Trainer: David Herrera - Moves to Salem from Greenville, where he was the Drive’s athletic trainer from 2010-11. He also held that position for Lowell (2009) and the GCL Red Sox (2008).
Greenville (Single-A, South Atlantic League)
Manager: Carlos Febles - Moves to Greenville after making his managerial debut with Lowell in 2011. He was Salem’s hitting coach from 2009-10 and held the same role for Single-A Lancaster in 2008.
Pitching Coach: Dick Such
Hitting Coach: Darren Fenster – Joins Greenville in his affiliated coaching debut after spending six seasons on the Rutgers University baseball staff, including three as an assistant coach (2009-11). He also served as an assistant coach for the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Orleans Cardinals in 2008. Selected by Kansas City in the 12th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, Fenster spent five seasons in the Royals minor league system and was named a Carolina League All-Star in 2002 and 2004.
Athletic Trainer: Mauricio Elizondo - Enters his fifth season in the Red Sox organization and his first as athletic trainer with Greenville. He previously served as athletic trainer for Lowell (2010-11) after joining the system as an intern with the GCL Red Sox (2008-09).
Lowell (Short-A, New York-Penn League)
Manager: Bruce Crabbe - Returns to Lowell after serving as Salem’s manager in 2011. This will be his third season at the helm of the Spinners (also 2006 and 2010).
Pitching Coach: Paul Abbott
Hitting Coach: Nelson Paulino - Joins Lowell as hitting coach after serving in the same capacity for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox over five seasons from 2001-02 and 2008-11.
Athletic Trainer: TBA
Gulf Coast (Rookie, Gulf Coast League)
Manager: George Lombard
Pitching Coach: Goose Gregson
Pitching Coach: Walter Miranda
Coach: Dave Tomlin
Hitting Coach: U.L. Washington
Coach: Noah Hall - Makes his coaching debut after playing parts of 13 seasons as an outfielder in affiliated minor league baseball from 1996-2009. He also played parts of five seasons in independent leagues (2001, 2007 and 2009-11).