Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One, two, three...SHOOT!

Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) might be my favorite game ever. When you win, there is a feeling of power -- of having outsmarted your opponent, and beaten them with both wits and will. When you lose, you can just chalk it up to random luck.

RPS has been played since the beginning of time. Adam threw rock, Eve threw paper, and the rest is history.

OK, maybe not that far back. But it has been an institution of sorts here in the Cyclones office for as long as I can remember. Rob Field and I used it just about every day (before the magnetic dartboard came into play) to determine what we would eat for lunch, and who would drive. (I dominated..especially since Rob's not here to dispute my claim.) We took it very seriously -- although, admittedly, not as seriously as some others -- and this was before soaring gas prices, so you can imagine what it would be like now.

Last year, we turned our admiration into a promotional night, and hosted an RPS Tournament on the field before a game. 64 combatants waged war, with one champion emerging victorious. (And Rob lost in the first round to an 8-year-old! This time, I have visual proof.)

This year, we'll host the 2oo8 RPS tourney on Sunday, August 10th. For $15 you get a Box Seat for that night's game and an official tourney t-shirt. And of course, the chance to battle for pride, glory, and a great Cyclones prize pack!

Anyone who wants to participate should call (Big) John Haley at 718-37-BKLYN, or, since you're obviously fans of the blogosphere, just email him. 64 will enter, but only one will win!

Just remember, if you square off against me, don't throw paper, 'cause i got some scissors for you, right here!

(Or maybe I'm just using the threat of scissors to bait you into throwing rock, 'cause i got some paper for you right here! Or maybe -- just maybe -- I'm making you think I'm using the scissors to bait you into rock and take you with paper, so that you'll actually throw scissors...'cause I got some big, bad rock for you right here! See how it works? It's like being an evil genius! Or in my case, just evil.)

See you on the 10th, RPS-ers. Bring your A game, or don't bring anything at all (except 15 bucks to participate, and a hand, of course).

-- Dave

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Jonas Brothers

Do the names Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas mean anything to you? Do they make you squeal uncontrolably at a high enough pitch to break glass? If so, you are probably either a 15-year-old girl, or Gary Perone.

Jonas Brothers are an uber-popular pop/rock band among the teen and tween set, a la Miley Cyrus and Hillary Duff. If you're like me (old, decidedly not hip, and still rocking out to Skid Row in the car on the way home from the ballpark), you've probably heard of the Jonas Brothers, but have an easier time naming the MLB divisional structure before realignment than you do naming any of their songs.

But trust me on this...they're huge. And if you have kids in that 12-to-16 range, you will be an absolute hero if you come home with tickets to see the Brothers in concert.

On Sunday, July 27th, you have the chance to do just that, when one lucky fan will leave the Cyclones game with two FREE tix to see the Jonas Brothers, courtesy of
Radio Disney. Just sign up at one of the designated tables at the ballpark on Sunday, then sit back, watch the Cyclones take on the Yankees, and hope like heck that your name gets called!

If it does, you're going home with tickets in your hand that will actually make your teenager not be embarrassed to be seen with you!

(And for the hundredth time...NO, Gary, employees are not eligible!)

-- Dave

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Into the Woods

The following is based on true events.

From time to time, Cyclones staffers head "out and about" into the streets of Brooklyn in a grassroots effort to remind fans about specific upcoming events and games, or just to get out into the community. (Side note: you can go "out," and you can go "about," but it's only when you combine the two that you reach maximum efficiency.)

It's a good way for us to put a finger on the pulse of the fans, and promote the organization with face-toface interaction. Going out and about, however, is not without its dangers.

For example, Steve Cohen and John Haley bypassed the "mean streets" of Brooklyn and hoofed it into the wilds of Prospect Park yesterday and what follows is an unembellished account of the conversations that transpired:

(Phone rings)
Me: Brooklyn Cyclones, can I help you?
Steve: Dave? Is that you? Oh, thank God! I have to talk fast! John and I are lost in the woods and I don't know if I'll ever make it back...tell everyone I love them.
Me: Woods? Steve? Is that you? Didn't you just leave the ballpark like 20 minutes ago?
Steve: We're somewhere inside Prospect Park. We've been walking forever and we can't find our way out.
Me: What entrance did you go in? It's usually pretty easy to...
Steve: I think someone's coming! I have to go! John, get down!
(hangs up)

Hmmm...strange. Oh, well. Back to Netfli...

(Phone rings)
Me: Brooklyn Cyclones, can I help you?
Steve: John's passed out. I'm carrying him on my back!
Me: John Haley? You're carrying 6'5", 240-pound John Haley? I don't think so.
Steve: Well, not carrying him, exactly, but kind of pointing him in the right direction.
Me: OK, where are you guys? What do you see?
Steve: Trees...lots of trees. And creatures of the forest...they're everywhere!
Me: "Creatures of the forest?" Who are you, Snow White? You're in Brooklyn.  They're probably just squirrels.
Steve: Well, yeah. But big ones. And they're making some creepy noises.
Me: Are you by the waterfalls?
Steve: Waterfalls! Yes! I think I hear them! John! Follow the rapids...they'll lead us to the shores, and to civilization!
Me: Well, not really. But if you just pick a direction and walk that way, you should be out pretty soon. The park's not really that big.
Steve: Not that big??? We've been going in circles for hours! It's like the Blair Witch Project in here!

(I've since discovered that Prospect Park is actually 585 acres, or, roughly less than one square mile.)

Me: Just calm down and tell me if you see any landmar...
Steve: Wait...Hang on...I know where we are. There's the Commerce Bank and the Parade Grounds. There's my car. OK, we'll be back in a little while.
Me: You gotta be kidding m...
Steve: (hangs up)

I think all went well from that point on. Although, come to think of it, I haven't seen Steve since that last conversation.

Anyway, next time you see one of us "out and about," stop by, say hello, and grab a pocket schedule or two. And if the person you run into looks like this, please give Steve directions back to KeySpan Park and tell him we miss him.

-- Dave

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Before I moved to Brooklyn, I knew of the Cyclones. I had heard all the stories of how after 40-plus years, baseball was back in Brooklyn. When I started working for the Cyclones, I also found out about all of the fun nights and giveaways we offer. And after Will Gahagan left, I was put in charge of a few different nights, one of which is Jewish Heritage Night.

If you look at our Promotional Schedule, you will see that we have Heritage Nights for almost every ethnic background. Irish Night is run by John Haley, Caribbean Night is run by Rishi Ragbir, Asian Heritage Night is run by Joyce Huang, and now Jewish Heritage Night is run by...Patrick. Murphy. Toy.

It's like that old Sesame Street song...“One of these things is not like the other.”

While I may not be one of the Chosen People, I still feel like we have put together a great night. For the first 2,500 fans through the gate, we will be giving away a replica jersey. On top of the free jersey, the band Eden will be performing a pre-game concert, we will be holding an on-field Hora, and (the coolest thing of all) the Cyclones’ players will be wearing special-edition uniforms with Hebrew lettering and numbers.

Some of those jerseys will even be raffled off throughout the game, with proceeds being donated to Otsar Family Services.

You can get your individual tickets now by calling (718) 507-TIXX or by clicking here. I hope to see everyone there. Come say hello. I will be the Gentile schvitzing up a storm, hoping the night goes well.

-- Pat

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Sad Goodbye

The Cyclones lost a member of our extended family this weekend, when 28-year-old Luz Portobanco was tragically killed in a car accident in Nicaragua, while playing for a summer league team in the country of his birth. Portobanco was an original Cyclone who was the starting pitcher in the franchise's first-ever game (June 19th, at Jamestown).

"Porto" was a phenomenal pitcher for the 2001 Cyclones, who, along with Ross Peeples, Mike Cox, Harold Eckert, and Lenny DiNardo, made up the vaunted "five aces" that led the team to its best record ever and a NYPL co-championship. Porto went 5-3 with a 2.04 ERA in 2001, and he saved his best for the biggest games. He set the tone for the burgeoning rivalry by going 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA and 14 strikeouts in three dominant games against the Staten Island Yankees.

But Porto meant so much more to that team than just the numbers he produced. He was a focal point, and a leader...a bulldog of a competitor who exuded confidence, and gave the team its swagger. He was also a good-hearted jokester who captivated teammates, media, fans, front office members, and everyone else he came in contact with, with a mischievous and contagious smile.

I'll always remember Porto at the heart of that magical inaugural season -- someone who lived life loud and with passion, who thought of his teammates as brothers, and of Brooklyn as a second home (or third, actually, after his beloved "Me-Ah-Meee!" as he would often yell). And I'll think of him leading the charge in one of the most joyous and raucous moments ever at KeySpan Park, dancing the Cha-Cha Slide on the infield along with teammates and fans after the 2001 playoff victory over Staten Island (#32 in the picture below).

The Cyclones will honor Portobanco with a moment of silence prior to Saturday's game. We wish all the best to his family, friends, and loved ones.

-- Dave

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bark In the Park

If you haven’t heard of Maverick the Wonder Dog by now, then you haven’t been coming to enough of our games. If you are currently reading this blog, however, then you are probably aware that the Cyclones (or technically, Rebecca Schwartz, the Entertainment Manager), now proudly own an office puppy. As anticipated, Maverick is fun to play with, and even more fun to hand back to Rebecca when it’s time to take him outside/feed him/do anything with him that requires work. Watching Rebecca look after Maverick is not entirely unlike watching a mother chase and clean up after an energetic toddler (except I guess, and hope, that most mothers do not lock up their children in kennels when they’re being naughty).

So we at the Cyclones would like to give all dog owners their due respect and invite them out to our Bark in the Park Night on Monday, August 11th, sponsored by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and Maddie’s Fund. On this night, fans are welcome to bring their canine companions to the bleacher area of our ballpark. Bleacher tickets are only $7, and each human and doggy needs a ticket (yup, like many of their owners, we view the dogs as people). Tickets can be ordered over the phone with me (718-382-2619) and picked up at the back gate on the day of the game, where dog owners will then be asked to sign a waiver of liability.

We are also giving out Maverick the Wonder Dog bobbleheads, so be sure to line up when gates open at 5:30 p.m. (the game starts at 7:00 p.m.). The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will also be showcasing some fine dogs for adoption. Finally, we are organizing a small expo with local businesses from the pet supply industry behind our bleachers, so be ready to take home some promotional samples.

All in all, if you’re a dog-lover, you won’t want to miss this game!

-- Joyce

Saturday, July 5, 2008

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