Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jewish Heritage Night

Pat Toy is a large, fair-haired, Irish-Catholic New Hampshireian (Hampshirite? Hampster?) account executive in the Cyclones ticket office. So, naturally, he's in charge of Jewish Heritage Night in Brooklyn. Below, Pat checks in on the blog with an update on the night (luckily, Andrew Stern helped him with some of the vocab):

Here’s my shpiel...ever wonder who is the greatest Jewish baseball player of all time?

Some say Hank Greenberg, others say Brooklyn’s own Sandy Koufax, and Cyclones’ employees are forced to say Steve Cohen. (He can be a bit of a shmegegge, but we love him.)

On Jewish Heritage Night you will be able to meet the man who puts the argument to rest, Howard Megdal. Howard is the author of The Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players. Howard will be signing copies of his book and will be available to schmooze and answer any of your favorite "Hammering Hebrews"-related questions.

You’ll absolutely plotz when you see all of the pre-game festivities we have in store for you! We’ll nosh on knishes when we have our knish eating contest. And we’ll supply the chairs and music...you just bring your dancing shoes, because we’re also getting our hora on in center field before the game.

All that, plus the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive Brooklyn Cyclones’ Playing Cards presented by Harrah’s.

The game is on Tuesday, 7/7, with first pitch at 7pm, and tickets start at… $8 (so close). So get your tickets now, and grab the Manischewitz, because it’s time to party like it’s passach at Mel’s house (the good one) with the Brooklyn Cyclones on Jewish Heritage Night.


-- Pat

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Johnny & Ollie

Just got word (thanks, Billy) that John Maine and Oliver Perez are going to be pitching for the Cyclones this weekend, on rehab assignments.

No offense to Tom Martin, Mike Stanton, or Alay Soler, but Maine and Perez will be the biggest pitchers ever to rehab with Brooklyn. Maine's start will, unfortunately, be in Aberdeen on Saturday night, but Brooklyn fans will get to see Perez at KeySpan Park on Sunday.

Ollie's sporting a new mohawk and (more importantly) apparently has his mid-90's fastball working, so it should be a fun night at the park!

Ol-lie! Ol-lie! Ol-lie! Ol-lie!

By the way, Ollie...we're undefeated at home. No pressure.

-- Dave

UPDATE: Just saw on SNY that Maine got another cortisone shot and will miss his next start. So he won't be pitching at Aberdeen. Maybe it'll work out that we get him at home whenever he's ready. We'll see.

Baracklyn keeps going, and going, and going...

More great stuff from Ben Hill here.

(I realize, by the way, that if I keep this up I may have to just start an official Ben Hill fan club. Joyce will be Vice President.)

-- Dave

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Promotion of the Year

At least, that's how I'll be referring to last night's game from here on out. Maybe of the millennium. Maybe ever.

Here's the new all-time list of greatest promotions in the history of promotions:
  1. Baracklyn Cyclones
  2. Eddie Gaedel
  3. Everything else
And I'm not just patting ourselves on the back (like Steve). My favorite blogger (and Joyce's second-favorite), Ben Hill, said so, too. And he pays attention to this stuff for a living. The Associated Press also ran a great story on the night (which you can read here), and it has been picked up across the country, and across the Internets so Baracklyn has once again gone global.

All kidding aside, the Baracklyn Cyclones night really was a huge success, with fans still buzzing this morning. We drew a fantastic crowd of 8,760, and had first pitches from Obama Girl (my new crush) and the president himself (sort of). Secret Service took a bullet baseball in the chest to protect the POTUS (video below), and the bobbleheads were a tremendous hit, with some fans lining up as early as 12:30pm (for a 7pm game), and one fan(atic) driving all the way from Boulder, CO to get his bobble!

We had two people named Barack get in for free (OK, one of them was "Barak," but we let him slide), and one "Joe the Plumber" pick up a set of free tickets with his plumber's union card (one for himself, and one to spread the wealth). The jerseys looked great, too, and we raised a substantial amount of money for the Jackie Robinson Foundation by auctioning them off.

The Baseball Hall of Fame even requested a game-worn jersey from us as part of their efforts to "continually document and preserve the game in Cooperstown." So, starting pitcher Brandon Moore is now going to the Hall of Fame. Well, maybe someday. For now, it's just his jersey. Still pretty cool.

All this hooplah and publicity, despite MLB's best efforts to upstage us with some much-less-important Obama news of their own!

Here are some photo and video highlights of the night:

-- Dave

(photos by George Napolitano)

UPDATE: This just in! Obama Girl likes me us, too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

Wow. Sunday night was a beast. We pulled the tarp five or six times (it felt like even more), but we got the game in, and got the win!

The Eurythmics made rain sound great. Like a spiritual rebirth. Pouring on my head like a memory. Falling on my head like a new emotion. Um, no, Annie. It's none of those things. Not on a game day, at least. Not even close.

I can't really describe what it's like to sprint at full speed from the Press Box to the field, through a crowd of 9,000, while everyone else is going the other way. Normal people are trying to get away from the rain, and we're running into it. I imagine it's a bit similar to this.

Then we get the signal from the umps and heave and ho until our new extra-mammoth-sized tarp is rolled out and ready to be pulled. It weighs a ton, the wind is whipping, fans are mad at us for covering the field...and, oh, yeah, it's pouring rain. Add in the mud, gravel, and God-only-knows-what-else that is being kicked up in our faces (and into our mouths, ears, and just about everywhere else), and you have a thoroughly unenjoyable experience.

Now do it half a dozen more times on the same night, and you have a legendary Father's Day Sunday. Not the good kind.

Hopefully this week will bring better weather. I'm all tarped out, and it's not even July.

-- Dave

Wes Wrenn

23-year old Wes Wrenn was selected by the Mets in the 35th round of the 2009 draft, out of The Citadel, in South Carolina. He makes his home in Greensboro, NC. Wes is taking his first professional steps towards his big-league dreams, and has agreed to check in on the Blog from time to time to get us behind the scenes in the life of a new minor league ballplayer. The following is his first entry, a few days after his arrival in Brooklyn:

It all started right after receiving the phone call with a scout on the other end saying, “We just drafted you and we’re sending you to Brooklyn.”

Less than forty-eight hours later I was sitting the in airport with a plane ticket into JFK not knowing what to expect. Once I landed I was told to find a fifteen passenger white van that would be going around picking up all the rookies. It was clear we all were thinking about the fear of the unknown, not having a clue what we’ve got ourselves into.

Mostly small-town boys, we then took a 45 minute ride through unfamiliar, heavily-populated communities before arriving at out new home for the next three months. The next day started at 4:45 a.m. as we were all told to be dressed and ready to go take our physicals. It was cold and rainy, which only added of a stir-crazy feeling to the day. I just couldn't wait to get on the field and start playing ball. But there was still a lot of waiting to do. We waited in the doctor’s office for about 35 minutes, since we got there before he did!

After taking all sorts of test, we loaded back up in the van and made out first visit to KeySpan Park where we were kindly greeted by all the Cyclone staff. We received our jerseys and took individual photos before getting back in the van and heading to Manhattan once more for some other tests than can’t be mentioned. Then after about two more hours of that, it was back to the field for our first team workout.

The field is awesome. It was empty when we walked out onto it, but we were all excited to see what it would look like with a packed house full of Brooklyn fans.

The next two days consisted of practice and community events. These were great because we really got a feel for how much baseball is loved in this town. All the fans were so receptive and friendly; it made us all feel at home.

Opening night came around and we waxed the Yankees 6-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 9,000-plus! You can’t get much better than that.

I'll write again soon from the road. We're all still getting to know each other and getting used to a new lifestyle. I think it's going to be a great summer, and I'll have lots of good stories to tell.

-- Wes

Friday, June 19, 2009

Opening Day!

Well, it's finally here, and we all made it! Thanks for bearing with us through the insanity of the off-season. Now the real insanity begins!

It's time to get the 2009 season underway, tonight at 7pm. If you have tickets (you lucky dog), make sure you get here early, as our players, Beach Bums, and some special celebrity guests will be greeting fans at the front gates (starting at 5:30). Plus, we'll be giving away schedule magnets to the first 2,500 fans in attendance.

It's going to be a great season, and we're going to get things started with a bang tonight on Opening Day!

-- Dave

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Open Workout

The team took the field tonight, in front of some die-hard fans and our everyday media members. Tough to say who specifically looks like the players to watch at this point. Our new manager, Pedro Lopez addressed the media before the workout, and talked about the upcoming season, his style of play, and some of his expectations.

"I'm aggressive. I like to run, I like to play hard, and I like to make things happen," he said. He talked about the heightened expectations in Brooklyn, and the careful balance between winning and development. he also acknowledged that neither he nor the players are perfect, and that there will be learning curves for all involved. "I'm not perfect," he said with a smile, "and I know my players are not either. What is important is that when we do make mistakes, we learn from them, and do what we can to make sure they don't happen again."

Pedro seems like the kind of manager Brooklyn fans will love. Everything's lining up for a fun summer at the ballpark.

More on the players soon (as i meet them and figure out who's who).

-- Dave

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six Days to Go

We've gotten a preliminary roster (to be finalized and announced next week), travel plans are being made, the coaching staff is on its way to New York, and Opening Day is just six days away!

Those six days are going to be pretty hectic ones, as we try to meet print deadlines, get signage up around the ballpark, meet the new team, get them into their dorm rooms, take pictures, arrange for practices, go to meet & greets throughout Brooklyn, and much more.

In the days to come, we'll also try to get a player or two to join the Blog, and talk about their experience as a first-time pro in Brooklyn!

-- Dave

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Celeb Status

Steve was rocking a fresh haircut (Sammy did a great job, as usual), and a brand-new Cyclones polo (he thinks the blue really brings out his eyes) for his 2009 on-screen debut on SNY last night.

In the midst of a heated rivalry game between the Mets and Phils, our good friend Kevin Burkhardt found time to sit down with Brooklyn's favorite GM to talk Cyclones baseball:

UPDATE: We were forced to take down the actual video because Steve was simply too good looking for public consumption the suits at MLB got all uptight about boring copyright stuff.

Steve would like all interested parties to know that because of the success of his interview, his appearance fee has now gone up, and all requests must now be routed through his agent.

Can you feel the momentum building in the campaign for the 2009 GM of the Year Award? Watch your back, Tags! The St. Lucie reign of terror is coming to an end.

-- Dave

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Star Power

Congratulations to former Cyclones Reese Havens, Brad Holt, Jenrry Mejia, Eric Niesen, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis on being named to the Florida State League All-Star Team! Havens, Holt, Mejia, and Captain Kirk played in Brooklyn last year, and Niesen was a Cyclone in 2007.

And more congrats to Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Kaplan, Sean Ratliff, and Josh Satin on being named to the South Atlantic League All-Star Team! All were Cyclones last season.

Always good to see our guys playing well!

-- Dave

Monday, June 8, 2009

T-Minus Two Weeks

About 11 days left before Opening Day!

Perfect time for our computers, email, and network to go on the fritz, and everyone in the office to start getting sick.

Juuuuuuuuuust perfect.

-- Dave

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Movin' On Up

Congratulations to former Cyclones pitchers Brad Holt, Jenrry Mejia, and Edgar Ramirez on their recent call-ups to Double-A Binghamton. Holt and Mejia pitched for the Cyclones just last year, while The Donkey (Ramirez) was the most popular kid in class in 2007 -- a star both on and off the field, who's an all-time favorite of fans and front office staff alike.

The trio's addition means that 22 current members of the B-Mets roster were at one point Cyclones. Holt, Mejia, Stephen Clyne and Roy Merritt were all in Brooklyn in 2008, making the jump to Double-A just one year later.

Best of luck to all the former Cyclones as they make their way up the ladder.

-- Dave

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We should, like, get a website, or something

Call me a visionary, but I have a hunch this whole "internet" thing is going to be huge.

Steve and I attended a panel discussion this morning, as part of Internet Week in New York, that talked about building brands online. Special thanks to Bill Sobel of Sobel Media who set up the panel and invited us to attend.

Some great insights across the board, with one of the focuses being interactive content. We're dipping our feet into those waters here on the blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter, and we'll be doing even more this summer on YouTube, BCTV, and the like.

Everyone talks about "going viral" and I thought that one of the more interesting comments from the panelists was that nine times out of 10, you don't set out with a goal to "go viral." You set out to generate good content, and it takes off...in many cases, almost accidentally.

Ben Relles, of barelypolitical.com, and Amber Lee Ettinger, of Obama Girl fame, talked about simply wanting to create a funny skit. That skit went on to become an overnight sensation that literally changed their lives. (Who knows? Since Obama Girl has such a big crush, I think there's a good chance she'll show up to Baracklyn Night! I hope so...since now I have a crush on her!)

-- Dave