Saturday, July 5, 2008

Godspeed to young Clay Kelly as he heads back to DBU

It's 11:51 p.m. and I should be at work already but I wanted to add one note. Our baseball son for the summer received some troubling news this week (school-related) and he had to leave today driving back to Dallas Baptist University. Summer classes start Monday morning and he had a class he has to take to stay on track for his degree this year. I just spoke with him and he has made it as far as Chattanooga, TN (500 miles down, 794 to go).

Only had Clay at the house for 1 month exactly but hated to see him go and I will be worried about him until he reaches DBU- What a classy young man and his parents- Pat & Laura- should be very, very proud! Travel safe young man...

1 note from the Press Box @ ATV-60- TV 3 Story

A special Thank You to Mr. Damon Dillman for airing the interview he put together for TV-3. It was great to have it air twice and we are SO THANKFUL for the help but we need to make one note. At the end of the piece Damon mentioned there was no Pot of Gold at the end of the ATV-60 rainbow when in fact there is. Each baseball fan that completes the loop will receive the following:

1. Being recognized back at their home park at a future home game.
2. Having the Honor of throwing out the first pitch at a home game.
3. A LOGO Wind Breaker with their teams logo on 1 side and the ATV-60 on the other
4. A minimum of three outlets for pictures and the telling of their story
5.They are entered into a drawing for a 2009 Season Pass that gets them into every park in the VBL on any given night.
6. My UN-Conditional Love !

A General Mid-season Review by GeneralsSignGuyMike

A General Mid-season Review
Written by GeneralsSignGuyMike (Michael Kerr)

It is now July 4th and its the 1st day this summer that not 1 team is playing so I decided to make a midseason report from what I have seen so far, this is just my opinion. There is one more day before the All-Star Game in Covington and I wanted to wish everyone on both teams good luck, each and everyone of you deserve it and great job all have done in the 1 month of Valley League Baseball.

I am going to compare the teams from last year to this year now with their records as of July 4th and say in my view he is a favorite along with my Generals and dark-horse sleeper picks. My midseason MVP's so far are: a tie between Brandon Sizemore and Adam Liberatore, Liberatore is by far the most improved player. Look at the numbers from last year's stats to this year and you will see. Other pitchers who have done well is also on the Generals is Jared Dobbs, Andy Altemus and Daniel Wiltz. I have yet to see Lance Baxter in person but he has put up superb numbers and he has to get mention about being one of the best pitchers so far along with Travis Smink from Luray. The best hitters along with Brandon Sizemore have been Evan Webb and Jacke Healey and Derek Hamblen all from the Generals. Now from the other teams have been: Jeff Jefferson and Adam McClain from Luray, Kevin Dietrich from New Market, Drew Johnson from Harrisonburg, and Tyler Townsend from Winchester. There has been alot more players doing well this season but from what I have seen against the Generals and seeing these guys in person this is my opinion.

Here is the team records from now and then and my view:

1. Waynesboro Generals (19-8 in 2008, 19-7 in 2007): The Generals are the defending champs and have been at the top or very close the past 3 years and its still showing here again this year. Its hard to believe the team was at one time 5-4 and since that point they are 14-4 with Brandon Sizemore leading the charge with 5 HR and Adam Liberatore, Jared Dobbs and Andy Altemus having 4 wins already before the pitching staff. They have the best record at home at 11-2. Can they make it 3 straight regular season division titles and a 2nd straight Valley League Championship?

2. Luray Wranglers (19-8 in 2008, 16-9 in 2007): The Wranglers are have an improvement of 2 games from last year. This team has had within the past week has scored over 14 or more runs 3 times. Jeff Jefferson leads the charge with 6 HR and Adam McClain ain't to far behind with 5 HR. Travis Smink leads the pitching staff with 4 wins and Kyle Cichy. With one of the best hitting teams in the Valley League along with great pitching will they win the Northern Division? Plus make it to their 3rd straight Valley League Championship?

3. Fauquier Gators (16-9 in 2008, 6-17 in 2007): The Gators are the most improved team by far this year. Now this is my last place to visit to get my last stamp on my Around the Valley passport and I know I will be watching an exciting contest with Waynesboro and Fauquier there. Last year was the first year for Fauquier in the league and usually its hard for a team to do great in its 1st year. It did show last year but wow they have made some great leaps this year and its showing. 10-5 at home and winners of their last 4 at home. The team does have the least amount of home runs but don't let it fool ya. Ryan Gauck and Chad Pierce is their best hitters and their pitching staff is right near the top with Jon Jacobs, Rob Whitley, and Shawn Griffith leading the league with 10 saves. Does the Gators have a chance to win the Northern Divison? Can they be the dark horse sleeper pick?

4. Covington Lumberjacks (14-11 in 2008, 12-14 in 2007): 5. Winchester Royals (15-12 in 2008, 12-12 in 2007): 6. Staunton Braves (14-13 in 2008, 13-12 in 2007):

I say the first three teams are a lock for the playoffs. These 3 teams are very close to becoming locks for the playoffs too. Covington and Winchester have the best batting average in the league and the Braves are now on a 3 game winning streak and have scored over 11 runs or more in the past 2. Staying over .500 is a must for all three of them, can they catch the top 3 in the Generals,Wranglers,and Gators lets wait and see. Best players for the teams are for the Lumberjacks: Derrick Washington, JJ Muse and Marcus Nidiffer. For the Royals: Tyler Townsend, and Mickey Wiswall leading the league in RBI's. For the Braves: Lance Baxter, Blake McDade, and Max Most.

7. Woodstock River Bandits (10-16 in 2008, 13-10 in 2007): 8. Haymarket Senators (10-16 in 2008, 7-17 in 2007): 9. Front Royal Cardinals (10-17 in 2008, 9-13 in 2007): 10. Harrisonburg Turks (9-17 in 2008, 16-7 in 2007): 11. New Market Rebels (9-18 in 2008, 11-14 in 2007):

Its anyone's guess who will be the final 2 teams out of these 5 teams. The Senators are improved from last year's record and the Turks have had a disappointing year but they like the other 4 are still alive for a playoff berth. Woodstock won 5 straight but now they are on a 3 game losing streak. The Cardinals are a very dangerous team with it comes to stolen bases and the Rebels have lost 7 1-run games. 18 wins or more will get atleast 2 of these 5 teams in, the question is which 2 will get it or if one of the middle 3 teams struggle can a 3rd team out of this pack take a spot in the playoffs.

It will be an exciting month of July I can't wait to see what happens!


First Up: A Trip to Covington to Finish a Passport or Two

My wife and apparently our puppy (ATV-60 mascot) Diamond had not been down to Casey Field so we headed down to check in with Dizzy and Boo Boo. I as Boo Boo if they were ready for the All-Star game and he said "As ready as we are ever going to be!" I think we are in Good Hands with these guys calling the shots....
The Gator Bus - Way Cool
Lumberjacks bus is stylin too
Game 1 Action from the Double Header
Covington put up a 4 Spot on the Gators early
Nicholas Spisak at the dish
Tied up for a bit in the third inning
This pic is for Generals Sign Guy Mike
Site of the 2008 All Star Game !
Lammar Guy swinging the bat
My Man Dizzy taking in the action
My brother Wayne out from Indiana and my wife at Casey Field
More game action
Dizzy above & Boo-Boo below
Hey Boo Boo- How's about an All-Star Game ?(Insert Yogi's voice)
Gotta get me one of these shirts
Or maybe this one!
Lumberjacks at the dish
Gator Brass down with the team
Another one for Mike-
Chad Pierce of the Gators
Hope to see these filled up tomorrow night
Another Day at the Ball Yard
Ty Legan & Scott Lambert of the Gators
Hey- I met this guys parents- Greg Desantis
Sitting on top of the duggout
Diamond was quick to tell me- Dad, you hadn't taken me to Covington yet- until today!
More action shots
Andrew Longley and #2- I need to get an updated name
This looks like a serious baseball fan- or just an older brother

Time to head out to Staunton for another Completion Ceremony!
See Ya Tomorrow!

Next: A Trip to Staunton to Honor the Grants

Left Knoxville (Quick visit to an ill Mom) to go to Covington and then on to Stauton for the Grants Evening @ The Park. Had to stop at the Mall for a quick minute for a new shirt

In and out in only 13 minutes
Kay giving the Grants a hug and a special thank you card
Check out the little one next to the Ump!
A close up of the Little Guy
And a few of his friends
Kay keeps the Banner up for Every Braves Home Game
More Pre-Game Festivites
He has only been in town for a day and he is already carring a Passport!
Adam McClain and a few of his team mates
Staunton News-Leader Camera Man hard at work
Skipper MikeBocock
Andrew Scherer heading back to the duggout
Boyd in between bites- Always a gracious host!
Greg Meleski at the plate
Kay back behind the counter- working as hard as ever
More than just a sign- a way of life
Wranglers Owner Bill Turner and Wayne Carter sharing a moment
Diane Buckley- trying to hide or did I just miss ?
The VBL Master of the Pick-Off Move !
The Commish sporting a Cool All-Star Cap....
The Wranglers Bull Pen
Smink working on a new routine and Jeremy Cruz
3RD Baseman Stephen Branca and Bocock- McClain blocked by the pair
Mr. Blake McDade (Middle Tenn. State)
Furture Staunton Brave ?
Great crowd- everynight at the Braves home games
Josh Wenderoth (26) and a few of his friends
OSU's Andrew Armstrong on the Mound
2-0 Wranglers early- 11-5 Wranglers Final
Boyd and his daughter Laura at the front gate
Wrangler Moms'- This nice lady Debbie is in charge of protecting your youngins' on the road trips
And here is a pic of her/ Wranglers charter bus....