Saturday, July 26, 2008

A General Update from GeneralsSignGuyMike

Wear General White or Red Night for GAME 1 of the VLB Playoffs

Its the last weekend of the regular season and wow what a regular season it has been. I have told alot of you dieheard Generals fans that come to this great site to wear General Red for the 1st game of the 1st round of the playoffs, now most of us or all of the Generals fans should have a 2008 Southern Division Champions shirt. Now this coming Tuesday unless it rains or a tiebreaker has to be played then its moved to Wednesday I ask for everyone to wear General RED or General WHITE. This is the 3rd straight year the Generals have made the VLB playoffs and also have either won the Southern Division (2006,2008) and overall regular season title (2007). Before 2006, the Generals won division titles in 1982,1988,1996.

Don't forget Generals fans wear White or Red for Game 1. GO GENERALS!

Now that I have finished the passport, I've now seen every park and officially have seen each team at least twice so I will give my all-star team. Ill give you the top 10 position players and 5 pitchers. If I had a vote for MVP it would be Brandon Sizemore for Waynesboro. Here is the players numbers thru Friday, July 25:
Position Players

Brandon Sizemore: WAY (.389 7 HR, 28 RBI, 13 for 13 on stolen bases)

Tyler Townsend: WIN (.398 11 HR, 34 RBI, 11 for 14 on stolen bases)

Jeff Jefferson: LUR (.324 8 HR, 26 RBI)

Mickey Wiswall: WIN (.378 7 HR, 34 RBI)

Drew Johnson: HAR (.355 5 HR, 17 RBI)

Evan Webb: WAY (.299 6 HR, 37 RBI)

Kevin Dietrich: NM (.305 6 HR, 27 RBI, 11 for 16 on stolen bases)

Marcus Nidiffer: COV (.305 10 HR, 26 RBI)

Gabriel Saade: WAY (.333 2 HR, 11 RBI, 14 for 14 on stolen bases in 19 games)

Blake McDade: STA (.288 5 HR, 34 RBI)
Adam Liberatore (6-0, 1.15 ERA, 48 strikeouts)

Lance Baxter (6-0, 1.26 ERA, 53 strikeouts)

Andy Altemus (7-1, 3.32 ERA, 46 strikeouts)

Travis Smink (5-0, 1.70 ERA, 35 strikeouts)

Taylor Hill (5-1, 2.23 ERA, 53 strikeouts)


Recap of Tonight's Games from the Generals Sportsdesk

A late-night update.
...coming to you from the desk of GeneralsSignGuyMike

In Harrisonburg where Jerry and Rebecca Carter sat watching, the New Market Rebels kept their playoff chances alive with a 3-1 victory over the Harrisonburg Turks. The Rebels (15-27) will be at home to face the Turks (17-25) on Sunday.

In the doubleheader in Fauquier, the Gators won the 1st game 5-0 over the Luray Wranglers. Fauquier scored three runs in the 2nd and didn't look back to win game 1. Luray won game 2 by a score of 2-1. The Wranglers got back to back runs in the 4th and 5th innings after the Gators took a 1-0 early. The win in game 2 was big for Luray as they clinched the Northern division title. Luray Wranglers are now (30-12) and hold a 1 game lead for the #1 spot over Waynesboro (29-13). The Wranglers are at home Sunday to face the Woodstock River Bandits (14-28). The Gators (26-16) will be at Haymarket (17-25) at 6 on Sunday.

In Covington, the Lumberjacks defeated the Staunton Braves 14-3. Covington scored in every single inning other than in the 7th. Their big innings were the 2nd with 5 runs, the 6th with 3 runs, and the 8th with 2 runs. The Braves lead early scoring their 3 runs in the 1st with a home run by Blake McDade. The teams are now tied at (23-20) with the Staunton Braves last regular game Sunday versus the Waynesboro Generals while the Lumberjacks wait till Monday to play their last game at Harrisonburg.

In Woodstock, the Winchester Royals defeated the Woodstock River Bandits 4-3. Both teams got 1 run in the 1st then the River Bandits took the lead 3-2 in the 6th before the Royals came back and took the lead for good in the 7th with 2 runs. The Royals (26-17) are within 1/2 game for the 3rd seed and they have won 6 games in a row. The Woodstock River Bandits fell to (14-28). They have lost 9 straight and are now officially eliminated, along with Front Royal Cardinals, for the playoffs. Winchester will be at home to face the Front Royal Cardinals (12-29) at 6 on Sunday, while Woodstock will be at Luray Sunday.

At 10:45 after a long rain delay in Front Royal, the Haymarket Senators and Cardinals are playing and the score is 1-1 in the 4th!


Night #57- Excitement @ Every Turn: Rebels keep fighting, John Leonard's VLB Awards list (He welcomes your thoughts),Luray claims North,Teresa'sTurks

Just walked back in from a great night @ Memorial Stadium and I only have 1 hour before I have to head out to start the Sunday papers. Let's go quick:
Thanks to Generals Sign Guy Mike- Mike kept me posted all day with scores and updates, including a posting Rebecca will put up shortly. He just let me know a few minutes ago that
they are in the fourth inning up at the Bing (10:50 PM). Haymarket @ Front Royal was delayed
by the weather but they are now playing ball.
John Leonard @ ALL THINGS VALLEY LEAGUE has posted his list for possible MVP and Pitchers of the year. I think they should re-name the pitcher of the year award and call it the Greg Maddux award. John has compiled a great list and welcomes your feedback over at his
sight .
Luray captured the second game of a double header against Fauquier by a final score of 2-1 and with the victory the Wranglers claim the Top Spot in the Northern Division for the 2008 season.
Mike Bocock's team also remains 1 game ahead of Waynesboro for the best record overall with two games left in the regular season. Those two teams are set to meet on Monday at Bulldog Field and the overall top seed in the playoffs could be up for grabs!
New Market won an elimination game for the second night in a row when the Rebels edged
Harrisonburg by a final score of 3-1 tonight at Memorial Stadium. Bruce Alger's club lives to fight another day. I was able to visit with Jay H. and the Fetterly's for a few moments, then I was fortunate to meet the parents of Rebels reliever Dan Gentzler for the first time. Bruce and the entire Alger family was there as was Tacy Hawkins and Loopster Kay Helsey. Victor had driven the bus over again and the Rebels were well represented at the ball park.
The ceremony before the game started was one of a kind! I knew Teresa Wease was going to try and create an atmosphere that her faithful fans would remember for summers to come and she accomplished just that. Mrs.Turks went with a field of dreams format that included 17 of the 18 Loopsters (Chris was in uniform as part of the police force that presented the colors) running thru a tunnel of Turks ballplayers.
Once they made their way through the tunnel they lined up on the first base line next to the Turks and listened to Kurt read a well written speech covering the history of Veterans Memorial Stadium. Beverly Black then added another great rendition of the National Anthem and we were moments away from playing baseball.
Each of the Loopsters had a special Goody Bag handed to them from Teresa that included a number of gifts from the Turks organization! The night was an emotional one for many at the park and we hope our pics later will help show just that. The Turks led the VBL in Loopsters by having 18 of the current 49 finishers and Teresa worked incredibly hard to make the night a special one!
More to come from last night after a bit:

A final thanks to a pair of very special folks- Tony Mowat and Dallas Alkire

It didn't really hit me until I heard the guys use their trade mark line- "We had them all the way"- that I had possibly spent my last night in the Crows Nest with the two people that get credit for my ties to the Valley Baseball League.

I had interviewed and covered one game with NVD Sports Editor at the time, Mike Petre and he had sent me down to a place called Rebel Park to cover a team called the New Market Rebels. I had just recently moved to the Valley and answered an ad in the Northern Virginia Daily sports section about being a stringer. It was the summer of 2006 and it happened during the stretch of the season where games were rained out something like 8 straight nights.

I was beginning to wonder if Petre had changed his mind about using my writing talents and was just making up all of the postponements. The sun finally returned and he sent me down to Rebel Park for a game. I knew very little about the league and even less about the Rebels. I knew they had a closer with a funny name like Q-Tip (That would be Cotton). I didn't want to sit inside the press box with the person Mike sent down to keep me out of trouble so I was looking for a safe place to hide.

I stumbled into the two really harmless looking fellows sitting very quietly out on a really high deck. My youngest son Christopher was at the game with me because I still was having trouble grasping the entire computer/Internet/file aspect of life. I asked these two kind gentleman, OK- Dallas was kind/Tony-sorta scary at first- Would you mind if I sat out here with you two?

As they say in the business- The rest is history. I slowly became the third person in the booth by talking into the background loud enough for Dallas to hear me. After just a couple of nights I was begging Mike to please let me work all of the New Market home games I could. New Market was on fire back in 2006 so Mike assumed I just wanted to stay with the winning team but I can honestly say that W's & L's never entered into the mix. These two guys were great story tellers and I was their X's & O's man.

By the end of the 2006 season I had UN-officially became part of the Rebels Web-Cast crew and I loved every minute of it. We talked about big plans for 2007 but things change so you never know what might happen from one summer to the next. Chuck McGill replaced Mike as the Sports Editor at the NVD and I told Chuck that I would make myself available to go anywhere he needed me to go on the nights that the Rebels were off or on the road if I could just call all 22 games at New Market.

The 2007 season kicked off and the equipment had been upgraded to include a third head set and we were actually a 3-Man team! We were joined at times by Charlie Dodge and Jay Hafner. Jay is the one that we always kid about the other 4 of us have faces meant for Radio but he was our Jay Bilas.

I missed just one game that season when I took my middle and younger sons up to Yankee Stadium for a Sunday afternoon game. We swap stories and try our best to entertain the folks listening back home and simply have as much fun as we can doing it. The rain out on Wednesday cost me two things with one being getting to see Charlie, Melissa and their son Noah toss out their first pitch in celebration and the second was I lost out on a chance to get to call one more Rebel game with my friends Tony and Dallas.

The remaining home games are on Sunday and Monday and on both nights the Wranglers are at home too. My 2008 duties of working the P.A over at Bulldog Field will keep me from working the final two Rebel games. How does this all tie back into our 2008 Around The Valley promotion?

The money we spent this summer on the ATV-60 came from the checks I earned from covering the VBL for the NVD. I loved the story that Chris Graham wrote in the New Dominion but Teresa Wease and I shared a laugh the other night in Harrisonburg. She said she didn't know that I was independently wealthy until she read that feature. I said sure I am- the same way you are because you own a baseball team and an Auto Dealership...

One of the early books I dabbled with I named "Perception is 9/10 of the Truth". It was an attempt to play on the old saying Possession is 9/10 of the Law. We (Lin & I) work incredibly hard and there were five kids, three sets of braces and a heavy dose of college expense that our girls have needed us to work our way through.

I wanted to be a Sportswriter my entire childhood but I ended up in the newspaper business by in the non-glamorous circulation end. Mike gave an over-the-hill writer wan ta-be a chance and then Tony & Dallas made it all work. If those two guys had chased me off their Crows Nest that night back in 2006, there would of been no 2007 and then no Around The Valley in 60 Days this year.

If I have indeed called my final Rebel baseball game, I couldn't of done it with two more special people. All of you that have thanked me and my family for our efforts this year- next time you are at Rebel Park look up into the Crows Nest and give a Tip of the Cap to my guys!

Pics from Friday July 25TH- 2008 @ New Market

The Legend of the Valley- Mo Weber
Melissa and Noah Dodge (ATV Loopsters)
Austin Gisriel was back in town... Do I smell more of his great writing coming our way?
Game action from Covington @ New Market
Dallas Alkire & Tony Mowat up in the Crows Nest
We had some fun trying to identify this one light that hovered over the town all night
The 7TH inning stretch
Busy work space up in the crows nest !
Another New Market Loopster- Kay Helsey
Bruce and Austin share a moment after the contest

Pics from the Day Game of our Twin Bill- Day #56 @ Winchester

Skipper John Lowery Jr. running infield practice
The Turks doing the same
Mrs. Turks heading back to her group of fans
Mr. Ken - Web Master for the Royals
Mr. Jim Shipp
Skipper Bob Wease and his first mate Mark Klosinski
The Royals players having fun looking at Ken's team photo( Teresa working our camera)
These guys were killing me with their descriptions of how they looked (Teresa)
John and Betty leading up to the big moment (Teresa)
Time for the National Anthem (Teresa)
Priceless ! (Teresa)
We couldn't of done it without John ! (Teresa)
Group pic with this special lady ! (Teresa)
So, to thank her for all of her help with our camera, I thank her by taking a photo of her trying to eat lunch. That is Lisa to her left and Mr. Precise to her right.
Mr. & Mrs. Precise there to cheer on their son and all of his team mates
Pitching duel early on
After her big day started in the ticket booth, Betty was selling 50-50 tickets
With a little help from Chris Rigo
Ken enjoying the game with his wife
Mark Jones & Bob Sawyer hard at work !
This might be the most serious look I've seen on young Bobby (R) all season.
The Turks leaders taking in the action
Michigan's Mike Dufek at the plate
More Turks Loopsters that collected their final stamp yesterday!
Lisa, Teresa and Lisa's daughter Greta showing off their passports!
1 run thanks to Mickey Wiswall
Young Turks fans seeking shade
The Turks bull pen waiting for the call
The chase was on for a foul ball!
Trying to create a 4-headed Turk monster !
Skip coaching 3RD base
If the day wasn't warm enough-try it with something covering your face!
Michael gets welcomed home after his 3-Run Dinger
One more shot of the proud parents!
Precise holding on a Winchester runner
The cap of the day during the afternoon session
The family made the drive up from Alabama
and were joined by Ms. Jordan Hobson
Turk's Austin Sloan pitching in the 8TH
Royals team meeting after the 5-3 victory
The man of the hour- Mickey Wiswall
After the game- Michael joins up with his family!