Archive for June, 2007

Back-to-back fireworks nights!

June 28, 2007

A week into the second half, the Bees are still in first place after dropping the Kane County Cougars for the second night in a row.

And this isn’t the only good news of the day; We have added another post-game fireworks extravaganza to our upcoming home action! To celebrate Independence Day, our friends from J&M Displays will be shooting off fireworks following our game on the fourth of July (this Wednesday), in addition to the fireworks already scheduled for Tuesday. Both games are 7 o’clock starts against Beloit, as we open up a seven-game homestand.

This announcement comes after our fireworks for this last Friday night were rained out. It was the third time this season that we have lost a fireworks show due to weather. Hopefully, it’s also the last time this happens for a long time.

Royals promote all-star Chambliss

June 28, 2007

The Kansas City Royals announced on Tuesday that they have promoted right-handed pitcher Tyler Chambliss to high-A Wilmington. This is the latest in a series of moves that have overhauled the Bees’ midseason roster.

Chambliss leaves with a 3-0 record and a 2.12 ERA in 19 appearances, including a pair of starts. In 46.2 innings for the Bees, he struck out 54 batters while walking just 18. Along with Michael Thompson, Chambliss represented Burlington at last week’s Midwest League All-Star Game.

It appears that righty Jason Godin, who pitched briefly for Burlington before making the jump to Wilmington earlier this season, will be returning to the Bees, filling the spot left open by Chambliss.

Best wishes, Renae!

June 25, 2007

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Director of group outings Renae Armentrout and head groundskeeper T.J. Brewer share a Kodak moment after Sunday’s game.

Yesterday was Renae’s last day with the Bees organization. Today, she embarks on a new opportunity with Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, where she and her husband Matt make their home.

After more than a year and a half on our staff, Renae will be missed by each one of us around the ballpark. There are a lot of nice things we could say about our friend, who has brought a fun, positive personality (and a lot of her trademark giggling) to each day. She’s worked hard to improve so many aspects of our operations. We know that Renae will make these same lasting impressions and contributions with her new employer, and that Iowa Wesleyan is lucky to have her.

Best wishes, Renae!

Record participation in Little League Day

June 25, 2007

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On our annual Little League Recognition Day, we had 64 area youth softball and baseball teams represented in our pre-game parade. This photo shows just a few of the record number of participants who joined us yesterday afternoon.

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Our interns deserve the credit for making this a big, fun event. They’re the ones who promoted the day. They also deserve the credit for our ever-popular dunk tank — a real hit with the kids here yesterday afternoon.

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After a 6-0 Bees win and the Sunday tradition of running the bases after the game, we wrapped up the day with all of the Bees players signing autographs down on the field. How many Bees players can you find in this photo?

A good start to the second half

June 25, 2007

Your Bees opened the second half on a positive note, taking three of four games from Cedar Rapids here at The Hive.

The series started on Ed Larson Night, when Mario Santiago pitched four innings of no-hit ball before a thunderstorm swept through, causing the game to be postponed. The Bees started with a four-run lead in game one of Friday’s scheduled doubleheader, and Chris Hayes and Jim Wladyka kept the Kernels from scoring. The Bees built a 6-0 lead, before another storm cut the game short in the top of the ninth inning.

After the Kernels took the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 8-0, catcher Matt Morizio came through in the clutch — not once, but twice — to give the Bees a 3-2 win in the nightcap.

The Bees finished the series the same way they started it, with a 6-0 win over the Kernels. Ed Cegarra and Josh Cribb combined on a four-hitter, and Felix Peralta homered in yesterday afternoon’s win.

In a first-place tie with Clinton in the Midwest League’s Western Division, the Bees play their next eight games on the road. They open a four-game series at Kane County tonight at 6:30, and they will be at Peoria Friday through Monday.

Our next home game is Tuesday, July 3, when we host our annual Holiday Fireworks Extravaganza, kicking off a seven-game home stand.

A fitting honor

June 21, 2007

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In a pre-game ceremony on Thursday night, we honored Ed Larson by unveiling a plaque to be mounted by “The Ed Larson Umpire Locker Room.”

As the Midwest League’s vice president, Ed acts as a liason to the umpires when they visit our stadium. From this day forward, he will be stopping by the umpire’s locker room bearing his name.

The Bees started the second half on the right foot, jumping out to a 4-0 lead over the Kernels, before a crazy wind swept through, bringing in a downpour and postponing the game. We’ll be continuing this game tomorrow night at 6, followed by the scheduled game (just seven innings) on Fireworks Friday.

Ed Larson Night

June 21, 2007

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Tonight, we honor our friend Ed Larson with a pre-game ceremony. We will be thanking Ed for his more than 50 years of service to professional baseball in our community.

Ed has taken on many roles during the last half century. He’s served on our organization’s board of directors for years, and he’s been an active voice in the 40 & 8 American Legion group that has generously provided the land for our facilities. On a larger scope, Ed served one year as the president of the Midwest League (in 1986), and has served for many years in his current role as the league’s vice president.

A lot of you reading this probably know Ed. He’s a regular fixture out here, and you can find him sitting up in the main grandstand most games. Ed’s got a lot of stories from his time around Bees baseball. He regularly recounts some of this stories, like the ones about the groundskeeper in the early 70s who wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box. The story goes that this person often doubled as part-time mascot back then, and he regularly smoked while in costume. You could see the smoke coming out of the bee’s head, which must have been quite the sight. Ed jokes that he had to remind this same character to lay the sod “green side up.”

We hope you can come out a little early tonight for the ceremony that starts at 6:45. And if you ever want to talk about the history of pro baseball in our community, I’m sure Ed would be happy to share some of his tales of Bees lore.

First-place Bees open second half at home

June 20, 2007

Sitting in a tie for first place, your Bees are at home this weekend for a four-game series that starts tomorrow on Thirsty Thursday.

Okay, so all of the Midwest League teams are in a tie, if you really want to be technical. The slate has been wiped clean for all teams for the second half.

Dayton, West Michigan, Beloit and Clinton all clinched playoff spots in the first-half action that wrapped up on Sunday. For the loop’s 10 other teams — including your Bees, who went 30-39 to start the season — there is a renewed sense of optimism as the “second season” gets underway.

It’s going to be a busy home stand against the Kernels, with lots of promotions at The Hive:

THURSDAY 7 p.m.
ED LARSON NIGHT

Come out early for a pre-game ceremony honoring Ed and thanking him for his more than 50 years of service to professional baseball in our community.

FRIDAY 7 p.m.
FIREWORKS FRIDAY
sponsored by Budweiser, J&M Displays, the Hit Music Channel Hot 97 Dot 3, and Your Hometown Station, Big Country 103.1.

It’s also the start of MOUNT PLEASANT COMMUNITY WEEKEND sponsored by the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance. Residents of Mount Pleasant, Danville, New London, and Middletown can show their I.D. for $3 G.A. tickets.

We’re also giving away two 21-piece haircutting kits, sponsored by Wahl Home Products and Family Circle Magazine. You can give yourself a chance to win one of these prizes by signing up at the “Buzz Cuts” table in the main concourse, where the crew from Dana’s Total Image will once again be cutting hair for charity.

SATURDAY 6 p.m.
HAWAIIAN LUAU NIGHT

Come let loose at our annual Luau Night, and dress in your most festive Hawaiian gear, because Mazzio’s Pizza is sponsoring two “Best-Dressed” contests: one for individuals, and one for groups or businesses.

SUNDAY 2 p.m.
LITTLE LEAGUE RECOGNITION DAY
sponsored by The Hawk Eye.
All area youth baseball and softball teams are encouraged to come and join us for a fun-filled afternoon. All players and coaches in their uniform shirts get in free, and we’ll have a big parade of the teams on the field before the game.

Roster overhaul

June 15, 2007

The Kansas City Royals have made several changes to the Bees’ roster in the last couple days. Our parent club promoted two players to high-A Wilmington, re-assigned two to short-season Idaho, and brought three new faces to the Bees.

Promoted to the high-A Wilmington Blue Rocks:
Infielder Chris McConnell, who went 7-for-17 in his last five games with the Bees to raise his average to .231. McConnell tied for the team’s lead in doubles (12) and stole 14 bases in 16 attempts.
Utility man Jeremy Jirschele, who leaves with a .250 batting average, two home runs and seven RBI in 23 games.

Re-assigned to the short-season Idaho Falls Chukars:
Outfielders O.D. Gonzalez and Alvi Morel

Joining the Bees:
Felix Peralta, who played in 13 games with Burlington at the end of last season. The outfielder played 18 games for Wilmington this season.
Outfielder Jamar Walton, who comes from extended spring training after the Royals recently signed him as a minor league free agent. A native of Virginia, Walton was drafted by the Marlins in the fourth round of the 2004 draft out of high school.
Jesus Soto, a switch-hitting infielder signed by the Royals after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Soto spent most of the 2006 season with Ogden in the Pioneer League, batting .309 with seven home runs and 38 RBI.

Bees sweep off Chiefs, head to Kane County

June 15, 2007

Your Bees made it four wins in a row against Peoria, defeating the Chiefs 8-6 last night. This is the Bees’ first sweep of a four-game series this season. You can get the full scoop on the sweep here.

The Bees have won their last six games against Peoria after losing their first two games against the Chiefs. They close the first half of the season on the road at Kane County. The Bees have won all five of their games against the Cougars, giving them a record of 11-2 against the Midwest League’s two Illinois teams.