Saturday Morning, Snow Covered, Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Bill O’Reilly: you hypocritical, misogynistic, smug piece of garbage; if you had even an ounce of decency in you, you’d give those millions that Fox paid out to you, to women’s shelters…You, Bill O’Reilly, represent all that is wrong with America today.O'Reilley
  • It’s snowing this morning, no really, it’s snowing this morning…after just a beautiful spring day yesterday!!  It’s freakin snowing this morning.
  • Day 5 of no elevators in our building…my legs feel like rubber going up and down those 8 flights of stairs.  Starting to feel locked in, claustrophobic.
  • Did I happen to mention that I was sitting at the ballpark yesterday, under a beautiful warm sun…the weather so nice the Goldeyes could have played…and this morning…SNOW!!   SNOW!!   NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    snow
  • It feels like we are mere moments away from WWIII…Russia flying jets within miles of both the USA and Canada; North Korea flaunting its nuclear mite; China, a behemoth flexing its muscle with North Korea…and Donald Trump playing golf, while trying to decide whether or not to Nuke North Korea!!
  • I can’t thank the Winnipeg Goldeyes enough; you guys are simply the best.
  • Giant snowflakes!!!!
  • Can not wait for by six days at the cabin in Falcon Lake…peace and quiet.
  • That home run that the Yankees Aaron Judge hit against the Chicago White Sox  on Wednesday, has just landed in New Jersey…man oh man oh man…did he destroy that pitch!!  Super star in the making!!

    Judge

  • After all of these years of watching the Yankees sign over the hill stars, it is so refreshing to watch some young blood on this team; and they’re playing well without two of their young stars, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious.  It’s nice getting some solid starting pitching and seeing players like Starlin Castro, Chase Hedley and Matt Holiday really contributing.
  • If the Jets had Mike Babcock behind the bench and Fredrick Anderson in net, they’d be in the playoffs.  The Jets are far more talented than the Leafs, but Babcock has them playing a much more disciplined game than Paul Maurice could ever get out of the Jets.  It also doesn’t hurt when you get solid consistent goaltending.
  • Two weeks from today and the Winnipeg Goldeyes start training camp; without SNOW, please!!!
  • My dear, dear friend Lisa; yesterday was your birthday.  I can’t put into words how very much I miss you…I hope you have found some peace.  You just knew me, understood me…you displayed empathy when I needed it and lit into me like nobody else could.  You know my pain, you understand my pain…yet, you too, didn’t have the strength to carry on.
  • It’s amazing how many of Trump’s minions have fallen since he took office…from Mike Flynn to Bill O’Reilly, it is only scratching the surface…
  • You caption the above…sad, so very, very sad.  I may not have been a fan of Reagan, but at least he was composed and had some dignity.

  • If you’ve never read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale…it is a very important read, given the circumstances of the world today.
  • Well according to Ben:  Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals is old (32), Carly is turning 40 and she’s really old…and Zaida Chuck “you’re really old Zaida”…oh to see life again through the eyes of an 8 year old!!!
  • Kim Jung Crazy and Donald Bloated Psychopath…they will be the undoing of this planet…
    Un
  • And finally…Aaron Hernandez…what a sad, sad, story…what a wasted life.

Winnipeg Goldeyes…The Inside Pitch; Steve Schuster interviews players and coaches from around the league.

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FINAL EDITION OF THE INSIDE PITCH ON APRIL 26th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

WINNIPEG, MB – The final edition of The Inside Pitch airs live Wednesday, April 26th at 7:00 p.m. on 93.7 FM CJNU.

This month’s guest panel features Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney, returning starting pitcher Mikey O’Brien, recently retired outfielder Adam Heisler, San Diego Padres’ Minor League Infield CoordinatorKevin Hooper, Arizona Diamondbacks’ Independent League Scout Chris Carminucci, and Goldeyes’ Director of Sales and Marketing Dan Chase.

Rick-Forney

2017 will be Forney’s 12th season as Goldeyes’ manager, and his 21st overall within the organization.  During his first 11 years at the helm, Forney has guided the club to an overall .550 winning percentage, nine winning seasons, eight playoff appearances, and American Association championships in 2012 and 2016.  Last year, the Goldeyes became only the second team in American Association history to win multiple championships, and the first since the Fort Worth Cats won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

O’Brien was 10-4 with a 4.34 ERA for the Goldeyes last year, and was re-signed on February 3rd.  In the decisive Game Five of the American Association Division Series at St. Paul, O’Brien pitched seven shutout innings on three days of rest, helping Winnipeg advance to the American Association Championship Series.  It was the Goldeyes’ first victory in a Game Five since 2003, and their first on the road since 2002.  OnAugust 5th at Gary SouthShore, O’Brien notched the 50th win of his professional career.

Heisler played two seasons for the Goldeyes from 2015-16 before announcing his retirement from professional baseball in January.  Heisler hit a combined .315 with 42 doubles, 12 home runs, 93 RBI, and 71 stolen bases over 176 games in a Goldeyes’ jersey.  During last year’s playoffs, Heisler hit .302 with eight runs scored in 10 contests, and was a combined 6-for-11 in Winnipeg’s Game Five wins at St. Paul and Wichita.

Hooper

Hooper is in his second year as Minor League Infield Coordinator for the San Diego Padres, and is responsible for helping develop infielders at all levels of the Padres’ organization.  Hooper previously managed the Wichita Wingnuts from 2009-15, and led the club to the 2014 American Association championship.  Hooper’s .610 managerial winning percentage is the highest in the American Association’s 12-year history.

Carminucci is in his fifth year overseeing the Arizona Diamondbacks’ independent league scouting efforts, while also taking on a larger role in the club’s Major League scouting department.  Carminucci played a significant role in the Diamondbacks’ purchase of David Peralta from the Amarillo Sox in 2013, and has signed numerous other American Association players to affiliated contracts.  Carminucci has previously served as an owner, general manager, field manager, and player at the independent level.

Chase has been with the Goldeyes since 1999, and oversees the creation and execution of the team’s marketing and promotions.

dan chase

The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season on May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders.  The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park.  Season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings for the 2017 season are on sale now.  For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website atwww.goldeyes.com

“That’s why you play baseball.” Wes Darvill, Winnipeg Goldeyes 3B, talks about baseball and playing in Winnipeg…by Chuck Duboff

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The start of training camp for the Winnipeg Goldeyes is only 22 days away; the Goldeyes offices are buzzing, manager Rick Forney is putting the final touches on his camp roster and fans are anxiously waiting for the season to start.

I thought I’d track down one of the returning players from the 2016 American Association championship team; our 3B, Wes Darvill,  will be returning for a second season at the hot corner for the Fish.  I connected with him while he was in Langley B.C.

Wes was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs; he’s seen lots of cities across North America, playing ball: Myrtle Beach, Tennessee, Daytona, Boise, Peoria and the 2016 season right here in Winnipeg.

I could hear the excitement in Wes’ voice as he thought back to the Goldeyes playoff run: “Lots of baseball, great fun, and lots of close games.”  When I asked him about the night they won the Championship, Wes gave a wonderful quote: “That’s why you play baseball.
Your team realized a goal; we knew all season we were a good team, we believed in ourselves and it was just an awesome feeling winning the championship.  It was a great feeling knowing we all had each other’s backs and  were all happy for each other!!”

IMG_9463Wes took a week off after the season and then got right back into training, working out 5-6 days a week with a personal trainer who’s from Winnipeg.  Wes has found that the specific training for baseball skills really pays dividends.

Wes said he learned a lot last season: how to deal with those times when  he was having troubles with his swing, how pitchers were pitching him and how to make adjustments to the pitches that were getting him out.  He said he knew the first month of the season that he wasn’t at his best and found his swing as the season went along.

When I asked why he’s returning to Winnipeg, he said that it’s a great city to play in, the players get treated so well by the team and it’s a great atmosphere at the ballpark.  As fans we should be thrilled that yet another ballplayer loves playing in our city.  Wes said that the guys loved having breakfast at the Stella’s on Portage avenue each morning…they enjoyed the atmosphere there!!

When I interview the players, I ask them if they’ve got any interesting baseball stories to share; Wes had a great one.  One spring training he was playing in a major league exhibition game with the Cubs; it turned out it was also his dad’s birthday.  Wes told me that his dad is one of those people who doesn’t like presents…so what did Wes do…on his dad’s birthday he hit a home run!!  Seriously, how great a birthday present is that!!  Like Wes said, you can’t put a dollar value on something like that; thanks for sharing that Wes.

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He did comment on Reggie Abercrombie and the pranks they played on each other; he said that you couldn’t find a better leader than Reggie and that the speeches he gave before games really lit a fire under the team.

Wes wanted to thank all the Goldeyes fans for their great support and he’s excited to see the fans come out and support the team again!!  We’re all looking forward to seeing you back in a Goldeyes uniform again Wes!!

Shaw Park

Mike Trout…he’s what baseball is all about, making dreams come true for baseball fans of all ages!! by Chuck Duboff

If you’re a baseball fan, a die hard baseball fan…there’s a very good chance that at some point you dreamed of playing catch with your favourite player; I would have loved to play catch with Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neil…how great would that have been!!

Last night a young fan of the LA Angels, a centre fielder on his team, had his dream come true as he got to play catch with Mike Trout before last night’s game.  What a thrill…and this truly is what makes baseball so great…I love hockey and football, but there just isn’t the same connection with the fan as there is in baseball…it’s the perfect game!!

A big shout out to Mike Trout for making this young man’s dreams come true and for showing all of us that baseball continues to be the fan’s game!!!

 

 

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Watch for an interview with the Winnipeg Goldeyes Wes Darvill in tomorrow’s blog.

 

 

 

It was one of those “moments”…filled with joy; playing catch with Ben…by Chuck Duboff

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Playing catch with Ben.

One hour of playing catch with my grandson Ben.  He asked me questions about pitching and I explained to him: “extend your left leg, look at the glove you’re throwing to, slow your pitching motion down” and he soaked it all in.  With every pitch his accuracy got better and the pop in the glove was crisp and loud

It seemed like mere moments ago that Matthew and I were doing the same thing; playing catch, pitching, enjoying our team winning a championship.

It felt like five minutes ago that I was pitching on the “Giants” little league team; throwing a no hitter, playing short stop and my only ability as a hitter, being able to drop down a great bunt.

Not sure where all the time went, but I know I’m blessed to be able to go out and play catch with Ben…and him so deeply engrossed in learning the nuances of the game.  After about an hour of throwing, I said to him:  “You’d do this all night, wouldn’t you?”  His response was simple and to the point: “Yes”  He sure got the baseball gene from his dad Chris and from his Zaida Chuck…

I spoke earlier in the week about those “moments” in life that fill your heart with joy…that answer the question: “what’s it all about?”  Well, for one hour yesterday the answer was right in front of me…the sheer joy of playing catch with Ben, that’s what it’s all about!!

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“I have to slow my pitching motion down like Aaron Sanchez does Zaida.”

MLB Opening Day observations…by Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

  • MLB TV is awesome; every game, every day!!  You get to check into games around the league…and of course, it’s essentially a Yankees season ticket.  Oh the times we live in…just amazing.
  • I am just not sold on John Gibbons as a manager…even after his contract extension. Watching him go against Buck Showalter…he just seems so overmatched.
  • I’ve always said that Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt were the best 3B I’ve ever seen.  Right now Manny Machado is as good as it gets…that play he made yesterday might have been the greatest play I’ve ever seen at third base.  A diving stab of a screamer down the 3B line; and then from his knees he threw a rope to first base to get the runner!!  WOW!!manny-machado-injury
  • Listening to Joe Girardi talk about the “kids” and having to protect them…and manage expectations, sounds exactly like Paul Maurice talking about his young Jets and managing expectations…Gary Sanchez and Patrik Laine.
  • Trying to watch a baseball game from the Trop in Tampa is excruciating, even when they are playing the Yankees.  I lasted about 5 innings.  If Tampa doesn’t do something about a ballpark very soon, they will be gone.

    Expos

  • Speaking of moving Tampa, it sounds like Montreal has all the money in place for a return of MLB.   From what I have been reading and hearing, once Rob Manford winks his eye to Montreal, construction of a ballpark will begin.  Would love to see the Expos back…Raines, Dawson, Cromartie, Ellis Valentine, Gary Carter, Steve Rodgers…man I loved that team.
  • The New York Mets may not have the strongest lineup, but with that pitching taking them deep into games, they have a chance to win every day…that is some kinda starting pitching.noah-syndergaard-efe6986baed78494
  • The St. Louis Cardinals, draft and develop…and with patience each season they insert a couple more home grown players.  They’ve been doing this for a very long time…sound familiar Winnipeg Jets fans?
  • Really liking the development of the Minnesota Twins…it may be awhile, but they are headed in the right direction.  Byron Buxton is one of their young players who has a bright future…made a sensational catch in centre field yesterday.Byron-Buxton-1
  • Madison Bumgarner, great starting pitcher, hits two Home Runs on opening day…umm, ok…can you also fix the plumbing in my kitchen?  That is just sick, but makes baseball the great game that it is.
  • Speaking of teams with not a lot of hitting, but great pitching…I think you can give the NL West to the Dodgers already; I think the Colorado Rockies might be their only competition this season; Clayton Kershaw, not too shabby.Clayton-Kershaw
  • Memo to Mickey Steen:  Clayton Kershaw makes more money than the whole San Diego Padres team combined.
  • It’s just one game Craig, don’t worry about your Cubs, they’ll be fine.
  • Love watching Bryce Harper at the plate…and when he crushes one like he did again on opening day (that’s 5 opening day home runs), that’s what makes baseball so exciting.
  • MLB is messing with the game too much: sending a batter to first base without a pitch being thrown on intentional walks…sorry, that’s just messing with the game. Too much can happen on an intentional walk!!  You’re saving a minute or two, but all that time being spent on replays on challenges is ruing the game…it disrupts the natural flow of the game.

    opening day

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

@Chuck Duboff

  • New York Yankees Spring Training Record:  24-9; watching the Bombers spring training games, it is so refreshing to finally see young talent, as opposed to the days of signing “star players” with one or two good seasons left.  They may not make the playoffs this season, but look out for my Yankees, they will be knocking on the door real soon!!
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A big part of the Yankees youth movement:  1B, Greg Bird.

  • Great seeing the effort by the Jets over this past few weeks; even though they are out of the playoffs, the players are realizing how very good this team is and are showing that they have what it takes to be a playoff team.
  • That being said…had we had, even average goaltending this season, the Jets would be in the playoffs.  Right now we sit at 29th in goaltending, imagine where we’d be if we were even at 15th?  Five more wins, eight more wins?  Who knows, but Chevy’s goal this summer has to be to sign a Ben Bishop, Marc-Andre Fleury type goalie!!
  • Top priority this offseason…Jacob Trouba signed to a monster contract!!

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    Chevy needs to get Trouba signed to a monster deal this summer!!

  • How’s all that winning going Mr. President?
  • Guess what you lying, , hypocrite…the noose is tightening and all your lies about Russia will be exposed and you will be sent to prison for TREASON!!
  • Let’s hope this early spring is just that…SPRING!!!
  • Thrilled that I have the cabin in Falcon booked now for six days in May…peacefulness personified!!
  • I can’t thank the Winnipeg Goldeyes enough for giving Laine and Ben and I a tour of the Goldeyes locker room and dugout.  Such a thrill for all three of us…the kids are such huge Goldeyes fans…they couldn’t stop talking about seeing Reggie Abercrombie and Kevin McGovern’s lockers!!  Andrew and Steve….you guys rock!17457764_10154869183725783_4097326211823024607_n
  • Was talking with my travel agent already about next winter’s trip to Puerto Vallarta!!!
  • If you are not watching Schitt’s Creek on CBC, you are missing the funniest show on television; the cast and the writing is unbelievable:  Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, Annie Murphy, Chris Elliot…I am quite literally in tears laughing watching that show!!  Great to see CBC support this show and watch it become a mega hit, here in Canada and now into the States.Schitts
  • Two more days and it’s PLAY BALL!!!
  • My very good friend, my brother from another mother, Geoff…made such a profound, yet simple comment a couple of Sunday’s ago…it’s something I really want to write about!!  When I talked about the joy and pleasure I had in writing about and receiving messages about the All Time Goldeyes Team…Geoff said: “that’s what it’s all about Chuck”…and it hit me like a brick!!  That truly is what life is about…finding that what gives us joy and savouring those moments!!  I love writing and am equally passionate about baseball…getting to put my music on, make coffee and write about baseball for 3 1/2 hours…that truly is what it’s all about.  Like Geoff and I said…it’s not going to be a thunderbolt moment that tells us about what life is about…but rather it’s living in those moments and being aware of how fortunate we are.  Thank you Geoff…
  • Friendships truly are a blessing!!
  • It has been Pearl Jam 24/ 7 for about three months…this Neil Young & Pearl Jam version of Rockin in the Free World is just unreal; enjoy:  (FYI…watching it on the 65″ 4K big screen with surround sound…it’s like you’re at the freakin concert!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvtdbfI1sqQ

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Winnipeg Goldeyes add another strong arm to the bullpen; by Steve Schuster

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GOLDEYES ADD LEFTY RELIEF ACE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 31st, 2017

WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed left-handed pitcher Mitchell Lambson on Friday morning.

Lambson pitched for three different Milwaukee Brewers’ affiliates last year, including a stint with the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s Colorado Springs Sky Sox.  The Montclair, California native combined for a 3-0 record and a 3.00 ERA in 20 relief appearances.  Lambson struck out 28 and walked only seven over 21.0 innings pitched.  2016 marked the fifth consecutive year in which Lambson finished with an ERA of 3.03 or lower.  It was also the fifth time in six professional seasons that Lambson finished with more strikeouts than innings pitched.

“I’m really excited to add Mitch,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney.  “Mitch has been highly successful during his career, and I expect him to fill a very important role on our pitching staff.”

Lambson was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 19th round in 2011 out of Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) where he finished his college career tied for second in Sun Devils’ history with 102 appearances.  Now 26 years of age, Lambson helped Arizona State to the College World Series in 2009 and 2010, and earned Pac-10 All-Conference honours in each of those seasons.

As a professional, Lambson is 23-14 with nine saves and a 2.74 ERA in 186 appearances, all of them in relief.  In 285.2 career innings pitched, Lambson has struck out 315, while allowing just 79 walks and 20 home runs.  The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Lambson has reached the Triple-A level in each of the past two seasons, and has held the opposition to a remarkable .115 batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position (122 career opponent at bats).

The Goldeyes now have 23 players under contract for the 2017 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.

Notes: During his junior season at Arizona Statein 2011, Lambson pitched alongside his brother, Mark, who was also a pitcher…Lambson excelled in the prestigious Arizona Fall League in 2014 while pitching for the Salt River Rafters…Lambson allowed just two earned runs and struck out 17 in 14.1 innings for Salt River…although he is a left-handed pitcher, Lambson has held right-handed batters to a .209 batting average in his career…Lambson appeared in four Major League spring training games for the Brewers in 2016, striking out three in a combined 2.2 scoreless innings…Lambson won a championship with the Low-A Midwest League’s Quad Cities River Bandits in 2013 where he was teammates with Goldeyes’ right-handed pitcher Daniel Minor…Lambson has been especially durable throughout his professional career, pitching more than 1.0 inning in more than half of his relief appearances (109 out of 186)

2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
OF Reggie Abercrombie
LHP Kyle Anderson
1B David Bergin
RHP Victor Capellan
RHP Edwin Carl
RHP Ryan Chaffee
3B Wes Darvill
RHP Joel Effertz
RHP Icezack Flemming
SS Maikol Gonzalez
2B Casio Grider
RHP Caleb Kellogg
LHP Mitchell Lambson
1B Kellen Marruffo
LHP Kevin McGovern
RHP Cameron McVey
RHP Daniel Minor
RHP Zach Nuding
RHP Mikey O’Brien
OF/1B David Rohm
OF Stefan Sabol
C Alixon Suarez
RHP Duke von Schamann

The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season on May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders.  The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park.  Season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings for the 2017 season are on sale now.  For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website atwww.goldeyes.com

Q & A with new Winnipeg Goldeyes pitcher, Joel Effertz…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff
Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney has been busy this offseason building another strong team.  One of the new additions to the Goldeyes pitching staff is Joel Effertz; I contacted Joel down in Madison, Wisconsin and did a little Q&A with him.  Sounds like a good midwestern boy who will feel right at home in Winnipeg this summer.
Joel
1.  Congratulations on signing with the Goldeyes; did you know much about Independent baseball before signing?
Joel:   I didn’t know much at all about Indy baseball. I had to talk to a few friends and coaches to steer me in the right direction. And I’m really glad I landed in Winnipeg!
2.  Can you share with the fans your baseball background…as a little boy, growing up, professional places you’ve played?
Joel:  Growing up I’ve always enjoyed sports. Played football, basketball and baseball. Being from the Midwest, we couldn’t just play baseball all year round. I was drafted 3 different times throughout my career. In 2013 I was drafted to the Miami Marlins. Baseball has taken me all over the place, and now, Canada!
3.  Favourite ball players growing up?  Why?
Joel:  I’m a huge Milwaukee Brewers fan! So really anyone that played for them.
4.  What type of pitcher are you?  How would you describe yourself?
Joel:  I’m a control pitcher with 4 different pitches that enjoys challenging hitters.
5.  Why did you decide to come to Winnipeg?  What is your offseason training like?
Joel:  I enjoy the cooler summer months. Florida weather was getting old. I needed a change of scenery. Baseball fans in Winnipeg I’ve  heard are outstanding and it’s a great place to go compete for the championship!
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6.  Any interesting baseball stories that you’ve had throughout your career (that you can share…lol)?
Joel:  In baseball you always have good stories. I want to share with people that I got to know Jose Fernandez a little bit. What a great pitcher he was and I really enjoyed watching him play the game he truly loved!
7.  If you weren’t playing baseball, what would you be doing?
Joel:  Either going back to school or being a mail man
8.  Favourite food?
Joel:  Love any wild game. Deer, fish, etc.
9.  Any message you’d like to send to Goldeyes fans?
Joel:  I look forward to seeing you all out at the ball games. Thank you for supporting our team and I can’t wait to see you all in about a month.
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Your All Time Winnipeg Goldeyes team, as selected by the fans…by Chuck Duboff.

© Chuck Duboff
Over the past two days there have been over 700 views of the All Time Goldeyes team blog!!  As I said yesterday, I think this attests to the popularity of the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team.  I thought fans of the team would enjoy reading how players and coaches have responded to their selection to the All Time Goldeyes team:

    That’s unbelievable. One of the best baseball city’s in the world.

Rudy Arias Thank you Winnipeg!!!🇨🇦

Tom Vaeth Very honoured to be included in this list…thank you thank you thank you!!!

Chris Salamida   Whaaatttttt…… This is unexpected!! You don’t understand how honoured I feel right now – to stand with all of these legends!

Luis A. Salazar Thanks to the Goldeyes family

Josh Mazzola Thank you to the Goldeyes family for this honor.. It is truly humbling and thank you for welcoming me and making me a part of your city..

© Chuck Duboff

Yesterday’s blog announcing the All Time Goldeyes Team, as selected by the fans,  had an amazing 487 views…I would suggest that speaks to how very popular the Winnipeg Goldeyes are in the city of Winnipeg.  On Facebook there were responses from all over Canada, United States and Mexico.  From Florida Rudy Arias sent a nice note to the fans in Winnipeg; Josh Mazzola and Chris Salamida sent very grateful messages; from here in Winnipeg, Tom Vaeth was extremely appreciative of being selected by the fans.

Hal

I’d like to take a moment to talk about Hal Lanier…Hal brought a big league feel to the Goldeyes.  I remember the moment when it was announced that Hal would be managing the Goldeyes; I did a double take, he had been Manager of the Year in the National League and was coming to take charge of the Goldeyes.  I was truly in awe of him…he had played with San Francisco during the Willie Mays days, had managed in the majors…I watched every move he made!!  One of my favourite was learning when Hal would call a squeeze play and see it executed perfectly.  It truly was my joy, and I know that of a lot of fans, watching and learning from Hal.

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“That was difficult”, “so many great players to choose from”, “wow was that hard”; those were just some of the comments that fans made when they sent me their choices for the All Time Winnipeg Goldeyes team.

We’ve been really fortunate in Winnipeg to consistently have had great teams and players since the inception of the Goldeyes in 1994.  How do you leave Jeff Zimmerman or Darryl Brinkley off this all time team?  What about Brian Myrow or Chris Kokinda?  What about Bobby Madritsch, George Sherrill or Brandon Kintzler?  Casey Haerther, Chad Thornhill, Brent Sachs, Rafael Gross or “Tiny” Thomas?  Pete Rose Jr and Jon Weber brought the lumber, but didn’t make this team.  Ian Thomas made it to the show…not on this team.

This was a fun opportunity for Goldeyes fans to reflect upon all of the great players who have donned the Winnipeg uniform over the past 22 seasons.  There really are no right or wrong selections; they are all very subjective choices.   A couple of my personal choices didn’t make the final cut…my all time favourite Goldeye,  Carmine Cappucio, only played for the team for one season, but was a very special player to watch.  Kevin McGovern led us to a championship last season with some great pitching…but neither of them made this team.

Thanks to the hundreds who read this blog over the past few days…and a big thank you to all those great Winnipeg Goldeyes fans who sent me their choices;  I struggled with a few of the picks, and this resulted in two ties;  on the other hand, there were several easy selections.

One thing we as Goldeyes fans can be very thankful for: the Goldeyes always put great players on the field and each season this results in a very competitive team.  Based on the submissions by many Winnipeg Goldeyes fans...here is..

The Winnipeg Goldeyes All Time Team

Starting Pitchers:  Ace Walker and Chris Salamida

In the bullpen:  Donnie Smith and Brian Beuning

Catcher: Luis Alen

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1B: Terry Lee  2B  Brian Duva

SS: Max Poulin & Wes Long  3B:  Josh Mazzola

Outfield:  Reggie Abercrombie, Chris Roberson, Kevin West:

DH:  Juan Diaz & Wes Chamberlin

On the bench:  Ryan Robertson, Fehlandt Lentini, Casio Greider

Manager: Rick Forney; Coaches: Tom Vaeth and Rudy Arias

General Manager:  Andrew Collier

Andrew

Honourable mentions:  Brian Myrow, Carmine Cappucio, Harry Barrios, Chris Kokinda, Bobby Madritsch and on and on and on…

It was lots of fun putting this team together; as I mentioned earlier, there really are no right or wrong selections.  All the ballplayers who have worn the Winnipeg Goldeyes jersey since 1994 are all All Stars in the eyes of Winnipeg Goldeyes fans.

Fans select the All Time Goldeyes team; tomorrow’s blog will announce the fans choices for each position!!…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

1995 Goldeyes

The response to yesterday’s blog is a great indicator of how devoted many fans are to the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club.  Over 150 people read about the opportunity for fans to pick the All Time Goldeyes Team and another dozen fans sent e-mails with their personal choices for their All Time team.

Kokinda

Looking over the fans selections, it is going to be quite easy to make selections at some positions, however, there are several positions where it is going to be a difficult choice…we may have to settle for a tie!!

Several fans commented that they were pleased that its a fans’ selection for the All Time Team; everybody is welcome to submit their choices to: cduboff@gmail.com.  I’m going to ask that you get your team into me by about 4 PM Friday.

Your picks should include:

2 Starting Pitchers
2 Bullpen Pitchers
Catcher
1B
2B
SS
3B
3 Outfielders
DH
3 Bench Players

The Goldeyes All Time Team will be up tomorrow morning on this blog.  I will base decisions at each position based on the submissions by the fans…
Remember, this is just for fun…and it gets us one day closer to training camp.

Upcoming feature…Winnipeg Goldeyes all time team…with contributions from several long time fans!! by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

WATCH FOR THE ALL TIME GOLDEYES TEAM, SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH!!

It’s always debated amongst fans of pro sports teams:  who was our all time best first baseman, our best goalie, our best QB…arguments ensue and fun times are had.

goldeyes rings

Over the next few days I will be putting together an All Time Winnipeg Goldeyes team; I have reached out to several long time Goldeyes fans to get their opinions…
And…if you would like to contribute your thoughts, send me your list of players at the following positions:

2 Starting Pitchers
2 Bullpen Pitchers
Catcher
1B
2B
SS
3B
3 Outfielders
DH
Bench (no more than 3 players)

You can send your list to: cduboff@gmail.com

Just to whet your appetite, my personal list would include Ryan Robertson and Reggie Abercrombie…

Reggie

WATCH FOR THE ALL TIME GOLDEYES TEAM, SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH!!

Saturday Morning Random Thoughts; by Chuck Duboff

VACATION TRAVEL BEST OF THE MIDWEST

“Is this heaven, no it’s Iowa.”  Field of Dreams.

© Chuck Duboff

  • It’s March, the month in which Manitobans can experience all four seasons in one day!!!
  • Big shout out to the Winnipeg Jets for the support they gave to Tyler Myers and his family during a very difficult time.  If you haven’t seen this video, take a few minutes…it’s a reminder of what is important in life:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKAzXhxc1zk
  • Moments of clarity are fleeting; yesterday afternoon and evening provided me with a peacefulness and understanding rarely felt; it was tangible and quite a new feeling.  Grateful for those moments.
  • Though the Jets won’t make the playoffs this season, wins at any time of the year are part of the growth process…I would like to see Roslavic and Conner called up for the balance of the season in order to get a feel for hockey at the next level.Ros
  • So Brian Pallister takes two month winter holidays to Costa Rica; took a 20% pay increase last year…and now he is gutting and slashing every program in Manitoba. Hope everybody is enjoying the PST going down from 8% to 7%!!!  NOT!!
  • What a very special night it was on Thursday evening watching the Jets game with Laine and Ben; non stop commentary, hi jinks, cuddling and just having a great time!!  #grateful.

    Ben, Laine and I playing

    This picture was from the spring the Jets came back to Wpg; 6 years ago and still having fun together!!

  • Watching the World Baseball Classic, it sure makes you appreciate the talent of the players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuala and Puerto Rico; those lineups are power laden…would be interesting to see what would happen if the Mike Trouts and Bryce Harpers of the USA decided to compete.  I think it would take the tournament to another level!!
  • Celebrating mom’s 92nd birthday tomorrow…her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will all be here!!
    family
  • This brief moment of clarity, in a life so filled with angst and confusion, has given an incredible insight into so much of what I have to be grateful for; though always aware of the good fortune I have in life…there is a real sense today of what all that means.
  • In all my years of being a New York Yankees fan, I have never seen them have a good spring training…I would attribute that to George Steinbrenner and his boys signing star players in their 30’s who take their time to get ready for the season and the Yankees ending up with a poor spring training record.  I looked at the exhibition game standing yesterday, and low and behold there are the Yankees with the best record.  With so many young kids in the lineup trying to prove themselves: Sanchez, Byrd, Judge, etc, suddenly the Yankees are winning games and shining a light on a bright future.  If the Yankees had more depth at starting pitching, they might compete this upcoming season!!
    yankees-spring-training
  • Once again, I love the team that Goldeyes skipper Rick Forney is putting together; I’ve mentioned this a few times, but with each season, it seems like Rick is signing higher calibre players.  I’m sure his connections to organizations have increased dramatically over the years and he is able to sign the type of player that he is looking for…training camp can’t start soon enough!!
  • Doofus head meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel; she with a PHD in Physics, he just finishing reading Dick and Jane; the misogynistic, serial liar makes more unfounded claims about wiretapping, but ups it one more by claiming that Merkel was also wiretapped; she looks at the media with a “who the fuck is this bozo?” kinda look:
    17343016_10154836183150783_1364695776349224105_n
  • There is always one benefit to the Jets not making the playoffs; I budget money all season for possible playoff tickets.  Once it became clear that playoffs were not in the picture for this spring…I went ahead and booked “my cabin” in Falcon lake for five days in May…filled with such gratitude that I am in a position to take another holiday this spring:

MLB pre-season predictions for the 2017 season…from Winnipeg baseball fans and Goldeyes management; by Chuck Duboff

Cubs

Will the Cubs repeat in 2017?

© Chuck Duboff

With just a couple of weeks till the start of the Major League Baseball season, I thought I’d ask several baseball fans and experts their predictions for the upcoming season; enjoy and feel free to leave your comments about your own predictions.

Chris Mussel, former standout Junior ballplayer and big time baseball fan.

  • Division winners:  Red Sox, Indians, Mariners, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers
  • World Series winner:  Chicago Cubs
  • AL/NL MVP’s:  Edwin Encarnacion, Kris Bryant
  • AL/NL Cy Young:  Aaron Sanchez, Max Scherzer
  • Surprise team of the season: Minnesota Twins
  • Disappointing team of the season: Toronto Blue Jays
  • Favourite player to watch:  Dee Gordon

Geoff Brookes, Mr. Stratomatic, Goldeyes fan and Analytics booster!!

  • Division winners: Yankees, KC, Texas, Mets, Cincinnati, San Francisco
  • World Series winner: San Francisco Giants
  • AL/NL MVP’s:  Gary Sanchez, Kris Bryant
  • AL/NL Cy Young:  Aaron Sanchez, Jon Lester
  • Surprise team of the season: New York Yankees
  • Disappointing team of the season: Toronto Blue Jays
  • Favourite player to watch:  Gary Sanchez
Sanchez-1024x683

Will Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez be the Rookie of the Year?  MVP?

Steve Schuster; play by play voice of the Winnipeg Goldeyes; an incredible knowledge of baseball.  Special thanks to Steve for the added commentary:

NL East – Washington Nationals (Mets will challenge them all year, but have a lot of question marks surrounding pitchers coming off injuries.)

NL Central – Chicago Cubs (Have to respect the defending champions.)

NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers (Talented roster with loaded farm system might have them poised for a long run of success.)

AL East – Boston Red Sox (Off-season additions led by Chris Sale should keep the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Orioles at bay.)

AL Central – Cleveland Indians (Defending AL champions made improvements, and should run away in what appears to be a weaker division.)

AL West – Houston Astros (Deep pitching staff and terrific young core should allow them to pass Texas and Seattle.)

World Series Champions – New York Mets (Dynamic pitching staff can carry them all the way, but will have to hit enough to get by Washington or the Wild Card Game to make it happen.)

NL MVP – Bryce Harper (Played through injury last year and still put up strong numbers.)

AL MVP – Carlos Correa (Might split votes with teammates Bregman and Altuve, but there’s nothing he can’t do on the field.)

NL Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw (Approaching Tiger Woods status.  If he’s healthy, how could you pick someone else?)

AL Cy Young – David Price (Like Harper, can see him bouncing back in a huge way.)

Surprise Team of the Season – Atlanta Braves (Loaded with young talent, plus the best farm system in the game.  Added veteran leadership could keep them around .500 all year.)

Team That Will Disappoint – Seattle Mariners (Can all of their big guns repeat career years?)

Favourite Player to Watch – Noah Syndergaard (Worth the price of admission.)

Noah Syndergaard

Will Noah Syndergard dominate and lead the New York Mets to the 2017 World Series?

Andrew Collier; GM of the 2016 American Association Champion Winnipeg Goldeyes

  • Division winners: Red Sox, Indians, Astros, Nationals, Cubs, Giants
  • World Series Champ: Cubs for the repeat
  • AL/NL MVP: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper
  • AL/NL Cy Young: Chris Sale, Max Scherzer
  • Surprise team of the season: New York Yankees
  • Team that will disappoint: Texas Rangers
  • Favourite player to watch: Josh Donaldson

Craig Kuhlman; biggest Chicago Cubs fan in Winnipeg; did I mention, biggest Cubs fan in the city!!

  • Division winners: Red Sox, Indians, Mariners, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers
  • World Series Champs: Chicago Cubs
  • AL/NL MVP’s: Mike Trout, Corey Seager
  • AL/NL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, Noah Syndergard
  • Surprise team of the season: Oakland A’s
  • Team that will disappoint: Baltimore Orioles
  • Favourite player to watch: Javier Baez

Chuck Duboff; baseball fan for the past 56 years, traditionalist and passing on his love of baseball to  his grandchildren…Yankees fan since the days of Mantle, Maris, Ford, Richardson, Kubek, Tresh, Howard, Berra, Blanchard, Casey…

  • Division winners: Boston, Cleveland, Texas, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles
  • World Series Champ: Cleveland Indians
  • AL/NL MVP: Edwin Encarnacion, Kris Bryant
  • AL/NL Cy Young: Aaron Sanchez, Clayton Kershaw
  • Surprise team of the season: New York Mets
  • Team that will disappoint: New York Yankees
  • Favourite player to watch: A tie: Mike Trout & Kevin Pillar
Trout

Does Mike Trout win AL MVP and lead his Angels out of their doldrums?

Mickey Steen; Winnipeg Goldeyes super fan!!  Loves everything baseball!!

1:  Division winners: Boston, Cleveland, Texas, Washington, Cincinnati  L A Dodgers

2: World Series Champ:  way out on the limb:  Cincinnati Reds

3: AL, NL:   MVP    AL   Gary Sanchez    NL   Max Scherzer

4: AL, NL:  Cy Young   NL Cy:  Clayton Kershaw

5. Surprise team of the season:  Anaheim Angels

6. Team that will disappoint:    Toronto Blue Jays  and Seattle Mariners

7. Favourite player to watch:   Kevin Pillar and Noah Syndergard

 

Let's-play-ball