By La Velle
I’ve always loved the player development side of baseball. Growing up a White Sox fan, I always wanted to know who the next hot prospect was. At one time or another, I thought that Nyls Nyman, Bruce Tanner, Joel Skinner, Darryl Boston, John Cangelosi and others were going to save the franchise. (I blame some of this of Sox announcers Harry Caray and Hawk Harrelson, who thought-think that every prospect was The One).
I’ve been blessed to have covered World Series and All-Star Games, but some of my most memorable moments were being able to see Mike Sweeney at Class A Wilmington, Michael Tucker and Joe Randa at Class AA Memphis and Johnny Damon at Class AA Wichita.
I’ll never forget the week I went down to do a Tucker feature. Tucker was at second base, Randa at third. Shane Halter was the shortstop. Jon Lieber, Mike Fhyrie and Dan Miceli were part of the pitching staff. The just so happened to be playing the White Sox affiliate at the time. That team included Ray Durham and Olmedo Saenz. All those players reached the majors, with varying success.
I like tracking players through the minors. Some people may like Doom (or whatever the current hot fantasy game is), I’m more likely to pop in MLB 2007 and switch to career mode so I can build a farm system.
And it’s with that I’m sad to report that today was the last day we’ll be able to run a Twins minor league report in the paper. The changing newspaper industry calls for a new business model, one that doesn’t have room for a minor league update.
But don’t fret. We’ll include more updates during the week in daily Twins notes. And, of course, there will be space on this blog for breaking minor league news. Joe C. likes writing about the minors too – as evidenced by him hogging every little bit of news about Kevin Slowey and Jeff Manship (he’s now claiming he’s related to both of them).
You can have a hand in this as well. If you hear anything feel free to post minor league news here. I know Seth will…