Aug 29, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
It has been a long, hot season for the Syracuse Chiefs. Literally. The Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals must’ve played four-dozen games in 90-degree weather or worse.
While the heat wave lingered, the Chiefs’ bats often went cold, and the pitching proved inconsistent. New skipper Tony Beasley arrived in town with an impressive winning record over his six-years as a minor-league manager, but — unless the team wins seven of its final nine games — 2012 will not be among his winning seasons.
Playoffs out of reach
So for the 14th year in a row the Chiefs fail to make the IL playoffs. Syracuse baseball fans are understandably disappointed, but the ball club and its coaches have good reasons to hold their heads high.
The Chiefs lead the league in sacrifice bunts and double plays — often overlooked but crucial offensive and defensive accomplishments. The hurlers, overseen by pitching coach Greg Booker, lead the league with the fewest walks allowed, and the staff has tossed a respectable 12 shutouts. At mid-season, Syracuse boasted three IL All-Stars — starter Zach Duke, slugger Corey Brown and scrappy rookie infielder Jim Negrych.
Even off the field, the ball club hit figurative home runs at Alliance Bank Stadium with an impressive new 55×30 foot video scoreboard and a new concessionaire serving the meatiest and juiciest burgers you’ve ever eaten at a ballpark.
But even more importantly, the Chiefs have nurtured more than a half-dozen talented players who are now fueling the Washington Nationals’ run toward the major-league post-season. Guys like Bryce Harper, Tyler Moore and Jhonatan Solano are up there now helping to hold down the lead in the National League East.
Major-league rehabbers such as speedy reliever Henry Rodriguez, former Yankees sinkerballer Chien-Ming Wang and power-hitters Jayson Werth and Chad Tracy also honed their games here in the Salt City. And team HR leader Corey Brown and pitchers John Lannan and Atahualpa Severino enjoyed cups of coffee in D.C. this summer and can expect to be promoted again after major-league rosters expand Sept. 1.
Teahen lives in L’pool
One of the Chiefs’ veteran position players, Mark Teahen, lives in Liverpool … at least through Labor Day!
A versatile infielder, Teahen was raised outside San Bernadino, Calif. The 30-year-old left-handed hitter has played for the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chiefs’ parent-club, the Washington Nationals. He boasts a career major-league average of .264, and that’s about what he’s hitting now as this long, losing season comes to a close for the hometown nine.
Back in mid-April Teahen was hitting .367 after knocking out four hits as the Chiefs overwhelmed the Empire State Yankees 7-2 at ABS. He kept hitting with runners on base through May and June but hit what he called “a rough patch” at the plate in July.
Then Teahen tallied two RBI with a two-out triple to pace the Chiefs’ 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Bisons at ABS on Aug. 7, and he was back in the groove.
Two more home games
The Chiefs will close out their home season with two games against the Rochester Red Wings this weekend, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, at ABS. Fireworks will cap off Saturday night’s game.
Syracuse’s IL season ends at Rochester’s Frontier Field with a 1:05 p.m. game on Monday, Sept. 3. The Red Wings are affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.
Field-level ticket prices range from $9 to $20, while upper-deck seats cost $8, and $4 for kids and seniors. Parking costs $5 per vehicle; 474-7833; syracusechiefs.com.
Village Hall flu clinic
A flu clinic sponsored by Rite Aid will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, in the meeting room at the Village Hall, 310 Sycamore St. A Rite Aid will to answer any questions and administer the inoculations at a cost of $29.99 billable to most insurance plans. Bring your insurance card with you and they will bill your carrier directly; 457-3441.
My relative ignorance of the geography of the Bluegrass State led me to misidentify the town where former Mayor Floyd Tillotson died on July 11. He passed away not in Brownsville but in Bowling Green, Kentucky. My apologies to the family.