We’re No. 11! Rob = Roberta? And some actual baseball stuff…
Today we take the time to thank you, our readers, for your loyal following of Porcupines in Pinstripes. Earlier this week we officially learned that because of your dedication, our humble site was recently named one of the top 15 blogs in all of minor league baseball by our friends over at MLB.com. Better yet, if you are really a numbers person, Porcupines in Pinstripes came in at No. 11 overall in terms of team-specific blogs. We are both extremely proud of the honor and hope to climb even higher this season. We have some fun and exciting things on tap for the 2014 campaign that should help propel us towards the promised land and hope that you’ll join us along the way as our purpose here to both educate and entertain. For the complete list of the top 100 Major League and minor league blogs, click HERE.
It’s been a fun week overall to be a RailRiders fan. It all started off with our fearless leader and president/general manager, Rob Crain, standing outside the chilly snow here at PNC Field wearing nothing but a t-shirt, flippers and some pretty snazzy snorkel gear. Crain issued imaginably one of the boldest guarantees in minor league baseball, stating if the temperatures fails to reach 60 degrees for Opening Day on April 10, the RailRiders will issue every fan that passes through the turnstiles a free ticket to a later date. Furthermore, Crain took his shenanigans a step further, asserting if the team loses its home opener, he’d dress like a female until the team won its next game. We hope Rob says yes to the dress, but sometimes you just have to sit back and marvel at his courage and be glad it’s him making the announcement – not me and John.
Speaking of snow, check out the look of PNC Field today after last night’s snowstorm provided PNC Field with a nice little wintry mix this morning. The hope is that Rob’s 60-degree guarantee comes to fruition, but right now this makes for some pleasant still frames.
Minor league baseball is one of the more enjoyable occupations but, sometimes, it’s a little more rewarding when the national media takes notice of all the hard work that our front office here in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre puts in on a day-to-day basis. It started with the fellas on MLB Network’s daily telecast, Intentional Talk, speaking very highly of Rob’s guarantee video…
…followed with @SWBRailRiders tweeting some pretty clever literature that may have found its way into your mailbox this week:
— SWB RailRiders (@swbrailriders) March 11, 2014
Succeeding those announcements on MLB Network, the RailRiders announced some more noteworthy news that the staff here has eclipsed its season ticket sales from the 2013 season. Last year’s run marked a banner year for SWB with the newly reimagined ballpark as over 435,000 fans made their way through the turnstiles; the most in SWB since the 2008 season. Here’s a link to Donnie Collins’ article about the milestone HERE. A landmark achievement like this is not only a tribute to our team here in SWB, but also you, the spectators, for making PNC Field a must-visit during the summer months.
You can’t have a post about baseball without an update from life in the Grapefruit League. If there are “dog days” of Spring Training, the middle of March fits into that classification. The big league club is beginning to trim their roster, which means the RailRiders personnel is finally starting to take shape, and spring training still involves another couple of weeks in the steamy Florida sun. New York made a pair of transactions yesterday, optioning the speedy outfielder, Slade Heathcott, and left-handed pitcher, Nik Turley, from major league camp to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. On the heels of those two roster movements came the proclamation that top Yankees catching prospect, Gary Sanchez, has been sent to Double-A Trenton; check out Collins’ blog for a little more in-depth information HERE. You may not see Heathcott on an active roster to begin the season according to the man himself, but you’ll see a definitely different version than the one the Yankees drafted. Click HERE for a great piece that fleshes out those thoughts from Chad Jennings.
RailRiders alumnus Francisco Cervelli continues to stand out in Tampa as the 28-year old catcher persists to make front office personnel take notice. The long-time Yankee farm hand is currently clubbing his way to a successful spring, batting .500 (8-for-16) with three homers and four RBIs and six runs scored. Paul Hagen of MLB.com has an excellent write-up about Cervelli’s spring and takes an in-depth look at the numbers game that is currently the Yankees catching position HERE.