Archive for category Tampa Yankees


Posted by on Friday, 5 April, 2013

April 4, 2013

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

The Tampa Yankees returned to their playing field on Opening Day with a fresh crop of players for their Manager Luis Sojo. Eleven of the youngsters on the 2013 twenty-five player roster were with the Advanced Single-A team during the 2012 season.

By comparison, the parent club, the New York Yankees returned to their playing field in The Bronx with just two Major League players from the 2012 season. This was due to the number of key star players on the disabled list; Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers, 2012 Florida State League Champions, began the defense of their League Championship vs. the Tampa Yankees in their opening game of the 2013 Minor League Baseball season.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers have multiple reasons to celebrate during 2013. It is the 47th season for Lakeland as a Detroit Tigers affiliate, the longest affiliate in Minor League Baseball. Lakeland is in its 63rd season as a member of the Florida State League. During 2012 Lakeland captured its 6th FSL Championship in League history, their first since 1992.

Lakeland’s parent club the Detroit Tigers were the American League Champions in 2012. After defeating the Oakland Athletics during the American League Division series, they then faced the New York Yankees and took the League Championship series in a sweep. The Tigers went on to play in the World Series, matched against the San Francisco Giants but Detroit was swept in four games.

The Detroit organization completed the 2012 season with third baseman Miguel Cabrera becoming the first Triple Crown winner in Major League Baseball since 1967. The Triple Crown is one of the most revered achievements in all of baseball.

The start of the Minor League Baseball season is a real awakening. It is a new beginning for most of the twenty-five players on the rosters. To these youngest of players in the vast organization of baseball, getting the opportunity to play their first Minor League game holds a promise of possibly making it to the Major Leagues.

Today is the beginning of Player Development during a 140 Minor Leagues games season at which time each player will have the chance to prove his talent on the actual field of play.

The Tampa Yankees won their first game of the season vs. Lakeland Flying Tigers 7-4 with the contribution of Yankees outfielder Mason Williams. Catcher Gary Sanchez continues to impress with the hope of becoming the much needed masked man behind the plate at Yankee Stadium.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers Aaron Westlake demonstrated his defense at first base and his hitting power with a homerun and three RBIs.

Stay tuned.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.


Posted by on Wednesday, 5 September, 2012

September 2, 2012

Joker Marchant Stadium
Lakeland, Florida

By Rocky Julich

The 1st Half, 2nd Half and Final Standings:
Tampa Yankees 30-37/35-32/65-69
Lakeland Flying Tigers 36-29/36-29/72-58

The Lakeland Flying Tigers advanced to the Florida State League playoffs while the Tampa Yankees with Luis Sojo, the Manager with the most career wins by a FSL Manager, finish the 2012 Class “A” season without appearing in the playoffs since 2010.

It is Labor Day weekend with Tampa/Lakeland playing in the final four games of the Florida State League regular season.

During the Saturday night game, 2,118 fans were in for a treat when the New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez played in his first rehab start. After being hit in the left hand and suffering a broken bone, A-Rod stepped back into the batter’s box for the first time since July 25th. He appeared as the designated hitter for Class-A Tampa in a 7-6 loss to Lakeland. Rodriguez went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Shane Green (4-6, 5.30 ERA) started and lost the game for the Tampa Yankees while Cesar Carillo (1-3, 5.54 ERA) started and won the game for Lakeland Flying Tigers with a score of 6 – 0. 473 fans enjoyed the final game of the season.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The Flying Tigers clinched by defeating the Tampa Yankees on Saturday, 8-1. Lakeland will play vs. Dunedin Blue Jays on Tuesday, September 4th at 6:30 p.m. in Joker Marchant Stadium for game one of the three game North Division Championship Series.

After the game we spoke to the Tampa Yankees Manager, Luis Sojo.

Es un Poquito de Beisbol con Sabor Bilingue.

Pegunta: Los Tampa Yankees completan la temporada en 65-70, no llegan a los play-offs. Tu comentario hoy sobre la temporada.

Sojo: Mira, fue una temporada de altos y bajos, no? Lamentablemente en la zona mitad teniamos practicamente el camino abierto para la clasificacion, pero bueno, cuando tu juegas con tantos muchachos jovenes, hombres que estan comenzando a jugar beisbol y que, bueno cosas pasan pero en lina generales estamos contentos con el desarroyo de algunos muchachos que creo que es la parte mas importante a este nivel.

Pregunta: Tu opinion sobre el pelotero con el future mejor con los Yankees, en esta temporada.

Sojo: Mira, en cuanto pitcheo sobre todo, los abridores; Nuding, Turley, Tracy, Cotham , son peloteros que tienen muchos chances, no, si se mantienen sanos, si hacen las cosas pequenas. Ellos tiene chances de algun dia jugar en las grandes ligas. En lo que son los peloteros de posiciones: Ramon Flores creo que fue un pelotero que me impresiono muchisimo. Tyler Austin tambien, que ahora los subieron a Doble A, a los dos. Y, por supuesto, Gary Sanches el catcher, que creo que tiene futuro. Creo que la cabesita es lo que hay que acomodar un poquito , pero ese proseso viene. Creo que la parte mental es lo mas importante y si logra eso tiene la oportunidad de llegar a las grandes ligas.

Pregunta: Y que sorpresa, durante los ultimos cuatro partidos, a lo menos un dia, tener a Alex Rodriguez contigo.

Sojo: Bueno, es importante. Lo conosi cuando comenzo su carrera en Seattle a los 17 anos y poder tener la experiencia de dirigirlo auque sea aqui en Clase A es algo muy motivado. No solamente para mi, pero tambien para los muchachos que puedan ver una super estrella como el en el equipo.

Pregunta: Otra vez, te felicitamos por ser el Manager mas ganador de todo tiempo en el Florida State League durante la temporada 2012.

Sojo: Gracias, eso son cosas que se logran con trabajo y esfuerzo y espero seguir hacienda un buen trabajo para la organizacion.

Pregunta: Quizzas te vemos en las grandes ligas durante 2013.

Sojo: Bueno, todo es possible. Vamos a ver. Todavia esa es la mentalidad de Luis Sojo. Yo quiero, por supuesto, llegar alla, pero el trabajo es los que me va a llevar a eso. La paciencia es algo que no va a hacer facil, pero la disposicion esta y eso es lo mas importante.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional baseball Leagues or its clubs.

H.O.P.E. WEEK INITIATIVE – June 8, 2012

Posted by on Sunday, 24 June, 2012

June 8, 2012

By Raquel Julich
Foreign Radio
Special to Gulf Coast Yankees
Tampa, Florida


St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is well known through the Southeast United States as a leader in Pediatric Heart and Cancer Care. With 80 Pediatric Physician Specialists representing 25 medical and surgical disciplines, the board certified staff offers the care St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is known for, Family Focused Care.

Families always come first at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Parents have the confidence of knowing that the specialized pediatric services offered are further strengthened by St. Joseph’s Hospital full-service medical center, including the 24-hour Steinbrenner Emergency/Trauma Center for Children.

After a week of rain storms in Tampa, on Friday, June 8th, the sun came out to play for the children from St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. The children were visiting the New York Yankees Himes Complex during the H.O.P.E. Week Initiative, for a morning of baseball fun with the players of the Gulf Coast League.

All four children and their parents benefiting from the Family Focused Care at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and on this sunny morning one of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital benefactors was providing a little something extra.

To start, Ron Dock took the boys in the group on a mini visit of the players’ clubhouse.

Afterwards, while the children and family members watched from behind a protective fence, a Gulf Coast League player had throwing practice to outfielder, Adam Silva (Australia).

New York Yankees pitcher, Michael Pineda (Dominican Republic) and Tampa Yankees outfielder Slade Heathcott greeted the children on the field and posed for pictures.

Pitchers Jairo Heredia (Dominican Republic), Steve Evarts, Alex Smith, Yunior Peroza (Venezuela), Graham Stoneburner and catcher Austin Romine all stopped by to say hello. The children were interested in the “resistance vest” worn by one of the pitchers.

Then, under the supervision of Alex Cotto and Ron Dock, the kids; Abel, Daniela, Nestor and Nicholas enjoyed a healthy game of kick ball with the players from the Gulf Coast League. A couple of the players ran the bases for the children as the parents watched, cheered and coached from the nearby foul lines. Ron Dock reminded the children when it was time for water. Every so often, you could hear an individual “how are you doing?” from the mothers.

The H.O.P.E. Week Initiative had the full support of Felix M. Lopez, Jr., Executive Vice President/Chief International Officer.

While the children were at play, members of the Himes Complex management who ensured the success of the first Tampa H.O.P.E. Week Initiative stopped by to see the game; Mark Newman, Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations, Pat Roessler, Director Player Development, who made it possible for the players to make it to all the events by scheduling their workouts early enough so that the players could get their work in, and, Tim Lentych, Head Athletic Trainer Player Development, who scheduled all the treatments and therapy for the injured players so they could join in the events.

The “coach” for the day, Ron Dock called the game. When it was over, after many high fives Dock announced them all winners and the children walked off the field laughing and chatting as they headed to the players’ resting area.

New York Yankees pitcher, Joba Chamberlain dressed in traditional Yankees pinstripes, after completing his pitching routine, under the watchful eye of Pitching Instructor Greg Pavlick and Billy Connors, Vice President Player Personnel, joined the children in conversation, picture taking and autographs signing.

After a brief questions and answers period where “what is a grand slam?” was discussed, Ron Dock took the children and the parents through a tour of the Yankees Offices. One of the children, 10 year old Nicholas named the players as he walked past the legendary Yankees pictures on the walls.

The Children received H.O.P.E. baseball caps, pins and a baseball, as it came time to say good-by.

H.O.P.E Helping Others Persevere and Excel

The New York Yankees
The Gulf Coast Yankees
The Tampa Yankees
The Staten Island Yankees

H.O.P.E. WEEK INITIATIVE – June 7, 2012

Posted by on Sunday, 24 June, 2012

June 7, 2012

By Raquel Julich
Foreign Radio
Special to Gulf Coast Yankees
Tampa, Florida


The Children’s Home story begins in 1892, in a small frontier village in Florida, when as recorded by history, Miss Carrie Hammerly began tending to orphaned and abandoned children.

In 1922, the ELKS donated $100,000 towards the restoration of the aging Home.

During 2012, The Children’s Home celebrates 120 years of history in Tampa, Florida.

The Flagpole: The Flagpole was constructed in 1922, it is 80 years old. On it is a plaque in honor of Marty Lawrence, a young man who was an orphan and who was killed in the line of duty in Vietnam. Because The Children’s Home was the only family he knew, he was honored with the plaque.

Situated on an 88 acre, Academy like setting, The Children’s Home features six cottages, an administration building, a playground and an in campus school. The cottages were named after the prominent philanthropist families of the era in Tampa; Constantino Garcia Lopez Cottage, Conn Cottage, Davis Cottage, Lowry Cottage, Lykes Cottage and the MacFarland Cottage.

With the number of children entering foster care on the rise, The Children’s Home has launched a number of prevention and intervention programs with the aim to strength families in the community. The Children’s Home serves nearly 13,000 children and adults each year in the Tampa Bay Area with programs ranging from residential treatment, to school readiness and vocational education efforts to kinship care.

Kinship Care: Families headed by grandparents sharing their homes with their grandchildren when the children are displaced from their parents because of abuse or neglect. More than 4.8 million children live with grandparents. About 830,000 of these grandparents are age 60 or older.

The following words on a plaque greet all visitors at the entrance to the William MacInnes Activities Center at The Children’s Home:

“Lives of great men (women) all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and departing leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time……….” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

There are many indications that the “Boss” of the New York Yankees, George M. Steinbrenner III, left his footprints at The Children’s Home.

On the fourth day of the Yankees H.O.P.E. Week Initiative, Alex Cotto presented the players of the Gulf Coast League to The Children’s Home. Cotto advised that Mark Newman, Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations, believes “getting our Yankees players started in community service should start early, at the Rookie level”.

The community service team included; catcher, Jackson Valera (Venezuela), infielder, Jake Anderson, outfielder, Exicardo Cayones (Venezuela), pitchers, Jose Campos (Venezuela), Giovanny Gallegos (Mexico), Dawerd Cruz (Dominican Republic), Conor Mullee, Brandon Braboy, and the only ambidextrous pitcher in professional baseball, Patrick Venditti, on rehab. from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Because of the severe rain storms in Tampa, The Children’s Home, Recreation Coordinator, Chris Boulanger teamed the youths and the GCL players in the MAC Activities Center, where they spent time shooting hoops. The players also enjoyed playing video games with the youths. It was the final day of school for the children, so, afterwards, they all enjoyed a pizza party.

In Kind Donations & Volunteer Recruitment Manager, Rachelle Gyurke, provided an overview of the Children’s Home. We were introduced to Shirley Lowry, Learning Center and Vocational Specialist, who offered information of the “Virtual School”. It is a place where the children go for tutoring, computer usage and art. The Learning Center has a small library and a special area dedicated for reading books.

For others in the Yankees group, a visit was allowed into the cottage dedicated to “Constantino Garcia Lopez”. We observed how ten children per cottage live in a homelike environment; bedrooms, recreation room, kitchen, dining room, bathrooms and laundry room. It held a relaxed atmosphere.

Among the things the children miss the most, “Not being able to bring friends home from school”, and “Playing on a Little League Team”. (Over 80% in The Children’s Home have never participated in organized sports).

In the cottages, with the assistance of an adult “Primary”, the children learn how to take care of themselves from personal care, to room cleanliness and laundry. Besides schooling, the children receive therapy on a daily basis with the HOPE to return them to their families or foster care.

One child’s story:
His name is Chris. He is 10 years old and stands, perhaps 3” tall. He is in the 3rd grade, but, “is working hard to pass on to the 5th grade”. We asked him a couple of questions;
Which is your favorite team? “The Tampa Yankees”.
The Tampa Yankees, how come? “My grandmother used to take me to the games, but she died”.
Do you have a favorite football team? “The Buccaneers”.
What are you going to be when you grow up? “Cool”.
Cool? Why? “So that I can wear nice shirts and pants”.
What else do you want to be when you grow up? “A coach” and he added “I’m really fast”.
If you could have anything you want right now, what would it be? “A pair of shoes without holes”.
What do you miss the most? “I miss my Mom”.
Why are you here? “Because I hurt my brother”.
I ended the conversation with the child, but not before he said he liked the way I talked.
I enjoyed his spirit.

H.O.P.E. Helping Others Persevere and Excel – The Children’s Home

H.O.P.E. WEEK INITIATIVE – June 6, 2012

Posted by on Sunday, 24 June, 2012

June 6, 2012

By Raquel Julich
Foreign Radio
Special to Gulf Coast Yankees
Tampa, Florida


Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of twenty-two hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. All care and services are provided regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

Shriners Hospitals for Children provides treatment for a full range of congenital and acquired orthopedic conditions. Some of the most commonly treated conditions are clubfoot, limb deficiencies, deformities and discrepancies, scoliosis (curvature of the spine), osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), and orthopaedic problems related to spinal bifida, cerebral palsy, dwarfism and muscular dystrophy.

On Wednesday, June 6th, the third day of H.O.P.E. Week in Tampa, Alex Cotto, Ron Dock and the Yankees Gulf Coast players paid an early morning visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

From the heavy box of goody bags that the players took turns in carrying, it was obvious that they had raided the “room of giveaways” at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The group of players included; pitching prospects Pat Venditte, Cesar Vargas from Mexico, and Steve Evarts, also, infielders, Abiatal Avelino and Jorge Mateo.

On arrival at Shriners, the Yankees group was greeted by Tara Deering, Childlife Specialist. She briefed the players with information of the children the players would interact with.

The players’ first introduction was a five year old child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Christian was all smiles as he received the goody bag from Ron Dock and was thrilled at finding a Yankees cap. The family was from New York. One of the players asked Christian how he was doing and the Mother coached the youngster to say, “I’m going to keep on winning”. “We’re winners and winners don’t lose”.

The visits continued, guided by Tara Deering, the players approached a room dedicated as the “Wade Boggs Room”. The patient’s mother seated at the bedside did not want the players to enter and greet the youngster. Nonetheless, Ron Dock handed a nurse the bag with the Yankees items. As Ron Dock walked away, the father of the boy could be heard softly saying “thank you”. The players continued along the corridor of the POPS Unit (Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services).

From observing the manner in which Alex Cotto and Ron Dock guided their players, it was obvious that the involvement of these Yankees men in the community is not a new thing. Their knowing the importance of the goody bags while observing each child’s reaction and recognizing that conversation with the children should be kept light. A New York Yankees cap is a magical thing.

Eventually, the players were led into the most whimsical of rooms, The Fish Bowl. A great room in the round, as if under the sea with colorful fish and ocean creatures. The Fish Bowl is used for daily children’s activities, they were told, the most special of them “The Monster Mash Bash”, held yearly at Halloween.

The players visited a 16 year old girl, injured when riding on the back of her father’s motorcycle. Along the way, they were asked to cheer a child fearing surgery on this day. The GCL pitcher Pat Venditte encouraged the youngster with conversation about his own surgery.

When the question was asked if Shriners Hospitals for Children treated children from other countries, the players were introduce to a child from Panama, Alberto, suffering with “Paralisis Celebral Espatica”. The youth was encased in braces and casts. You can imagine the family’s happiness at meeting and taking pictures with the Yankees, the team of Mariano Rivera. The players from Mexico and the Dominican Republic spoke in Spanish to Alberto and the family.

They met Kala, afflicted with “Posteria Spinal Fisure” and Christian from Peru, a patient suffering with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

The visits ended with a walk into a room of a brother and sister; an eight year old brother, the patient, with the six year old sister in bed by his side, to quote their Mother “making him happy”.

During the course of their Player Development, the Yankees Gulf Coast League players had already received an early introduction to the terminology of baseball injuries and the variety of treatments. On this day, every player in the group was quieted by the enormity of the afflictions of the children they visited and the courage the children exhibited through their smiles.

H.O.P.E. – as presented to and by the players of the Yankees Gulf Coast League.

H.O.P.E. WEEK INITIATIVE June 4-5, 2012

Posted by on Sunday, 24 June, 2012

June 4-5, 2012

By Raquel Julich
Foreign Radio
Special to Gulf Coast Yankees
Tampa, Florida



On March 23, 2012, during Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, the New York Yankees held the Kick-Off for their Fourth Annual H.O.P.E. Week Initiative.

Introduced in 2009, by Jason Zillo, Director, Communications and Media Relations, now in its fourth year, the Yankees H.O.P.E. Week Initiative (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient.

In the spirit of the Initiative, the New York Yankees honored 17-year old Tampa Catholic High School baseball player Owen Sarwatka, who as a sophomore, in 2010, was inspired to create “Everyone Can Play”, a nonprofit, volunteer-run, baseball skills clinic for children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

During May, the Yankees announced the expansion of HOPE Week. Throughout the 2012 season, five New York Yankees minor leagues affiliates will host their own community events.

Initiated on June 4 – 8, the Yankees Gulf Coast League players from the Himes Baseball Complex stepped-up-to-the-plate, as they participated in The H.O.P.E. Week Initiative.

Alex Cotto, Assistant Director of International Operations and Ron Dock, Intervention Coordinator laid the Initiative footprints for H.O.P.E., as they scheduled the players to visit and entertain youths from five different organizations.

On June 4th, the Gulf Coast League players visited “Warriors for Autism” in Oldsmar, Florida. Before the event Alex Cotto remarked “many of our players had never interacted with autistic children, so we did not know what to expect”. Afterwards, Cotto was pleased with his players’ participation “the players commented about the unbelievable experience of being able to play ball with such special youths”.

During the second day of the H.O.P.E. Initiative, on June 5th, the players drove to the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Tampa.

An overview of the PAL involvement in the community was provided by retired Tampa Police Officer Phil Ray, Executive Director, Police Athletic League of Tampa. PAL was started by Police Officer, Corporal Larry Siegel. In 1956 PAL was “just him and his van” and a few officers he could count on, working at crime prevention. Siegel was fighting juvenile crime and violence through the use of education, academically and athletically, based around “sports resources”. Larry Siegel continued in this endeavor until his death in 2010.

Today, the Tampa PAL children’s services include; van pickup from several Hillsborough County Elementary Schools for daily after school care, healthy snacks, assistance with school study and a variety of sporting programs. PAL also operates a supervised summer care program targeting “at risk” inner city children.

At the Police Athletic League, Alex Cotto and Ron Dock took turns speaking to the youths about the message in H.O.P.E. The subject of drugs and bullying was discussed with questions and answers. There was a message for the girls that “baseball is not just for boys but that there are plenty of job opportunities for girls within Major League Baseball”.

Yankees prospects from the Dominican Republic; Leonel Vinas, Daniel Lopez, and Jose Rosario, Adam Silva (Australia) and Jake Anderson took turns fielding questions from the approximately sixty-five boys and girls, ages 5-12, in attendance.
The questions ranged from baseball related, to the player’s personal lives. “Did they have children?” “Do you have a brother?” “Did you ever see a Kangaroo?” It was a question for Adam Silva who hails from Victoria, Australia. The children were obviously intrigued by meeting someone from Australia.

During snack time the young Yankees players each sat at a picnic table filled with kids. Childish conversation and laughter was the baseball order of the day. The children took turns trying on the baseball players’ gloves.
The children were curious about the age of the players and asked how long it would take them to reach the Major Leagues. They asked about their sports shoes, running speed, and hitting home runs. They talked about championships. They wanted to hear about the World Series Trophy and asked if every player received one.

After the questions and answers sessions the Yankees players and children teamed at the PAL field to “play a little catch”. After all the children took their swings, the players and children took a group photo, followed by many friendly good-by. A tender moment was observed on departure, as one child returned running to a Yankees player for a final hug.

At its core, HOPE Week is about people helping people. The one thing everybody has – no matter their background or financial situation – is time. By involving every player, manager and coach, along with front office staff, during the celebration of HOPE Week, the Yankees organization is sending the message that everyone can give of themselves to make their community a better place.

H.O.P.E. Week – The Yankees Gulf Coast League management and players initiated the footprints.


Posted by on Tuesday, 19 June, 2012

June 16, 2012
Charlotte Sports Park
Port Charlotte, Florida
By Rocky Julich

The All Star participants in the Home Run Derby hit their best in the show of homeruns, to excite the 5,678 fans in the seats. North-Daytona Cubs Infielder Greg Rohan (1), South-Jupiter Hammerheads outfielder Marcell Ozuna (3), North-Daytona Cubs outfielder Nelson Perez (4), South-Ft. Myers Miracle outfielder Oswaldo Arcia (2), North-Lakeland Flying Tigers outfielder Avisail Garcia (4), South-St. Lucie Mets outfielder Cory Vaughn (4), North-Dunedin Blue Jays second baseman Ryan Schimpf (2), South-Charlotte Stone Crabs shortstop Derek Dietrich (0).

During the home run tie breaker, Lakeland Flying Tigers Avisail Garcia (Venezuela) won the Home Run Derby with four powerful blasts, beating Daytona Cubs Nelson Perez and St. Lucie Mets Cory Vaughn.

.324-4-30 SS Kevin Nolan- Dunedin Blue Jays
.343-2-25 3B Cody Asche- Clearwater Threshers
.298-11-42 LF Nelson Perez- Daytona Cubs
.295-11-55 DH Greg Rohan- Daytona Cubs
.302-4-32 1B Jon Talley- Dunedin Blue Jays
.294-6-32 RF Avisail Garcia- Lakeland Flying Tigers
.292-6-33 CF Rob Segedin- Tampa Yankees
226-4-21 C Cameron Rupp- Clearwater Threshers
.270-7-34 2B Ryan Schimpf- Dunedin Blue Jays
LHP Austin Kirk (2-1, 2.63 ERA) Dayton Cubs
.349-0-15 LF Mike O’Neill- Palm Beach Cardinals
.299-10-40 3B Wilmer Flores- St. Lucie Mets
.266-6-31 2B Derek Dietrich- Charlotte Stone Crabs
.258-15-48 DH Marcell Ozuna- Jupiter Hammerheads
.277-3-26 CF Mikie Mahtook- Charlotte Stone Crabs
.226-12-28 RF Cory Vaughn- St. Lucie Mets
.263-5-26 C Josmil Pinto- Ft. Myers Miracle
.228-3-19 1B Richard Lucas- St. Lucie Mets
.287-1-21 SS Wilfredo Tovar- St. Lucie Mets
LHP C.J.Riefenhauser(6-2, 2.98ERA)Charlotte Stone Crabs

After months of my watching the Minor League teams of the Florida State League play A-Instructional League games, during the All Star Game it was almost as if watching a game of big leagues players.

Certainly, some of the names on the rosters; Perez, O’Neill, Vaughn, brought back memories of big leagues All Stars of past seasons.

Florida State League North-Dunedin Blue Jays first baseman Jon Talley put his team on the board with home runs in the second and third innings.

At the top of the fifth inning, Dunedin Blue Jays shortstop Kevin Nolan got on base with a single. A ground rule double by Daytona Cubs leftfielder Nelson Perez drives in the third run of the game.
North 3 – South 0.

Florida State League North-Tampa Yankees RHP Mark Montgomery takes the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning; strikes out first batter St. Lucie Mets first baseman Richard Lucas, walks St. Lucie Mets replacement shortstop Daniel Santana, who steals second and takes third on throwing error by Tampa Yankees replacement catcher J.R. Murphy. Montgomery strikes out Palm Beach Cardinals leftfielder Mike O’Neill. St. Lucie Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores connects a hit and drives in Santana. Montgomery walks Palm Beach Cardinals replacement second baseman Starlin Rodriguez. Montgomery is relieved by Clearwater Threshers RHP Tyler Knigge. Knigge walks Jupiter Hammerheads DH Marcell Ozuna and Charlotte Stone Crabs center fielder Mike Mahook which loads the bases and drives in Lucas. Rodriguez scores a run on a wild pitch by Knigge. Ft. Myers Miracle pinch hitter right fielder Oswaldo Arcia fly out to left field ends the inning.
North 3 – South 3

Tampa Yankees Mark Montgomery pitched 2/3 innings, 1H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K (ERA 40.50)

Clearwater Threshers RHP Tyler Knigg continues pitching in the eighth inning. Jupiter Hammerheads replacement catcher J.T. Realmuto reaches first on fielding error by Clearwater Threshers third baseman Cody Asche. Realmuto reaches third on throwing error by Daytona Cubs leftfielder Nelson Perez. Walk to St. Lucie Mets second baseman Richard Lucas. The ninth pitcher for the North All Stars, RHP Bruce Rondon enters the game and pitches a force out by St. Lucie Mets shortstop Daniel Santana, Lucas is out at second base, Realmuto scores. Santana steals second base and goes to third on a wild pitch by Rondon. Walk to Palm Beach Cardinals leftfielder Mike O’Neill. St. Lucie Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores connects his third hit of the game and drives in Santana and O’Neill.
North 3 – South 6

The ninth pitcher in the game for the South-Charlotte Stone Crabs LHP Chris Rearick pitches the ninth inning. Strikes out Dunedin Blue Jays first baseman Jon Talley. Lakeland Flying Tigers right fielder Avisail Garcia gets on base with a hit. The following two batters go out on strikes; Tampa Yankees center fielder Rob Segadin and Dunedin Blue Jays replacement catcher Jack Murphy. END OF 51st ALL STAR GAME.

“We knew all we had to do is put a run or two across and things would start happening.” said St. Lucie Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores, who went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored to earn MVP honors. “It was great to contribute and help the team (South) win, especially in such a big game.”

Final: North 3 – South 6
WP: Ricky Bowen (1-0, 0.00 ERA) 1.0 IP, 1K
LP: Tyler Knigge (0-1, 27.00 ERA) 1/3 IP, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 1WP
Time: 2:40 (32 minute game delay)
Attendance: 6,678

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.


Posted by on Monday, 11 June, 2012

June 9, 2012
Rocky Julich

Yikes, the Tampa Yankees took the playing field uniformed in green “Custom Jerseys”. It was Teacher Appreciation Night at Steinbrenner Field and the Jerseys were auctioned after the game with the proceeds benefiting SERVE, Volunteers in Education. It was a “Greene” sort of night.

Daytona Cubs (27W-32L), pitching Frank Del Valle (4-1, 4.36)

Tampa Yankees (25W-33L), pitching Shane Green (0-2, 4.66)

As the teams prepare to close the first half of the season, two players of Daytona appear on the list of Florida State League leaders; infielder, Greg Rohand ,305 AVG, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 68 Hits, 19 doubles and LF Nelson Perez, .305 AVG, 10 HR, 41 RBI.

RF Rob Segedin continues as the leader on the Tampa Yankees .286 AVG., 18 doubles, 6 HR, 31 RBI.

The Yankees connected the first hit of the game in the bottom of the third inning from LF Ramon Flores. At the start of the bottom of the fourth inning, an error by Daytona 2B Ron Torreys put RF Neil Medchill on base. DH Kyle Higashioka doubled to deep centerfield scoring Medchill. The sixth batter in the line-up, 1B Kyle Roller took the first pitch and sent it over the right field wall for his seventh homer of the season. The Yankees took a lead three runs to none.

At the bottom of the sixth inning, Kyle Higashioka got on base with a hit. Kyle Roller followed with a single. With CF Eduardo Sosa batting, a wild pitch by Daytona pitcher Eduardo Figueroa scored Higashioka. Eduardo Sosa hit a single scoring Roller to increase the Yankees lead, Tampa 5 – Daytona 0.

At the bottom of the seventh inning 2B Anderson Feliz got on base with a triple. C J.R.Murphy got a hit and drove in Feliz. A triple by Kyle Roller would bring in Murphy, Tampa 7 – Daytona 0.

Eight of the players in the Tampa line-up recorded a hit. Kyle Roller went 3-4 with a two-run homerun, a single and a double, missing a triple for the cycle, while recording three RBI (28). Kyle Higashioka walk, double and single, scoring two runs and one RBI. Anderson Feliz walk, triple and scored a run.

Tampa pitcher Shane Greene took control of his game early, striking out eight Cubs in six innings, holding the line-up to zero hits, zero walks, he was perfect. Greene was on an 85 pitch count and was replaced after sixth innings. Shane Greene said he believed his pitch count was around 85 and he knew he wouldn’t have a shot to finish what he started.

Tampa pitchers Rigoberto Arrebato and Mark Montgomery pitched the last three innings to complete the shut out of the Daytona Cubs. It was Tampa’s first win at home since May 20th.

Of the thirty Daytona Cubs the Tampa pitchers faced, twelve were out on strikes. Additionally, during the first six innings of play, the Cubs line-up went out, one-two-three until the top of the seventh inning when SS Arismendy Alcantara connected the first hit. There would be three outs and a hit in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Final: Tampa Yankees 7 – Daytona Cubs 0
WP: Shane Greene (1-2, 401 ERA)
LP: Frank Del Valle (4-2, 4.28 ERA)
Time: 2:24
Attendance: 2,604

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.


Posted by on Tuesday, 29 May, 2012

May 27, 2012
Joker Marchant Stadium
Lakeland, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

Memorial Day Weekend. What did I see?

When was the last time we saw brothers as battery mates? This is something worth researching.
Does anyone remember the Cooper brothers, Mort and Walker? They were battery mates in 1945, while playing with the St. Louis Cardinals.

While a hurricane like storm brews to the North of Lakeland, during 88 degree temperature, the Tampa Yankees (23W-26L) vs. Lakeland Flying Tigers (23W-24L) in a game sure to make the MiLB website.

Pitching and catching for Lakeland are brothers, natives of Guatire, Miranda, Venezuela. No. 19, RHP Luis Angel Sanz throws to his sibling No. 47, catcher Luis Alberto Sanz.

It is the second start in eight games for Sanz (1-1, 7.13 ERA). The receptor Sanz is batting .194, 0HR-2RBI.

Tampa missed opportunities to score runs, leaving the bases loaded in the second and fourth innings.

The Yankees RHP Caleb Cotham (0-0, 1.50 ERA) starts in his second game and is relieved after three innings, four hits, four strikeouts, four walks, three runs. LHP Evan DeLuca pitched the bottom of the fourth inning. DeLuca pitched two innings, two hits, three strikeout and three walks. RHP Branden Pinder pitched the Yankees sixth and seventh innings, three hits, one strikeouts, one walk, one run. RHP Mark Montgomery closed out the game for Tampa pitching one inning and striking out two batters.

Lakeland RHP Luis Angel Sanz and catcher Luis Alberto Sanz held the Yankees scoreless through five innings with seven hits, five strikeouts, one walk, two hit by pitch, 0 runs. LHP Matt Crouse got the save, pitching four innings, one hit, two strikeouts, 0 runs. It was a shutout for the Flying Tigers vs. the Yankees.

Lakeland, Florida State League leader CF Nick Castellanos scored two runs (31), two hits (77), double (16), total bases (110), average (.410), slugging percentage (.546), on base percentage (.469).

Lakeland catcher Luis Alberto Sanz hit (8) RBI (3). DH Zachary Maggard hit (2), run scored (1). 1B Matt Perry hit (1), run scored (1).

And, that how the “A” Instructional Game was played.

Final Score: Lakeland Flying Tigers 4 – Tampa Yankees 0
WP: Luis Angel Sanz (2-1, 5.90 ERA)
LP: Caleb Cotham (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
Time: 2:55
Attendance: 843

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.


Posted by on Tuesday, 15 May, 2012

May 12, 2012
By Rocky Julich

It’s a special Saturday Family Night at George M. Steinbrenner Field, PINK OUT NIGHT. It’s all about breast cancer awareness. On Sunday, the Yankees players in The Bronx will be decked out in Pink too; Pink Batting Gloves, Pink Bats, Pink Ribbons, Pink Wristbands and Pink Shoelaces. During cancer awareness, the Yankees honor the Mothers.

The Tampa Yankees will take the field wearing Pink Jerseys. During the game, the fans will be able to participate in a silent auction with the proceeds to benefit the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Research Center.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers are at Tampa for a four game series. This is the second meeting of the teams this season with an overall win/loss record of Lakeland 2 – Tampa 1.

It’s the thirty-six game of the season for the T-Yanks with a record of 16W-19L. After three games were called due to rain, Lakeland is playing game thirty-four with a record at 17W–16L.

LHP Alex Burgos (1-4, 5.67 ERA) is the first game starter for Lakeland. LHP Nik Turley (2-0, 2.23 ERA) undefeated and looking for his third win, starts for Tampa.

Tampa’s RF Rob Segedin is on the bench due to a rib cage strain he suffered in the thirteenth inning of the May 6th game vs. the Bradenton Marauders. Segedin ran into the catcher as he attempted to score a game tying run. The game was played during eighteen innings with a loss to Tampa, final score 7 – 6.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers have six players in their line-up with thirteen RBI or more. 3B Nick Castellanos has twenty-four with RF Avisail Garcia following with eighteen RBI.

Rob Segedin is the leader on the Tampa team with twenty-one RBI. RF Neill Medchill is second with thirteen.

It is a winning night for cancer awareness.

Final: Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Tampa Yankees 2
WP: Alex Burgos (2-4, 5.40 ERA)
LP: Nik Turley (2-1, 2.83 ERA)
Time: 2:37
Attendance: 2,586

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Leagues or its Clubs.