Archive for April, 2013


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.