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IL News and Notes

This is the weekly press release from the International League Office


CELEBRATING DUNN TIRE PARK: The first 4,000 fans attending the Bisons-Indianapolis Indians game on Saturday, May 17 will receive a full color 16"x20" poster highlighting the first 15 seasons of play at Dunn Tire Park. The ballpark, which opened on April 14, 1988,

has featured many great games, players and events in its first 15 seasons of existence in downtown Buffalo.

The poster features a variety of pictures of the facility, as well as pictures of former players, managers, recording artists who have performed

at the park and different promotions. The giveaway will also feature a contest where fans can try to name each person or event on the poster.

One winner will be chosen from all the correct entries and that fan will receive a framed version of the poster, which is sponsored by Pepsi.

WHOS HOT ON THE HERD: The Buffalo Bisons continue to get strong play from several players on their roster. On the hill for the

Bisons, Jason Phillips leads the IL in wins with 6 and Brian Tallet is second in the league with 39 strikeouts. Jamie Brown, who has

recently moved back into the rotation, has continued to improve his numbers. On Wednesday, he retired the final 19 batters he faced in the

Bisons game against the Toledo Mud Hens. Brown is now 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA on the season.

At the plate, Coco Crisp is like the Energizer bunny. He has at least one hit in 29 of the 34 games h es played in this season and hes reached

base in 31 games. Crisp also leads the IL in triples with 5. Alex Escobar has turned on the offensive engines and has hit in 5 of the last six

games. Hes hitting .400 in the month of May with 3 HR and 13 RBI. He leads the Bisons with 6 HR. Scott Pratt is hitting .368 with 5 R and

3 SB in his last 6 games.

SCHOOL DAY, SCHOOL DAY: The Buffalo Bisons will host their annual School Kids Day event on Monday, May 19 against the

Indianapolis Indians. The annual event will feature the Univera Heath Care 2Smart 2Start smoking program. There will be a pre-game

presentation and information throughout the contest educating the youngsters about the dangers of smoking. This will not be the Herds first

morning contest of the season. The Bisons played Toledo on May 13-14 for the Mud Hens two school day promotions. The Bisons beat the

Mud Hens in both contests and thus far, the Bisons are 2-0 in morning games.


MILES AWAY FROM ORDINARY: Second baseman Aaron Miles, the 2002 Southern League MVP at Double-A Birmingham, has been

one of the only positives for the Knights over the last two weeks, as Charlotte has lost 11 of their last 13 games. Miles went in to Thursday

nights action with a nine-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games. The switch-hitting infielder has hit safely in 25 of

29 games played in this year (including 15 multi-hit games), and leads the team in batting average (.375), home runs (6), hits (45), runs (20),

and slugging percentage (.617). The 26-year-old is 19-34 (.559) over his last eight games.

HOMERS A HIT IN AREA SCHOOLS: The Knights just recently rapped up their annual Homers RBIS (Read Books In School) Program,

sponsored by Baker & Taylor. The RBIs Program is designed to encourage literacy among elementary students in kindergarten through fifth

grade by offering them incentives to read books. This year, over 11,000 students participated in the program, with 193,018 books read an

average of over 17.5 books per student! Each student who participated in the program was rewarded with an official Charlotte Knights

bookmark, as well as a general admission ticket for a Knights home game. Homer the Dragon also made many appearances at area schools,

encouraging students to read as many books as they could. The Knights wish to extend special congratulations to Mrs. Bolins Second grade

class at Jefferson Elementary in York, SC, which read an amazing 5,263 books tops among all classes participating in the program. Mrs.

Bolins class will receive a special pizza party lunch with Homer the Dragon and will be honored on the field prior to Charlotte's game on

May 24


against Toledo.

IT COULD BE WORSE: Charlotte has lost 11 of its past 13 games, but is still seven games ahead of last years pace. Through 37 games in

2002, the Knights were 11-26, and ended up 55-88 and in last place in the IL South Division. The Knights are currently only two games

behind their best ever start as a Chicago White Sox affiliate, as the 1999 and 2001 team began the year 19-18. If the Knights hope to reverse

their recent losing ways, they need to find a way to win away from the Castle, as Charlotte is 15-8 at home and just 3-11 on the road.


TIPS FROM THE TOP: Last homestand, Reggie Jackson was in Columbus to work with Drew Henson on his hitting. Since May, Henson

has been more aggressive, hitting .389 with five doubles, two home runs and twelve RBI. Juan Rivera has chipped in with a .357 average

and Marcus Thames has hit .353 over the same period.

WELCOME: Rolando Arrojo, Erick Almonte and Randy Choate joined the Clippers this week. Arrojo has been with the Boston Red Sox

the past three seasons. He was an American League All-Star for Tampa Bay in 1998. Almonte has filled in for the injured Derek Jeter with

the Yankees. He hit .272 with a home run and eleven RBI. Choate pitched 3.2 innings in five games with the Bronx Bombers.

BE YOUR OWN BOBBLE-HEAD??: This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the first 1,000 youngsters 12 and under will receive a bobble-head

that allows them to insert a picture of themselves on the face of a Clippers bobble-head! This promotion is in conjunction with the Columbus

Dispatchs "Honors Weekend" in which exemplary students receive free tickets to this weekends games.


CLAYMANIA: American Idol sensation Clay Aiken thrilled fans at the Durham Bulls May 8


game vs. Rochester. The Raleigh, NC

native arrived in center field via helicopter and threw out the first pitch and sang the National Anthem, which was broadcast live throughout

the Triangle on Fox 50. He later signed autographs and took pictures with lucky fans. An autographed painting of Aiken was auctioned off

for $2,000 with the proceeds going to the Autism Society of America. The game was the Bulls first sellout of the season (10,445), with most

of the fans arriving plenty early to catch a glimpse of Clay.

IL PITCHER-OF-THE-WEEK: RHP Jeremi Gonzalez capped a fine week by being named the International Leagues Pitcher-of-the-Week.

He is the first Bulls player to receive a weekly award this season. The 28-year-old picked up two no-decisions in his two starts despite

allowing only one run and five hits in 13 innings. He walked one and struck out 14. Besides his stellar performance on the mound, he also

proved to be a capable backstop when he caught the first pitch from Clay Aiken. Gonzalez, who has not pitched in the big leagues since

1998, is expected to be called up to start for the Devil Rays this weekend.

STARTING TO LOOK GOOD: The Bulls sport a modest 6-6 record in the month of May through the 14


, but you wouldnt guess it if you

saw the stats for the starting pitchers. Rob Bell, Jeremi Gonzalez, Delvin James, Jim Parque, Carlos Reyes and Jason Standridge have

combined for a 2.00 ERA over 72 innings of work. The rotation has allowed just 50 hits and 14 walks while striking out 57. Despite the

excellent work, the combined record of the starters is just 3-2, with all three wins coming from Carlos Reyes .


DUROCHER ON REHAB: RHP Jayson Durocher has joined the Indians on a rehab assignment. Durocher underwent arthroscopic surgery

on his right elbow to remove bone spurs on March 8. Durocher started Tuesday and needed just nine pitches to retire Pawtucket in order. He

recorded two strikeouts. He is scheduled to start and pitch one inning tonight. Durocher was 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in 20 games for the Tribe

last season before a June promotion to Milwaukee where he made his major league debut in his 10


season. Durocher finished the season

with the Brewers going 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 39 games.

HITTING STREAK ENDS AT 14: Mark Smiths 14-game hitting streak was snapped Tuesday with an 0-for-3 performance. The streak was

the fourth-longest in the IL this season. Smith leads the Indians with a .330 average, 17 RBI and 10 multi-hit games. He was the Indians

Player of the Month for April. Smith has hit safely in 26 of his last 29 games (.343, 37-for-108). The longest hitting streak last season was 17

games by Ryan Thompson from April 5-23.

HOT AT THE PLATE: The Indians have scored five or more runs in eight of the last nine games, going 5-4 in that span. The Indians have

scored 60 runs (6.7 rpg) and are hitting .305 (95-for-311) in those games. The Tribe opposition has scored 47 runs and is hitting .274 (90-for-328)

over the last nine games. For the month of May, the Indians are hitting .288 and have scored 77 runs (5.5 rpg). Bill Hall leads the team

with a .393 average, 13 runs, 22 hits and 10 RBI. Keith Luuloa is hitting .378 with a team-high .757 slugging percentage. Jason Conti

(.346) also has 13 runs scored and three homers. Mark Smith is batting .319.

TRIBE MVP RETURNS: The Indians have signed outfielder Jim Rushford. Rushford was the Tribes Most Valuable Player last season

leading the club with a .316 average, 128 hits, 33 doubles, 68 RBI and a .391 on-base percentage. Rushford led the minors with a .354

average in 2001. The 29-year-old started this season with Oklahoma where he hit .190-0-9 in 24 games.


BROWNS BAT: OF Emil Brown has a 10-game hitting streak, dating back to May 5. During this time he is batting .432 (16-37) with five

RBI and six runs scored. For the season, Brown leads the team with nine stolen bases and is second on the team in hits (39), RBI (25),

doubles (8), T-2


in HR (5) and T-3


in runs scored (18). OF Jacob Cruz has Louisvilles longest hitting streak of the season at 13 games.

MANAGER MILEY: Bats Manager Dave Miley currently has 253 wins with Louisville, which places him second all-time in Louisville

history, 10 behind Jim Fregosi with 263. Miley has also managed 468 games with Louisville. Fregosi has managed the most games in

franchise history at 495.

NO LOVE FOR THE NORTH: The Bats are in the middle of a 32-game stretch where they play only IL North Division teams. Louisville is

currently 4-10 vs. their northern counterparts this season. The team is on an 8-game road trip through Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Pawtucket

and will come home on May 22 to play four with Rochester and four with Buffalo.


NOT GONNA DO IT: The Tides have yet to lose 3 consecutive games this season. They have gone on six 2-game losing streaks so far.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Norfolk is in the middle of an 8-game road trip. The Tides are 11-8 at home and 10-8 on the road. Tides batters

are hitting .239 at home and .266 on the road and Tides pitchers ERAs are 4.21 at home and 2.77 on the road.

RUN, FORREST, RUN: Norfolk leads the IL in stolen bases with 62. They have stolen at least one base in 11 of their last 12 games,

including swiping 4 on May 12


. The Tides were 3


in the league last year with 110 stolen bases for the season. Durham led the league with

153 stolen bases. In 1982, Norfolk set a franchise record stealing 195 bases.


25,000 REASONS TO COME TO THE PARK: When the Lynx come back from their current road trip, they will host "Hit for the Cycle

Night." One KHS mountain bike will be given away every inning, rotating between a kids bike and an adults bike. If a Lynx player hits for

the cycle, one lucky fan will walk away $25,000 richer.

BATS, BALLS, BUNTS AND BRUNCH: This weekend is a long weekend in Canada, and on holiday Monday the Lynx present the "CJOH

Television Brunch at the Ballpark." For one low price, fans are invited to enjoy brunch at the ballpark and mingle with local TV personalities,

starting at 10 a.m. The game against the Norfolk Tides starts at 11:35. Net proceeds will go to the Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

LYNX LEADERS: The offensive-minded Lynx have continued their terrific start at the bat. The Cats lead the IL in batting (.290), hits (380),

walks (152) and on-base percentage (.363), while being second in runs (182), doubles (75) and triples (13). Lynx 1B Carlos Mendez lead

the IL in hits with 56, is second in RBI (30), and is third in batting (.359) while Luis Matos leads the IL in doubles with 13.

RECORD-SETTING PACE: Just past the quarter pole of the IL season, several Lynx players are on a record-setting pace. At his current

pace, Carlos Mendez will challenge for the Lynx record of hits (147), and batting average (.343), and RBI (84), while Luis Matos should

challenge the doubles record of 38, and Brian Roberts looks like he may make a run at the Lynx records for stolen bases (47), and runs (86).

Pitcher Sean Douglass looks to be a record-setting pace for wins (11 is the record), while Mike Garcia is on pace to break the existing saves

record of 31.


OH BROTHER: The Crespo boys will have another chance this weekend to reprise their brother act when they possibly face each other at

McCoy Stadium. Cesar Crespo of the PawSox and Felipe Crespo of the Louisville Bats are one of just nine brothers to ever hit home runs

in the same Major League game. The two accomplished that feat on June 7, 2001 in San Francisco when Cesar, playing for San Diego,

cracked a solo HR while his brother Felipe belted a 2-run shot for the Giants later in that same game. The brothers were slated to face each

other last weekend in Louisville, but Felipe was on the disabled list with a muscle pull. Felipe may be recovered in time to face Cesar and

the PawSox this weekend in Pawtucket. Felipe is more than six years older than Cesar. The Puerto Rican natives both play anywhere on the

field. Felipe has played in the big leagues with Toronto, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, while Cesar played for San Diego in 2001 & 2002.

THE AMAZING SANCHEZ: The rave reviews continue to pour in for PawSox infielder Freddy Sanchez. The 24-year-old California

native is currently leading the IL in batting by a wide margin with his .406 average. Although it is early, Freddy is bidding to be the first

PawSox player to win the IL batting title since Wade Boggs in 1981 (.353). Sanchez also leads the league in on-base pct. (.494) and runs

scored (34). He is 2


in the IL with 51 hits, his 12 doubles are tied for 2


in the IL, and he has also added 5 HR & 5 SB. He comes into

play tonight (Thursday) riding an 11-game hitting streak. Earlier this season he had a pair of 7-game hitting streaks and a 6-game hitting

streak. He has gone hitless in only five of his 36 games played and has not reached base safely via hit or walk in just two of those games.

And Freddy has been impressive in the field as well committing just two errors in 36 games (25 at SS and 10 at 2B).

Selected by the Red Sox in the 11


round of the 2000 June draft, Freddy has led the entire Red Sox Development System in batting each of

the last two seasons. He hit a combined .318 last year between Trenton (.328 in 80 games) and Pawtucket (.301 in 45 games) and also led the

system with 24 stolen bases. He earned a September recall to Boston and appeared in 12 games with the Red Sox highlighted by a 2-run

pinch-hit single in his M.L. debut. Sanchez had a 27-game hitting streak with Trenton last season (.375) for the longest in the minors since

2000 and he also reached base safely in 45 straight games from May 15 July 17. Freddy led the organization in batting during the 2001

season as well when he hit .334 between Sarasota (.339) and Trenton (.326).


THREE TIMES AS NICE: Richmond had three triples in Fridays 8-0 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre marking the first time since July

13, 1997 that the Braves have performed that feat. In that game, Tommy Gregg, T.R. Lewis, and Brad Tyler each tripled as the Braves won

at Columbus, 9-7. The 2003 Richmond Braves lead the International League with 19 triples, six more than second place Ottawa. The R-Braves

are hitting nearly as many three-baggers (19) as home runs (24). With their three triples Friday and two more over the weekend, the

Braves have exceeded their triple total from 2002 (17).

BETEMIT SIDELINED: Wilson Betemit is listed as day-to-day after straining his left shoulder diving for a groundball in Tuesdays 2-1 loss

to Ottawa. Betemit is hitting .246-1-8 with 6 2B, 2 3B, and 16R for Richmond.

END OF THE DROUGHT: Mike Hessmans first inning home run Wednesday was the first round tripper by a Brave at The Diamond since

April 11 when Damon Hollins homered in a 6-2 win over Columbusa span of 465 at-bats by Richmond hitters at The Diamond. Entering

todays meeting with Ottawa, the Braves have three homers in 501 at-bats at The Diamond.


DOROTHY WAS WRONG: The Red Wings have gotten off to a slow start at Frontier Field this season going 8-10. The Wings have just a

132-173 record at Frontier Field since 1999 and has not had a winning record at Frontier Field since 1998 when the Wings had a 38-34


ILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: The Red Wings will hit the road on Saturday for a 13-day, 13-game road trip to Columbus, Louisville,

and Indianapolis. Rochester will start the trip with a four-day, five-game series in Columbus, take an off-day on Wednesday, May 21, play a

four-game set in Louisville and they close out the road trip with a four-game series in Indianapolis. The 13-day, 13-game road trip will be

the longest road trip Rochester has taken since June of 1989. Rochester will return back to Frontier Field on Friday, May 30.

ITS A SIX-INNING GAME: So far this season you can usually tell what is going to happen in the Red Wings games after six innings. The

Red Wings are 14-0 when leading after six innings and just 2-17 when trailing after six innings. Rochester is also 2-2 when tied after six


GOOD AND BAD: In the Red Wings last 13 games Rochester has just a 6-7 record. In the Red Wings six wins the starters did an adequate

job, going 4-0 with a 3.22 ERA. In those six wins, the starters have allowed just 13 runs in 36.1 innings of work. In the Red Wings seven

losses, the Wings starters really struggled, going 0-7 with a 9.58 ERA. In those seven losses, starters have allowed 38 runs (33 earned) in

31.0 innings of work.


REALITY TV COMING TO LACKAWANNA COUNTY STADIUM: Move over Survivor and Joe Millionaire, Extreme Dreams is in the

way. Beginning this summer Meridian Picture will begin taping and producing segments of their reality-based TV show "Extreme Dreams"

which will follow 18 baseball hopefuls in their quest for a contract with the Phillies. Taping will take place primarily at Lackawanna County

Stadium. Producers will be going to ten major cities around the country and holding open tryouts for the show. Anyone over the age of 18,

who has never played, never been paid to play organized ball is eligible to participate. The open tryouts, in which players of all positions will

be selected, will be overseen by a series of three "judges" who will be a combination of legendary Major League coaches and future Hall of

Famers. It will be their job to select twenty participants, enough to field two complete baseball teams. Those finalists will be taken back to

Scranton, PA., home of the Phillies Triple-A team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. They will all be housed together, and over a

seven-week period, cameras will follow them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as they are put through a rigorous training/competition process,

all overseen by the same legends of the game who selected them in the open tryouts. In the second week of the series the players are divided

in "A" and "B" teams. Over the next three weeks the competitors will jockey to make, or stay on, the "A" team as in the fifth week the entire

"B" team will be eliminated from the competition. In the sixth week, in the final competition segment, the "A" team will play an exhibition

game against former Major Leaguers. This game will be the final arbiter where the judges and the viewers get their chance to send one

finalist, to Veterans Stadium, where prior to a Phillies home game the Extreme Dreams winner will get a private, closed, one-on-one tryout

with the Phillies, in front of the teams owners, general manager, front office, coaches and scouts to see if he can make the team. The actual

decision whether he makes the team, or not, will be made with the cameras recording the whole process, immediately at the conclusion of the


PUNTO, DUCKWORTH PROMOTED: The Red Barons lost their hottest hitter when Nick Punto was promoted to Philadelphia to replace

the injured Tyler Houston. Punto had hit in all 13 games he had played for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since being optioned from Philadelphia

May 2, batting .350 overall. Replacing Punto on the Red Barons roster will be Uriel Casillas . Casillas was batting .333 at Double-A

Reading in 17 games. In three games with the Red Barons earlier this season he was 3-10. In addition to losing Punto, Brandon Duckworth

is also expected to rejoin the Phillies Saturday and pitch in Houston after just one start with the Red Barons.


LONG NIGHT: The SkyChiefs 15 inning 1-0 win over Durham Saturday night was the longest 1-0 game in modern franchise history (since

1961). Previously, the longest 1-0 game was a 12-inning victory by the Norfolk Tides at MacArthur Stadium on July 18, 1993. The Syracuse

franchise has now won a total of 6 extra innings games by a score of 1-0.

700 CLUB: Saturdays win was manager Omar Malaves 700


as a full-time manager. Malave actually has 701 career victories he

managed the club to an 8-0 win over Norfolk on May 16, 2000 while serving as interim manger. It was also the 150


win for Malave as the

full-time manager in Syracuse.

NO MORE BULLS: The SkyChiefs won 4 of their first 6 meetings with Durham this season before postponements Sunday and Monday.

The teams are not scheduled to play again this season, which means the two games will not be made up. Syracuse has now had 9 games

postponed this season.

ARNOLD GETS THE CALL: RHP Jason Arnold, one of the top prospects in the Blue Jays organization, was promoted from Double-A

New Haven on Monday. Arnold got a no decision in his Triple-A debut on Tuesday night, allowing 5 runs in 5 innings pitched. Arnold began

last season with the Yankees before being sent to Oakland in a three team deal. During the off season, Toronto acquired Arnold as part of a

four team trade that sent SS Felipe Lopez to Cincinnati.

SKYCHIEFS TO HELP FIGHT EATING DISORDERS: The SkyChiefs will team up with Ophelias Place for a fundraising event Friday

night during the SkyChiefs-Norfolk game at P&C Stadium. Ophelias Place is a non-profit organization offering resources to those affected

by eating disorders. Select wives of SkyChiefs players will sell paper butterflies and Ophelias Place coffee mugs, t-shirts, and bracelets.

Any fan purchasing a butterfly will receive a ten percent discount in the stadium souvenir store Friday night. The SkyChiefs will also wear

special caps on May 29 with the caps being auctioned off and the proceeds going to support Ophelias Place.


FOR THE LOVE OF THE GLOVE: Toledo outfielder Cody Ross received a special bit of hardware this past week. The 22-year-old won

his second straight Gold Glove from the Detroit organization for his superb 2002 season. Cody also won the award (given to the top three

defensive outfielders in the system) in 2001as a member of the Lakeland Tigers on the Florida State League.

400,000 AND COUNTING: The Hens will have pre-sold 400,000 tickets for the 2003 season by the end of this week. To give some more

perspective on this achievement, Toledo hit the 400,000 mark last year on June 25. The Hens broke an all-time attendance record last season

at Fifth Third Field by drawing 547,204 fans.

TRIPLE TROUBLE: On Monday, May 12, the Hens pulled off a couple of things that are quite rare. First off, Toledos Cody Ross and

Hiram Bocachica hit back-to-back triples. This was the first time it had happened for the Hens since Brian Rios and Andres Torres pulled

the trick on June 3, 2002.

When Warren Morris tripled later in the game, the search was on to figure out the last time the Hens had three triples in a game. The

answer? May 9, 1999 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Toledo went on to lose that game by a score of 6-5.

THROWING FLAMES IN HENSVILLE: The first pick of the 1997 June Draft, Matt Anderson, was optioned to Toledo last week to work

on some of his pitching mechanics and to right the ship after some struggles with the parent Tigers. The 27-year-old appeared in 24 games

with Toledo back in the 1999 season and started four of those games. Anderson has already started two games on his current visit and has

worked 5.2 innings and is 0-1. Anderson, who has been clocked at 100 mph in the major leagues, has lost some velocity and is throwing in

the 93-95 mph range in Toledo.

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