Results tagged ‘ Opening Day ’
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, but can a series of tweets of 140 characters also tell a story? We think so! We used fan’s tweets to retell the story of how the Dash lost their home opener against the Carolina Mudcats 9-7 in front of 6,963 spectators.
— Brian Formica (@BrianFormica) April 12, 2013
Home opener today lets get it!!!!!!
— Courtney Hawkins (@CHawkins10) April 12, 2013
Opening night for the @wsdashbaseball. Blessed to have professional baseball & a beautiful ballpark in my hometown.
— Jonathan (@The_LuckiestMan) April 12, 2013
During the game:
Kevan Smith hit his 1st HR of the season for High A Winston Salem #WhiteSox
— Minor League Scoop (@MILBScoop) April 13, 2013
— Kelly R (@KellyofNC) April 13, 2013
Courtney Hawkins hits a homerun every game.That guy is a beast.
— Alexa Scimone (@alexascimone) April 13, 2013
Courtney Hawkins is officially HOT for Winston Salem right now. Belted his 3rd HR of the season tonight #WhiteSox
— Minor League Scoop (@MILBScoop) April 13, 2013
The @carolinamudcats carry a 4-3 lead to the 4th in Winston-Salem. The Dash have scored on a pair of home runs so far.
— Darren Headrick (@Darren_Headrick) April 13, 2013
— staci saleeby (@staeshee) April 13, 2013
— Ken McDowell (@morpheusxp) April 13, 2013
— Redeemer School (@RedeemerGoRams) April 13, 2013
Despite a tremendous crowd of 6,963 at BB&T Ballpark, the Dash drop their home opener to Carolina 9-7. Back at it Saturday at 7 p.m.
— Winston-Salem Dash (@WSDashBaseball) April 13, 2013
driving towards downtown Winston, watching fireworks from the baseball field, and blasting dubstep hahahaha this is wild
— Tyler Osborne (@_TylerOsborne_) April 13, 2013
— Jon (@Lucas8429) April 13, 2013
— Winston-SalemJournal (@JournalNow) April 13, 2013
Thanks to all the great fans who came out to pack BB&T Ballpark last night! Game two of the series is tonight at 7. Watch us live on My 48 or listen to us at wsdash.com/broadcast starting at 6:45 p.m.
-Erika and Curt
If you follow the Dash on Twitter and Instagram (and if you don’t…what are you waiting for?), you already know that we have been counting down the days until Opening Day at BB&T Ballpark. Finally, that countdown has reached one, with Opening Day tomorrow night at 7 against Carolina. Here are some of the notable numbers from the countdown.
100: The countdown began with this picture on a fairly nice day in early January, 100 days from Opening Day.
88: At the 88 day mark, we highlighted last year’s Carolina League MVP Dan Black, who posted 88 RBIs for the Dash in 2012.
72: On July 4th, 2012, the Dash welcomed a single-game record 7,285 fans into BB&T Ballpark for their game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
55: Coming into this season, the Dash have posted a winning percentage of .554 (317-255) in the regular season and playoffs since they became the Dash prior to the 2009 season.
38: Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins played 38 games for the Bristol White Sox before earning a promotion to Kannapolis and later to Winston-Salem for the end of the regular season and Carolina League playoffs.
25: Twice in the last two seasons, the Dash have been 25 games above .500 at BB&T Ballpark. In 2010, they were 47-22, and last season the club went 48-23.
21: Last year, the Dash’s #21, Kevan Smith, hit two home runs in the Carolina League playoffs, including a grand slam in the deciding game of the SDCS against Myrtle Beach.
9: BB&T Ballpark has hosted nine playoff games since it opened in 2010. The Dash have a record of 6-3 in those games.
5: The Dash had five postseason Carolina League All-Stars last season; Dan Black, Michael Earley, Carlos Sanchez, Brady Shoemaker and Trayce Thompson.
1: We have the number one fans in Minor League Baseball. Since opening BB&T Ballpark, almost one million fans have seen a Dash game in the Triad. Our total attendance since 2010 is the tops in High-A baseball. Our final countdown went out to all of you.
Tomorrow night, BB&T Ballpark opens it gates for the first time in 2013 as the Dash take on the Carolina Mudcats at 7! But before we get to that, the Dash have one more in Frederick tonight. Join Brian for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 here.
The Dash announced their 2013 Opening Day roster Tuesday, and we broke down the entire roster yesterday on the blog. It features 13 players who have previously played in Winston-Salem, seven of whom are pitchers.
Four of those seven men will be in the Dash’s initial starting rotation, which looks like this for the first five games of the season.
OPENING DAY STARTING ROTATION:
Friday at Carolina: RHP Bryan Blough
Saturday at Carolina: RHP Chris Bassitt
Sunday at Carolina: RHP Chris Beck
Tuesday at Frederick: RHP Terance Marin
Wednesday at Frederick: RHP Justin Collop
This is a unique quintet from a statistical standpoint. The Dash’s Opening Day rotation has combined for 310 career minor league appearances but only 77 starts.
If you throw out Collop’s 55 starts in 93 appearances, the other four hurlers have combined for just 22 minor league starts. Thus, 80 percent of the Dash’s rotation has started a combined 10 percent of their minor league games.
Blough started six times for Low-A Kannapolis in the second half of 2012 before rejoining the Dash’s bullpen for the stretch run. He will take the ball for the Dash in the season opener Friday night after posting a 2-0 record with a 3.93 ERA in Winston-Salem a year ago.
The rotation plays out such that Bassitt is in line to receive the start for the Dash’s Home Opener Friday, April 12. Bassitt never started at the University of Akron or professionally until the second half of 2012 in the CL. He went 4-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 10 regular season starts. The righty then turned in his best professional outing in the SDCS-clinching win September 7 with seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory.
Beck enters the season as the top pitching prospect on the Dash’s roster, according to Baseball America. The Georgia native went 4-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 15 appearances (six starts) with rookie-level Great Falls last summer. He was the White Sox second-round pick last June.
A reliever for his entire minor league career, Marin shifts into the rotation for 2013. In 77 career appearances, Marin boasts a 2.18 ERA. His work in Winston-Salem last season was comparable (2.42 ERA in 33 efforts), but it came as a reliever. It will be fun to watch Marin’s transition.
Collop is the veteran starter of the bunch, with 16 of his 31 appearances last year coming in a starting role. In his High-A career, the former University of Toledo righty is 11-7 with a 4.17 ERA. Last season, he led the Dash in innings pitched (121.0) and shared the team lead in wins (9).
For those coming out to the first series of the home slate next weekend, you will likely see Bassitt, Beck and Marin, in that order. Everyone will get a chance to pitch at BB&T Ballpark during the Dash’s eight-game homestand from April 18-25.
One of the final steps before the Dash’s season can begin is the release of the Opening Day roster, which happened today. Dash fans know about some of these 25 players, while others will suit up for Winston-Salem for the first time Friday at Carolina. Let’s take a look at all of these players and how they fit within the roster.
The top prospect:
OF Courtney Hawkins
No White Sox prospect will draw as much attention as Hawkins will during the 2013 season. Chicago’s first-round pick 10 months ago, Hawkins hit three homers and drove in seven runs in 12 High-A games last season. He will likely get a longer look at this level while trying to live up to the billing of being the Sox top prospect and one of the top 100 players in the minors.
The other ranked farmhands:
RHP Chris Beck, INF Joey DeMichele & C Kevan Smith
In addition to Hawkins’ place atop Baseball America’s White Sox prospect rankings, three other players who will open the season with Winston-Salem found themselves on the publication’s Top 30 list. Beck (10th) makes the jump from short-season Great Falls, while DeMichele (24th) is a player that many believe can climb the minor league ladder quickly. Most Dash fans remember Smith (27th) and his big grand slam in the SDCS-clinching win over Myrtle Beach last season. He will likely receive the majority of the playing time available behind the plate.
The returning hurlers:
RHP J.R. Ballinger, RHP Chris Bassitt, RHP Bryan Blough, RHP Justin Collop, RHP Terance Marin, LHP Max Peterson & RHP Steven Upchurch
The Dash’s pitching staff was one of the best in the Carolina League last season, and more than half of the Dash’s Opening Day pitchers suited up for Winston-Salem at some point last season. Pitching coach J.R. Perdew also returns after the tremendous 2012 season. All seven of these pitchers have had success at this level, which bodes well for the Dash in 2013.
The “prove it” player:
INF David Herbek
Herbek’s 2012 season was unique. He hit just .214 in 43 games with Low-A Kannapolis, but the White Sox moved him up to Winston-Salem in late June. The Virginia native responded by swinging at a .313 clip in 47 games. Herbek figures to see significant time with the Dash, so will he be closer to his Kannapolis form or his Winston-Salem self? You have to like his chances to be a scary hitter on this circuit like he was down the stretch a year ago.
The new White Sox:
RHP Jeremy Erben, OF Nick Giarraputo & INF Mark Tracy
Three men on the 25-man roster were not with the organization last season. The White Sox signed Erben in spring training, just a few days after Arizona released him. Giarraputo is back in affiliated baseball after three seasons on the independent circuit. Tracy joined the Sox organization following a trade with Colorado. Former Dash outfielder Kenny Williams, Jr., was shipped to the Rockies in that deal. This trio will be hungry to contribute early on as White Sox farmhands.
INF Chris Curley, OF Mark Haddow & OF Billy Rice
These three men all joined Winston-Salem at some point last season, but the threesome combined for only 11 regular season games with the Dash. Curley shined in the final week of the regular season before hitting .500 in the CL postseason, while Haddow and Rice struggled a bit in their limited at-bats after playing well for Low-A Kannapolis. How will these three swingers adjust to a prolonged stay in the Triad? That answer may dictate how effective the offense will be this season.
The Kannapolis kids:
INF Grant Buckner, LHP Jarrett Casey, INF Joe De Pinto & RHP Daniel Webb
These four players spent most or all of their 2012 seasons with Low-A Kannapolis. The jump from Low-A to High-A is not an easy one, but all four of these men will get the chance to do it following spring training.
The catching couple:
C Martin Medina & C Brent Tanner
With Smith in the fold, how will skipper Ryan Newman find playing time for these two backstops? Both Medina and Tanner have shown promise in the minors, but there is only so many at-bats to go around. Last season, the Dash rarely had three catchers on the roster, so this will be a challenge for Newman and hitting coach Rob Sasser.
The comeback candidate:
RHP Cody Winiarski
Winiarski missed all of last season with a back injury, and he only has 17 career minor league efforts under his belt. Last season, Kyle Bellamy returned from a season-long injury to shine with Winston before heading to Double-A. Winiarski will look to do the same for the Dash in 2013.
Hopefully this gives you some more insight on the first roster for the Dash in 2013. The season is three days away, and we will have plenty more coverage leading up to Friday’s season opener here on the Dash Board.
The White Sox first spring training game is in 30 days. Robin Ventura’s crew will suit up for the first time Saturday, February 23, at 3:05 p.m. EST against the Dodgers, their stadium-mates at Camelback Ranch.
As Winston-Salem prepares for another winter storm tomorrow, it is nice to know that baseball is within grasp, even if the first true taste will be more than 2,000 miles away from the Triad.
Here are a few more notes to appease your baseball craving:
- BB&T Ballpark is the home of Winston-Salem State University baseball in 2013, so the first game at the stadium this season will be February 8. The Rams will play all 26 home games at BB&T Ballpark.
- Winston-Salem will not have a chance to watch a former five-star football recruit play for the Dash in 2013. Mitch Mustain, who played college football for Arkansas and USC before trying out pitching, was released by the White Sox, that according to Baseball America. Mustain climbed as high as Low-A Kannapolis after Chicago inked him to a deal last February. Between his time with the Intimidators and rookie-level Bristol, the righty was 2-2 with a 4.63 earned run average in 19 relief appearances.
- We all saw speedster Billy Hamilton in last year’s All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark. Hamilton, who set the single-season stolen base record in minor league baseball, will start 2013 with Triple-A Louisville. If he is still in the International League, Hamilton will be in Charlotte to take on the White Sox Triple-A affiliate May 14-17.
- The Braves traded for Arizona outfielder Justin Upton earlier today, and the Diamondbacks received 2012 Lynchburg shortstop Nick Ahmed. A midseason All-Star, Ahmed paced the Carolina League with 40 stolen bases.
- Finally, some CL flavor is officially reaching the NBA. New Orleans will unveil its new Pelicans nickname, along with the logo and color scheme, at a press conference later today. How will Myrtle Beach respond?
The home opener is getting closer and closer! Can’t wait for baseball.
December is almost here, so the Dash front office is busy spreading holiday joy, hanging out with Santa and gearing up for the holiday season. With 2013 approaching, big league organizations are making some important decisions for the upcoming season. Here are a few notes to quench your baseball thirst on a Thursday afternoon:
- Congrats to Bobby Thigpen, who will join the White Sox staff as the bullpen coach. Thiggy was the Dash’s pitching coach from 2009-11 before spending this season with Double-A Birmingham in the same role. Thigpen was certainly a fan favorite here in Winston-Salem, and Chicago skipper Robin Ventura has known him for his entire career.
- The Sox also announced that Daryl Boston, who spent 12 seasons as the organization’s outfield instructor, will join the big league staff in 2013 as the first base coach. Boston made a handful of stops in Winston-Salem this season, and it was good to occasionally chat with him. Congrats to him, too.
- The only Carolina League team to announce its field staff for 2013 is the Carolina Mudcats, who will have a new look when the Dash open the campaign in Zebulon April 5. David Wallace becomes the Muddies’ manager after guiding Lake County, the Indians’ Low-A affiliate, to the playoffs this season. Hitting coach Rouglas Odor and pitching coach Jeff Harris will accompany Wallace, who replaces 2012 skipper Edwin Rodriguez. The former Marlins boss will lead Cleveland’s Double-A affiliate in Akron.
- The White Sox have yet to announce their minor league staff assignments for 2013, but this news should be released soon. Last year, Dash fans learned that Tommy Thompson was Winston-Salem’s 2012 manager in mid-November, while the 2011 staff decisions were made public a few days before Christmas.
- Earlier this week, the BBWAA released the 37-man ballot for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. More than 600 voters have until December 31 to submit their vote, and some notable (and controversial) names are on the list. A few players linked to performance-enhancing drugs (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa) will prompt many debates on the standards to reach the Hall of Fame. It should be fascinating to watch.
The Dash’s season opener is only 127 days away. We can’t wait!
The Dash released their 2013 schedule today, which is one of the first signs of baseball’s return during the long offseason. You can check out the entire schedule here.
There are many marquee matchups throughout the season, and I highlight five parts of the first half schedule below.
- April 5 at Carolina: The Dash kick off their 2013 campaign in Zebulon against a Mudcats squad that didn’t like Winston-Salem. The feeling was mutual. These two teams had some memorable battles (and a few fights) a year ago, and both teams figure to have a strong squad, especially in the first half. These two teams could be the cream of the crop in the Southern Division in 2013.
- April 12 v. Carolina: Once again, the Mudcats will be the opponent when the Dash kick off their home slate one week after opening their season at Five County Stadium. Winston-Salem went 48-23 at BB&T Ballpark, which was good for the best home mark in the minors in 2012. Last season, the Dash claimed their home opener over the Muddies 1-0.
- April 22-25 v. Lynchburg: Winston-Salem finished two wins shy of what would’ve been a perfect season. The Dash won both the first- and second-half division titles, hosted the All-Star Game, posted minor league baseball’s best record and went to the Mills Cup Championship Series. The Lynchburg Hillcats prevented the Dash from finishing off the clean sweep in 2012. The ‘Cats bested Winston three games to one in the Mills Cup Finals. Both teams will look much different when they square off for the first time in 2013, but there will be plenty of carryovers from that thrilling Mills Cup Finals to make this late-April clash one of the season’s most intriguing sets.
- May 27 v. Frederick: Memorial Day is always a great holiday during the baseball season, and the Dash will celebrate it at BB&T Ballpark for a third straight year. Winston entertains the Mills Cup champs from 2011 this time around, and the Keys always tend to have a highly-touted prospect in the fold.
- June 13-16 at Wilmington: Once again, the Dash conclude the first half in Wilmington, the site of the club’s first-half clinch last season. If the Dash are in contention for a first-half crown in ’13, it will likely come down to this final set in the First State. Here’s hoping a new crop of White Sox prospects will be celebrating in the visiting clubhouse at Frawley Stadium in seven-and-a-half months.
Stay tuned for our breakdown of the second half tomorrow! Only 154 more days until the season opener in Zebulon. Since we now know the schedule, the countdown can officially begin.
What a night at BB&T Ballpark yesterday. The Dash earned a 1-0 win over Carolina in the home opener. We had a great outpouring of support both at the stadium (6,854 fans in attendance!) and on Twitter. Here is the story of the home opener, as told by our tremendous fans:
@mrgomez81: Opening Day for @WSDashBaseball tonight! Looking forward to a great 2012 season @BBandT_Ballpark !!
@RParmele3: Opening day for @WSDashBaseball at BB&T Ballpark #godash #openingday
@CarolinePBlair: #News14Carolina representing @WSDashBaseball home opener. Be here 2nite game starts at 7pm @news14triad (pic below)
@maggiemay1991: Ok @whitesox won their home opener now @WSDashBaseball needs to win their game! Go Dash! Go # 29!
@NewsGodess: Triad Tweeps, get off the couch and go see the @wsdashbaseball home opener. And join @brianformica for highlights at 11p on @digtriad #wfmy
@rynrrck: .@wsdashbaseball pregame! — Drinking a Bourbon Barrel Aged India Brown by @FoothillsPub at @foothillsbrew
During the game:
@maggiemay1991: Sounds like @wsdashbaseball opening day is a lot of fun. why do I have to be in MI?
@amanda427: Time for some @wsdashbaseball (pic below)
@Bernardbeazy8: @WSDashBaseball Let Go Dash hello from bernard at game home opening game let get some run
@rynrrck: Great seats for the @wsdashbaseball season with @lincoln_blogs! #wsnc (pic below)
@JB_Ricks: At @WSDashBaseball Opening Night and the Mudcats Pitcher Mike Rayle just had his no-hitter broken up in the 5th. #MinorLeague
@rynrrck: .@2ButterKnives the guy seated with the kid in section 106 (me) thanks you for the slingshot t-shirt!
@maggiemay1991: Nice hit Black! @wsdashbaseball finally scored! #happytweet
@CeeBeeGee1: go Big Black Bear!
@rynrrck: The Dash scored to go up 1-0. Hooray! (pic below)
@Bernardbeazy8: Let go Dash we need to get this win tonight for opening night at BB&T Ballpark Let go Dash (pic below)
@JB_Ricks: I must admit that the @WSDashBaseball is very entertaining between innings. Their mascot ‘Bolt’ and his crew just rocked out to ‘Thriller’!
@rynrrck: Good game & great time @WSDashBaseball. Exciting 1-0 win! It’s going to be a good summer in #wsnc!
@jamiepruitt: A wonderful night of @WSDashBaseball with my son!
@kennybeckwxii: Nice win, and great game for the Big Black Bear.
Thanks to everyone who made last night an awesome one. Game two of the home season is tonight at 7. We will talk to you either at the ballpark or on wsdash.com at 6:45. Go Dash!
It’s finally here. It’s finally real. The Dash begin what promises to be an All-Star season tonight in Zebulon, N.C., against the Carolina Mudcats. Here are a few pictures of Five County Stadium. I apologize for the cell phone quality, but Dash team photographer Steve Orcutt is en route to Zebulon, and we’ll have some of his work on the blog over the weekend.
My view from the booth. Outside of a giant speaker right in front of me, it is a great view.
The view from the right field foul pole.
The scoreboard is massive, and I’m pretty sure the “Mudcats” logo will light up at times during the game.
And there is the first look at the first Dash lineup of 2012. Not pictured is Jake Petricka, who will toe the rubber for Winston-Salem against the newest Carolina League team.
I’m thrilled to be preparing to take the air with the Pre-Game Dash at 7:00. You can listen live here, and we’ll have Twitter updates throughout the night here. Shoot us a tweet throughout the game, and we’ll talk about it on the air!
Baseball is back!
This is more of a personal blog. These won’t happen often, but I’m a baseball guy. I love writing about baseball. This is why I love baseball.
Just a few hours from my first Opening Day with the Dash, this is a great chance to look back at how (and why) I am about to travel to Zebulon, N.C. Many times, your current standing in life stems from your past.
My story begins in 1955, the year after the Cleveland Indians lost in the World Series. You see, 1955 began a streak of 40 straight seasons without playoff baseball in Cleveland. These 40 seasons were rough. The Tribe was the laughingstock of baseball.
Even when things were supposedly turning around, the Indians would crash and burn. Sports Illustrated boldly stated that the Indians were the American League’s best team in 1987. Cleveland won 61 games that season.
Somehow, someway, my Dad, who moved to Cleveland in the 1960s, continued to support Chief Wahoo’s crew. In 1994, the Indians finally showed a great deal of promise with a young core of mashers in their lineup. Fittingly, the 1994 season ended in a strike with Cleveland very much in the playoff hunt for the first time in a while.
I was born in 1989, but my earliest childhood memories come from 1995. Many of those memories involve the Indians. This magical team went 100-44 in a strike-shortened campaign. The Indians were so good that transcendent sluggers Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez were in the bottom portion of the lineup.
My summer revolved around the Tribe. I would watch or listen to every game, and I wrote down the score and the relevant stats from each game I attended on a yellow pad of paper I tucked inside my nightstand. At the age of five, baseball was my life.
My Dad fueled my love for the game. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the type of season that must have been unfathomable during the first 30-plus years of his Indians fandom. It was perfect timing, because his dream season collided with my one of impressionable years. He hung with the formerly hapless Indians long enough to partake in one of the greatest seasons in Cleveland sports history, and he did me the ultimate favor.
He made me a baseball fan.
Albert Belle. Eddie Murray. The aforementioned Thome and Ramirez. The 1995 Cleveland Indians were loaded with big boppers. The one offensive starter on the squad who was a little different was Omar Vizquel. The Venezuela native debuted in the big leagues seven months before I was born—April of 1989—and never hit for power. In fact, Vizquel had his “power breakout” in 1995. He hit six long balls after just seven homers in his first six seasons.
Vizquel was a table setter. He tended to be the one coming around to score when Belle, Murray and the gang did the heavy lifting. Plus, Vizquel was a wizard with the glove. While Ozzie Smith seems to have the public’s vote for baseball’s best defensive shortstop, Vizquel was better statistically. Much better. Like, .985-to-.978-fielding-percentage better.
As the years passed and the faces of baseball in the 1990s left Cleveland, many of whom did so in a less-than-favorable way, Vizquel handled things as smoothly as he would a ground ball. He became my favorite link to the contending teams I was blessed to support during my childhood.
Following the 2004 season, the Indians’ front office decided to move on with highly-touted prospect Jhonny Peralta. At the age of 36, Vizquel said goodbye to the Tribe.
Over the last 24 hours, everything from this tale seemed to intersect. Yesterday, at the age of 44, “Little O” suited up for the Toronto Blue Jays in the team’s season opener. This season, the Jays happened to kick off their 162-game journey in Cleveland. Vizquel, who fought in spring training for one of the Blue Jays’ final roster spots, received a standing ovation from a sold out Progressive Field.
One of those Indians fans in attendance yesterday was my Dad. He cheered for Vizquel, just as he used to do in the 1990s when his loyalty to a team was rewarded.
My Dad and I attended many Opening Day games when I lived in Ohio. Indians baseball was our strongest bond, and Opening Day was the strongest reminder.
Sure, Opening Day has a different meaning to me in 2012. Here I am with the Winston-Salem Dash, an affiliate of another American League Central organization. It is fitting, though, that my first Opening Day as a lead voice is in Zebulon, where the Carolina Mudcats debut as an Indians affiliate.
Baseball is a wonderful game, and what an incredible year 2012 could be. Omar Vizquel is still flashing his Gold Glove defense. My Dad is gearing up for another season of Indians baseball.
Here’s hoping I last in this game as long as Omar has while maintaining my Dad’s passion.
Thanks for everything, Dad, Omar and baseball. Thanks for the past, and thanks for the future.