Results tagged ‘ Orlando Gomez ’
It’s day two of our seven-day “Carolina Countdown.” Yesterday, we took a look at the newest member of the Carolina League–the fittingly-named Carolina Mudcats. Last year’s CL champions are on the docket today. You’re up, Frederick Keys.
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Frederick Keys
Introduction: Everyone is looking up at the Keys as we approach the 2012 season. Frederick won the Northern Division’s first-half title, tied for the second-half crown and claimed the CL championship after series wins over Potomac and Kinston. If you are searching for a “dominant” team in this league over the last few years, Frederick is your team. The Keys have won three league titles since 2005.
Last season: The Keys were consistently solid all year. Frederick followed up a league-best 41-28 first-half record with a 39-31 showing in the second half. This adds up to an 80-59 record, good for a .576 winning percentage.
Manager: The winningest skipper in Frederick history is back for his third season. Orlando Gomez, who boasts a 152-127 record with the Keys, will lead the charge for another Mills Cup. Gomez certainly has plenty of managerial experience. The Puerto Rico native enters his 17th season as a skipper here in 2012. In late August of ’11, Gomez earned his 1000th victory. He has been across the country during his time as a skipper, with stops in such places as Everett, Wash., Bluefield, W.Va., Tulsa, Okla., and (my favorite) Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Yes, the city’s name is Medicine Hat.
System: According to Baseball America, the Orioles’ system is 21st in baseball, but there are some highly-touted farmhands to discuss. Superstar prospect Manny Machado spent some time in Frederick last season, and reports say that he will either return to the Keys or head to Double-A to start 2012. One name to keep an eye on is Dylan Bundy, who was the O’s first-round selection (fourth overall) in last year’s draft. It seems likely that Bundy will be in Frederick at some point this season.
Best promotion: The Keys have some great promotions this season, but two jump out to me as the co-winners. Disney Day is April 29, and it features Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, one of my favorite movies as a kid. Also, “6 Months Til the End of the World” night is July 21, which is playing off the Mayans’ prediction that the world will end December 21, 2012.
Fun fact: The Keys are trying to become the Carolina League’s first “true” repeat champions since Winston-Salem pulled off the feat in 1986. Myrtle Beach and Wilmington split the 1999 CL crown because Hurricane Floyd interrupted the championship series, so these two clubs split the championship. If you include that, then both of those teams won back-to-back titles because of it (Wilmington won the league in 1998; Myrtle Beach won it all in 2000).
Travel to Frederick: From BB&T Ballpark to Harry Grove Stadium, it is right around a six-hour trip (330ish miles). That’s good for the second-longest trip for the Dash during the season.
Keys in Winston-Salem: The Keys do not make their first trip to BB&T Ballpark until May 28-31. Winston-Salem and Frederick once again lock horns in our neck of the woods (er, mountains) June 28-30 and July 20-22.
Tomorrow: The Lynchburg Hillcats, who have a very brave manager. We’ll get into that and more in 24 hours!