What's coming up in the world of minor league baseball ... it's the triumphant return of Rick Chandler's Minor Enterprise!
Things looked bleak for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Their home opener on Thursday was snowed out, causing the team to put out the call to its loyal fan base to come over and help shovel off the field, so that Friday's game could be played. But darn it, only one guy showed up. So what happened? Well, you've seen it in the movies a zillion times; just when all hope seems lost, the Verizon Wireless Zamboni appears on the horizon to save the day.
The AHL's Monarchs sent the Verizon Wireless Arena's Zamboni and the all-terrain vehicle used by the team's mascot down the street to MerchantsAuto.com Park to aid in snow-clearing efforts. The ice-scraping Zamboni, which made the trek from the arena to the ballpark with a Manchester police escort, arrived around 10:45 a.m.
If only we could have been there to see that glorious motorcade. Minor League baseball and hockey, working hand-in-hand for a stronger America.
Elsewhere on tap:
• Jered Weaver Rehab Night (tonight, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Class A California League). It's an Opening Series bounty for Quakes fans this season. Not only did Bartolo Colon make a rehab start on Thursday (four scoreless innings vs. Lake Elsinore), but Weaver gets the start tonight against the same team, trying to shake off elbow tendinitis. Now, if they had a hit-Scott-Boras-in-the-face-with-a-heavy-beanbag booth in conjunction with this, that's a promotion we'd fly out for.
• Myron Noodleman Appearance (tonight, Montgomery Biscuits, AA Southern League). According to the team's site, the "King of Cool" will "roam the stands and perform interactive skits with players, umpires and fans." Make sure to bring your cookie sheet.
• Pre-Game Ceremony With Pat Summerall (Thursday, April 12, Arkansas Travelers, AA Texas League). The dedication ceremonies for Dickey-Stephens Park shall not be left to amateurs. We have no idea how the former New York Giants placekicker was enticed to journey to North Little Rock for this, except that he is a University of Arkansas graduate (1953). But sure to be a magical evening.
• Mascot of the Week: Don't turn around, kids! Sweet Jesus ... If Rusty, here (Corpus Christi Hooks, AA Texas League) isn't pure, Grade A nightmare fuel, then nothing is.
• Bobblehead of the Moment. Brandon Inge Bobblehead Giveaway, Lynchburg Hillcats (Class A Carolina League). Yes, the Hillcats are a Pirates affiliate. And yes, Brandon Inge has played his entire Major League career with the Tigers. But he's also a Lynchburg native, and his bobblehead features him in his Brookline High uniform. This promotion occurred on Thursday at the Hillcats' season opener, and we have been scouring eBay for this treasure ever since. No luck so far. [Thanks to Benjamin Hill]
Hey, kids! Send your minor league tips on promotions and wacky mascot antics to firstname.lastname@example.org.