baseball: red wings @ bulls

baseball: rochester red wings @ durham bulls

baseball: rochester red wings @ durham bulls

Twenty-one.

I love being a Triple A area for a lot of reasons, but mostly for rehab starts. Last night out with the Film Critic, the game featured 100% more Justin Morneau than usual.

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the american pasttime

baseball: team usa vs. japan

baseball: braves @ bulls, july 2011

Nineteen & twenty.

Celebrated independence with a doubleheader yesterday, first the US National Collegiate Team taking on their Japanese counterparts, and then the Bulls (America’s favorite minor league team!) taking on the Braves. It was hot, but lovely.

baseball: scranton wilkes-barre yankees @ durham bulls

baseball: yankees @ bulls

Eighteen.

The Alpha Site goes to see the Yankees when they come to town every year, because shep.’s a native New Yorker and lifelong Yankees fan; as we like to see the future of my ballclub playing for the Tides (outlook: dismal), we like to see the future of her ballclub, too. They got thumped on Sunday evening, but Kei Igawa surprisingly threw six good innings and then Andrew Brackman was a disaster area, as expected. (The Yankees took the series from the Bulls, in the end.) For me, the best part was seeing a familiar #28 in SWB’s dugout — ex-Tar Heel Adam Warren, our beloved and much-missed Adam Warren, is quietly going about his professional career in a fantastic fashion, wearing his old number in the minors and waiting for someone to notice that he’s been nothing short of excellent in the Yankees’ system since graduating from Carolina two years ago.

He pitched Saturday and we missed his start, but I kept turning my head during Sunday’s game, just comforted by the sight of him leaning against the dugout rail, collected and calm like he’s always been.

baseball: tides @ bulls, september ’10

baseball: tides @ bulls, september '10

baseball: tides @ bulls, september '10

Forty one.

Final game of the regular season. The Bulls go on to the International League playoffs and the Tides go home for the year, but at least they made it interesting; today’s game went 12 innings. The Bulls won, 6-5.

Above, bottom: Zach (left) and Buck (right) Britton are brothers. Zach, younger by 18 months, was drafted out of high school, Buck two years later out of Lubbock Christian. Phillip Britton, also on the Tides’ roster, appears to be no relation. But he might be a third cousin, you never know. Toss in today’s Tides starter and you get Britton, Britton, Britton & Bascom, which sounds like a pretty decent law firm if not necessarily an all-star rotation. (Buck is an infielder. Phillip catches. Probably the Orioles prefer they not pitch. Ever.)

baseball: indy indians @ durham bulls, august ’10

baseball: indianapolis indians @ durham bulls

baseball: indianapolis indians @ durham bulls

Thirty seven and thirty eight.

Bulls rained out Thursday equals a 7-inning double header on Friday; we saw the last six innings of the first game, and the first five of the second. Bulls and Indians split.

Notable about the Indianapolis Indians: they are not the Triple A farm club of the Cleveland Indians, which bugs me more than I can say. They are, in fact, given their play in the first game, rather explanatory of why Pittsburgh is such a bad MLB team. Brian Burres, a pitcher so terrible he couldn’t stick in the Orioles’ bullpen, starts for them, and threw 5.2 innings of 1-run ball in the second game. And they feature one Daniel Moskos, he of the 9.60 ERA in 2010, better known in Pittsburgh as “the guy our management drafted ahead of Matt Wieters in 2007″. Pittsburgh fans, from what I can tell, are still really bitter about this. I would be, too, if I was a Pittsburgh fan, but I’m not, and my team has the Wiets.

For the most part, we’ve used our mini-plan tickets to see the usual suspects: by the end of the season, Norfolk twice and Gwinnett three times, both of whom share a division with the Bulls and are here all the time, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (the Yankees, because they are shep.’s team). But there have been some outliers, too: Louisville (the Reds), Columbus (actually the Indians), and Indianapolis (the Pirates) were nice changes. I like seeing other team’s farm clubs lose to Durham. It makes me feel better about the Tides losing to the Bulls all the time.