Marion County Commission: Delay the referendum, prepare the Octagon for battle

On Tuesday, Marion County commissioners were to decide how voters would participate in a referendum to determine if a three-year, half-cent sales tax would be levied for the construction of a new 4,500-seat stadium for the Yankees single-A club, which currently plays its games in Tampa.  Would the ballot simply be mailed to all registered voters or would there be a traditional ballot, consisting of (a) mail-in votes, (b) early voting at the polls, and (c) standard day-of participation?  For reasons probably known only to the power-wielding elite of the local Ocala Moose Lodge and their Trilateral Commission Overlords, there was disagreement among the Commission as to which method would most benefit the glorious Peoples of Marion County.  However, on the matter of delay, there was unanimous agreement.  The commissioners decided to postpone the decision until January 7th, when the matter will be settled, once and for all, in a greased octagon lit by a single torch and bathed in the fervent exhortations of Ocala’s citizenry.

octagon

Ocala.com has the details.

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Marion County commissioners to decide voting method for proposed Ocala stadium tax hike

Proposed Yankee Stadium in Ocala would seat 4,500.

Proposed Yankee Stadium in Ocala would seat 4,500.

Proposed Yankee Stadium for Marion County

Proposed Yankee Stadium for Marion County.

To state that the BBB is not in the business of reporting news is to suggest that it is in the business of anything at all, which is clearly not the case.  However, the purpose of this post is to inform you of important facts.  So, by way of the links below, we’ll leave the reporting to the professionals.  If you’d like, you can click the links right away, like some kind of bubbleheaded nincompoop, or you can indulge us with the following nutshell so as to familiarize yourself with the subject at hand.

On Tuesday, Marion County commissioners will decide the method by which residents will vote for or against a tax increase.  The proposed three-year, half-cent sales tax hike is intended to pay for a new stadium in Ocala for the Yankees’ single-A minor league club, currently headquartered at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.  Tomorrow’s vote is simply to decide whether the vote will be exclusively by mail, or if the vote will be of the traditional variety.  A traditional voting method is expected to generate less voter participation than an all mail-in vote.  If the project is successful, the Tampa Yankees will begin playing in the new stadium in April 2016.  There are no plans to move the Major League Yankees’ spring training away from Steinbrenner Field.

Ocala StarBanner

Ocala StarBanner

WFTV

WFTV

In the coming months, there will no doubt be many a business leader and local politician uttering the dubious phrase, “This new stadium will put Ocala on the map.”

 

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Fu Fu Fu Fu-Lin Kuo

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pyromania

gremlin

On display at the entrance to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa rest three of The Boss’s most cherished personal belongings:  a poster from the film Dharti Sheran Di, an absolutely bitchin’ 1974 AMC Gremlin, and a copy of Def Leppard’s Pyromania on high-quality audio cassette.  It should come as no surprise, then, that the Tampa Yankees master of baseball ceremonies chose a selection from that titanic arena-rock masterwork to announce each plate appearance of Taiwanese infielder Fu-Lin Kuo.

“Which song?” you wonder? 

“Foolin’, ” of course. 

So, let us proceed with the homophony in this, the BBB’s first installment of Great Moments in Minor League Walk-up Music:

 

The BBB audio visual department would like you to take note of the fact this video contains a Def Leppard font, and that such a thing exists, for free, on the internet.

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RHP Corey Black and Something Called Head Whack

The 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which has now officially become the BBB’s Southern Harmony and Musical Companion because it guides us and sheds light on eternal truths, states the following about right-handed Yankee pitching prospect Corey Black:  “His athleticism helps him repeat his release point and allowed him to adjust his delivery as a pro, eliminating a head whack that worried scouts.”

It is unclear when the head whack returned, or if it ever really left, but this much is clear.  The video below is available for your viewing pleasure and, much like championship love-making, is slowed down for effect at singular, breathless moments.

Steinbrenner Field

Brevard County Manatees at Tampa Yankees

Yao-Lin Wang Dominates America!

Hello readers.  We’re back with another regularly-scheduled occasional post.  This time we bring you video from last night’s matchup between the Daytona Cubs and Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The BBB scouting department, which employs zero actual scouts, recently invested in the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  This $32.95 purchase ushers in a new day for the BBB.  No longer will we sit in confused ignorance as nameless minor league jerseys perform athletic feats before us.  Now we have backstories, scouting reports, draft and contract details for the top thirty prospects in each MLB organization.  It is really quite nice to read a quick summary of a player as he approaches the plate, then see those descriptions come alive before you during the at-bat.  Does the batter have a long swing, quick hands, trouble with breaking pitches, or above-average gap power?  It’s pretty neat to learn these things then be able to see them for yourself during the plate appearance.    This does become problematic however, when you’re trying to read and watch the game at the same time.  Frequently, there is the urge to press pause on some non-existent life remote.

Moving on to things we can control, let’s proceed to the video.  This game had several highly-ranked prospects.  Javier Baez is the no. 1ranked prospect in the Cubs organization.  The Yankees had their no. 1-, 3-, and 7-ranked prospects on display in Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, and Angelo Gumbs, respectively.  Interestingly, each of these top Yankee prospects went down on strikes to Taiwanese RHP Yao-Lin Wang.   Wang boasts a 9.68 K/9 across 183 minor league innings, dating back to 2010.  He’s not listed in the Prospect Handbook but it was fun to watch nonetheless as he pitched four innings, striking out five batters, and only gave up one hit and a walk.

This video also features #3-ranked Yankees prospect, catcher Garry Sanchez.

Additionally, the videos sparked some interest from a Taiwanese baseball site, mlbtw.net.  The BBB received a secret back channel communication from the proprietor of that fine internet outpost requesting permission to share the videos with the glorious people of Taiwan.  Rejoice, Taiwan, for on this day your right-handed hero dominates America!  We welcome the Taiwanese people and their virtuous women to the BBB.  Please join us for some freshly-squeezed American baseball and orange juice.

Minors Imitating Majors: Nick Goody

james_brown's_celebrity_hot_tub_party01

You may click to enlarge the Funk.

You may click to enlarge the Funk.

There are some among us whose style, whose carriage, is so unique we are compelled to imitate it.  We should forgive ourselves of this, and rebuke those who would deny us our imitation, for we are but mortal and cannot be expected to throw on the bedraggled rags of shabbiness when the vestments of divine Funk are near.  Like Eddie Murphy robed in the sweaty velvet of Soul, we dip our toes into the Celebrity Tub that is HOT, and in the process, stave off banality for one more day.

Nick Goody

So Please, Please, Please, join me in remarking that Nick Goody, number 58 of the Tampa Yankees, resembles Jonathan Papelbon, also number 58, of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Let us enumerate as we contemplate the ways in which they are similar:

1.       Pre-pitch flat back

2.      Pre-pitch hanging right arm

3.      Pre-pitch left foot double tap

4.      Pre-pitch glove positioning at right shoulder

5.      Mid-delivery left knee raise across body

6.      Mid-delivery high right leg whip

7.      Post-pitch hop

 

First, the exemplar (Sep. 30, 2012):

Now, the mimic.  The official BBB videographer, who it seems is apathetic towards the lint on his lens or he would have done something about it by now, captured video of Mr. Goody at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin (Aug 29, 2012):

The attentive viewer will note Mr. Goody discourages stolen base attempts by expediting his knee raise while third base is open and a runner is on second, but that doing so is unnecessary while second and third bases are occupied.

This has been the second installment of Minors Imitating Majors

Make Some Noise

The philosopher George Berkeley stated, “to be is to be perceived”.  The familiar thought experiment is as follows:  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Similarly, if a baseball bat cracks at Steinbrenner Field and few people hear it, does the sound even matter?

A while back I captured some video at a meagerly attended Tampa Yankees high-A minor league game.  Described dramatically, the score was all knotted up tightly at 2 in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, given the near complete lack of spectators, I could more accurately describe the score as loosely bound by a ball of kitten’s yarn.  The scoreboard operator, despite peering out onto this windswept nullscape, was dutiful and steadfast in his resolve.  He would not sway from the appointed task: rally the home crowd to victory.

As the poignant refrain of Tinie Tempah implores and echoes throughout the latticework of Steinbrenner Field:

One day I had a dream I tried to chase it

But I wasn’t going nowhere, running man!

I knew that maybe someday I would understand

Trying change a tenner to a hundred grand

Everyone’s a kid that no-one cares about

You just gotta keep screaming until they hear you out

Indeed, Tinie, indeed.  “You just gotta keep screaming until they hear you out.”  As true of minor league baseball as it is of initial forays into the blogosphere.  “I’m on my way…”

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