tbonesbaseball.com


Top 10 Moments Countdown Continues

(Credit John Ellis Kansas City T-Bones)
05/14/2018 1:23 PM -

It’s hard to believe that Friday will be day #1 of the 2018 T-Bones season. What lies ahead and what will be like our #4 moment for 2017? That script has not been written as of yet, but it will certainly come out of the group working in spring training today. Maybe part of the script is not even here yet? That makes this year’s drama so much fun.

Remember, this list includes the moments that stood out to me and is a matter of opinion from my seat. I am willing to bet your list may be totally different from mine, or you might agree. Regardless, hopefully it will jog your memory, and, most of all, get you ready for the great 2018 season ahead.

I tried to avoid crushing losses (except when memorable) as they are parts of the twists and turns of a season. If someone was to ask me about the past season, these moments would have been what I would include if I were forced to write a book on the topic.

#4 Carroll Sold To Cubs

Part of life in the American Association is that players come and go. Fans have to learn to live with that. There are many reasons why players in baseball, particularly in the minor leagues, come and go. At the independent level, there is performance: sometimes it is the lack of positive performance. Other times players retire. There are, of course, injuries tossed in the mix that result in a departure. The trades also play a part, which sometimes has to do with performance. There is also the chance that a Major League organization will come calling, and with that one call,  it can shake up a roster that is headed in one direction or put it at a crossroads. They are all good reasons, and there was no other reason that threatened to derail the 2017 season like the call to affiliated ball.

I mentioned that the team had Zach Walters on a torrid pace early. His departure ranks as a key point in 2017 and was a test that the club passed. The club would go on to post the second best record in franchise history. It was a similar story for the pitching staff. The record-setting pen was able to stay intact most of the season, and the rotation had a solid #1 that seemed to set the pace for the rest of the staff.

Scott Carroll was the clear #1.  He was also a class act as that #1 spot. His numbers speak for themselves (8-3, 2.94, 98IP), but where his impact was most felt was in terms of what he meant to the team. In several games he served as the fill-in pitching coach, which meant there was an extra coach on the field. Every fifth day, Carroll took the pill, climbed the hill, and gave the T-Bones a shot at win, either starting a winning streak or continuing another.

After a loss on May 23rd to Gary— where he gave up five runs but only two earned—he then went out to toss quality starts in three of the next four, helping the team fight it’s way to .500. His seven strong against Wichita at Kansas City put the club back ahead of .500. It was a task the club wrestled with early, but that night Carroll helped keep Wichita in check, and the team would never again go below .500.

The season rolled along, and by the time Kansas City reached August 13th, they had built on that record,  reaching a season high 15 above on August 13th.  This club was poised to make a long post-season run.  With the type of numbers that by now had become commonplace, the T-Bones, behind Carroll, were threatening play-off prospects. Carroll had given up six earned runs in his last four starts. In his final 29 innings, he would win three out of four starts, tossing all quality starts and adding 22 strike outs. His last turn to the hill at Fargo on August 9th, the league saw what the T-Bones had hoped would be their recipe when the bats were quiet. The team made four runs hold up on the road as Carrol allowed five hits in seven innings and two runs with one earned run in a 4-3 win over the RedHawks.

A day after the team hit the 15 game above mark on August 14th, the contract of the leader and heart and soul of the club, Scott Carroll, was purchased by the Chicago Cubs. This guy deserved the shot and had done all he had been asked. He was a leader, and the team seemed to rally around him. But at the same time the feeling was that this team could be poised to win it all. A long run was in sight for the post season and a chance to end the playoff draught that was in its seventh season.

It was bittersweet for everyone—his teammates, manager, front office and fandom— everyone knew this was a great thing for Scott Carroll. We had discussed time and time again that Joe Calfapietra, Chris Browne and John and Adam Ehlert all believed in helping guys get back to their chance at the Big Leagues. This was Scott Carroll’s chance.  I remember hearing from his parents a day or two later that he was still pulling for the T-Bones and knew they could still fight on.  His teammates all knew he had their backs, and most off all, the great game had his back.

It was a life lesson: do what is right and you will be rewarded. Scott Carrol was that example in life, and not a soul held his chance against him. The team would fight on and pass the test. Joe Calfapietra worked the phones and the trade wire to keep the rotation strong and deep for a later season and hopefully a post-season run. The team felt a punch to the gut, losing the next five after Carrol left and six of seven. The team would right the ship and close it all out, going 10-4 the rest of the way. But despite the impressive 57-43 record, it would not be enough for the post season, but it was enough to secure the second most wins in franchise history. 

I said it then and will say it years from now, that season for Carroll will only make the T-Bones better down the road. That experience and reward will bring more players like him down the road. They will find their careers reborn and the franchise will climb to new heights at the same time. Players will continue to come and go, that will never change, but it’s not often that players like Scott Carroll come and go who actually leave the franchise in a better place. He was one of those!

#5 Sergey, the lefty

#6 Longest Game in AA history 

#7:  August 12

#8: St. Paul – Full throttle

#9: One crazy night on the lake!

 

#10:  Opening Night: “How did we get that in?”



Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007

Browse by Month »

May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007