Archive - Sports Article
August 15th, 2011
Street & Smithâs SportsBusiness Journal publication has issued its annual Top 10 ranking of minor league markets in the U.S.
The Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. market in central Pennsylvania earned top honors for the second year in a row, according to SBJ Research Director David Broughton, who researched and wrote the article. San Bernadino, Calif. finished second with the Pawtucket/Providence area coming in a solid third.
Hereâs the top 10 list:
1) Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa.
2) San Bernardino County, Calif.
3) Providence-Pawtucket, R.I.
4) Reading, Pa.
5) Portland, Maine
PAWTUCKET â In this town, Pawtucket Country Club is to golf as Fenway Park (or Yankee Stadium) is to baseball.
Legends have long resided on this plush piece of greenery located on the cityâs border with Seekonk. Caddy master Jim Tanner has been working the room since 1952. You can still find him downstairs almost any day of the week, taking care of clubs and caddies.
The Cumberland American team that waltzed its way to Bristol, Conn., had gone missing in action.
Sure, the pitching and defense were still present, but the merciless offensive attack that became the theme of Cumberlandâs state title run was nowhere to be found. The Rhode Island champions dropped two of their first three pool-play games in the New England regional tournament, standing perilously close to the end of a memorable summer.
But just when manager Dave Belisleâs club needed them most, Cumberlandâs bats awoke from their ill-timed slumber. The rest, as they say, is history.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. â For the first time in 19 starts this season, Matt Fox, the lone PawSox ambassador to the 2011 Triple-A All-Star Game, made it through a full seven innings Sunday afternoon.
Every segment after that constituted a long-awaited combination of a package, wrapping paper and a radiant bow addressed to his relievers. Fox upped his pitch count from 79 to 90 as he tossed a 1-2-3 eighth, then returned to the mound for a nimble ninth that ended with Brandon Hicks stranded on first base and the Sox victorious over the Gwinnett Braves, 5-0, at Coolray Field.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. â On paper, the PawSox four-game enterprise against the stingy Gwinnett Braves pitching staff ought to have gotten gradually easier after they got the better of Julio Teheran on Friday.
Manager Arnie Beyeler wanted no such notion inhabiting his clubhouse, as evidenced by his thoughts between Friday and Saturday nightâs bouts and the outcome of the latter game.
BRISTOL, Conn. â It was only fitting.
The shutdown pitching. The relentless hitting. The comeback.
They were all on display in Saturdayâs New England regional final. And that is why the Cumberland American players circled Breen Field in jubilation, their championship banner in tow, with Kool & the Gangâs âCelebrationâ blaring over the sound system.
Next stop: South Williamsport, Pa.
Down three runs before taking a swing, Cumberland erupted in an eight-run bottom of the first inning that set the tone for its 13-7 victory against Andover (Mass.) National.
LAWRENCEVILE, Ga. â The PawSox mustered just enough to deny the International Leagueâs winningest pitcher, Julio Teheran, another decision Friday night. The Gwinnett Braves ace, who entered with a 12-2 record and a sparkling 1.11 ERA, nearly preserved a 2-1 lead through seven innings, but instead left with a 2-2 deadlock at hand.
âI thought hockey was tough.â
BRISTOL, Ct. â Dave Belisle, who along with his dad Bill Belisle, was part of 26 state titles won by the Mount St. Charles Academy hockey team the last four decades, couldnât help but make that analogy on Thursday night. Those five words were the first to come out of his mouth after the Cumberland American manager watched his squad hold on for an 8-7 semifinal win over Fairfield American in the New England Championship of the Eastern Regional Tournament.
BRISTOL, Conn. â While his two-run homer in the fifth inning proved to be the eventual game-winner on Thursday, that wasnât the main reason that Dave Belisle was smiling.
It was what Chris Wright did as a reliever - particularly in the bottom of the sixth - that had the Cumberland American manager beaming with the most pride after his teamâs hard-earned 8-7 semifinal victory over Fairfield (Ct.) American in the New England portion of the Eastern Regional Tournament.
FOXBORO â Gerard Warren had an explicit instruction for his agent this offseason.
âI told him, âCall me after you talk to New England,ââ Warren said. âI donât want to burn any bridges, but thatâs pretty much what it boiled down to. I told him I wanted to come back to New England because I knew what the purpose was here.â
Patriots coach Bill Belichick announced on Monday that the team had re-signed Warren, a veteran defensive lineman who started 10 regular-season games for New England last season, registering 3.5 sacks.
BRISTOL, Ct. â Must-win game? No problem for Cumberland American.
CALL shook off the sting from back-to-back shutout defeats in pool play and earned a spot in todayâs semifinals of the New England Regional Tournament by pounding winless Barre (Vt.) Community, 12-4, on Wednesday morning at sun-drenched Breen Field.
FOXBOROUGH â Chad Ochocinco is changing his ways. And heâs not making any apologies for it.
To those Twitter followers who claim that the Patriots wide receiver has toned down his activity, Ochocinco has a clear response.
âYou have to do it the Patriot Way, the way things are always done here,â Ochocinco said after Tuesdayâs practice at Gillette Stadium. âOne thing about this city, man, and their sports, all they do is win. So that stuff that I did in the past, thereâs no need for it.â
FORT MILL, S.C. â Say this about the 2011 Pawtucket Red Sox â this club appears dead serious about making a push for the Governorsâ Cup playoffs.
The PawSox made relative quick work of the host Charlotte Knights Tuesday en route to sweeping both ends of a doubleheader. Pawtucket completed the suspended contest with a 6-1 victory before taking the second game by a 5-1 count.
The pair of wins enabled Pawtucket to sit in first place by 1 Âœ games over Lehigh Valley as the second-place IronPigs battled Norfolk Tuesday.
BRISTOL, Ct. â Suddenly, the offense is a concern for Cumberland American manager Dave Belisle.
âVery concerned,â Belisle stressed after CALL managed just two hits in a 3-0 loss to defending New England champion Fairfield (Ct.) American Tuesday afternoon at Breen Field. The defeat leaves Cumberland American at 1-2 in pool play and in must-win territory heading into Wednesday morningâs contest against Vermontâs Barre Community.
BRISTOL, Conn. --- After roughing up its opponents in more than half of its games in tournament play, Cumberland American got a bitter taste of its own medicine on Monday night.
Goffstown (N.H.) Junior went around its lineup and banged out six of its eight hits during a five-run rally in the bottom of the second inning that helped lead to an 8-0 triumph over CALL in their New England Regional pool play affair at Breen Field.
PAWTUCKET â Bruce Guindon would like to set the record straight regarding his role as the Pawtucket Red Sox official scorer.
First off, the International League, not the PawSox, employs Guindon. Translation: He is not in the home teamâs back pocket. The Pawtucket native and registered Interscholastic League football and hockey official is empowered and instructed to make the correct call, the right one.
PAWTUCKET â Kevin Millwoodâs tenure with the Pawtucket Red Sox has come to an end. Now the 36-year-old will have to weigh whether to seek out another opportunity or bow out gracefully, a decision that could be complicated based on the right-handed pitcherâs belief that he still has something to give.
For now, though, Millwood plans on visiting family he has based up and down the East Coast and squeeze in as many rounds of golf as possible. That sounds like someone who isnât optimistic heâll be on a mound again this season.
HARMONY â Glocester Country Club is more than just a golf course. Situated on Waterman Lake, this private club also offers tennis, swimming and boating for its members. A sandy beach and tree-lined picnic grove border the lake. Clay tennis courts are located near the main clubhouse, adjacent to a putting green.
The club is situated on Route 44, just west of Greenville.
PROVIDENCE â His hair soaking wet and his feet inside some soggy pair of racing flats that just endured more than an hourâs worth of rainfall, Patrick Moulton sized up the weather for the inaugural Rock ânâ Roll Providence Half Marathon on Sunday morning with a glass-half-full approach.
âIt got tough, but at least it wasnât hot,â he said. âIt got gusty a few times, but for August you canât complain. It could have been 100 degrees out there.â
PAWTUCKET â Brett Carroll wasted no time fitting in with the Pawtucket Red Sox
Carroll blooped a two-out, two-run single to give the PawSox their third walk-off win of the week, this one a 6-5 triumph against Buffalo Friday night. Staring at a 2-2 count against Bisons reliever Dale Thayer, Carroll fisted the ball just over the head of first baseman Valentino Pascucci, who blasted a two-run home run off of Kevin Millwood in the first inning.