March 2010

Tonight Is Chiefs Night with Rivermen as Season Nears

Finally the off-season is almost over! Tonight (Saturday) most of the Chiefs front office staff and a handful of interns will be passing out pocket schedules at the Peoria Rivermen game against the Houston Aeros at 7:00. Homer will be there as well participating in on-ice events pre game and between periods.

You can also hear me with Brendan Burke, the Voice of the Rivermen during the first period intermission. Hockey has been growing on me this winter so I’m looking forward to watching Brendan work. He used to broadcast for the Lakewood BlueClaws, a Phillies affiliate in the South Atlantic League. The game can be heard on 101.1 FM in the Peoria area or online at Im sure Brendan and I will have some fun. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow but come join us for Chiefs Night at the Rivermen and grab a pocket schedule fresh off the presses!

Welcome to the Peoria Chiefs Blog

I know, I know, it’s about time the Peoria Chiefs entered the blogosphere. Well, here we are! Twenty-six days before the start of the season and just in time for the launch of the new which should happen sometime this week after MILB and BAM change it all over. I hope you enjoy the new look!

As for the blog, I plan on using it for a behind the scenes look at the Chiefs from the players to the front office and the travel throughout the Midwest League. We will have audio, video, images and stories. You’ll find out what movies we are watching on those long bus rides, what restaurants to enjoy in MWL cities, what is going on at the ballpark, scoops on the lineups before we go on-air and of course highlights and interviews. Its also a great way to link to other stories around the league from other great blogs put out by Wisconsin, Clinton, South Bend, Fort Wayne and Burlington among others. I’ll get those links up soon. And as always your suggestions and feedback are very much appreciated. Check back often for new content, and welcome to Playing In Peoria – the Official Peoria Chiefs Blog!

Midwest League Blogs Plus One

The dean of MWL blogging is easily Wisconsin’s Chris Mehring and his Rattler Radio blog.
Clinton’s Dave Lezotte is in his fifth season with the Lumberkings and is very active with The LumberBlog.
Dan Watson called a MWL Championship in his first season with the Fort Wayne TinCaps and run’s The Watson Files
Owen Serey has been in the MWL for three seasons, one with South Bend as the main broadcaster and runs Owen’s Baseball Blog
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler starts his second season with the Lansing Lugnuts and operates  The 2-2 Pitch…
Nick Devlin is the new Voice of the Burlington Bees and checks in with the Bees Blog.
And if  you want the best in the Minor League Baseball promotional news, always check out’s Benjamin Hill and his Ben’s Biz Blog.

Josh Vitters Leads Cubs Past White Sox Again

 vitterspic.jpgIt’s fitting that my real first blog entry would come on Josh Vitters since the Cubs 2008 1st round draft pick led the excitement around Peoria and O’Brien Field last season. Well each of the last two days I found myself turning into the Cubs/White Sox games from Las Vegas on Comcast Chicago. Both teams sent split squads and all week all I had seen about the Cubs was who wasn’t going to Vegas (Piniella, Zambrano, Ramirez, Lee, Soriano, etc) and nothing about who was going. But given the 21 former Chiefs on the Cubs spring roster I figured the odds were good that some would be playing. Even I was amazed at the amount of former Chiefs who got into the two games and the impact they had.
     Let’s start with Friday which had Len Kasper, a fellow Marquette alum who has always been gracious with his time to me, working solo. Bob Brenly, a good friend to the Chiefs last season with his son Michael as our catcher, was back in AZ recovering from knee surgery. The Cubs were down 4-3 heading into the 7th after former Chiefs pitcher Jay Jackson allowed three runs in the 6th. With 2009 Cubs first rounder and former Chief Brett Jackson pinch-running at first, and Micah Hoffpauir on second, Vitters stepped to the plate and ripped a triple to the right-center wall scoring two and putting the Cubs up 5-4. Vitters scored moments later and the Cubs finished off the Sox for a 6-4 win. Video of Vitters triple.
     Overall 12 former Chiefs played in the first Vegas game: Sam Fuld started, made two great running catches and was 0-5 at the plate; DJ LeMahieu was 1-1, as was Kyler Burke who also added an outfield assist; Vitters was 1-2 with a triple, run and 2 rbi; Jackson was 0-1 with a run and outfield assist; Matt Camp was 0-1 as were Ryan Flaherty and Wellington Castillo. On the mound, Jay Jackson allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning while Mitch Atkins gave up a hit and struck out one in 1/3 of an inning. Hung-Wen Chen gave up a hit in a shutout inning and Blake Parker walked two and struck out one in the ninth. Atkins picked up the win while Parker nailed down the save.
    Saturday’s game was also on Comcast but featured the White Sox broadcast team of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone. While Stone definitely knows his stuff, he was not kind to some of the former Chiefs playing so I’ll ignore him for the time being, and you either love or hate the Hawkeroo, who’s mid-game interview with Ozzie Guillen was unwatchable. Ten former Chiefs played in this afternoon contest and at one point seven of the nine hitters in the lineup were former Peoria stars.
    Again the Sox led late, taking a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.  But the Chiefs, er I mean Cubs, batted around in the eighth and scored four times to take the lead for good. With one out in the inning, Jackson drew a walk and scored easily on a double by Hoffpauir. Brad Snyder singled to put runners on the corners and Flaherty tied the game with a single to right. After a pitching change, Vitters came to the plate with runners on the corners and grounded to shortstop. After Flaherty was forced at second, Vitters beat the relay throw to first allowing Snyder to score for a 7-6 Cubs lead. Castillo followed with a double and Camp walked. Vitters scored to make it 8-6 as LeMahieu reached on a White Sox error. Former Chiefs hurler Justin Berg allowed an unearned run but earned the save in the 9th as Vitters recorded the final out.
     Former Chiefs on Saturday: Fuld 0-2, run, outfield assist (Threw out Andruw Jones at plate to end 4th inning); LeMahieu 1-3; Burke 0-2, rbi; Jackson 0-1, bb, r; Vitters 0-2, r, game-winning rbi; Flaherty 1-2, rbi; Robinson Chirinos 2-2, rbi, 2b, bb; Castillo 1-1, 2b; Camp 0-1, bb, e; Berg 1ip, 0h, 1bb, 1r, 0er, 1k, Save.