Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive
Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
Well, the regular season is officially over for every full-season league, which means that today marks the end of Daily Dish. But before we go out, we're going to bring back some of the best quotes from the year by naming our very first Dish All-Interview Team (the interview could be with the player or about the player):
Catcher: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Myrtle Beach (Braves)
"I hear all kinds of things from fans all the time. The best one was, ‘Hey, nice last name--that thing goes armpit to armpit!’--Saltalamacchia on wearing his two-foot long nameplate on the back of his jersey.
First Base: Brad Eldred, Altoona/Indianapolis (Pirates)
"I mean, I do like to go fishing and that stuff, but I mean, I’m from Fort Lauderdale. There isn’t anything country about it.”--Eldred on his nickname, "Big Country."
Second Base: Howie Kendrick, Rancho Cucamonga/Arkansas (Angels)
"I work for my family. We do home remodeling. We're currently building a cabin right now. As far as remodeling goes, we do hardwood floors, we do tongue and groove--like siding on the inside of the house, tearing down sheet rock."--Kendrick on what he normally does in the offseason (but the home remodeling will have to take a back seat to the Arizona Fall League this year).
Third Base: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Kinston (Indians)
"Rehab was the toughest thing I've gone through, just being injured and out of the game for so long. That's never happened to me before. It drove me nuts. I wanted to blow my brains out."--Kouzmanoff on rehabbing his injured back and missing over a month this season.
Shortstop: Matt Bush, Fort Wayne (Padres)
"It was more exciting than anything else to be the No. 1 pick. I thought I was a top 10 guy, but it was a crazy draft year and it happened. Now I want to make the best of it. The draft is in the past, and I've been working toward the future since then. I don't want to be known as a ‘bust pick’ and I'm going to work as hard as possible to have the best career I can have."--Bush on being the 2004 No. 1 overall pick.
Outfield: Jerry Owens, Birmingham (White Sox)
"He could be the MVP of this league. He's definitely the MVP on this team, that's for sure. I'm not going to say we wouldn't be where we are without him because we have some talent, but without him we're not nearly as good. That's a fact."--Birmingham manager Razor Shines on Owens.
Outfield: Jeremy Hermida, Carolina (Marlins)
"There were questions about his power before, but power is the hardest tool to project. If you could have found me one scout back in 1999 who would have thought Brian Roberts would hit 11 home runs by the All-Star Game, I'd like to meet him. This guy can hit, and now you're seeing the power."--a scout weighing in on Hermida's development.
Outfield: Delmon Young, Montgomery/Durham (Devil Rays)
"He has tremendous quick hands. He stays back on the ball, and when it hangs, he whips it down the left-center field gap. For as young as he is, he knows how to hit. Even when he tries not to do too much, the ball jumps off his bat. He probably would have been a triple crown winner if he stayed here all here. Fortunately for us, he wasn't."--Tennessee manager Tony Perezchica.
Righthanded Pitcher: Gavin Floyd, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, (Phillies)
"It was one of those days where my mind, my body and my arm were all just Jell-O. It was a humid day, and if I threw a strike and I concentrated on it, it just felt like an empty tank. I knew I’d just thrown a strike, but in the back of my mind I was wondering how much I had left. It was a bad day . . . an indescribably bad day."--Floyd on one of his worst starts of the season, when he gave up seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings against Indianapolis on June 10.
Lefthanded Pitcher: Paul Maholm, Altoona/Indianapolis (Pirates)
"Last year was tough, but this year was very, very hard with losing my mom. But you just have to keep going--she would have wanted me to keep going. That’s why I went to the Futures Game instead of taking it off, because she was happy whenever I called her after a start. She would have wanted me to go. She gets to watch every game now, so I’m good to go."--Maholm on dealing with the loss of his mother, Linda, prior to the Futures Game.
Reliever: Fernando Cabrera, rhp, Buffalo (Indians)
"He's just all arms and legs out there. When he unwinds, he looks like an octopus falling out of a tree."--a scout describing Cabrera's delivery.
• There will be a one-game playoff in the Carolina League, as Salem and Winston-Salem finished the regular season tied for the Southern Division lead. Salem will go with righthander Mitch Talbot (8-10, 4.20), and the Warthogs counter with lefty Ryan Rodriguez (12-7, 4.18). Winston-Salem lefthander Gio Gonzalez will not take his turn in the rotation, as the White Sox will hold him out of the start with mild shoulder discomfort.
• It was a crazy night in Toledo, as both the Mud Hens and Indianapolis combined to make 46 defensive changes in the 4-3 Toledo win. Both teams already had secured playoff berths, so their respective managers decided to have a little fun. The two main benefactors from all the moves were Toledo's Kevin Hooper, who wound up playing all nine positions, and Indy's Eddie Olszta, who played eight. The only position Olszta didn't play was catcher, where he's played for the past four seasons.
• On a high Class A Modesto team packed with more prospects than any other squad in the California League, it was outfielder Joe Gaetti who had the best season statistically. A 2003 12th-round pick out of North Carolina State and the son of two-time all-star Gary, Gaetti went 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs and six RBIs in the season finale Monday, finishing the season at .332-21-87 while finishing fourth in the league in both on-base percentage (.418) and slugging (.605).
• The race for the Midwest League RBIs title came down to the season's final day. Cubs outfielder Ryan Harvey went 3-for-4 Monday afternoon with his 24th home run for Peoria, but it was just a solo shot, leaving him with an even 100 RBIs to go with season averages of .257/.302/.484. Beloit third baseman David Winfree caught and passed Harvey with a three-run homer (his 16th) in his final at-bat of the day, finishing with 101 RBIs and averages of .294/.329/.452.
• High Class A Vero Beach received some fortifications for the postseason as lefty Scott Elbert was added to the playoff roster. The 2004 first-round pick was 8-5, 2.66 in 25 starts for low Class A Columbus this year and was the league's best pitcher down the stretch, with a 0.69 ERA in his last five starts with 37 strikeouts and just 13 hits allowed in 26 innings.
• Finishing the New-York Penn league season with a flourish is Marlins fourth-round pick Gaby Sanchez. The MVP of the league’s first all-star game three weeks ago, Sanchez is 13-for-19 with eight RBIs in his last five games, and is now batting .358/.398/.493 in 229 at-bats while splitting time at catcher, first base and third.
• It was an up and down season for Tim Stauffer, so it was good to see him end it on a high note. The Padres righthander, who had an ERA of 10.73 since the Padres sent him back to Triple-A, threw a three-hit complete-game shutout in which he fanned nine and walked none for Triple-A Portland. The 23-year-old was 3-5, 5.14 for Portland and 3-6, 5.33 for the Padres.
• Rookie-level Idaho Falls first baseman Jase Turner continued his torrid rookie season with four hits, including his 12th home run, in the Chukars’ 15-8 victory against Casper on Labor Day.
• Last year, Angels scouting director Eddie Bane bagged a pair of talented high school players in the late rounds of the draft, and Monday the duo teamed to lead Rookie-level Orem to another victory. First baseman Mark Trumbo took Ogden righthander Jon Meloan deep twice, while righthander Nick Adenhart pitched six innings without allowing an earned run or a walk. Adenhart, making his first start in the Pioneer League after going 2-3, 3.68 in the Rookie-level Arizona League, allowed three hits and had seven strikeouts. Trumbo signed with the Angels as an 18th-round pick while Adenhart signed as the Angels’ 14th-round selection last year. For the year, Adenhart struck out 59 while walking 24 in 50 innings in his first pro season following Tommy John surgery.
We updated some of the minor league playoff picture yesterday, and here are the remaining leagues, which all begin postseason play tomorrow.
• The International League playoffs start tomorrow, as Toledo will face Norfolk and Buffalo goes up against Indianapolis in the opening round.
• The playoff scenario in the Pacific Coast League is set, and both series are scheduled to begin Wednesday night. The American Conference pits Nashville against Oklahoma; in the Pacific Conference, Tacoma will face Sacramento.
• In the Eastern League, Trenton and Portland will decide the Northern Division beginning tomorrow night, while Altoona and Akron will square off for the Southern Division title.
• The Southern League postseason features Carolina against West Tenn in the Northern Division, while two prospect-laden clubs--Birmingham and Jacksonville--will decide the South.
• One of the more convoluted playoff setups occurs in the California League, where the first-half winner gets an automatic bid in the second round, while the second-half winner and a third wild-card team face off in best-of-three first-round mini-series. That means that in the South, Lake Elsinore, which had the worst record (29-39) in the second half, gets to sit back and relax while second-half champ High Desert and Lancaster play in the first round. In the north, San Jose, who fell just one game short of winning both halves, earns the first-round bye and will face the winner of a series between Stockton and Modesto.
• The Midwest League playoffs have eight of the league's 16 teams qualifying for the postseason. South Bend, which won both halves of the Eastern division and finished with a league-best record of 84-56, will open up against Southwest Michigan in one of four best-of-three quarterfinals. The other East matchup will feature West Michigan against first-half wild card Fort Wayne, which had the worst record in the Midwest League during the second half at 27-43. In the Western Division, Wisconsin, winner of both halves, will battle Beloit, while Clinton will take on the Swing of the Quad Cities.
• In the low Class A South Atlantic League, Hagerstown, by virtue of winning the first-half title in the Northern Division, will take on second-half winner Delmarva in a best-of-three series to advance to the league championship. In the Southern Division, first-half champ Charleston will face second-half champ Kannapolis.
Contributing: Alan Matthews.
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