90 Days and Counting…
Every year it seems to sneak up on you. We are 90 days away from the Generals home opener on April 5th, against the Birmingham Barons, and right around 43 days until pitchers and catchers report. In a way that is scary, and it in another way it is exciting. When September hits, you are ready for that break. But, as February and March arrives, in this business you get restless and ready the marathon that is a 140 game Southern League season.
Hopefully everyone had a nice Christmas and New Year. It seems like every year when coming back from the holiday break you begin the “push to the season”. The new interns show up and it is just a fresh start. Sort of feels like that first day of second semester classes…
- The Mariners signed a familiar face this week in lefty George Sherrill. He is a 1995 graduate of Evangelical Christian School (ECS) in Memphis and started his college baseball career at Jackson State Community College in 1996 and 1997. As a freshman, Sherrill was the No. 3 starter and helped Jackson State to its first Junior College World Series. By the end of his sophomore year, he had earned a scholarship to Austin Peay State University. Sherrill was a closer in 1998, then was moved into the starting rotation the next season as a senior.
Former Jackson pitcher Dan Cortes, who spent time with the Diamond Jaxx in 2009 and 2010 has signed with the Washington Nationals. I would be willing to say that Cortes has had the most prolific arm to come through Jackson in my three seasons. In a game during the 2010 season at Chattanooga, Cortes pitched three straight innings averaging 100.7 MPH per pitch. It was the most fascinating pitching performance most players and coaches had ever seen. Current Mariner Trayvon Robinson was struck out on three pitches and the third being a 12 to 6 curve ball that veteran catcher Guillermo Quiroz could barely even catch . Robinson shook his head and tipped his cap. I hate Cortes could not harness his gift as a Mariner, but here is hoping he can with Washington.
- On Tuesday of this week the Jackson City Council approved a couple of improvements to Pringles Park. The one thing people complained most that needed improving was the video board. If you take a look at the photo of the current video board structure below, the plan is to eliminate the side panels where the Coke and JEA signs are and fill in all of that area with LED panels. Thus it would make those ads electronic and allow much more flexibility. Plus as you see in the picture on sunny days you could not read much of anything. With LED, the screen will be just as visible during the day time. Take a look at the other photo and you will get a general idea of what the new LED screen would look like.
- As the season gets closer, promotions will be released for the season. The promotional schedule is usually released in March. A few promotions that have been added for 2012 is a bobblehead doll of the Diamond Jaxx all-time wins leader and appearance leader, Doug Fister. No date has been assigned yet. Also, on July 27th, Midget Wrestling will be coming to Pringles Park. Check out the Half Pint Brawlers web page to see what to expect or view videos. They have a show on SPIKE TV. You cannot tell me that will not be fun.
- Some other events leading up to the season that fans will want to look forward to are on Wednesday, April 4th, the night before the home opener, will be Generals Fan Fest. 2012 will mark the second year that Fan Fest has been at Pringles Park. Also, several high school are scheduled to be at Pringles Park prior to the season. Those include…
- March 19 – Charleston, MO vs. Portageville, MO
- March 22 – JCS vs. South Side
- March 23 – Milan vs. Madison Academic
- March 24 – Riverside vs. Memphis Houston
- March 27 – South Side vs. Scotts Hill
- March 29 – Dyersburg vs. Collierville
Always check jacksongeneralsbaseball.com for the latest information on the Generals.