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So, back to that quote over at the side. If true... why did STL want out of here so bad? What/who caused them to be so ready to jump ship?

Jocketty was really keen on having new parks for the minor league affiliates. If "new parks" is your major concern, Ray Winder gave you the heebie jeebies.


The Travelerocity reporter

Good question. I always knew there was more to the story than was presented in the media at the time and that it didn't come down to STL demanding a new stadium. We now know more of the story. Is there still more, and do the Cardinals have a different side to tell?


Here is just a quick list of the Houston Astros top prospects on the team:

* Troy Patton, LHP (#2 in organization, #58 in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects)

* Jimmy Barthmaier, RHP (#4 in organization)

* J.R. Towles, C (#6 in organization)

* Felipe Paulino, RHP (#8 in organization)


Doesn't add up. San Antonio doesn't have a new park nor was one being planeed was it?

If Springfield was their ultimate goal, why wouldn't they just sign a 2 year deal here then jump? Why move farther away?

After not resigning with the Travelers, the Cardinal's AA team moved to New Haven, CT. They were there for two years. The next stop was Knoxville, TN. The team in El Paso came up for sale. Springfield had been wanting an affliated team, not an independent league team for quite some time. The Cardinals bought El Paso and moved it to Springfield. Springfield, of course, had a new ballpark.
End of story in my opinion.


Here's what Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times has to say...

"Records: Hooks 14-30, Travelers 17-25

Season series: First meeting

All-time series: Travelers lead 15-13

Pitching probables:


Josh Miller (CC, RH, 2-3. 3.94 ERA) vs. Nick Adenhart (RH, 3-2, 2.66)


Ronnie Martinez (CC, RH, 1-5, 5.66) vs. Fernando Rodriguez Jr. (RH, 2-0, 3.00)


Chance Douglass (CC, RH, 1-2. 4.54) vs. Nick Green (RH, 3-2, 4.83)

Who's hot: OF Beau Torbert (.432 average in past 10 games), OF Francisco Caraballo (.345. 6 RBI in past 10 games)

Who's not: OF Ray Sadler (.118, 1 run in past 10 games)

The scoop: The Hooks will make their first visit to the Travelers' new ballpark. This series pits the cellar dwellers in the Texas League's North and South divisions. Corpus Christi is coming off a split in its four-game series against Midland. The Hooks scored 14 runs in their two victories, but only scored two runs in the two losses. Arkansas had middle-of-the-road pitching, but the Travelers' .235 team batting average is by far the worst in the Texas League, 21 points behind second-to-last San Antonio. A bright spot has been third baseman Freddy Sandoval (.319), the fifth-best hitter in the league."

The Colonel

Ok. I hate to keep harping. But dammit, I want some good popcorn. I bought two boxes tonite at the "Caboose" and both sucked. I know it's a little thing, but it ain't a little thing to an old Colonel and his grandkid. Please someone, get your shit together on the corn will you????

The Travelerocity reporter

Whatever happened with the Travelers and Cardinals, I think ultimately the Cards would have moved to Springfield once they got the chance to own that new franchise because it helps take away market share from the Royals and provides an in-state location for the Double-A affiliate. But exactly what transpired between the Travs and Cards to end the affiliation, who really knows. I'd love to hear the Cardinals' side of it.

Some new prospect rankings for the Angels:

The Travelerocity reporter

Argenta blogger claims Valentine's restaurant has a competitive edge over the competition because of a sweetheart deal with the city:


bill valentine

More sour grapes...do we have a competitive deal when it comes to beer sales?.....what's the difference if the city gets half the profits from all beer sales after expenses......do we have a competitive deal when it comes to concession food sales...city gets half of all the profits after expenses.... what about the city getting one half profits from all ticket sales after expenses?.....

We signed a lease that gives the city of North Little Rock one half of all profits of all sales in Dickey-Stephens Park...that also includes all radio commercial sales, all fence signs, all scorecard sales, all message board commercials..etc, etc... YOU CAN'T PICK AND CHOOSE WHICH PART OF THE PARK YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH...IT'S ALL OR NOTHING AND WE'LL BE HAPPY TO PAY WHAT SPRINGDALE IS PAYING FOR A YEARS RENT...it is the best lease for any city in minor league baseball....have you forgotten...Springdale only pays $350,000 per season....when we give the city a million dollars at the end of the season I want to hear all of you tell me what a rotten deal the city has with the Travelers....

Why do you still insist you want to hear from the Cardinals about the deal that brought the Angels to Little Rock...I told you what happened....that's why I tell you to get a life....you ask questions..get answers and when they don't fit what you want to hear you go off half cocked again....

...the Cardinals could still be in Little Rock..they failed to signed the extention..looked at two others cities...offered one a major league game each of the first two years and other things to sign a two year agreement..I heard about it and signed with Angels before we would be left in the cold and be assigned a team by major league baseball...that's what happened....it not what you want to hear because you want to blame Bill Valentine for running the Cardinals off...you should thank me even if I would have run them out of town...how many players have the Cardinal brought up from their minor league system?....check the Angels and check the Cardinals....last place nearly every year in AAA and AA and no movement of players to major league level.....

Some of you will never be happy...you have a first class restaurant..one of the finest minor league ball parks in the country...the lowest concession prices in all of minor league baseball...a sure winner for the city when it comes to lease payment of one half of all profits...and you still have to find some sour grape reason to find fault with the Travelers.....yes I will say it again..GET A LIFE..

LR Fan

Bill - I'm glad you're still paying such good attention to the operation of the ballpark. I see you're posting at 9:42 PM - during a game!

I know you've worked youself a "promotion", where you have Pete as GM but I still think you should have enough respect for your customers that you would pay attention to what's going on at the ballpark during the game rather than shooting off half-cocked at your customers...telling them to "GET A LIFE".

Bill - good point about sharing profits with NLR. Does that mean they share the cost of a a full-time employee washing cars during work hours for money that goes in his pocket? I'm sure the taxpayers enjoy that!

In regards to the deal with St. Louis. I agree wholeheartedly with your quote. That was all factual. They spent years hosing us over. Pulling our players to AAA and going days without sending a replacement for our roster was inexcusable. I know that had to have built up a resentment between our operation an theirs. While the Cardianls may have been saying you were difficult to work with and trying to trick you behind your back, the ballclub did the right thing in distancing themselves from the Cards and signing with the Angels. Congratulations on the good judgement!

Bill - one final thought.....learn how to treat your customers like customers.....please!


Bill, Yes the City gets half the profit on the restaurant. But where else could you have a got somebody else to build you a restaurant to dabble in with virtually no risk, no debts and only share 1/2 the profits. Yes you got a sweetheart deal, but what about all the other restaurants and wanna be chefs that want their own place like you? Be a leader, do the right thing and set up a seperate lease for the restaurant space and pay your own way. Assuming you succeed, you will then do it on your own without sharing half the profits and the NLR citizens not assuming all the risk.

bill valentine

So I am sitting in my office in a game lost 14-11 and I am right off the lobby and you think I should be sitting out in a chair with the other 400 people who are left for what?....watching the bull pen fall apart again?...I didn't put the restaurant in for Bill Valentine...it belongs to the Arkansas Travelers...the only reason we have a restaurant is that the city of North Little Rock wanted something going on at Dickey-Stephens more than 70 days a year...they wanted traffic down West Broadway all year long...HKS said a restaurant would drive traffic this way....so what should we have done put in a hamburger and sports bar with two already on main street and another on the way.... what kind of profit do you think a sports bar would make in the off season at Dickey-Stephens?....we put in a restaurant...it's top rated...two newpapers rate it at the top of the restaurant chain...we are drawing people from all over Central Arkansas to downtown North Little Rock...you don't have a clue....no one owns or runs the restaurant..it's part of the Arkansas Travelers organization....it will certainly make a nice profit and NLR gets half of it....just like they get half of our beer sales and half of our concession sales..GET IT...THEY GET HALF OF THE ENTIRE OPERATION....what do you mean I should consider our fans...you think half of the nit pickers who sign on here are really concerned about the Travs?...
I will say it again..GET A LIFE...you are jealous of everything successful the Travs do.....GET A LIFE...UNDERSTAND..GET A LIFE...


Bill, thanks for providing such great, candid responses. I'm glad you take the time out to communicate with us.

I'm also tired of these conspiracy theorists with their constant talk about what "really" happened over losing the Cards. The Cards were shopping around for a new place, Bill dumped them before they could dump the Travs. If he hadn't, Arkansas probably would have been without a team.


Another disappointing lose. The bullpen did implode, but what happened to Adenhart? Another bad start. Curtis Pride had 5 RBIs, 3 thanks to that homer. Our offense provided some real punch again. I know the teams batting average is still low, but I wonder if it is finally on the rise. They seem to be coming around. And Freddy Sandoval was able to raise his average to .322.


I heart BV!

Keep it real Bill!


I don't think our offense is on the rise. I think CC's pitching is just bad. I also think that Magallanes is gonna cost us some games this year. I am glad he tries to get things rolling offensively, I just don't think that you have to send the runner just because he got on base.

I heard Saenz is out of the rotation and in the pen. Great for the rotation, but how in hades does that help the pen. It is plenty bad enough without adding Six-run Saenz to it. I mean really, what situation can you think of, where Saenz is a good option? I trying and I just can't come up with a single situation. Saenz? no thanks I'll take my chances with a struggling starter or gas can and pack of matches.

Also that Gonzalez and his one (maybe 2?) starts are now a part of the rotation. What in the heck. Why are we taking a solid part of the pen and sticking him in a position that he's never played? He is a capable member of the pen and we are gonna put Saenz in his spot? It just doesn't make sense.

Congrats to Peel on hitting for the cycle. A real highlight on a night where the good could easily get lost in all the bad..

Trav fan

Give 'em hell, Bill. Your explanation about the Cards pulling out of Little Rock sounds exactly kosher to me. My only complaint is with the whole system imposed by Major League Baseball, and I know nothing will change -- but I wish we could go back to the days when the local club ran things, with a nucleus of our own players, filled in by the major league club.

I wonder whether the Cards wanted San Antonio because the city will one day be a candidate for a major-league franchise and somebody would have to pay the Cards dearly for the venue. Just a thought.

Baseball Bill

Speaking of Jim Bailey's fine piece on John Mabry, since no one has -- Bailey's usual incisive, literate sports story. Bailey understands sports and understands the English language, and his occasional pieces are a delight. Baseball writing as it used to be. I wish we could get Jim every day and a certain other sports columnist only occasionally.


what about security in and around the ballpark? are the pcso deputies who hang around inside dickey-stephens responsible for patrolling the nlr owned parking lot and the sidewalks around the park? particularly after late games such as the friday doubleheader that ended at 11:30pm or tonight's game that was over at 11:15pm? my observations are that said officers are magnetic and tend to clump together and guard the organ or eat hot dogs after such games. there was no visible outside security after tonight's game nor after any other game. BV has always prided himself on a family friendly park, but would he or any other member of his staff wish his spouse to walk 100 yards alone through this lot? i think not.
can we please get over the cardinals. they did not give a damn about little rock. enough already and enjoy what we have.


i agree with mars that it looks as if bobby m likes to run just to run with no regard to who is on base or the situation. maybe this blog will start to talk about some travs baseball once in a while, instead of the before times.


I've also been annoyed by the constant, attempted, stolen bases.

It would be nice if this blog would talk a little more about the Travs, instead of only about DSP or the speculation over why the Travs are no longer affiliated with the Cards.

The Colonel

Mr. Bill- I think the place is great and I think Valentine's is great and all this talk about its profits are much a do about nothing and you explained that wonderfully, but please sir-- the POPCORN, I know it might seem like nitpicking but it's not to me and the kids. Last night it was day, maybe days old, and it was terrible. I saw many people throwing it away after they bought it. Come on, popcorn's cheap. Make it fresh and hot. Thanks for a wonderful park and place to hang out with babies and old folks too. The Colonel

The Travelerocity reporter

Who would give Peel's home run back so he could have a souvenir from hitting for the cycle and what would you expect in return?

How about Reggie Willits' season so far in LA? I really never expected him to be more than a reserve in MLB, but wow he is getting it done.

The Angels website message boards are really starting to push for Reggie to be on the Rookie of the Year radar screen. Let's just hope that Soccia doesn't mess it up with Anderson return in the next few weeks. Reggie may not be a power player, but he is always consistent.

The Travelerocity reporter

Hoover, Ala., seats 10,800 in the grandstand. I guess that's why the SEC tournament will never be coming to North Little Rock, Ark.


I'd give peel the ball back. What do I need a HR ball for? Sure, just a random HR ball, I'd keep it. But hitting for the cycle is a pretty rare occurence. I'd give it back to Peel no problem. All I'd ask for in return is that he never grow back the mullet he sported last year.

The Travelerocity reporter

Yeah, he looks like a totally different person without the mullet.


Hoover's awful, though, and the Barons want a new ballpark in Birmingham.

I agree with Bill on the restaurant, it's part of the stadium. If it's hemorrhaging money I'm sure the Travs will be losing money as well and I'm sure it will reformat. I do disagree that it wouldn't do well as a sports bar. There's no decent REAL sports bar in downtown NLR and the backdrop of a gorgeous stadium would make it immensely popular. I'd rather have a nice restaurant like Valentine's but I bet a sports bar would generate revenue if this doesn't pan out.

I'm a Cards fan but I have no doubt Bill is telling the truth and would further it by saying Jocketty is a complete jackass for the way he did Valentine, LR, and the Travs. I'm not sold on the Angels, though. They don't send us rehabs, are quick to move players up to AAA and wouldn't ever dignify us with a major league exhibition, even for the opening of a new first class ballpark. Despite all of the prospects the Angels have had, which I still don't think compare with the Zeile, Lankford, etc group the Angels have a 368-466 record with us prior to this year, which again looks to be a miserable season. The Cards were roughly .500 over their 34 years. Besides this, nobody in the regions follows or cares about the Angels. There's no fanbase. I wish we'd been able to pounce on the Braves the way the new Mississippi AA club did. The Cubs are in East Tennessee and I bet people would be excited about them. At some point Jacksonville will probably move up to AAA and the Dodgers' AA affiliation will be available. I guess I just don't see why anyone would be all that happy with the current situation, either.


The mullet rocked! If I had the ball I'd give it back to him if in return he promised to grow the mullet back.

"Bailey understands sports and understands the English language, and his occasional pieces are a delight. Baseball writing as it used to be"

I agree 100%.


the only team i hate worse than the cardinals are the braves. you think the cards have a fan base in little rock? ask any random 10 people going into the park tonight who the cards' manager is. as of this writing, the angels are 5&1/2 games in 1st and the cardinals are 9&1/2 games out. i care about the angels because that is our major league affiliate. attendance was no better at RWF when the cardinals were
there than when the angels came. enjoy what we have, it's baseball aporkalypse.


"the angels are 5&1/2 games in 1st and the cardinals are 9&1/2 games out"

Whooptie crap, it's 1 season. The Cards have 10 World Series titles, 17 pennants and 22 playoff appearances compared to the Angels 1 WS title, 1 pennant and 6 playoffs in their nearly 50 years. They've had 3 more names than they've had pennants. The Angels have a winning pct of .492 in their history, the Cards .517. My Dad loved the Cards, his Dad loved them and his Dad before him. I sat on the porch with my Grandpa and listened to Cards game. I hate Soutern California, their smog, their pompous jerkoffs, the American League and the retarded DH.

But yeah, they have a better record this season, that's all that matters. I guess I'll jump shit too.


Cards, schmards. The cards are gone, they ain't comin back. If you choose to root for them, that is you own business. But it's been 5 years or so since they left. Build a bridge man, get over it; or move to Springfield

interesting, I didnt realize you could only root for the Travs' affiliate if you were from this area.

And to think the Cards don't have a fan base in LR or central Arkansas is as laughable as thinking that the Angels do...

That being said, I'm not an Angels fan per se, I'm a Travs' fan, whether they send major league rehabbers or not. It's baseball, no matter what affiliate they are under. So yes, I agree, get behind the Travs' but as far as whether they are Cards affiliate or Angels affiliate, or they go and yank the Cubs from somewhere, big whoop. People are obviously going to come no matte rwhat right now because it is a great venue, AA level product, great value fora night or afternoon at a game, and a great setting.

I will agree with Mr Valentine to the people keep trying to raise this arguement of Cards vs. Angels, MOVE ON! What is done is done! Both parent clubs have won a World Championship since the swtich, so I'd say both are probably happy with their results over the years...


From the Arkansas Times, about Riverfest....

"the Budweiser stage in North Little Rock will face east, away from Dickey-Stephens Park, where the Arkansas Travelers will be home playing games that weekend."

I have never had any problem rooting for St. Louis and the Travs. It was nice when we were affiliated with St. Louis, but not a requirement. It's nice to see former Travs play in the bigs which was possible with St. Louis and not really with a west coast affiliation but that's no big deal either - I see the AA Angels and if I don't see them on tv in LA, no big deal.

I laughed out loud on the idea that there is no St. Louis fan base in LR. I doubt any 10 people could name any player on the Angels squad except former Travelers if they could do that even. Most people could name 2-3 Cardinals not even counting Pujols.

I have seen exactly one Angels hat/t-shirt this year. 2-3 Cubs and lots of St. Louis, even when we weren't playing Springfield. As I recall, people around here didn't really follow Philadelphia when they were the parent club - it was still St. Louis, even before they were the parent club. Rooting for the Travs has nothing to do with who you root for at the major league level, though I at least check the AL standings every few weeks just to see how Anaheim/LA is doing.


bill valentine

I asked 12 fans Monday night who were eating popcorn how it was...all 12 told me it was good...I have no idea what you are talking about..."give me good popcorn"...it is cooked on the same machine we had at Ray Winder Field and it is not even started cooking until a few minutes before six oclock and we pop all during the game...I'm the first guy fans stop if something is bad and no one, NO ONE has said a word to me about popcorn all season...I went in and tasted it last night and it is just as it has been for years...I don't know your problem but you are the ONLY PERSON saying anything about the popcorn....

I hate to tell you ,but the restaurant is MAKING MONEY...why would anyone think we would put in any concession, including the restaurant, that would lose money?....

The Colonel

I'm not imagining this Mr. Bill. The next time I'm there, and the popcorn is bad, I will bring it to you if I can find you. It was bought at the Caboose at 6:30 last nite. At 6:35 it was in the trash can. It ain't worth arguing over, but I'm bringing my own next time.


Colonel, sorry to hear about the popcorn problem. Bill Valentine always seems to be around so I'm sure you will be able find him. But, something I've come to learn, not all concessions are equal or taste the same to everyone. I've had things I've not liked so I just don't buy it again. Good news is DSP has a lot variety of concessions.

Valentine's restaurant is such a none issue that I find these complaints laughable. Glad to hear it is doing good! Had not had a chance to eat there yet but hope to try it out soon!

Rodriguez is the starting pitcher, let's hope he is able to carry the team tonight. And hopefully the team will get some runs again tonight.


Even though I consider myself a popcorn freak I've not had the popcorn yet. The family and I will be at the game Friday night & I'll be sure to get some then. I'll let you know, Bill, what I think of the popcorn. Heck, I may even buy boxes at different times to see if there is a difference throughout the game.

On a happier note, I am an Argenta resident. We have mini-season tickets and while working in our garden on our non-game nights I can still hear the fan's cheers, the play calls are sometimes muffled & I can still hear the organ playing.


Recap of game 2 of Hooks series. Rodriguez pitches guts out for 6 innings, bullpen blows it. No offense at all...aaarrrgghhh! popcorn was yummy.

Dre, you're on a different planet. The Cards are far and away the dominant major league fan base in Central Arkansas and the Angels were probably close to dead last before they garnered a minor league affiliation. Still, there are probably ten teams more popular. The Cards, Braves, Cubs, Rangers, Royals, and Yankees all seem to have some kind of loyal fanbase. albeit small.

Regardless, Bill didn't run off the Cards, they chose to leave. I think we can all not place blame, and stop pining for an organization that thought it was too good for us. I'd just like to see a little more success and a little more dedication from the Angels. It sure doesn't seem like they care much about pleasing our fanbase.

It seems that the Angels do not care very much about sending enough good players to Arkansas. I wish they would give us a better team. The general manager of the Angels seems to be a nice guy, but I am not sure about their overall strategy.

K - Because that's what the Angels should be aiming for, building a dominant Double A team. Man, some of you are stupid.

Augustus Busch

INTERESTING column on page 1-A of this morning's Dem-Gaz. For you non-subcribers, apprently the city of Little Rock didn't collect the hamburger tax from the Travs until 2005. Bill, you said the city of Little Rock never done anything for you, well guess what hundreds of thousands of uncollected taxes sounds like a pretty big something from the city.


After the article this morning anybody still believe Bill is incapable of cutting sweetheart deals (i.e restaurant)? And oh yea...I've been here for six years and I never got a letter on my 2% tax either, but funny thing is I am still expected to pay it monthly. For a man who often personally responds to comments here in a very vitriolic manner, now he is referring questions to a lawyer. Perhaps the lawyer should start responding for Bill here too!


On the tax collection situation maybe someone is out to prove a point. Since the Travs are no longer in Little Rock then they are fair game to pick on. In the article I didn't see any other business listed for not paying their tax.

The Travelerocity reporter

Maybe there is not another business that got away with it for 34 years or operated on land owned by the state and city.

bill valentine

You can read my comments in the first posting of today...yes it looks like the city did support us in the neighborhood of about an average of 2,000 to 3,000 in the first 15 or twenty years and in the about $5,000 in the final few years....we don't dispute it ..but the law read "restaurants, cafes and cafeterias..and all other establishments engaged in the selling of prepared food....." you can call us liars all the want but we did not ever think that hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, and nachos put us in that category...do you think that we were the only business selling these items that never paid the tax?....we caught it when the law was clarified in the mid 2000's....I guess you noticed that we WERE THE ONLY ONES IN THE ENTIRE CITY DURING THE 30 YEAR PERIOD THAT NEVER PAID THE TAX....even though the story said deals were cut thoughout this period...I would be just as interested to know what other business this employee was told not to charge the tax....the story is a bald face lie...we never met with Mr. Travis..never discussed any business with Mr. Travis..and we reported that we owed the tax when our accountant called it to our attention...I am not hiding behind any attorney..the reporter asked questions about how Mr. Meek went about getting the forms, etc and I said she needed to talk to him since I did not know all of the information.... that's the story..believe it or not..

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