At exactly 10:22 p.m. on Monday night the Arkansas Travelers inaugural regular season ended at Dickey-Stephens not with a bang, but a whimper as the Travs took another butt whipping from Colby Rasmus and company.
The only bang was the ceremonial end of season fireworks as the Travelers dropped the final two home games to the Springfield Cardinals by a whopping combined score of 26-3. It was so bad, in the bottom of the eighth of the finale Springfield reliever Jason Motte struck out the side on 10 pitches. You didn't need the mysteriously disappeared score board speed gun to tell Motte was throwing gas.
Any hopes of a play-off berth, although possible, now seem slim...especially because Arkansas has to end the season against the Cardinals this weekend and Monday in a three game set.
Traveler starter Miguel Gonzalez entered Monday nights contest as the Texas League ERA leader but that was trashed as he was bombed for six runs in four innings. The bull pen never could shut down the attack led by this observer's Player of the Year and #1 St. Louis Cardinal prospect, Colby Rasmus, who is no question the heir in center field for Jim Edmonds.
Rasmus, #4 the League leader in home runs with 27 wore out traveler pitching during the series including a bomb in this at bat that landed above the berm in right field.
Did I mention the fireworks?
Did I mention the 16-0 shellacking the night before under a full moon?
Things got so out of whack in this laugher, Traveler utility infielder Ryan Leahy was asked to pitch the ninth. In his first attempt ever on the mound Leahy retired the side in order using knuckleballs!
So unless some sort of voodoo occurs we've seen the last of Travelers for the historic and tumultuous '07 season.
As Bill Valentine gazed on the proceedings alone in the ninth Sunday evening as the game was mercifully about to end, one wondered what he might be thinking. This morning on KARN Traveler General Manager, Pete Lavin said Dickey-Stephens attendance topped 373,000 beating the old mark by 83 thousand. He went on to say 15-20 thousand dollar concession nights had been the norm this season, where in the past you had to have half-naked Amazons from Iceland mud wrestling yaks to pull in that kind of dough.
One other little note..Pete guesstimated the club more than doubled its total revenue from 1.5 million to 3 million.
So with all that and the new prestigious award of Dickey-Stephens being named the "Park of the YEAR" in all of professional baseball, you'd think Bill would be happy. Then again....maybe not.
Post by Lonesome Traveler