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Friday Night Lights Blowouts, 1 Week To Go, Minor League Season From Hell

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Last night was not a good night for a number of CIML teams in or around the metro.  Urbandale beat Hoover 54-8, Southeast Polk beat Roosevelt 49-0, Marshalltown beat North 60-0.  It’ll probably be a rough season for those three, but I admit that I admire the kids on all three who will stick it out the whole season.  It takes a lot of heart and strength to fight through nights like that, and though it may not translate to many wins on the field, the attitude to persevere when times are tough will serve them well beyond high school.

Ankeny told Chris Hassel they thought they got off to a slow start.  They beat Ames 45-7.  They looked like they barely broke a sweat doing it and are now 2-0.  So what would a fast start for them be?

One more week till nights like this….

We are one week away from the start of the college football season.  Has it seemed like this season has taken longer than any other to get here or is it just me?

Iowa is set at starting QB with James Vandenburg but still trying to decide on the backup between AJ Derby and John Weinke.  If there’s one thing I fear about the Hawks going into the season it’s depth.  Last year they had a slew of injuries (especially at RB), but seemed to have backups with some experience or, in Marcus Coker’s case, guys who stepped up.  I’m not sure they have that this year.  Had Ricky Stanzi gone down it would have been a blow, but there was confidence in Vandenburg after this performance in 2009.  If Vandy goes down, though, it’s kind of a black hole now.

Speaking of Stanzi, he had a pretty good game for Kansas City.  He was 8-14 for 121 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass (the only TD the Chiefs scored) in KC’s 14-10 loss to St. Louis.  Stanzi was the third QB last night but moved the offense better than Tyler Palko.  My money is on the Manzi to be Matt Cassel’s backup.

We in Des Moines are lucky in that we get to see some pretty good quality baseball from our minor league team, the Iowa Cubs.  It’s easy to forget just how bad baseball in the minors can be, or how rough life is for those that play it.  One thing to be in affiliated ball, at least there you have a shot to try and get to the bigs.  If you’re in independent ball, though, it’s another story.

If this team ever offers you a contract head for the hills

With that, I present the story of the Lake County Fielders, quite possibly the worst organization in all of professional baseball.  They’re season has been so comically bad it could (and probably will) be made into a movie.  Ironically, the team is partially owned by Kevin Costner.

Lake County plays in the Chicagoland area in Zion.  Their season was off to a bad start before a pitch was thrown.  They were originally supposed to play in the independent Northern League, but that league folded after the 2010 season, forcing them to move to a North American League which included teams in Arizona and Hawaii.  For independent teams that operate on peanuts for a budget, that’s not the kind of travel they can afford.

Making matters worse, the team tried to get a tax payer funded stadium, but their attempts had failed, so the team needed to build a temporary stadium, forcing them to start the season on a 32-game road trip.  On July 9 the team’s manager, former big leaguer Tim Johnson, resigned claiming that he and the team hadn’t been paid.  11 players also refused to play in support of Johnson.  The team named (surprise surprise) a former Chicago Cub interim manager, Pete LaCock (seriously).

If it’s bizarre it has to involve this guy

But it gets better.  Lake County was playing a Yuma team coached by Jose Canseco.  Yeah, that Jose Canseco.  LaCock filled out a lineup in which all the position players were actually pitchers, and all the guys who pitched were all position players.  Deciding he couldn’t be topped in weirdness, Canseco started himself at pitcher.  He worked six scoreless innings and Yuma won 8-3.  The next day LaCock quit and the Fielders traded nine players and released 14 more. 

And then it gets nuttier.  A few days later, during his broadcast, radio play-by-play announcer Qumar Zaman quit (maybe to go with Harold to White Castle?), which you can listen to below.

Moral to the story?  It could always be worse Cub fans.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous

    Big 12 should expand to at least 14 or 15 teams if possible because it's just a matter of time before Texas decides it wants to play an independent football schedule.

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