Rodger’s Diary – Frederick Had Good Pitching But Not Lots of Timely Hitting Punch This Year!

After winning the Carolina League Championship in 2007, the Frederick Keys, plagued by call ups, injuries and inconsistency, came up way short both halves in 2008.

They finished with an overall 63 – 76 W-L record, a third place finish with a 34-36 record n the Northern Division the first half, and a last place fourth place finish with 29 – 40 the second half,, both halves 8 games behind the division leading Potomac Nationals.

While the overall performance was sub par, individual performances were not all bleak this season.

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View the More Frederick Keys 2008 galleries.

Brandon Snyder hit 315 BA, 13 HR, drove in 80 RBI, was the second leading hitter (BA) in the Carolina League and was named Carolina League Player of the Month of August with a 388 BA, 7 2B, 3 HR, and
18 RBI.

Ourfielders Chris Vinyard (240 BA, 16 HR, and 65 RBI) and Brandon Tripp (236 BA, 17 HR, and 69 RBI) provided some power hitting.

RHP Jake Arrieta was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Year, and the team‘s lone all star with a 6-5 W-L Record and a 2.87 ERA before helping the U.S. Olympic team win the bronze at Beijing.


RHP Brandon Erbe finished the season strong, allowing no runs in 3 of 5 August starts and back to back shutouts his last two starts while compiling an overall 10-12 W-L, 4.30 ERA record.

Right hander Jacob Renshaw (9-11, 5.11 ERA), Kyle Schmidt (4-4, 3.57), and Jeff Moore (5-3, 3.63 ERA)
kept the Keys in most games.

Rodger’s Diary – Salt Lake City Bees and Pacific Coast League – Go West Young Folks, Go West!

If I were a younger person starting all over, I’d consider making that long trek west to raise my young family in Salt Lake City, Utah.

While not a Mormon as many in that city, I have to respect people, who against all odds, went west to a then desolate area to practice their religion and strong family values, which still characterize the area over 100 years later.

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View the Salt Lake City Bees galleries.

You can eat off the streets there, they are so clean and get lost in the solitude of surrounding mountains if you want some spiritual comfort.

Money is not the driving force behind everything. You don’t have to check your back pocket for your wallet every time someone says help “hello” to you.

People talk to you there because they are genuinely interested in you as an individual and still enjoy people gatherings just to be with each other.

You can suck the air deep into your lungs and drink the water without fear of poisoning yourself.

And you can go to Franklin Covey Stadium to enjoy the family environment at a Salt Lake Bees ball game and not have to cope with the belligerent folks and drunks who frequent Thirsty Thursdays back East and are found elsewhere in droves at many other major sporting events.
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View the Tacoma Rainiers and Sacramento Bees galleries.

While there in July, I saw three Pacific Coast League ball games, enjoying the home team Salt Lake Bees, who are the Triple A Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim affiliate play three games, Tacoma Rainiers, the Seattle Mariners AAA, two games, and Oakland A’s Sacramento River Cats, one game..

I saw my adopted cousin, Salt Lake SS, Brandon Wood, Sacramento 1B, Casey Rogowski, who graduated from Detroit Catholic Central, the same High School I did many moons ago, and many other of my favorite ball players.

Special SL Photo 1

Brandon promised to hit and did hit a homerun so I could get a photo of his perfect swing in action, and Casey assured me he was behaving himself so I didn‘t have to turn my head next time I saw the priests and brothers who taught us at our old alumnae and whom I had promised to keep an eye on this youngster so he wouldn’t succumb when confronted with the rigorous challenges of professional baseball.

Rodger’s Diary – Boise Hawks 2008

I finally made it to Boise!

Considering I had started off there twice by car from Ogden, Utah, only to turn around when it dawned on me it was too far to drive there in one or two days. I was overjoyed when my plane landed at Boise Airport even though it was July 13th

It had been embarrassing to tell my former Vine Line and one of my favorite editors, Jim McArdle, I had failed him twice, and I didn’t want to repeat that ordeal with my new editor, Michael Huang, so this time I had to beat the odds by taking a plane which got me there in less than an hour.

Josh Vitters
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View the Boise Hawks galleries.

It was also the first time I would see a Rookie A – Northwest League game and while Tacoma and Fresno may be further, Boise was close to the furthest I had ever traveled to see a minor league baseball game.

After a nice Sunday steak and Idaho potato dinner at a blue blood restaurant, which was the first decent dinner I had in a week of travel having dined on ball park franks other evenings, I drove by the Hawks’ Memorial Stadium to get a feeling for where it was and how it looked. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a small park with a small park intimacy that would serve my photography quite well.

I got to the ball park early the next day but not before the Boise Hawks who were there surprisingly early considering they had just come a long road trip the day before.

The young Cubbies were eager to get their photos taken for Vine Line, the official Chicago Cubs team magazine, that I have free lanced for the past 15 seasons. I scheduled much of the team to have their photographs taken after batting and infield practice so I wouldn’t interfere with their work priorities.


Much of the future Chicago Cubs’ infield may be playing at Boise this season.. The top 2008 Cubs BA prospect, Josh Vitters, is at 3B hitting 344 BA, 2 HR, and 18 RBI and fielding like he’s Brooks Robinson in the 1970 World Series. Drafted this past June in the first round supplemental out of Vanderbilt University, SS, Ryan Flaherty is hitting 280 BA, 2 HR, and 7 RBI. Drafted out of Cincinnati U in the 6th round, Josh Harrison is at 2B, and a dark horse 16th round pick, Ryan Keedy, out of Alabama Birmingham, is at 1B.
hitting 308, 1 HR, and 21 RBI.

Kyler Burke is hitting for power with 3 HR, 20 RBI at the same time he is showing good range in right field.

I was very much impressed with LHP Jeff Beliveau DNA as well as his pitching. He is a great nephew of Montreal Canadiens hockey great, Jean Beliveau, and is 2-1 W-L, 3.86 ERA in relief. RHP Chris Carpenter, a third round draft out of Kent State, is 1-0 W-L, 1.69 ERA in 5.1 IP. and the pitching staff work horse, Herol Tolentino, is 3-0 W-L, with a 3.09 ERA in 32.0 IP.