Monday, August 16, 2010

There is no OH in Lowell

Going from first to worst can be a recipe for disaster. The team is down, the organization becomes complacent and the fans stop showing up to support the product. Yet somehow the Lowell Spinners have avoided this letdown in the face of a rough season for the team.

The 2008 and 2009 Stedler Divison champions of the New York-Penn League are all but eliminated from playoff contention with about 3 weeks left in the season. For all intents and purposes, they were eliminated about halfway through July, but they carried on with business as usual. The organization's staff walks around LeLacheur Park with smiles on their faces, truly happy to be doing what they do for a living. The fans come out in droves, as evident by their 405 straight sellouts. Even the team continues to go out and play hard each and every night.

Despite their 16-40 record on the season, the team has come on as of late and has provided some serious opposition to all foes. The team went 4-9 in the month of June then 6-23 in the month of July, including an 11 game losing streak. So far in August, the team is 6-8, matching their July win total with 14 game left to play this month. They are also 4-4 in one-run games in the month of August, proving that they are always in to it until the end.

Boston Red Sox 2010 first round draft pick Kolbrin Vitek started much like the team...slowly. He batted .279 over 13 games in June with 6 RBI. From there he slumped down to .257 in 27 games and added 12 RBI. In 11 games played in August, Vitek has a .308 average with 3 home runs and 9 RBI and has truly come on as of late, smashing 11 hits with 8 RBI over his last 5 games.

On the hill, Miguel Celestino has showed his worth since being called up from the Rookie League Gulf Coast Red Sox. In 6 starts he has allowed only 6 earned runs over a span of 30 1/3 innings. Opponents are only batting .206 against him and he's whiffed 18 of them. He has had half of his starts in the month of August and although he didn't do bad in June, he's definitely come on. This month he is 2-1 with a 1.10, giving up only 7 hits and 5 walks in 16 1/3 innings of work.

So in spite of the bad times, the Lowell Spinners show us that there is always some good things to come from it. The players are showing their abilities and in the face of a terrible season they show their true grit by gutting it out every single time they hit the field. You can always bet that the fans will be loud and rowdy, as I was witness to on Sunday. It was eye opening to hear how loud 4,000+ can get for a team that is 24 games under .500. And you can be sure that the organization and staff will go the extra mile to ensure that everyone has the best experience every time they walk through the gates at LeLacheur Park.

I'm going to leave you with some final images from our trip to Lowell on Sunday, August 15th. It was a perfect way to spend a summer Sunday and I want to personally thank Jon Boswell and the Lowell Spinners organization for their amazing hospitality. Go support the won't regret it!

Grounds crew watering down the infield prior to game time

Manager Bruce Crabbe hands in the lineup card

Seth Schwindenhammer (15) and Bryce Brentz (14) warming up

Canaligator and family standing for the National Anthem

Madison Younginer delivers to Mahoning Valley's Carlos Moncrief

A break in the action

One last thing here...the following video is played on the big screen out past the left-center field wall when the Spinners are trying to get a rally going. For some reason I found it hilarious...aaaaaaand the song was stuck in my head the whole next day.

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