A Chill in the Winter Breeze

Men in the Box

No one sees more of the game, aside from players and coaches, than your talented CWL broadcasters. As we enter the last week of the season its time for one of these microphone merchants to lend you their thoughts on the season to date. Today, a few words from J.W. Cox.

Never in my life have I seen such a range of baseball as I have here in the CWL over the past two weeks. We will go from shut-out to blow-out in the break neck pace of less than an inning. And game to game you can never know exactly what you’re going to get.

Case in point the Canada A’s pitching staff, or as I like to call them www.CanadaA’sPitchers.com due to the three A’s with the last name starting with W. Earlier in the season, fresh off a weekend of shut-out victories the stingy staff from the north eventually allowed seven runs during a Tuesday contest to the Palm Desert Coyotes. Even though the A’s bats backed the staff with 14 runs to take the win, their lapse late in the game shows you the unpredictable nature of this game of ours.

That is a game to game example of shifts occurring, how about in game swings of the paradigm?

Well take an early season game between the then unbeaten Coachella Valley Snowbirds and the winless Palm Springs Chill. After the ‘Birds broke out the bats for 7 early runs the Chill used an eight run lightning strike in the fifth inning to storm all the way back. But just as quick as a flash of lightning in a desert monsoon, the offense dried up for Palm Springs. Coachella Valley began chipping away and eventually won the game in walk off fashion in the bottom of the ninth. From victory to defeat in just the span of an agonizing pair of innings for the Chill.

The thrill of the unknown may be one of the most powerful human emotions. Baseball on the whole taps into that across all levels. And with such a melting pot of talent and backgrounds in the CWL, you just never know what you’ll witness until it unfolds right in front of you at Palm Springs Stadium.

Feel free to share some of your observations with the “Men in the Box” at cwlradio@gmail.com.

To catch the next shiver of suspense in the CWL come out and join us at Palm Springs Stadium the final week of the season. Tuesday and Friday games begin at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. while Wednesday and Saturday the action gets underway at 10 a.m. with the championship tilt at 1 p.m. For more information call the office at 716-778-HITS(4487) or go online to www.californiawinterleague.com.

Get it While Its Hot

Sure spring is just around the corner. Punxsutawny Phil tells us it will be an early spring, and that of course means wide spread baseball is near. But never forget you only have one more week of action before the California Winter League heads into summer hibernation.

You might wonder, “Why should I take in this baseball now, when a full season is just around the corner?” The answer to that question is in the desire and passion exhibited by the players in the CWL. Without doubt Major and Minor League players play with passion each time they step on the field, but they also have the security of a season and a monetary contract in the backs of their mind. For the CWL players, they are playing now for the sheer chance of playing again tomorrow.

Even for the select players affiliated with Major League clubs already like catcher Jonathan Johnston and infielder Beau Brett, their last few games here can give them a running start at their spring camps. That running start could lead to a higher level assignment to start the regular season and a jump on the rest of the competition at that level.

Motivation to work is and always will remain something each individual must work out in their own mind and then weigh against the pay-off they may receive. Simply by being here each individual player in the CWL is clearly motivated to chase a dream where the grand pay-off is to simply keep playing.

The marquee event of the last week will come in the single round play-offs in the league’s final two days. All four teams will be given a birth in the field and have a shot at the second ever CWL title. Winners from the first round will square off in a Saturday afternoon special on February 19th.

To check out the winter brand of baseball before it’s gone, join us at Palm Springs stadium for the final weeks worth of games. On Tuesday and Friday games start at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. while on Wednesday and Saturday games start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call 760-7787-4487 for tickets and other info. Also follow the games online at californiawinterleague.com

One Shining Moment

Feb 11, 2011- From time to time on “A Chill in the Winter Breeze” we will bring you an excerpt from a recent CWL radio broadcast. We call this the “One Shining Moment” on the air. It can be a serious pivotal moment of a ball game(sponsored as always by Ken Agee/Wells Fargo), it could be a rare baseball occurrence, or, as you will see in this first installment, it may just be a moment of entertaining humor.

The first moment comes to you from a broadcast during  action on February 8th featuring Lane Dagher and J.W. Cox. So here it is…”One Shining Moment.”

Click to Play

Remember you can catch every CWL game live right here on californiawinterleague.com. Select games are also broadcast locally on Newstalk 920 KPSI.


A Commissioner’s Life

Feb. 10, 2011-Here are just a few things to note about CWL Commissioner Darrell Evans. He hit 414 home runs in the Major Leagues. He was selected in four amateur drafts before deciding to sign with the Kansas City A’s out of the 1967 draft. He is the only player in history to hit a home run off of both Bob Gibsons that pitched in the Majors( There was the Hall of Famer and then this guy). Oh, and of course Evans is a big fan of economy size bags of breakfast cereal.

Just before the season started, Commissioner Evans rolled into town and needed, as we all do, to make a trip to the grocery store. Your author had the pleasure of spending that afternoon as the chauffer for Evans as he ran his errands. Normally, it may be bad form to scope out what items someone you just met stocks in their grocery cart. However, Evans himself remarked on the value and convenience of those oversized bags.

Commissioner Evans enters his second year at that post with the California Winter League after he and league chief Andrew Starke conceived the idea while crossing paths in other winter operations. Evans, undoubtedly powered each morning by the aforementioned breakfast cereal fuel, offers advice to the more than 100 players in the league as a roving instructor.

Blaise Sylvester, an outfielder for the Palm Springs Chill, is at least one player taking Evans’ practical advice and using it at the plate. “He just mentioned perhaps I should try and pull the ball to the right side of the field,” Sylvester said prior to a game in early February. “As a lefty I usually hit the ball to all fields, but I said ‘ok’ and I’m definitely going to work on that at the plate.” In Sylvester’s first at bat of that day’s game he pulled a double down the right field line. Stat hungry baseball fans should note that of the 414 clouts Evans tallied in the Majors, 234 were pulled to right field.

Clearly, Commissioner Evans brings much more to the CWL table than his major league name, 400+ homers, and two large bags of cereal. The man can provide practical day-to-day baseball knowledge to the players in the league that will set them up for baseball success in the long term.

To watch those players in action fans can join Commissioner Evans at Palm Springs Stadium for two games a day, five days per week. Tuesday and Friday games begin at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. while Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday the action gets underway at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. For more information call the office at 716-778-HITS(4487) or go online to www.californiawinterleague.com.


Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Feb. 8 2011-Welcome to the official blog of the California Winter League. This will be THE place for conversation about anything and everything pertaining to the CWL, its players, its coaches, its teams and its community. While we will of course cover the nuts and bolts of the on field action, this blog is mainly about the stories of the CWL.

Posts here will both entertain and inform you about the happenings around the CWL. Be it memories of a random trip to the grocery store with commissioner Darrell Evans, or a chat with Snowbirds manager Takinori Miyoshi, these will be the tid-bits you can only get here on the CWL blog.

Also, as in any conversation, this is a two way street. Is there something you’d like to read about? A player story you’d be interested in seeing in print? Let us know, this is a blog run by the CWL but is a blog for YOU, the CWL fan.

Check back often as there will be consistent updates to “A Chill in the Winter Breeze” and you don’t want to miss out on any of the exciting content to come.