Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bay Area Toros Lose 2-1 to Blue Thunder

By Robert H. Kelly

(May 31, 2007, League City, Texas) The Bay Area Toros dropped their second game of the season (and the second game in the history of the franchise) in their 9-5 loss to the Tarrant Country Blue Thunder at Wildcat Field in League City.

The win was the first for the Blue Thunder, after having their first five games rained out and rescheduled for later in the season. The Toros dropped to 0-2 for the season.

Kevin Whitman started for the Toros, giving up four runs on eight hits but generally kept the Toros in the game. The Toros used five pitchers in the game and the relief was unable to keep the momentum going.

Bobby Crosby was credited with the loss, giving up a two run home run to catcher Billy Schmitt. As a result, Schmitt was named the Coldwell Banker/United Player of the Game. He went 4-5 from the plate.

The Blue Thunder’s Jorge Castillo the winning pitcher.

The Toros will face the Blue Thunder in the second game of their five game series on Friday, with the first pitch at 7:00pm. Gates will open at 5:30 with the first 500 fans through the gate receiving a Toros baseball cap.

Games can also be listened to on the internet at

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Toros Add New Players To Roster

(May 30, 2007, League City, TX)-The Bay Area Toros announced today the signing of three new players to the roster of the new team in League City. The three new players are all on the active roster for this weekends series with Tarrant County beginning May 31 at 7:00 p.m.

Keegan Laycock, a righthanded pitcher from Peru, Indiana, Michael Colvin, a catcher from Dickinson, Texas and Jeremiah Gowey, a righthanded hurler from Sparta, Wisconsin were all added to the Toros avails today. The Toros now have 10 players on the roster that pitch exclusively and 5 others that play a position and could pitch if needed.

With each weekend series in the Continental Baseball League being five games in four days each weekend, a premium will be placed on quality pitching.

"I am really excited about the quality of pitchers that we added today and Mike is really an outstanding defensive catcher who will help make our pitchers better," said Mike Pede, Toros GM. "I think when you look at playing five games in four days every weekend in the hot Texas sun, you had better have quality pitching and a stable of catchers that can get you through those games and these guys are really going to do that. It's a hard business and letting people go (through release) is a difficult part of the game, but we are always trying to get better."

The Toros also announced the release of Brian Green, LHP and Albert Carmona, LHP, neither of which played in a regular season game for the team.

The team will take on the Tarrant County Blue Thunder, managed by former Texas Ranger Curtis Wilkerson, in a weekend series beginning May 31 with single games on Thursday, Friday and Sunday and a split doubleheader at 1:00 and 6:00 on Saturday June 2.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bay Area Toros Drop League Opener 6-5 to Texas Heat

By Robert H. Kelly

(League City, Texas, May 27, 2007) Despite a three run homer by Mike Medrano and scoring five runs in the fifth inning, the Bay Area Toros dropped their season opener 6-5 to the Texas Heat.

The marathon game, which lasted almost four hours, was the first game played in Continental Baseball League (CBL) history due the postponement of the three game series between the Lewisville Lizards and the Tarrant County Blue Thunder.

Severe weather and flooding in the Dallas area forced league officials to postpone the games to later in the season.

Pitching was a factor in the outcome of the league opener with the Heat using a total of six pitchers. The Toros saw three hurlers take to the mound.

Tyler French started on the mound for the Heat while right handed pitcher Steve Hecker started for the Toros.

Heckler pitched until into the fourth inning, accounting for four strike out and two walks. He also gave up four runs off of five hits and one homerun.

The Toros scored all of their runs in the fifth inning, beginning with Medrano’s three run shot. They scored two additional runs off of the Heat’s Matt Greanead.

The score reminded ties until the top of the tenth inning when the Heat’s Justin Meahger scored from second base for the winning run.

The game saw some historical notes. The first hit in league history was by the Heat’s Mitch Elliott for an infield single. The first homerun was a solo shot by the Heat’s Samson Oldenburg in the 2nd inning the first RBI was by the Heat’s Robby Winn.

The Heat and the Toros take to the field on Monday, May 28 for the second game in the three game series at 5:00pm. Will Smeltzer is slated to take the mound for the Toros.

All Toros home games are played at Clear Creek High School’s Wildcat Stadium in League City.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bay Area Toros Set For Opening Day On May 27

By Robert H. Kelly

(May 26, 2007, Houston, Texas) On Sunday, May 27 at Clear Creek High School, a new era in Houston sports occurs. The Bay Area Toros Baseball Club begins their inaugural season in the Continental Baseball League.

Billed as an independent league with no affiliation to any major league club, the upstart league features four teams; the Toros, the Texas Heat, the Lewisville Lizards, and the Tarrant Country Blue Thunder.

The Toros will begin their season with a three game series against the Heat, with the first game starting at 5:00pm Sunday.

The Toros will feature some players who have ties to the Houston area sports scene.
Former Willowridge High School standout Marcus Chandler, who played for the Kansas City Royals will play outfield for the Toros.

"I've been trying to get back into the game for at least three years, and having this team (come along) was a plus," said Chandler, who is the second-oldest player on the team. "I still have a lot of ability and I feel like I can play on a higher level. For the last couple of years, (people) have been saying that I'm getting a little bit too old, but I feel like I'm still strong and can compete. The Lord blessed me to make the team.”

Noah Scott, who is the younger brother of the Houston Astros Luke Scott, will be taking to the mount for the Toros. He is also slated to see some time as the team’s first and third baseman.

Other players with from the Houston area include Mike Medrano, who played his high school ball for Pearland High School and later on for the University of Houston, right handed pitcher Sean Kelly (J. Frank Dobie High School and Alvin Community College) and third baseman Daniel Cox (Channelview High School and San Jacinto Junior College).

Toros General Manager Mike Pede sees interest for the local community as high. "The response in the Bay Area and all around the city of Houston has been phenomenal. Fans seem excited, we're selling a bunch of tickets and people are signing up for camps and all sorts of things. Hopefully, we can hold up our end of the deal, win some
games and pay off their loyalty.”

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hunter Pence for NL Rookie of the Year

By Robert H. Kelly

Houston Astros' center fielder Hunter Pence is certainly making a name for himself.

Having watched ball players all of my life, I find him a breath of fresh air in the hurricane that is Major League Baseball.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I really like this kid. He has the look of an athlete. He doesn't seem stuck on himself, and he looks as if he is playing the game just because he loves it.

I know that sounds cliches; like a line from an old time movie, but he could very well be the future of the Astros franchise.

Look at his stats since he was called up on April 28: 23 games, 88 at bats, 30 hits,11 runs, 4 home runs, and 16 RBIs. His batting average is .341.

If this kid is not a serious candidate for National League Rookie of the Year, then many are not keeping track of him.

TexSport Publications is starting a blog to keep up with Pence and incredible rookie season.

Click here to go the the "Hunter Pence for NL Rookie of the Year" blog.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Marquez, Ronaldinho Join Free Kick Masters in Houston

(From Free Kick Masters Press Release)

International football all-stars and fans from around the globe will converge on Houston, Texas on December 22 to compete head-to-head for top honors at the Free Kick Masters 2007.

Players include Ronaldinho Gaucho and Rafael Marquez. The Free Kick Masters organizers expect record crowds with the dramatic upswing of soccer in the US and high-profile players, like David Beckham coming to live and play in the states.

Those unable to attend the event will be able to view it on Pay-Per-View stations around the world and the first thousand users to register with the site will get exclusive access to any footage shot at the event which is not broadcast via pay-per-view.

Bay Area Toros Go 1-1 in Exhibition Play

By Robert H. Kelly

Houston, TX, May 19, 2007) In their second game of their exhibition season the Toros lost 5-1 loss to the Northwest Wildcats.

Looking to work out their roster for their upcoming inaugural season was the major goal of manager Jim Bolt.

The Toros pitching gave up a total of 11 walks, along with a three run home. The one shining moment on defense was a diving catch in the 8th inning by second baseman Josh Odell.

On offense, all the Toros could manage was a single run in the bottom on a single RBI by Joseph Mandile. They also accounted for fifteen strikeouts from the superior pitching of the Wildcats. Right handed pitcher Albert Carmona was credited with the loss.

The Toros showed improvement in play in all positions, however Manager Jim Bolt was quoted in saying, “The team cannot have that many strikeouts. Our pitchers need to bear down on their strike zones. The Wildcats should have been held to one run, if you took away all the walks.”

The Toros pre-season record is now at 1-1 after their first game 8-4 victory over the Friendswood Bengals.

The Toros will take to the field for their third exhibition game at the Pre-Season Challenge Series at Killeen High School in Killeen, Texas. They will face the Texas Heat in a 2:00pm game on Sunday, May 20, 2007. They will follow then play their final exhibition game with a home game tune up on May 23 against the Houston Apollos at Clear Creek High School Wildcat Stadium. Game time will be 7:00pm. The game will be free to the public

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bode Miller Leaves USA Ski Team

By Robert H. Kelly

Former Olympic medalist and World Cup champion Bode Miller is leaving the U.S. National Sli Team.

The 29-year-old Miller won two silver medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, but was shut out at the 2006 Turin Games despite being a favorite in nearly every Alpine discipline. He was criticized for spending too much time in local clubs.

From a journalist's viewpoint, I can't say this was something I didn't expect.

This past summer, I was on assignment covering the World Scholar-Athlete Games in Rhode Island. Bode was invited to speak to the athletes competing at the Games.

When he did show up, late, in walked in wearing blue jeans and a orange Nile t-shirt.

He spoke for a a few minutes and opened up the floor for questions. Many of the athletes posed questions, and his responses were typical of a self-centered, egotistical athlete that had become.

He is a classic example of an athlete that is in it for himself, and could care less what others think.

He fits in with other athletes this publication has come to question in the past, such as Shane Davis, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clements.

Good riddance to Bode, He will be missed by almost no one.