- The Durham Bulls were rained out last night against Columbus and will play their final home games of the season today as a double-header. The rain out was the best possible scenario for the fans with tickets to last night’s game as Doug Waechter was scheduled to start. Unfortunately he will pitch the first game of the double header tonight. Thankfully, minor league twinbills are only 7 innings, and the ticket holders at least have the second game to look forward to.
- Of a lesser note is the future of the relationship between the Durham Bulls and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Bulls, who have won two International League titles as part of the Devil Rays organization, are signed to be the Devil Rays’ AAA affiliate through the 2008 season. However, this season the team is 64-74 and 14.5 games back in the standings. Worse for the Bulls has been the on-field and off-field behavior of several of the team’s key players. Needless to say, given the prominent nature of the franchise as a minor league affiliate, they would be highly sought after by other organizations if they decide not renew their contract past 2008. One recent article has questioned the future of this collaboration. [The News & Observer]
- Kevin Witt became the second member of the Devil Rays’ organization to be named a league MVP. This week, Witt was named the MVP of the International League after hitting .291 with a league leading 36 home runs and 99 RBI. Reid Brignac was previously named the MVP of the California League. [Durham Bulls]
- The Bulls’ Jeff Ridgway was named to the 2006 Olympic qualifying team as a relief pitcher. Ridgway has 67 strikeouts in 58 innings with a 2.79 ERA in 50 appearances with Montgomery and Durham. [Durham Bulls]
- Elijah Dukes will not report back to the Durham Bulls for the final week of the season even though he has completed his 30 game suspension. Rather, Dukes will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic and will report to the Devil Rays in Spring Training. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Princeton Rays concluded their season yesterday. They finished the season 28-36 in 5th place of the Appalachian League’s eastern division. One bright spot was the emergence of catcher Nevin Ashley, who was named to the league’s postseason All-Star squad. Ashley hit .326 with 4 home runs and 25 RBI to go along with 7 stolen bases in 9 attempts. Ashley was a 6th round pick this season out of Indiana State University. [MiLB]