Art Solomon owns two Minor League Teams, the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats (an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) and the A Bowling Green Hot Rods (an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). We turned to him to get his expert insight into the biggest series of the season.
1. Every World Series is exciting because there’s an opportunity to see some of the best players in the world compete on our national pastime’s largest stage. This year is particularly interesting because there are two-low budget teams who are seldom even in the playoffs competing to get into the World Series – the Milwaukee Brewers and the Detroit Tigers.
2. The night before the New Hampshire Fisher Cats won the Eastern League Championship, I didn’t want to jinx them but I was thinking about how great it would be after a long and challenging season to deliver a championship to all our loyal fans – especially since four of our best pitchers had been called up to the Majors prior to the playoffs. After we won, everyone celebrated at our team party with nonalcoholic beer. Since we won the championship on the road, we had another celebration a couple of days later with our season ticket holders, suite patrons, and advertisers at our own stadium.
3. While over 40 of our players have been promoted to the Major League since I acquired my first MiLB team six years ago, I don’t think any of them have played in the World Series. Our first Bowling Green Hot Rod player to get promoted to the Major League was a star for the Tampa Bay Rays, pitcher Matt Moore, but they lost in the first round. However, one of our former players from the Fisher Cats will be in the World Series this year because Shaun Marcum pitches for the Milwaukee Brewers and Marc Rzepczynski pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals. And of course, Chris Carpenter comes from the next town where the NH Fisher Cats play.
4. When I watch the World Series I’ll be looking for two different things: First, the strategic pitching, line up, and situational decisions of the respective managers. Secondly, which unsung player emerges as an unlikely hero.
The October Baseball: World Series Tickets & Hotels Boutique opens Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 11AM ET.