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Clubhouse Blog

Nurre's Promotion

posted 6:00 pm on 7.23.10

Tommy Nurre was relaxing in his hotel room watching Jack Bauer try to save the world from a terrorist threat on the Fox hit show 24. He was tired from a long day of baseball in Extended Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona with the Reds, but watching Bauer maneuver around New York City getting to the bottom of the case was too important to go to bed at that moment.

As the intensity was heating up in the show, Nurre's cell phone began to ring. It was one of his coaches, Julio Garcia. He told Nurre that he needed to find a ride and report back to the Reds Complex, regardless of the hour as he was leaving. Nurre had just been promoted to the Dayton Dragons.

No longer concerned with the last 15 minutes of the show, Nurre went back to the Goodyear Complex to pack up his locker. He returned to his hotel at almost midnight, which was 3:00 am on the East Coast. He called his parents to tell them the good news, and tried to get some rest before his 7:00 am flight to Atlanta, and then on to Dayton.

Anxiety, nervousness and the realization that he was finally getting a shot bounced around Nurre's head while he traveled all day long. He began to think about the 8,500 plus fans he would play in front of every night in Dayton, including his family and friends. As if Nurre needed any extra pressure, he grew up on the west side of Cincinnati, about an hour from Fifth Third Field. He played his college ball at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and grew up a lifelong Reds fan.

"I decided not to tell anyone that I got promoted except for my parents. I wanted to try to relax and settle in for a few days before everyone found and started to hound me for tickets. I got lucky that the Dragons only had two games at home before hitting the road," Nurre said.

He tried to calm himself down as he approached the ballpark, telling himself this was the same game he had been playing all his life and not to get overwhelmed by the big crowd.

For the first two days in Dayton, the weather would not cooperate for the Dragons to take batting practice or infield practice outside. Nurre never got a chance to be on the playing surface before he had to take the field for the game.

In his first at bat as a Dragon, Nurre tried to relax and settle in at the plate. He was just trying to make solid contact and get into the swing of things when the pitcher decided to hang a curveball. Nurre took advantage of the mistake and hit it over the wall for a home run in his first at bat in Dayton.

"I didn't know if I got all of it as I ran out of the box," Nurre said. "But I had a huge sigh of relief when it cleared the wall. It was pretty awesome that my parents were also there to see it."

To be a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization is something really special for Nurre. Growing up in Cincinnati, attending St. Xavier High School, he always dreamt of being a Red. It almost didn't happen, as he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers after his junior year at Miami. But he decided not to sign and return to school for his senior season before getting drafted by the Reds the next summer.

"I am having a great time here in Dayton," Nurre said. "I am enjoying it all and trying not to be afraid to be successful. I want to get as many at bats as I can and help this team win."


posted 8:00 pm on 7.12.10

Jan from Huber Heights: I was driving down I-75 the other day, and saw the Dragons Charter Bus passing me going in the other direction. I assume the team was leaving for games on the road. I was wondering how all the equipment gets packed on the bus to travel with the team. Do you need to bring balls, bats, medical supplies, uniforms, etc?

Jan, Thank you very much for emailing in that question.

Yes, we are in charge of bringing everything that we need on the road to use during practice and games. The other team supplies us with drinking water, and that is about it. Each player must bring their full uniform and all the equipment that they will need from head to toe.

In addition to individual equipment that the players need, there are also a number of items that the entire team uses. Medical supplies, baseballs, food, laundry bags, and other items, all need to be brought. All of the players pitch in to help carry this stuff when we leave Fifth Third Field. Before each trip, I will post a list outside of the manager's office. On it are the duties each player is responsible for to help with for the road trip. I rotate duties so each player gets to help with different items for each trip.

The bottom of the bus is usually filled with equipment and all the team's personal luggage that they will need. So next time you see the bus rolling around town, you will know that it is probably stuffed for the road.

Tough Guy Garton

posted 11:20 am on 7.6.10

When asked if he could be any superhero in the world, Dayton Dragons outfielder Josh Garton was quick to answer. "I would want to be the Incredible Hulk," he said. "He is indestructible and green like the Dragons."

With the way that Garton has been playing on defense, it could be argued that he already has Hulk-like qualities. Twice within a one-week span, Garton has hit the right field wall, both times still running at full speed. The most important part, though, was that Garton held on to the ball and made both catches.

"I would describe my defense as painful," Garton said. "I am do or die, go hard or go home, all the time. No wall will stand in my way of making a play."

When asked if he will think twice before running full speed near an outfield wall again, he quickly reiterated, "Nope. I need to make the play."

The first collision with the wall happened on the road at Lake County. Not being very familiar with the ballpark, Garton did not see the wall coming, causing him to hit it at full speed. After only being down for a second to catch his breath, Garton bounced up and continued in the game without even thinking twice. "It would have hurt a lot more had I not held on to make the catch," he said.

Two days later, back at home at Fifth Third Field, Garton said he knew the wall was coming quickly, but the thought of having to make the play allowed Garton to never flinch. Hitting the wall a second time hurt a bit more than the first time. Garton even remained on the ground for a few extra seconds. Dragons Athletic Trainer Tyler Steele sprinted out to right field to check on Garton.

Upon arriving to Garton, Steele's first question to him was, "Are you ok?" Garton quickly joked back with, "Are you tired from having to run all the way out here?" As the conversation went on, Steele checked on Garton's head which head the wall pretty hard. "I told him not to worry, there isn't much to hurt in my head," Garton said.

The aggressive defensive mind of Garton also carries over to the plate, something he feels may hurt him at times. He said he strikes out a lot due to his aggressiveness and he needs to find ways to be more patient at the plate.

Dragons Hitting Coach Ken Griffey Sr. told Garton to think about easing up in the outfield and think about playing a ball off the bounce once in a while instead of diving so much. Again, Garton's answer was quick, "I gotta make the play."


posted 4:14 pm on 7.1.10

Clark from West Carrolton asks: I have been to a few games and seen you on the dugout rail using some type of phone or handheld electronic. What are you doing?

Clark, thank you very much for your question. I am sure a few people have seen me and wondered if I was on my phone or what I was doing during the game. What I have in my hand is an iPod Touch that I use to assist Dragons Pitching Coach Tony Fossas. I have downloaded a program by Power Chalk called 1,2,3 Pitch Counter, that I use each night. This program helps me keep track of balls and strikes for each pitcher that the Dragons send to the mound, and ultimately the overall pitch count.

This number becomes more valuable as the game moves on and Fossas must track how many total pitches the pitcher has thrown and when to get the bullpen up and ready. The program also allows me to get the percentage of strikes thrown by each pitcher to see how accurate they are each outing. The best feature is that the stats compile, and I can look back at any particular game or individual pitcher to see the breakdown.

So next time you look into the dugout at Fifth Third Field or any game on the road, I really am doing work!!

If you have a question or comment that you would like me to answer, please send me an email at

LaMarre's Journey

posted 9:05 am on 6.29.10

Ryan LaMarre had just been drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Reds in June. He wanted to sign as soon as he could and was anxious to get his pro career started, at whatever level the Reds asked him to play at.

The plan was for LaMarre, a Michigan native, to drive down to Cincinnati and attend a Reds game at Great American Ballpark. There, he would sign his contract and begin to soak in the feelings of being a Red. LaMarre was told he would then report to Goodyear, AZ for Reds Mini-Camp at their Spring Training Complex before most likely being assigned to the Rookie Ball team in Billings, Montana.

With one phone call around midnight, the entire plan changed. The voice on the other line told LaMarre that a center fielder was needed right away in Dayton and asked if he was ready to sign and play that weekend. Eager to get going, LaMarre said yes and his journey began.

The next morning LaMarre awoke early and left his house in Michigan to drive to Dayton. There, he went through his physical and signed his contract to officially become a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization. He stopped by Fifth Third Field to drop off his car, and pick up his number 14 game jersey. LaMarre was given a ride to the airport and boarded a plane to meet the team in Appleton, Wisconsin where the Dragons were taking on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Following a slight delay, LaMarre arrived in Appleton and came straight to the team hotel. The Dragons had been rained out that night, meaning most players were scattered around the hotel grabbing something to eat. LaMarre did not meet most of his teammates until boarding the bus the next day for the team's doubleheader.

After sitting and watching game one of the double dip, LaMarre was inserted into game two. It was the first time he saw live pitching in weeks, but LaMarre had a few good at bats as he got accustomed to life in professional baseball.

The next afternoon, LaMarre picked up his first professional hit helping the Dragons to their third straight victory. As I presented LaMarre with the ball from the at bat, I told him this is one of many to come. He smiled and responded "Let's hope so."

H-Rod's first All-Star Game

posted 9:05 am on 6.24.10

As the Dayton Dragons take the field tonight to face the Lansing Lugnuts in Lansing, Michigan, all teams in the Midwest League will get a fresh start. The team records are reset and all teams start the second half 0-0.

The top two teams from the first half have already earned berths into the 2010 Midwest League Playoffs, and the other six teams in the Eastern Division will be fighting for the final two spots. That means the Dragons do not have to win the division in the second half, but must finish ahead of five of the other teams looking for a playoff invite.

Players individual stats to not start over, and everything just adds on in the second half. The team records are the only stats that reset to zero. Make your way to Fifth Third Field in the second half for one of the remaining 35 games and come cheer on the Dragons as they make a push for the playoffs.

Second Half Start

posted 5:22 pm on 6.22.10

For most of the Dayton Dragons, the four day All-Star Game break is a chance to go home and catch up with friends and family. For them, the season began in early March as they reported to Goodyear, AZ, for Cincinnati Reds Spring Training Camp. But for one Dragon, his break is being spent playing baseball.

Dragons second baseman Henry Rodriguez is in Fort Wayne, IN, today playing in the Midwest League All-Star game at Parkview Field. Rodriguez is the lone Dragon represented as he was selected by the coaches in the league to play in this game. Yesterday, Rodriguez was also given the honor of participating in the Home Run Derby also held at Parkview Field.

The Dragons also have the next two days off before returning to action in Lansing, MI, on Friday.

Oliveras' Birthday Bats

posted 5:10 pm on 6.19.10

In a recent at bat at Fifth Third Field, Dragons outfielder Alex Oliveras tried to turn on an inside pitch. The ball was fouled off, but the result was a broken bat, sending Oliveras to the bat rack for a new piece of wood. Following the game, Oliveras brought his broken bat to my office to exchange for a new piece of lumber. I located the model that he uses, an all-black Louisville Slugger Model C271 33.5 inch bat. Oliveras thanked me and returned to his locker in the clubhouse.

Wanting to make the handle feel more comfortable, Oliveras typically tapes the knobs of his bat with medical tape, a common practice among players.

While placing the tape on the new bat, Oliveras noticed the "born on date" stamped on the end of the bat, corresponding to when the bat was produced by Louisville Slugger. The stamp read, March 29, 2010. This date has significant meaning to Oliveras, since it is his birthday.

Thinking it was a weird, but great thing, Oliveras returned to my office to share with me the news, and also check if the entire box of that model was like that. I quickly told him that it was good luck, and that he should go hit a bomb with that bat because it would make a great story.

Having forgot all about it, Oliveras stepped to the plate the next night in Midland, Michigan facing the Great Lakes Loons. Clearing his mind and focusing on having a good at bat, Oliveras picked out a pitch he liked, and deposited it over the right field fence.

Upon returning to the dugout, Oliveras found me standing by the helmet rack and reminded me what I had told him the night before. "I am not really a superstitious guy," Oliveras said. "But it seems like there is some magic in this bat."

Oliveras went on to say that there had to be a little luck in that exact shipment coming to him in Dayton and he hopes to hit plenty more home runs with the bats that share his birthday.

New Umpire Uniforms

posted 2:00 pm on 6.9.10

If you attend any minor league baseball game this season, you may notice a slight change in the umpire crew's attire. Each league across minor league baseball has dropped the league specific logos from the umpire's uniforms for a standard logo for all to wear.

The hats of every umpire will carry the Minor League Baseball logo, instead of the league initials it had in the past. This allows the umpires to look more uniform across baseball and allow them to wear the same articles of clothing if they are asked to move around leagues.

The on-field shirts and jackets will also don the same Minor League Baseball logo on them, and have changed from a navy blue to a solid black.

The response from the few umpire crews that I have spoken with at Fifth Third Field have all been very positive as they like the new look. Next time you head to a minor league game, check out the new clothes being worn by each crew.

Garton's Home Run

posted 4:35 pm on 6.1.10

Dayton Dragons outfielder Josh Garton makes sure to play the game the right way. He does not like to show up the other team, especially the other pitcher, knowing it could come back to not only hurt him, but his team. Garton also likes to keep the pace of the game moving, and not be the cause of it slowing down.

This way of thinking for Garton translates to the plate when he hits the ball hard, and especially when he knows it is going over the wall for a home run. While most players will trot around the bases, and some will take their time to watch the pitch sail over the wall, Garton puts his head down and begins a sprint around the bases.

"It is just something that I have always done," Garton said. "I know I am not the only one to do this, but I would like to be the fastest."

Former Dayton Dragon infielder, and current Oakland Athletic Adam Rosales is also known for sprinting around the bases after hitting a home run. "I want to beat him for sure," Garton said.

Garton's routine of sprinting around the bases almost caused a problem earlier this season while he was in Extended Spring Training for the Reds in Goodyear, Arizona. "I hit a home run in a game with Billy Hamilton on first," Garton said. "Hamilton slowed down to watch it leave the yard. I had to push him to go faster and make sure I didn't pass him."

Sprinting around the bases following the long ball is something that Garton will continue to do and that he feels is right for the game of baseball. "I will get faster and faster each time," he said.

Click Here to watch Garton's Trot

Day/Night Double Header

posted 9:13 am on 5.26.10

Last Saturday at Fifth Third Field, the Dayton Dragons and the Bowling Green Hot Rods participated in a day/night doubleheader. The first game started at Noon, and the second game at 7:07 pm. Both games went the scheduled nine innings. Typically in the minor leagues, doubleheaders are played back to back with a 30 minute break in between and are seven innings in length. At the conclusion of the first game, the stadium was cleared and fans re-entered the park for the night game.

Situations like these are rare in minor league baseball and a first of its kind for players from both teams. The day was long, and the players schedule was a bit different from their typical in season routine.

7:30 AM Clubhouse opens for players to start arriving

8:00 AM Breakfast of Champions is served to the team- Pop Tarts, Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, fruit, bagels, english muffins, juice, etc. is available to eat

9:00 AM Optional batting practice in the indoor cage

10:30 AM Team stretch on the field

10:45 AM Pitchers and position players warm-up

10:55 AM Infield practice

11:25 AM Players begin to make their way to the field to sign autographs for early arriving fans

Noon Tim Crabbe throws the first pitch of Game 1 to the Bowling Green Hot Rods

3:10 PM Game 1 ends

3:30 PM Post game meal is served to the players

4:45 PM Optional batting practice in the cage

5:30 PM Team stretch on the field

5:45 PM Infield practice

6:30 PM Players begin to make their way to the field to sign autographs for early arriving fans

7:07 PM Pedro Villarreal throws the first pitch of Game 2 to the Bowling Green Hot Rods

9:50 PM Game 2 ends

10:10 PM Post game meal is served to players in the clubhouse

11:30 PM Last player leaves the clubhouse

Next Day...Game Time 2:00 PM

A few players sat down with me to discuss their thoughts on the entire day.

Josh Garton

"I just love to be on field. The more games I can get the merrier. "

"It is hard on the body to play so many innings in the same day."

"It can be hard mentally if you have a bad first game and the next one comes up so quick."

"Between games, I just got away from the field for a little bit. I hung out with Cameron (Satterwhite) and his dad and finance."

Donnie Joseph

"It is tough to stay focused for the entire day. You can get easily distracted with everything going on."

"The hardest part is trying to stay loose all day. Being a relief pitcher, you really never know when you will be pitching so you have to stay mentally and physically ready all the time."

"Between games, I left the field to eat and spend time with my dad who happens to be in town for a few days."

Shane Carlson

"This was a long day. It was v

ery demanding on the body to play all 18 innings." "Trying to find a way to stay loose is key. You have to stay mentally and physically tough."

"Between games, I decided to leave the field for a few minutes to try to relax and get focused for the second game."

Player Banners

posted 9:19 am on 5.24.10

If you are lucky enough to score a ticket to a Dayton Dragons game at Fifth Third Field, you may notice a new addition in the concourse area of the stadium. Located in the lower deck between first and third base are new banners honoring former Dayton Dragons players to make it to the big league level. The new banners were installed in the offseason and are a pleasant addition to Fifth Third Field.

In total, 41 players have appeared in a Dragons uniform and gone on to play in the majors. Not all of the players have made it with the Cincinnati Reds, the Dragons parent club, but all have gotten into at least one game. Former Dragons Logan Ondrusek and Chris Heisey are the latest additions to the list, appearing for the Reds this season. Pictures of all of the players are located in the main hallway outside the administrative offices at Fifth Third Field.

Next time you are at a game, check out these large colorful banners hanging throughout the concourse and root on the current Dragons as they rise through the system and try to become the next addition to the list.

Andrew Mean's Call-up (Almost)

posted 11:14 am on 5.21.10

Andrew Means had just completed another workout in Goodyear, Arizona at the Cincinnati Reds new Spring Training Complex and was starting his walk across the backfields towards the clubhouse. When he reached the fence area he was called over to the side by Field Coordinator Freddie Benavides and Hitting Coordinator Ronnie Ortegon. A few thoughts raced through Means head wondering what they wanted him for at this point of the day. Maybe to talk about his performance in the day's drills or maybe they wanted him to get a little extra work in the batting cage.

None of Mean's thoughts were correct, as the two Reds coaches told Means that he was needed the next day to play in the big league game with the Reds. He was told to be ready to go at 10 AM and to board the bus with the big club to head to the Oakland complex for the day.

It is common practice in Spring Training that the major league team will ask players in minor league camp to fill in or back up at their games, but nevertheless, it is quite an honor to do so. For a player like Means, who has never appeared above Low-A ball, it was an opportunity to showcase his skills in front of the big league coaches and hopefully leave a good impression for years to come.

After sitting in the dugout and watching all afternoon, Means was told that he would be leading off the seventh inning for the Reds. Little did he know, he would be facing 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey. "I didn't know who it was until later that night when I was back home and reading the game story and box score on the computer," Means said.

The first pitch that Means saw was a high fastball that he swung on and missed. The second pitch was another fastball that he fouled off, and was quickly in an 0-2 hole. The third pitched missed inside for ball one. Bailey's next offering was what Means described as "a nasty off speed pitch that I just stuck my bat out at hit to left." The ball dropped for a hit as Means raced to first base.

"I had to do a double take to make sure it was a hit," Means said. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer Eric Davis was coaching first base that afternoon and congratulated Means on his hit. He then joked with Means that he was going to call time out and ask the umpires for the baseball so Means could take it home with him. That would be Means only at bat of the afternoon.

"It was a gratifying experience," he said. "Looking back at the end of the afternoon it was pretty cool. It is a dream of mine to get to play in the big leagues and this is the first step." He added that it made him think that he still has work to do to get there, and that he has to work that much harder to reach his goal.

The Reds coaches must have liked what they saw in Means, as he was asked two more times to appear in games with the big league team. Although he would not collect another hit that spring with the big club, he did have a thrill playing in a home game in Goodyear against his childhood favorite team the Cleveland Indians.

"I grew up an Indians fan and always dreamed of playing for them," Means said. He met Indians relief pitcher Jensen Lewis in the offseason working out in Cleveland, and the two joked how it would be fun to face each other in the spring. Lewis told Means that if that happened, he would throw him a first pitch fastball, so he better "be ready to hit it."

The two did hook up that night during the big league game, and Lewis kept his end of the bargain, throwing Means a first pitch fastball. Means fouled the pitch straight back, and both exchanged a smile with one another. Means would later ground out in the at bat.

Means is starting this 2010 season in Dayton with the Dragons but will never forget his experiences in Spring Training as he works hard and tries to climb the ladder towards the big leagues.

Jersey Selection

posted 4:53 pm on 5.19.10

The process of players selecting jersey numbers goes back to March when the players report to Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona. I put every player's name on an excel spreadsheet and began the process of collecting all sorts of data from the approximately 200 players in minor league camp.

I asked each guy for their sizes of hats, pants, batting helmets, t-shirts, shorts, jackets, etc. I also asked them to give me a choice of four jersey numbers that they would like to wear depending on what level they were sent to. Each affiliate handles their jerseys and the numbering in a different way. For example, in Dayton, we have numbers 1 through 40, and they usually depend on size, with 1 being the smallest and 40 being the biggest.

When the spreadsheet is complete, I sent it off to all the clubhouse managers and trainers at the various levels so that any time a player move happens, they can be prepared with uniforms. Once I received the roster of the 25 players who would start the season in Dayton, I began to weed through the list to try to give everyone their first choice of jersey numbers. The only real priority I took into account were the guys who spent some time in Dayton the previous season, considering them veterans and giving them first choice. For the most part, I would say everyone got the first or second choice of number they wanted.

When it came time to ask Dragon third baseman Frank Pfister for his number choice, he fired a question right back at me. "What is DiDi (Gregorius) going to wear?" When I told him, 18, he responded, "I will go with number 9, because I am half as cool as DiDi, and that is still cooler than most!"

Ezequiel Infante - Winter Break

posted 4:53 pm on 5.17.10

After completing a grueling 140 game minor league baseball season, most players look forward to the offseason and the break away from competition. But for former Dayton Dragon Ezequiel Infante, he could not wait to get home and continue playing games.

Infante returned home to the Dominican Republic and joined the Tigres del Licey, one of the most successful and well known franchises in the Dominican Winter League. Being one of the youngest players, Infante only received one inning in a game, but is very glad for the experience.

When asked about what it was like, Infante told me he learned so much watching and listening to so many successful current and former Major League baseball players. It also gave him the chance to stay in shape both physically and mentally for the upcoming season.

As spring training is in full swing for minor league players, Infante feels like he is throwing the ball great and says he owes a lot of that to his Winter Ball experience.

Gregorius Pied

posted 4:29 pm on 5.11.10

The Dayton Dragons continued their home heroics last evening defeating the Fort Wayne Tin Caps 4-3. Shortstop DiDi Gregorius lined a single to left with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. The win improved the Dragons record at home to 11-5.

After the game DiDi was giving a postgame on field interview with Dragons Assistant Radio Broadcaster Nick Anastos when he reached the customary "Pie in the Face" from teammate Andrew Means. Click the picture below to check out the video.

Didi Gets Pied

Rain Delay

Dragons try to pass the time during a rain delay at Lake County....

Midwest Team Expansion - Lake County

posted 4:29 pm on 5.5.10

The Dayton Dragons have two new teams on their schedule this year, as the Midwest League has added the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays). Both teams will make the jump from the South Atlantic League.

With the addition to these two teams in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League, it will even both the East and West Divisions at eight teams, 16 in total. The change will also lead to more of an unbalanced schedule, where teams only cross divisions to play each opponent once, instead of twice like they had in the past.

The Dragons are currently in Lake County, located in Eastlake, Ohio, to get their first look at the Captains stadium.

Andrew Means Returns Home

posted 9:24 am on 5.4.10

In professional baseball, and mainly the minor leagues, it is rare for a player to be able to go home during a baseball season. Most teams play a minimum of 140 games in just over five month's time. So for a player to be able to sleep in his own bed for 10 nights during the season is unheard of. That's exactly what Dayton Dragons outfielder Andrew Means gets to look forward to this summer, though.

Means is from Avon Lake, Ohio. His hometown is just 35 minutes from Lake County, home to one of the newest teams in the league, the Lake County Captains. Thanks to a lucky schedule, the Dragons are visiting Lake County 10 times this season, giving Means the chance to stay at home with family and friends.

"I am excited to be able to stay at home those days, but most excited to see my dog," Means said. This will be his first visit to Lake County, as he never attended a game there before.

"I grew up an Indians fan and spent lots of time at Jacobs Field," Means said. He grew up dreaming about playing professional baseball for the Indians, but now will just be thrilled to make it to the majors with any of the 30 franchises. While some players may feel added pressure playing in front of friends and family, the feeling is nothing new to Means. Playing college baseball and football at Indiana University, he was constantly playing in the Midwest, allowing familiar faces to be in the stands each night.

Means hopes to wreck havoc on his hometown team starting this evening as the Dragons open a three-game stand at Lake County.

Tony Jaramillo

posted 4:53 pm on 5.1.10

In professional baseball, players do everything that they can on and off the field to receive a promotion to the next level, with the ultimate goal making the big leagues. For most staff members, those dreams also exist of coaching at the highest level.

The 2009 hitting coach in Dayton, Tony Jaramillo, has received one of those promotions, moving to High-A Lynchburg to serve in the same role. This marks the second straight year that Jaramillo has been moved up, going from Billings to Dayton and now to Lynchburg.

"I am thrilled about the new move to Lynchburg this season," Jaramillo said. "But there are so many things that I am going to miss about Dayton. The people there are great, from the front office, to the players and especially the fans."

Early in the spring, Jaramillo had the chance to work with a lot of the players that will be reporting to Dayton to start the season. In Spring Training, players sometimes start at a higher level, before being assigned to the group they will start the season with. "I believe the city of Dayton and the Dragons are in for a good season," he said. "A great coaching staff will surround these talented players. I wish them nothing but the best and will be following the group closely."

Best wishes to Jaramillo as he continues his own journey up the ladder in the Cincinnati Reds system.

Matt Klinker's Off Season

posted 10:24 am on 4.28.10

Throughout Spring Training, I sat down with former Dayton Dragons players and staff members to talk to them about their offseason and what they did. Some decide to work to stay busy, while others use the time to relax and catch up with family and friends.

Here's what Matt Klinker was up to.

During a professional baseball season, Matt Klinker is always learning. Whether it's during a game as he studies hitters' tendencies or during bullpen sessions learning from his pitching coach, Klinker is a student of the game. But during the offseason, Klinker turns from student to teacher, as he substitutes teaches in the Lakota school district in Cincinnati.

"I have a great time subbing," Klinker said. "It is my chance to give back to the educational system and help young adults learn."

Klinker is a former member of the Dayton Dragons (2008) who has spent time in High-A and Double-A. He really enjoyed his time with the Dragons, playing just 30 minutes from his home, which allowed his friends and family to see him pitch on a regular basis.

When asked what age level or subject he most enjoys teachin, Klinker was quick to joke, "Anything that allows the students to switch classes every period. I just can't hold their attention long enough to have the same class all day."

So as the baseball season is beginning again, Klinker will turn back into the student, and continue to learn as he makes his journey towards the Major Leagues.

Click Here to read the archived stories.