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Ask MiLB: What's the winter's best?

Fans quiz us on MiLBY Award voting, old teams and back rubs
December 23, 2011
Baseball fans have a lot of questions about the Minor Leagues, its players and this website. We at attempt to answer some of those curiosities -- no promises, though.

Have a question? Shoot us an email at [email protected]

Hi, my name is Chris and I am a 24-year-old, currently working as a Jet's Pizza employee. I am a 6-foot-9 left-handed pitcher with the God-given talent to play baseball. Over the last couple years I have made some poor decisions that have ultimately kept me from my dream of playing professional baseball. If there is anyone out there who has some good advice or knows anyone I can talk to about getting back into the game, please contact me. -- Chris C.

You should attend an open tryout with a team or the MLB Scouting office next spring if you feel you're good enough. We have a ton of information on this process and questions related to it on You can also speak with a sports management company (or an agent) to connect with teams.

I was wanting to know if you could rank the offseason leagues from most competitive (best prospects) to least competitive? -- Joel M.

Good question. The Arizona Fall League is definitely the premier offseason league in terms of elite talent and players considered to be top prospects by not only the media but by their own organizations. Budding stars like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado played in Arizona this past autumn -- the league's alumni rosters are loaded with players who went on to the Majors.

In terms of the Caribbean Leagues, it would probably be the Dominican, Mexican Pacific, Venezuelan and Puerto Rican Winter Leagues, followed by the Australian Baseball League, which is in its second season and features a handful of Major Leaguers.

Can we watch/listen to Panama League winter games commencing Oct. 21 over the Internet? Thanks! -- Duke

Maybe, although if there's a league in Panama, we're not associated with it and would not be streaming it through

I am trying to get some information on a baseball team that played in Brooklyn in the late 1920s maybe the 30s. The team was the Brooklyn Bengals. I know they played in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area at that time. My dad was a member of that team (Vincent J. Palermo), and I know it was part of organized baseball. I have his uniform shirt and now I regret not asking him more about his days playing. -- Arlene H.

Well, you may be a little mistaken. According to the Professional Baseball Franchises book, The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball and the database we have from 1922-2004, there was never a MiLB team by that name -- Brooklyn didn't have a MiLB team during that time because of the Dodgers. We also searched our database for your father and his name did not appear.

It is a bit confusing that most of the fan's choice winners did not actually win the MiLBY awards. What was the purpose of implying that the awards were given to the players chosen by the fan votes and then giving the award to whomever decided they felt was to receive it? It makes the contest seem wishy-washy. Do what you want, but don't call it fan's choice and then change your mind because you don't like the results of the winners. That's an injustice to the players who actually did win the fan's votes. Makes me not want to vote anymore if my vote doesn't count. I don't remember it being done this way in the past years. -- L. Jones

We called it a "Fan's Choice" because that's what it was, the result of fan voting, nothing wishy-washy or confusing -- in only one past year was there a fan's vote at all. In all other years, the winners were selected by our staff. The method this year gave fans a voice and honors the fans' favorite while also honoring the one selected as the best by our staff. So, both were recognized.

When will the Pensacola franchise start showing up on the MiLB site? I know they have their formal MLB approval which had kept them off the site. -- Larry L.

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos' website was launched last month, check it out!

I looked forward to your article on the 2011 Minor League Baseball Organization All-Stars expecting to find an in-depth look at the best each organization has since I am unable to follow all 30 teams Minor League systems. However, I found four organizations missing: the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals. Are you suggesting these organizations don't have players worth inclusion in your article, or is this a website technical issue? -- Robert

Patience, friend -- our All-Stars features have been running about three each week since the baseball season ended. We simply have not yet published all 30 stories yet. Besides, there is a kid on the Nationals named Harper we have to tell everyone about -- don't worry.

For the past couple summers, I've worked my vacation to visit Minor League games (love 'em). I'm wondering if there is a date yet when 2012 schedules will be published? -- Paul B.

All schedules for leagues should be posted except for the Appalachian League -- we're still waiting for the finalized version from that league office. You can refer to league schedules pages or the main schedule page on

Where is the map that used to be on the website? I believe that it was under "Teams" and then "Geography," but following that brings me now to a list of the teams by state with directions for navigating the map that is no longer there. I reach the same page by clicking on "Tickets". Is the map somewhere else on the site now? -- James B.

The map has not gone anywhere, it's still on the tickets page like always. It's a Google map. If you're having trouble viewing it, you might want to try another browser or make sure the one you're using is up to date and doesn't have any sort of ad-block.

How come I cannot find any Oklahoma City Redhawks apparel on the Minor League Baseball website? -- Lisa S.

Please see this page for info on the RedHawks' online shop. It is also accessible on the club's site in the top navigation.

There is a comment on Jared Mitchell's page that he received an Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Award. How can this be if he was hurt and there is no stats? -- Keith

He was a Rising Star last season, as noted on his bio page. He appeared in 24 games for the Peoria Saguaros.

Should not the owners of the Diamond in Richmond be responsible for the replacement of the facility? RMA (Richmond Metropolitan Authority) has collected rent on that facility since 1984 with the exclusion of when Atlanta got tired of the politics and left. The price of the ballpark seems to be about the same amount that the city is being reimbursed by the RMA. The surrounding counties contributed to this windfall by paying daily to enter the city for a toll imposed by the RMA. -- C.C. McLaughlin

We (the staff) are not really involved in local politics or how teams financially renovate their ballparks -- you should direct those inquires to the club itself or to your local government officials who oversee funding for those projects.

I live in the U.K. However, my boyfriend is a baseball player and I want to purchase one of your caps for him for Christmas. When I went into the checkout on your website, there was no option to chose "country: UK" and it only comes up with "United States." How do I purchase an item from your website if I'm living in the U.K.? -- Lucy O.

Valid question. We'd suggest contacting the team that has the item for sale online -- the teams operate those online shops for themselves, so they would be the ones to contact about their shipping policies. You'd probably be able to email or call their office and see if they'll ship to the U.K. Happy holidays!

I just ordered the MiLB.TV package and hoped to watch archived games this offseason on my iPad. I thought that I may run into an issue with the iPad not being compatible with Adobe Flash, but assumed there was a work around. I have been unable to find one. Is there any way to watch on an iPad? -- Sent from my iPad.

MiLB.TV is not currently available on the iPad, so you'll want to watch on a computer for now, but we do hope to expand it to other devices for 2012!

I am a local master body worker and am interested in contacting someone regarding the possibility of providing service to anyone within the organization. I have been involved in massage therapy for the past four years and have many hours of experience in healing. I feel that I could be an asset to your organization, and would just love the opportunity to practice my abilities on people in sports. -- Brian W.

As much as some of our editors could use a good back rub, we're guessing you're trying to contact a Minor League team. Unless you really want to massage our reporters here in New York, you should reach out to individual clubs.

I stumbled on your site while I was looking up the Utica Braves from 1942. I'm contacting you because I would like to know if you sell, or know someone who sells, team pictures from the 1942 Utica Braves MiLB season? My grandfather Louis Arioli (from Rochester, N.Y.) was on the Braves that year, and I would like to obtain an image of him with the team from that season, but I'm having trouble locating any team pictures. Being the official site of MiLB, my hope is that you have archives from the pre-World War II teams for sale. -- John

We don't have any items, for sale or otherwise, from that far back -- you might want to check with a local library in Utica to see if they have any historical documents, newspapers, archived items, etc., for that team. The Baseball Hall of Fame's research library in Cooperstown, N.Y., might also possibly have something on that team, but it's just a guess. They have an extensive collection of material from all levels of baseball.

My son was picked up by the Yankees last summer. His status still shows as active. Will the Yankees organization contact him as to when he is supposed to report or does he need to contact someone there? -- Rae C.

Assuming your son is still under contract for 2012, then the Yankees will probably touch base with him this offseason. If he's concerned, he should contact someone from the organization's player development office -- each organization has their own guidelines and report dates when it comes to Spring Training locations and Minor League camps. Good luck!

How do I find the class of a particular league? For instance the Carolina League is Class A, Rookie, or what???? Why keep it a secret!!!!!! -- Esca M.

We're very secretive about basic information like that. And for the record, the great Carolina League is a Class A Advanced circuit.

Our city of Milwaukie, Ore., is starting the process of trying to obtain a Class A Short-Season team. There is already a Class A team about 45 miles down the highway. Is there a "boundary" wherein other teams can't exist? -- Scott

Yes, all Minor League clubs have territorial rights. The territory of each team must have boundaries that are no closer than 15 miles from the boundaries of all other clubs' territories, and must be defined by the boundary lines of an entire county or counties (parish or Canadian division or district). The 15-mile "buffer" is not included as part of a club's territory, and may coincide (in whole or in part) with the 15 mile "buffer" surrounding another club's territory.

I was wondering if you know if there'll be any Minor League Baseball tryouts around Everett, Tacoma or Seattle, Wash., anytime soon? -- Mickey G.

No. First, as we've mentioned once or twice before, one cannot tryout for a Minor League team. Second, organizations don't generally hold tryouts in the winter. It's possible that the Minor League clubs in Everett and Tacoma may allow a Major League team to use their ballparks as a tryout location in 2012, though -- you can either contact those clubs, read this or refer to the tryout camp schedule on

I'm looking for information regarding the Changewater, N.J., Minor League team. Can you point me in the right direction or direct me to someone who I may be able to speak with? -- Maria N.

There is no Minor League team in Changewater, N.J.; Trenton and Lakewood are the only New Jersey towns with Minor League clubs. According to the books Professional Baseball Franchises and The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, there has never been a Minor League Baseball team in Changewater.

Are gate receipts split between the teams or does the home team keep it all? -- Jack P.

Minor League Baseball clubs do not share gate receipts with visiting teams.

I'm wondering if there is an online database resource that can give me a list of current Minor Leaguers by hometown or region? -- Sam H.

If there is, it's not available on We list the hometowns of players on their bio pages individually, if you're looking for specific players. Otherwise, we have that data available internally for teams and the media.

Have a question? Shoot us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below, and please be as specific as possible so that we can accurately respond to your inquiry.