Extra Bases

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This is a blog devoted to the Twins' AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. It's maintained by the Democrat & Chronicle, the daily newspaper in Rochester.


Latest Content from Extra Bases

The Fans Speak Out
via Extra Bases January 09, 2014 at 08:26 PM

The Baseball Hall of Fame voting system is definitely cracked, and Dan LeBetard didn’t do a whole lot to fix things on Tuesday.  The ESPN personality and Miami columnist voted as the fans on deadspin.com wanted, then the web site revealed his ballot for the world to see: Jeff Bagwell Craig Biggio Bobby Bonds Roger [...]

Birds vs. Beards, Oh My!
via Extra Bases October 23, 2013 at 08:26 PM

I think this could be one of the most intriguing World Series in a long time, and here’s why: The teams are mirror images of each other.  The St. Louis Cardinals are back in the Fall Classic despite losing a superstar player (Albert Pujols) and Hall of Fame manager (Tony LaRussa) two years ago. They [...]

PNC Is A-OK
via Extra Bases September 20, 2013 at 08:26 PM

I’d  heard so many wonderful things about PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Frank Bilovsky, a former sportswriter whom I respect immensely, calls it the best ballpark in the land. Another friend, who has been to every ballpark in the majors, called it “No. 1, no question.” With that buildup, I almost expected to be disappointed. I [...]

Give The Bulls Their Due
via Extra Bases September 17, 2013 at 08:26 PM

The Governors’ Cup playoffs ended last weekend, and the rightful team won. Cheers to the Red Wings’ BFFs – the Durham Bulls. There were times when Wings fans (and beat writers) wondered if the Bulls were trying against Norfolk during that final weekend, but it turns out they were. Or at least enough to beat [...]

What A Day. What A Team.
via Extra Bases September 03, 2013 at 08:26 PM

I have covered more than 1,500 Red Wings games in 23 years on the beat. I’ve seen the team at its best and worst. The best? Winning a Governors’ Cup title on its home field in 1997. The worst? A 197-error season, a pair of franchise record-tying 12-game losing streaks, and 95- and 91-loss seasons [...]

Do-Or-Die Weekend At Frontier
via Extra Bases August 30, 2013 at 08:26 PM

Everything you need to know about the Governors’ Cup race to the finish, and some things you don’t (with a few unsolicited opinions thrown in): -         For all the doomsday e-mails I’m receiving, you’d think the Red Wings already are eliminated. Far from it, my fair-weather fans. In fact, I would argue that Rochester has [...]

These Wings Are Hottttt
via Extra Bases August 19, 2013 at 08:50 PM

Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be an amazing ride over the final two weeks of the season, Red Wings fans. The Wings – that’s the FIRST-place Wings to you – have 14 games left and 12 of them are at home. The other two are in Buffalo next week, meaning the Wings won’t leave [...]

Flashback: Frontier’s Top 10 Moments
via Extra Bases August 04, 2013 at 08:50 PM

In 2007, I compiled a list of the Top 10 greatest moments in Frontier Field history. I am ready to put Saturday night’s Jeff Clement Show no worse than second. Why not an automatic first? You’ll see why when you read about No. 1. Here’s my original Top 10 list from Aug. 13, 2006. 10 [...]

Dead Wings? I Think Not
via Extra Bases July 25, 2013 at 08:50 PM

A colleague came up to me today and joked, “You had the Red Wings dead in May.” “You’re wrong,” I countered. “I had them dead in April.” Boy, was I wrong. After an historically bad 2-11 start, the Red Wings are 56-51 and just two games behind first-place Pawtucket in the International League. They are [...]

A Vote For Doug Bernier
via Extra Bases July 03, 2013 at 08:50 PM

The International League All-Star team was announced on Wednesday morning. I’m not supposed to root, but I’m pretty disappointed that Red Wings shortstop Doug Bernier wasn’t named to the International League team. The Wings will be represented by first baseman Chris Colabello and pitcher Andrew Albers, both very deserving choices. Not only is Bernier the [...]

Wings Have Chance To Shock IL
via Extra Bases June 18, 2013 at 08:50 PM

The Red Wings are at the midway point of the season with a 35-37 record. That may not sound impressive, but consider that they started out 2-11. That mean’s they are 33-26 ever since, despite numerous roster changes, the release of several players and the loss of star hitters Oswaldo Arcia and Chris Colabello to [...]

Raker, TPlouffe and Johnny Cakes
via Extra Bases June 14, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Did a long interview and shot some video of Red Wings first baseman Chris Colabello on Thursday. The piece will appear later next week in the Democrat and Chronicle. Colabello’s story is well-told by now: seven years in the independent leagues, a big-league callup at age 29. But there is much more to the story, [...]

Wings Are Downright Offensive
via Extra Bases May 31, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Baseball is a funny game. If the Red Wings had lost the past three games to Lehigh Valley 7-1, 7-1 and 10-2, panic would be at an all-time high. But because they won 8-7, 8-7 and 13-10, hopes are sky high. The moral of the story is: The offense saved the pitching staff big time [...]

Why Joe Had To Go
via Extra Bases May 25, 2013 at 10:09 PM

There are actually some fans on Twitter today who are ripping the Twins for losing former second-round draft pick Joe Benson on waivers to the Texas Rangers. And to that, I ask, “Why?” Benson played himself out of any chance of a future with the Twins. He hit .192 with 1 homer and 9 RBI [...]

Nice Guys Finish First
via Extra Bases May 23, 2013 at 10:51 PM

You don’t toil in the lower independent leagues to get rich or famous. You do it because you love the game of baseball, and you have faith in yourself. Chris Colabello is such a person. And Wednesday, a lifelong dream was realized when the first baseman was promoted to the Minnesota Twins. Chris was riding [...]

Chatting With Legends
via Extra Bases May 09, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I’ve had an interesting week of interviews leading up to the MLB PepsiMax Field of Dreams legends game at Frontier Field. So far, I’ve talked to Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Trevor Hoffman and Johnny Bench. Next week, I’ve got the Big Kahuna: Reggie Jackson. Now, what do you ask Reggie in 10 minutes? I’ve learned [...]

April Not So Cruel After All
via Extra Bases April 30, 2013 at 10:09 PM

The Red Wings are far from out of the woods, but they are breathing going into May. And after a 2-11 start, I wasn’t sure they would be. Here’s why fans and media shouldn’t overrate the start of the season: The Red Wings started out 8-0 in 2004 and finished 10-11 in April. That’s hard [...]

Slip Sliding Away, Again
via Extra Bases April 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM

You’ve heard the term “reinventing themselves?” The 2013 Red Wings are inventing new ways to lose in what has been an utterly frustrating start to (I thought) a promising season. Monday night at Frontier Field, the Pawtucket Red Sox used a rare 3-5 fielder’s choice to snuff out a Wings rally in the bottom of [...]

Don’t Give Up On Wings Yet
via Extra Bases April 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

So fans are peppering me on Twitter with “world is ending” tweets about their beloved Red Wings. One accused me of predicting a playoff team (I didn’t). Another said the Wings will lose 110 games (they won’t). Many are accusing the Red Wings front office and the local media of not caring about winning. While [...]

Big Papi To Face Red Wings
via Extra Bases April 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

The Red Wings will face Big Papi for four games beginning Thursday night at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I. Red Sox DH David Ortiz will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with the Triple-A PawSox, Boston manager John Farrell said in a radio interview. Ortiz is out with right Achilles tendinopathy and completed three days of [...]