Who cares about Minor League Baseball?
I do. Especially when my boys are out there grinding on the diamond. Wilson alum and former star of an episode of “Shoot Your Shot: Long Beach Sports in Long Beach Bars,” Chase De Jong, carried the Arkansas Travelers to the first half Texas League North Division title last week.
The Travelers are the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners organization, and I’m guessing the Mariners will take any title they can get. They haven’t made a playoff appearance since 2001 and that was only because Ichiro is the greatest player of our generation.
The Texas League North Division first-half championship guarantees the Travelers a spot in the Texas League playoffs in September, which is kinda crazy since they finished .500 (35-35). Just proves that Cs do, in fact, get degrees. They didn’t want to be too flashy, but didn’t want to fall too far behind. They found the sweet spot right in the middle and it really paid off in my opinion.
But what blows my mind is that the Travelers’ road record in the first half was 14-20. With a name like that you gotta figure, they’d thrive in the various Texas League hostile environments.
At any rate, I wouldn’t get too comfortable if I were the Arkansas Travelers. You know who else won the first half? The British during the American Revolutionary War. But then Saratoga happened and we all know how that turned out.
De Jong won’t get too comfortable though, obviously, because he’s been up and down between Minor and Major League ball over the last couple of seasons. He basically lives out of his suitcase since the Mariners can’t make up their minds. I mean honestly – Mariners, do you want to win? If the answer is yes then put De Jong on the MLB roster. If not, just leave him down in Double-A and the Travelers will be the best team in your organization.
So far this season, De Jong is 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA, which is fourth best in the Texas League. He’s third in the league in innings pitched with 84.1 and second in the league with 15 starts. Later in the season, he’ll probably be tied for the lead in the Texas League with his fellow teammates with one championship.
Bottom line is: the guy is a winner and always has been.
Have a good week Long Beach.