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Clones play ‘musical managers’

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The Cyclones’ 3-2 home victory on July 25 against the Aberdeen Ironbirds featured an unusual side-game of musical managers.

In the bottom of the third, after Cyclone Stacy Bennett flied out and Kevin Rios struck out, Corey Coles singled to right. Coles attempted to steal second and was called out. Manager Tony Tijerina argued the call and was ejected after an extended, heated dispute.

Batting coach Donavon Mitchell then took the reins as manager, and moved from coaching first to coaching third in place of Tijerina. Pitching coach Hector Berrios took over as the first-base coach.

In the top of the fourth, acting-manager Mitchell argued against the call of home plate umpire Tom Clarke when the arbiter ruled that a two-strike swing by an Aberdeen batter was a foul tip.

Before long, Mitchell was ejected.

Berrios then took over as both manager and third-base coach. Catcher Aaron Hathaway, not in the second game lineup, coached at first base.

Aberdeen retained its 1-0 lead through the fifth inning and there was yet another Cyclone dispute with an umpire, this time involving Berrios and Clarke.

Berrios, well aware that he was the last member of the Brooklyn coaching staff still standing, did not get himself tossed. This quieted much of the Brooklyn fans’ light-hearted speculation about the identity of the new Brooks manager should he have been given the thumb — would it have been trainer Ruben Barrera?

A Jekyll and Hyde performance

On July 24, Scott Hyde was the Brooklyn starter in a 3-2 loss to Aberdeen in the second game of a home twin bill.

Scott started the game by performing like the infamous Mr. Hyde as the Brooks pitcher threw the first 14 pitches of the game for balls, walking the first three batters and inspiring boos and catcalls from the crowd.

Hyde suddenly turned into an effective Dr. Jekyll as he recovered his control to retire the next three Aberdeen hitters, allowing only one run in the inning.

After a Jekyll-like 1-2-3 inning in the third, the Cyclones’ starter once again became Mr. Hyde, allowing a homer in the fourth.

The Clones eventually lost the game 3-2, but neither Dr. Jekyll nor Mr. Hyde played a role — reliever Eddy Camacho gave up the winning run.

‘Cyclone’ Joe Williams

Joe Williams came to the Cyclones as merely “Joe,” but he has picked up a nickname, “Cyclone,” and it’s more than just a reference to the Brooklyn team and the ancient roller coaster beyond the left field fence.

This Joe Williams is a 23 year-old southpaw from St. Xavier University in Illinois. A pre-med major, he was 7-3 with a 1.33 ERA there. He was also a DH in college and he hit .369 with eight home runs and 61 RBIs this season.

Does this new Cyclone know about the fame of a Joe Williams who came before him?

“Soon after I got here, Dave Campanaro (the Cyclones media relations manager) put an article in my locker about ‘Cyclone’ Joe Williams,” said the pitcher. “I learned how great he was.”

He isn’t kidding.

The original “Cyclone” Joe Williams was born around 1885 in Texas.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 for his starring play in the Negro Leagues. He was known both as “Smokey Joe” and as “Cyclone” because of the great speed of his fastball.

Complete records of the Negro Leagues don’t exist, but Williams was unquestionably one of the greatest pitchers, in any league, of all time. He compiled a record of 22-7-1 in exhibition games against major leaguers.

He pitched for many Negro League teams, including the Brooklyn Royal Giants.

In a game against the Bushwicks, a very famous Brooklyn semi-pro team, Williams pitched for the Kansas City Monarchs and struck out 24 batters in 12 innings.

The Cyclones’ Joe Williams does not have the fame of the greatest black pitcher of the opening decades of the 20th century, but he has gotten off to a good start with a 3-1 record and 2.16 ERA.

Few pitchers have equaled the feats of the right-handed Joe Williams. But certainly his success should be an inspiration for the “Cyclone” Joe of today’s Brooklyn team as he tries to fight his way up the ladder to the major leagues.

Negro League tribute

On Saturday, Aug. 7, the Cyclones will host a tribute to the Negro Leagues. During the game, the Cyclones will wear the uniform of the Negro League Brooklyn Royal Giants.

The Brooklyn Royal Giants were organized in 1905 and won league championships in 1909, 1910, 1914 and 1916. The team featured Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher “Smokey” Joe Williams, also known as “The Cyclone.”

Present that night will be at least two former players from the Negro Leagues: Jim Robinson and Armando Vazquez.

Dinner at Applebee’s

On July 25, the Cyclones and their fans met after that day’s game, for dinner at Applebee’s, in Sheepshead Bay.

Only about a dozen Cyclones fans took advantage of the opportunity to mingle in a relaxed manner with their team.

There is, however, another opportunity for Cyclones buffs to share a meal with their team.

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, after the home game against Staten Island, the Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, at 8814 Fourth Ave. in Bay Ridge, will host another fan-Cyclones get together. Call the restaurant at (718) 238-9880 or contact the Cyclones at (718) 449-8497 for more information. .

July 31, 2004 issue  

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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