Sons of Liberty Video Clip

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Tipping Point?

Season defining moment or post season footnote?

After Sunday's come from behind, walk off victory against the Evansville Otters, at least we're able to ask the question. The win brought the Freedom's record to 3-6. A loss would have dropped the Freedom to 2-7 on the year with hopes of a playoff appearance slipping away. And it certainly looked to be heading that way early.

After taking an early 1-0 lead into the third inning, the defense collapsed, committing a few costly errors and five total in the game.

The game looked lost as the Otters took a 7-4 lead into the bottom the eight, but three hits and two walks led to three Freedom runs and a tie score. Suddenly the team had new life. After retiring the Otters in the top of the ninth, Michael Wheeler led off the bottom half with a grounder deep into the hole at short. A quick bobble of the ball allowed Wheeler to reach base safely. A walk and a fly out advance Wheeler to 3rd base. On the second pitch to Johnny Welch, the ball skipped past catcher Billy Killian, allowing Wheeler to scamper home, and setting off a wild celebration at home plate.

The effects of this win will be determined in the coming weeks, but it's undeniable that the excitement and camaraderie shared after a walk off win can bring a team closer together.

But can this be the turning point of the season?

This was not a game the Freedom particularly deserved to win. While the offense was able to battle back from deficits on three separate occasions, the defense, which has been problematic all season long, committed a season high five errors behind starter Tim Holmes. The team looked lethargic and careless heading into the bottom of the eighth.

But baseball is a peculiar game. One (wild) pitch can change the course of an entire season.

The talent on this team is undeniable. But the attention to detail and overall lack of focus has left much to be desired.

The challenge for manager Toby Rumfield is to get his young team to understand the importance every pitch has on the outcome of a game.

The Freedom lead the league in home runs, but it hasn't translated into wins. The old adage about pitching and defense holds true here and the fundamentals must improve for this team to reach it's potential.

The upcoming three game series with the Oakland County Cruisers will go a long way in determining the progress of the team.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fireworks Well Deserved

Yesterday was the first Fireworks Friday of the year at Champion Window Field. Since it is my first year as a Freedom intern, it was the first fireworks show I had seen here. Honestly, my expectations weren't that high. I was wrong. The show was amazing. It wasn't just the fireworks either. Everyone stays after to watch. The atmosphere here is great. It's not like going to Great American Ballpark. It's like a family here. Kids and their parents are all gathered together, waiving their glowsticks, and gazing into the night sky.
It's even sweeter when the show comes after a victory. Let me tell you something about this team. They can flat out hit, and they're a lot of fun to watch. I didn't think I'd become a fan of a minor league baseball team, but I am hooked. Here's a little video I took of the show. Hope you enjoy.
video

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Secrets of the Bullpen


What really goes on in the bullpen of the Florence Freedom? Aren't you just itching to know what is said between this secret society of Freedom players? Well, most of it I can't repeat. What I can tell you is, they're a lot of fun to be around.
Normally, I get to spend about 3 innings in the bullpen every game (the best duty I have as an intern). I mostly just sit back and listen. In between innings, they're taking jabs at each other and making off-color comments. When the game is going on though, they're into it. I always thought that life in the bullpen would be boring. It's not. My self-proclaimed leaders of the pen, Austin Bridges and Ben Shivers have live arms and live mouths. No one is safe from their stories.
Most of the stuff I hear is absolute, beautiful, from the soul, poetry. "Do you remember that game down in Tennessee when it was 70 degrees on the field but the humidity was 678%? There were literally water droplets forming in the air." - Ben Shivers. No, it's not all about baseball, but in a way it still is. Baseball is not just a game, as we know. It's a lifestyle, and it transcends through their stories. Every story links back to a game or a player. Everything links back to baseball with these guys. It's fun being out in the bullpen.. a lot of fun.

score update

4-2 Freedom in the top of the 3rd!

Tim Grogan doubled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 7 games. He's now hit safely in each game this season.

Johnny Welch hit his first home run of the year in the 2nd, a line drive solo shot down the line in left. It was the 10th home run or the freedom this year already, tops in the Frontier League. Of those 10, 9 have been of the solo variety.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Here are the lineups for tonight's game:

Miners:
1. Jereme Milons - CF
2. Nate Hall - 3B
3. Stephen Head - RF
4. Joey Metropoulos - LF
5. Ernie Banks - 1B
6. Todd Martin - DH
7. Javier Brown - 2B
8. Brendan Akasian - C
9. Brad Netzel - SS

SP: Brett Scarpetta


Freedom:
1. Dustin Koca - LF
2. Billy Mottram - CF
3. Justin Pickett - C
4. Tim Grogan - 2B
5. Justin Jacobs - DH
6. Daryl Jones - 1B
7. Johnny Welch - 3B
8. Hunter Owen - RF
9. Gabe Suarez

SP: Austin Chambliss

The freedom look to start their first winning streak of the year as they go for win number 2 on the season.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lets hear your ideas!

What is Justin Pickett's favorite movie? Who has a quirky pre-game superstition? What inspired Ben Shivers to sport a fu-manchu this year? What do players do in the bullpen to pass the time?

Ever found yourself pondering the answers to these questions? Well, wonder no more. We will be looking for fun and interesting things to write about all season long and we want your help! Let us know what you'd like to read about and we'll do our very best to accommodate your requests! Leave your comments here or anywhere on the blog!

Freedom Win!!!!!

Rejoice Freedom Fanatics. The Freedom are finally in the win column! They defeated the Southern Illinois Miners 6-4 this afternoon at Champion Window Field.

After losing 10-5 last night, the Freedom fell to 0-4 on the season. But the players must have eaten their Wheaties this morning. After a leadoff home run by Jereme Milons, the Freedom scored the next the six runs and held on for the victory.

Hopefully this win will jump start a new streak and the Freedom can begin their climb up the standings.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bottom 3 update

Chuck Tiffany didn't have his best stuff tonight. He gave up 7 runs, all earned, and departed after failing to retire anybody in the 3rd inning.

The freedom got a run back in the bottom half of the 3rd as Daryl Jones hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot.

After 3, Miners 7 Freedom 1

1st Inning update

The Miners lead 4-0 in the bottom of the first. Jereme Milons led off the game with a solo homerun. Four batter later, Ernie Banks, (no relation to Mr. Cub), blasted a 3 run home run. All of this off of starter Chuck Tiffeny.

Opening Night is here!

It's an exciting day Freedom Fanatics! The home opener starts in just under 3 1/2 hours. It's going to be a beautiful night here at Champion Window Field, as the Freedom look to get on the winning track.

We have the Starting Lineup for the Freedom:
1. Dustin Koca - LF
2. Billy Mottram - CF
3. Justin Pickett - C
4. Tim Grogan - SS
5. Justin Jacobs - RF
6. Johnny Welch - 3B
7. Daryl Jones - 1B
8. Hunter Owen - DH
9. Beau Manning - 2B

On the hill tonight for the Freedom, Chuck Tiffany.

The Freedom will be looking to rebound after a tough 3 game trip where they were swept by the Gateway Grizzlies. On the other side, the Southern Illinois Miners come in with an unblemished 4-0 record. Led by outfielder Joey Metropoulos, the Miners feature a balanced attack combining speed and power. They hit 3 HR's and stole 8 bases in their opening series of the year against River City.

Come out to the ballpark and enjoy the opening night festivities. If you're unable to make it, listen to us live on 106.7WNKR and check out the play by play here. Check back here for in game updates and more!


The Legend of the Wally Painting



For those of you who are coming to the stadium to enjoy Opening Day, you'll notice many new additions to the stadium. None may be more noticeable than the mural of Wally the Watertower on the concourse ground right through the front entrance. One of our own interns displayed her artistic creativity in this lifelike portrait of our beloved Wally. But, did you know that the history of the Wally painting is riddled with dark secrets?

The Wally painting was actually never meant to be. He was the result of lackadaisical placement of a can of red paint. Inside a tarp on the concourse was this mythical can of paint. An unsuspecting employee went to move the tarp, in a misguided attempt to be helpful. The result, red paint spills covering the concourse cement. None felt the tragedy closer to heart than Stadium Steve, our respected Stadium Operations Manager. How could something like this happen the day before Opening Day? Yet, as it is written, the show must go on, and thanks to a bright young intern with a hand for art, it will.

The Wally painting is quickly becoming a favorite among locals who cherish the rich history of the Florence Watertower. And so ends the legend of the Wally painting.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Freedom Swept

The Gateway Grizzlies completed a 3 game sweep of the visiting Freedom Sunday afternoon by a score of 11-1. Read the game recap here and the box score here.

The Freedom look to get on the winning track at Champion Window Field on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Come out to support the Freedom on opening night!

Game Update

11-1 Grizzlies in the top of the 8th innings.

The Grizzlies just turned what was a close game at 3-1 into a blowout with 8 runs in the 8th inning.

Freedom looking to win game 3

1-0 Grizzlies in the bottom of the first inning in game 3 of the weekend series. The Freedom are trying to win their first game of the season today. Listen live here. Watch the play by play here. Lets get the W today Freedom Fanatics!

Defense falters as Freedom fall to 0-2

The Freedom dropped their second straight game to begin the season tonight, falling 10-4 to the Gateway Grizzlies.

Tim Grogan did his part, hitting a pair of solo home runs, but it wasn't enough to hold off the offensive onslaught of the Grizzlies.

The defense, or lack there of, played a big role again tonight. The Freedom committed 4 errors after committing 3 in the first game. Those 4 errors led to 6 unearned runs for the Grizzlies. In two games the Freedom have allowed 8 unearned runs to score.

Read the game recap here and check out the box score here.

The Freedom will attempt to salvage a win in the series finale on Sunday. First pitch is at 4:05 eastern.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Game 1 recap

Here is a link to the game recap for game 1.

The defense wasn't sharp last night which led to a few unearned runs. This is not uncommon for the first game of the season as players are still working through off-season rustiness.

One player who looked to be in mid-season form was Justin Pickett. He went 4-5 with 3 rbi including a clutch 2 out hit in the 9th to send the game into extra innings.

The Freedom look to break into the win column in game 2 of the series tonight at 8:05 PM Eastern. As always you can listen live to John Leahy on 106.7 WNKR here or watch the gamecast play by play here.

Freedom lose opener in the 10th, 5-4

The freedom suffered a tough loss to open the season, losing 5-4 to the Gateway Grizzlies in 10 innings.

After falling behind 4-0 in the first inning, the Freedom were able to claw back and eventually tied the score at 4 on a Justin Pickett RBI single with 2 outs in the 9th.

However, a costly error in the 10th led to walk off victory for the Grizzlies.

Here's a link to the box score and play by play of the game.

More on this game tomorrow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Game Info

The Freedom open the season tomorrow (Friday May 21st) at 8:00 pm against the Gateway Grizzlies. You can follow the action by listening online here or viewing the gamecast here.

We're looking forward to an exciting year and hoping for the teams first ever post season appearance. Be on the lookout for some pictures of the team practicing and of Freedom Interns preparing the ballpark for opening night.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Opening Night

Only 6 days until opening night at Champion Window Field. First pitch is at 7:05. We'll be giving away Belle and Liberty Bobble Head dolls. It's a tuesday so that means $2 Margaritas and 2 for 1 Tacos! Come out and enjoy the start of another great season of Freedom Baseball!

Welcome to the Sons of Liberty Blog!

This is the official blog of Florence Freedom Baseball. During the year, we will be providing behind the scenes access, video's, pictures, analysis, and more! It is our hope that this blog will bring you closer to the Freedom than ever before. Make sure to check in regularly for updates on nightly promotions and specials.

Go Freedom!