I'm reviving my Storm Warning column for the 2014 season. As I did last year, I'll be covering news and tidbits about the Omaha Storm Chasers, Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
BuzzFeed named the Omaha Storms Chasers Vortex logo as the twenty-first most ridiculous minor league logo you'll ever see. And attempting to prove the old adage that there's no such thing as negative publicity, the Storm Chasers responded by holding a "RIDICULOUS Vortex Sale," on its website.
This organization can't seem to catch a break when it comes to weather early in the season. As has been the case in recent seasons early on, rain and temperatures in the 30s and 40s are predicted for Omaha's first two games (Thursday and Friday). Oh, and Omaha might even get a bit of snow Thursday night.
Rob White, the beat reporter for the Omaha World Herald, wrote an article about what opening day starter Chris Dwyer needs to do to get back up to Kansas City. Definitely worth reading.
The World Herald also has a video interview with Storm Chasers CEO and owner, Gary Green, available on its website. Love Green's enthusiasm for the game. His dad grew up in Bensonhurt as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He talks about how his dad felt after the team left for the west coast. And when he was asked about ways to improve MiLB, one of the things he mentioned was fantasy MiLB. He said managers could get bonus points if their players are called up to the big leagues. I don't know how that would work, but I like it.
I wasn't able to attend Media Day on Wednesday because I was attending a friend's funeral, but Hunter Samuels from Kings of Kauffman covered it well. He included links to audio interviews with John Lamb, Aaron Brooks and Matt Fields.
On my drive home from the funeral, I caught an interview on 590 ESPN Radio in Omaha with Michael Mariot. During the interview he said Christian Colon is one of the tougher outs he's faced on the team, and he credited former Omaha pitcher Brian Sanches (now retired) for helping him during the 2013 season.
"Every time I'd throw a bullpen, or get loose in the bullpen before going into a game, I'd ask him to watch me because he was full of knowledge," Mariot said.
Manager Brian Poldberg was also a guest on the show. He covered a number of topics, including Bubba Starling being a work in progress in the minor leagues (.252/.342/.425 in rookie and A-ball in 2012-'13). Starling will begin the season in Wilmington.
"Baseball - it takes they figure 2,000 to 2,500 minor league at-bats before you start to figure it out," Poldberg said. "This is only Bubba's third full season, so it takes some time and it's frustrating because Bubba's a guy who's never failed. At each level, you face the best of the best. You keep moving up."
He went on to say he's hoping Starling gets off to a good start this season because if he does, "he's a guy who can move [up] fast once the bat comes around."