Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Leftovers

(Forgive the less-than-complimentary title.) Here are a few important and/or interesting items from last week:

The Bulls grabbed another end-of-year MiLBY award since my last post. The latest goes to Winston Abreu for best Triple A reliever.

A couple of excerpts from the awards story:

The 32-year-old went 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 15 saves in 37 games for Durham. He gave up just 23 hits over 51 innings for a ridiculous .133 batting average against while walking only 16 and striking out 77. He played a big part in helping the Bulls reach the International League playoffs, then saved four games in six scoreless outings to get them to the Triple-A National Championship Game.

"We liked the reports and we needed help in the bullpen," Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics said about signing Abreu. "Though he didn't make the Major League club, from day one he dominated the International League. We needed some help in the Durham bullpen and thought he could be big league insurance. And man, did he dominate. He throws a plus fastball, a hard slider and has a good arm. He likes to compete and certainly proved he was a good fit."

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This next story comes from the New York Times - not from the sports pages, rather from the Americas section. The Raleigh News and Observer picked it up...put it on the front page.

It's baseball season in Venezuela, and former Bull - Buddy Bailey - manages a team there. The NYT says he's one of the few popular Americans in Caracas. This is a neat story...check it here.

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...and last but not least, the News and Observer's Tar Heel of the Year is Durham architect Phil Freelon. Congrats to Phil and his firm! (...and to Phil's family; his wife is the awesome jazz singer Nnenna Freelon.)

Phil assisted on the DBAP project back in the early '90s. He did the parking deck at RDU airport with the striking cyclonic ramps...more recently Durham's public transit depot that's the classiest bus station in America...and he's lead architect on the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. It will probably be the last major structure to be built on the National Mall. Click here for the full story.

Durham promotes itself as home to the creative class...and Freelon, firm and family, stand at the head of the class!