Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bulls Trifecta for 2010

The 2009 season isn't over, but we're working hard on 2010.
Three BIG announcements:

Bulls have extended their affiliation with the Tampa Bay Rays for four years. In Minor League baseball the contract that frames that relationship is called a Player Development Contract. Now, the agreement is in force through the 2014 season. I believe this has been a very good partnership. The Rays enabled our move up to Triple A ball in 1998. That was a milestone for the club, and the Rays more recent success (2008 AL Champs) has been icing on the cake. They are committed to winning in the Minors and the Majors, and we enjoy working with the front office...very progressive, strategic thinkers. (Baseball is over 160 years old; progressive thinking doesn't necessarily abound!)

To celebrate the PDC extension we announced that the 2010 season will begin with a Rays/Bulls exhibition game on Easter weekend. We haven't nailed down the date, but it will be Friday night April 2nd or Saturday afternoon April 3rd. It will be fantastic to see former Bulls like David Price, Evan Longoria, James Shields and Carl Crawford standing on the Durham field in their Rays' uniforms.

And last but not least, the Bulls will play a 2010 game in the
newly renovated Durham Athletic Park.

On Monday evening May 10th the Bulls will take on the Toledo Mud Hens in the Bulls' former home - the DAP. This is nostalgia to the max for Bulls fans and the City of Durham! The two most famous MiLB teams will play in one of America's most historic ballparks. I'm thinking we'll set a DAP attendance record...even on a Monday night!?!

This game is a high profile opportunity for the Bulls to recognize Durham's investment in restoring the old ballpark. Also, it's an occasion for welcoming the offices of Minor League Baseball to Durham. MiLB manages the facility for Durham and plans to use it as a training center for umpires, turf managers and other operational aspects of the game. This is why I'm fond of saying Durham is the City of Medicine...AND BASEBALL!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tough Guys - very tough guys.

This is my favorite picture of the 2009 season: Bulls’ catcher Craig Albernaz and six year old Bo Baker. Craig’s cranium is buffed up to accommodate his protective headgear. Bo is another story.

In February doctors discovered a stage III tumor on Bo’s kidney. It cost him the kidney and six months of his childhood as he underwent regular chemo sessions at UNC.

Happy ending: Bo is cancer free and his last chemo appointment was Friday!

Bo was at the DBAP on Saturday, August 8th for “Strike Out Childhood Cancer Night” sponsored by Rock Against Cancer. Bo and other kids with cancer stood with players on the field for the National Anthem.

Bo - who wears a “Super Bo” cape to his chemo treatments - has been an inspiration. The same holds true for his parents, Amy and Rob. (Amy works for Capitol at Wolfpack Sports Marketing.) Amy has blogged regularly during their family’s ordeal. Paradoxically, as we have prayed for Bo, Amy has encouraged us with her uplifting family chronicle. Her faith shines through…on all of us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bulls in Baghdad

From the Green Zone...

We've got uniforms, helmets and bases...but we're just playing a game in Durham. It's quite the opposite in Iraq. Bulls' GM Mike Birling recently received this photo and note:

Dear Mr. Birling,

One of my section sergeants received a jersey from his father about a month ago. On a trip to Baghdad into the Green Zone, we stopped by and took a few photos by the Iraq-Iran War Memorial. SSG Mark Kingsley thought you all would love to know that the Bulls have fans all over the world. Hope you all like the pic.


SFC Bradley C. Palmer

Platoon Leader

HHC 252 CAB 30 HBCT Scout Platoon

North Carolina National Guard

FOB Falcon, Iraq

...and Sergeant Palmer, please know that you and your fellow soldiers have fans in Durham, NC! The Durham Bulls honor your commitment, sacrifice and courage.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bird's Eye View

...or is it a Bull's Eye View?

I have writer's block (blogger's block to be more precise) but a picture is worth a thousand I offer up these great aerial views of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Our next home stand is 8/14-21, and we open against the Yankees' Triple A affiliate. Click for tix. We're runnin' out of summer...only 15 games left on the schedule!


I stick to baseball related stuff on this blog, but Capitol made a major announcement Monday. We are adding to our sports portfolio...acquiring more sports talk programming and radio stations...even a Spanish language sports station.

Click here for...