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Your 2007 B.C. Manatees -- Latest: Honors for Gamel, Tamargo

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Manatees Roster for 2007 is full of top prospects!

Scott Pinner


Although not set to arrive until Tuesday April 3rd, the Brevard County Manatees have announced the 2007 roster for opening day.


"The roster has been received from Milwaukee and we are excited to get under way" said Manatees GM Buck Rogers. "The fans will see some new names and a few they recognize from last year."


The Manatees had several players from the 2006 season that have moved on to both Huntsville (AA) and a few that will start at Nashville (AAA). The season is just days away and the roster is announced as follows:




Will Inman

Steve Garrison {L}

Rafael Llubares {L]

Vince Perkins

Luis Pena

Josh Wahpepah

Jesse Harper

Derek Miller {L}

Ben Stancyzk

David Johnson

David Welch {L]

Kevin Roberts

Jeremy Lewis {L}




Cole Gillespie

Charlie Fermaint

Nestor Corredor

Carlos Corporan

Ned Yost

Freddy Parejo

Lorenzo Cain

Ryan Barba

Ryan Crew

J.R. Hopf

Mat Gamel

Alcides Escobar

Chris Errecart


Infielder Mike Bell and catcher Angel Salome will begin the season on the Manatee disabled list and will rehab in Maryvale.


Players will arrive on Monday evening and the Manatees will play an exhibition game on Tuesday against F.I.T. at 7:00 Pm (6:00 Central). This game is free and open to the public. If you can't make it out to the ballpark the game can be heard worldwide at www.manateesbaseball.com.


On Wednesday there will be a player meet and greet Bar B Q at Beef O'Bradys in Viera. The cost is $10 per person and tickets can be purchased in advance at the stadium.


The Manatees open the regular season at home on Thursday April 5th against Florida State League rival the Daytona Cubs. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).


The game can be heard on the Manatees Radio Network via AM 1060 WIXC and on the world wide web at: www.manateesbaseball.com.

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In order to best view the roster specifics, until MiLB.com posts it officially on their roster page, is to visit the Brewerfan Player Index at the link below and then filter it to the Manatees roster. You'll note that we've included an injured Mark Rogers at this level as well.




Of course, you get a nice summary as well when you simply click on the Brevard County sidebar button off of our home page:



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Manatees open with Cubs tonight

New for 2007: Series winner takes trophy




It's only natural that the Brevard County Manatees would have a rivalry with the Daytona Cubs in the Florida State League. Now, the rivalry has a trophy to battle for as the two teams open play for the 2007 season at 7:05 PM today (6:05 Central) at Space Coast Stadium.


Whoever wins the 20-game season series between the teams in 2007 will take home the I-95 Battle for the Roadside Trophy. The Florida State League splits its 140-game schedule into a first half and a second half.


"I used to work for the Daytona Cubs -- I jumped ship after the 2003 season," said Brevard County Manatees general manager Buck Rogers, who attended Wednesday's Meet the Manatees barbecue at Beef O'Brady's in Viera. "It's a good-natured rivalry outside the lines. The two teams get along really well. But we both want to beat each other's butts when we're on the field."


Left-hander Derek Miller will start for the Manatees today against right-hander Mitch Atkins of the Cubs. Miller was 8-2 with a 3.57 ERA last season for the West Virginia Power of the South Atlantic League and 1-3 with a 3.91 ERA for the Manatees. Atkins was 13-4 with a 2.41 ERA for Peoria of the Midwest League last season.


"This is going to be a fun year," Rogers said. "Front Row Joe (Rowe) is coming down (today) from Daytona. He's the guy who got the tattoo to be a lifetime Daytona Cubs season ticket holder. I had to get him 20 seats. He's gone to something like 700 consecutive games. We've got a guy here (at the barbecue) -- Ed Drosten -- who has tattoos of both the Cubs and the Manatees on his back."


The two teams will face each other again at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Space Coast Stadium. Right-hander Will Inman, who was 10-2 for West Virginia in 2006 with an ERA of 1.71, will face right-hander Jeff Samardzija.


Samardzija, a former Notre Dame wide receiver who had to make the difficult choice to play professional baseball or professional football, caught 78 passes for 1,017 yards and 12 touchdowns during the 2006 season for the Fighting Irish.

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Thanks! Thats a really nice thing to say. My brother is one of those "homely" looking guys. Actually, they all are pretty decent looking guys in real life. But really - who cares what they look like if they play well. I can check with some scouts but I dont think that having good looks is considered one of the top tools to make it to the majors. Maybe I can get some pictures tomorrow in Daytona that are more to your liking.

Happy Easter.

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Well, I guess I'm to blame because of the off-the-cuff remark about America's Top Model, it was just kind of a fun "locker room" type comment. I'm sure the guys would all agree those photos weren't taken at Glamour Shots or anything.


Let's just end the discussion on that topic now, this is one of our key threads for the season, and it will return to Manatee feature articles and such shortly.



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  • 4 weeks later...

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Errecart taking things 'easy'




Chris Errecart is a guy who likes to go with the flow.


The California native and first-year Brevard County Manatees player has a laid back attitude that shines through his personality.


"I'm pretty easy going," he readily admits.


Lately, Errecart has been carrying that relaxed approach with him on the field -- and it has paid off. The result has been a blistering start to his Florida State League career in which the 22-year-old is hitting .360 through Monday's games.


"I'm not taking anything for granted this year," Errecart said. "I try not to get too high or too low, keep it even keel. And it's helped me a lot."


The quick start has surprised Brevard County manager John Tamargo, who expected Errecart to succeed, just not this quickly.


"I thought he'd scuffle a little bit at the beginning trying to get used to the league, because this is a tough league," Tamargo said.


So far, no scuff marks.


Errecart's .360 average is third in the FSL. He leads the Manatees in runs scored with 16 and hits with 32 through 23 games. He also is second on the team in RBIs (15), walks (9) and slugging percentage (.494).


"I'm seeing the ball really well; just letting the ball travel," Errecart said. "Sometimes I have a tendency of trying to go get the ball. Now, I'm just trying to let it get there, let my hands work -- and it seems to work pretty well right now."


Errecart's triumphs have come amidst a position change. A former right fielder, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound left-handed thrower and right-handed batter was moved to first base by the Manatees, a position he has played all season.


"Now he's got to worry about two things -- hitting in this league and also playing a position he's not used to playing," Tamargo said. "And he's done real well with both parts."


Again, Errecart's persona is key.


"As long as I'm playing, it's great for me," he said with a smile. "I could be playing shortstop -- even though I'm lefthanded."


Errecart played at the University of California before being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers -- the Manatees major-league affiliate -- in the fifth round. Last season, he batted .316 for Helena of the Pioneer League and was named an all-star.


So that's California to Montana to Florida, or three different time zones in the past three years for Errecart, who of course, took it in stride.


"It's fine," he said. "I could be anywhere in the United States or in the world, as long as I'm playing baseball it's a good time."


Tamargo believes those good times may take his first baseman to Milwaukee in the future.


"I definitely think it's a possibility -- and be very productive in the big leagues," Tamargo said. "He's got good bat speed, he's got power, he knows the game. He's just got everything going for him right now."


Make that easy going.

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Manatees fire media director




In late November, Scott Pinner came to the Brevard County Manatees with talent, experience and an ambition to thrive as the team's director of media relations.


Less than six months later, he departed at the insistence of his employer. The North Merritt Island resident was fired on Wednesday morning in what Manatees president Charlie Baumann said was professionally "one of the most difficult things I've had to do."


"Scott turned out to have a lot of surprises and made a lot of representations in the community about sponsorship agreements that were disingenuous," Baumann said.


"We had to part ways. We conducted an investigation and determined that his behavior was unbecoming of someone who is going to represent the Brevard County Manatees."


According to Baumann, Pinner made sales agreements that he simply could not honor, adding that his former employee inflated his sales numbers and in some cases "tried to cover his tracks."


"He tried so hard to please us that he would tell me anything he thought I wanted to hear -- to lengths that he was not telling the truth to us and to clients," Baumann said. "In any business, you can't tolerate that."


Baumann also cited financial issues.


"There was a severe misunderstanding that he thought he had the authority . . . financially, everything was to be approved by (Manatees GM) Buck (Rogers) and by myself. At some point, he thought that he could circumvent that."


Reached by phone on Wednesday afternoon, Rogers, who was noticeably dejected over the situation, deferred to Baumann to speak on behalf of the organization.


Pinner did not return messages left on his cell phone.


The Manatees hired Pinner in November, impressed with his media experience and excited about his potential to heighten the fan experience in Brevard County. Until recently, those expectations were being met.


Pinner was doing radio play-by-play for Manatees home and away games -- and doing them well. He also helped the organization:


- Establish an in-house FM signal.


- Transmit an online audio signal that allowed fans to listen to games on their computers.


- Set up a video feed at Space Coast Stadium complete with monitors in the concourse so fans can follow game action while waiting in line for concessions.


Before coming to Brevard County, Pinner was involved in several media endeavors. He was the PA announcer for the Inaugural World Baseball Classic for the Orlando region last season and for select Houston Astros spring training games at Osceola County Stadium. He was the lead announcer for Atlanta Braves spring training games at Disney's Wide World of Sports.


Pinner also has been the voice of the University of North Florida and NCAA Division I baseball and softball tournaments and was the master of ceremonies for Pop Warner.


In March, Pinner was the PA announcer for Washington Nationals grapefruit league games in Viera.


Aside from his professional skills, Pinner was a friend to the Manatees staff, which is something Baumann said made the firing particularly difficult.


"We're all just kind of in shock of what has transpired in the last couple of days," Baumann said. "We're saddened. We're a pretty close family and it's tough -- it's hard to really try to make sense out of this."


For the time being, Pinner's position will be absorbed by the staff. Baumann said he plans to continue delivering all of the services to fans, including the in-house FM signal, in-stadium video feed and audio transmission online. WMEL's Kirk Aigus will do the radio play-by-play -- possibly with a partner. Some games can be heard on WIXC AM-1060, while others will be broadcast on WMEL AM-920.


But emotionally, Baumann and his staff are still playing a little catch-up.


"No one took any pleasure in this," Baumann said. "We're all sad. It's a genuine sadness for Scott and I hope he finds his way -- I really do."

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  • 2 weeks later...

FSL Player of the Week:


Cole Gillespie, Brevard County

.458 (11-24), 4 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 6 BB, 2 SO, 3 SB, .792 SLG

Gillespie's current five-game hitting streak was highlighted by his standout performance against St. Lucie on Saturday. The left fielder went 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBIs to power the Manatees to a 10-3 victory. Two days before that, Gillespie singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Brevard County eked out an 8-7 win over the Mets.

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Unfortunately, little discussion here of current Manatees...


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Brewers' farmhands impress general manager

Streaking Manatees become instant hit with Melvin




It's always good when the boss catches you at your best.


Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin paid a visit to Space Coast Stadium to check out the Manatees -- the organization's High Class-A representative -- and it couldn't have come at a better time for one of the hottest teams in the Florida State League.


Brevard County has lost just four times in its past 20 games and has a three-game lead over Palm Beach in the East Division.


In reality, Melvin's visit was part of a pre-draft trip that included stops in Triple-A Nashville and Double-A Huntsville (Ala.). But success rarely leaves a bad impression.


"I really like their approach to hitting," Melvin said on Friday at Space Coast Stadium. "I like the way they go up the middle and they go the other way with authority. They're an athletic-looking club."


Melvin also was treated to a solid pitching performance by top Manatees prospect Will Inman, who struck out 12 in six innings against Sarasota.


However, the fifth-year Milwaukee GM had his eye on the bigger picture.


"People think you come in to see a certain player and that's not the case," said Melvin, who pitched for two seasons in the FSL. "You come in to see the entire team; see how they're operating.


"You have to do that if you're a general manager at the big-league level. You can't lose touch of your minor league system, especially a club like ours that really uses our system the way that we do."


Sometimes that means putting young players on the fast track.


At this time last year, Ryan Braun was Brevard County's starting third baseman. On Friday, Braun was the starting third baseman for the Brewers against the San Diego Padres.


Right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo -- who dazzled fans in Brevard County a season ago -- is shining for Nashville and is "very close" to making the big-league club, according to Melvin.


Such stories breathe enthusiasm into people like Josh Larson, a Brewers fan who made the one-hour trek from Orlando on his birthday to watch the stars of tomorrow at Space Coast Stadium. Larson, who was born in Milwaukee, attended Friday's game with his wife, Heather, and his twin 2 1/2-year-old sons, Jacob and Jackson.


(Note: the link includes a photo of Larson and the boys.)


The trip proved to be a bonus for the Larson family, who unexpectedly encountered Melvin and snagged a photo for the scrapbook.


"It's exciting to see the guys on this stage and then to see them in the bigs," Josh said. "Just last year, Ryan Braun was playing on this field. So to come out and watch him play here and then to know he's playing up in Miller Park this year, it's pretty exciting."


In 34 games with Nashville this season, Braun batted .342 with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs. He went 1-for-4 in his major-league debut on Friday, including a two-run double in the seventh inning. On Saturday, he homered off of Padres starter Justin Germano in the third inning.


"He's very talented," Melvin said. "He can run, he's got good power and he's a very confident player. We expect him to have success at the big leagues."


Braun joins Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy and former Eau Gallie and Florida Air star Prince Fielder in an infield comprised entirely of players who have come up through the Brewers farm system.


"I'm not sure anybody in baseball has done that in a long time," Melvin said. "That's a real credit to our development staff and our scouting."


That infield also boasts surprising power with Hardy and Fielder leading the National League in home runs with 15.


"(Fielder) can flat-out hit," Melvin said. "He always could hit when he was younger and I think people are starting to recognize how talented he is at the age of 23."


Melvin also has been impressed with Fielder's work ethic at first base.


"The concern always was is he going to be a good defensive player," Melvin said. "Well, he worked extremely hard at it. Nobody even talks about it anymore. He has become a good defensive player."


Only time well tell if the next Fielder, Braun or Gallardo is honing his skills in Brevard County.


"They play the game hard," Melvin said. "They'll make mistakes -- we make mistakes at the big-league level -- but their approach is very good. This club here has got some good players."

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Courtesy of the Manatees, here's your FSL All-Star Brewers!


Will Inman

Alcides Escobar

Cole Gillespie


Luis Pena (since promoted to AA, won't be playing, but I'm sure he'd rather be in Huntsville)


As each All-Star Game approaches, like last year, relevant info will be posted in each respective "Your 2007 ____ Thread", rather than separate All-Star threads.


Those selections seem about right to me. Cole's recent slide was probably after much of the voting.

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Its good to see Alcides progressing and performing well. I think he can at least play at the level Weeks is at now, and hopefully he can play at a higher level. I'm just scared that Weeks' next contract won't justify his production. He'll probably get paid mostly for what remaining potential he still has.
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Your Florida State League Player of the Week for the w/e June 3rd:




Mat Gamel, Brevard County

.563 (9-16), 7 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB, 1.000 SLG

Mat Gamel has been looking for his stroke in his first year in Class A Advanced. The former South Atlantic League All-Star may have found it this week as went 9-for-16 and raised his batting average almost 30 points from .238 to .266. Of Gamel's nine hits, five went for extra bases, accounting for nearly a fifth of his season total.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As noted in Thursday's Link Report, RH reliever Ben Stanczyk of UW-Milwaukee has been added to the Florida State League All-Star Team, joining Will Inman, Alcides Escobar, and Cole Gillespie. Congrats to Ben, season and 2005 stats below:




UPDATE: As just mentioned elsewhere on the forum this AM, Will Inman's in Huntsville, the FSL East needs a new starting pitcher.

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