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Minor Issues 

Minor Issues

David Laurila, with the help of those who experience it first-hand, takes twice-weekly trips to the farm to explore life below the big-league level.

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04-30

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Minor Issues: Adversity Management, with Wally Backman
by
David Laurila

04-07

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Minor Issues: Taiwanese Cyberspace, with Che-Hsuan Lin
by
David Laurila

11-14

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Minor Issues: Time in the Minors, with Tony Okun
by
David Laurila

11-07

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Minor Issues: Short-season Skippering, with Jim Pankovits
by
David Laurila

09-19

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Minor Issues: Fourth Estate, with Scot Drucker
by
David Laurila

09-15

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Minor Issues: Pitching in Spanish, with Mark Brewer
by
David Laurila

09-12

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Minor Issues: Broadcasting the Minors, with Jim Weber
by
David Laurila

09-05

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Minor Issues: Pinstripes over Provo, with Nik Turley
by
David Laurila

09-02

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Minor Issues: Two Strikes, with Andrew Lambo
by
David Laurila

08-28

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Minor Issues: A Baseball Life of an Australian, by Tim Cox
by
David Laurila

08-26

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Minor Issues: Tampa Yankees and the FSL, with Julie Kremer
by
David Laurila

08-21

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Minor Issues: Family Matters, with Justin Ruggiano
by
David Laurila

08-18

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Minor Issues: Discoveries and Perspectives, with Kyle Waldrop
by
David Laurila

08-15

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Minor Issues: An Umpire Manages, with Gary Robinson
by
David Laurila

08-11

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Minor Issues: Names and Numbers, with Justin Ruggiano
by
David Laurila

08-04

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Minor Issues: iPads and Kindles, with R.J. Swindle
by
David Laurila

07-29

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Minor Issues: Isolation and Addiction, with Max St. Pierre
by
David Laurila

07-28

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Minor Issues: Welcome to Pro Ball Tyson Kendrick
by
David Laurila

07-24

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Minor Issues: Broadcasting the Minors, with Josh Whetzel
by
David Laurila

07-17

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Minor Issues: Transitions and Agendas, with John Birtwell
by
David Laurila

07-14

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Minor Issues: Nicknames and Rehab, with Robbie Weinhardt
by
David Laurila

07-09

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Minor Issues: World Cup with Lars Anderson and Ryan Kalish
by
David Laurila

07-08

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Minor Issues: Glitz and Glamour, with Chris Valaika
by
David Laurila

06-30

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Minor Issues: Kangaroo Court, with Brad Ziegler
by
David Laurila

06-27

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Minor Issues: Welcome to Pro Ball, Bobby Doran
by
David Laurila

06-23

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Minor Issues: Managing in the Minors, with Rick Sweet
by
David Laurila

06-18

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Minor Issues: Welcome to Pro Ball Bryce Brentz
by
David Laurila

06-16

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Minor Issues: Camaraderie and Kegs, with Brad Ziegler
by
David Laurila

06-14

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Minor Issues: The Kung Fu Panda Comes to America
by
David Laurila

06-09

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Minor Issues: Bonding and Ducks, with Brad Ziegler
by
David Laurila

06-06

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Minor Issues: Safety and Comportment, with Jake Arrieta
by
David Laurila

06-01

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Minor Issues: Broadcaster Confrontations, with Steve Hyder
by
David Laurila

05-30

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Minor Issues: Managing in the Minors, with Trent Jewett
by
David Laurila

05-22

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Minor Issues: Winning Matters, with Andy Tracy
by
David Laurila

05-18

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Minor Issues: Embarrassed in the Minors, with Ron Mahay
by
David Laurila

05-15

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Minor Issues: Andy Tracy: On the Farm at 36
by
David Laurila

05-08

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Minor Issues: Placeholders and 60-Percent Salaries, with Jonathan Van Every
by
David Laurila

05-05

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Minor Issues: Broadcasting the Minors, with Andy Freed; part 2
by
David Laurila

05-01

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Minor Issues: Broadcasting the Minors, with Andy Freed
by
David Laurila

04-28

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Minor Issues: The Language of Baseball, with Garrett Broshuis
by
David Laurila

04-26

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Minor Issues: Mike Ekstrom on Hayhurst and Halcyon Days
by
David Laurila

04-22

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Minor Issues: Mike Ekstrom on Portland and Farm Towns
by
David Laurila

04-19

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Minor Issues: Initiation Rites with Derrick Loop
by
David Laurila

04-16

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Minor Issues: Married in the Minors with Chad Paronto
by
David Laurila

04-14

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Minor Issues: Joe Nelson on the Ups and Downs
by
David Laurila

04-10

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Minor Issues: Clever Trevor: Plouffe and Guitars
by
David Laurila

04-08

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Minor Issues: McDonald on the Farm
by
David Laurila

04-05

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Minor Issues: Circle of Trust, with Derrick Loop
by
David Laurila

03-30

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Minor Issues: Following the Farm with Jonathan Mayo
by
David Laurila

03-26

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Minor Issues: Home Away From Home with Derrick Loop
by
David Laurila

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The Mets AA skipper on keeping things real when they're wrong.

Wally Backman knows all about dealing with adversity, and as the first-year manager of the Double-A Binghamton Mets, part of his job is helping others do the same. The colorful, and sometimes controversial, former infielder talked about his role in keeping everything on an even keel prior to a recent game.

Read the full article...

A Red Sox prospect stays connected with the world.

Like most players in the minor leagues, Red Sox outfield prospect Che-Hsuan Lin is plugged in. He isn’t a gadget geek -- at least not yet -- but the 22-year-old native of Taiwan certainly knows his way around cyberspace, especially when it comes to staying in touch with the other side of the world. Lin is beginning the 2011 season with the Double-A Portland [Maine] Sea Dogs, over 7,600 miles from home.

Read the full article...

A filmmaker talks about his minor-league documentary.

“Time in the Minors,” a documentary film by Tony Okun, follows two players, one a highly-touted first-round draft pick and the other a minor-league journeyman, as they chase their dream of making it to the major leagues. Okun, a filmmaker currently living in Idaho, talked about his recently released documentary.

Read the full article...

The Astros short-season skipper remembers being in his players' shoes.

Jim Pankovits enjoys working with young players, and one of the reasons why is that he remembers what it feels like to be in their shoes.  Currently the manager of the Tri-City Valley Cats, Houston’s short-season affiliate, the 55-year-old Pankovits has coached and managed in the Astros system since 1995.  He talked about his responsibilities as a short-season skipper earlier this season.

Read the full article...

A Mud Hen hurler talks about his career and the media in the minors.

Six years into his professional career, Scot Drucker knows all about second chances and the fourth estate.  A 28-year-old right-hander who spent the season with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, Drucker sports a record of 40-22, 4.45 in 196 appearances since being drafted out of the University of Tennessee.  He touched on his career, and the media, earlier this summer.

Read the full article...

The Mets AA pitching coach discusses working with Latin-American players.

For Mark Brewer, it’s all about comunicación and comprensión. Currently the pitching coach for the Double-A Binghamton Mets, the 51-year-old Brewer previously served as the Mets Latin American pitching coordinator. The son of former big league reliever Jim Brewer, he has also worked for the Dodgers, Rangers, Royals and Pirates.

Read the full article...

The Ernie Harwell of the Toledo Mud Hens talks about his long career.

The Toledo Mud Hens are a staple of the International League, and Jim Weber is a staple of the Toledo Mud Hens. Currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, the Mud Hens have been in the league since 1965. Weber has been the team’s play-by-play announcer for nearly that long.

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A high school lefty is enticed by over-slot bonus money.

When the Yankees drafted Nik Turley in the 50th, and final, round of the 2008 draft, the 6’ 7” left-hander thought he would be spending the next three years at Brigham Young University. Six weeks later, the North Hollywood, California prep product was reporting to the Gulf Coast League after receiving a signing bonus more in line with that of a sixth-round pick. Turley, who celebrates his 21st birthday next week, has spent most of this season with the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League.

Read the full article...

Minor League Baseball's drug policy impacts the career of a top prospect.

Andrew Lambo is more than capable of hitting his way to Pittsburgh -- if he can avoid strike three. Acquired from the Dodgers as part of the Octavio Dotel deal at the end of July, Lambo has twice violated minor league baseball’s drug policy, in each case testing positive for “a drug of abuse.” A third positive test could result in an end to the young outfielder‘s career.

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A look at life in the minors through the eyes of an Aussie.

A native of Sydney, Australia, Tim Cox pitched in the Red Sox organization from 2005-2007.

Read the full article...

The assistant GM of the Tampa Yankees talks Florida State League.

The Florida State League is a challenging baseball environment, and Julie Kremer understands that as well as anyone. Kremer has spent the last seven years as the assistant general manager of the FSL’s Tampa Yankees, who play in a league known as much for steamy temperatures and small crowds as it is for competitive baseball. The wife of Yankees assistant director of amateur scouting John Kremer, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, with a minor in Business Administration, from the University of Evansville.

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A Durham Bull discussed raising a family and trying to eat well in the minors.

In this, the 44th installment of Minor Issues, Justin Ruggiano returns to talk about the trials and tribulations of raising a family, and eating well, on a minor-league salary. A 28-year-old outfielder in the Tampa Bay organization, Ruggiano is currently with the Triple-A Durham Bulls.

Read the full article...

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