Durham Bulls Sweep Buffalo Bisons: Ligature

Friday, May 31, 2013

Video by Ivan Weiss.

A couple of days ago my post title was “Armature,” so I figured I would just stay close. Actually, there’s a reason for this title beyond that: After the Bulls beat Buffalo, 7-2, to complete a sweep of the suddenly, um, endangered Bisons, I talked to two Durham Bulls pitchers who have both had what is generally called Tommy John Surgery: starting pitcher J. D. Martin, who picked up his league-leading seventh win, and closer Kirby Yates.

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Ivan Weiss and Adam Sobsey on WUNC’s “The State of Things”

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This afternoon, Bull City Summer videographer Ivan Weiss and writer Adam Sobsey spoke about the project’s progress with Frank Stasio, host of WUNC’s “The State of Things.”

If you missed the interview, you can listen to it here.

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Sights Unseen: Durham Bulls Take Third Straight from Buffalo Bisons

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Adam Liberatore

Durham Bulls pitcher Adam Liberatore. Photo by Kate Joyce.


“If I tell you all I know, it would be a great story, but I won’t be able to.”

That’s how Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo led off his postgame interview after his team clubbed the Buffalo Bisons, 10-2. Then he smiled that gnomic smile he flashes when he has news or opinions that will get him in trouble if shared. He followed that with one of his tried-and-true near-clichés—one I’ve heard him use countless times before—and then proceeded with his usual unpacking of the game we had just seen.

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Sam Stephenson on Charlie Montoyo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Charlie Montoyo

Charlie Montoyo coaching third base in a game against the Columbus Clippers at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. August 7, 2012. Photo by Kate Joyce.

Last Friday, May 24, Charlie Montoyo celebrated his 500th win as manager of the Bulls.

In honor of the career milestone, we’re revisiting a 2012 piece that Bull City Summer director Sam Stephenson wrote about Montoyo for the Paris Review.


I arrived at the spring-training complex of the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, Florida, around ten A.M.

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“Consider the Foul” on the Paris Review

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
foul ball

Photo by Kate Joyce.

Adam Sobsey has a new piece up today on the Paris Review:


About one of every six pitches is hit out of play—inert, a do-over, a mentally discarded blip as the ball shanked foul is discarded into the stands. No other sport includes this regular pileup of outcomes empty of conclusive results.

Another unique element: when a foul ball reaches the seats, the game breaks the fourth wall. Only in baseball does the action penetrate the crowd so routinely.

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Durham Bulls Outslug Buffalo Bisons: Armature

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Ricky Romero 2012

Last year, current Buffalo Bisons starter Ricky Romero played for the Toronto Blue Jays. Photo taken September 24, 2012 by Keith Allison under a Creative Commons license.

DBAP/DURHAM—Presumably you’re here because you care about the Durham Bulls and their fortunes. To dispense with their news, the hometown team beat the Buffalo Bisons on Monday evening, 11-7, pulling into a first-place tie with the Norfolk Tides atop the International League South Division. They did it by scoring a whopping nine runs in the first inning.

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The Mayor of the Stadium

Monday, May 27, 2013
Jatovi McDuffie

Left: Jatovi dressed for Star Wars Night, May 11, 2013. Right: Jatovi watches the game with fans. Photos by Kate Joyce.

Jatovi McDuffie doesn’t smile; he beams. When he talks to you, his eyes widen and his face lights up, then he laughs with his whole body. He’s easy to recognize from across the stands—arms folded at an angle, black Durham Bulls Baseball Club shirt neatly tucked into his khaki shorts, head tilted to one side as he listens and nods and confers.

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State of the Bulls Address

Sunday, May 26, 2013
Tim Beckham

Photo by Kate Joyce.

Can you believe how cold it is? May 26, 2013, and I had to wear three layers when I left the house yesterday morning—and I was still cold. How can the boys of summer play baseball if summer never comes?

Let us not be deterred. Let us insist that summer is upon us. It must be: a full third of the Durham Bulls’ season is already over. So, taking after Joyce Carol Oates (who was taking after Bob Dylan), where are they going, where have they been?

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Photo: Kate Joyce

A game not long ago, on May 10, served as a salubrious reminder that baseball depends almost entirely on interpretation. There are few strict definitions and very little fixed truth in this game. No wonder it’s America’s national pastime: It’s all checks and balances, and resistance to absolute authority. (It’s also individual achievement operating as team progress, but that’s for another day.)

Take the strike zone, through which just about every single baseball play passes.

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Call Me Up Maybe, Part III

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photo by Elizabeth Matheson.

(Part II.)

Ninth inning, two outs, man on third, Bulls leading by two.

Will Rhymes, a Durham Bull in 2012, steps in as a Syracuse Chief in 2013 to face his erstwhile teammate, Josh Lueke. Rhymes is the potential tying run. He, like Rich Thompson, got a brief callup to Tampa Bay last year, and then was sent back down to Durham. Only he was returned twice, and his story went on to end more strangely than Thompson’s.

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