Friday, December 19, 2014
Charlie Montoyo. Photo courtesy of the Durham Bulls.
Just a quick note here while the news is fresh. Word came today that Charlie Montoyo, who has been the Durham Bulls’ manager since 2007 and is the all-time franchise leader in wins, has been promoted to the major leagues. He’ll be the third base coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, who have moved field staff around in the wake of manager Joe Maddon’s departure for the Chicago Cubs.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Photo by Revill Photographic.
Immediately after the Triple-A National Championship game ended, the Tampa Bay Rays called up Tim Beckham and Jake Odorizzi. These moves had been credibly rumored for a few days, so they weren’t a surprise when they were made official.
Odorizzi’s callup made perfect sense. He had already been up to the majors twice this year (and once last year, called up by the Kansas City Royals from… the Omaha Storm Chasers).
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Photo by Frank Hunter.
After last night’s game, in which Pawtucket beat Durham, 2-1, to take the first game of the Governors’ Cup championship series, strong personal histories were in both clubhouses. On the home team side was Brandon Guyer, who was hit by two pitches last night. He missed about a month in July and August when he was hit by a pitch. He was hit fourteen times this season, second most in the league.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Photo by Ivan Weiss.
The day I published my Paris Review Daily piece about the most exciting game I ever saw, two other people who were at that game in September 1984 appeared, as if summoned.
Ron Morris was the Durham Bulls beat writer for the Durham Morning Herald in the eighties, and I knew him a little back then. He was friendly with my stepfather. Three years ago, I ran into him at the old Durham Athletic Park, the scene of the crime, so to speak.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Photo by Frank Hunter.
The scoreboard light that indicates ball three was out last night, so the home plate umpire regularly displayed the count with his fingers for the players to see. Apparently the Bulls’ Utility Maintenance Squad were deployed mid-game to address the problem, but it turned out to be something more than a simple burned-out bulb. So, no ball threes ever appeared: kind of an appropriate Monday mishap.
Appropriate for the Bulls last night, too.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Vince Belnome at play earlier this season. Photo by Leah Sobsey.
Quickly here, from the friendly confines (?) of Charlotte Douglas Airport while I wait for a connection to Buffalo. I’ll take in the Bulls’ four-game series against the Bisons there, and then continue on to Allentown, Pennsylvania to watch the Bulls take on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
The Bulls edged Louisville by a run last night, 2-1, their second straight one-run win over the Bats, and completed a 6-2 home stand.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Photo by Kate Joyce.
First things first, Bulls fans: Today, photographer Kate Joyce and I will be making Bull City Summer’s monthly appearance (so to speak) on WUNC’s The State of Things at noon, i.e. very soon! It’s 91.5 if you’d like to tune in. We’ll be talking with host Frank Stasio about our project and, especially, Wil Myers. (“When are we gonna stop talking about Wil Myers?” Charlie Montoyo quipped, laughing, after I asked him about the departed demigod following last night’s game.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Photo by Leah Sobsey.
A new development: oversize cardboard cutouts of Wil Myers face, like the kind fans wave at basketball games (random example), are affixed to the walls of the Durham Bulls’ clubhouse in several places. You glimpse them in the entrance to the player lounge, in the trainer’s room with the door ajar, places like that. Myers was promoted to the major leagues on Sunday, as every baseball fan in America knows.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Photo by Elizabeth Matheson.
Preludes do not have to chirp out the tone of exactly what is to follow. A boys choir gave a slow, elegiac, almost mournful rendition of the National Anthem last night, some of the crowd singing along as if in sympathy, and the mood of the ballpark was a touch graver afterwards, in that liminal moment before the game’s first pitch. It was thrown, minutes later, by Durham Bulls newcomer Merrill Kelly, a fastball that rode way up and in on Indianapolis’ Josh Harrison, who spun out of the way—and the game announced its character with a tower-buzz of excitement.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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.