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  • Sports & Recreation
    News Releases - Sports & Recreation
    Written by Gale McClean   
    Wednesday, 17 July 2013 14:39

    The Quad City Wolfpack semipro football team is playing the Mankato Brawlers at Augustana College Ericson Field located in the far northeast corner of Augustana College campus in Rock Island, IL this Sunday, July 21st at 3:00 p.m. Julian Vandervelde, offensive lineman from Davenport, Iowa, was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL draft. A four-year letterman at Iowa, Vandervelde earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 2010.

    It is Scouting Recognition Day for the Wolfpack. All youth wearing a scouting uniform will receive free admission to the game.

    The Quad City Wofpack is generously donating a portion of their ticket sales to help King’s Harvest and their Shelter for Homeless Mother’s with Children.

    If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Matt McClean, owner and General Manager of the Quad City Wolfpack, please call 563-590-3985 or call Jerry Miller at 309-798-4447. If you would like more information on King’s Harvest please call Grant Curtis, Fundraising Coordinator, 563-528-0835.

    # # #

    News Releases - Sports & Recreation
    Written by Marco LaNave   
    Wednesday, 17 July 2013 08:02

    Voting for “Best Minor League Ballpark” runs for four weeks at 10Best.com

    DAVENPORT, Iowa (JULY 16, 2013) – Modern Woodmen Park is frequently recognized nation-wide as a unique destination for Minor League Baseball and family entertainment. Today, the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits was announced by USA TODAY as a nominee for “Best Minor League Ballpark” in the 2013 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards. The winner will be announced Aug. 14.

    Nominees were chosen by a panel of experts from USA TODAY, 10Best.com, and other contributors and sources for other Gannett properties. Readers, fans and the general public can vote online once per day for four weeks. All voting is available on the 10Best.com website, for which www.riverbandits.com is providing a link.

    “The River Bandits and Main Street Baseball are delighted for this recognition of Modern Woodmen Park and the Quad Cities community,” said team owner Dave Heller. “As an organization, we seek to make our ballpark an integral part of the Quad Cities, maintaining its original charm while working to improve and beautify it each year, and keeping it among the finest, most iconic ballparks in the country.”

    Modern Woodmen Park, which opened in 1931 as Davenport Municipal Stadium and was previously known as John O'Donnell Stadium, is the oldest stadium used continuously by a current Minor League Baseball team for more than 50 years. The current Midwest League franchise has played in it continuously since 1960, and more than seven million fans have passed through its gates in that time.

    As the River Bandits ownership, Main Street Baseball has brought the stadium several improvements – including the Sky Deck, Pepsi Loge Boxes, the Crop Production Services Corn Field, a new high-definition video board and LED ribbon board. Earlier this season, Main Street Amusements opened a FlyWireTM dual zip line by Extreme Engineering, and a Mediacom Frog Hopper by S&S Worldwide, as part of a growing amusement lineup, including a new 112-foot tall Ferris Wheel, that will continue arriving through next season.

    QC Raiders Meet and Greet Potluck PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Sports & Recreation
    Written by Erin Williams   
    Tuesday, 16 July 2013 08:26

    Davenport, Iowa (July 2013) – The QC Raiders Minor League Football Team will be at Gilda’s Club for a Potluck on Thursday July 25th at 6:00 p.m. Folks can meet players and toss around the football. Please bring a dish to pass. Gilda’s Club is located at 1234 East River Drive, Davenport, Iowa

    Call Gilda’s Club at 563-326-7504 to RSVP

    Is Yasiel Puig’s All-Star Bid The End of Civilization As We Know It? PDF Print E-mail
    News Releases - Sports & Recreation
    Written by Michael Levin   
    Monday, 15 July 2013 14:19

    If you don’t follow baseball, you may be unaware of the controversy simmering around Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig.  He came up from the minors less than two months ago, has played on a level comparable only to that of the early Joe DiMaggio, and has singlehandedly (okay, with both hands) lifted the Dodgers from the ignominy of overpaid underperformer status into credible pennant contenders.  Fans came within inches of writing him onto the All-Star team by online ballot.

    Puig has played fewer than 40 games in the Major Leagues.  The Dodgers, who had a lot of money, now have a lot less, because they agreed to pay him $42 million over seven years.

    Old school baseball players and their managers take offense to an All-Star designation for a player who has barely gotten his uniform sweaty.  But the people want Puig, and there’s still an outside chance that they’ll have him, when the All-Star Game takes place Tuesday in New York.

    Baseball traditionalists believe that All-Star status is something one earns over time.  Casual fans couldn’t care less about a player’s body of work; they’re just interested in stars, which Puig, at least for the short term, now is.  Sports talk radio commentators recognize that baseball has a phenomenon in Puig and that the All-Star game is a marketing showcase.  Failing to include Puig, therefore, would be an unpardonable offense.

    Puig had the good fortune to come of age in the age of American Idol, when you can become a star literally overnight.  You don’t have to spend years paying dues; you just go viral.   Consider the difference between yesterday’s Frank Sinatra and today’s Psy.  Sinatra toured with big bands for years before he hit; Psy, the Korean voice of Gangnam Style (two billion YouTube hits and counting) became a planetary legend with one video.  If extraterrestrials exist, they are probably on Alpha Centauri doing the horse dance and singing, “Hey, sexy lady!”

    And so it is in sports.  LeBron got his $60 million deal with Nike before he stepped on an NBA court.  Andrew Luck signed to quarterback the Indianapolis Colts for $22 million prior to throwing a single NFL pass.  And now Yasiel Puig has parlayed eight undeniably great weeks into eight figures.

    The veteran players may or may not begrudge Puig the money; they definitely resent his potential All-Star status.  That’s because they come from a world where what you do over a long period of time defines who you are.  Puig, baseball’s flavor of the month, leaves a sour taste in their mouths.

    In baseball, hitters and pitchers “solve” one another.  Meaning that tendencies are analyzed and baseball experts do everything that can to drag outliers back to the mean.  In the sport’s language, the goal is to create a “book” on a player: identify his weaknesses and capitalize on them.  The fastball hitter may have trouble with a slider; a particular pitcher may struggle to keep the ball down.  Once word gets out, it’s much harder for a phenom to keep up that initial momentum.

    This may or may not happen with Puig.  He could be the next Henry Aaron.  Or not.   He could also run into serious trouble.  If you listened to sports talk radio the week before the Dodgers elevated Puig to the majors, the topic was the fact that he had enormous trouble coping with authority.  Not quite “cancer in the clubhouse” material, but the verdict among baseball men was that he was too immature to handle the pressures of the big leagues.

    So now they’re putting him front and center at the All-Star Game.

    There’s something to be said for the old way of doing things, where you had to earn your stripes, pay your dues, work your way to the top.  That way allows people to make their mistakes in private, before all eyes are upon them.  Those of us who are a little older and come from that world are grateful that YouTube didn’t exist when we were in our twenties or Facebook when we were in our teens.  We’re very happy, thank you, that the mistakes we made in our callow years aren’t on our permanent technological record.

    I have no problem with Puig playing in the All-Star Game; he’s definitely a star and baseball is the world’s worst sport at marketing itself.  We’ve just seen what happens to people, especially those in the public eye, who receive too much too soon.  From Aaron Hernandez (New England Patriot accused of homicide) to Lindsey Lohan (actress accused of everything), it often turns out that sudden success is no gift from the gods.

    I wish Yasiel Puig the greatest of success, personally and professionally, not that he’s ever heard of me or cares about receiving my blessing.  I want him to stay on the baseball diamond and not the police blotter and enjoy his newfound celebrity.

    It used to be that it took ten years to become an overnight success.  In today’s world, it can take ten years to get over having been one.

    News Releases - Sports & Recreation
    Written by Marco LaNave   
    Monday, 15 July 2013 13:42

    Quad Cities finishes three-game series with eight runs and 35 runners left on base

    DAVENPORT, Iowa (JULY 12, 2013) – The Bowling Green Hot Rods took their first lead with a three-run fourth inning Friday night and held on to the lead over the Quad Cities River Bandits to complete a three-game sweep in front of 7,199 at Modern Woodmen Park.

    Hot Rods starter Reinaldo Lopez (4-4) gave up two unearned runs in the fifth inning that closed his team's lead to 3-2, but the right-hander allowed just three hits and worked around two walks and two hit batters to record four strikeouts and pitch six innings for a third consecutive start. Left-hander Matt Spann worked 1 1/3 innings and right-hander Nick Sawyer got the final five outs for his seventh save.

    Quad Cities starter Chris Devenski began his Midwest League debut by scattering three hits in three shutout innings. In the fourth, Devenski walked the leadoff hitter in Hot Rods catcher Justin O'Conner. The next batter, second baseman Tommy Coyle, grounded a ball back to Devenski, whose throw to second base pulled shortstop Carlos Correa off the bag and left the runners safe at first and second. Hot Rods third baseman Tyler Goeddel then lined a two-run triple to the left-center field gap and scored on a single by shortstop Leonardo Reginatto. With a 3-0 deficit, Devenski retired six of the next seven batters to finish five innings with three runs – two earned – on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

    The River Bandits (12-8 second half, 50-38 overall) answered against Lopez in the fifth inning, as right fielder Dan Gulbransen drew a leadoff walk, and catcher Luis Alvarez singled for his first Midwest League hit. Second baseman Brian Blasik grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners at first and third bases. O'Conner then tried to pick Gulbransen off third, but the throw went down the left-field line to advance each runner. Goeddel then misplayed an infield chopper by Correa, allowing Blasik to score and Correa to reach second base. But left fielder Jesse Wierzbicki flied out to end the inning with a 3-2 deficit.

    The Hot Rods added a seventh-inning run against right-hander Juri Perez, who allowed a leadoff double by right fielder Joey Rickard and a two-out RBI single by center fielder Andrew Toles. Perez allowed four hits and struck out two batters in the final four innings.

    Correa hit a seventh-inning RBI single after Blasik hit a two-out single, stole second base and advanced to third on another Goeddel error. After Wierzbicki walked, Spann struck out third baseman Rio Ruiz with the bases loaded. Quad Cities left 10 runners on base.

    The victory gave Bowling Green (15-7, 53-37) the first-ever regular season series sweep in the four-year history of the River Bandits and Hot Rods all-time series. The Hot Rods now have won seven of 12 all-time games between the clubs.

    Quad Cities will open a three-game series with the Dayton Dragons Saturday night at 7 p.m. River Bandits right-hander Jordan Jankowski (3-1) will face Dragons right-hander Robert Stephenson (5-3) in the series opener.

    UP NEXT: The first 2,000 fans through the gates at Modern Woodmen Park Saturday night will receive a Billy Wagner Bobblehead, courtesy of EmbroidMe and the Quad-City Times. The River Bandits host the Dayton Dragons for a 7 p.m. game. Single-game tickets are on sale at the River Bandits box office at Modern Woodmen Park, by phone at 563-324-3000 and online at www.riverbandits.com. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $50. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

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