Here are photos of game one of the doubleheader between the Hudson Valley Renegades and Tri-City ValleyCats from August 22, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

Spencer Moran pitched six solid shutout innings and Jonathan Popadics drove in Nathaniel Lowe for the lone run of the game as the Renegades defeated the ValleyCats 1-0.

Garrett Whitley signs autographs before the game (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

I'm not a New York Yankee fan. I'm not an Alex Rodriguez fan. I'm a baseball fan.

Many people will forever criticize him for the mistakes that he made off the field and rightfully so. However, you can't deny the talent that he was. He was one the greats regardless of what anyone says. It's easy for fans to sit back and talk the talk but Rodriguez walked the walk.

Alex Rodriguez before a game at Camden Yards (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
He was only nineteen years old when he came to the major leagues. He was a kid. Do you remember where you were when you were nineteen? You were easily influenced by the good people and bad people. Many of those influenced who you became years later.

Rodriguez was given so much at a young age but he still had to earn it. He still had to come to the ballpark every day. He still had to walk into the batters box. He still had a swing the bat. He swung 696 times and hit a home run, fourth all-time.

Yes, Rodriguez made mistakes but he still showed up every day to play the game.

Baseball is a game of numbers. So I'll leave you with these numbers...

.295 batting average, 696 home runs, and 2086 RBI

by Corey Mansfield

Vermont Bucks logo via their team website
The Vermont Bucks will bring professional football to the Green Mountain state this spring. The Bucks will be a part of the newly formed Can-Am Indoor Football League after their initial league, the American Indoor Football League folded last month.

Overall, I think it's a great idea. However, I have my reservations. Most professional sports teams at this level struggle to succeed and ultimately fail and fold within only a few years. The Bucks need to embrace sustainability and understand that building a solid fan base should be one of their top priorities.

The Bucks and most indoor football teams can viewed as "minor league football" as the major leagues would be the NFL. Like most "minor league" teams they will need to bring fans through the gates through various promotions and spark interest through innovation and affordability.

I've always felt one of the biggest parts of a new organization is their logo and branding. A great logo can spark interest and that alone can sell tickets. I'm not crazy about the Bucks logo, as a matter of fact I don't like it all. It looks rushed and too similar to the Fairfield University logo. I think a better logo would have been a different take on "Buck" and eliminating the "Vermont." Maybe the team could adopt an alternate logo with a shield design similar to this logo but with a buck, a football, and the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain in the background.

Former UVM running back, Bobby Mitchell (UVM archives)
Many young fans in Champlain Valley area know nothing about the history of the University of Vermont football program (Yes! At one point UVM had a football program but eventually folded in 1974).  I think it's important for the Bucks to embrace the roots of football in Vermont especially since they will be playing their home games on the campus of The University of Vermont. A few cool promotions they could do would be inviting some former UVM football players back and doing a bobblehead giveaway of the one greatest players in UVM history, Bobby Mitchell.

The Bucks need to have a great mascot. The Vermont Lake Monsters have one of the best in the business and many kids show up to games just to get an autograph or a photo with Champ. 

As of right now we don't know how much tickets will cost for the Bucks. Will there be a cost to park? All of this plays into the mind of the consumer when are deciding weather to buy tickets. If you are too cheap you can't keep the organization running and if you are too expensive then people won't go. As a consumer and a father of two, I wouldn't spend more than $15 for an adult ticket and $10 for a child for a football game of this level. That means for a family of four you'd paying $50 for game, assuming there is no cost for parking.

These are just a few suggestions I have but that's just me. I'm not in charge. There is still a lot to be determined about the Vermont Bucks. Hopefully everything comes together for them and the have long period of success and sustainability in Vermont.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the Vermont Bucks. So check us out on facebook and leave your feedback.
Here are photos of the game between the Auburn Doubledays and Hudson Valley Renegades on August 19, 2016 at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Travis Ott worked six solid innings on the mound and the Renegades defeated the Doubledays 2-1.

Travis Ott (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Ryan Ripken (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Pre-game autographs (photo credits: Corey Mansfield)

Here photos of the game between the Aberdeen Ironbirds and Tri-City ValleyCats from August 18, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

The ValleyCats defeated the Ironbirds 4-2 behind Alex De Goti, Chuckie Robinson, Rodrigo Ayarza, and Brauly Mejia who collect two hits a piece.

Chris Clare warms up before the game (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

by Corey Mansfield

Here's how some of the local baseball talent and former PGCBL players are doing in professional baseball. 

Ian Anderson, Danville Braves (Atlanta Braves) - The Shenendehowa product and third overall pick in the 2016 draft started his professional career with the Gulf Coast Braves but quickly moved up to the Appalachian League with the Danville Braves (rookie) He went 3 2/3 innings in his first start with Danville allowing one run and two hits.

JaVon Shelby, Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland Athletics) - The former Kentucky Wildcat and Amsterdam Mohawk (PGCBL) has struggled for the Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York-Penn League (short season-A). Shelby is hitting just .194 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 35 games for Vermont.

JaVon Shelby playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Keith Skinner, Staten Island Yankees (New York Yankees) -  The 2013 Amsterdam Mohawk has played in only eight games for the Staten Island Yankees (short season-A) this season. He's hitting .222 in those eight games.

John Sansone, Billing Mustangs (Cincinnati Reds) - Sansone is off to a solid start with the Billings Mustangs in the Pioneer League (rookie). The Florida State standout and 2013 Amsterdam Mohawk is hitting .285 with two home runs and 14 RBI.

Stephen Woods, AZL Giants (San Fransisco Giants) - The former UAlbany pitcher has been pitching well for the AZL Giants in the Arizona League (rookie).  Woods has posted a 3.13 ERA in 23 innings for the Giants rookie league team.

Mike Kaelin, Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels) - Kaelin has been solid since he was promoted to the Burlington Bees in the Midwest League (A). The former University of Buffalo product and Albany Dutchmen has posted a 1.64 ERA in 12 games for the Bees.

Jonny Reid, Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals) - The former Albany Dutchmen was outstanding for the Gulf Coast League Nationals (rookie) and was quickly promoted to their New York-Penn League (short season-A) affiliate the Auburn Doubledays. Reid, a southpaw from Azusa Pacific University has a 1-0 record with a 2.53 ERA for Auburn.

Jake Fishman, GCL Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays) - The former Union College standout has struggled in his first season in professional ball, posting a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings for the Blue Jays rookie league team.

Tyler Orris, Boise Hawks (Colorado Rockies) - The 2013 Albany Dutchmen has struggled with the Boise Hawks and is only hitting .178 in 19 games this season. However, Orris has hit safely in his last three games. Orris was a 33rd round selection by the Colorado Rockies in the 2016 draft.

Zach Remillard, Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) - Fresh off a college world series title with Coastal Carolina, the Cohoes, NY native tore up Arizona League (rookie) pitching with a .310 average in 13 games. Remillard was promoted to Kannapolis in the South Atlantic League (A) and has slowed down, hitting only .227 in 12 games.

Here are photos of the game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and Tri-City ValleyCats on August 7, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

The ValleyCats jumped out to an early lead, scoring eight runs in the first inning and they didn't look back beating the Cyclones 18-4 on Sunday night.

Mets prospect Justin Dunn signs autographs for fans (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Here are photos of the game between the State College Spikes and Vermont Lake Monsters on August 6, 2016 at Centennial Field in Burlington, VT.

State College defeated Vermont 3-2 in extra innings on Saturday. The game was scoreless through the first ten frames but the Spikes broke through with 3 runs in the top of 11th inning. The Lake Monsters mounted a comeback in the bottom of the 11th but it fell short.

From the depth of Lake Champlain... (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Today, Miami Marlins pitching Michael Mader was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with shortstop Anfernee Seymour for pitcher Hunter Cervenka. Mader was also promoted to Double-A Mississippi in the Southern League.

Here are photos of game two of the PGCBL Eastern Division Championship between at the Amsterdam Mohawks and Albany Dutchmen on August 4, 2016 at Bellizzi Field in Albany, NY.

The Dutchmen defeated the Mohawks 4-3 on a Justin Childers walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the series back to Amsterdam for a decisive game three on Friday,

National Anthem (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

Here are photos of the Eastern Divison semi-final of the PGCBL between the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs and Albany Dutchmen on August 2, 2016 at Bellizzi Field in Albany, NY.

Kyle Skeels drove in Jack Gethings on a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Dutchmen over the DiamondDawgs 2-1.

Gavin Wallace (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)
Going over the ground rules (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

The Albany Dutchmen defeated the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs 2-1 on walk-off sacrifice fly from Kyle Skeels that scored Jack Gethings in the bottom of the 11th inning in the semi-finals of PGCBL Eastern Division playoffs. 

The play didn't come without some controversy as it appeared that the Gethings was out at the plate. However, the play was too close to call and the umpire called him safe.

Take a look for yourself...

Here are photos of the game one between the Lowell Spinners and Tri-City ValleyCats from August 1, 2016 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY.

The 'Cats defeated the Spinners 2-1 on a Chuckie Robinson walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning in the first game of a doubleheader.

Jordan Weems (photo credit: Corey Mansfield)

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