April 18, 2014

WFNY Night at Canal Park

Forty-plus came out to our annual event at Canal Park last night. As always the Aeros were gracious hosts, though for the first time since we’ve been getting together (our sixth year) the Aeros did not win on WFNY night. Good times were still had.

As always Jon Cole was there to document the evening in photos-

wfny scoreboard post [Read more...]

WFNY Presents Cleveland Sports Blog Night at Canal Park

It’s back. For the fifth year, WFNY and the Akron Aeros are hosting a Cleveland Sports Blog get together at Canal Park. Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 11th.

As always, we have picked a ‘Thirsty Thursday’ night at the game, meaning select cold beverages (aka cheap beer and soda) are just $1.00. These events are always a great time. We’ve met a ton of great people through them, and we want to meet even more. Chat up your favorite WFNY writers, mix and mingle with other great writers and put a face to the name and avatar from the comments.

Tickets are just $6. We have a section reserved, so make sure you follow the ticket instructions.

[RSVP on Facebook - Share with your friends]

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New look, ‘new ballgame’ for Akron Aeros and Canal Park

Akron aeros opening day

Everyone knows the clichés about first impressions. They last a lifetime, the first few seconds define a relationship, etc. But has anyone heard about using bubbles to make a second first impression?

Bubbles were the item of choice for the new-look, “new ballgame” Akron Aeros on their Opening Day game on Thursday night. The glitz and glamour of the changes to Canal Park in downtown Akron combined with a reinvigorated emphasis on fan experience. [Read more...]

Like Jimmy Haslam III in Cleveland, Ken Babby is a Sign of Hope for Akron Aeros Fans

Disclaimer: I worked for the Akron Aeros in various media capacities from 2008-2010. I maintained many close relationships with my former colleagues.

This November, two candidates are hoping for your votes in the polls as they strive to change the American political scene.

More likely, however, Ohioans and especially Northeast Ohio sports fans have been more inspired and excited about two new faces in town that are delivering sports hope by the bundles.

Jimmy Haslam III, the new official of the Cleveland Browns, has been all over the media in the last few weeks, starting his reign with a bang and doing all of the little things right. But he’s not the only new owner in town making people smile left and right.

Ken Babby, son of long-time NBA agent and executive Lon Babby, also took over ownership over the Double-A Akron Aeros baseball team this week. Terms of the agreement have not been announced, but the 32-year-old retired newspaper guru looks to be taking bold steps for the future over at Canal Park.

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WFNY and Akron Aeros Get Together

Another great night at Canal Park, thanks to our hosts the Aeros and some terrific company! The Aeros won 6-0 as Matt Packer shut down the Altoona line-up. The big blow for Akron was a Beau Mills 3-run home run. But as always, the game was somewhat secondary to the company for this one. [Read more...]

Update on WFNY Night at the Aeros Game

Craig gave you the details for our annual trip to Canal Park in Akron. In case you missed it, Tuesday, July 19th is the date. Last year we had just under 50 total people show up, including writers from Cleveland Frowns, Cleveland Scene, Stepien Rules, Only in Cleveland and more. This year we expect much of the same, including a great turnout from our staff.

Several have inquired about getting tickets with us, and the Aeros have been kind enough to help out in that regard. If you want to sit in the same section as the WFNY staff and other Cleveland sports writers, all you have to do is click this link and purchase your tickets. Use the promo code WFNY and request section 104. Our seats are discounted to $4.50 each. They are great seats on just on the third base side of home plate, with the sun out of our eyes. (This isn’t our first rodeo at Canal Park!)

Come early enough to see Scott throw out the first pitch. Or one of them anyway.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Indians Double Affiliate in Akron Ready to Re-Brand?

We told you a few weeks back that the Akron Aeros were considering changing the name of the team. They ran a contest over at the Akron Beacon Journal asking fans to vote on keeping ‘Aeros’ or suggesting a new monicker.

The results of the original poll are being kept confidential, but the club has released a new contest page with 15 names, including Aeros, for fans to vote on. Names will be eliminated in fives throughout the season until the final five are voted on and a winning name announced after the season has concluded.

Dan Foust said that the team was “Gauging the interest and affinity for the Aeros brand.”

Before the Aeros played in Akron, they were of course the Canton-Akron Indians. The team moved to Akron in 1997, and adopted the name Aeros after fans voted for that name over the ‘Quest’ and the ‘Spirit’. The vote only came to pass because the team’s original name, the ‘Blast’ was deemed inappropriate.

So the name of the franchise is again in the hands of the fans. Here are your choices- [Read more...]

Aeros Consider Name Change, Giving Away Seats for Life

We told you at the beginning of the season that new COO Jim Pfander was determined to make Akron the best AA franchise possible, and that everything was being evaluated and improved where necessary. Apparently that includes the name Aeros as well.

The club is giving away some nice prizes to get your input-

Grand prize winner will receive a pair of season tickets for life, team jacket and baseball cap and ceremonial first pitch for 2012 Home Opener. Four runner-up winners will receive team jacket and baseball cap.

You can suggest a name, or simply vote to keep the Aeros current moniker. [Read more...]

Check out Travis Hafner and the Aeros Tonight

I can speak for all the people who help fill the pages of this site when I say there is never a bad time to go check out the Akron Aeros.  That being said, some nights are, in fact, better than others.  Tonight isn’t crowd favorite “Thirsty Thursday,” but it is a chance to get up close and personal with Travis Hafner who will be there on a rehab assignment when the Aeros take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at 7:05 PM.

Last year the WFNY outing to Akron included a rehabbing Asdrubal Cabrera.  I don’t remember how he did, but it was still pretty cool to see him in such an intimate venue like Canal Park in Akron.  Just imagine if you got to see the lead singer of your favorite band show up to a small club to play an acoustic set.  It is probably the closest sports equivalent.

(It is also unique to baseball unless you count getting to watch B.J. Mullens or Kosta Koufos play in the D-league.) [Read more...]

All Access with the Akron Aeros – Interview with Nick Hagadone

Our man with the Aeros Al DiFranco is back with an interview of one of the Tribe’s bright young stars in the minors.

Nick Hagadone has been one of the Tribe’s most highly regarded prospects since he was acquired in the Victor Martinez trade two seasons ago. This season, the 6’ 5” southpaw has dominated the Eastern League, posting a 1.52 ERA in 12 appearances. In his 23-plus innings of work, Hagadone has struck out 25 batters and walked just eight.

Hagadone entered Wednesday night’s Aeros game against the Altoona Curve with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning and the Aeros leading 8-5. He retired all three batters he faced, allowing only one of the inherited runners to score in a critical part of the game. The Aeros went on to record a 16-6 win over the Curve and pulled into a first-place tie in the Eastern League Western Division.

I spent some time with Nick Hagadone before Wednesday’s game and asked him some questions so we could learn more about him on and off the mound. Here are some highlights from our conversation: [Read more...]

Akron Aeros Make Terrific Hosts

Last night in Akron was sweet. Or should I say suite?

The Aeros posted a 6-3 win against Reading, and hosted a group of WFNY writers and family/friends in a party suite to try the new food items that we hve talked about over the long winter. Naturally, we brought WFNY’s favorite photographer Jon Cole along to capture the events for us, and you. [Read more...]

Akron Aeros at it Again, Introducing Two More Hot Dogs

If the “Three Dog Night”  and “Nice 2 Meat You” Burger were not enough to fill you up on a trip to Canal Park, the Akron Aeros would like to introduce you to two more of their upcoming culinary creations at Canal Park.

Keeping up with their initial promise of an additional  menu item prior to the start of the season, the Aeros have opted to provide not just one new hot dog-based item for the month of February, but fans will have their choice of size now that the 2011 baseball season will feature the half-pound, 14-inch “Wonderdog” as well as the full pound, 16-inch “Eighth Wonder of the World,” both pictured above in comparison to a standard stadium hot dog.

Both of the last two items we discussed understandably pride themselves on girth.  This time around, it is not exactly the size that matters.  

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Akron Aeros Introduce the Three Dog Night (With Updated Calorie Count)

While John Madden is slicing up Turduckens with his bare hands and Ted Mosby is opting for an additional turkey instead of the duck and chicken, the Akron Aeros are taking a Thanksgiving Day delicacy and turning it up a notch.  Swapping the birds for dogs – hot dogs, that is.

Enter the everso esculent “Three Dog Night.” 

Named after the late-60s rock band that popularized the song “Joy to the World,” the Aeros will be serving up a trio of ballpark favorites…all in one edible item.  That is correct: the Three Dog Night will consist of a hot dog, inside of a bratwurst, inside of a kielbasa.  And if that isn’t enough, the entire “dog” will be stuffed inside of a hoagie roll and topped with sauerkraut.

You read that right. [Read more...]

Aeros Reliever Nick Hagadone Re-Adjusting to Familiar Role

Before the 2010 season started, Baseball America named Nick Hagadone the third-best prospect in the Cleveland Indians system. A dominating presence on the mound at 6’5″, 230-lbs and a left-hander, it made perfect sense for the publication to view him in such a fashion.

He was arguably the player with the most upside acquired from Boston in last year’s Victor Martinez deal alongside Justin Masterson and current teammate Bryan Price. The Red Sox clearly viewed him as a top prospect earlier as well, selecting him as the 55th overall pick (supplemental first round) in the June 2007 Draft after a successful career at the University of Washington.

Unfortunately, June 2008 Tommy John surgery on his left elbow limited his development process. He resumed pitching last season but remained on a strict pitch count up through this year as well. Struggling to find his consistency in his few innings as a starter, it then made a ton of sense for the Indians to decide to shift Hagadone into a more natural role as a reliever last month.
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Deadline Deals Provide Even More Tribe Pitching Prospects (Part 1)

While the recent success of Josh Tomlin and Jeanmar Gomez has shocked many, it has not surprised those who have been around the Indians system all year. Assisted by last year’s moves at the trade deadline and then cemented in July 2010, Cleveland is now stacked with pitchers up and down the minor leagues. From dominant starters to shutdown relievers to potential situational lefties, there is certainly no shortage of arms for the future in the Indians system.

These two posts will introduce folks to new names thriving this season as well as updates on well-known entities. There are certainly enough studs and serviceable MLB parts to really give Cleveland an above-average pitching staff, at the least, within the next year or two.

Upper Levels: We’ll start off today with pitchers now playing for either Triple-A Columbus or Double-A Akron. All of these players have the upper level potential to contribute by September this year but all should be a part of the off-season plan and in Cleveland by 2011. [Read more...]

Aerodynamics: Catching up with the Double-A Akron Aeros 7/24/10

Seven straight wins started the second half of the 2010 season for the Akron Aeros and moved the team into a great position for a playoff run. After continuing to dominate the last-place Erie SeaWolves for four contests, the Aeros then also swept the first-place Altoona Curve to move to only 5.5 games behind the division lead. This is the lowest margin for the team since mid-April while the seven games above .500 was also a season high. Led by many of the top young prospects in the Indians system such as Alex White, Jason Kipnis (pictured to the right) and others, this is a dangerous team that could continue to improve as the summer progresses.

The Aeros return home again Monday night for the start of a seven-game home stand. There are many specials going on from Christmas in July Tuesday to Tropical Beach Night Thirsty Thursday and Fireworks Friday Kids Cancer Survivors Celebration. Join the team at Canal Park for yet another exciting summer of Double-A baseball.

Last 10 Days: 7-2
Current Record: 52-47, 3rd place (of six) in the Eastern League’s Western Division

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Starter Alex White Gaining Confidence for Double-A Akron

From bizarre to typical to incredible, the story of Alex White in the Cleveland Indians organization continues to intrigue every passing day. Drafted in the first round of last year’s MLB Draft out of North Carolina, White was slated from the beginning as an eventual reliever for the long-term in Cleveland.

The comments from the Indians were immediate, including those from Bud Grant, director of amateur scouting, who was paraphrased as saying to the Plain Dealer that: “White likely will be converted to a reliever, a process that would begin next season. The Indians view him as a power arm in the back end of the bullpen.”

Since that point in time, the organization has fallen away from that track and had White begin his professional career this April in Kinston as a starter. Not only has he proved to be worthy of his $2.25 million last-minute signing bonus since that time, but he has promptly emerged as possibly the best right-handed pitching prospect in Cleveland in the last decade.
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Diary of a First Pitch

I watched the movie The Bucket List the other day. You know the concept of a bucket list- things you’d like to do before you kick the bucket. My wife and I starting verbalizing a list. A lot of our list includes travel destinations. One item that was on my list I got to scratch off just last week. [Read more...]

Cleveland Sports Blog Night at Canal Park: In Pictures

Last Thursday was the second annual event. As always, thanks to Jacob Rosen, Mike Link and the Akron Aeros staff for their help in pulling the event off. Also thanks to Pete Pattakos and Vince Grzegorek for helping promote the event. Perfect weather (maybe a little hot) and a bigger crowd than last year helped make the event a success. An Aeros win certainly didn’t hurt either. It was nice to meet some new blood, but great to spend time with ‘old friends’ as well. Watching the group interact it was hard to believe that a good portion of them met for the first time last year at the Aeros event. Hope you can make the next one. Now, here is the evening in pictures through the lens of Jon Cole.

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Cleveland Sports Blog Outing Game Preview – Akron Aeros vs. Erie SeaWolves

For the second year in a row, many of your favorite WFNY writers will gather at an Akron Aeros game for a classic Thirsty Thursday at Canal Park. The contest starts tonight at 7:05 pm against the Erie SeaWolves, Akron’s closest rival in the Eastern League. Scott, Rick, Craig, Brendan and new WFNY weekend editor Brendan Bowers from Stepien Rules are all expected to be on hand along with our blogging friends from Cleveland FrownsScene ’64 and Counting, Land Loyalty and the Orange and Brown Report.

Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will be starting for Akron tonight as he continues his rehab assignment from his fractured left forearm. Tonight is also affiliates night at Canal Park, featuring many of the top mascots in the Indians organization in the Progressive Field hot dogs, Slider, Lou Seal, Krash, Skipper and Scrappy. Thirsty Thursday then means that 12-oz. soft drinks and draft beer are only $1 until the end of the seventh inning.

So join WFNY and others for tonight’s contest in downtown Akron. Feel free to join us at the contest at Canal Park and more info about tonight’s Aeros game is below the jump:

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