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We are back, we are
blogging and the Tourists open up the season tonight in the thriving metropolis
of Kannapolis (polis means city in ancient Greek, but I am sure we all knew
that) This season the weblog will be updated more frequently with more Tourists
cartoons, insightful insight, storied stories and fewer spelling errors, . errors.

    Does the Burger King Sponge Bob Baby Got Back Commercial make anyone else wonder about the limits of marketing as well?


        The Tourists will be attempting to top their
better-than-everyone-else run to the postseason that started essentially here
in Kannapolis last season.  The great Chacin tossed eight innings and
allowed one hit as the Tourists took three of four from the Intimidators en
route to a great outstanding season. We
will try not to wax too poetic about last season’s “playoff caliber-four
all-star-MVP- Minor League Pitcher of the Year-No Hitter-RBI and SB king”
filled team, but you could
understand how that might be tough.

            That, my friends is all in the past and tonight 20 new
faces and five familiar ones will take the field to grab that spring hope and
watch it blossom into a well oiled machine that will take on any challengers
and crush all hope of opposition. Like a team full of RoboCops and Terminators…
or.. yeah…something to that effect.



    As we will bring you the players, faces, names
backgrounds and games during the season, it seems appropriate to begin with one
face that has remained a constant in Asheville
baseball.. yes of course, the reigning back-to-back manager of the year Joe


33% ? Not A Great Free
Throw Percentage….

Unless of course you are Memphis basketball or
perhaps 33% is how often you win Manager of the Year in the South Atlantic
League.  Joe Mikulik in nine seasons
(entering tenth, a record in itself but that’s for another time) as the skipper
for the Asheville
nine has won the award three times. So yes “technically” that’s 33.333333% or
so, but who’s really counting (unless you are a bank, than you KNOW no one is
counting how much tax payer money you have spent in regards to … oh never

 “Mik” may or may not think such a feat is a great
outstanding. In fact he may point to the development of so many players form Asheville to Colorado, or
in fact for our weblog purposes, from the Blue Ridge to the Rockies.
Take in consideration six of the starting nine players in the Rockies opening
day lineup played in Asheville
at one time. Or perhaps the 14 players on the 2007 wild world-series Rockies roster also had that distinction.

            To really marvel in Mik’s accomplishments is to look at
the league itself. The South Atlantic League has 16 members and ties the
largest minor league circuit. Only the Triple-A Pacific Coast League has as
many teams. Some leagues at higher levels (looking at you California,
Carolina and Texas leagues) have as few as eight members.
You don’t have to be an online poker player who sits at home all day drinking
Mountain Dew and eating girl scout cookies that you said you would pay for but
didn’t to know that the odds of winning an award or championship is
significantly diminished with more teams ad more hands trying to grab the pot.

            So as three-time manager of the year, those accolades may
be something small for Mikulik, but they are a constant reminder of the amount
of respect had for him by every player, coach and fan that he has touched in
some way. ENJOY THE SEASON.. comic strip debut tomorrow!



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