Jon Mueller is in his seventh season as the leader of the Great Danes. After setting a school record with 37 wins in 2004, Albany finished 20-19 a year ago. Mueller, who played in the Northern and Northeast leagues from 1994-2000, will contribute a journal to for the second season.






March 3, 2006

New Turf, a Wheelchair & a Little Southern Home Cookin'


The team arrived back in Albany Jan. 22 looking for its place in history.  


The goals remain the same, the faces change. This winter, the northeast has been given a bit of a reprieve from the weather. The groundhog has continued his torrid streak (seven years) and has promised us all to stretch winter deep into baseball season. 


This is the deal in the northeast.  It may not snow a lot this year, but he will keep it so cold that the entire inside part of your head starting with your nostrils takes 10 minutes to thaw out when you get inside your office. 


The early-morning practices have been replaced this year with afternoons on the turf.  With the new turf field, we have been able to get out side about 10 times. 


It’s unreal how much you can get done outdoors. I guess I had forgotten my time in Florida, and how valuable cuts and relays are when they are done with the proper dynamics included. Fly ball communication in January is unheard of in these parts.

This year has brought a new staff member on board, Greg Keagle. He made it up to the show at one point, and I figured he would be a good guy to lead our staff. 


We also picked up a free agent manager who has been on my back for two years. Cookie has been asking me if he could help with the team for some time, and he finally wore me down. I guess I had to get over my own fear of challenged individuals to move forward with him being with us. Funny how that works?  Well, I guess all of those squats didn’t do me any good with this one.  He has been an inspiration to all of us. He flies around the floor cutting off balls that squirt from the cages and also provides very advance scouting reports with spray charts and tendencies. Amazing how much you can get done with the computer. 


Our first series down at Georgia State was a good one, and we opened with a win. It’s good to get that win out of the way early so you can loosen up the clubhouse a little. At this point in the year, we are counting pitch counts more than wins - but it is never bad when you go south and get one for the road. 


The next two games saw some expected mistakes and some pitching woes, but all in all, we had a good time. We did some racing around the Atlanta airport to get to our flight, but the Panthers were good hosts. Mike Hurst is a class act and a good ole southern fella. 


Great selection on the music - the squad gets an automatic “A” for the choice of Building a Religion by Cake. 


The next series included a 16-hour bus ride to South Carolina to battle Wofford. A couple of the kids had played for my assistant Garret Baron this summer in the CPL, so he was anxious to see them. 


We played perfect in the opener and smacked it around pretty good to the tune of a 16-2 victory. 


The problem with kids is that they have high opinions of themselves when they taste some success, and I felt what was coming on the bus to the yard. Our chests needed to be kicked in, and they were the next day. 


The finale saw a good comeback in the later innings, and even a late lead for the Danes. However, we had someone in uniform who wanted some attention. It was the home plate ump. He felt he needed to be a larger part of the game than necessary, and he did just that. With one move, he called the slide rule which ended our rally, stopped the ninth run from scoring, and got them out of a jam. 


That being said, we still went out and did not pitch the way we could have, and so on and so forth.  It’s never bad when you get some good ole Southern cooking.  Just be careful what kind of cooking that it is.



(photo courtesy of Albany Media Relations Office)