It’s Great to be Back

By Matt Appel

ValleyCats Fans, 

Hello! It has been far too long since we last spoke. Words can’t describe how excited I am to be back in Tri-City for the 2013 season as the team’s play-by-play voice and media relations coordinator. As I’m sure many of you are, I am eagerly awaiting the first pitch at around roughly 7:05 pm on June 17th…not that any one is counting or anything.

All of us here at “The Joe” are working in hard in preparation for the start of the season. In fact, I think I the outfield grass is being trimmed right now. From an on-field perspective, the MLB Draft kicks off in less than a week on June 6th. It is from that pool of players that most of the 2013 ValleyCats will be comprised of, so we will make sure to keep a very close eye on that. In fact, I will be hosting a live draft chat (look for link info as we get closer), and I encourage as many of you as possible to join in to as the Astros, owners of another #1 overall pick, select their players of the future, some of which will be here in Troy shortly thereafter. 

It will be a little bit of a different look here in Tri-City in 2013, as the coaching staff is an entirely new one. Stubby Clapp, Mark Bailey, and Rick Aponte give way to Ed Romero, Russ Steinhorn, and Doug White. We will profile the new coaches as the season gets closer to its start. Even though the ‘Cats ultimately fell one game short of a 2nd franchise championship in 2012, the way the Astros organization has been drafting over the last few years, it would not surprise me to see another very competitive team in 2013. 

As for the ‘Cats Corner, I’m very happy to announce that the popular “Pregame Meal” segment that we started last year will make a triumphant return this summer. All of us involved with ‘Cats Corner promise to provide to you all the most up-to-date, relevant, interesting, and in-depth information all season long. We have some great ideas for new articles and videos that will keep the ‘Cats Corner as your “one-stop shopping” for all things ValleyCats.

Once again, I can not express how thrilled I am to be back covering the ValleyCats in 2013, and most importantly, how great it is to write and speak to you all, the strong ValleyCats faithful. Your passion for this organization on and off the field is inspiring, and I can’t wait to see you all out at the ballpark in just a few short weeks!




“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring” -Rogers Hornsby 

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