Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Knights Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Nashville,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Nashville Knights baseball player.

The bat bags were hung from the dug out with care,
In hopes that opening day soon would be there.

The Knights were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of a league championship danced in their heads.
And Bill in his catchers gear, and I in my maroon cap,
Had just stretched out our old bodies for an off season nap.

When out on the infield there arose such a clatter,
the Knights sprang from the dugout to see what was the matter.
Away to Merrill's pitching machine the Knights flew in a flash,
Tore open a dozen new balls and began to hit with a smash.

The lights from Independence School on the freshly cut grass,
Gave the lustre of a big league field to the Knights as they practiced.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a sleeveless Ross Harkins as the crowd began to cheer.

With a tobacco chewing pitcher, so lively and quick,
I new in a moment it had to be right hander Robin Burnette.
More rapid than galloping horses the Knights they came,
As Coach Gubbins whistled, and shouted and called them by name.

Now Scott, now Steve, now Bruce and Jim, on Mark, on Doc,on Doug and David,
To the top of the batting order, to the top of the standings,
Now hit away, hit away, hit away all.

Santa sprang from the dugout to stand in the on deck circle,
And before disappearing into the sky gave his final pregame insight,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good Knight !

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Make Run At Bernitt
Considered Top Off Season Target


With the 2009 Spring and Fall seasons behind them, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Nashville Knights have begun looking ahead to the 2010 campaign.

Sources close to the Knights have confirmed that in addition to a beefed up off season training and conditioning program, the Knights have also let it be known that they will be aggressively involved in the upcoming free agent market.

The Knights move into the free agent race comes on then heels of a team press release announcing that 2009 All Star Steve Ray has elected to opt out of the final year of his contract and will be heading North to play in the "You Damn Yankee League"

Along with Ray's departure, it has also been rumored that Jon "Rocket" Rotker, who missed most of the 2009 season while rehabing from a late season injury in 2008, is himself looking at testing the free agent waters and will possibly bail out on the Knights.

When contacted at his off season estate in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Knights Head Coach Bill Gubbins would only confirm Ray's departure while adding that the club expected to make a strong run at retaining Rotker. "We consider Jon a Knight, and once you've been on the dark side, it's hard to go back into the light" added Gubbins.

When pushed for insight on what other plans the Knights had for this off season, Gubbins didn't waste a second before saying "Pitchers and free agents." Gubbins then added that for the first time in years, the Knights have let it be known that they will open the checkbook and make a run in the free agent market.

"Specifically" said Gubbins, "we want to make sure that we resign free agent Don Bernitt." Continued Gubbins, "after watching him play in 2009, it's no doubt that Don has lost a few steps as he has aged, but at the same time, those appear to be steps most players never had."

Although attempts to reach Bernitt were unsuccessful, reports say that Bernitt, who is planning to climb Mt Shasta next June, has made progress in overcoming a late season knee injury and was seen climbing Mt LaConte in the Smokey Mountains and Eagles Peak in Colorado over the past few weeks.

With just weeks to go until Thanksgiving, it's now hot stove time for the Knights and the rest of the league. If initial indicators hold true, it appears to be only a matter of time before we again hear........


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Knight Falls..Season Over

Knights Upset
Playoff Run Over

Almost to a player, the reaction was the same. "What the heck just happened?" In an outcome that few saw coming, the Knights last evening were unceremoniously bounced from the 2009 Cumberland Valley Adult Baseball League Championship Series.

"I hope I speak for everyone on this team when I say this sucks" said first year Knight Don Bernitt following the game. "I fu*&#ing hate to lose." added Bernitt has he packed his bag for the last time this year and headed home for the off season.

Bernitt, who was not in the lineup last evening, went on to vent that he was of the breed that "the feeling of losing is far worse then the good feeling that comes with winning." Added Bernitt, "I've said for a long time, you show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

In game action, the Knights fell behind early and then showing the grit that has grown on the team as the season unfolded, battled back to make it close before falling in the end by a final score of 12 -7

"We let too many runners get in scoring position and that will kill you" said Manager Bill Gubbins at his post game press conference. "At the plate," added Gubbins, "we couldn't seem to capitalize on our chances" as he replayed how not just once but twice the Knights were snake bitten when they had the bases loaded and appeared primed to take the lead.

Gubbins comments pointed to both the 3rd and 5th innings, when the Knights loaded the bases only to have the innings snuffed when hard hit balls by Doug Weaver and Ross Harkins were snagged in circus fashion in the outfield to end the scoring threats.

"They say it's a game of inches and those two balls show you why" said Gubbins as he watched the video clips of the two hard hit balls being caught. "I also have to question if the ball hit by Doug was really caught or not" continued the Knights Manger as he strained to see if in fact it was actually trapped and not caught as was ruled by the field umpire.

"Hey, but anyway you look at it," concluded Gubbins, "we had a fun year and I think everyone on this team will look back on it as a summer to remember and a season to build on." With that, Gubbins removed his catchers gear and began the long walk to season ending shower that no player looks forward to.

And so it goes, the 2009 season is now in the history books and the 2010 season has begun. With retirements, trades, free agent signings and the expansion draft now looming, only time will tell what the next vintage of the Knights will be like. But, one thing that can be said for sure and can be put in writing for all to see, you can bet that 2010 will be a............

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Knight!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's A New Knight

Regular Season In The Books
Playoffs To Start

Three months ago, they didn't know each other. Today, the Knights can look back on the regular season that was, and the playoff run that is about to be.

Playing their final regular season game of the year yesterday, the Knights showed why they have become the team that "nobody wants to play."

The day for the Knights started with a strong 3 inning performance by right hander Steve Ray. Add in several circus catches by All Star center fielder Doug Weaver, and the Knights were holding tough against league powerhouse Tennessee Dirtbags. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't meant to be. Following the strong start, the Knights struggled in the middle innings before mounting a end of game comeback that concluded with the Knights winding up on the wrong side of the 11-6 final.

"No question we will need the fresh arms of Robin and Ross to help us advance through the upcoming tournament." said Player Manager Bill Gubbins following the game. Gubbins was referring to Knight's Robin Burnette and Ross Harkins who have become the cornerstones of the Knights pitching staff, and, who both have been unable to pitch down the stretch for the Knights.

Up first in the League Championship Series for the Knights is a scheduled Tuesday night tilt against the Cardinals, with the winner of the game advancing to the Championship Semi Finals on Thursday night. "It's win or go home" said Gubbins as he reviewed team stats looking for the best lineup combination leading up to the post season.

And so it goes. The Knights now round third and head for home. The regular season is over and it's now time for Money Ball. So, hang in and hang for it's about to become a......

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Knight!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hot Days.. Cold Knights..

Not Today
Hunters Lane

As the Knights prepared to break camp this past spring and begin their 2009 campaign, it was veteran Merrill Jackson who summed it up best, "In order to win in this league you need good pitching, good defense, and good hitting."

Jackson's words rang loud and clear yesterday as the Knights battled the scorching summer heat and league leading Thunder. Playing in front of a sparse August crowd, the Knights forgot part three of Jackson's equation as they appeared to have left their bats on the team bus.

Facing the Thunders ace left handed pitcher, C.C. Samantha, the Knights struggled through out the game to catch up with the southpaws fastball, and by games end could mustered only 4 walks and 1 hit in the losing effort.

As has been the tone set latley by the Knights, there were bright spots to be found on the day. Now gearing up for the playoff run, the Knights once again worked a mix and match pitching rototion that allowed for additional game condition experience for right handers Mark Gardner, Scott McKissack and Steve Ray.

"I told the team that we're in a marathon, not a sprint" said Player Manager Bill Gubbins following the game, "it's late in the season and we still have some fresh arms available, I like our chances" concluded Gubbins as he smashed his bat against a Tennessee Stinging Red Wasp that had been buzzing the Knights dug out most of the game.

With the dog days of summer now in full bark, it's go time for the Knights as they take the week off to prepare for the final charge of the reguaar season and start the playoff run. As we have seen all year, there is no telling what the outcome will be, but this is for sure, it's been a....

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good KNIGHT !

Friday, August 7, 2009

Harkins Placed On 21 Day Disabled List

Harkins Shelved
Could Be Out For Season


In a statement released by the Knights front office today, it has announced that the leading vote getter in this years All Star voting, Ross Harkins, has been placed on the 21 Day Disabled List retroactive to July 27th.

The announcement, which coincides with Harkins absence from the Knights last few games, stated that Harkins appeared to have suffered a partial tear of rotator cuff during his last game with the Knights.

Although initial test results have not been made public, it has been confirmed that Harkins is currently in Kansas City to seek examination and advice from shoulder specialist Sandy Armstrong.

When contacted via cell phone, Harkins said that it was on a bang - bang grounder to short play that he first felt the twinge of pain that has now manifested itself into the possible season ending injury.

"Yea, it's not good" said Harkins before adding that he is for all intents, unable to throw at all. "I tried to toss a Nurf Ball during my exam and I thought my arm was going to fall off" said Harkins as he fought back tears at the tought of being placed on the PUP list.

Harkins said that he will spend the next few days in intensive rehab that will include Hay Bale tossing as part of the routine. "I don't see myself pitching again this year, but I hope to try and swing the bat if nothing else" concluded Harkins.

Reached at the Knights training complex this afternoon, team Player - Manger Bill Gubbins said that he had not talked to Harkins today but that he was aware of the situation. "We knew about this last week and although we will miss his innings, I'm confident that our bullpen will rise to the occasion."

With that said, Gubbins was seen scrolling thru his phone contact list and the call was heard...."Hey Merrill, get ready"

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good KNIGHTS!

Knights Stumble

Layoff Shows
Thompsons Station

In a season that has since week one been hit by rain out after rain out, the Knights took to the field last night for what seemed liked to be the first time in a month.

With the regular season coming to an end, and the playoffs coming into focus, the Knights last night showed the ill effects of their recent layoff as they came out flat and were never really in the game.

After scoring in the first inning, the Knights then struggled the rest of the game to mount much of an offense. "It comes down to timely hitting, and we didn't get the job done tonight" said Player - Manager Bill Gubbins as he slammed his batting helmet against the dug out wall following the game.

Gubbins comments reflected the fact that although Knights Robin Burnette and Steve Ray each had a multiple hits night, combined with towering doubles off the fence by Darin Kellett and David Hall, the rest of the Knights bats were all but silent during the course of the game.

As previously mentioned, the Knights have been hit hard by the rainmaker dance this season, but as it is well known, following the rains come the sun. To that end, there were a few rays of sunshine for the Knights last evening as the club smooths its edges in preparation for the playoff run.

"We got a chance to get some experience under our belts" said Gubbins as he pointed out that pitchers Mark Gardner and David Hall each got in a couple of good innings on the hill. "I gotta tell ya" added Gubbins, "I like our pitching staff going down the stretch"

Next up for the Knights, a Saturday 10:00 AM matinee at Hunters Lane in suburban Nashville. With the season rapidly coming to an end, it's fair to ask, are these Knights the favorites to win the upcoming tournament and league championship? In a recent Mason - Dixon poll it has been determined that although not a favorite to win it all, the Knights do sit as the team that other clubs in the league have named the "Team you least want to play."

And so it goes, the Knights are back in the saddle and ready to go, so sit back and enjoy the ride as the 2009 Knights round third and head for home.

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good KNIGHT !