Player Perspective: First Tennessee Park Update

The calendar has turned into a new year and the countdown for baseball has commenced. Excitement surrounding the upcoming baseball season is strong with regards to Nashville’s new ballpark, First Tennessee Park. When the Sounds begin their 2015 home schedule on April 17, the team will christen the new park.

We have written about the press’ view for Opening Day, but this post is dedicated to the athletes who will hit home runs, make great plays and record strikeouts. The picture below is a view of the batter’s eye, including where home plate and the pitcher’s mound will be.

First-Tennessee-Park-Construction-Pitchers-Mound-and-Home-Plate-Nashville-Sounds-2015

For those looking for a full perspective of the batter eye’s, the picture below shows it all. It sure is going to be hard to beat a view of the Nashville skyline on a summer night.

First-Tennessee-Park-Construction-Nashville-Sounds-2015

Be sure to keep up to date with all the construction photos at the ballpark’s website. Season tickets are also on sale by calling (615) 690-4487.

First Tennessee Park Tent Events

Baseball in Nashville is close to being back and we are very excited about it. The 2015 season has a lot of distinctive features to it, including a new state-of-the-art ballpark.

In order to build additional excitement about the opening of the park, the Sounds are hosting events on site at First Tennessee Park. These tent events are an opportunity to learn more about the park, gain knowledge of exclusive offers for purchasing tickets, and get an up close look at construction progress. Those interested in attending a future tent event should contact Leon at 615-690-4487 ext. 146.

Here are a few pictures we snapped at the first tent event. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for even more photos. We hope you can join us for one soon!

Photo Jan 14, 12 06 40 PM

Photo Jan 14, 12 43 57 PM

Photo Jan 14, 12 47 55 PM

Photo Jan 14, 12 50 26 PM

Photo Jan 14, 12 53 21 PM

Scarsone On Billy Beane, Twitter & Future Goals

150105-Steve-Scarsone-Nashville-Sounds-blog

It was announced on December 2 that Steve Scarsone would be the 26th manager in Nashville Sounds’ history. The 48-year old will be entering his third season as the skipper for Oakland’s top minor league affiliate and his seventh overall season in the Athletics organization. The veteran manager compiled a .549 winning percentage over the last two years at Triple-A and has recorded winning seasons in five of his eight years at the helm.

He took some time recently to answer a few questions regarding his playing career, family and of course, coming to the South. In the third and final part of our interview with Nashville’s newest manager, we talk about Billy Beane’s busy offseason, his daughter’s presence in his social media life and future goals.

Nashville Sounds: Athletics’ GM Billy Beane has been extremely busy this offseason. How have those moves set up your job as a manager in Triple-A?

Steve Scarsone: I’m curious to see some of the players that we’re getting in these big trades. A lot of guys have a strong chance of being candidates of landing on our team.

Sometimes on the surface you may ask yourself, “What is he doing?”, but Billy is always looking for players who represent themselves on and off the field. He never looks at a player based solely on numbers.

Essentially, the A’s player is a handpicked type of guy. At the end of the day, we usually get great production out of them. I’m sure the group that comes to Nashville will be solid guys who are ready to compete and show why they belong at that level. Without a doubt, we’re going to have a strong club that continues our winning ways.

The Nashville and Oakland connection will definitely end up being a win-win for both sides. Everyone in the Athletics’ front office is trying to assemble a top-notch club. We’re going to give it all we’ve got and bring in guys to make Nashville see the trades are worth it.

Nashville Sounds: We have been following you on a Twitter for a couple weeks and noticed a strong bond between you and your daughter. She seems to be someone you care for deeply and I am sure spending time with her in Nashville is something you are looking forward to…

Steve Scarsone: My whole family is very into what I do. They’ve been around it for a while. We’re not your typical baseball family in the sense that we don’t live and die by it. We love to be around the game but there’s also many other things we enjoy to do as a family.

As far as my daughter, she doubles as my publicist. I don’t really know much about Twitter or Facebook so Leah lets me know when to reach out to someone. She follows the game and all the players on the team. Social media has helped her communicate with some of the guys. Anytime you feel like you have a personal connection with the guys on the field, it makes it a lot more enjoyable.

She keeps an eye out for me and makes sure I’m reaching out to some of them. That’s one of my main focuses. I want the players to understand that I care a little bit about their personal lives.  A couple weeks ago, Nate Freiman had a child. Leah came in and was showing me all these updates and pictures. I tweeted my congratulations to him then. She’s a great help to me with all that stuff.

Nashville Sounds: The 2015 season opens on April 9, two days before your 49th birthday. What are your future aspirations in baseball or outside of baseball?

Steve Scarsone: I consider myself a baseball-lifer at this point. I plan on being involved in the game until someone tells me I can’t be any longer. A career goal is to be a coach at the top level somewhere. If it’s a manager down the line, it would probably be one of the greater accomplishments of my life. To make a major league staff that gets to the World Series, that would be the primary goal.

A big thanks to Steve Scarsone for chatting with us and being available to answer questions. Be sure to check out part one and part two of our interview with Nashville’s manager.

Twitter Talk: December Awards

December always seems to be the busiest month of the year. People are always traveling, shopping and preparing themselves for a whole new year. Similarly, baseball teams remain occupied when they attend the Winter Meetings, make trades and begin to count down the days until Spring Training arrives. It seems like a non-stop month that is gone before most people know it.

In the spirit of a busy month, SoundBytes has decided to make December’s Twitter Talk all about awards. Check out which of your favorite players won accolades like the “Most Clever,” “Best Movie Quoter” and “Most Prepared For Zombie Apocalypse.”

“Tidings Of Joy” Tweet: Nate Freiman is now a father!

“Holiday Spirit” Tweet: What says getting into the holiday spirit like a Clark Griswold hockey jersey?

“Dedication” Tweet: They say baseball players don’t have an offseason.

“Most Clever” Tweet: See what the new skipper did there?

“Talking Truth” Tweet: The debate continues for college football fans everywhere.

“Bringing It Back” Tweet: We’re hopeful this pans out.

“Watch Where You’re Walking” Tweet: Make sure you look both ways when crossing the street.

“Best Weekend Activity” Tweet: What is, “What baseball players do on weekends?”

“Most Prepared For A Zombie Apocalypse” Tweet: Doolittle channeled his inner Officer Rick Grimes.

“Best Movie Quote” Tweet: Someone has been playing fooseball with his friends.

From all of us at the Sounds, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Scarsone On Playing & Managing Baseball

It was announced on December 2 that Steve Scarsone would be the 26th manager in Nashville Sounds’ history. The 48-year old will be entering his third season as the skipper for Oakland’s top minor league affiliate and his seventh overall season in the Athletics organization. The veteran manager compiled a .549 winning percentage over the last two years at Triple-A and has recorded winning seasons in five of his eight years at the helm.

He took some time recently to answer a few questions regarding his playing career, family and of course, coming to the South. In part two of our interview with Nashville’s newest manager, we discuss how his playing career in the Majors helps him relate to guys in the minors.

141219---Steve-Scarsone-Nashville-Sounds-blog-Major-League-Timeline

Nashville Sounds: You played for five different Major League teams in seven seasons. How did your playing career in the MLB set you up for success as a manager?

Steve Scarsone: For me it was all about the opportunity to get a chance to watch Big League managers work. Getting an opportunity to play under a host of different guys with totally different styles was a great thing for me. I learned the importance of carrying myself with professionalism. Dusty Baker was the manager I played the most for and I probably use his teachings the most. They say he’s a player’s manager and he definitely was.

For our team this year, it’s going to be hard day-in and day-out. I don’t hold players to things they can’t achieve, but I do challenge them to reach their highest level. That’s an important thing to infuse in guys.

Late in my career, I bounced around with different teams and went through the difficulty of finding myself back in the minor leagues after having already played in the Majors. That was tough. At this level, guys are living through what I’ve already lived through. It takes a while for guys to figure it out, but they slowly start to realize that I know where they’ve been. Once they are able to see that, their performance and their attitude begin to improve.

I should also note that my work as a manager was nothing without the coaches around me. The staffs I’ve been surrounded with have been great supporting the common goal. I’m not the type of coach that thinks I can do it all on my own. The coaches I’ve worked with put in just as much effort and it’s shown through all the great teams I’ve been a part of. Baseball will always be a full staff effort.

Nashville Sounds: Mentioning your time in the MLB, is there one moment or memory that is most special to you?

Steve Scarsone: It was a really nice run I had with the Giants for a few years (1993-96). The first year getting there in ‘93 we won 103 games during the regular season. Around that time, Atlanta was starting to grow into the strong opponent of the West. We were in a really tight race with the Braves in our division. Leading into that last week of the season, I was able to hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth in a game against Colorado. It proved to be the game-winner and helped us move into first. That was a huge moment for a young rookie at that time. It was big for me to do my little piece for the team during the heat of the race.

Stay tuned for more with Nashville’s new manager or read up on his comments about Nashville here.

Press Perspective: Progress Continues On First Tennessee Park

FTP View 2 EditYou see that red circle up there in the club level of First Tennessee Park? Well, I’m excited to say I have Picked My Seat, for that is where this Soundbytes blogger will be set up.

What does the view look like from such a great location? Something like this.

FTP View

SoundBytes is excited about taking in baseball with such a great view in 2015. But don’t worry, the press aren’t the only attendees getting a great vantage of the city, because every view at First Tennessee Park is going to be great!

If you are curious about sights from other parts of the park, check out the updated albums list. If you like what you see, consider season tickets for the inaugural season of First Tennessee Park.

Scarsone on Music City & First Tennessee Park

It was announced on December 2 that Steve Scarsone would be the 26th manager in Nashville Sounds’ history. The 48-year old will be entering his third season as the skipper for Oakland’s top minor league affiliate and his seventh overall season in the Athletics organization. The veteran manager compiled a .549 winning percentage over the last two years at Triple-A and has recorded winning seasons in five of his eight years at the helm.

He took some time recently to answer a few questions regarding his playing career, family and of course, coming to the South. In part one of our interview with Nashville’s newest manager, we talk Nashville and First Tennessee Park.

141215---Steve-Scarsone-Nashville-Sounds-Blog

Nashville Sounds: Oakland’s announcement for minor league coaching staff happened just two weeks ago. Of course, it revealed you landing in Nashville. What were the initial thoughts of coming to Music City?

Steve Scarsone: We had heard that Nashville was a possible landing spot for the team for a while. Everyone was really excited about the announcement when it came. The city of Nashville isn’t normally the type of city you find a minor league team in. I would call it a Major League city. I’m excited about getting to know parts of Nashville that you can’t see when just playing there four days as a visiting team. I imagine there are a lot of places that visiting players are not able to familiarize themselves with, so that’ll be cool.

I think being in Nashville will allow the team to form its own identity. Being separated from Oakland a bit should help the morale of our team. I feel like it will be an overall better experience for the club.

I’ve talked to my staff and they’re excited about coaching as well. They’ve got the energy and attitude to make the most of their time in Nashville. Don Schulze will be the pitching coach and Webster Garrison will be the hitting coach and both are coming off successful campaigns with Midland’s championship season, so I’m looking forward to working with them.

Probably the most exciting part of the announcement is the new facility that’s being built. It is going to be something really special.

Nashville Sounds: It definitely is a very exciting time around the city with the development of First Tennessee Park. Have you seen any of the plans for the park or kept up with its progress at all? What kind of excitement does a new park give to you?

Steve Scarsone: Every couple of weeks I find myself on the website to check the progress. It’s kind of cool to see the construction cam and all the different things that are going on. We got a chance to drive by the site when the club played Nashville late in the season. Unfortunately we weren’t able to walk around it or go inside at all but it seemed like a cool area.

I’ve read up a little bit about the history of the site and how they are going to bring that history back. I’m a big fan of baseball history, and seeing some of the things that happened in the area several years ago coming back to life is truly fun to watch. I really can’t say enough about how excited that makes me.

We’ll have more from new Sounds Manager Steve Scarsone coming soon!

All-Prospects Team Named

AFL All-Prospects

The Arizona Fall League announced members of the 2014 All-Prospects Team on Wednesday. The league announced 22 different prospects including one player from 16 different organizations. The managers and coaches of the league voted on the members of the team, keeping in mind their performance over the fall and their projected future in the MLB.

Shortstop Daniel Robertson, first baseman Matt Olson and right-hander Chris Bassitt all garnered a spot on the All-Prospects list. Both Robertson and Olson were supplemental first round picks for Oakland in 2012. Bassitt was recently acquired from the Chicago White Sox and completed his 4th professional season in 2014. The Athletics were one of only two organizations to feature three different players on the squad (Los Angeles Dodgers).

RHP – Chris Bassitt: At the start of play, Bassitt was still a member of the Chicago White Sox organization and thus pitched for the Glendale Desert Dogs. The University of Akron product turned in a solid fall. He posted an impressive 0.69 ERA (1er/13.0ip) in six relief outings. Bassitt failed to allow a home run, recorded a 0.92 WHIP and .184 average against, and led the league with a 15.23 strikeouts per nine innings. His most eye-popping stat may be the 7.33 K/BB ratio though, fanning 22 and walking three. The right-hander was one of only two relievers named to the All-Prospects Team.

After getting a late start to the season due to a broken right hand, the hurler buzzed his way through Double-A and made the jump for his Major League debut in 2014. Five of his six appearances were starts with his best performance coming on September 22 at Detroit (W, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K). Overall, he went 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA (13er/29.2ip) with the White Sox.

1B – Matt Olson: The first baseman made the All-Prospects Team despite missing the final two weeks of the fall league after sustaining a shoulder injury during a collision at first base. He saw 11 games of action and batted .257 (9-for-35) with 11 runs scored and four home runs. He displayed his patience at the plate by walking 10 times compared to nine strikeouts. His 1.120 OPS was fueled by his six extra-base hits, two of them being home runs in the October 11 game against Peoria.

Olson showed great improvement during his 2014 campaign. After struggling at the plate (.225) with Single-A Beloit in 2013, he was assigned to Advanced-A Stockton where he compiled a .262/.404/.543 line. The slugger lowered his strikeout totals (from 148 to 137) and drew more walks (from 72 to 117), proving himself to be more selective at the plate. He finished with 37 home runs and 97 RBIs during his 138 games, both of which were tops among all Oakland farmhands.

Robertson - Ports 4

SS – Daniel Robertson: One of the most consistent players in the whole league, Robertson was one of only a handful of MVP nominees. He was named to the East Division squad for the Fall Stars Game on November 1 and finished the season with a .301 average (22-for-73) in 20 games. The 20-year old posted a .398 OBP courtesy of 11 walks and the team-leading mark in hits. He drove in 12 runs and was named the Player of the Week during Week 3 (4 G, .556, 8 RBI, 5 R).

Robertson’s was recently named the Athletics’ top prospect by Baseball America. He spent his full season with Stockton and posted an impressive .310/.402/.471 line. The former first-round pick scored 110 runs, hit 37 doubles, blasted 15 home runs and compiled 60 RBIs. He played in 123 games at shortstop with a .964 fielding percentage. Many believe Robertson will plant himself in the middle of the infield for the Athletics soon.

Sounds Announce 2015 Coaching Staff

141202---Steve-Scarsone-Nashville-Sounds-Article-Image

The Oakland Athletics announced minor league coaching responsibilities for the upcoming 2015 season. The release included the staff for the Nashville Sounds initial season at First Tennessee Park.  Most notably, Steve Scarsone, former big leaguer and manager of Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate the past two seasons, was named the 26th manager in Sounds’ franchise history. Read more here.

Twitter Talk – Play (Winter) Ball

As the temperatures drop, every player has a different set of offseason plans. Some of them participate in baseball leagues around the world. Others prepare to spend time with family and do some traveling. Whatever happens, things always end up presented in an entertaining way on social media.

Josh Lindblom is all about those cough drops 

Josh Whitaker provided a strange truth to the world

Ryan Doolittle was able to produce a healthy, productive season in 2014

Here’s to hoping Rudy Owens brings his perm to Nashville

Seth Frankoff came across a unique sight

Billy Burns gave a shout out during an important day of the year

Daniel Robertson was obviously watching Sunday Night Football

Tucker Healy really likes chocolate

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.