August 2013

How many hot dogs can you eat?

It’s back. The Keys annual celebration of baseball’s most popular protein returns to Harry Grove Stadium this evening — 50-Cent Hot Dog Night.
hot dog
Hot dog consumption begins when gates open at 6 p.m. for tonight’s 7 p.m. game against the Mudcats. The question that remains: How many can you eat?

Are you a lightweight?

Or a champion?

Before answering, some inspiring videos:

And for the ladies:

Best Month Ever: A look back at July’s top blog posts


The tale of Miguel Chalas and the skunk in Lynchburg was the most-viewed post in this blog’s most-viewed month.

July was a record-shattering month for this blog (Thanks everybody!). And, as I mentioned at the bottom of our last post, Unlocking the Keys was the fifth-most-read blog among all MiLB blogs last month.

Again, you are all wonderful for reading.

So, for your nostalgic reading pleasure, let’s recap the month of July on the Keys blog, one that saw trades, catwalks, polecats, a mascot murder and a near trade of Keyote.

The month begins in style

Thank goodness for Lynchburg, at least for this blog’s sake. After a few days of our typical pregame posts, we took a July 4th blog break and returned on July 9th, a few days after the Keys returned from their well-documented trip to Lynchburg.

Twitter is an amazing thing.

Thanks to the Twitterverse, the team’s impromptu fashion show in Lynchburg was broadcast to the masses and allowed for this post, which took on a life of its own on twitter for about three days and was the second-most viewed post in July. A taste of that post:


According to the people, these two are your winners:

Contestant #4: P Gene Escat

Contestant #8: P Jesse Beal

The skunk post

This was the most popular blog entry of the month and for good reason.

How often does a relief pitcher glove a skunk in right field? Again, thank you, Lynchburg. I will summarize this post with this:

The skunk story got picked up by The Washington Post’s Sports Bog and also by Ben’s Biz Blog in July’s Crooked Nuggets.

Anyway, fans agree that Miguel Chalas was the night’s hero.

Christmas in July, mascot murder and trade rumors, an actual trade and a walk-up song

The skunk and the fashion show carried the month, but a few other posts seemed to be fan favorites as well.

Christmas in July was well received, probably because 1) people enjoy Christmas and 2) Eric Bickel of the Sports Junkies tweeted out the blog. He took photos the game before and we used a couple. They’re good shots. Take a look:

Two things we learned on Clue Night: A lot of people weren’t terribly upset about the murder of rally mascot Frank Key and a Gatorade cooler can be a deadly weapon. Many of you relived Clue Night on the blog, feel free to do it again!

*An update to the Clue Night post — Stadium Butler Apter is debriefed, recalls the entire night:

Fans picked catcher Michael Ohlman’s walk-up song and chose to have him keep the one he started with — Big & Rich’s Save a Horse.

Nicky Delmonico was certainly a fan favorite in Frederick before his trade for veteran Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez. He’s playing for the Brevard County Manatees now and had a three-hit game a few days ago.

And on July 31, the threat of a possible trade of Keyote spiked blog views as his supporters came out in droves to block the deadline deal. Good news came out of that situation when he signed a 10-year contract extension.

Thanks for your continued reading! See you back here soon.

Shake your Keys.

Keys to be on O’s pregame show today

*Watch the interview with Michael Ohlman, Tim Berry and Matt Hobgood here.

*From the MASN O’s Xtra set:


From left: Tim Berry, Rick Dempsey, Mike Ohlman, Matt Hobgood, Jim Hunter

From left: Tim Berry, Rick Dempsey, Mike Ohlman, Matt Hobgood, Jim Hunter



What are you doing this afternoon?

Well, at 3, stop doing it, find a TV and turn on MASN to watch Michael Ohlman, Tim Berry and Matt Hobgood.

Ohlman, the Keys power-htting catcher, leads the team and is among league leaders in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage (.302/.404/.535).

Berry, a left-hander, has been on a roll since the all-star break, going 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA in eight starts. He’s 8-6 with a 3.86 ERA on the season.

And Hobgood, the Orioles’ first-round pick in 2009, joined the Keys in mid-July. In his first season since shoulder surgery sidelined him for all of last year, Hobgood has pitched well in three of his four outings with the Keys. He piggy-backed on Trent Howard’s start yesterday and threw four scoreless innings, allowing just a hit and fanning four.

This is Hobgood’s introduction at Camden Yards back in ’09

So, at 3 p.m., watch MASN. Shake your Keys.

Hoes to the ‘Stros, Keys hope to snap skid in Carolina

When we last left you on the blog, a mascot trade deadline deal for Keyote had just been blocked and Frederick’s mascot signed a 10-year extension with the Keys. Thank goodness. More on that here:

In actual trade deadline news, Oriole and former Key L.J. Hoes, a draft pick and Delmarva Shorebird LHP Josh Hader were traded to Houston for RHP Bud Norris, who made his Orioles debut last night, fanning eight batters and picking up the victory against his former club.


Hoes, a Key in 2010 who hit .278 while with Frederick, picked up his first major league hit last night off Norris.

*Moving on to current Keys, they’re in Zebulon, N.C., taking on Carolina in a three-game series. Frederick dropped its fourth game in a row last night, falling 9-5 to the Mudcats.

*An interview with last night’s starter Trent Howard from Wednesday. Howard went four innings and allowed two runs last night.

*As for tonight’s game, Tim Berry will attempt to right Frederick’s course, the left-hander 3-0 against Carolina this season and the Keys 14-6 when he starts. Opposing Frederick will be right-hander Cole Cook, making his third start for Carolina this season.

*Fun fact about Tim Berry: Since the all-star break, Berry is 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA in seven starts. Before the break, batters hit .288 against him and after their average is down to .230, despite Berry’s K/9 rate going from 8.6 before to just under 6.0 after.

*Another: He was drafted in the final (50th) round of the 2009 draft by the Orioles after senior season of high school, during which he threw a no-hitter and then had Tommy John surgery.

*Fun fact about Cook: He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 draft by Cleveland out of Pepperdine, where he missed his freshman season in ’08 due to a broken wrist suffered while helping with the tarp.

More on tonight’s game in the game notes:

*Great news! Unlocking the Keys jumped from 12th to 5th in this month’s Latest Leaders rankings among MiLB blogs! Thanks to everyone for reading!

Shake your Keys.

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