Saturday, May 21, 2011

STINGER SENT TO THE MINORS


Steve Ray & Potomac Nationals GM Josh Olerud

I am very pleased to announce that on Friday May 20th I was chosen to be the new PA Announcer for the MILB Carolina League (High-A) Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA.

With my association with the MLB Washington Nationals as their TV & Radio Promo voice, as well as Producer for the Nationals Radio Network for the first 5 1/2 seasons...and primary back-up PA Announcer at Nationals Park...I am extremely happy to still be associated with a team within the Nationals organization.


We do not have the luxury that the fans of the Orioles organization do. Baltimore has a majority of it's affiliate Minor League teams within an area around it's MLB club that's easy for fans to drive to. There are many fans who caravan to Hagerstown, Harrisburg and even weekend road trips up to Syracuse (as well as the faithful who head down to Viera, FL for spring training with the Nats)...but I'm hoping to assist the P-Nats in raising awareness that there is a very competitive effort going on right down 95 from DC in the Virginia suburbs.

First year GM Josh Olerud was extremely gracious during our meeting on Friday. I also had the opportunity to spend some time with Paul Barrett, who is the P-Nats Video & Design Production Manager, handling the scoreboard & in-game entertainment presentation on their relatively new HD screen. Other improvements are being made to Pfitzner Stadium, including upgrades to offices for the team coaching staff, parking and other amenities. It has been reported in the news that team owner Art Silber is also looking for a sponsor who will step up with naming rights fees, in order to move forward on a committment for a new ballpark generally in the same area of Prince William County, but closer to 95. Lots of exciting things happening with this ballclub.

It's also very exciting to bring a few ideas from Nationals Park to their presentation & methodologies. I have always attempted to "super serve" the sponsors, while being true to the game and respectful of the fans. To that end, I'll be spending some time Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (5/23 - 5/25) sitting in with the current PA announcer to take notes and see how the P-Nats present the game...then I'll debut Friday 5/27 as Potomac kicks off a 3 day Memorial Day series against Lynchburg.

...and then...there's the possibility...maybe...kinda...fingers crossed...that Nationals 1st Round Draft Pick in 2010 Outfielder Bryce Harper may bring his hot bat to Potomac within the next month or so, on the way up the chain from Hagerstown (Low-A) to Harrisburg (AA) and eventually to the big league club in 2012...again, if everything goes well. With his 10th HR last night and raising his average to .364, there is always the danger that Harper may leap right over Potomac, but with Nats GM Mike Rizzo making it clear they were going to take their time with Harper & not bring him up to the big show this season, I'm hopeful that #34's talents will be showcased in Woodbridge.

Sometimes it's a good thing to be "sent down to the minors"...I look forward to a long running affiliation with the Potomac Nationals and I invite you to come down to the ballpark often. (Shameless Plug Here) Buy your tickets at POTOMACNATIONALS.COM ...and remember, it's ALWAYS a great day for baseball!







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