It's Triple-A Home Run Derby day and we've got the full outlook on both the Triple-A and Celebrity Derby with this story in today's sports section.
We also have a full 16-page section on the Triple-A All-Star Game in today's print editions with stories on the genesis of the game as a big event, a review of the 24 previous classics, a look back at the 1988 game in Buffalo and the building of then-Pilot Field, as well as a Buffalo fan who has attended every Triple-A classic.
Today's sports section has full rosters for both the International League and Pacific Coast League and there may be some more tinkering yet. Here's a big addition just named to the IL squad this morning: Hot-hitting Syracuse second baseman and St. Francis product Jim Negrych (left).
Negrych is batting .284 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 54 games for the Washington Nationals affiliate -- but tore it up in June by batting .338. He homered last Wednesday against the Bisons in a 5-0 Syracuse victory.
Negrych, 27, was a sixth-round draft pick by the Pirates out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2006. He got to Triple-A Indianapolis in 2010, hitting .295 in 48 games and homering in a triumphant return to Buffalo, but never got a call to the big leagues. He signed with the Marlins last year but was buried in Double-A at Jacksonville, batting .304, and never got back to Triple-A in New Orleans.
Negrych signed late this year, finally getting the call from the Nats and getting in three games at Double-A Harrisburgh before joining the Chiefs on April 30. He started slowly, batting just .214 in the first 10 games and .222 over the first 17, making a return to Double-A possible. Since May 26, Negrych is batting .308 and has largely become the Chiefs' regular at second base.
The IL has dropped Pawtucket's Mauro Gomez and Indianapolis' Jordy Mercer from its roster because both are in the big leagues. Oklahoma City catcher Landon Powell has been dropped off the PCL roster. The IL has 25 players, the PCL 27.
The Bisons said Sunday about 2,000 tickets were left for Wednesday night's game. Bet there's a bit of a run at the box office today from Negrych's family and friends.