2006-06-30 / Sports

Brooklyn Cyclones Off To Slow Start

By Elio Velez

Jason Jacobs has been one of the few bright spots for the Brooklyn Cyclones this season. Photo By Borriello Photography.
Jason Jacobs has been one of the few bright spots for the Brooklyn Cyclones this season. Photo By Borriello Photography. The history of the Brooklyn Cyclones has been enriched with winning seasons, sellout crowds and post-season baseball. Success is not a guarantee in baseball but it's almost become routine at Keyspan Park.

Since the start of the 2001 season, the Cyclones have not had a losing season, qualified for the post-season three times and won the New York Penn League Single A title in 2001.

But the 2006 season, which began with the worst loss in their short history, an 18-0 loss on June 20 to Staten Island on Opening Day, launched the floodgates to the worst start in their history.

Last Wednesday, they broke their seven game slide to begin the season with a 4-0 win at home against Hudson Valley. The seven game losing streak was the longest in the history of the franchise and was finally broken with a balanced effort, which the Cyclones have not put together all season.

Jon Malo returned to the stomping grounds he patrolled last season with an RBI single in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Pitchers Jeramy Simmons and Tim Haines would form a one-two knockout punch as they held Hudson Valley scoreless for a 4-0 win.

Manager George Greer has seen a mix of ineffective hitting and pitching, calamity and bad fortune which has befallen his team so far. He remains optimistic his team will get it together soon.

"I think you see flashes of it happening....We're just looking at the other folks and seeing how they can all fit in," Greer, who managed at Wake Forest University prior to joining the New York Mets organization this year, said.

"We're trying to see who can play and I believe things are starting to look better for us."

If the Cyclones are to put together a level of consistency and rise from the bottom of the New York Penn League standings, it's going to take the proverbial clich team effort. As a team, they rank second to last in team batting and last in pitching.

Jacobs Shines Bright

In the minor leagues, players can come and go and the Cyclones are no exception. In trying to make up for a slow start, the New York Mets are still tinkering with their roster and recently assigned Jason Jacobs, the 18th round selection in the 06' draft from the University of Georgia.

For a team needing an infusion of offensive support, Jacobs has provided a lift. The catcher just arrived from the College World Series and has already solidified himself with a .455 average in four games and an on base percentage of .600 at press time.

Jacobs has improved in his time at Georgia at the plate in hitting .331 with 45 RBI in his senior year. He's also found a home behind the plate after being a versatile player in the infield and outfield for most of his college career.

"I'm trying to get into the swing of the things. I'm trying to get into the same approach every time I'm up there (at the plate)," Jacobs , who credited his improvement toGeorgia hitting coach Doug Sisson, who worked with such stars as Vladimir Guerrero in the Montreal Expos system for 16 years. "I'm going to see some pitches, feel the guy out and when the pitcher makes some mistakes, I've been taking advantage."


The Cyclones made a number of roster moves to inject some new blood into the team. Lefthanded pitcher Will Domangue and outfielder Wil Vogl were promoted to full season Hagerstown (A). Outfielder Elvis Cruz, Jake Ruckle, Ryan Cullen, Jonathan Malo and lefthanded pitcher Grady Hinchman, who allowed one run in two innings in his first appearance in a 4-1 loss to Hudson Valley last Monday night, was among six new players to arrive in Brooklyn.

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