You Gotta Be Kidding Me

From the Yuma Sun:

The new Scorpions vice president of baseball operations is set to acquire reigning Golden Baseball League Player of the Year Nelson Castro from the Calgary Vipers – [Peter] Young’s last team – for future considerations.

This reminds me of when Ted Williams batted .400 for the Red Sox, and then was traded to the Athletics for future considerations… oh wait… that never happened.

Someone please explain this to me.

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44 Responses to You Gotta Be Kidding Me

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lets see Playoff roster for the 2009 Golden Baseball league CHAMPS!!!!!

    Back Catcher- Rick Guarno Retired
    First Baseman- Kit Pellow Gone
    Second Base- Jorge Mejia Returning
    Third Base- Wilver Perez Victoria
    Third Base- Canabo Casme Victoria
    Shortstop- Nelson MVP Castro Yuma
    Left Field- Drew Miller Returning
    Center Field- Fey Lintini Maui
    Right Field- Sergio Pedroza Victoria (Dodgers)
    DH- Colin Moro Returning


    Joe Sergent- Has not signed and works right across the street
    Isaac Hess- Victoria (Mexico)
    Dallas Mahan- Free Agent look for him soon in Maui or Yuma (released)
    Evan Greusel- Maui
    Erik Dassau- Returning
    Reggie Rivard- Retired
    Todd Moser- Free agent (released)look for him soon Maui Victoria Yuma
    Andrew DeMott- Returning
    Brian Oliver- Returning
    Travis Hughes- Free Agent
    Pete Sakaras- Free Agent (released)
    MAC- Not returning

    all calgary got in return

    Dusty Gober
    2 players to be named later

  2. Also Anonymous says:

    This is the new Calgary Vipers. The new Presidential regime has has made it very clear that it is not worth investing in players. This combined with a new, tougher North Division (addition of St. George, previously a South Division team) will see last years champs returning with an almost entirely turned over roster and finishing in last or second last. Anyone that wants a case study in this method of running a team can see the 1997 vs 1998 Florida Marlins.

  3. xolager says:

    It’s disheartening to say the least.

    I’d like to think that the Vipers have a plan, but you never hear any news or updates from the orginization… which leaves us with nothing to do but speculate.

  4. Anonymous says:

    if this tells you anything Mr. Conrad did not stay at the ball park for the celebration last season. rumor is he was made that the Vipers won in game 4 cause he wanted the money from the gate for game 5.

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. Jason W. says:

    The first thing that occurs to me is that the club is in financial trouble, because they are 2009 Champions, and Nelson Castro, MVP should have been a marketing tool for 2010.

    I have noticed over the years that owner Gidney always is on his feet for Castro when he makes a great play- if you are an owner, why part with a player you obiviously favor?

    I also noticed how Castro always makes time for fans with chit chat or a smile while on deck. Again, they parted with a fan favorite and marketing tool.

    When the Vipers won the 2009 Championship and Castro was signing autographs, some fan asked him if he was coming back, and Castro said yes, “I’m a Viper”.

    I don’t mind that Grusel is not returning-he was lost it last season. Lentini was a jerk to the bat boy. Pellow only comes after the season is over in Mexico. But, losing Mac Suzuki and Castro are a sign to me that management is happy with the one championship/ can’t afford to field the 2009 club.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree about Castro he seemed to be the heart and soul of the team. He seemed to be the best shortstop in the league as well as the best hitter in the league. Him and Miller are always out there signing autographs i am surprised they have not sent miller packing yet. I agree about Grusel he did look off this season, but he was there in the crunch time in playoffs when it mattered going 2-0 in 2 series clinching games. Which those clinching games seemed to be hard for the vipers in the past. But maybe they are cutting him loose at the right time, but what about Cobra Clutch Joe Sergent, i see he is on the roster but hear he has not signed, you have to keep him right??? Lintini in My opinion was the difference maker this year for the Vipers, finally a lead off hitter, love him or hate him he was fun to watch. And MAC MVP pitcher of the league in my opinion, enough said. Maybe if the Vipers had not traded Lintini in 05 they would have 3 championships??? I agree, one and done for the Vipers, FROM FIRST TO WORST at least the beer is cheap at the games, oh wait its not!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Conrad doesnt care about the players, 14 hour trips on a bus with no AC or working TVs. He knows nothing about baseball and believes that you can sign a bunch of guys for $500 bucks and you will get the same product on the field. There’s his master plan! Dont blame Gidney, he loves his players.

  9. Jason W. says:

    Conrad said in the media after the GBL Championship that the aim was for 1500 Season Ticket sales. This is very unrealistic to me- the majority of fans are walk-up; the weather plays a huge role. The fanbase has gotten noticably younger in the last two years which is a good thing.

    I have been a season ticket holder since the Cannons days, and I just feel that the best advertizing is winning,more winning, and player recognizability. They should have had Castro and mascot Slider be the face of the club-maybe Miller and Moro too. They got to sell Slider dolls or shirts and baseball-related merchandise. Slider is a fantastic looking mascot and kids love him. They have to promote their players working at the Absolute Baseball Academy better. They have to put up some signage in the park about the GBL and what teams are in it and the standings. Make people feel this all means something. When Peter Watt announces GBL out of town scores no-one feels any connection or emotion there. Is there even going to be a 2009 GBL Champion banner or merchandise? The Vipers should sell 5 ticket packs in their gift shop, instead of “Joe” castoffs with a Vipers logo stiched on.That is a little embarassing. Five people in that little ticket office makes it discouragingly packed. Running the bases with Slider should be a staple. Autograph Alley should be mentioned for the kids every game on the PA system. The Vipers should have a program in Elementary schools where kids are awarded free tickets. The Vipers should form relationships with places Kids go-like the Zoo, Calaway Park, The Planetarium, summer camps,Libraries, etc.. Get the kids to get their parents to take them. I just don’t feel the team markets itself like it could or should and therefore will never be more than it is to the city of Calgary.

    I think there is a certain core of regular fans who attend who don’t care how well the team is doing, who is on the field- they’re going to attend because they love baseball. Unlike the Cannons, the Vipers are independant so they can strive to piece together a winner. Unless they put $$$ in players fans can connect with over time, and market them correctly, attendance will always remain the same, meaning the Vipers will only be so successful. “The Absolute Baseball Academy” was a brilliant idea, the website is vastly improved, the freebees are more and better,the newspaper ads are colorful and better,so they’re doing some really good things. I constantly get e-mails from the Chico Outlaws, OC Flyers, and Yuma Scorpions- where are the Vipers newsletters? Why do I not get Season Ticket renewal letters and forms sent to me each year-why since day one have I had to chase after my tickets? Why aren’t Season Ticket holders made aware of discounts at the Snake Pit gift shop or other incentives? Why couldn’t season ticket holders get first dibs on those retro Cannons jerseys, or specially order one? It is a long off season in the GBL and I don’t think the Championship followed by scant visibility over the winter will result in 1500 season ticket holders. I am a season ticket holder and always will be beacause I just want to watch baseball while enjoying some nachos.Simple pleasures. But I am discouraged that my loyalty is repaid by dumping players like Darrly Brinkley and Nelson Castro, who were a pleasure to watch. There’s my rant de jour.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jason i think that you should be promoted to GM of the Vipers. i agree with everything you just said.

  11. xolager says:

    Great “rant du jour”, Jason W. I think your thoughts echo a lot of the baseball loyalists that grace Foothills Stadium, myself included.

    I don’t get the comments that pile on Greusel. The man was the architect of a Championship pitching staff, and got the job done in the playoffs. What more could you want?

    I’m a hopeful as anyone that The Cobra Clutch Joe Sergent returns to the Vipers this season, but the way this off-season has gone, I’m preparing myself for another disappointment.

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    To my memory I don’t think they ever reached 5000, even after they GAVE away 5000 tickets for that 1 game last season.

  14. Anonymous says:

    haha O Conrad what a liar

  15. xolager says:

    “Conrad said 5,000 people attend each Vipers game and he is confident that success will translate here.”

    Wow, that’s awful. According to my data (see link below), the Vipers averaged an announced crowd of 1445 per home game (2885 in the playoffs), with a guess (from Conrad circa 2008) that 30% of the announced attendance is/are no-shows.

  16. Evan G says:

    Wow lots is going on here these days. Thanks XOLAGER. I cant make everyone happy, (Jason W) i did my best up there while i had the opportunity going 53-17 in my 5 years up there which included 4-0 in the playoffs and 4 All Star games. I agree with what you said about Nelly he should have been a lifer, he never wanted to leave, on the other side Mac went back to Mexico, so that’s not really on the Vipers. Lentini was the best thing that happened to Calgary he was definitely the missing piece for the Vipers the last few years on and off the field. As for Joe yes get out just work at the bubble for Neil, the Gidneys are a wonderful family and are doing great things up there with the indoors and the team. Conrad was brought in to save money, and i do agree with contracts got out of hand out there as a whole, there are certain exceptions and Nelly was one of them. As for me i am fine with it I was able to help deliver the Vipers first Championship, as well as my first and my good friend Sergent first championship ring. Joe and i have been playing a combined 20 years of pro ball and had been runner up too many times. The fact i was fired or as Conrad puts it just not rehired, but was not released as a player. I was told i would not be released because they did not want me to come back and beat them. I was also not contacted my by organization when i was finally traded, not by the GM, or the manager who i thought was a good friend after working with him and for him for 3 years. Thanks to the league for trading me to the league owned team and then sending me to where i wanted my rights to be, which was Maui, and my first signing was Lentini. I would like to thank the Gidney family for everything the last 5 years they were a great family to work for. As for me i will not be with Maui in Calgary for the home opener, i know Conrad will be sad haha. I am full time coaching in Vegas with 2 club teams and our varsity squad as well. I will be around at some pt of the season.

  17. Evan G says:

    Miller i forgot you bud, my roommate for 5 years. The only original Viper left. Its like the end of an ERA haha (inside joke). 5 different houses, all the things we have been through on the field, from our first games in Sioux City to our first Clinching game in Schamburg, with my first save in that game, The Fargo sweep and the tough series against Gary. Our first All star game in fargo, sweeping edmonton out of the playoffs in 08 to the crushing loss in game 5 to OC, beating edmonton again and finally winning the last game of the season for the first time. To off the field from when you carried me to the bar when i broke my ankle and our ride parked a mile away, to how mad you would get when we would make you play cards and then complain, but it was fun taking colson’s money because then he would eat the teams spread for a week claiming he was broke. Don’t forget about out trip in 06 across the country to open the season. And of course our invention of honesty day on the bus. And of course Wayne and Beryl Eryn Brin and Ryker, Thanks for everything and especially the cookies, well when they made it past Drew and Colson, i will see you guys soon. And it wouldn’t be fitting if i didnt tell this story but on my honeymoon in Antigua, i met a group of people from Edmonton and we got to talking and i tolded them that i played for the vipers they all started chanting Broke Back Miller they where the hecklers out in left, so fitting, See Ya in Yuma MILLERTIME

  18. Debbie says:

    Gidney’s first mistake was giving Conrad total control. His people skills are almost non existent. Many of the day staff that have been there some of them 5 yrs are not being invited back, he wants to start the year with a clean slate. Last year he didn’t fire kids – he just didn’t schedule them for any more shifts. That takes a big man.

    So many people said it so well on here. It’s going to be a very interesting season. Gruesal – poor you having to play in Maui….. LoL Best of luck, they are lucky to have you.

  19. Kelsy Norman says:

    Great to see so much passion for the Vipers! I agree with a lot of what has been written here. From what I understand the franchise is poorly run, with next to no focus on marketing or public relations. If you were to ask Calgarians if they have ever been to a Vipers game their response would be along the lines of they didn’t even know we had a baseball team. If the organization isn’t going to do much to promote this team, what can we do as fans to make sure more people know about this great team and league?

  20. xolager says:

    “If you were to ask Calgarians if they have ever been to a Vipers game their response would be along the lines of they didn’t even know we had a baseball team.”

    This, exactly.

    “If the organization isn’t going to do much to promote this team, what can we do as fans to make sure more people know about this great team and league?”

    Well, this blog is my effort, but what really can we as fans do for a team that won’t help itself?

  21. Matthew says:

    Some exciting information has made an appearance on the Vipers website last week. It would appear they have hired a new Sales & Marketing manager in John Hindle. So assuming John Conrad doesn’t drive him away with his phenomenal ignorance, arrogance and thriftiness, this should be a great addition to the Vipers front office. One can only hope.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Moro to Victoria for Cosme, Calgary claims they are trying to get younger and cheaper and they trade there youngest talent, not to mention he lives there and works in the bubble next store. That’s Conrad being Conrad.

  23. xolager says:

    Moro traded? When will it end?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry xo, it will end very soon, there’s only Joe Sergent and Drew Miller left to go. So, let’s say, 10 days? And if people wanted to see younger,cheaper, talent, they would go to the Okotoks Dawgs games, they have a new stadium and offer a MUCH better value considering what’s left of the former 2009 GBL Champions, the ticket price hike and the expected price hike in the consessions. Is anyone sending emails to that front office yet? Any of you (1500?) season ticket holders frustated you are not getting what you paid for?

  25. xolager says:

    I sent the following email to Darryl Einarson, Vice President-Sales ( as part of an email exchange we we having regarding tickets for 2010:

    from Kevin Lager
    to Darryl
    date 28 March 2010 12:56
    subject Re: Vipers 2010 season ticket question

    Thanks Darryl:

    A flex pack would be a good idea if I could for the life of me figure out why this organization trades an MVP and fan-favourite for future considerations.

    Between this and the cheap-looking championship rings, I’m concerned about the 2010 Vipers (as a fan).


    He had emailed me earlier recommending I buy some 2010 flex packs. He has yet to respond to this email above, though.

  26. Anonymous says:

    He won’t reply. He’s been let go. I do however suggest you forward your previous communications to his replacement. John Hindle.
    While Hindle only joined the Vipers about a week or so ago and had nothing to do with any of the previous Vipers decisions, I would be curious to see what he has to say, given that he seems to be the only person with any sort of baseball knowledge (and brains) in the whole of the Vipers front office at this time.

  27. xolager says:

    Darryl’s gone? I met him (or at least I think I met him, since it was a guy named Darryl working for the Vipers) last season and we’d chat during the games through out the season. Seemed like a decent enough fellow.

  28. Also Anonymous says:

    Trust me, the rings aren’t just cheap “looking”… They’re chipping.

  29. Anonymous says:

    not only are they chipping but they are hyphenated first and last name, Conrad had final approval OF COURSE that guy sucks

  30. Debbie says:

    So has Sergent been officially signed now? Last I heard it still hadn’t happened. People thought Peter Young was bad but he was a pussycat compared to Conrad.

  31. Jason W. says:

    Thank you for informing me about Darryl; Mr. Conrad left me an e-mail that “Darrly would contact me today or tomorrow”{ about renewing my seasons’ tickets after I left Conrad a e-mail. That was about a month ago and no one has contacted me at all.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I love how if you go on the Vipers website Moro’s face is plastered all over there page. For every player on the roster that does not have a picture they use Moro’s, and then they just trade him. This kid is a local guy that worked in the front office last off season and at the indoor this off season, he works with hundreds of kids in Calgary. I heard he took a local team down to Arizona for a tourny. If i am parents of these kids i would only go to the game when Victoria is in town. From all the moves i have seen from Duncan Gruesel Castro Moro Young, Calgary shows no signs of being Loyal.

  33. ChaPPy says:

    Eh! xolager, when you were emailing that Darryl, before he tried to cram flexpacks down your throat, did he mention anything about Macs/Costco/Safeway deals for tickets this season? Or was he just preoccupied about getting the $ directly from you and cut the middle man?

    And this blog is unbelievable. Maybe I’ll follow some of the suggestions and check out the Dawgs. I really don’t like what I hear and what they’ve done to this team. They better put on a good show home opening weekend and hold their own, because I’m not sure I willing to suffer through another 2004-2005 season. I guess I’m not all that loyal either, but all the franchise players are gone and maybe I’m next.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Well Chappy why should you be loyal, they only have 3 core players left. They didn’t even keep the MVP of the league and 2 time Vipers MVP. They Got rid of there 3 time pitcher of the year, not too mention they got rid of Duncan 2 time Vipers MVP, 6 games into the year when they were 5 and 1 and then struggled at third the rest of the year. The new management has know loyalty, and there manager of the year has no loyalty and it all shows. You would think a manager of the year would stand up to keep some of his players, or maybe none of them were is guys, maybe they were all Mike Busch’s guys. I mean i could have taken that team with that budget to the finals and then its just what team gets hot. So maybe Mike Busch should get CO Manager of the year for getting all those guys there. Or was that Peter Young that signed them, oh wait he was fired to. And he did get Castro Duncan and Brinkley all to Yuma, maybe he should be CO manager of the year. In my opinion any person that helped build that franchise is gone now, first to worst.

  35. X FAN says:

    Conrad go back to Winnipeg while we still have a team, PLEASE

  36. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what everyone is so mad about you get to see all your favorite vipers play all year, just not at the same time. Gruesel and Lintini come to town to open the season, you will get to see Moro and Perez with Victoria and then when Yuma comes to town you will get to see Castro Duncan and Brinkley 4 of the 5 Vipers MVPS. That’s not so bad

  37. Anonymous says:

    I went to the Vipers website today to see if they had many any moves in the last week, nope nothing, but i did see Colin Moro’s face still all over the website. I also found it funny that the picture on there website of Moro is of him in his road uniform. And the photographer of that picture credited under the picture is Christian J Stewart. So i did some research, Stewart is Victoria’s Photographer, haha not surprising. Maybe when they sent Moro to Victoria they should have got Stewart in the trade. I also see they are no offering playoff tickets in the season ticket package. That is so nice of them, the true loyal fans who pay for season tickets get free playoff tickets, i could be wrong but shouldn’t that be a giving. Did season ticket holders have to pay for Playoff tickets last year? Maybe that’s the smartest idea Conrad has had yet. Its only smart because with all the losses the team took on this year they are along shot for the playoffs, and Conrad knows that, why else would that cheap @** give anything away for free.

  38. Camera Girl says:

    Regarding the pictures, many of the readers and writers on here know my story and how it relates to the Calgary Vipers. Long story short, the John Conrad refuse to pay for any pictures or promotional stuff as he feels he has propriatary rights over everything that transpires at Foothills Stadium. They’ve also been known to knowingly infringe copyrights, even after having received warnings. As such, no one in Calgary is willing to provide them with pictures, and certainly not for free. But apparently Christian J Stewart is and well good for him. Personally, I’m not certain if I will continue to take pictures at the games. While it is true I enjoy it as a personal hobby, it is rather time consuming to do it for free, or for a facebook album. Time will tell if the shutter bug bites again this summer. By the way, love the blog!

  39. Pingback: 2010 Micro-Preview « Ten Prairie Sticks: Unofficial Calgary Vipers Blog

  40. Julio says:

    Looks like an interesting finish to this story, as Castro isn’t on Yuma’s opening day roster, and the story according to the Herald on Tuesday is that he’s retired from pro ball and teaching back east.
    I guess it just proves that we fans don’t always know the whole story on what’s happening behind the scenes.

  41. Also Anonymous says:

    Sometimes we know what’s happening behind the scene, but it’s not as pleasant to bitch about how your favorite is not returning because he’s asking for almost twice his previous year’s salary. The reason why Peter Young wasn’t able to sign Castro is the same. They couldn’t afford him. He retired because he had no other teams willing to pay his asking price. Now if you ask me, he was worth every penny and it was a crappy trade for such a valued player, but when all is said and done, it was all for nothing.

  42. anonymous says:

    My husband and I spent 2 months last year in Calgary,going betw there and Edmonton ,watching our son pitch for the Vipers. It was so exciting–and we were able to be there to see the division championship,as well as the 2009 championship game,and it was very exciting. Burkhart made sure that our son understood that he was coming back for the 2010 season–his words–as long as I have a job,you have a job here. Yeh , right. That lasted for one short month this year. I don’t know what the h**l is going on up there, but every day I check pointstreak , there is another transaction,and Calgary has released another pitcher! And, look at your record. I don’t think anyone knows what they are doing this year. The front office doesn’t answer e-mails–I wanted to spend a substantial amount of money on t-shirts,whatever was new,etc, to wear to Arizona to the first games this year–could I get an answer? NO. Way to take care of your fans! I wanted to send pictures that I had taken last year–anyone want them? NO. I finally sent a few to Patrick Haas–thanks Pat, for accepting them and answering me!
    I can’t say that my son didn’t have a great time in 2009, it was great–thank you Evan for everything–for taking a chance on him. He is very grateful,believe me. And he had a blast!
    As far as the rings–the first one looks like a woman’s ring!,and hyphenating the names–how cheap can you get? UGLY!!! The second ring? Much better! As it should be.
    Calgary seriously needs to promote the Vipers, they could really have a big fan base–good Lord, the city is HUGE! and there is only a couple hundred people at the games? That’s ridiculous! That is the fault of the front office being cheap–get some advertising out there, freebies, offer better promotions at the park,make fans feel like they are part of something, not just making money for you.
    These guys come and play their asses off every day for the fans, and to better themselves ,it is up to the owners,managers and front office to do their part for your players

  43. Anonymous says:

    John Conrad for the past three months has not been paying his employees that leave. He will either fire them (very few) or they leave (the majority) and he withholds their paycheques. He has crossed the line from miser to criminal. It’s time Calgarians realized what is happening at the Vipers and take their support elsewhere until a reputable management team is put in place.

  44. Jimmy Powell says:

    If anyone that still checks this page would be intrested in selling an old vipers jersey could you let me know?

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