We can officially announce today that, beginning with a road game against defending Midwest League champion Great Lakes on Thursday, April 6th, The Game 730 AM will be the new flagship station of Lansing Lugnuts baseball.

A brief introduction:

About the Lugnuts: This is the Nuts' 22nd season in Michigan's state capital. The first 21 years featured 1,480 wins, 680 total players117 Major Leaguers, and three Major League affiliations: the Kansas City Royals (1996-1998), Chicago Cubs (1999-2004), and Toronto Blue Jays (2005-present). Here's where the Lugnuts fit in on the ladder up to the Major Leagues:

  • MLB - Toronto Blue Jays, American League
  • Triple-A - Buffalo Bisons, International League
  • Double-A - New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Eastern League
  • A-Advanced - Dunedin Blue Jays, Florida State League
  • Single-A - Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League
    There's a separation here. All of the above teams are "full-season," beginning play in April. The following teams are "short-season," jamming a 66-70-game schedule in between the end of June and August.
  • Short-Season A - Vancouver Canadians, Northwest League
  • Advanced Rookie - Bluefield Blue Jays, Appalachian League
  • Rookie - GCL Blue Jays, Gulf Coast League
  • Rookie - DSL Blue Jays, Dominican Summer League

About the Ballpark: Cooley Law School Stadium, originally called Oldsmobile (Olds) Park when it opened its gates in 1996, has a seating bowl capacity of 6,250 and an overall stadium capacity of 11,000. It's located on Michigan Ave. between Cedar and Larch Sts. in downtown Lansing, just a couple of blocks away from the capitol. The largest crowd in ballpark history, 12,997 strong, attended the 2012 Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners Insurance, a game that was aired on BTN.

About the 2017 Team: The entirety of the Blue Jays' minor-league system is currently in Dunedin, Fla., playing regular exhibitions. In about nine days or so, the Jays will post the Opening Day rosters for Buffalo, New Hampshire, Dunedin, and Lansing. The new Lugnuts will then board a plane and fly in to Michigan on Sunday, April 2nd, receiving their new uniforms the next day. We will not know the make-up of the roster until the Blue Jays send us word. It is my guess that top prospects Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., and T.J. Zeuch will both be with us at the start of the season. (The powerful Guerrero is considered one of the top hitting talents in the country, while the towering Zeuch was Toronto's first-round pick last year.)

Notable Current Major Leaguers: We'll add to this list in the days and months to come, but here's a good start.

  • Anthony DeSclafani; Cincinnati Reds
  • Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris; Detroit Tigers
  • Carlos Beltran, Jake Marisnick; Houston Astros
  • Noah Syndergaard; New York Mets
  • Kendall Graveman; Oakland Athletics
  • Roberto Osuna, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Sanchez; Toronto Blue Jays

Next in Line: First baseman Rowdy Tellez and pitchers Casey Lawrence and Tim Mayza are likely going to get the call from the Blue Jays sometime this year, Chase De Jong is in position to debut for the Seattle Mariners, and the Miami Marlins are giving a serious look to Justin Nicolino in their starting rotation.

Lastly, About Me: I'm Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the radio voice of Lugnuts baseball since the start of the 2009 season. I'm a native of Greenbelt, Md., an alumnus of Ithaca College in central New York, and the author of two books, "The Baseball Thesaurus" and "The Football Thesaurus." I cheer on all Washington-area teams from the NHL to MLS to NFL to NBA to WNBA, with high hopes for the Capitals and Wizards and a medium level of disgruntlement with how Kirk Cousins has been treated. Talk to me about action movies, musicals, pro wrestling, good books, and puzzles/riddles of all sorts.

A picture from the past to close things out:

Kevin Pillar, 2012 Midwest League MVP
Your 2012 Midwest League MVP, and current Blue Jays center fielder, Kevin Pillar.

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