It Is the Turn-Around Series in Atlantic League Finals
Like any other championship series time, there is no shortage of angles to the Bridgeport-York set starting Wednesday to decide the 2010 Atlantic League champion.
The obvious approach to the best-of-five championship set that begins in York is that this is two teams hungrier than normal for a title.Â After all, the Revolution, who host Games 1 and 2 plus Game 5 on Sunday if the series has not been decided by that time, are going after their first crown in the four years they have been in the league.Â What is more, the last baseball title for the Pennsylvania city was 41 years ago when the York Pirates won the Eastern League and even then only one game was played before rain took over and the Class AA circuit awarded the title.Â Bridgeport does have one Atlantic League championship, but it was back in 1999 which was only the second season for the top-shelf Independent league.
This could be called the Turn-Around Series since the Bluefish were 10 games under .500 one year ago (65-75), and York was a struggling 53-87.
The probable pitching matchups for the series with regular season records followed by playoff records:
Wednesday:Â Bridgeport (Esteban Yan, 3-1, 1-0) at York (Corey Thurman, 10-8, 0-1), 6:30 p.m.
Thursday:Â Bridgeport (Denny Stark, 8-4, 1-0) at York (Matt DeSalvo, 5-2, 1-0), 6:30 p.m.
Friday:Â York (Chris Salberg, 1-1, 1-0) at Bridgeport (Luis Gonzalez, 9-4, 0-1), 7:05 p.m.
*Saturday:Â York (Kevin Angelle, 0-2, 0-1) at Bridgeport (Matt Pike, 12-5, 0-0), 7:05 p.m.
*Sunday:Â Bridgeport (Yan) at York (Thurman), 5:00 p.m.
DiFelice Is Back to Pitching With Spring Training Invite
Former Camden and Somerset hurler Mark DiFelice is back in the news after a strong 2009 season in which he was 4-1 with a 3.66 earned run average in 59 appearances for Milwaukee followed by a year of inactivity this season as he rested from shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff.
MLB.com reports the 34-year-old DiFelice has already been re-signed by the Brewers, is pitching at the teamâ€™s instructional league program in Phoenix and has an invitation to the major league spring training camp.Â â€œHe should be good to go for next spring,â€ Gord Ash, the assistant general manager, told MLB.com. DiFelice also may pitch in a winter league.
This â€˜n That
The benefits of hosting an Atlantic League franchise have been restated in recent days as the site for the 2012 team in Sugar Land, TX was announced along with a cost-benefit analysis which indicates there will be an annual benefit to the community of $7.7 million and President and Chief Executive Bob Farren said the team expected to be launched at Loudoun County near Washington, DC that same year will produce 40-50 full-time jobs and another 200 part-time positionsâ€¦Former Bridgeport star first baseman Jesse Hoorelbeke was named the MVP of the Northern Leagueâ€™s championship series which was won by Fargo, ND, which featured both Jesse and brother Casey Hoorelbeke.
(These are excerpts from the Atlantic League Notebook, with more information found at www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com. Bob Wirz also writes a weekly column, the Independent Baseball Insider, as well as a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)