Long Island Takes First Title, Quebec Has Top Indy Record
Â Â Â Â The Long Island (NY) Ducks hold the distinction of winning the first Independent Baseball title of the season, clinching the Liberty Division crown for the first half of the split season in the Atlantic League, but the honor of the best record so far belongs to the Quebec Capitales, who have won 29 of their first 37 games in the Can-Am League.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Quebec (.784) and the Frontier League team known as River City (Oâ€™Fallon, MO) are the only teams among the 52 in the five established leagues winning at least seven of every 10 games.Â The Rascals are at 31-13, .705.Â
Â Â Â Â Â It takes better than a .600 winning percentage to rank in the top ten:
|River City||Frontier||Â 31-13||.705|
|Grand Prairie||American Association||Â 34-16||.680|
|Lake County||North American||Â 23-12||.657|
|Southern Illinois||Frontier||Â 28-15||.651|
|Edmonton||North American||Â 25-14||.641|
|Long Island||Atlantic||Â 38-22||.633|
|San Angelo||North American||Â 24-14||.632|
|St. Paul||American Association||Â 30-19||.612|
|New Jersey||Can-Am||Â 23-15||.605|
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FOR ADDITIONAL INDEPENDENT BASEBALL COVERAGE?
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Aaron Crow Gives Indy a MLB All-Star
Â Â Â Â Â All-Star Games take center stage next week with both the Atlantic League (York, PA) and Frontier League (Lake Erie,Â Avon, OH) parading their top players on Wednesday (July 13), but Independent Baseball likely will get its greatest attention from Tuesdayâ€™s major league classic in Phoenix.
Â Â Â Â Â The Indy game frequently has players in the World Series, but Aaron Crowâ€™s selection for the mid-season battle between the best in the American and National Leagues is a rarity.Â The run-stingy Crow, who started his professional career in the American Association (Fort Worth, TX, 2008-09), will be part of the A.L. bullpen hoping to nail down home field advantage for the World Series.Â The Kansas City Royals right-hander has a 1.96 earned run average in 34 appearances in his rookie season despite allowing three runs to the Chicago White Sox last time out.Â He has struck out 41 hitters in 41.1 innings in setup and occasional closing situations.
Braves Come Calling After Two Strikeouts an Inning Showing
Â Â Â Â Â Â This cornerâ€™s vote on the most intriguing player sale of the week is that of Robert Roth, who the Atlanta Braves picked up from the North American Leagueâ€™s travel team known as the McAllen (TX) Thunder.Â Not distinguished for strikeouts in three seasons in the Philadelphia farm system or last year in a trio of Independent leagues, the right-hander, who wonâ€™t turn 23 until August, averaged more than two strikeouts an inning in the NAL.Â The Lewiston, ID right-hander struck out 42 (and walked only five) in 20.1 innings over 15 appearances with a 3.48 ERA.
Â Â Â Â Â Roth was primarily a starter in the United League (Laredo, TX) last season, striking out 38 in 43.2 innings while also walking 36 and managing only a 7.83 ERA.Â He also pitched briefly for Grand Prairie, TX (American Association) and Windy City (Crestwood, IL, Frontier League).
Â Â Â (This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball.Â Fans may subscribe at newly reduced rates at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.Â The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)