September 2, 2014

Through the Eyes of a Somerset Patriots Fan

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A View from the Press Box Most Somerset Patriots fans are aware of the significance of June 7, 1999.  It was the team’s first home opener at their present ballpark.  This was after spending their 1998 inaugural season, on the road.  When the gates were lifted, it ushered in the fruition of Steve Kalafer’s vision […]

As Atlantic Season Opens, Kirk and Other Owners Eye Spanning USA With Two Eight-Team Divisions

April 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

When Sugar Land inaugurated its lavish new ballpark near Houston on Thursday, the Skeeters helped usher in the 20th season of this improbable success known as Independent Baseball. Two decades of professional play apart from the major leagues is quite an accomplishment for those who have given their sweat and their dollars, but I feel I can safely […]

It Is the Turn-Around Series in Atlantic League Finals

September 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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.  After all, the Revolution, who host […]

Mexican Leaguers Give Major Boost to Already Potent Bluefish; York and Somerset Also Go Outside League for Pitching

September 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It appears successful baseball managers such as Butch Hobson, Sparky Lyle and Andy Etchebarren may want to book a little time in Mexico before the next Atlantic League season.  At the least, they should brush up on their Spanish. While the playoffs are far from over with the unpredictability of five-game series, one team has […]

Reichert Vs. Yan Gives Atlantic a Major League Pairing

September 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This is one of those abundant times when record-shattering performances, solid season-long attendance, and the playoffs collide for attention, but the postseason has to take center stage because it is what everyone has been striving for throughout the 140-game regular season.  Actually, the opportunity also is there to combine one of the Atlantic League-record-breaking players […]

York to Test Brett Jodie’s Latest Work

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Since it may boil down to a classic example of hitting vs. pitching when the Atlantic League playoffs begin Wednesday, certain logic has to point to the two-time defending champion Somerset Patriots having the upper hand when they square off with the York Revolution to decide the Freedom Division’s representative in the league’s championship series. […]

Gibbons Homers Off Fellow Indy Leaguer in Major League Game

September 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While concentrating on the finalizing of playoff pairings, one cannot help but wonder how many Atlantic League fans took notice of the special moment that took place Sunday when two of the league’s current major leaguers squared off against each other. On this occasion, two onetime Long Island Ducks were standing 60 feet, six inches […]

Ayala’s Return Gives Sparky Lyle’s Team Big Boost

September 10, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

If anyone heard what sounded like a collective sigh of relief recently, it probably came from the Somerset Patriots clubhouse because pesky Elliott Ayala had shaken off the effects of being hit squarely on the mouth with a pitch sufficiently to get back in the lineup. “That’s a guy that we need,” Manager Sparky Lyle […]

Jeff Nettles Adds to Family Home Run Lore

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Although he already has about eight and a half major league seasons, Esteban Yan would like more.  “I hope to get another opportunity”, the 35-year-old said.  “I know I’ve got a lot left.” I did not discuss future major league hopes with Willis Otanez, but the Long Island first baseman-DH would not mind seeing his […]

Bob Goughan Already Has Eight Championship Rings, But Another Would ‘Mean a Lot’ to Bridgeport GM

September 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Bob Goughan is anything but a rookie in baseball even though this is his first season as general manager at Bridgeport, and even though he has eight previous championship rings it would have extra meaning if he could add one with the Bluefish. “It (championship) would mean a lot”, says Goughan, who is in an […]

Atlantic League Player of Year Likely Out for Year

August 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

      The Long Island Ducks could not stand much bad news as they cling to any hope of making the Atlantic League playoffs.       Then, it happened.       Last year’s league Player of the Year and the Ducks’ Mr. Everything since he landed on the scene in late 2006, the versatile Ray Navarrete injured his […]

Which Closer Will Be Key to Winning It All? Julio, Williamson, Warden in the Mix

August 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It has been a few years now since Jorge Julio and Scott Williamson were prominent major league closers, and it is total conjecture whether either can get back to that level in a major way since they have crossed over to their 30s.  But this much is certain:  They are vital to two of the […]

Atlantic League Foes Have Great Season, Diabetes in Common

August 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

      When the Atlantic League playoffs roll around next month, the all-but-certain first round matchup between Southern Maryland and Bridgeport will have an interesting sub-plot pitting Blue Crabs pitching standout Dan Reichart against the Bluefish’s versatile Joe Jiannetti.       Both players are having an outstanding season, Reichart with a league-leading and franchise-record 14 victories despite […]

Sandy DeLeon Has Made Eight Stops in Atlantic League

August 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

      Call him the true baseball journeyman.  Maybe even a nomad.  Just call him.       Sandy DeLeon is not the best baseball player in the Atlantic League, and he recognizes it.  But this happy man from New York City by way of the Dominican Republic is ready any time the telephone rings.  He brings a […]

Lancaster Loses League Home Run Leader Jason Perry

August 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lancaster took it on the chin four times in five meetings with the Atlantic League’s hottest team, Bridgeport, this week, but that is only the start of the potential problems facing the Barnstormers, who cling to a two-game lead in the Freedom Division race. They have to figure out a way to replace league home […]

Camden’s Von Hayes and Chiaravalloti Doing Double Duty

August 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Camden Manager Von Hayes and part-time cleanup hitter Vito Chiaravalloti both have a lot on their mind these days, and it is only partially due to the Riversharks’ uphill battle to make the Atlantic League playoffs.             The postseason is immediate priority No. 1, but Hayes, the onetime Philadelphia Phillies star, also heads up a […]

Story Lines Terrific for First No-Hitter in 6 Years

August 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While major league baseball has been basking in perfect games and no-hitters this season, it had been nearly six years since the Atlantic League enjoyed such a feat before Southern Maryland’s Joe Newby and Jim Ed Warden combined to hold Newark hitless in a 3-1 victory at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium Wednesday night.  The […]

At Least One Wild Card Likely for Atlantic League Playoffs

August 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is getting close to “wild card” time.  Some newspapers have been listing the major league wild card data in their standings for weeks now, but this subject also carries importance in the Atlantic League since it seems very real that Southern Maryland and York could capture both first and second half divisional titles. The […]

He Uses ‘The Only Sane Part of My Body’ to Throw Batting Practice

July 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It often seems that when we dig deeper a story gets more interesting.  That certainly has been the case this summer in the process of trying to find the best possible information for this Notebook.  So today we are going to veer largely away from the usual stories of pennant races and exceptional performances to […]

Return of Brian Adams May Help Patriots

July 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Somerset’s last place standing in the Freedom Division with a 6-12 record may look bleak, but it is far too early to count the two-time defending champions out since they only trail division-leading Lancaster by four games (five in the loss column).  The Patriots, who have already tried 22 pitchers this season, have bolstered their […]

Batting Leader Steve Moss Is Loving Life in Bridgeport

July 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

It has been nearly 30 years since Reggie Smith last terrorized major league pitchers with an often lethal bat which made him one of the all-time great switch-hitters.  He helped get Boston to a World Series and the Los Angeles Dodgers to three more while hitting 314 regular-season home runs and topping 1,000 in both […]

Pitching Helps Optimism for Both Early Second-Half Leaders

July 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A head-to-head series between Lancaster and Bridgeport presented an ideal opportunity to check the pulse of these second-half division leaders.     Both managers, Tom Herr of the Barnstormers and Willie Upshaw of the host Bluefish, believe their starting pitching has gotten better as the 140-game season has progressed, and that fact alone could keep them […]

Search for Pitching Continues

July 16, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

While it is still a bit early to make too many judgments about the second half of the Atlantic League season, one can be certain the six teams still in search of postseason berths will constantly monitor their pitching.  Do we have enough?  Starters?  Relievers?  Who might be available?       At least three former major […]

Move to Starting Role Helped Bridgeport’s Patrick Ryan Secure Opportunity in Red Sox System

July 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems highly unlikely if it had not been for the decision to move Patrick Ryan out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation at the start of June that the 27-year-old right-hander would be leaving Bridgeport and on his way to join the Boston Red Sox’s Salem, VA farm club Saturday. Ryan, who […]

Atlantic League Celebrates Its Two Newest Major Leaguers And Looks Forward to an Eventual Three-Division Setup

July 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Atlantic League knew it had an upbeat day Tuesday well before the All-Stars were scheduled to swelter their way through near 100-degree temperatures to put on a display of their talent before a number of major league scouts and a sellout crowd of more than 6,000 fans at Citibank Park on Long Island. Mid-year […]

If Form Holds on Last-to-First Ritual, York Will Win It All This Season

July 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Longtime major league catcher Andy Etchebarren has been mourning the loss of his wife the last several months, but he now has at least one reason to find some happiness in that he has completed a rags-to-riches type story in rebuilding the York Revolution from last season’s 53-87 disaster into the Freedom Division’s first-half champions. […]

With York 22-5 When John Pachot Catches, Revolution Near Division Title

June 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

So many factors can be pinpointed when a team is on the brink of a championship as York is on this very evening, but         the most striking is what all-star catcher John Pachot has meant to the Revolution. York had whittled its magic number for clinching its initial Freedom Division first half title—and only its […]

Thinking Benitez Could End Up Back With Bobby V While Checking Back in on Those Oakland Signings

June 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It would not be a shock to hear a few Atlantic League managers give a sigh of relief, at least privately, over the fact player sales to major league organizations have slowed up.  It probably is only a temporary thing, but I cannot imagine many of the contending field bosses being overly anxious to give […]

Four Crucial Series May Decide Both First-Half Titles; Ducks Ponder Activating All-Star Closer Simas

June 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Both divisions have dandy races ahead for the final two weeks of the first half in the Atlantic League although they are pretty much two-team battles.  Long Island is a third team within striking distance, four games off the pace in the Liberty Division, but the Ducks have to be considered a long shot because […]

Michael Ryan Had ‘A Blast’ With Angels; Could Aldridge, Mastny Be on Deck?

June 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This has to be a frustrating day for Michael Ryan, one of the bright alumni lights for the Atlantic League, since the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim designated him for assignment Thursday. Ryan, who turns 33 in a few days (July 6), had battled his way through four other major league organizations and a 65-game […]

Cristian Guerrero Will Not Be Forgotten Now After Hitting Five Homers in as Many Times at Bat

June 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Since Cristian Guerrero’s time in the Atlantic League was limited it is not surprising people did not remember much about him, but former teammate and current York outfielder Steve Haake was not in total shock when he learned the strapping outfielder had pounded home runs in five consecutive times at the plate in an independent […]

Trade Paid Immediate Dividends for One Side; Player Sales to Major League Teams Keep Mounting

June 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Best friends Butch Hobson and Andy Etchebarren may have second thoughts the next time they consider making a trade right ahead of a series between Hobson’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and Etchebarren’s York Revolution. They swapped outfielders hours before starting a three-game set in Southern Maryland last weekend, and Jamar Hill allowed the Crabs to […]

Two-Time Batting Champ Victor Rodriguez, Wily Mo Pena Could Add Substantially for Bridgeport

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

York’s worst-to-first dash can only encourage others to keep striving to improve, and that certainly seems to be the case for Bridgeport. The Bluefish, eager to return to the upper ranks of the Atlantic League since 1999 championship Manager Willie Upshaw was available from Day One (he took over in mid-season last year), were stung […]

With 38 Players Used Already, Bears ‘Continuing to Build’; Perkins May Help

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is highly advisable for anyone going to a Newark Bears game to pick up a program.  This goes for regulars at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium as well as the casual fan or someone watching the Bears on the road. Thirty-six games into the campaign or just past midway in the first half of […]

Oakland Takes Three More Atlantic Leaguers, Building Recent Total to Five and Passing Phils

May 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems a little like a runaway freight train the way Oakland has swooped into the Atlantic League for player talent, and all of a sudden the Athletics have moved past Philadelphia as the major league organization with the most players out of the 13-year-old league active in their farm system. Oakland has purchased the […]

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