September 25, 2021

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 groin and most likely is gone for the season.  Navarette missed about 30 games at the start of the season with a tendon problem in a foot, which certainly did not help Long Island in the first half.  Now this.

      It was only one year ago that the now 32-year-old infielder-outfielder played a league-record 139 games when he also set the pace in runs batted in (96), hits (164), runs (106), extra-base hits (66) and doubles (39) while hitting 25 home runs and batting .309 in leading the Ducks into the playoffs.  While his ’10 production in 86 games with 25 doubles, 13 dingers and 54 RBI might look pretty good to a lot of players, well, you get the drift of both the team and personal disappointment.

      If there can be any silver lining to his season ending early, it would be to allow more time to his developing clothing design business.  “My main priority is my playing”, the Seton Hall baseball standout and business degree major emphasized to this corner over the weekend, “but after my last (career) game I want to walk (right) into my own office.”

      That means Digmi Nation clothing, the brand of “classy, trendy” t-shirts, polo shirts, shoes, denim pants, baseball caps and more that Navarrete has had under way for some time.  “I always wear colorful sneakers and hats.  They resemble my personality and style”, and he said it is basically a cross between Polo and Abercrombie & Fitch.

      Have no fear for the future, Ducks fans:  “I want to play as long as I can”, Navarrete emphasized, even if he does not get back on the diamond this season.

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From Cubs to Atlantic League With Plenty of Respect

      Count Somerset reliever Jeff Kennard as a newcomer who is showing the Atlantic League respect.

      “This league is ridiculous on the talent they have,” Kennard recently told  “I came mentally not focused on how great this league was, so I thought I could come out and do my thing, which the case was I couldn’t.”

      Kennard had been in spring training as a non-roster pitcher with the Chicago Cubs.  He has righted the ship, winning four of five decisions (4.06 ERA) in 43 appearances out of the Patriots’ bullpen including nine victories the last 10 times he has taken to the mound. 

      (These are excerpts from the Atlantic League Notebook.  Subscriptions to the full Notebook are available via or  Bob Wirz also writes a weekly column, the Independent Baseball Insider, as well as a blog, 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.)

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