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April 7, 2005

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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The hottest rumor in the Atlantic League is the Long Island Ducks and their possible deals with former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker and son of baseball great Pete Rose, Pete Jr. Rose Jr. signed with the Somerset Patriots a few years ago; however, as he was getting on a plane, was picked up. A source says that there’s a good chance that at least one of these players will sign; however, did not rule out both. Michael Hirsch, the Ducks general manager, said that the team can’t comment on players not under contract and the team is trying to put the best team possible on the field to repeat as league champions…As of right now, former Patriots third baseman Jeff Nettles (Kansas City Royals) and catcher Tom McGee (Baltimore Orioles) are not on any roster with the teams they signed with this off-season. Neither is James Lofton (Nashua Pride/Orioles), Jim Bullinger (Patriots/Royals), more coming soon…Cam Smith and Matt Carnes, both former Patriots, made the Durham Bulls, Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, roster. Manny Santana, former Patriots catcher, made the Anaheim Angels Double-A affiliate roster, the Arkansas Travelers…Former Newark Bears pitcher David Shepard was released by the New York Yankees. He was slated to start the year in Double-A Trenton.

Also, a quick glance at the Pawtucket Red Sox roster shows that former Pennsylvania Road Warriors ace Tim Kester will be returning for a second season. He posted solid numbers with the team last year and would be a welcome addition to the big club in a pinch…Kevin McGlinchy is listed as being on the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx roster. He pitched for the Ducks and Pride in 2003. If you had to pick a day to go see him, I’d highly recommend April 8th. Minor league baseball and midget wrestling for one low, low price. Can’t beat that, I guess…Former Long Island Ducks INF Carlos Baerga, who was sent down to AAA New Orleans by the Washington Nationals, has accepted the assignment and is listed on their official Opening Day roster. Baerga would likely be the team’s first infielder called up.

The Washington Nationals signed two former Atlantic Leaguers besides Baerga this off-season, Michael Coleman and Melvin Nieves. Coleman is not listed on the team’s AA or AAA rosters, but Melvin Nieves is listed on the Double-A Harrisburg Senators roster. The Sens don’t come into Trenton until May 20, and if he’s there that long, I’ll make sure I get a hold of him. If Coleman was, in fact, released by Washington, look for him to either return to Newark or play overseas.

Nashua Pride GM Todd Marlin has confirmed four player signings, as well as confirming their new pitching coach, who might not be so new after all. Marlin said that the team will have INF Tom Creighton in camp, who was acquired from the Frontier League as was earlier reported here. Also, he confirmed that Brian Looney, Denny Harriger and Glenn Murray will return to the team. Murray will be strictly a player, and not a player/coach, as was once believed, although I’m sure Murray’s veteran leadership will relegate him to the role in an unofficial sense. Also, Marlin told me that Andre Rabouin will return to the team as it’s pitching coach, a role he last filled in 2002. I asked him about several players that we had heard that would be coming back, as we posted in one of our earlier updates. The team has talked with both Paxton Crawford and Brad Guy, and would have both players back. However, teams can’t say much about players who aren’t under contract. As for Dante Bichette, the Pride GM said that the last time they spoke, Dante had expressed an interest in possibly coming back for the second half of this season, pretty much mirroring what he did last year. “I’ll take 18 home runs in 32 games anytime,” said Marlin with a laugh.

And, to quiet one of the more interesting rumors floating around, and there does seem to be an abundance of them lately in the Atlantic League, Mo Vaughn will not be coming to Nashua. While Marlin did say that Pride Manager and now co-owner Butch Hobson did speak with Mo during the off-season, he also said that Vaughn indicated that he had no interest in playing again.

Former Long Island Ducks ace Bill Pulsipher made his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals today, allowing one hit in a third of an inning in relief of starter Jason Marquis. The Cardinals lost the game to the Houston Astros, 4-1, and Pulse did not factor into the decision. – Scott Stanchak and Mike Ashmore

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