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April 26, 2005

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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PLAYER SIGNINGS: Signing former big leaguers is so old hat to the Long Island Ducks that they don’t even announce it anymore. P Mike Crudale popped up on their roster, he of course pitched for the Cardinals in 2002 in the regular season and NLDS and NLCS. He also pitched for Milwaukee in 2003.

With that said, perhaps it’s so new to the Barnstormers that they don’t announce it. According to The Lancaster New Era, the team has reached an agreement with former Montreal Expos P Troy Mattes and former Los Angeles Dodgers OF Oreste Marrero. Mattes pitched for the Ducks last year and Marrero played for Bridgeport.

The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reports that OF Jose Ortiz and
P Reynaldo Garcia are nearly completed with the visa process and should be in uniform on Thursday night. Also, the paper reports that the team has signed former Devil Rays farmhand INF Chad Cooper.

EX-ATLANTIC LEAGUER COMES UP BIG: What a great story that came out of Oakland last night. Former Camden Riversharks catcher Chris Widger is now, as you know, the backup catcher for the Chicago White Sox. He hit his first Major League home run since August 9, 2000 against Barry Zito last night. I read over an AP article about it, and Sox starter A.J. Pierzynski actually went into the stands and got the ball from the fan who caught it.

“That ball probably means as much to me as the first one I hit, just because of what I’ve done and the places I’ve been over the last few years,” Widger said in the article.

The article then goes on to tell about Widger’s time with Camden last year.

But that story reminds me of what Widger told me about how he got his very first home run ball in an interview I did with him last season.

“I remember (Seattle reliever) Bobby Ayala went into the stands to get the home run,” Widger told me.

“At the time, we weren’t a very good team in the middle of ’95 with Seattle. So there weren’t many fans there, but somebody got it and he saw who got it. He went out and there were some words exchanged and I ended up trading a signed bat for my first home run ball.”

ASHMORE’S OPINIONS: If I’m going to come out and blast the Nashua Pride, I’d might as well give the Newark Bears some equal time…however, I doubt this one will be as harsh.

As you read in the last update, Newark made some interesting roster moves yesterday; among them releasing OF Mike Piercy and C Jason Dewey.

I would have to think that releasing Dewey means that another catcher is on the way, as surely they wouldn’t be OK with having just one catcher, one who spent most of last year with Pennsylvania, no less.

Although he had bounced around the league early on in his career, Piercy seemed to have found a home in Newark, after all that is where he’s from. He had emerged as the face of the franchise and someone you could always count on seeing at team functions and charity events. Although that isn’t a reason to keep someone, his speed and at the very least ability off the bench was, and I’d be surprised if another team…perhaps one in the South division comes to mind, could use him for some extra help in the outfield.

I can’t just come out and rip the Bears because the motivation for these moves isn’t quite as clear as what was/is going on in Nashua. But, if they do go into Opening Day with one catcher…eek. – Mike Ashmore.

STANCHAK’S NOTES: The Atlanta Braves placed former Bridgeport Bluefish pitcher Brian Langen on the restricted list. The Kansas City Royals put pitcher Jim Bullinger on the suspended list…

The Ducks lost their first player of the season, having infielder Mike Dzurilla sign with the Philadelphia Phillies…

The Barnstormers announced that Opening Day was sold out for the team. Haven’t they learned from all the other teams yet: You never say you are sold out…

The Nashua Pride traded infielder Ricardo Cordova to the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. They get in return, what else, but future consideration. – Scott Stanchak.

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