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August 26, 2005

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Pats to lose Modica: Geoff Mosher of The Courier News reports that the team will be losing its second starting pitcher this month, and both to the very same place. P Greg Modica will be leaving the team to pitch in Taiwan, reports Mosher. Mosher also reports, though, that if the deal falls through that the diminutive starter would likely return to the team.

Ashmore Analysis: The only person happy about this deal is Modica. Team officials can’t be happy and league officials certainly can’t be happy either. However, who’s really to blame here? The most a guy can make the AL is $3,000 a month, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Modica wasn’t making anywhere near that.

I mean you can criticize the guys who leave all you want for leaving, but there certainly comes a point where you can only do so much with the money you have. Is it a good career move? No, absolutely not. But was it a necessary move? Most likely, yes. I’ve never talked to anyone who had a good time in Taiwan, nor I have I talked to anyone who’s talked to anyone who has. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and I’m a little surprised that you haven’t seen this a little more.

Players will say that the league isn’t quite as good as it has been in the past, and I had dismissed that for a while…but you know what, there might be some truth to that. Look at a roster from 2003 and then compare to it to a roster from 2005. How many of the guys from 2003 are still here in 2005? For some teams, a lot of guys are still hanging around. That’s not to knock the guys who are “league veterans,” but the league is set up so that guys can’t really get comfortable playing here.

And let’s get this straight, there are guys that have had to come back here for years who absolutely deserve a better deck of cards than what they’ve been dealt. You’re telling me a team can’t use Emiliano Escandon’s leadership? Justin Davies’ consistency? Bull.

But a lot of players point to the max salary as being the problem, and I think they may be on to something. While yes, the $3,000 “salary cap” is a huge deterrent to guys thinking about “hanging on” for another year, it’s also a deterrent for guys thinking about playing independent ball who have excellent chances at getting picked up and need a place to play. Geoff Mosher touched on this in one of his recent articles with a quote from Kevin Nicholson in regards to housing, and he too may be on to something here…if the maximum league salary were increased $1,000 to $4,000, what impact would that have on the level of play in the Atlantic League?

What are guys getting paid in other leagues? I’m not entirely sure…but I will tell you that I had one player in the league – a player who’s never set foot in a big league uniform – say that he was getting paid $5,000 a month while playing for another independent league. And, also to touch on something I’ve mentioned in passing before, the Golden Baseball League has really put a gigantic dent in the talent pool in the Atlantic League. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone associated with the AL to admit to this, but it’s true. If a guy’s living on the West Coast, why would he come all the way over here to play independent ball when he can just stay there and live closer to home.

So if the league stands idly by while guys are leaving for foreign countries, there is something they can do about it. Increase the maximum salaries and make some considerations into improving the housing situation as well.

Ducks Update: Is Bill Simas back yet? No? Yeah, give that a couple days…

Todd Erdos, who was deactivated a little while ago, is still listed on the Ducks roster. Imagine what kind of one-two punch that would be. Wow.

I’d be shocked if he didn’t come back, it seems to be the worst kept secret in the league. When I have players asking me if he’s back yet and why nothing’s on the site, it’s time to get it out there…

‘Sharks sign Cole: The Camden Riversharks have signed RHP Joey Cole. Cole’s a big dude, standing 6′ 8″ tall and weighing around 225 pounds. He was the Mets 11th round draft pick in 1999 and has advanced to the Triple-A level with them twice in his six years in the organization. He most recently pitched for the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League, calling AL alums Brad Guy and Andrew Salvo teammates.

Player I’d Most Like to See in the AL: Billy Koch. Is he pitching anywhere? Talk about an impact player in a league pretty bare of consistent pitching staffs. – Mike Ashmore.

Wayne Signs: Just days after being released by the Somerset Patriots, pitcher Justin Wayne landed with the Newark Bears despite thinking he might sign with the Lancaster Barnstormers. The team released pitcher Carlos Castillo for the roster spot. – Scott Stanchak.

(Ashmore’s Note – I saw Wayne throw his bullpen for Lancaster and it looked pretty good. Granted, accidentally hitting one of your possible future teammates with a stray breaking ball probably wasn’t the best way to get noticed, but in any event – he looked all right. However, Lancaster had just made moves for pitching and didn’t have room for Wayne. I’d heard that he was consisdering Bridgeport and Newark, so I wasn’t surprised to see him land in Newark.)

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