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October 3, 2005

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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DiFelice named playoff MVP: When the Somerset Patriots signed P Mark DiFelice after he’d been released by the Washington Nationals organization, nobody was really sure what to expect. Little did they know that he’d emerge as the staff ace and go on to be named the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs after his great playoff run. DiFelice took the ball for the Patriots in Game 3 and mesmerized Pride batters for the entire game and got the final out in the Patriots third Atlantic League Championship.

DiFelice’s final playoff stats are very impressive. He went 2-0 with a microscopic 0.90 ERA over 20 innings of work, as well as 10 strikeouts. His most impressive stat, though? Throwing two complete games, both on the road, and also picking up the save in Game 1 of the ALCS.

Ryan Radmanovich was also reportedly under consideration for the honors, hitting .400 with 3 HR and 9 RBI during the postseason.

No other franchise in the Atlantic League has more than one championship, so for the Patriots to have three is really an accomplishment. Whether it’s in the stands or in the press box, I’ll make sure I’m in the house when the rings are given out on Opening Day of 2006.

Escandon goes out on top: Ryan Dunleavy of The Courier-News reports that Patriots captain Emiliano Escandon has played his last game. The veteran infielder retired after last night’s game, winning his third Atlantic League Championship ring and fifth ring in 11 years as a player.

Escandon hit .208 in the playoffs, with 0 HR and 1 RBI.

Emiliano was always willing to give you a quote or just shoot the breeze with you, and I’ll certainly miss watching him on the field. I think there are a lot of logical roles that he could fill if they were to become available next season, so I doubt you’ll have heard the last of Escandon.

I’d like to see his #22 get retired by the team. For everything that he’s done on the field, but especially off the field and in the community for the Patriots organization, it would certainly be a well-deserved honor and his would be the first number retired by a team in the Atlantic League.

Murray Likely Done Too: Tom King of The Nashua Telegraph reports that Glenn Murray is “95 percent sure” that he’ll retire after this season. Of Murray’s three postseason hits, two of them were home runs.

Just as it is with Escandon, I think there are some roles that Murray could fulfill next season. If Butch Hobson doesn’t return, and that always seems to be a question mark, Murray would be the logical choice as the next manager of the team. He could also fill the role of hitting coach or come back as a player/coach a la Kevin Baez or Doug Jennings.

Facts That Definitely Only Interest Me: Of the 1,569 different players I’ve seen play in Double-A, Triple-A, Major League Baseball and the Atlantic League, I’ve never seen a player play more than Emiliano Escandon. I saw Escandon play 160 times, and saw him take 628 at-bats. He hit 9 HR, drove in 88 runs and hit .248 in games I was at. He also walked 77 times, meaning I saw him make over 700 total plate appearances. Suffice it to say that it won’t be the same watching the Patriots without “E” on the field.

As for Glenn Murray, I was in Veteran’s Stadium when he got his first MLB RBI. It was on May 12, 1996 and was against the Braves and Greg Maddux, of all people. The RBI came on a a sacrifice groundout, and it was just his third MLB game. That was the only time I ever saw him play in the big leagues. I did see him play 23 other times with the Nashua Pride from 2003-2005. Overall, he hit .180 in games I was at, with 2 HR and 6 RBI. Another note that you should definitely not care about is that future Atlantic League players Brad Clontz, Pedro Borbon and Terrell Wade appeared consecutively in relief after Maddux. – Mike Ashmore

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