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March 7, 2006

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Former AL Triple Crown Winner On The Move: Jimmy Hurst, the former Detroit Tigers outfielder, won the AL Triple Crown with the Newark Bears several years ago. After spending last year with the Atlantic City Surf and the Nashua Pride, it seemed pretty clear that Hurst wouldn’t be returning to the league in 2006.

Here’s what Hurst had to say about the AL in a 2005 interview with myself: “For some reason, the Atlantic League is letting a lot of other leagues catch up to them. It was, by far, the best league in baseball. The other leagues are starting to treat their guys with a little bit more respect and take care of the guys who get the job done for them and sell tickets for them. This league is getting to the point where they’re nitpicking on guys who’ve helped them in the past, who’ve been around in the league and have done a lot of stuff for this league. It seems like it’s slowly slipping to where other leagues are catching up, and it’s sad. This is a good league, but a lot of changes need to be made in this league for it to continue to be the best independent league.”

Although Hurst didn’t mention the Frontier League by name in one of the questions that followed that one, that’s exactly where he went today. Hurst signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Pride re-sign Lofton: The Nashua Pride, now of the Can-Am League, continue to re-sign their old players. Former Boston Red Sox infielder James Lofton is the latest player to sign with the former Atlantic League franchise. I think that’s very indicative of the influence that Butch Hobson has over player personnel and the franchise as a whole. The Can-Am League isn’t necessarily known for their abundance of big leaguers, partially due to the roster rules they have, but mainly for quality of play reasons.

Touching on what Jimmy Hurst was talking about, I think he’s right in saying that other leagues are catching up to the Atlantic League. But, I think it’s the GBL that’s made the biggest dent in the AL talent pool, not necessarily the Can-Am League.

WBC Update: Orlando Miller is the starting shortstop for Panama, and he got a hit in his first at-bat tonight. None of the Atlantic Leaguers on Team Canada are in the starting lineup tonight against South Africa.

New Interview Posted: In the spirit of the WBC, I’ve posted my never-before-released interview with Panama SS Orlando Miller. Miller played for Nashua last season. You can check it out by clicking here. – Mike Ashmore

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