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April 28, 2006 April 28, 2006

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Happy Opening Day! As you can see, the look of ALB is quite different as we head into the 2006 season. Here are a few of the main changes: there’s only the most recent day’s news stories on the front page; archived news will be listed by date; and the most exciting one is that I’ve opened the news pages up for comments. At the bottom of each days news, there’s a link that says comments. If you see a news story you want to throw your take in on, feel free. It’s also a way for us to interact back with you on topics you find appealing. We’ll see how this works and if it is popular, we’ll stick with it.

By the way: between PatriotsBaseball and ALB, we’ve covered the Atlantic League for over seven years now! Today was our 351st news day on this new format — how great is that! Happy birthday or anniversary or congratulations, I don’t care which one, you choose.

Surf Info: The Atlantic City Surf, like so many other teams, held their team lunch/dinner yesterday and all 23 players were in attendance, as well as manager Jeff Ball.

The team will send Lincoln Mikkelsen to the mound to start opening day against the Somerset Patriots Andy Van Hekken, who has some MLB experience.

One guy the team is high on, according to a source, is Ben Grezlovski, who is apparently tossing between 88-90 on a constant basis — he’s a sidearmer. “Apparently his doctor couldn’t identify any lasting injury – and perhaps the stiffness won’t be a factor with some different PT exercises.”

What happened to the guy from Japan; guess he packed his bags and is on his way home. – Scott Stanchak.

Non-Existent Salary Cap: I spoke with Atlantic League Executive Director Joe Klein, and we were talking about the chances of Juan Gonzalez joining a team in the league. I was asking him about whether the $3,000 salary cap was a turn-off to some players, and he replied that such a cap doesn’t exist, which I think is huge news.

For years, I’ve been hearing about how a team could only pay $3,000 a month to any individual player, but it appears that any given team could pay any given player whatever they want. Some players are under that impression as well.

I’ll have some more on this one tomorrow, this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Juan Gonzalez Update: I spoke to both Adam Gladstone and Joe Klein about the possibility of Juan Gonzalez joining the league, and both seem to think it’s a non-story. I highly doubt it happens at this point, although it would be a nice feather in the cap of the AL at this point.

Nicholson Expected In On Wednesday: After talking with several team officials last night, it looks like SS Kevin Nicholson is expected to join the team on Wednesday.

Other notes from last night include that the Patriots don’t intend on signing anyone right away considering the heavy amount of off days in the schedule.

Mark DiFelice currently isn’t pitching anywhere, believe it or not, and is unsure of whether he wants to continue playing at all. It would be a shame if he hung it up.

I asked Patrick McVerry about the Juan Gonzalez rumors, and he told me that if Gonzalez were to come to Somerset, and that seems unlikely at the moment, that he’d have to play in the outfield. The only spot somewhat open now is in left, so thats where he’d be.

I got a glance at the Road Warriors complete roster, and also asked Adam Gladstone about it. He seems to really believe they can compete this season. Felix Martinez is the only big leaguer on the squad. Infielders Teuris Olivares and Mike Huggins are two more names you might know on the squad. Carlos Herrera, a pitcher, is also on the team.

Bears Info: Word out of Newark is that the team has reached an agreement with P Josue Matos. You might remember the Patriots were interested in him last year, but Matos signed with an affiliated team instead.

OF Doug Devore, who had an opportunity in Mexico, was released from that and it appears he’ll be joining the Bears after all.

The Atlantic League slogan should be, “Visa, don’t go anywhere without it.”

Or does somebody already own the rights to that? Hmmm…anyway, Newark is also experiencing the same visa problems that other teams are, but possibly to a greater extent. Lipso Nava, Liu Rodriguez, Francisco Santos and Jose Herrera have all had problems in that regard and their status is uncertain Specifically with Rodriguez, it appears he might be as much as two weeks away from playing with the Bears.

Bluefish News: Rich Elliott of The Connecticut Post reports that LF Bobby Darula was placed on the inactive list after informing the team he had to return home to tend to personal business and that, according to Elliott, “the flame was gone.”

I don’t know if the Bluefish have like a pool of players available to them that other teams don’t know about, but Elliott writes that the team has been in contact with Tim Raines, Jr. You might remember his father suiting up for Somerset a few years back if you’ve been following the league long enough.

Elliott also writes that INF Jose Offerman will be joining the team.

Really nice job by Rich on all this stuff, he’s been on top of things over the past few days.

Extraordinary Peeples: A source that attended the Barnstormers open workout spotted P Ross Peeples there. Peeples, who was forced to shut it down last year due to injury, is believed to be rehabbing in the area in hopes of a second half return.

Where There’s Smoke: There’s fire, and I’ve been able to confirm there is some validity to the rumor that recently released Camden P Jamie Steward might be headed to the Atlantic City Surf. Camden reportedly looked solid down in Spring Training, but I don’t know why they’d cut Steward with their pitching staff currently being ace-less.

I spoke to Jeff Ball about this after AC took BP today, and he said that Steward has some decisions to make regarding his career, but the team would entertain bringing him on.

Surf Stuff: The team is now listing catcher Joe Nichols as an outfielder, giving them a little more depth at the position after Mr. Suzemoto departed. Also P Jason DiAngelo is a new name on their roster, he’s a 25 year old Pennsylvania native who pitched in the South Atlantic League last year, which has no affiliation with this league.

Juan Gonzalez: I expect to have more information on former big league OF Juan Gonzalez and whether he legitimately wants to play in this league by tonight. I have yet to talk to any front office member who doesn’t want Gonzalez on their team – and who wouldn’t – not only would he kick butt on the field, he’d shoot your ticket sales up a good percentage as well. However, last I heard, Gonzalez is still in talks with big league clubs as well. – Mike Ashmore

Opening Day From Somerset:
We’re coming to you live from Bridgewater, NJ for Opening Day between the Somerset Patriots and Atlantic City Surf.
I spoke with pitching coach Brett Jodie today, who said that starter Todd Moser informed him yesterday that he injured his groin a few days ago. Not cool, is it. Mike will have more on this in a second…

Jodie feels that he has a good pitching staff and the fact that they can go with a three-man rotation until two days off and come back with those same three starters excites him; however, it’s only good if those three starters (Andy Van Hekken, Billy Sylvester, Jason Shiell) are successful.

Manager Sparky Lyle said that he feels pretty good about the club this year, but, as usual, said that it comes down to pitching, an area he thinks they’re solid in.

John Evans, Billy Hall and Emiliano Escandon are in the building to pick up their ’05 A.L. Championship rings.

Greg Modica was in the stadium despite being with the Road Warriors, who are taking on the Lancaster Barnstormers tonight. Oddly, he wasn’t on the field to get his ring with all the other guys. Interesting, right? Well, apparently, he didn’t want to go on the field, possibly because of how things with the club were left after being cut in Spring Training. He was very dissapointed by that, but why come to the stadium then?

Here’s tonight’s starting lineup, 45-minutes before game time:

Atlantic City Surf
1. Gary Johnson, CF
2. Raul Marval, SS
3. Ozzie Timmons, RF
4. Steve Torrealba, C (A catcher, let Torrealba, hitting fourth?)
5. Al Benjamin, LF
6. Clyde Williams, 1B
7. Joe Jiannetti, 3B
8. Todd Leathers, DH
9. Demetrius Heath, 2B

Somerset Patriots
1. Mike Lockwood, CF
2. Pat Boran, SS
3. Jeff Nettles, 3B
4. Larry Barnes, 1B
5. Ryan Radmanovich, RF (These three hitting back-to-back-to-back, could be devistating.)
6. Travis Anderson, DH
7. Jim Burt, LF
8. Fernando Lunar, C
9. George Sandel, 2B

7:35 p.m.: The Patriots just finished off the Surf in the top of the first by striking out the side. The odd thing was, starter Andy Van Hekken didn’t just K three, but four because of a wild pitch to a swinging Ozzie Timmons. Needless to say, he is the team leader in strikeouts at this point.

New Audio: Check out these audio clips from tonight. This clip features Jeff Ball’s thoughts on the Jamie Steward rumor, his team this season and the Dario Delgado trade. And this one is a quick clip with Patriots pitcher Todd Moser, who as Scott told you was scratched from his Sunday start. Jason Shiell will replace him.

Count Invited: The Somerset Patriots did the right thing, inviting former pitching coach John Montefusco to their Opening Day festivities. Montefusco didn’t attend, but will still receive a ring.

Ryan Radmanovich receives his championship ring

UPDATES: A lot of the news today has been updated throughout the day as both Mike and myself are live at the Patriots home opener. Make sure you keep checking back for up to the second Atlantic League news. – Scott Stanchak



1. Bobby Lewis - April 28, 2006

I love the look of the new site guys. You both do an awesome job with getting me Atlantic League news I can’t find anywhere else. I look forward to reading you both this season.

2. Jeff - April 28, 2006

You guys bring us the ALPB news we can’t get anywhere else. Some of the teams do an awful job of keeping us up-to-date with news on their teams. Thanks for your work.

3. Jeff - April 28, 2006

Surprised Camden released Jamie Steward. Brad Strauss made a comment yesterday that the team wants to go ‘in a new direction’. Seems like the solid veterans are being cut loose. It may be related to the new player development contract with the league.

4. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - April 28, 2006

Thanks for all the compliments and we’ll have a ton more news for you tonight, as well.

5. Anonymous - April 29, 2006

Wait, so is there a salary cap on player’s or is there not? Thanks guys, your great.

6. Anonymous - April 29, 2006

No cap, apparently.

7. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - April 29, 2006

As Mike stated in today’s news: no there is no cap.

8. Jeff - April 29, 2006

Update from Camden:
The Long Island Ducks defeated the Camden Riversharks 5-1 behind a mamoth home run from Bucky Jacobson. Starter Greg Powell pitched well for Camden in the early going, but was tagged by Jacobson with his home run in the 5th. Starter Pat Mahomes looked sharp for the Ducks, and picked up the win, hurling 5 2/3 innings. A couple player additions for Camden: Cletus Daviddson, and Pedro Swann. Will try to find out more about these guys.
Brad Strauss started at 3rd for the Sharks, and made two costly feilding errors. Travis Phelps pitched 2 plus innings of solid relief for Camden. Opening Night attendance was 7,300.

9. Anonymous - April 29, 2006

Re: Salary Cap…..I have it from more than one reliable source (a General Mgr., Player/Mgr. & numerous long time prof. & non-prof. players) that there IS & ALWAYS has been a $3000 salary cap. I don’t know why Joe Klein would tell you that there isn’t, if in fact, there is. I will check with my sources as well to try to sort it out.

10. Anonymous - April 29, 2006

Mike said he got the info from the league President so that should be that. Maybe teams say there’s a $3000 max a month to keep players under their own cap.

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