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June 15, 2006 June 15, 2006

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Tuesday’s Patriots-Bears game featured another bench-clearing incident, actually the first I’ve seen (that I can remember) in over 200 games of covering the league. The Bears didn’t take to kindly to Lipso Nava getting drilled again, and it led to this…

Somerset Is Screwed: According to this Ryan Dunleavy Courier News article, the Patriots are losing their best hitter and their closer.

For the second straight year, the Patriots are losing a player to Taiwan – with center fielder Mike Lockwood agreeing to terms with a team over there. Last year, P Scott Sobkowiak left the team for a deal in Taiwan, and P Greg Modica also left for a tryout in Taiwan before ultimately returning. The Sobkowiak departure in particular was not a popular one, and I can imagine the same can be said for this one as well.

Also, Hector Almonte has signed with a team in the Mexican League. Almonte’s electric fastball will be missed by the Patriots, as will the eight saves he brought to the team. Dunleavy writes that Almonte will try to buy out his contract to leave the door open for a possible return to the Patriots after the Mexican League season is over.

Unless an agreement is worked out with the team, Lockwood will be placed on the suspended list and his Atlantic League rights will remain property of the Patriots until he’s traded. Such was the case with Sobkowiak last year, who was traded for Chris Zallie, who didn’t make it out of camp. As for Almonte, if he does purchase his own contract, he would be eligible to return to the league.

Almonte leaving the team nullifies the chance for an all Almonte matchup, as Hector did not face his brother Erick when Somerset came into Long Island earlier this month.

Bluefish Talking to Pitchers: According to Rich Elliott of The Connecticut Post — and good job by him to actually get names to go with his story, which can be unnecessarily difficult at times — the team is targeting Jose Jimenez, Keiichi Yabu, Derrin Ebert and Eduardo Villacis. All are former big leaguers. Jimenez threw a no-hitter for the Cardinals in his rookie season of 1999, I saw Yabu pitch for Oakland just last season, Ebert pitched in five games for Atlanta in 1999 (Insert Siskel and/or Roeper joke here) and Villacis played for the Royals in 2004 and then for the Surf just last season.

I’m a little surprised they’re going after pitching, but they have suffered some pretty big losses with Boehringer and Osborne leaving, so perhaps it’s not that big of a shock.

Patriots Win in Newark: Mike Johnson closed out the game for Somerset, in his first game as the team’s new closer. The final was 4-3, with Alexis Hernandez hitting a two-run homer in the eighth to make it interesting.

Ducks Go Quackers:

Good News: The Ducks have apologized to their fans after sending about 40 copies of the press release from the game.

Bad News: I’ve already gotten about 15 copies of that apology. Yikes. The Surf had a similar problem earlier this year, I think it’s related to the company in charge of the mailing lists… – Mike Ashmore

Bears Again Make Moves: Today the Newark Bears signed Nick Steppe and placed catcher Victor Valencia on the disabled list. – Scott Stanchak.



1. Anonymous - June 15, 2006

The Patriots probably weren’t going to win the first half anyway. They have time to add players before the All-Star break.

2. Anonymous - June 15, 2006

Patriots have good pitching — they’ll work harder. Weather hasn’t been particularly warm either, when it heats up so will the bats. Go Patriots!

3. DUCK FAN - June 15, 2006

i know it SUCKS for us fans but you can’t blame thses guys for going elsewhere for more money. i would do the same thing and anyone else would too.

4. Anonymous - June 15, 2006

Tend to agree, would be great if players got paid more. Wouldn’t surprise me if some have to spend more or close to what they get paid. They love baseball — we should thank them and support them.

5. Jeff - June 15, 2006

For the league to survive, there has to be limited budgets, which is why the pay is controlled so much.
You are right – IF you like baseball, and the enjoyment these guys bring each night and during the season, we should thank them and support them at as many games as possible.

6. Anonymous - June 15, 2006

going to the games, however, just lines the pockets of league owners.

7. Jeff - June 15, 2006

But you know they are not making that much money. They can’t be.

8. Anonymous - June 15, 2006

i’m not so sure about that. there’s a reason that Kirk, Kalafer, Boulton, and Klein own all the teams. many of the teams have some sweet rental deals, where they get to keep all the ad revenue, concessions, parking, etc, along with concert revenue.

9. Jeff - June 15, 2006

Well Camden didn’t have that ‘sweet’ rental deal, which was taking them right down the drain. Do you think Newark, the Surf, or the Fish are doing great financially? Plus the Sharks? I don;t think so.

10. BoosterBabe - June 15, 2006

Well, that’s not the case in Bridgeport. Private investor group took over this year….they pay heavy rent to the city. City keeps the parking $$$, the own the lots. City also owns the scoreboard, which desperately needs upgrading.
Some concessions were made last year to previous ownership but it almost didn’t happen, certain city council members fought it tooth and nail, the concessions barely passed (I think the margin was 2 votes…I was present at the vote but I don’t remember how many council-members were there to vote, some were missing, as I recall, that night.)

Stands have not been packed. It’s worrisome to me, as Pres of the Booster Club b/c we rely on the people in attendance to buy “door prize” tix and it bugs me to let an Angel Echevarria autographed baseball to go for a mere $34 take. That means we only sold 34 tickets. Of course, there were probably 1500 in the stands the night I’m referring to, so that’s probably not bad, proportionately. Still…it’s scary. The Booster Club is not raising much money every night to fund our charitable work and player support efforts… makes me wonder how much money the owners are making once they cover their expenses.

Still, the Mary Jane Foster, who heads up the ownership group, is a fantastic lady and I love working with her. I wish her nothing but the best in a very tough job! I just hope attendance picks up….

11. BoosterBabe - June 15, 2006

Burnham Watch:
Check out http://www.readingphillies.com and click on the RTV section. There’s a nice little interview with Burnham. I’m happy to say he did not bash the Atlantic League like the Canseco boys did. He’s got a lot more class than that. (Owe it to his good Connecticut upbringing, I guess! LOL)

Also, FYI, the article from the Sunday Reading Eagle 2 weeks ago was reprinted on the author’s blog on the Reading Eagle website. Just scroll down until you see him crashing into home plate.

12. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 15, 2006

To be fair to Ozzie, he didn’t say anything negative about the league when I talked to him in 2004. As for Jose…ummm, yeah. Not so much there.


13. Anonymous - June 16, 2006

boosterbabe as a fellow fish i can tell you this about the bluefish struggle it is their own fault.the marketing of the team is horrid.a number of the players on the bluefish have been in trouble with the law while being bluefish.i.e alex cole being arrested for heroin dealing for one.then a bluefish employee arrested for molesting a child numerous times in the ballpark.the previous owner airing his fiancial and personal problems with the city in the papers everyday,with city council members pretty much accusing the bluefish of cooking the books while the city is going broke.

b-fish fan

14. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 16, 2006

It’s more the marketing than it is previous legal stuff. I mean, I doubt people pick up the paper and go…hey, Bluefish game today, wanna go? Nah man, can’t, Alex Cole was arrested for doing drugs, remember?

Granted, it’s awful publicity, but I doubt people stay away for that reason.


15. BoosterBabe - June 17, 2006

yeah, seriously……the Alex Cole thing was five years ago. The employee with the kids…..at least 4 years ago. Most people don’t even remember that stuff. And it was ONLY those 2 incidents.
I agree, they need to market more aggressively. Hometown radio station sponsors dollar hot dogs/Pepsi night on Wednesdays, they get lots of plugs but I rarely hear them mention the Bluefish on the radio. WHo’s getting the better end of that trade deal? Granted, radio ads are more valuable than mentioning the radio station at the ballpark, but it’s all about frequency, man!!!! And the Cutters are doing a lot of promoting on the BRIDGEPORT based radio station, b/c they go all over the state (very powerful FM).
Last night was a sellout. The place was crawling with cub scouts, who had their sleepover last night. It was crazy, lines for food….kids running all over the ballpark, running you down….nuts!!! But at the same time, fantastic! Great to see the place buzzing with people and they won 2-0 so what’s better than that? A full house and a great game!

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