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September 26, 2006 September 26, 2006

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Playoffs Start Today: The Atlantic League Playoffs finally get underway today, and the best pitching matchups are sure to be found in Game One.

In Bridgeport, former Bluefish pitcher Pat Ahearne takes the ball for the Ducks, facing T.J. Mathews. This will, believe it or not, be the first time the Ducks and Bluefish have faced each other in the postseason.

The Ducks have a lineup that can hurt you, but the Bluefish have shown more consistency during the season, and that’s why…

Ashmore Prediction – Bluefish in 2

In Atlantic City, a battle of Pitcher of the Year candidates will set the tone for the rest of the series. Lincoln Mikkelsen, who won all four of his starts against the Barnstormers this season, including his June 16th no-hitter in The Barn, squares off against Denny Harriger.

Mikkelsen, who has won his last eight decisions, faced Harriger once this season, beating him in Lancaster on August 23rd. Linc allowed just one solo home run in nine innings of work, his third of what would be a string of four consecutive complete games.

Meanwhile, Harriger scattered 13 hits over 7.1 innings of work, allowing two runs in what would end up being his last loss of the season.

Mikkelsen vs. Harriger is about as good as it gets in the Atlantic League, and I give the edge to the Surf in this particular matchup, and eventually…

Ashmore Prediction – Surf in 3

Note: Mikkelsen is 5-1 in his career against Lancaster, his only loss coming on June 7th, 2005 (My dad’s birthday), when he allowed 7 runs on 11 hits in six innings of work.

Also, happy birthday Mom.

ALB.com Awards: These are not the league issued awards, which will likely be announced perhaps as early as today.

MVP: Bucky Jacobsen, Long Island Ducks

If the Patriots make the playoffs, this unquestionably goes to Ryan Radmanovich. but they didn’t, so it doesn’t.

There was really no clear-cut candidate for the award, sentiments that were echoed throughout the league when I asked about this. Bears manager Chris Jones went as far as to say he’d vote for a pitcher for MVP.

Anyway, Jacobsen finished in the top 5 in home runs and led the league in RBI. Despite a strong consistent performance from teammate Erick Almonte, Bridgeport’s Steve Hine and Atlantic City’s Joe Jianetti and Raul Marval, I think Bucky’s going home with our version of the hardware.

Pitcher of the Year: Lincoln Mikkelsen, Atlantic City Surf

This comes down to Harriger and Mikkelsen, that much is obvious. Hard as it is to not give it to Harriger, who quietly broke his own (co-held) AL record with 17 wins this season, it has to go to Mikkelsen. If it were Most Valuable Pitcher, Harriger would have a much stronger case, as I think Linc had a much stronger staff around him than Harriger did. But it isn’t, so he doesn’t.

Mikkelsen was dominant this year, an absolute shock after the season he had in 2005. His ERA ended up at 1.85 this season, especially impressive considering 16 of his 25 starts were made at home, where the winds often blow out. In fact, the highest his ERA ever got this season was 2.18, and his seven complete games challenged Lehigh Valley’s Andy Shibilo record of 11, set back in 2000.

That 1.85 ERA, however, is a new AL record.

Manager of the Year: Jeff Ball, Atlantic City Surf

Although a push was made for Dave Lapoint to win the award in his first season at the helm of the Bluefish — a push made largely on the role he plays in bringing players to Bridgeport — I think this has to go to Ball.

I underestimate the Surf every year, but I’m not alone. There are no star players on that roster, there are very few guys with big league time on the Surf’s squad.

But Ball did an excellent job with what he was given this season, which was a team with the lowest payroll in the league outside of the Road Warriors. Rumors are all over the place that the Surf will depart for the Can-Am League as soon as 2007, so this might be the last chance Ball has to pick up the award.

However, if the Surf did go to the Can-Am League and he chose not to stay with them, the York Revolution would be wise to place a call to Ball.

Postseason All-Star Team:

C: John Pachot, CAM
1B: Jeremy Todd, LAN
2B: Steve Hine, BPT
SS: Raul Marval, AC
3B: Joe Jianetti, AC
OF: Ryan Radmanovich, SOM
OF: Reggie Taylor, LAN
OF: Denny Abreu, CAM
DH: Bucky Jacobsen, LI
SP: Lincoln Mikkelsen, AC
RP: Kevin Tolar, LI

Postseason All-Star Second Team

C: Hector Kuilan, BPT
1B: Mike Huggins, RW
2B: Demetrius Heath, AC
SS: Deivi Cruz, BPT
3B: Erick Almonte, LI
OF: Mel Stocker, LI
OF: Clyde Williams, AC
OF: Larry Barnes, SOM
DH: Alexis Hernandez, NWK
SP: Denny Harriger, LAN
RP: Chris Fussell, CAM

Feel free to discuss these, I’m sure you all have your own selections for the awards and All-Star teams.

My votes are not official, the league did not ask myself or any colleague I’ve spoken with for a vote.

Road Warriors Article: I’ve noticed a few of you are looking forward to reading my next Road Warriors piece…which is great, because I’m looking forward to writing it. I’ve started it, but keeping in mind that I essentially have to write two different articles (the short one that runs in the paper, and then the good…ahem, long one that runs here) it’s not the easiest thing to crank these out. Anyway, I just hope I don’t disappoint. – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. Surf Voice - September 26, 2006

I think they’re pretty close to being on the money with the exception of MVP. That may be a toss up between Marval, Jiannnetti and Jacobsen. Without Marval the Surf are no where near the playoffs and Jiannetti’s stats speak for themselves as do Jacobsen’s. I think the Ducks would’ve gone on anyway though without him.

2. anonymouse - September 26, 2006

possibly consider Jianetti for post season in DH role. His fielding is a handicap (20 errors), and he did DH in addition to being moved around to 2B, and LF while they had better fielders covering the “hot” corner.

3. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - September 26, 2006

I’m waiting for the Nettles argument on the All-Star teams.

He absolutely should be on there, but there’s really no room for him. If he doesn’t get hurt, then he’s absolutely there, no doubt.

Ideally, he goes in the DH slot in the second team, but I didn’t have any Bears and Hernandez did have a decent season.

Seeing how the only thing I got wrong in my pre-season playoff predictions was a homer pick of Somerset instead of the Surf, I’ll avoid the homer talk and leave Nettles out…

-M-

4. Anonymous - September 26, 2006

quick Question
the umpireing crew in lancaster over the last four games VS the Road Warriors was a 4 man crew.. Why?
and will there be 4 umpires for the Playoffs?

5. Amy - September 26, 2006

I am assuming that there will be four man umpiring crews during the playoff. Its standard procedure in the major and minor leagues to add an umpire or 2 during the post season. Majors go with 6 si I think this will be a four man crew. I don’t see any other reason for having the 4 in Lancaster this past week if this is not the case! My question is why Mark Facto would be included in this? I know he is the supervisor of umpires or whatever but why was he added to the crew instead of one of the “regular” umpires? anyone?

6. Anonymous - September 26, 2006

I am wondering how they choose the umpires for the playoffs.. take one of the three man crews that have been together for most of the season and add one, or take the umpires who have received the least number of complaints over the season and use them? I assume there will be at least 4 umpires per game.. GO FISH
fishyfan

7. Erin Hughes #1 Fan - September 26, 2006

Mike, who do you think is the best trainer?

8. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - September 26, 2006

Um.

Coincidentally, the only trainer I’ve ever really spoken to at length was Erin thanks to the RW stories.

Nice girl, very friendly. Gets along with the guys and vice versa.

That’s an impossible question to answer though…I’m sure there is an answer to it, but I’m not your guy.

-M-

9. dcpolak - September 26, 2006

surf departing?

I noticed the mention in an earlier post that the Surf might depart for the Can-Am league in 2007.

If so, does that mean the Road Warriors would continue on?

10. Anonymous - September 26, 2006

Boosterbabe–You don’t like your manager, you don’t like your GM, you don’t like your team and you don’t like the league. Why do you bother going to the games? Why don’t you give up on baseball and root for the Sound Tigers hockey team.

11. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - September 26, 2006

At 10:23 AM, dcpolak said…
surf departing?

I noticed the mention in an earlier post that the Surf might depart for the Can-Am league in 2007.

If so, does that mean the Road Warriors would continue on?

———-

Yes.

It would also mean the league schedule would stay at 126 games, compared to a return to 140…which has also been rumored.

-M-

12. number1surffan John - September 26, 2006

I was under the impression that the Surf WOULD return to the Atlantic League for 2007, it is the 2008 season, after the Stadium is leveled and possibly moving to the Atlantic City Race Course property, when the Can-Am move is proposed.

It all will be set during the winter Owner’s meetings. Until then everything is a guess.

13. sharkgirltoo - September 26, 2006

Should be an exciting game tonight in AC…what a pitching matchup for game 1. #1 Surf fan John, did you find your cowbell?? The Barnstormer fans may be bringing their’s too…so watch out. LOL
I’ll be listening to the webcast tonight. To those going (John, Amy, and all).. have fun and make some noise!!!I’m going with the Barnstormers in 3…too hard to predict the outcome of this game.

Also, Boosterbabe, sorry you feel that way about not caring what happens and glad when the season’s over (esp when you’ve been there for the Bluefish all year). Did you really mean that? I’d be thrilled no matter what that my team made the playoffs. (Unfortunately for me I have to wait until next year for the Sharks to try again). Don’t let these things get you down. I’m predicting the Bluefish in 3.

14. number1surffan John - September 26, 2006

SharkGirl – yup, found it right after our Labor Day trek to Bridgeport. Back to cowbell, rattle, and hand clapper things. Kept it somewhat reserved on Sat (they clinched on Fri) out of respect for the, ahem, headaches.

15. Anonymous - September 26, 2006

Did I hear this correctly? Next year the Bridgeport Booster Club will be known as the Boo-hoo Fish!

16. Anonymous - September 26, 2006

no Boo-Hooing for this Fish fan and for many others.. we are thrilled that our team is in the playoffs and think that the new manager and the new management have made a big difference this year.. all for the better.. we’ll be cheering our guys on tonight and have tickets for tomorrow night in Long Island.. GO FISH (in 2!)
fishyfan

17. Roadwarriorfan - September 26, 2006

Mike-Very glad to see Mike Huggins made your All Star team.

18. Anonymous - September 26, 2006

i think when lookin at post season awards you have to look at some of the lancaster hitting stats. i know there are better 1st basebmen then jermery todd. but him in a normal field then he would have 7 homers topps. my vote huggins of rws

19. Chuckerd58 - September 27, 2006

Yes,im also glad to see Mike Huggins make your All-Star second team. He certainly showed alot this past season,and if no affiliated team takes a chance on him,i hope he rejoins the Atl. next year,wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Ducks uniform next season.

20. Chuckerd58 - September 27, 2006

Hey Fishy-fan,where are you sitting on Wednsday night,hope your wrong on your prediction.

21. Anonymous - September 27, 2006

It would be great to see Huggins playing firstbase for the York Revolution next year.

22. Chuckerd58 - September 27, 2006

Anywhere n the league would be great.

23. Chuckerd58 - September 27, 2006

This is why baseball is the greatest game.You would think that the pitching matchup in A.C. would make it a pitching duel,but the Stormers,in particular Jeremy Todd,wacked Mikkelson around pretty well.Even Harriger has pitched better.Good start for the Stormers,winning 8-3.

24. Chuckerd58 - September 27, 2006

Not so good for the Ducks,last i heard it was 6-0 Fish.

25. Anonymous - September 27, 2006

the final was 6-0 Fish.. great pitching on both sides.. TJ Matthews went the whole game
fishyfan.. off to Long Island for tomorrow

26. Anonymous - September 27, 2006

saw the game tonight the ducks couldnt field the ball and couldnt get a big hit and it killed them.better crowd than i expected.

b-fish fan

27. Anonymous - September 27, 2006

surf fan i spoke to a person i think knows the atl pretty well tonight and he believes the surf will remain in the atlantic league in 2007.but in 2008 the surf and the bears will both move to the can am.mike have you heard this?he also said that the bluefish want no part of the can am league.as well as wheeling wv is interested in getting a atlantic league team.

b-fish fan

28. Anonymous - September 27, 2006

The BP crowd was helped by the several hundred Duck fans that were in attendance.

Boosterbabe–Do you still believe in your conspiracy theory?

How many Fish fans are coming over to Long Island on Wednesday night?

29. Tom from Long Island - September 27, 2006

The box office at Bridgeport managed to place all the Duck fans throughout the entire stadium instead of putting us all together in one section. Since there were hardly any Bluefish fans there, a lot of us decided to sit together in the section just past the Ducks dugout. I guess they are not accustomed to fans cheering for their team in Bridgeport because we were approached by their “event coordinator” and told that if we were “over zealous” we would be dispersed.

30. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - September 27, 2006

All the Can-Am speculation, which is what it is right now, is based on current attendance of AL teams.

Newark’s at the bottom, Bridgeport’s at the bottom and Atlantic City’s at the bottom.

That’s why these teams are rumored to be heading to the Can-Am, because there’s only one or two teams there that draw really well (Brockton, etc.)

There’s nothing solid about teams leaving yet.

-M-

31. number1surffan John - September 27, 2006

perhaps not “solid” as in not “officially reported” yet, however a collective sigh of disappointment last night in Atlantic City. Word out is it is a done deal.

The Atlantic City Surf will NOT be in the Atlantic League for 2007. They may be in the Can-Am league (negotiations ongoing). They may fold.

VERY upsetting. If anyone believes it is behind anything other than the regular practice of promising promotions and not coming through, please enlighten me. More folks left this year with a sour taste in their mouth behind great expectations not met.

Gee – with the veteran/rookie ratio rules, and the Loooooonnnng travel between teams, even with a shorter season, this is supposed to save? money? Come on. They actually think a much lower level league will draw Better????

Mike – get your gear together – you might not have finished your Road Warrior tryout, but you possibly will be the new pitching ace/MVP of the AC Surf Can Am squad.

32. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - September 27, 2006

I know the last part of that was said in jest…but that thought actually crossed my mind while watching a Can-Am game this season.

I’m 6 foot, 130. I’m by no means a big guy. But I can hit around 70 on the gun when I get loose…if I were to work out for an off-season and put on some muscle and work on another pitch, I’d consider it.

I’ll be the next Jay Crawford.

-M-


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