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September 28, 2006 September 28, 2006

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Playoff Press Releases: Two sweeps in the Division Series lead to an interesting Championship Series between Bridgeport and Lancaster. Here’s the press release from each game…

With a mesmerizing blend of breaking pitches, Josh Stevens, a late season acquisition by the Barnstormers, pitched his new club into the Atlantic League Championship Series as the right-hander fanned 12 in a 4-2 victory over Atlantic City Wednesday evening.

The game, which clinched the opening round best-of-three series for the Barnstormers was played to a crowd of 6,259, most of which was dressed in varying shades of red. It was the first professional baseball game in Lancaster since 1958.

Stevens’ 12 strikeouts were the most ever by a Barnstormers pitcher in a single game. He allowed seven hits and no walks in 8 2/3 innings, being lifted only after yielding singles to Joe Jiannetti and Clyde Williams in the top of the ninth. He fanned at least one in every inning except the fifth and got every Surf batter except Jiannetti at least once.

Jeremy Todd and Williams exchanged solo homers early in the game, then Stevens and Atlantic City lefty Andy High became embroiled in a pitchers duel for the ages. Steven was only threatened by a pair of singles in the sixth but got Dario Delgado to ground out 5-3 to end the inning. High did not allow a base hit after Jutt Hileman’s one out single in the second. However, his pitch count climbed, reaching over 100, and manager Jeff Ball pulled him with two outs in the seventh.

Lancaster got to reliever Caleb Balbuena in the eighth. With one out, Jason Bowers, who had struck out three times against High, cranked a double into the left center field alley. The Surf opted to pitch to Todd, who had four hits and five RBI in the series, and Balbuena retired him on a shallow fly ball near the left field line. Jose Ortiz hit a slow grounder to the hole at shortstop. Raul Marval skipped his off balance throw past first baseman Todd Leathers, and Bowers raced around to score the tie-breaking run.

Eric Crozier then took Balbuena deep into the gap in right center field, and his drive hit a post in the chain link fence, careening sideways along the warning track. By the time center fielder Gary Johnson, who had fallen on the play, recovered, Crozier was sprinting around the bases for an inside-the-park home run and a 4-1 lead.

After Stevens was removed, Melvin Rosario knocked a 2-2 pitch from reliever Charlie Weatherby into center field for an RBI single. Weatherby finally ended Atlantic City’s hopes on a liner to center field by Todd Leathers, establishing the Barnstormers, who had won both halves of the season, as the Southern Division Champions.

Bridgeport awaits. It will be a war.

(Lancaster)

The Bridgeport Bluefish took out the lumber and sent the rock across the sound as they resoundly defeated intra-division rival Long Island Ducks by a count of 10-4 Wednesday night. The victory ended the Division Series with a Bluefish sweep.

The ‘Fish struck early–and kept biting–plating a run in the first, followed by a a three-run blast courtesy of the bat of Norm Hutchins in the second. The Park City nine added two more in the fifth and sixth before the Ducks could answer.

With the score 6-1 entering top seven, the Blues tacked on four more runs to seal the deal. Bryant Nelson notched two ribbies, with Damien Rolls and Jamie Pogue each driving in a runner.

The Ducks fought back in the last three frames, but could show only a run per inning for their efforts.

Starter Kevin Hodges garnered the win, giving up just two runs over seven while Jimmy Journell and Jason Simontacchi closed the door. Nelson and P.J. Rose each had four hits for the victors.

The Bluefish advance to the Championship Series vs. Lancaster, who eliminated the Atlantic City Surf in the Southern Division. Game 1 will be Friday at 7:05 pm at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard.

(Bridgeport)

For The Record: Juan Gonzalez, a two-time American League MVP, did not appear in a playoff game for the Long Island Ducks. Anyone debating whether signing Gonzalez was good from a baseball standpoint need to look no further than that for their answer. Credit should, however, go to the Ducks baseball personnel to not play him if they felt he wasn’t a part of the best lineup they could put on the field to win.

Surf Stuff: Although I haven’t heard from Can-Am League officials and don’t expect to, the overlying theme I got from yesterday’s conversation with various sources and officials was that “the rumblings are very strong” and that it seems that this will be the Surf’s last season in the league.

However, as Frank Boulton noted to me in our conversation, people write “obituaries” about the Surf franchise at around this time every season…so take that for what it’s worth.

It should be noted that, if the Surf were to leave the league, the Road Warriors would return for another season of Atlantic League play.

Ryan Minor, who would seem to have first right of refusal for the Southern Maryland managerial position, would likely return to the Road Warriors instead of accepting a coaching position with the York franchise as has been rumored. The thought is, is that if Minor were to manage the Maryland franchise in 2008, he should be coaching in 2007. – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. Anonymous - September 28, 2006

the game in LI was great from a Bluefish fan point of view.. and the Duck fans there were most gracious to us and wished us and the team well after the game was over.. the Fish really outplayed the Ducks.. Hodges was in great form and our outfielders, especially Damien Rolls made great catches.. there were some great catches by Duck outfielders as well.. Many Fish fans are very pleased with Dave LaPoint and the new management in the front office.. things had to change to get things going again.. and more significant changes will be coming I am sure as a major push needs to be made to get fans in the seats..
you can feel the unity within the team which was not there in years past.

GO FISH.. Fish in 4 over Lancaster..

fishyfan

2. wango tango - September 28, 2006

If they play a championship series, and nobody sees it, does it really happen? Fish fans better step up!

3. Anonymous - September 28, 2006

wango step up or what?what can the the fish mgmt.do if no one shows up?they just bought the club what are they going to do fold after one year?

b-fish fan

4. Anonymous - September 28, 2006

I’ve heard that Tom Herr may have coached himself into an affliated job and that Ryan Minor could slide into the Barnstormers job.

5. quackers - September 28, 2006

Kudos to the Bluefish – they completely outplayed us in every phase of the game – good luck to the Fish and ex-Ducks LaPoint, Pogue and Rose.

6. #10 fish fan - September 28, 2006

Hope we get some fans to Harboryard for the games. They’re really giving away the tickets at $5 a seat. Groups are $75 for 50 tickets!

Still, I was able to get 1st row seats for both Friday and Saturday games. I really don’t understand why we can’t fill up the park. If not this year, when?

7. sharkgirltoo - September 28, 2006

Glad to see the Barnstormers and Bluefish in the championship series. I think both teams played great baseball this year and deserved to be in. #10 fish fan..wow you’re right, they’re really giving away the tickets just to draw people in. I know it must be disappointing to see only a small crowd there supporting the team. I don’t get it either why more people don’t come. It seems like it’s mostly the diehard fans who are coming to the playoff games. Boosterbabe..I’m glad you had a change of heart, so relax and enjoy the games. It should be an interesting series. I’m leaning toward the Barnstormers winning it all.

8. john from Long Island - September 28, 2006

Congrats to the Bluefish and Dave LaPoint. The Bluefish outplayed our Ducks both Tuesday and Wednesday. My vote for series MVP is Pete Rose Jr., he came through for the Fish.

Congrats Bluefish fans.

9. Amy - September 28, 2006

Looking forward to seeing all the Bluefish fans on here on Friday night (and hopefully Sat too)..as we will be making the trip to CT to cheer on and support our Barnstormers. It should be an interesting matchup!!! Good luck to both teams !!! (Look for a pink Barnstormer jersy and a tye dye Barnstormers jersey…that would be us!)

10. Anonymous - September 28, 2006

5 buck tickets any seat.just got 4 for fri and 4 for sat.i think you might have decent crowds both nights.

b-fish fan

11. Amy - September 28, 2006

hey b-fish fan….hope I don’t meet up with you at the game…in fact…don’t even bother!

12. Anonymous - September 28, 2006

ouch that hurts.i might lose 6 seconds of sleep tonight.are you kidding me? get lost lady.FISH IN 4.
b-fish fan

13. Anonymous - September 28, 2006

amy.. other Fish fans are looking forward to seeing you in pink and tyedye.. we’ll be in Blue! we just got our tickets to the Sunday game in beautiful Lancaster.. the website said there weren’t tickets available but when I called I could get tickets right near the Fish dugout.. FISH IN 4..
fishyfan

14. Amy - September 28, 2006

Thanks fishyfan..I appreciate the kind words.it will be great to see some bluefish fans here in Lancaster…and looking forward to a well played series! if you want to let me know your seating location perhaps we can meet up somewhere. We sit in section 5 on the first base side! Yopu will enjoy the ballpark and the atmoshere here as well. PS bfish fan…you started this, not I.

15. Dinghey - September 28, 2006

HI
AMY, wILL BE LOOKING FOR YOU TO WELCOME YOU TO hARBOR yARD. I will be behind first base but roam around and hope to see you.

16. Amy - September 28, 2006

dinghey…our seats for both games are in section 12 second row seats 19 an 20…come say hi. To any Bridgeport fans making the trek to Lancaster…our tickets are in section 5 row 3 seats 9 and 10 so please stop and talk to us!!!!

17. BoosterBabe - September 29, 2006

Amy….
I will be in Sec 13, right behind the FIsh Dugout, near first base. So if we don’t come see you, you come visit us, ok??? 🙂 Want to talk more about the Booster Club thing, too. So definitely, let’s get together.
Maybe before the game on Sat–I could meet you for a cuppa coffee somewhere. I assume you guys are staying with the team at the Holiday Inn?

Email me and if you want my phone number….. 🙂 boosterclub@optonline.net

Don’t let b-fish fan get to you. Whatever it is (male/female, no one knows for sure)–Anyone who isn’t man enough (or woman enough, whatever the case may be) to let people know who they are isn’t worth the energy.

Fishy Fan….do I know you?

18. BoosterBabe - September 29, 2006

About my “change of heart”…
For once in my life (note the date, folks, this might never happen again!) I’m GLAD TO BE WRONG! Really, truly, sincerely, over the top THRILLED to be WRONG!

I’m not pleased with a lot of “politics” that occurred this season at Harbor Yard (which I will refrain from discussing in such a public forum) and it was starting to look like that was spilling over onto the Field. Glad it turned it out the way it did, that’s all I can say.
I was wrong.
There, I said it.
I was wrong, and I’m very happy I was!
NOW BRING ON THE BARNSTORMERS!

19. Amy - September 29, 2006

boosterbabe..thanks for the words. I will definitely email you.

20. Amy - September 29, 2006

boosterbabe….I sent you an email…we are leaving at 9am tomorrow morning so use the phone number to call me sometime tomorrow if you can.

21. Chuckerd58 - September 29, 2006

Let me join in with my fellow Duck fans and give out props to the Bluefish.They really showed how a team that plays the game right can usually win.I still think the Stormers will win the series,but i’ll be rooting for the Fish.

22. Chuckerd58 - September 29, 2006

How fast has this season gone,it seems like we where just getting started with season,then,it’s over. I guess it will be another long winter,hopefully,this site can keep the A.L. hotstove season strong this winter.

23. Chuckerd58 - September 29, 2006

Hopefully,A.C. will return for the 2007 season,but,i’m not going to lie,i would not mind seeing the Road Warriors back next season.

24. Anonymous - September 29, 2006

boosterbabe are you kidding me?you are going to the game on fri.you are the head of the bluefish booster club and went against the bluefish and picked the ducks.the hated rival.now you are hopping back on the band wagon.WHAT A DISGRACE.if the fish mgmt had any guts what so ever they would ban you from ballpark and remove you A.S.A.P from the booster club.is it me or does anyone else find this to be as phony as a $3 bill.please boosterbabe sit with the barnstormer fans or the last seat in the row of sec.19.general admission.with a sweatshirt that says”HI I’M BOOSTERBABE AND I ROOTED FOR THE L.I.DUCKS.”on the front and”BLUEFISH FANS PLEASE FORGIVE ME”on the back.
fish in 4
b-fish fan.

25. fishyfan - September 29, 2006

thanks to all the Surf fans for good wishes.. it has been an interesting year for the Fish.. going from last place in the League last year to first place this year in overall record.. as with any transition in management there are bound to be those who don’t want changes and those who want to see lots of changes right away.. I think this year fell somewhere in the middle for the Fish.. the team played very well for a manager who inspired them and now we need a revitalized front office who will work on getting the fans back who had wandered away over the last few years of a lackluster team manager and a team that wasn’t showing much enthusiasm for the game. We look forward to these next games with Lancaster.. I don’t think the Fish played better as a team all season than they did the last two games against the rival Ducks

26. Anonymous - September 29, 2006

I like the “wear blue” idea, might disguise the empty seats.

27. BoosterBabe - September 29, 2006

bfishfan….
where did you EVER get the impression that I “Rooted” for the Ducks?????? I dare you to find one post where I said I was rooting for or “picked” the Ducks. Here’s a clue. Don’t bother looking because you won’t find it.

I was disgusted with the turn of events that stemmed from league politics, that’s true–but never EVER did I say I WANTED someone other than the Bluefish to win. I did say I didn’t care what happened and wished for the season to be over, which was an expression of my disgust over the POLITICS and the crap between LI/League management and the appearance of favoritism against the Bluefish. (and any Bluefish Fan who saw what I saw on Sun 9/17 in LI felt the same way I did, they just got over it sooner) I also expressed my doubt that the league would “allow” the Fish to win. But that is very different than what you said. You claim I wanted the Ducks to win…and you are so very wrong. I was never personally against the Bluefish. Never have been, never will be.

You need to go back to first grade and re-learn how to interpret what you read. And while you’re there, have the teacher refresh you on proper use of spelling, punctuation and capitalization!

28. Anonymous - September 29, 2006

you thought they would lose is like rooting against them.you traitor.what kind of true fan even thinks their team is going to lose?i will tell you what kind.a fair weather,band wagon jumping,boosterbabe fraud fan.please boosterbabe sit quietly in the general admission section with your li. ducks cap and your go barnstormers sweatshirt.let the real bluefish fans enjoy the game.maybe tonight at the lancaster booster club table which you will be sitting at.you can get tommy herr to signed a ball for the raffle.she you tonight at the game barnstormerbabe.

a real bluefish fan
yours truly,b-fish fan

29. qwackedup - September 29, 2006

Long Island Ducks team officials today announced that two members of the 2006 first half North Division championship club have been selected to the 2006 Atlantic League Postseason All-Star Team, selected by league officials. Named to the squad from Long Island were centerfielder Mel Stocker and designated hitter Bucky Jacobsen, both of whom participated in the 2006 Atlantic League All-Star Game earlier in the season.

“Mel and Bucky were the heart and soul of our club this season,” says Ducks general manager Michael Hirsch. “They played baseball the right way and were a big part of the equation that saw our club finish with our second best record in franchise history. Our organization is very proud of these two guys.”

Jacobsen, the former Mariner, was named to the squad after finishing the season with a league-best 89 RBI. The hard-hitting DH also finished the season tied for third in the league with 21 home runs and a .410 OBP, and fifth with a .506 slugging percentage.

Stocker, the speedy centerfielder, earned a slot on the postseason team with his stellar play both in the field and at the plate. Earlier in the year, he registered a hit in a franchise record 25 straight games (5/17-6/20). The Arizona native finished the year ranked fifth in the league with a .303 average and swiped a franchise record 56 bases. He also led all centerfielders with a .990 fielding percentage with five direct assists in 106 games.

The complete 2006 All-Star team is as follows:

C John Pachot Camden

1B Mike Huggins Road Warriors

2B Steve Hine Bridgeport

3B Jeff Nettles Somerset

SS Raul Marval Atlantic City

OF Ryan Radmanovich Somerset

OF Mel Stocker Long Island

OF Reggie Taylor Lancaster

OF Denny Abreu Camden

DH Bucky Jacobsen Long Island

UTL Joe Jiannetti Atlantic City

SP Denny Harriger Lancaster

SP Lincoln Mikkelsen Atlantic City

RP Chris Fussell Camden

Awards

Player of the Year Lincoln Mikkelsen Atlantic City

Pitcher of the Year Lincoln Mikkelsen Atlantic City

Manager of the Year Dave LaPoint Bridgeport

General Manager of the Year Joe Pinto Lancaster

Groundskeeper of the Year Ray Cipperly Somerset

30. Roadwarriorfan - September 29, 2006

Terrific to see Mike Huggins as the AL All Star 1B. He definitly deserves it. Congrats on a terrific season Mike!

31. LI Duck fan - September 29, 2006

Boosterbabe–what did you see on Sunday 9/17 in LI that you were referring to?

32. sharkgirltoo - September 29, 2006

Boy, b-fish fan… you’re on a roll…first getting on Amy’s case then boosterbabe’s. You obviously misinterpreted what they had to say and managed to twist things around. I think you should cool off with the name calling and not ruin this site for the rest of us. Now that I’ve said that…back to AL talk which is what this site is about. Congratulations to the Barnstormers and Bluefish for making it into the championship series. Good luck to both teams!! Hard to believe that the season will be over in less than a week…so all of you Barnstormer and Bluefish fans enjoy it while you can. Mike, we’ll be looking forward to your updates during the off season. This website is awesome…keep up the great work!!

Mike, do any of the guys from the AL play winterball?

By the way b-fish fan, there’s nothing wrong with meeting fans from other teams..it doesn’t mean we’re now rooting for the opposing team..it’s just nice to meet other AL diehards out there who can seriously talk AL baseball and have a good time…maybe you should try it sometime.

33. SharkGirl - September 30, 2006

sharkgirltoo…I’m with you on bluefish fan’s behavior-enough is enough-he should take time to smell the roses because they are in Bridgeport right now! Congrats to the Bluefish-I am rooting for you. It would be nice for Angel to go out with the big one! He is very excited about the playoffs and had such enthusiasm when I spoke with him after they clinched their playoff berth. Such hard work, devotion & determination deserves a championship ring!
Amy, yes many of our players play winter ball. Quincy Foster is one of them. Tony Rodriguez (formerly of B’port & Camden) also plays winter ball just to name a couple. There are several websites (most are in Spanish) that you can go to and keep an eye on our guys. For sake of space I only put 3 here. For the most part, they play in the same league(s) and wind up playing with some of their own teammates or against their own teammates or other AL players. The bottom right of the 3rd link lists all the teams in the Mexican, Dominican, Venezuelan & Puerto Rican leagues & their respective team links. Here you will find the rosters of all the winter ball teams that most of our guys play in.
Here are the links:

http://www.baseball.ch/

http://www.latinosports.com/artman/publish/

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/events/mlb_winterleagues_2004.jsp

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/education/dictionary/english_spanish/F.htm

The last link is a baseball dictionary for those of us who don’t speak Spanish! It comes in handy. I keep in touch with some of the players in the off-season so I get the English translation of what’s going on…thankfully! Hope this helps anyone who like to follow this great bunch of guys in the winter!

B’port in 3…can you say SWEEP???
(Alright, just checked the score…so I’m gonna have to go with B’port in 4!!!)
Go Fish!!!

34. BoosterBabe - September 30, 2006

Wow. I’m not even going to explain myself again because anyone with half a brain understands the difference between feeling frustrated because stupid league politics was getting in the way of a good game of baseball and “thinking my team will lose”. I never thought they wouldn’t play well enough to win, I was afraid that the deck would get stacked so they COULDN’T win no matter how well they played. That was what frustrated me and that’s what upset me so. Whatever, I would never expect you to understand this, based on the neanderthal behavior you’ve exhibited on this blog.

I would really like you to show your face to me, b-fish fan. You obviously are familiar with the Booster Table, you apparently know what the Club does. So tomorrow night, come up to me, say hello and let me know who you are. I don’t hide behind the anonymity of the internet. I sit in Section 13, right behind the dugout near 1st base.

I dare you to call me a traitor to my face. But I don’t think you’re man enough to do it. It’s very easy to talk trash to someone you know but who doesn’t know you. It’s very easy to hide behind an anonymous screen-name. It’s cowardly. But it’s easy.

And I have a feeling you’re as yellow as they come.


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