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January 4, 2007 – Tommy John Talks January 4, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Tommy John Speaks: I got off the phone with new Bridgeport Bluefish manager and former New York Yankee great Tommy John a short while ago and he’s excited about his new position.

“I’m right now the G.M., farm director, lead scout and manager all in one,” John said from his home in North Carolina. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

John, who’s 288 wins are good enough for 25th best all time, said that he’s really good friends with former Ducks pitching coach Dick Such, Camden Riversharks manager Joe Ferguson, as well as Atlantic League veterans Dave LaPoint (Long Island Ducks) and Sparky Lyle (Somerset Patriots).

As far as his coaching staff, he’s speaking with or trying to get in touch with Brian Warren (former Bluefish pitcher), Terry McGriff, Willie Upshaw (former Bluefish manager) and George Foster to interview for spots.

“I expect to take a little bit from all the managers I once played for or have known,” John said, later citing Tommy Lasorda, Gene Mauch and Joe Torre as inspiration.

“Baseball is not a hard game if you have good players. As long as the managers stay out of the way of the players, the team will be just fine.”

In regards to the Hall of Fame, John said he thinks he deserves to get in, but will most likely end up as Veterans Committee entrant.

“It’s not in my hands, but the writers. I think my statistics are good enough, but they want to see more strikeouts and I wasn’t a strikeout pitcher.”

John said he began his career as a strikeout pitcher, but realized it wasn’t helping him win games so he went to the sinker and that’s how he had longevity (26 seasons and didn’t miss a start in his last 13 years.) – Scott Stanchak

Weatherby To Phils: According the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, the Philadelphia Phillies have signed P Charlie Weatherby to a contract.

Weatherby compiled a 3-3 record with 15 saves for the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2006, collecting 15 saves as the team’s closer.

An Eastern League source reports that Weatherby would most likely be assigned to Double-A Reading if he sticks out of camp. – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. Amy - January 4, 2007

That’s awesome news for charlie and we wish him the best of luck! Charlie is a super guy!

2. benYork - January 4, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 4, 2007

REVOLUTION ACQUIRE RIGHTS TO RED LION-NATIVE TRAVIS HAKE AND FOUR FORMER MAJOR LEAGUERS
Also get rights to two others in Atlantic League expansion draft; no signings announced

On the heels of the hiring of Chris Hoiles as the club’s first-ever manager, the York Revolution has acquired the Atlantic League negotiating rights to seven players, including Red Lion-native Travis Hake and four former Major Leaguers. The transactions were announced following the recent Atlantic League expansion draft.

INF Travis Hake, who currently resides in Brogue, spent the last two seasons with the Lancaster Barnstormers and was the club’s Co-Player of the Year during the Barnstormers inaugural season in 2005. That season he batted .295 with 52 RBI and 42 stolen bases and finished in the top five of the Atlantic League in doubles and stolen bases, while playing in more games than any other Barnstormer.

The 30-year-old infielder is a product of Red Lion High School and was drafted in 2000 by the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he played until being released after two seasons. Last year, Hake batted .241 with 34 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 75 games for the Atlantic League-champion Barnstormers.

“This is an exciting start to the process of putting together our first-ever roster,” said Hoiles. “At this level of baseball, it is rare for a player with ties to the local community to be given an opportunity of making the team. I am optimistic that we will end up bringing at least a few of these guys with us to spring training in April.”

OF Jason Conti has spent part of five seasons and played 182 games in the Major Leagues during his 11-year playing career. Originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1996, the native of Pittsburgh, PA played with the Diamondbacks in 2000 and 2001, Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2002, Milwaukee Brewers in 2003 and Texas Rangers in 2004. His best season came in 2001, when he was selected as a Pacific Coast League All-Star and batted .331 in 92 games for Triple-A Tucson. Last season, Conti was released by the St. Louis Cardinals in July and finished the year with Camden, batting .267 in 38 games.

OF Anthony Sanders was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and has played at every level of professional baseball – as well as in Japan – during his 14-year career. Sanders was a Florida State League All-Star in 1996 and Southern League All-Star in 1997, before making his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1999. He also reached the Major Leagues with the Seattle Mariners in 2000 and 2001. He began last season in the Mexican League, before being signed in July by Newark, where he batted .284 in 58 games for the Bears.

RHP Mike Johnson made his Major League debut at the age of 21 in 1997 with the Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in 14 games with the O’s before being traded to the Montreal Expos, and spent parts of the next five seasons in Montreal. He was traded to the Rangers in 2001 and spent time with Dodgers, Giants and Expos organizations through the 2004 season. The 31-year-old was originally drafted by Toronto in the 17th round of the 1993 draft and spent last season pitching for Somerset.

RHP Kevin Hodges has played professionally in the United States, Japan and Korea since being originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1991. After spending ten seasons in the minor leagues with the Royals, Astros and Mariners organizations, Hodges made his Major League debut with Seattle in 2000 and appeared in 13 games out of the bullpen. The 33-year-old then spent four seasons playing in Japan, and one year in Korea, before compiling a 12-7 record and 3.01 ERA for Bridgeport in 2006.

The Revolution also acquired the negotiating rights to LHP Peter Hartmann from Long Island and RHP Charlie Hesseltine from Atlantic City during the expansion draft. Hartmann has played at all minor league levels since being drafted by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round of the 1993 draft. He has also played professionally in Taiwan and Mexico and went 10-6 with a 4.19 ERA for the Ducks last season. Hesseltine was also drafted by the Rangers, in 2003, and pitched for the Surf in the Atlantic League last year.

“I am encouraged by the possibilities that exist in starting to build our roster as a result of this expansion draft,” said Revolution Director of Baseball Operations Adam Gladstone. “We have an opportunity out of the gate to sign some high-quality ballplayers, four of which have Major League experience.”

3. Amy - January 4, 2007

Mike in the article about Tommy John…you say new Barnstormers manager Dick Such??? Is there something going on that I missed???hahaha.

4. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - January 5, 2007

Scott got his names crossed up – no biggie.

-M-


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