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February 22, 2007 February 23, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Patriots Bringing Back Core Group: In keeping in touch with a lot of players from last year’s Somerset Patriots team, it seems like anywhere from eight to ten members of last year’s club could be returning.

A lot of guys haven’t officially signed contracts yet, so I can’t write anything right now, but I can tell you the team appears to have three starting pitchers close to re-joining the club.

Brandt Talks Spring Training: I spoke to Newark Bears GM John Brandt yesterday about the team’s decision to stay in Newark for Spring Training.

“We did this when we were in Camden,” said the former Riversharks GM of staying north. “Atlantic City stayed north as well, so it was a little bit easier.”

Financial considerations aside, Brandt listed many benefits of having Spring Training in Newark. Players no longer to have adjust from the warm weather to the cold May weather of New Jersey, and also get a chance to get acclimated to the city since most of them will be staying in the team hotel.

The Bears will likely play a variety of college teams, including NJIT and Seton Hall, but will not have the benefit of playing AL competition like the rest of the teams.

“When the Surf stayed back, it didn’t hurt them on the field,” he said.

Brandt feels that having their players available for marketing and media purposes will also benefit the team, giving them a better chance to make an impact with the community, potential clients, and the media.

And, best of all to Bears fans, Spring Training will come to them, instead of them having to travel down to Florida to watch their team.

Brandt also mentioned that the team’s hitting coach should be named in “a week and a half” or so.

Ducks Sign Five: Pitchers Pat Ahearne and Tim Cain, infielder/pitcher Rob Cafiero, outfielder Kevin Haverbusch, and left-handed pitcher Randy Leek are the first five Ducks to sign for the 2007 season. We broke the Cafiero signing yesterday, so let’s talk about the other four.

Ahearne reached the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers in 1995, appearing in four games with the club.

This is his sixth Atlantic League season, and his second with the Ducks. He’d spent his previous four AL seasons in Bridgeport. Ahearne pitched very well for Long Island last season, going 12-4 with a 3.47 ERA.

This will be Cain’s tenth season in the Atlantic League, and his second with the Ducks. He pitched for Newark from 1998-2001 and Bridgeport from 2002-2005.

He has a career AL record of 70-60, but hasn’t posted the numbers fans of his would expect over the past two seasons. Since 2005, he’s 7-16 with an ERA over six and a batting average against of over .300

Haverbusch is also in his second season as a Duck after playing for the Nashua Pride in 2004 and 2005. The Massapequa resident and, sadly, Islanders fan has 47 Atlantic League longballs to his name.

He hit .252 with nine home runs and 55 RBI last season.

Leek is new to the Atlantic League and independent baseball. He’ll be 30 on opening day and is left-handed. He’s spent time in the Tigers, Dodgers and Cardinals farm systems. With Double-A Springfield in 2005, he went 15-7 with a 3.83 ERA. His career K/BB ratio is around 3.5/1.

More Ducks News: INF Ray Navarrete is likely headed back to the Ducks for the 2007 season. That is if he doesn’t sign an affiliated deal first, of course. The 28-year-old infielder and entrepreneur is coming off a strong performance in Winter Ball, where he played in the Caribbean World Series.

He hit .284 with two home runs and 21 RBI for Long Island last season after being released by the Mets organization, and would be a solid bat in their lineup.

Cafiero Q&A: Don’t forget to send in questions for the Rob Cafiero Q&A. Cafiero is set to stop by on March 5th at 7PM to talk about his time with the Ducks and Road Warriors. – Mike Ashmore, mashmore@patriotsbaseball.com


1. b-fish fan - February 24, 2007

please john brandt come back to us.staying up north has no upside what so ever.i cant stand when the people in this league b.s the fans.just come out and say we dont have the money to go to spring training.the dumb ass statement like bears fan spring training comes to them.are you kidding me.they dont go to real games now bears fans are going to practice.

2. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - February 24, 2007

The “dumb ass” statement you’re referring to is mine, not his.

Obviously there are financial considerations to the move, but it’s not like it’s the first time it’s been done, either.

3. StormerDude - February 25, 2007

The local newspaper comes out in support of the plan for a new minor-league ballpark in Leominster, a city in the greater Boston area. Some city officials believe the details of the project — which could include two restaurants, a hotel and convention space, and perhaps interactive sports activities such as batting cages — could be ironed out this year. Construction would begin next year, with baseball being played in 2009. No word yet on the league setting its sights on the city, although there were previously discussions between city officials and the independent Atlantic League.

4. Sumosid - February 25, 2007

Interesting: the Greater Boston Area seems saturated with Minor & Indy ball teams. But then again so is New Jersey and it doesn’t appear to stop them from planing more!

5. Brad Strauss - February 26, 2007

Bluefish Fan,

Relax my man. John Brandt always tells the truth. It actually is better to stay up north because you get a lot more accomplished and don’t have to compete for field time with other teams or cage time. It does help if another team stays with you so you get the right competition but it is still a good thing. Don’t worry J.B. I got your back. We won’t let this miserable guy take you down and talk bad about you. One thing about John Brandt my bluefish buddy is he has integrity. Look that up. Sorry Mike but I don’t usually post and am not trying to attack anyone just want people to realize not to attack the good guys of this league.

6. b-fish fan - February 26, 2007

brad,all i ask is not to be fed a line of B.S.brad if you like letting people con you.that on you.

7. Brad Strauss - February 27, 2007

Big boy blue,

I am pretty sure the first line of the article says financial considerations aside which is to say there are financial considerations. Believe me I was involved in spring training in Florida and in Camden. We got way more accomplished as a team in Camden than we do in Florida. You do have an uncanny ability to turn anything said on this site into a negative and that is an incredible talent but that aside don’t try to think you know more about what is going on than you do. I personally love to have a more positive outlook on life in general if that is being conned then I don’t have a good rebuttle for you. Smile every once in a while it can almost be as contageous and your negative attitude.

8. b-fish fan - March 2, 2007

brad let me worry about my attitude.you worry about trying to make the playoffs.or maybe just playing in a meaningful game in sept.

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