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March 28, 2007 March 28, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Patriots Officially Announce Leathers; One Other: Bridgewater, NJ – The Three-Time Atlantic League Champion Somerset Patriots have announced the signings of right-handed pitcher R.D. Spiehs and infielder Todd Leathers.

Spiehs has experience in the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners organizations. Spiehs has two seasons of Triple-A experience and spent the 2006 season at the Double-A level for the Giants in Connecticut.

During the 2006 season, Spiehs went 4-1 with a 3.76 ERA, two saves, and 27 strikeouts in 41 games pitched.

Spiehs has a career ERA of 3.81 with 281 strikeouts in 250 minor league games played.

Leathers spent the 2006 season with the Atlantic City Surf, where he had a .263 batting average, 64 runs, 115 hits, 20 doubles, 14 home runs, and 67 RBI in 122 games played. He was named to the Atlantic League’s South Division All-Star team for his performance in 2006.

Leathers has a career .281 batting average with 240 runs, 433 hits, 84 doubles, 57 home runs, 300 RBI in 430 games played.

“We are very excited about how our team is beginning to shape up. R.D. has been a solid pitcher over the years and Todd has shown that he is a threat in the line-up. We are very happy to have both join our team this season,” said Patrick McVerry, President and General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.

One Player York Won’t Be Signing: According to The Edmonton Sun (No, seriously) P Mike Johnson will be signing with the Edmonton Cracker Cats.

The Canadian-born Johnson went 5-4 with nine saves and a 4.34 ERA last season with Somerset, and was selected by the York Revolution in the expansion draft.

The Cracker Cats are a team in the independent Northern League. Also, what the hell is a Cracker Cat?

Bears Sign Two More: The Newark Bears announced today that they’ve signed P J.J. Trujillo and infielder Javier Colina to contracts for the 2007 season.

Trujillo is an independent baseball success story, having made it all the way to the big leagues after starting out in the Frontier League.

He got into four games with the San Diego Padres in 2002, posting an 0-1 record and 10.13 ERA. In his last big league game, he struck out Pedro Martinez and hit former Bear Rickey Henderson with a pitch.

He last pitched for Coastal Bend of the independent Central League in 2005.

Colina is a Venezuelan born second baseman who has spent time in the Rockies, Cardinals and Reds organizations. He’s a .262 career hitter, and had a 17 home run season with Double-A Tulsa in 2003.

I’ve been critical of the Bears on a few of their signings, but I like both of these. – Mike Ashmore

The King of the Minors: He’s played for the Somerset Patriots, among other teams in the A.L., and now he’s a member of the Minnesota Twins minor league system. Catcher Brad King was sent down to Triple-A by the Twins yesterday after spending a majority of time in their major league camp. The former Kansas City Royals farmhand went 0-for-5 with four walks in 10 games for Minnesota. Check out his MLB.com profile. – Scott Stanchak

Patriots Fan Fest; Meet Sparky Lyle: The Three-Time Atlantic League Champion Somerset Patriotshave announced that Patriots Fan Fest will take place at Commerce BankBallpark on Saturday, April 14 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Patriots Fan Fest is a free admission event and includes a chance for fans to meet and get autographs from Sparky Lyle and select Patriots players.

The first 500 kids in attendance will have the opportunity to receive a free Patriots t-shirt courtesy of the Ford Motor Company and a free backpack courtesy of PSE&G. Young fans will be able to participate in carnival gamesand activities, as well as be entertained by clowns, face painters, and Sparkee the Mascot.

Everyone in attendance will be able to vote to help name the Somerset Patriots new cat mascot that will be introduced during the 2007 season.

Throughout Patriots Fan Fest, the team will provide exclusive ticket discounts for everyone in attendance. The event is also the first time that Season Ticket Holders will be able to pick up their tickets for the Tenth Season Anniversary Celebration. Anyone in attendance that does not have a ticket package for the 2007 season will be able to “Pick Their Seat” to have for the entire year.

The Patriots will unveil the newly redesigned luxury suites for fans to tour throughout the day.

Fans will also be able to enjoy an 1880’s style vintage baseball game down on the field, played without any gloves. This Fan Fest, the Patriots are also giving fans a chance to participate in the first ever ballpark Hot Dog Eating Contest.

“Fan Fest is always a special time for us because it means the season is just a few short weeks away. It’s great to see the excitement of our fans when we open up the ballpark for the event. We are really looking forward to starting our Tenth Season Celebration at the ballpark,” said Patrick McVerry, President and General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.

The Three-Time Atlantic League Champion Somerset Patriots have placed all tickets on sale for the upcoming 2007 season, the team’s 10th Season Celebration. For more information on how to be part of the 2007 season, call(908) 252-0700 or visit the website at http://www.somersetpatriots.com


1. Jeff - March 28, 2007

Cracker Cat: A cat that likes crackers.

2. degenk - March 28, 2007

Edmonton is an oil town and Cat Cracker is oil slang. They invert it for the team.

“A catalytic cracker, or “cat cracker,” is the basic gasoline-making process in a refinery. The cat cracker uses high temperatures, low pressure, and a catalyst to create a chemical reaction that breaks heavy gas oil into smaller gasoline molecules. With a cat cracker, more of each barrel of oil can be turned into gasoline”

More than you probably wanted to know.

3. Fausto Gabon - March 28, 2007

From Paul Hagen’s notes in the Philly Daily News today;

“The Phillies wore their red uniform tops last night. So did the Reds. At least Cincinnati wore gray pants . . . “

Remind you of an Atlantic League game?

4. BoosterBabe - March 29, 2007


Bridgeport, CT (March 28, 2007) – The Bridgeport Bluefish announced that they have signed eleven players for the upcoming 2007 season. Joining the team this year will be pitchers Albie Lopez and Franklin Perez. Also coming to Bridgeport for the first time will be outfielders Jeremy Ware and Shaun Boyd, along with infielders Jesse Hoorelbeke and Milko Jaramillo. The Bluefish also re-signed several members of their 2006 North Division Champion squad. Rejoining the team are pitchers Matt Beech and Sean Fesh, along with infielders John Nathans, Luis Figueroa and outfielder Bobby Darula. The Bluefish also announced that Pitching Coach Brian Warren will be returning to the team in the same capacity.

Lopez, 35, joins the Bluefish after spending 11 seasons in the big leagues with the Indians, Devil Rays, Diamondbacks, Braves and Royals. Lopez had his best season in 1998 with Tampa Bay going 7-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 79.2 innings out of the bullpen. The right-hander also won a World Series with Arizona in 2001.

Perez, 28, is a big, tall right-hander who split last season between AA Altoona and AAA Memphis. The 6-foot, 220 pound native of the Dominican Republic is a veteran of eight professional seasons. During his Altoona stint in 2006, he amassed a 2-1 record and a 2.57 ERA in 16 appearances. Perez had his best professional season in 2005 when he collected 23 saves for AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

Ware, 31, is a veteran of 12 minor league seasons, spending the majority of his career in the Montreal Expos organization. Last year, the Ontario native played for the Edmonton Cracker-Cats of the Northern League and posted a .283 average with 7 homers, 40 RBI and 23 doubles. The six-foot righty was a member of the Canadian baseball team during the 2004 Olympics.

Boyd, 25, was a first round pick (13th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2000 amateur draft. The 1st team High School All-American out of Vista, CA split last season between AA Springfield and AAA Memphis. He went a combined .247 with 3 dingers and 28 RBI last season.

Hoorelbeke, 29, joins the Bluefish after a monster season with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks where he hit .322 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI. He also spent some time with the AAA Iowa Cubs and hit 5 homers and drove in 9 in only 14 games. The first-baseman was selected to the Baseball America All-Independent team in 2006.

Jaramillo, a 27 year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela has spent parts of 10 seasons with the Dodgers, Cardinals and Brewers organization. Last year, the shortstop split time between Class-A Brevard County, AA Huntsville and AAA Nashville.

Beech, 35, is returning for his second season in a Bluefish uniform. The lefty had a solid season last year, going 7-6 with a 4.34 ERA. Beech an Oakland, CA native is a veteran of three major league stints with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fesh, a Bethel, Connecticut native is entering his 17th professional season and his third with the Bluefish. Last year, Fesh posted impressive numbers, compiling a 3-3 record with a 3.57 ERA pitching out of the bullpen.

Nathans, 27 returns to the ‘Fish after splitting last season between Bridgeport and the Newark Bears. The C/OF hit .230 during his 39 game stint in Bridgeport.

Figueroa, 30, also returns to Bridgeport after posting a .319 average with 3 homers and 17 RBI in 32 games. He’s a veteran of 12 professional seasons, spending a majority of his time in the Seattle Mariners organization.

Also returning to the Bluefish is Greenwich, CT native Bobby Darula. The 32-year old outfielder split time last year between Bridgeport and AA Mississippi before his year was cut short due to injury. During his brief stint with the ‘Fish, he hit .358 and knocked in 10 in 21 games.

Warren, 39, will be entering his second season as Bluefish Pitching Coach. Warren pitched two seasons for the Bluefish in 2004 and 2005 out of the bullpen. He will assist Field Manager Tommy John with the development of the Bluefish pitching staff.

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