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May 6, 2007 May 6, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Hall First Out of Atlantic League: As reported yesterday on AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com, OF Noah Hall became the first player picked up out of the Atlantic League on Saturday when the Yankees snatched him from the Somerset Patriots.

Team speed was one of the keys to Somerset’s potential success this year, so Hall’s loss will be felt immediately.

“(It hurts) pretty good, but we still have some guys that can run,” said third baseman Jeff Nettles.

“He wasn’t our leadoff hitter, he was our number five hitter. So even though he had speed, he wasn’t in a speedy man’s spot. Losing his experience is what’s going to hurt us.”

Hall will replace Brett Gardner (rated by Baseball America as the Yankees tenth best prospect) in Double-A Trenton. Gardner broke his hand two nights ago.

It was unfortunate timing for the Yankees, who wouldn’t have had to pay the fee that teams get for losing a player if he’d been signed before the season started.

Hall’s absence seemed to open a spot in the lineup for Todd Leathers, but he continues to ride the pine while Elliott Ayala has been a surprise regular. In lieu of Leathers, Jose Morban saw his first action of the season last night.

How To Swindle Atlantic League Hitters: I tipped you off to it when I went to Bears Spring Training, but R.J. Swindle debuted his disgusting…well whatever it is to the Atlantic League on Friday night. His first victim, Anton French, waved at it — totally thrown off by one of the slowest professional pitches in the game.

So what the hell is this pitch you throw?

“(Laughs) It’s a curveball. I picked it up about a year or two ago, and it usually baffles hitters,” Swindle said. “It comes slow out of my hand and comes out at about 52 or 54, and it’s a good way to get people out in front.”

How do you learn something like that?

“Just practice, really. I was just screwing around in the bullpen, and I hadn’t thrown my curveball in a few years, and it came out a lot differently than when I threw it in the past.”

How beneficial is it for you to be facing someone who’s never seen that pitch before?

“That’s definitely to my advantage. I purposely don’t throw it when I warm up, either. Just so the guy who’s coming up for the first time who’s never seen it has no idea what he’s about to see and has no idea how slow it’s coming in. The first guy who saw it last night, he probably could have taken three or four swings before it got there.”

So when’s the right time to throw it?

“I’ll throw it any time. Usually I’ll throw it early in the count and get a free strike, because nobody’s looking for it that early. Or I’ll throw it with two strikes, too. I’ll throw it any time, because it’s a really tough pitch to wait back on. If I throw a fastball on the next pitch, it looks like it’s coming at 95 instead of 81.”

As Johnny Drama Would Say…: Victory! Rejoice, Somerset Patriots fans…your team wont go the entire season without scoring a run.

Somerset beat Newark, 3-2, with Mike Lockwood leading the way with two RBI. Jeff Miller picked up the loss for the Bears, allowing a Lockwood home run in an inning of work.

Jeff Nettles also made a stellar defensive play, robbing Corey Smith of a hit with a diving stop down the third base line. Nettles got to his knees, made a sidearm sort of throw and just got the Piscataway HS grad at first.

As Dennis Green Would Say…: The York Revolution are who we thought they were. York has now lost their first two games, dropping last night’s game 3-1 to Bridgeport.

Brian Boehringer scattered eight hits through eight innings for his first win of the season. He allowed only one run and struck out just two batters, but also didn’t issue any walks.

Matt Dryer, who drove in the only run for the Revolution, currently leads the league in RBI with five.

The Kaz Tanaka hit watch ended at just one game, as he went 1-for-3 in his first start. Travis Hake was nowhere to be found in the box score.

On Pace for 126 Losses: Lancaster put up three runs in the first two innings off of Road Warriors starter Carlos Castillo, and ended up holding on for a 4-0 win. Jutt Hileman and Chris Van Rossum each homered in the win for Lancaster.

I’m 99.9% sure that this is the same Carlos Castillo who pitched for the Bears in 2005 and has big league time with the White Sox and Red Sox. He might be a good option for a team in need of starting pitching.

The loss makes the Road Warriors and the Revolution the only two winless teams in the league, with both sitting at 0-2.

The 2004 version of the league’s traveling team went 23-103. I put the numbers into my calculator, and the results were “ten miles under .500”

Considering this year’s Road Warriors are hitting at a .148 clip (9-for-61) and have 24 strikeouts in those 61 at-bats, things might not be much better.

Halama in 2005 (Photo: Ashmore)

Sharks Take Pitchers Duel: Greg Powell of the Riversharks and John Halama of the Ducks combined for the best pitching matchup of the night. Powell allowed one run through five innings, and Halama struck out seven in six scoreless innings.

With Halama out of the game, Brad Strauss hit a bases-clearing triple off of Travis Wade to give Camden a 3-1 lead.

The game came down to the bullpen, and Camden’s deep group of relievers saved the day. The Ducks would score one more run in the eighth, but Chris Fussell shut them down in the ninth for his first save of the season. – Mike Ashmore

Sunday Photo Gallery (All Photos: Ashmore)

Danny Garcia

Brett Jodie

Marcus Nettles

Corey Smith

Matt Sweeney

Jason Torres

Victor Rodriguez



1. Ryan - May 6, 2007

Hey, I’m Ryan from over at the Viva York Revolution blog.

Thanks for the recap from around the league, I was looking for something like that. FYI Travis Hake is out with flu-symptoms.

Oh, and I completely agree with what you said about York’s Unis from yesterday’s post. I did a whole post comparing them all. Man, what were they thinking?

2. BoosterBabe - May 6, 2007

Well I’m in Bridgeport and I’ve been looking at those uniforms for two days. The color of their BP shirts is some sort of gray-ish mustardy color. Really ugly. I really don’t care for them, but at least there was no trouble telling which team was which.
There’s one team, I forget which, they wear dark blue jerseys, same as the Bluefish wear, and except for “are the pants gray or white”, you can’t tell who’s who.

3. BoosterBabe - May 6, 2007

Bluefish leading 4-0 in the 2nd…..

4. Fausto Gabon - May 6, 2007

Until Lancaster(and subsequently York)went red, this was the blue alternate league! AC, Bpt, Lancaster, Somerset all had dark blue BP tops, and it was really annoying that they would often be in the same color. At least Nashua had the Dodger blue top. Doesn’t the home team get a say on unis, ala forcing the Dallas Cowboys to wear the unlucky blue jersey? I wish!

5. Riggzy - May 6, 2007

Went to Fridays and sundays Bluefish games vs. the reveloution.. i thought the baseball was sloppy for the most part more so on the york side..
there bullpen is suspect at best and i think the Bluefish did a great job of exploiting that..the attendance to i thought was sub-par.. 3159 on opening night wasn’t impressive..and i don’t think todays game event hit that…i don’t know what this new ownership is gonna do..there gonna have to work there tail off to get those numbers up i know its only the beginning of the season but there was great weather all weekend and to barley avg 2500 people for the weekend isn’t better than the old ownership..

6. BoosterBabe - May 7, 2007

The Bluefish seem to be focusing on marketing for group sales, which is all well and good….but where is the advertising to drive walk-up business? They need to be on tv, radio and billboards. They need to reach out, be top of mind, to every family in Fairfield and New Haven counties. Yes, get people from New Canaan to have the kiddies’ birthday parties there, get the companies from Darien and Stamford to have their corporate outings there, have the schools do their fund-raisers….but let’s not forget garden-variety “It’s a nice night, it’s too nice to stay inside, let’s go to a ball game” The weather was perfect for walk up business, and I have to say, there was NO mention of opening weekend on WEBE, the most powerful radio station in Fairfield County (if not the state). i realize it’s expensive but their reach is massive. There was little buzz this weekend. Lots of it in my own social circles, of course, but the majority of my friends and friends’ families either work there, or are season ticket holders, Boosters or both. I was walking around in my pink Bluefish Jersey (they are blowing out all of last year’s merchandise in the Gear shop, so bargains can be had!) all day Saturday, running errands all over Fairfield and Bridgeport and strangers asked me “when do they start playing?”

Something isn’t quite right when it’s opening weekend and people are not aware of it.

There should be radio coverage–the morning hosts should have been ALL OVER IT Friday morning. I monitored the top 3 FM stations in Fairfield County (WEBE, Star 99.9 and the Coast) and not a word was mentioned. And the weekend radio hosts should have been all over it Sat and Sunday. They need to blanket the airwaves.

News coverage in the CT POST isn’t gonna do it either. They need to do a grass roots marketing effort-TV, radio, billboards. and like I said, when it comes to radio, not just ads–get them to TALK about it. They talk about American Idol, they mentioned the KY derby…plenty about Cinqo de Mayo, but not a word about the Bluefish.

They need to get out on Local Talk Shows. News 12 is good but it’s small coverage, they need to branch out beyond that. Have Channel 8 do an interview with Tommy John, for example. I’m sure someone in the front office can figure out an angle for a press release to get them to do an interview with him.

They are preaching to the choir with the promotions. Telling people in their seats or on the website about a 2 for 1 Tuesday night promotion is nice, but it’s only gonna get people who are already interested in the Bluefish to come down an extra night or two a week. They need NEW PEOPLE to start coming on a regular basis if they want to survive.

I also feel like they are forgetting the baseball aspect of all this. There’s baseball being played between the dog trotting out to bring water to the umpires and Myron Noodleman dancing to Cotton Eyed Joe with John Nathans and Matt Beech. Don’t know about most folks, but I watch the game and use the rest room or get food when the Zooperstars take the field. I don’t care about the inflateable mascots, I care less about the Dizzy Bat Race or the horse race over the outfield wall. It’s turning into a vaudeville act. And they may get more of the casual once or twice a year folks, but they are gonna lose the baseball fans who show up to watch the game.

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