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May 17, 2007 May 17, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

York Loses Opening Day Starter: AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com is the first place to report that Revolution P Wayne Franklin has left the team for Taiwan. More details to follow…

Doubleheader in Newark: York (see: Camden) was the only place where the Atlantic League wasn’t rained out yesterday, so it’s doubleheader city today.

AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com will be in Newark for the 11:05 doubleheader against the Riversharks, and you should be too. Hopefully I’ll be able to have some live updates, pictures and everything else you’ll want to keep you entertained at work.

People! Boarding a train! Wow!

6:42 AM – I get on the train in Bridgewater. Yes, that means I was up around 5. I’m also convinced that I’ll be getting a cold thanks to this trip, as I’ve been to hospitals that have less people coughing and sniffling.

Every train has the “guy who thinks the people within an eight row radius can’t hear his music” guy. Screw that guy. And screw him for sitting in front of me.

7:35 AM – After several fun delays, the train arrives in Newark Penn Station. I go for a curious McBreakfast of an Egg McMuffin with hash brown and large Coke. The breakfast of champions, right there.

Someone got McArrested! Hooray!

7:45 AM – Not too long after an interesting woman passes through McDonalds, two police officers arrive and ask me where she went. And we’re off to an awesome start.

7:53 AM – I get on the light rail. Mayor Cory Booker comes on the PA system for the first two stops, telling you about all the great places you can go from those. He does not say anything when Riverfront Stadium approaches. This is odd.

8:10 AM – I am literally the only person in the Newark Bears press box at the moment. The gates open at 10, and the game starts around 11. The staff got here at 7:30 to pull tarp, and the grounds crew is working on the field as I type. Riveting stuff, I know…

Those little ants are grounds crew members, and they’re people too…

8:25 AM – Hooray, company in the press box! It’s PR Director Joe Montefusco, who drops an early morning bombshell — the Bears have released pitcher Evan Thomas. OK, hardly a bombshell. But I’m the only reporter here! It’s an exclusive! Hooray caffeine!

8:45 AM – I went down to the clubhouse and spoke to pitching coach Steve Foucault for about 10 minutes or so. Fouc makes fishing rods, and was in the process of doing so when I got there. Outside of that, we were just talking, so there’s really nothing newsworthy that came out of it. Just gathering information for down the road.

9:00 AM – Caught up with Bears GM John Brandt for a good half an hour in the press box. You literally can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about JB, and I’ll echo those sentiments.

9:20 AM – I went down again to speak with Bobby Brownlie. Brownlie is playing cards, so I give him the “uhhh, hey when you’re done…” speech and wait outside the clubhouse.

9:35 AM – Well, still no Brownlie, but I did get someone else I needed. I first should confess that I had no idea what Jeremy Hill looked like. Thankfully, a player walked in with a glove that had “J. Hill” stitched into it. I asked him about his new role as a starter, and I’ll have those quotes up a little later.

9:40 AM – No Brownlie. The clubbie has offered me a beverage, and I’ve also caught up with former Road Warriors trainer Erin Hughes, who got bumped up to Riversharks duty this year.

9:55 AM – Brownlie! I ask him such original and thrilling questions about comparing his first start to his second and…gasp, about his velocity. I’ll have those quotes up a little later as well.

10:00 AM – The lineups for game 1 are as follows…


3B – Denny Abreu
RF – Justin Singleton
1B – Craig Paquette
C – Ben Davis
CF- Dwight Maness
DH – Angel Pena
LF – LJ Biernbaum
SS – Matt DeMarco
2B – Rene Aqueron
P – Kevin Walker


CF – Marcus Nettles
DH – Ramon Castro
RF – Keith Reed
3B – Corey Smith
1B – Victor Rodriguez
2B – Javier Colina
C – John Pachot
LF – Joey Gomes
SS – Josh Arteaga
P – Gary Knotts

Pre-Game Photos:

Bears skipper Wayne Krenchicki faces his old team

Jason DiAngelo gets loose with Jason Torres


Gary Knotts prepares for his game one start

Former blue-chipper Corey Smith

Joey Gomes in an artsy-fartsy shot

Rejoice, Bears fans! Jose Herrera is in uniform…

Why teams do camp days…

In-Game Photos:

Sharks starter Kevin Walker

Hooray, national anthem!

Craig Paquette, four years removed from his last big league action.

Ramon Castro making solid contact (look closely, the ball is right on the bat…)

Matt DeMarco…Polo is at the plate

Dick Such in his first year as Camden’s pitching coach

Big league veteran backstop Ben Davis

Site favorite R.J. Swindle got two outs in the sixth.

Losing pitcher Randy Dicken

Winning pitcher J.J. Trujillo

12:40 PM – I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down and relax for a bit. A few Bears staffers have introduced themselves to me as loyal readers of the website, which is always appreciated. For the four of you curious on the spread — it’s roast beef sandwiches with pickles and assorted salads.

I also got to meet BASA’s David Keller for the first time. Nice guy, can’t be older than me if he is at all. Probably a better quote than 90% of the players in the league too…he’s gone through numerous days of Adam Gladstone “how to deal with the media” training.

1:20 PM – One out away from extra innings in a doubleheader. F–k.

1:21 PM – F**K!!!

1:28 PM – Joe Montefusco has let me know that Jose Herrera has been activated and will play game two. Also, Joe Jiannetti has been placed on the DL. Considering he hasn’t played all season, I’d assume the move is retroactive and he can be activated at any time.

1:48 PM – Bears win in extra innings, 4-3. The game went nine innings, but was supposed to go seven…

1:56 PM – The official attendance is in…drum roll, please. 5,008. Not bad at all. Good job, Bears.

Game Two Pre-Game Photos:

Anthony Ferrari gets loose out in left field

And Matt Sweeney gets his arm going in right…

Angel Pena posing for the cover of a calendar, apparently…

Jose Herrera! Stretching! Wow!

Corey Smith, still looking for his first Atlantic League longball.

Lipso Nava, the Bears new hitting coach

Pat Peavey, man of the people.

A lonely glove and hat remain in the Bears dugout inbetween games.

The highly altered lineup card from game one.

Pat Peavey…as I said, man of the people.

2:25 PM – Game two starts.

2:35 PM – I counted. There are 27 people in the stands. A few may work here. Oh. My. God.

3:02 PM – Belated game two lineups…it’s 4-0 Bears in the top of the 3rd, by the way.


3B – Denny Abreu
RF – Justin Singelton
1B – Craig Paquette
DH – Angel Pena
LF – LJ Biernbaum
CF – Dwight Maness
SS – Matt DeMarco
C – Randy McGarvey
2B – Rene Aqueron
P – Anthony Ferrari


CF – Keith Reed
SS – Ramon Castro
2B – Javier Colina
1B – Corey Smith
DH – Victor Rodriguez
RF – Jose Herrera
LF – Joey Gomes
3B – Pat Peavey
C – Jason Torres
P – Matt Sweeney

3:44 PM – The umpires have just taken five minutes to delay the game, go into the dugout and check the count by calling the press box. I’m not making that up.

3:52 PM – Camden’s in the middle of a five-run inning, and are up 6-4 in the top of the 5th.

4:35 PM – Newark has brought it to within a run when a two out bottom of the seventh pop-up landed in a pile of pigeons stationed in short center field. Really.

4:38 PM – Camden 6 – Newark 5. Final. The pigeons didn’t prevail.

Redman Update: Scott Stanchak has placed a call to Tike Redman for his thoughts on getting picked up, and hopes to hear back soon. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Taking the Atlantic League By the Balls: Whether they know it or not, Atlantic Leaguers have been smacking around Frank Boulton and Joe Klein now for the past two weeks.

But dont worry fans, your favorite Atlantic League execs are just fine. The league is using a new baseball to commemorate its tenth anniversary, and the signatures of both Boulton and Klein appear on the new ball, as well as the tenth anniversary logo.

The new ball is on the right, now featuring two signatures. Boulton is listed as “CEO/Founder” and Klein is listed as “Exec. Director”

As you can see, the new ball on the right (a game used version of one, anyway) has the league’s tenth anniversary logo stamped on it.

What’s Inside An Atlantic League Baseball?: Bruce Martin’s glasses? Ruben Studdard’s career? Jimmy Hoffa? Whoa skippy, calm down there. Why don’t I cut one open for you and we’ll find out together…

It’s amazing what an industrial strength box-cutter can do…

After cutting through the red stitching, the thick outside is slowly peeled back, revealing a whole lot of string.

With both panels completely removed, the string covered underbelly is shown. It is of a relatively thin, but obviously very tightly wound nature.

So once the thinner string is gone, a thicker sort of yarn is uncovered. While thick, it pulls apart fairly easily.

A half and half look at the innards of the ball. The left half shows the thin string casing from just under the surface, while the right half shows the thicker yarn, and then a darker layer of yarn underneath that.

With most of the second layer removed, the third layer — the darker yarn — is nearly completely revealed.

With the darker yarn pulled away, a fourth layer of very thick, lighter yarn is shown.

The fourth layer of yarn is very thick and does not break easily. As you can see, there’s a lot of it.

A fifth layer of yarn lays under the thick fourth layer. Compared to the size of an actual baseball, you can see that not that much has been pulled away yet…

This fifth layer is also very thick and very hard to pull apart. It’s also the last layer of protection until you get to the cushioned center.

We’ve reached the Tootsie Pop stage of things. After five layers of string and yarn, a small red rubber ball is uncovered. The layer of rubber is very thick and hard to cut through…

Inside the red layer of rubber is a black layer of rubber. Once you cut through that, the elusive cork center is revealed.

Here’s what the cork center looks like, compared to the size of an actual baseball. As you can see, the actual center of the ball is very small in comparison.

So, here’s what you end up with after performing baseball surgery. A bunch of piles of yarn, two leather panels, some rubber and some cork.

All in all, this took me somewhere in the vicinity of twenty minutes. Most of my time was spent unraveling all the yarn. You can’t just pull a baseball apart, so if you do try this at home, please be careful as this isn’t the easiest thing to do, and I’m not responsible for the loss of any fingers or other assorted extremities.

(All photos and captions: Mike Ashmore)

Tell Me How You Really Feel: Ryan Dunleavy of The Courier News provides this interesting piece on the Atlantic League’s schedule, specifically a quirk in which teams play each other six times in a row.

You don’t have to look very far for my favorite quote in it…

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” Ducks manager Dave LaPoint told the paper. “It shouldn’t be allowed in an eight-team league.”

The last place you would look for anything critical about anything regarding the league would be from anyone associated with the Ducks, so this is really borderline shocking.

Bears Now Thomas-Less: C Jonathan Thomas, who was in Spring Training with the Newark Bears, has signed with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League.

Thomas was one of many catchers the Bears used last season, and the former Royals farmhand hit .244 with one home run and 13 RBI in 48 games.

Also, they released Evan Thomas, who started the season on the disabled list and never came off. – Mike Ashmore


1. Ryan - May 17, 2007

Awesome post. I’ve always wondered what was in a baseball. I always assumed there was more cork and much, much, much less string. But as interesting as it was to see taken apart, I’d LOVE to see one put back together.

2. jcb811 - May 17, 2007

I did not see this posted here, so I thought I would post it (from http://www.usatoday.com).

NORFOLK TIDES-Agreed to terms with OF Tike Redman

Wow! If you blink, you’ll miss some of the ex-MLBers in this league. That’s if they even show up!

3. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 17, 2007

I think we had the Redman thing up two days ago…either two or three days back.


4. b-fish fan - May 17, 2007

riggzy the firing of dowd was the final death blow to this organization.the hardcore fish fan knows the firing of dowd/lapoint was bogus and nothing more than a cost cutting move.the mgmt didnt want dowd signing name players and they didnt want lapoint holding them up for a 2007 contract.in the 10 years of following bluefish baseball this is without a doubt the worst start of the season i have ever seen.i.e coverage from local media,peoples interest and overall presentation of the team.i also have notice a much more negative feeling from the local media towards the bluefish and the ownership when stories about the team are written.

5. SharkGirl - May 17, 2007

Great job on the unraveling baseball story. I always wondered how many licks…um…layers until the tootsie roll was revealed.

6. Riggzy - May 17, 2007

You hit it on the money b-fish fan…i mean i want the team to succeed but it just keeps getting worse every time i go out there…
and when you see 866 at the gates on a nice night it makes you wonder…I will probably not renew my ticket plan next year..its depressing though.. bpt is my home town and i’ve enjoyed the bluefih alot,but man its gone downhill alot since new ownership took over..i guess they think myram noodleman is the answer or crazy george.. i think its ridiculous..
i actually went to a rock cats game the other night… i enjoyed myself
the baseball was good,but harbor yard is a much more attractive stadium..new britan has a good fan base too..they average about 3,500 a night and on weekends they pretty much sell-out..i wish those days would come back to bpt..oh well i guess it will be interesting to watch this ship sink
gotta run…. go fish!!!

7. Jeff - May 17, 2007

Great posts and pictures! This is great seeing this while I work!

8. Jeff - May 17, 2007

How about the lineups for Game 1 as soon as you get them!

9. Fausto Gabon - May 17, 2007

You should enter that in the Science Fair!

10. beisbol - May 17, 2007

Hey Mike–The blog is looking better than I’ve ever seen it before. Keep it up.
I was also wondering if you know what happened to Derek Barrows of the RW. I thought he was suppossed to pitch this season, but so far I don’t think I’ve seen his name in a single box score. Injury?

11. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 17, 2007

Barrows is more or less looking for a job as far as I know.

I’ll drop him a line and see what’s going on — he’s a good guy, I hope he lands somewhere.

12. Z - May 17, 2007

Thx for the updates Mike….I tried to stream the game at work but the Bears web site seems to be down….

13. Z - May 17, 2007

27 for game 2??? Is this back to normal???

14. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 17, 2007

Not really, although I did count Brownlie and Hill as two of the 27.

They draw substantially better than this, but nobody’s going to get crap during the second game of a day doubleheader during the week.

15. Radio guy - May 17, 2007

Ryan Schurman picked up by the Sharks. Just one more Surf player dotting the rosters.

16. Paul - May 18, 2007

I enjoyed the Newark/Camden doubleheader coverage today. You took some great photos. I really like the shot of Ramon Castro from game one.

17. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 18, 2007

Thanks. It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun at the same time.

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