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May 24, 2007 May 24, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Ducks Cut Two: P Pat Ahearne and OF Ron Acuna have been released by the Ducks. I know his numbers haven’t been all that great this year, but I hope somebody else gives Ahearne a shot. He’s a quality individual, and perhaps a change of scenery could do him some good.

Poof!: And for my next trick, I shall make a Major Leaguer appear. Such was the case for the York Revolution, who signed World Series Champion outfielder Danny Bautista with as little fanfare as is humanly possible.

The Dominican native is celebrating his 35th birthday today, and has played for the Tigers, Braves, Marlins and Diamondbacks. It is unknown if he’s played since 2004, as no stats can be found for him after that season.

Bautista went 7-for-12 in the 2001 World Series for Arizona, driving in seven runs en route to winning a championship ring.

The “if a tree falls in the forest, but nobody’s there to hear it, does it make a sound” approach to signing players in this league HAS TO STOP. If not for an eagle-eyed reader in yesterday’s comments, who knows when I would have found out about this.

Also, Jim Seip reports that York has “traded” INF Luis Lopez to Camden for future considerations.

He also points out the interesting nature of the deal, considering both teams are BASA staffed.

It isn’t the first time (see: Bryan Edwards from Camden to Bridgeport earlier this season) and it won’t the last, but it’ll always be questionable.

As I Said: It won’t be the last time. C Russ Cleveland was sent to Lancaster from York today. Certainly, that will do wonders to help that “War of the Roses” thing they’re trying to create.

Ramsey Returns: According to Ryan Dunleavy of The Courier News, P Keith Ramsey is set to return to Somerset. I spoke to Ramsey about two weeks ago, and he indicated that a return was possible — but from talking to him, it didn’t really seem probable at that point in time.

The 2006 winner of the illustrious “Ashmore Good Guy Award” may be in uniform this weekend, according to Dunleavy.

This is an interesting move considering the current state of the pitching staff.

While the starting rotation has actually been fairly solid for the Patriots, the governor may be coming in to declare the bullpen a disaster area any day now.

In their last 17.1 innings, the bullpen has allowed 23 total runs.

As a result, there’s been a lot of speculation that you may see some moves sooner rather than later, but that’s not really being addressed by the Ramsey signing.

Bears Add an Armitage: The Newark Bears have signed South African native P Barry Armitage to a contract. He has Double-A experience in the Royals organization, and pitched in the World Baseball Classic for his home country.

Fish Lose Figueroa, York to lose Espy?: 3B Luis Figueroa, who had a league leading 25 RBI, has left for Mexico. Several other players are likely headed out as well, with York’s Nate Espy being rumored to be the next one out.

Why The Negativity?: As everybody knows by now, I not only cover the Atlantic League, but I do the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League as well.

The attitude regarding the Atlantic League over there is far from positive, which isn’t so much from people on the staff, but the various writers who cover the team and cover big events such as the Roger Clemens start last night.

I generally find myself having to defend the league, but the same points are always raised that are virtually indefensible.

People complain about the same people owning multiple teams. They complain about the same people staffing multiple teams.

And how do I defend that? Those are all valid points.

The one thing I do choose to defend is the level of play, considering there are some who don’t even consider it professional baseball.

On the flip side, one thing that league does right is the handling of player moves. Obviously, player transactions in an affiliated league are followed far more closely than they are here.

But there are people who care about the on the field happenings of the Atlantic League, and a lot of those people are what have made this website as successful as its ultimately become. We are counted on to bring people all the latest news and transactions, and if teams choose not to publicize those moves — and yes, it’s generally the same teams every time — then I’m left to pulling out a Ouija board and trying to figure them out for myself.

Doing this for five years, I’ve built up a nice list of contacts. But there are still people around the league who don’t return phone calls or don’t return e-mails, so it isn’t like I don’t try to get the information in different ways.

I can understand not publicizing the fact that a player’s been released — which I can still be alerted to via a media advisory, which is different than a press release — but even if you sign a kid with 10 games of experience in rookie ball, there’s no reason not to promote it.

Teams in this league are frequently frustrated by the lack of media coverage they receive, but the majority of them certainly don’t help matters either.

Oh, by the way…Somerset Patriots alum Noah Hall hit the game-tying home run in the ninth and former Barnstormer Scott Patterson pitched a perfect tenth for the win last night in Trenton.

But no, keep slamming the league.

Rocket Landing: Yes, my little brush with greatness is over, so I’m back to covering the Atlantic League for the time being. Thanks to the handful of folks who e-mailed, congratulating me on asking Roger Clemens a question during his post-game press conference, which was telecast live on ESPNEWS. Just doing my job, but thanks…

About What I Said: It is possible to have perceived what I said in the previous news item as feeling like I’m above covering the league. Not true. I love covering this league, which should be somewhat obvious considering it literally wouldn’t be worth it if I didn’t.

It’s just that in having done this since 2003, there are some fairly constant sources of frustration that can make doing this far more difficult than it needs to be, and that’s the only point I was trying to make. – Mike Ashmore



1. Voltaire - May 24, 2007

As someone new to following the intricacies of the Atlantic League, can you explain what you mean about the “trading” you take a fishy view of? What exactly goes on?

2. Sharks52 - May 24, 2007

I have to agree with your comments on the Atlantic League. They are certainly up to AA standards play-wise and with a large group of former major league players they are (to me) much more interesting than an affiliated AA team, except for the rehab assignments. It is much better than “semi-pro” play that the elitists try to pin on it, but the league itself, wow. It’s like the players don’t matter. The only thing that’s important is getting out the word about magnet schedule day or something like that. I couldn’t believe Danny Bautista just showed up in the lineup yesterday. I went back to websites after the game and still no mention of him on York’s or the Atlantic League’s site. While I enjoy going to the Revolution’s games at Campbell’s Field, I don’t understand why they didn’t follow through on their orginal plan to hold the games in Lancaster. They’d have to do better that the 30 to 50 people that show up at these games. On Tuesday night they had a lot of York Media there for the “home opener”. I think every one of us 45 fans were interviewed that night, some of us twice. When the sports writers see this going on they have a tendency to look down their nose at my favorite minor league, and as you say, it is very hard to defend.
Line of the night. Announcer: “Now fans, here are this afternoon’s starting lineups.”
Comment from the Long Island dugout: “Why bother? There’s nobody here.”
Actually, I counted 40, which would be one of the better crowds.

3. Jeff - May 24, 2007

Mike, you make some excellent points. You almost have to be a rocket scientist to find out who is playing for who many days.
We know the league web site trasnactions many times are not up to date, plus, the individual clubs don’t help out by keeping their own web sites updated, especially the rosters. It’s a shame many of these roster moves are such a secret.

4. Jeff - May 24, 2007

Voltaire: I think Mike is pointing out that in the case of Lopez ending up in Camden for ‘future considerations’, we usually never hear what York receives in return, for a former MLB player. The BASA group sometimes moves players at their own will, so these moves don’t make sense many times, as far as a team receiving equal value in return for a player.

5. southernalfan - May 24, 2007

Great post today. As you know, you are completely accurate. I am glad you do what you do for the League and its fans.
This whole BASA-thing has never sat well with me. I just don’t like it.

6. Voltaire - May 24, 2007

Thank you for the response, Jeff. I see the point quite clearly now.

As someone who lives in northeast Ohio, the nearest independant league team is the Chillicothe Paints of the Frontier League, and I’ve never been to a game, as they’re over 2 and a half hours away. As a result, I follow independent baseball entirely on the net, and I must say the Atlantic League is far and away my favorite.

I managed to track down a mention of Danny Bautista in the game wrap on the York website, by the way.

7. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 24, 2007

And the last paragraph of what you said is a big part of the problem.

Let me do a quick fake game recap…

The Bears beat the Bluefish, 7-2, in front of 4,357 fans at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.

Bobby Brownlie (3-1) threw seven masterful innings, striking out six Bridgeport batters while walking only one.

Cal Ripken, Jr. went 1-for-4 in his Bears debut.

The fact that I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar game recap from different teams in the league (not the Bears, actually…) is kind of telling as to the difficulties in getting player transaction info.

8. PlayerPCCollector - May 24, 2007

I, too, grow more and more fond of the AL with every passing day and am frustrated by the lack of roster communication. If teams are going to share resources, you’d think they could share PR staffs to make sure their websites are as up-to-date as possible.

On a different note, when will a permanent 8th team be named?

9. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 25, 2007

I guess you could consider this inside info, but I know for a fact that several AL teams are having difficulties updating their websites — difficulties that aren’t of their own doing.

As for the answer to your question — in theory, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs should be ready for Atlantic League play in 2008.

So as long as nobody folds or moves to another league, it would appear as though there will be eight home teams next season.

The Road Warriors are another point of contention for the AL detractors I deal with, which is another one of those indefensible points…

10. jm1 - May 25, 2007

I have been a faithful supporter of the AL for 5 years but have been becoming gradually more disappointed with the league. 1.) The ownership of virtually all teams by just a few groups could surly jeopardize the competitive integrity of the league. 2.) I can’t quite put my finger on it but the league seems to lack a certain professionalism; as a case in point there does not seem to be any set schedule for pregame BP and IF/OF (in fact I’m not certain teams consistently do them). 3.) The lack of publication of transactions is annoying. 4.) The length of the games (over 3 hours seems to be the standard) caused by what seems to be a weakness of pitching and the need for pitchers to work to miss bats rather than challenge hitters. That’s enough for now.

11. Fausto Gabon - May 25, 2007

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