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September 13, 2007 September 13, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Strauss To Have Number Retired: Long time Camden Riversharks player, coach and front office member Brad Strauss will have his number retired tonight in Camden. Strauss is playing his final Atlantic League games this week, but his #16 will never be worn again in Riversharks history.

Makes you wonder why more teams don’t do this for their faces of the franchise, I’ve said forever that Emiliano Escandon’s #22 should have long since been retired.

Wise Hopes To Return: I chatted with Lancaster interim manager Rick Wise this afternoon, and he said he’d like to come back next year. Just not as manager and pitching coach.

Wise said that it’s been a difficult adjustment, and being a manager has added some unexpected responsibilities — like dealing with the media on a daily basis, dealing with the league, and playing a role in hiring and firing players.

But he also noted that serving as manager has taken him away from his pitchers more than he would have liked, and that no decision has been made from either himself or the organzation whether he’ll return.

It’s been a long season for the Barnstormers, and a lot of guys in that clubhouse — Wise included — looked pretty worn down. I think a lot of people in the organization are just hoping for this nightmare of a season to end.

Urban Inactive, Pressley Active: P Jeff Urban has been taken off the Somerset Patriots active roster, while the team has activated 1B Josh Pressley.

Playoff Decision Was A Baseball Decision: There’s been some discussion on here and around the league that the Newark Bears deciding to have only one home game in the first round of the playoffs had financial implications.

Not so, say the Bears.

I spoke to several members of the front office to clarify this, and they’ve all said that it was a baseball decision, pointing to the importance of having a better chance at a 1-0 series lead and a better road record this season.

While I can certainly see why people would be looking for reasons why a team would give up a second home game — I personally probably wouldn’t have made the same decision despite the better road record — the Bears did not make it for financial reasons.

The Bears expect a very good crowd for their home game in the first round.

Being Bobby Brownlie: As promised, here’s the transcript of my conversation with former Newark Bears P Bobby Brownlie. Brownlie was a key part of the Bears first-half title run, and there was some hope that he might be able to return to the team for the playoffs.

Now, he’s on the Akron Aeros, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, and is scheduled to start in Game 4 of the Championship Series (if necessary).

On following the Atlantic League after leaving…

“I go on the internet every once in a while and see how the guys are doing. I talk to a couple of the guys every once in a while, too. It’s hard when you’re doing your own thing, but I try to keep in touch with them as much as I can.”

On being destined to be in this playoff series… (Brownlie was scouted by the Yankees before being signed by the Indians, the Double-A affiliates of the two teams are squaring off in the Eastern League Championship Series)

“It sure looked that way. I’m just happy anywhere I’m at, and I’m throwing the ball well. I’ve gotten a couple pointers since I’ve been here that have really helped me. I’ve increased my velocity by three miles per hour since I’ve been here, so I think it’s one of those things where I’ve really found the right situation. They’ve helped me a lot, and built on what I was working on in Newark.”

On the improvement in velocity, considering how important that’s been in his career…

“I feel like I’ve pitched well enough to where I might be able to get an opportunity and go to camp with the Indians. They haven’t said anything but good things about me. I’ve done some little things for them too; I’ve taken the ball on three days rest twice, I’ve come in on short rest and tried to step in and fill an opening that these guys had. I feel like I’ve put myself in a position where I could potentially get an invite with them next year.”

On the transition from going from the Atlantic League to the Eastern League…

“I would say it’s pretty similar. Here, you’ve got some guys that are a little bit more raw. The guys in the Atlantic League, for the most part, have their idea of how to play the right way. I think the lineups are fairly similar, when you get down to talent and things like that. Guys here might bunt and steal a little bit more than in the Atlantic League, whereas over there in some of the smaller parks, you have guys that are just trying to put up numbers and get out of there. You don’t get out of there by bunting or stealing bases. You get out of there by putting up a good batting average, hitting home runs and driving in runs in.”

On specific adjustments he’s had to make in pitching to Double-A hitters again…

“It’s a constant progression, but I think I’ve pretty much done the same things I did when I was in the Atlantic League; pitching with my fastball and my changeup and just changing speeds and everything like that. Doing that here, the first time through the lineup, you might get away with a changeup over the middle of the plate, because guys swing through it here. They’re a little bit younger, chances are they haven’t seen a righty who’s throwing a changeup to a righty.

“Those younger guys at the lower levels, when they’re facing righties, it’s fastball and breaking ball. Just from talking to guys, they’ve said it’s the first time they’ve seen a right on right changeup. So those are things that you’re able to do the first time through the order. But, when you get here, the other teams have better scouting reports on you. The second time you throw against them, they have more resources. Whether it be their charts that they do…we do a chart on the computer that breaks down spray charts and everything. Guys have more of a head start on what you’re trying to do.”

On if Newark has contacted him regarding a playoff return…

“Yeah, they contacted me. I called Chick, and he said I’d have to ask for my release. There’s a lot of things that go into that. You’re talking about now I have medical insurance for my family, and that’s throughout the end of the year. It goes through December 31st, and that’s a big thing when you talk about having to pay $900 a month, it’s a big thing. I told Chick I’d love to come back and pitch for them, but I’m pitching well for the Indians and I don’t want to burn any bridges with them. For as grateful as I am to Newark and the opportunity they gave to me, I’m also grateful for the opportunity that the Indians gave me.”

On if making the playoffs with Akron softened the blow of not being able to return…

“It’s nice to get to pitch in the playoffs. I was a guy who never got to experience the playoffs before. When I was with the Cubs, the best we finished was second place. We were in a couple races, but I was able to experience winning the first half with Newark, which was awesome. And then making the playoffs and winning the Southern Division here and playing in a championship series, it’s all stuff I’ve never experienced before. It’s great, the intensity level here is just like the intensity level in my last four or five starts with Newark in the first half. We were behind then, and every single start meant so much. That helped me going in, because I knew what to expect with the intensity level, and it was just as high here.” – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. Carmen S - September 13, 2007

Nice report on Bobby Brownlie Mike. Thanks for keeping us uptodate on all Atlantic League guys. Especially the Newark Bears. Hope to see you in Newark Sunday.

2. mnlem - September 13, 2007

Nice job, Mike. I am hoping Brownlie finds his way to major league camp next spring, he seems a top notch guy.

3. BoosterBabe - September 14, 2007

Was visiting family in Central NJ (my cousin’s boyfriend works for the radio station that carries the Patriots, WCTC. We had some interesting conversations!_ so didn’t hear the score until I called my friend here in Bpt. Does York post their box scores anywhere?

I can wait til morning to pull it down off of Howe Sports Data i guess but I’d rather not, would love to see who pitched. I know Bierbrodt started tonight. OUCH.

I had been under the impression that Beech would start in Camden tonight but that didn’t seem to happen, either. He went Saturday so he would ahve been ready. Anyone know when he’s slated to go next?

4. RevsFan - September 14, 2007

BoosterBabe..York won the final score was 19-2. Biebrodt did start but I don’t remeber who else pitched, they went through quite a few. There should be a game recap up soon on YorkRevolution.com

5. Radio guy - September 14, 2007

Jeff Ball to Lancaster?? A proven winner, knows the League and willing to lead. If Lancaster hires someone else they better be real good and have tremendous ties to the organzization. This is a no-brainer and Lancaster would return to being a viable contender after this nightmare of a season. Their fans deserve better.

6. tteski - September 14, 2007

The Ducks bullpen and defense have failed them miserably in the last 3 days in the 8th and 9th inning. Their 3 late inning relievers/set-up men/closer(Crudale/Valentine/Graves) have each been saddled with a loss in the Bears 3 game sweep of the Ducks. In the 8th and 9th inning of those 3 games they have given up 10 runs on 8 hits with 6 walks and 4 K’s and have committed 3 errors. Their offense has fallen short in the 8th and 9th also. They have only scored 2 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts.

This is not how you want to go into the playoffs, especially being swept by the team you are facing in the first round. With the Ducks magic number still at 2 to clinch the 2nd half North title, they won’t have an easy time accomplishing this (with upcoming York winning 3 of it’s last 4 and Newark hosting the lowly Bluefish who will roll over against the Bears).

7. chuckerd58 - September 14, 2007

You hit the nail right on the head tteski,the bullpen has just been awful,Graves and Crudale where especially brutal. And,then the O goes in the tank. It’s going to be a hard road in the playoff’s no doubt.

8. chuckerd58 - September 14, 2007

Props to the Riversharks for retiring Brad Strauss uniform number. Alway’s one of my favorite visiting players. Hope everything works out well for Brad.

9. jcb811 - September 14, 2007

Can anyone tell me how up-to-date the Bluefish’s roster is on their website? Is (C) Sandy De Leon the same Sandy De Leon who played for them back in 2001? I’ve read birthdates of 1976 & 1979 for him.

Thanks,
Jeff / Sumosid

10. BoosterBabe - September 14, 2007

Yes, Jeff….Sandy DeLeon played for Bpt in 2001, and parts of 4-5 seasons since. I’d have to check all of them. I know ’05, part of last year…he’s a journeyman catcher in the League.

This seems to be the first time the crowd picked up on his “one-out! one-out!” calls though. I don’t remember it from previous years. It’s reached cult status…some fans got shirts made with his photo and the words “one-out” on the front and “two out” on the back. So funny

11. BoosterBabe - September 14, 2007

oh but to answer your question, the Bluefish website probably hasn’t been updated appreciably since last Sunday. Isn’t Beech still on the roster?


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