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September 18, 2007 September 18, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Hobson Back To The A.L.? – According to a source, former Boston Red Sox manager Butch Hobson may return to the Atlantic League to manage the Lancaster Barnstormers next season.

The source tells AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com, Hobson met with Nashua Pride Officials to discuss coming back for the 2008 season but has not committed to anything in Nashua and will be returning home to Bakersfield California after winning the 2007 CAN AM League Championship.

The Hobson watch is on as the word is the Barnstormers have an interest in Butch returning to the Atlantic League to manage in Lancaster but no “known” negotiations have taken place.

The United League Expansion Brownsville Texas Club, with a recently new 3,500 seat stadium in the process with a planned swimming pool for the outfield and the league has been averaging 2,000+ per game in attendance, is very interested Hobson as well — mostly for his managerial skill as well as his Major League background and drawing power. He brings credibility to an expansion franchise in the new league.

If Nashua stays in the salary running they will benefit from having Hobson who is the “Face of Baseball in Nashua”. He may not be the drawing card he used to be cause he’s been there but he’s taken on the Casey Stengel type fatherly image where he represents baseball in a city that has struggled at the box office in two leagues now. Nashua can hardly stand to lose Hobson for a few dollars. The Atlantic League wanted Butch back right away and in fact he almost made the jump to the Bridgeport Bluefish until the Pride made him an offer that kept him home. Now with his family in California. Texas might be a good fit as well. Joe Klein has always been a big Hobson supporter so watch for a possible return.

I’ve reached out to the Barnstormers and am awaiting a response. – Scott Stanchak

Playoffs Start Today: A 126 game regular season all comes down to the next eight days.

The Atlantic League playoffs start tonight, and here’s a look at each series and who I’m predicting to win…

Camden Riversharks (67-59) VS. Somerset Patriots (75-51)

Prediction: Patriots in 2

Why: As if the team needed more motivation in the playoffs, the late season acquisition of Matt Beech by Camden didn’t sit well with Sparky Lyle and some of the players in the clubhouse. Expect the Patriots to be aggressive early tonight, setting the tone for what could be a testy series between two teams who’ve had benches-clearing incidents previously this season.

Brian Adams and Brandon Knight will face Beech and Rolando Viera in the first two games of the series, and it’s hard to bet against the likely Pitcher of the Year and the strikeout machine.

From top to bottom, Somerset has a better lineup than Camden, and more depth. Depth might not seem to matter in a three-game series, but it gives Lyle more options, and allows him to approach late game situations differently.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Camden sent this series to three games, perhaps stealing game two since the Patriots haven’t seen Viera this season, but the smart bet is to take Somerset in two.

Long Island Ducks (72-54) vs. Newark Bears (72-54)

Prediction: Bears in 3

Why: It’s a shame this isn’t for the championship, because I think this could be the best series you see during the playoffs.

One through nine, the Bears have the most formidable lineup in the Atlantic League, largely in part to affiliated baseball inexplicably ignoring all of Newark’s position players, instead focusing on their pitching.

But the Ducks have some big bats from one through six or so, and that’s definitely enough to carry them to a win in this series.

In a three game series, Newark has enough starting pitching to keep them in it. Harold Eckert, Jose Garcia and Mark Woodyard will take the ball for them in this series, opposed by Ed Yarnall and some combination of Bill Pulsipher, Randy Leek and John Halama.

Eckert’s got some downright dominant stuff, and the Bears will need to win the first game to have a shot in this series. If they don’t, then the question to pass on a second home game will be questioned for quite a while.

Neither team wants this series to be decided by the bullpens. Jason DiAngelo has been inconsistent the entire season, and I’d assume you’ll see Jeremy Hill with the game on the line.

Meanwhile, Danny Graves has been absolutely lit up by the Bears this season to the tune of a 9.82 ERA and 0-2 record in 11 games.

UPDATED: It is now believed that Randy Leek is the game two starter and…drumroll please…Lance Davis will be going in game three. So John Halama and Bill Pulsipher won’t be starting? OK then. – MA



1. mnlem - September 18, 2007

I agree that the Patriots should win in the first round though they looked very sloppy last weekend and made me a bit nervious. Game 1 is so crucial in these short series.

It would exciting to see a Newark vs Somerset final.

2. Z - September 18, 2007

I’m not overlooking the Ducks but I would like to see a Pats-Bears final…

3. BoosterBabe - September 19, 2007

“he’s either Cy Young or he’s not”….Beech had a No Hitter with 2 outs in the 6th inning…and they just wrecked it. He was phenomenal tonight.
I’m SO GLAD I was wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing what 10 days rest can do. Crap…I’m gonna stop listening, it’s 1-0 Patriots. Back to back doubles…..

Come on, Matt…get out of the jam…..

4. chuckerd58 - September 19, 2007

Sounds like a lively crowd in Newark tonight.

5. chuckerd58 - September 19, 2007

Bears 5,Ducks 4 final Darn.

6. Z - September 19, 2007

Corey Smith crushed one dead center in the 8th to roast the Ducks tonite….One of the best games I’ve seen at the Den this year..

7. chuckerd58 - September 19, 2007

Hey z,the crowd sounded pretty lively,how big of a crowd tonight?

8. BEARSLOYALFAN - September 19, 2007

Go Bears!! We have DUCKS STEW….See you in Long Island tomorrow with Garcia on the mount. What a game!! Agree with you Z one of the best games at the Den. Now Long Island TOPS Can’t say. “Bears didn’t have a team to go the distance!!!.. THANKS JOHN BRANDT, JIM CERNY, CHICK AND THE ENTIRE BEARS TEAMS FOR A WONDERFUL NIGHT AT THE DEN.

9. chuckerd58 - September 19, 2007

What is Long Island TOPS? BTW,The series is NOT over yet.

10. Z - September 19, 2007

Don’t know the numbers crowd wise, but it was a nice size, more than many a game I’ve seen at the Den this year…and the atmosphere was great with the Ducks fans there as well as their mascot…Two vocal groups of fans and it made for a great game…

11. chuckerd58 - September 19, 2007

I love your park,it is such an unusual place with the parking garage,and crazy netting in the outfield.

12. chuckerd58 - September 19, 2007

Hey ,did you guy’s see the Rescue Me episdode last week with the scenes of a Bear-Pats game. Very cool to see.

13. www.BrickCityBruins.com - September 19, 2007

Good crowd. Good game. I tore my throat out screaming. Duck dinner! Duck dinner! Let’s go Bears. What happened to the Patriots? They got shark bitten in their own house!? Not cool.

14. jcb811 - September 19, 2007

I was at the Den for the game before I had to leave for work. Great game and lively crowd!

I went to the Men’s room and actually had to wait to use a urinal. I said to myself “I’ve never seen this before” and as soon as thought entered my head the guy in line behind me said the same thing out loud. $2 Beers will definitely help!

It was a good sized crowd for the Bears. Based on the number of people waiting at the gates to be admitted, I thought there would be more poeple.

15. tteski - September 19, 2007

I’m sorry folks, but I was one of the 2 bus loads of Duck fans that went to the game and all we could say about the crowd was how disappointing of a turnout it was. Maybe I am just spoiled by the attendance at Citibank Park but I can now understand why the Bears gave up a second home game for the first round of the playoffs. The crowd that was there was vocal (mostly the fans from the first base side since the Duck fans comprised most of the third base side behind the dugout) and there was a lot of interaction between the Duck fans and the Bear fans. Later I learned from some Bear season ticket holders and staff that a large portion of the Bear fans in attendance were there with free tickets. At the completion of the game they announced that if the Bears make the finals the fans can use their ticket stubs from today’s game for a free ticket to the finals.

A few footnotes from the game:
-During the game the Bears put the Bluefish and Road Warrior logos on the scoreboard under the heading “We Remember” and thanked these two teams for losing during the regular season and said “Their losses are truly our gain”.
-In the 3rd inning (with the Ducks ahead 1-0) QuackerJack went over to the top of the Bears Dugout for some playful banter with Ruppert, the Bears mascot, and one of the Bears players on the bench didn’t seem to approve of it and proceeded to throw water on QJ. I guess he was taking it out on QJ that his team was down a run at the time.
-In the top of the eighth (with the Bears up 4-2) QJ again went back to the top of the Bears dugout with Ruppert for some more fun and the two of them proceeded to have a pushups contest on the dugout. They were both going head-to-head until QJ switched to one-arm pushups and Ruppert immediately gave up with QJ claiming victory (much to the disaproval of the first base fans). While this was going on the Ducks tied the score at 4 with 2 unearned runs. In the bottom of the 8th Ruppert came over and joined QJ on top of the Ducks dugout for some more antics and while this was happening the Bears took the lead on a long Corey Smith home run to center (it cleared the black “batters eye” curtain in centerfield and was last seen approaching New York City).
-Norm Hutchins started in center for Reggie Taylor. Reggie had some personal things to deal with and was en route to the game and could have possibly joined the team mid-game. He will most likely start on Wednesday on Long Island.

It was a very evenly matched game with both teams getting 8 hits and committing one error. The Ducks left 11 men on base and the Bears left 7.

16. jcb811 - September 19, 2007

While driving to work, I was listening to the game on the radio and Jim Cerny had Bobby Brownlie in the booth with him. BB was very good providing commemtary & insight on the Bears and his time with the team. Impressive!

17. BoosterBabe - September 19, 2007

Well, first round went the way I had hoped!

18. tteski - September 19, 2007

Attendance listed in the box score for Newark was 5366. I know this is “payed” vs. actual attendance but I would seriously question this “payed” number. They were lucky if they had 2500 people (actual) with many of them there on free tickets.

19. Z - September 19, 2007

You’re from LI but you sure seem to know alot about the attendance in Newark……..

20. tteski - September 19, 2007

z – I’m just telling you what I heard from a few season ticket holders and employees of the Bears at last nights game. You were there, do you really think there were 5366 people there? What are your estimates for last night’s attendance?

21. www.BrickCityBruins.com - September 19, 2007

I’m a regular at Newark games. And the paid estimate is probably accurate. We’ve seen lines of fans purchasing playoff tickets over the last week. However, did all of them actually attend? I seriously doubt it. Looking at the crowd last night, including the suites and the party deck and picnic area which were NOT all freebies but were all full, my personal guess would be about 4000. Gates opened early, and there were quite a few people there early who did not stay for the whole game.

22. Z - September 19, 2007

No, I don’t think there were 5366 there but I agree that the pinic area was full, as were the suites and party deck and that a number of people probably left early….I’ve been to many Bears games this year and last nite was a nice crowd..And you also have to factor in the amount of people who are wlaking around or at the concssion stands when you look at the seats…To me, a good crowd, a good atmosphere, and above all a roasted duck…Now, if we can just roast one more duck..We will see..

23. TheBaseballGal - September 19, 2007

numbers are always skewed…you cant be sure what is accurate. It doesnt matter, fans of these teams (and i use the term fans loosely), dont really care about playoffs…its just not the same as the MLB playoffs, or even the AAA playoffs (some of those get heated and they even show them on ESPN now). Its sad that it is that way, but its true.

Im excited about this Camden series. I know there is some heated blood between the two. I would like to see Camden win, but it is an odd numbered year, so Somerset needs to continue their recent streak of championships haha

24. Z - September 19, 2007

BTW, was there really an announcement that last nite’s stubs could be used for the finals if the Bears make it there??? I didn’t hear that but then I rushed out after the game…

25. HeyPapi - September 19, 2007

Yes, that announcement was made. See you all in LI. Go Bears!!!

26. BoosterBabe - September 19, 2007


27. Z - September 19, 2007

Another question- Does anyone know how long the drive to LI is from Newark???? Trying to decide if I have the time to make it out there…Thanx..

28. TheBaseballGal - September 19, 2007

Z, i would say it is a little over an hour or so to Central Islip, where LI’s stadium is.

I am thinking of making the trip to Camden tonight to watch the game…its only about 2 hours from York to Camden…more with the horrendous Philly traffic

29. sharkgirltoo - September 19, 2007

So much for your prediction, Mike…LOL. I’m hoping the Sharks can wrap it up tonight. Anyone go to last night’s game? It must have been a nail biter.

30. TheBaseballGal - September 19, 2007

I didnt go, but i heard it was pretty exciting…those two teams always put on a good game, thats for sure.

Are you going to tonite’s game sharkgirltoo?

I still havent decided…i can have tickets if i want to, its the process of dealing with traffic that i dont feel like dealing with…anyone got a private jet?

31. tteski - September 19, 2007

z-Our return trip to Central Islip last night took 1:10 but that was at 10:45 PM when there was no traffic. Since tonight’s game starts at 6:35 PM, I would add an additional hour to the trip due to rush hour to play it safe.

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