jump to navigation

September 25, 2007 – Newark Bears Win Atlantic League Championship September 25, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

John Brandt’s Special Thank You: “To all the fans of the Atlantic League and the Newark Bears that view and interact on this site…THANK YOU! My staff is grateful for your continued support and support of this site – it is a big part of the league and a big part of our fun. Thank you for the overly nice comments, but remember, I didn’t throw a pitch, hit or field a ball, or make a game decision – thankfully, we have a great staff for all that! Thank you again!” – John Brandt, General Manager of the 2007 Atlantic League Champion Newark Bears.

Jose Herrera hit THREE home runs en route to winning MVP
(Photo: Mike Ashmore)

Newark Bears – 2007 Atlantic League Champions: The Newark Bears won Game Four and took the series, beating the Somerset Patriots three games to one to win the 2007 Atlantic League Championship.

Jose Herrera led the way, hitting three home runs and driving in six runs on his way to being named the Atlantic League Championship Series MVP, as voted on by the media and league officials.

Quotes: Here’s what some of the key Newark Bears in the series had to say after last night’s 13-7 win.


“It feels real good. This is the best group of guys I’ve ever played with — affiliated ball, wherever, it doesn’t matter. Up and down the lineup, somebody always came through.”

“This is my first (championship). This is my first time being on the field, I got moved up halfway through the season, and the team I left won.”


“In the beginning of the series, I was joking with the Latino guys that I was going to break Reggie Jackson’s (record), when he hit five home runs in the World Series.”


“Defining moments in your career. It pretty much just comes down to you do it or you don’t, and tonight, this is honestly what you dream about. The whole bottom of the inning, two outs, two strikes, their guy against us at home. He threw a fastball over the outer third, but I was standing all over the plate, and I got the good part of the bat on it and I hit it is hard as I could to center. I almost erupted when I got to second base, that’s what it’s all about. I was just so happy, but so happy for this team, because we’ve battled this whole year.”

“You can’t explain it. The people who have been in these situations and have excelled in these situations, they’re the only ones that can truly understand it. This feeling is like right now, nothing can go wrong. For us to put an eight spot up in that inning was just absolutely unbelievable and like I said, I’m just so happy for everyone.”


“I was sitting in the dugout, and I was thinking that I’ve got to have a better inning this inning, because I came in and didn’t do so well. So (Gomes) comes over to me and he goes, ‘You shut them down this inning, and we’re going to come back and we’re going to score some runs.’ And I turned to him and said, ‘I know.’ And that’s what he did, he came back and brought those runs in.”


“Any time you get a chance to play in the playoffs, it’s a wonderful feeling. We fought all year, we won the first half, and we knew we were going to be in the playoffs. We put ourselves in a situation where we can win ballgames. Everybody worked hard the whole year, and it’s wonderful to reap the benefits of all the hard work and finish the year wit a championship.”


“It was all the hard work that we put into this. We believed in our players the whole time. It’s a good feeling, for this organization especially.”

“In yesterday’s game, my head felt like it was ready to burst. There’s a lot of tension when you’re out there and you’re trying to put the right people in the right positions and make the right choices to succeed. Today, I felt very comfortable all game long, even when we were down a little bit. Things just worked out, I felt good about it the whole way.”


“Well, it’s pretty awesome. During the Long Island series, I wasn’t nervous, but I was a little more concerned. They’re a pretty experienced team, and they have some good players and some good pitchers. But we hit just good enough to get some runs and we pitched good enough to beat them in two close games. In this series, I knew we could hit and I knew we’d score runs, I just hoped we could hold them down enough to stay ahead. Man, these guys really turned it on in the eighth inning tonight.”

Photo Gallery:

All Photos: Mike Ashmore

John Pachot and Wayne Krenchicki

Bears fans, some with tears in their eyes, celebrate the win

One of the Bears, who…

…cut off the ponytail of one of the groundskeepers

The head groundskeeper gets doused with champagne

Joe Klein presents the championship trophy to Bears owner Marc Berson

Newark’s players celebrate with the trophy

Even Newark’s long-time bus driver gets in on the action

A happy Matt Smith gets a ring in his comeback

Joey Gomes on top of the dugout, showing off his new hardware

Keith Reed and trainer Stacey Herrin

The Bears staff and Ruppert poses with the trophy

The championship banner is unveiled

Think Jim Cerny isn’t into this?

OK, still think Jim Cerny isn’t into this?

John Brandt celebrates on the field with family

In the clubhouse, Joey Gomes and Pat Peavey celebrate

Mark Woodyard, Jose Herrera and Matt Smith

(ATTN: Bears staff members and players…I know some of you check out this site. Please contact me at mashmore98@gmail.com or mashmore@patriotsbaseball.com, and I’d be happy to send you the full-sized pictures that you’re in. Just put “Bears” somewhere in the subject.)

Ashmore Analysis: Of the many things that need to be said here, first and foremost is my offering of congratulations to the Newark Bears players and staff. The Bears are truly a first-class organization, and it was great to see a lot of the people there get rewarded for their hard work throughout the season.

Also, congratulations to Dusty Bergman, whose aim with a champagne bottle in the clubhouse left me soaked and reeking of champagne for the ride home. Several other players got me as well, but he landed the big blow.

Suffice it to say, I was a little unable to make mustache cracks while trying to dodge the liquid being thrown at me.

In terms of the series itself, I think you could make just as strong of a case that the Patriots lost this series as you could for the Bears winning it.

It is admittedly easy to do so after losses, but I strongly questioned a lot of the moves made by the Patriots in this series, specifically the management of the pitching.

First and foremost, why are you trying to get eight innings out of Lincoln Mikkelsen on three days rest? He gave you seven so-so innings, but you were up 7-3. Where’s Paul Thorp for the eighth? Hell, where’s Paul Thorp period? Thorp inexplicably didn’t appear in the series.

But Sam Marsonek managed to get into a game, giving up a handful of runs during his ill-advised appearance in Game One.

Casey Cahill got into two, and his ERA in the series is a little too big for my calculator to handle as a result.

Saul Solveson, one of the team’s best relievers all season, faced a grand total of two batters in the series.

Closer R.D. Spiehs was used in the ninth inning of a seven-run blowout in Game Two, and then didn’t record an out when the game was on the line one day later.

Keith Ramsey didn’t pitch in the entire playoffs, with the team instead choosing to send three pitchers — Brian Adams, Brandon Knight and Mikkelsen — on three days rest.

Hector Almonte, who somewhat inexplicably pitched in the first three games of the series, came into Game Three in the eighth inning and promptly loaded the bases in a 4-4 game, a jam which Solveson needed two pitches to get out of.

Jason Richardson, who pitched surprisingly well in Game One in spite of the loss, did not appear again in the series.

But none of that would matter if the Bears didn’t make key plays when it counted, and it seemed like Newark’s lineup just never gave Patriots pitching a break. There is no easy out in that lineup — a result of affilated baseball’s ignoring the team’s position players and focusing on their pitching during the season.

Somerset’s clutch performances suffered, with the exception of an offensive outburst in Game Two.

Brandon Larson committed errors in each of the last three games of the series, Jason Romano hit 2-for-16, and Mike Lockwood seemed to misjudge a handful of fly balls that ended up going over his head when he initially broke in on them.

Todd Leathers, who was hitting 5-for-12 in the first three games, was nowhere to be found in the Game Four lineup.

It just seems like there were so many things that went wrong in this series for Somerset, that it’s easy to ignore the things that went right, although they were few and far between.

Sure, Larson made three errors, but he also hit two home runs, went 7-for-17 and drove in six of the team’s 25 runs.

Yeah, Adams went on three days rest, but he also gave the team its best outing, allowing just one run on five hits in Game Two.

But in the end, it was Newark who stepped up and did what they had to do.

Corey Smith, long loathed for his defense, played the best defense out of any player in the series by a mile, making dazzling play after dazzling play.

He also was my selection for series MVP. He was…

In the fateful eighth inning, the media was asked for their MVP votes. The choice came down to Jose Herrera and Smith. Noting Herrera’s two 0-fers in the series, and Smith’s stellar defense, I selected Smith and submitted my vote.

Herrera then parked one over the right field fence. Bears PR man Ed Clinton asked if I wanted to change my vote, and I quickly took the slip of paper back.

In the ninth, I rode the elevator with the many bottles of champagne that were eventually emptied on the field and in the Bears clubhouse.

But despite Somerset’s runner-up finish, it seems their elevator has nowhere to go but up in 2008… – Mike Ashmore


1. jcb811 - September 25, 2007

Congratulations Bears! I am sitting here at work(Damn shift work!) with my Bears jersey & looking at Mike’s pictures of the team celebrating with a big smile on my face.

I am so happy for the Bears organization and now with the success on the field, I hope to see success on the box offfice !

On Monday, I start a new position and no more shift work! So to celebrate, I am signing up for a mini-plan next season.

Thanks to the Bears for a memorable season & Mike, thanks for your hard work! Keep it up thru the Hot Stove season!


2. www.BrickCityBruins.com - September 25, 2007

It’s 5:00am and I just finished reading Mike’s EXCELLENT re-cap of the most exciting evening of my life. I’m a little spent, having stayed out until 2:30 celebrating with my Bears. I’m not much of a drinker, but needless to say, I’ll be calling out sick from work today. My Bears were so amazing tonight, and they won in storybook fashion. The pain of 2001 has been avenged. The 2007 Bears are my heroes. I am the happiest woman on the planet right now. What a season! What a team! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!!

3. Z - September 25, 2007

What a night was right….3 great games at the den and the comeback last night was so sweet…way to go Bears..

4. mnlem - September 25, 2007

Congrats to the Bears. Tough way for the Patriots season to end but certainly better than last year. I agree with Mike’s excellent analysis, the Patriots did make some strange pitching moves this series.

But that does not detract from a very exciting and competitive season.

5. BEARSLOYALFAN - September 25, 2007


What a Series!WHAT A TEAM!! What a Front Office!! JIM, JOHN BRANDT YOUR ENTIRE STAFF IS AWESOME!! THANKS FOR BRINGING BACK JOY that all the Newark Bears fans being waiting for 5 long miserable years. THE CURSE IS OVER!!!

The unity, the faith of those guys made the entire difference. NOW LETS GET TOGETHER AND BRING UP THE ATTENDANCE!! LETS BE AMBASSADORS OF OUR TEAM!!

Mike thanks for such a wonderful site, thanks for giving us the opportunity to express our sentiments. You did a wonderful job, THANKS AGAIN!!

6. hwcwx1 - September 25, 2007

My prediction was spot on Bears in 4, I was very nervous with a 7-2 Pats lead going late into the game but our Bears exploded for 8 runs in the 8th which was long overdue in the short series. I enjoyed spending time with our fans downstairs last night. Also with all the bad press Newark receives and lack of coverage our Bears team also receives our fan where well behaved and acted with a lot of class, Hat’s off to Somerset for one hell of a series as for me it’s going to be one heck of a Happy off season as one of my Christmas gift came early last night when the final out was recorded, To Jane, Jose, Liz and all the rest of the loyal fans enjoy the victory and to the entire Bears Team and Staff THANK YOU for one hell of a ride this year !! – LET’s GO BEARS, 2007 ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS !!

7. www.BrickCityBruins.com - September 25, 2007

I LOVE EVERYONE WHO HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE BEARS WINNING THE 2007 ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP, STARTING WITH A HUGE THANK YOU TO GOD, OKAY! I love you all. And I thank you for making my dream come true. I have video for everyone to see. You can access it through my site. Just click on my name and it will lead you to the site. Watch the Bears make the final out of the game and celebrate their victory. OH HOW SWEET THIS IS! MIKE ASHMORE, you are incredible. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for all of us by covering the league as diligently as you have. Thanks so much for the photos! Thanks for getting up close and sharing it all with all of us.

8. BEARSLOYALFAN - September 25, 2007

John thanks for your expressions to all of us. You know that even though you did not pitch, field or bat. YOU WERE THE ANGEL THAT GOD SEND TO THE NEWARK BEARS TO PULL THIS ORGANIZATION FROM THE CEMETERY!!. We believe and we are very spiritual people that never let the faith die. We know that God in one way or another was going to answer the prayers for so many of us. You and your entire staff is in our daily prayers. Let’s continue and we can’t wait til 2008 Season come up. THANKS. GOD BLESS YOU AND THE STAFF.

9. BEARSLOYALFAN - September 25, 2007

hwcwx1!! Thanks on my behalf!! YOU REALLY are an exceptional FAN!. Thanks again and you are 300% right our fans behaved with CLASS, everyone enjoy that VICTORY and even though a lot of us were very down by the 7th inning, GOD did answer many prayers and gave us the blessings and like you said the SANTA’S GIFT in September. Enjoy the off season and we will keep in touch. Don’t worry about that bad image those that were at the park, all the Executives and owners of the team can see what kind of fans the Newark Bears have. God Bless you and THANKS for all your support

10. chuckerd58 - September 25, 2007

Congratulations to the Bears on winning the 2007 Championship.They truly where a terrific team.

11. chuckerd58 - September 25, 2007

Mike,great pictures,they really capture the excitement and happiness of the team and their fans. Also,big props for the game commentaries and interviews. It was very informative.

12. SharkGirl - September 25, 2007

John Brandt: You are truly a class act-always have been-always will be. If it couldn’t be us-then I’m so glad it’s you! The boys looked so proud in their pic…I know we certainly are! Congrats to the Bears, staff & fans-you all deserve this Championship.
But watch out next year…lol!
SharkGirl & family
P.S.- To Mike & Scott-Awesome job with the blog & all the pix!

13. Scott Stanchak - September 25, 2007

Gotta give Mike all the credit. With all my other ventures, he’s stepped up huge with everything. He makes me so proud…

14. SharkGirl - September 26, 2007

Awwwww, how nice-but we still love you both!

15. GolfDude - September 26, 2007

its gonna get interesting if they decide to put somerset in the north division next year to replace the RW like they were thinking..


16. tteski - September 26, 2007

This was in Newsday on Tuesday:

Ducks’ Offerman pleads not guilty
September 25, 2007

Former major-league All-Star Jose Offerman pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he attacked a pitcher and catcher with his bat during a Ducks game in Bridgeport, Conn., in August.

Offerman, 38, is due back in Bridgeport Superior Court on Oct. 17. He declined comment after his appearance.

Offerman was playing for the Ducks when he allegedly charged the mound after he was hit with a pitch. He was accused of hitting two Bridgeport Bluefish players and was indefinitely suspended the next day.

Offerman’s attorney has said he does not believe his client struck the players with a bat.

He has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault. Bridgeport Bluefish catcher John Nathans suffered a concussion and Bluefish pitcher Matt Beech had a broken finger on his non-throwing hand.

17. BoosterBabe - September 26, 2007

The news about Offerman’s arraignment was far overshadowed this week by the sudden death Sunday of the sports reporter who shot the only video of Offerman doing his “perp walk”.

News 12 CT’s Bill Gonillo died suddenly Sunday in his home. The Medical examiner said the cause of death was diabetes. He suffered with it his entire (short) life. Bill was only 44 years old and a dear friend of mine. I am simply devastated by this news.
The wake is this evening, the funeral tomorrow. I expect both will be mobbed with people. he’s touched a lot of people.

Bill was a fixture at Bluefish games, the players loved him, the fans loved him and the staff and fellow media pros in the press box loved being around him. Anyone who knew him loved him, he had a way of lighting up a room with his presence. His smile, his sense of humor and his kindness were unmatched.

I know he read this blog on occasion, I’m not sure if he ever posted. If he did, it wasn’t with any name I could have identified with him.

It’s been a sad few days in Southwestern CT. The local sports scene, particularly scholastic sports, will never be the same without Bill’s presence.
RIP, my friend.

18. Scott Stanchak - September 26, 2007

Sorry to hear about Bill. From what you say, it’s great to hear such a respected man read what Mike and I have to say. My thoughts and prayers with his family.

19. BoosterBabe - September 26, 2007

Google him, particularly if you do a Google “Blog Search”.
You will read all about what an incredible life he was.
I miss him so much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: