November 7, 2007 November 7, 2007Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Keller Excited About Camden Job: When 26-year-old David Keller was named the new Director of Baseball Operations for the Camden Riversharks, he had just returned from a Major League Baseball scouting development program in Arizona.
Yesterday, he was heading home from the Veeck Seminar in Charleston, SC, which focused on promotions and other innovative ideas for minor league baseball.
So surely, Keller will be taking a break from baseball for a little while, taking a much needed vacation after learning the Atlantic League while working for BASA last season.
And if you believe that, then you don’t know David Keller.
“This is a 24-7 job, 365 days a year,” he said by phone from South Carolina. “Thinking about next year started for me the day I got the job.”
After returning from Arizona, Keller and Jon Danos of ODP sat down, where Danos offered him the job.
It’s a logical fit for the well-spoken and likeable Bucknell grad, who currently lives in Philadelphia, which is a few minutes away from Campbell’s Field.
Last season was his first in the Atlantic League after two years with the Philadelphia Phillies doing advance work in the video department. And despite the well-documented failures of BASA, Keller was able to gain a lot from his experiences last year.
“It was extremely important to learn the league last year,” he said.
“It’s important to be able to build and maintain relationships and contacts in the game, and I think I was able to do a lot of that last year.”
Keller primarily worked under Adam Gladstone, who he credits as giving him a lot of responsibility in his first year in the league.
“I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to work under than Adam, he was a great mentor,” Keller said.
But with Gladstone now the head of baseball operations for the York Revolution, will there be any sort of friendly rivalry between the two?
“We’re both very competitive people, so to say that there will be a rivalry there between us…yeah, absolutely,” he said.
In looking towards the 2008 season, Keller explained that strong pitching, solid defense and speed are what he hopes to make the cornerstones of his Riversharks squad, specifically mentioning youth and speed as two key things he’s looking for.
But then again, that’s what affiliated teams are looking for as well, which can lead to problems in finding those kinds of players.
“It’s a challenge, but that’s a part of the job,” he said.
And for David Keller, that’s a job that never ends.
Ducks Named Independent Organization Of The Year: (Charleston, S.C., Nov. 6, 2007) – (PR) During a short ceremony Tuesday morning on the final day of the Independent Baseball Winter Meetings, Baseball America, the country’s leading baseball publication, announced it had named the Long Island Ducks the 2007 Independent Organization of the Year.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this recognition,” says Ducks principal owner and CEO Frank Boulton. “This award is a culmination of the hard work that everyone in this organization contributed in 2007, from the front office to the players, coaches, gameday staff and great fans who fill our ballpark every night.”
The Ducks were selected after leading the Atlantic League in both total and average attendance in 2007, drawing 427,536 fans to Citibank Park in 70 openings, an average of 6,108 each night. In other off-the-field categories, Long Island enjoyed a record year in sponsorship, merchandise and concessions, while on the field, the team won the second half North Division championship, advancing to the playoffs for an unprecedented fourth consecutive season.
With a perennially filled ballpark and a roster sparkling with former Major League players, the Ducks garnered attention in the regional and national spotlight. The team was featured on a half-hour episode of MSG Network’s The Game 365, hosted by Fran Healy, as well as in feature articles that appeared on the front page of ESPN.com and the cover of USA Today Sports Weekly.
Baseball America began bestowing this honor to Independent clubs just last season, when the St. Paul Saints took home top honors. The November 9-23 issue featuring the Ducks is scheduled to hit newsstands on Thursday, November 8.
Columnist Rips Judge, League On Offerman Situation: Chris Elsberry wrote this column a few days ago in The Connecticut Post, in which he’s critical of the judge who gave Jose Offerman a fairly light punishment after his well-documented bat swinging ridiculousness.
But he’s also critical of the league, and there’s a few paragraphs in there worthy of reading in terms of that…
“It is because he’s a Duck,” questioned Elsberry about Joe Klein reportedly saying that Offerman would be welcomed back to play in the league.
(Elsberry’s attempt to reach Klein at press time was unsuccessful)
“Is it because Atlantic League CEO Frank Boulton owns the Ducks? It is because Klein works for Boulton? Why doesn’t Offerman get the same punishment Jenkins did?”
“I have to wonder that if Offerman played for the Bluefish and attacked a Ducks pitcher with a bat, would Klein and Boulton allow him to return to the league? Yeah, and if you believe that, I’ve got some swamp land to sell you in Death Valley.”
Those are some fairly strong words, but it does echo the sentiments of some posters on here who believe that’s precisely why that (reportedly) is the case.
H To The Izzo: In other Bridgeport news, the team has named Joe Izzo as their new assistant GM. Izzo has worked in various positions with the Nashua Pride, Frederick Keys and Worcester Tornadoes.
“I am really excited to join the Bluefish,” Izzo said in a press release. “I am looking forward to working with the front office staff to spread the word about the exciting things that will be taking place at Harbor Yard in 2008.”
Donation Info: As Scott mentioned the other day, your donations are very important and very useful to us. It does take a lot to keep this going, and trips to the various cities around the league aren’t cheap. As I’ve mentioned before, I have no expense report from my paper and certainly not from here, so every little bit helps. The donation button is on the top right of the site, and anything you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I can always be reached at mashmore98 AT gmail.com if anyone has any questions.
Cust Feature Tomorrow: Not that it has a thing to do with the Atlantic League, but make sure you pick up a copy of the Hunterdon County Democrat tomorrow to check out my latest feature on Jack Cust, Jr. – Mike Ashmore