January 4, 2008 January 4, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Updated late on 1/4 with a player signing in affiliated ball, see bottom of page…
Schurman Denies Steroid Claim: I spoke with the agent of former Atlantic City Surf pitcher Ryan Schuman today, who denied that his client ever used any banned substances. Schurman’s name turned up in the affadavidt of former New York Mets clubhouse attendent Kirk Radomsky, but did not appear in last month’s Mitchell Report. I’m expecting to directly speak with Schurman to get his direct reaction.
Team Officials React: Team officials from two teams told me today that the reason the divisions were split up the way they were was because several of the owners didn’t want Keystone Partners all in one division. They also said they don’t know where the two division names came from, but teams weren’t consulted. It was simply a board of directors decision. – Scott Stanchak
More Reaction From Division Realignment: Ryan Dunleavy, the Somerset Patriots beat writer for The Courier News, has posted his thoughts about the new divisions for the 2008 Atlantic League season on his Holding Court blog.
Dunleavy disagrees with my point about divisions being rendered useless and writes, in part…
“I like divisions because I think they promote rivalries and I also think that, for example, being six games out of first place in a four-team division is an easier deficit to overcome than being six games out of first place in an eight-team league-wide field. A balanced schedule is one thing, but at the end of each half, you are still chasing only the teams in your division and that makes those games matter more than intra-divisional games.”
Be sure to check out the blog for a detailed breakdown…
I agree with Ryan in that divisions can create more meaningful regular season games, specifically late in a half. If you look at the Atlantic League schedule, the last week of the season features potentially key intra-division matchups.
On 9/15 through 9/17, Somerset hosts Lancaster and Newark hosts York in Freedom Division action, while Long Island plays in Camden and Bridgeport heads to Southern Maryland in the Liberty Division.
Then, in the final four days of the regular season, the Patriots travel to Newark and Lancaster plays the Revolution in York, while the Ducks go to Bridgeport and the Blue Crabs go to Camden.
I’m actually not sure what to make of the end of the first half, as the current Atlantic League schedule page lists the first half ending, six games being played, and then the All-Star break taking place. But while I’m sure the league will probably not agree with too much of what I’ve written over the past few days, I do give them credit for the schedule at the end of the year…it creates some interesting possibilities.
Anyway, my only qualm with divisional play, specifically with an even schedule, is that a team with a better record can miss the postseason.
We both agree on the division names, however. Freedom and Liberty sound more like names of new varieties of Axe Body Spray than sports division names. Has Lee Greenwood bought stock in the league without my knowledge?
Like Lee, I’m proud to be an American, but I would have actually been OK with “Boulton” and “Klein” divisions, or something that had some relevance to the league. I’d actually encourage the league to perhaps create trophies for winning the division and perhaps honor people from Atlantic League past or present, similar to what has been done with late Riversharks owner Steve Shilling and the All-Star Game MVP trophy.
The NHL has the Maurice Richard Trophy for who scores the most goals, why not hand out an award in Glenn Murray’s name for the longball leader at the end of the year? An Emiliano Escandon leadership award? My point is, is that I’d rather see the history of the league embraced rather than — yes, patriotic, which is good — using well-intended, but ultimately trivial names.
Keep leaving your thoughts in the comments, I’ve enjoyed reading them so far.
Kane Davis To Toronto: P Kane Davis, who has experience with Camden and Somerset in the Atlantic League, has signed a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s likely ticketed for Triple-A. – Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com