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January 9, 2008 – Von Hayes Talks January 9, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Von Hayes Talks: They passed on a Hall of Famer. They said “No” to a pair of former major league managers. Heck, they even went as far as to say “Thanks, but no thanks” to their former skipper. But in the end, one man was left standing.

“I was proud to just be considered, but to be chosen was a great feeling,” Lancaster Barnstormers manager Von Hayes admitted today.

The former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star is taking over a club that is only three-years old, but knows all about post-season baseball. In 2006, just their second season, the Barnstormers were dominating. Winning both halves, the club went undefeated in the playoffs on their way to their first Atlantic League Championship.

Last season, however, was anything but special for the franchise. That’s where Hayes comes in.

“The best clubs all are formatted the same — speed at the top of the order, solid closer, power in the middle of the lineup,” Hayes says, rattling off a few others. “The key is knowing the players and who is going to fill the rolls.”

Hayes, who cites Mike Scioscia, Buck Rodgers and John Vukovich as coaches he admires, learned of the league last year while attending a charity event with Long Island Ducks manager Dave LaPoint. The two exchanged numbers and a few months ago, Hayes called LaPoint, who referred him to league executive director, Joe Klein.

The Barnstormers, who fired manager Frank Klebe mid-season, had already made the decision not to bring back interim skipper Rick Wise. They were looking to fill the position and the interview process included such names as Hall of Famer Gary Carter, former league manager Butch Hobson, former manager Tom Herr and more.

It only took them only a few days to decide that Hayes was their man.

Hayes played in 12 seasons, 1495 games and finished eighth in MVP voting in 1986. He was even the tenth highest paid big leaguer in 1990. Now it’s his turn to help guys get back to the bigs.

“The most important thing for me to do is to get the most out of my players,” Hayes, who managed in the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations and is a two-time “Manager of the Year”, said. “The best skippers might not have much on paper, but get the players to play the best of their ability.”

Right now that paper is empty. But when that roster card is being filled out come April, you can bet Hayes will have a team on the field that’s ready to play hard and win. – Scott Stanchak

Orioles Sign Former Rivershark: The Baltimore Orioles have signed former Camden Riversharks C Ben Davis to a minor league deal. He’ll likely be competing for a spot in Triple-A, but with the Orioles anything’s possible (sorry Scott) so you could see him on the big league roster at some point.

Patriots Announce Open Tryouts: Straight from the press release…

Bridgewater, NJ- The Three-Time Atlantic League Champion Somerset Patriots have announced that open tryouts for the team will be held at Commerce Bank Ballpark on Saturday, April 5th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

There will be an administration fee of $40 to tryout, with proceeds being donated to the Patriots Charity Fund, which has been established to give to various charities supported by the Somerset Patriots.

Players are to report to Commerce Bank Ballpark at 8:00 am for registration. Participants must be high school graduates and at least eighteen years of age. All those present should provide their career statistics and must supply their own wooden bats and baseball gloves. All participants will be required to sign a release form before trying out for the team.

Coaches and representatives from the Patriots will be on hand to evaluate the players at the ballpark, including Manager Sparky Lyle, President/General Manager Patrick McVerry, and Vice President/Assistant General Manager Rob Lukachyk.

The Patriots have signed a player from four open tryouts held by the team, including Tony Gsell, who played for Somerset from 2003 through 2006, and Jim Burt Jr., who played for the team throughout the 2006 season.

“The tryouts have been successful in the past at giving players a chance to be rediscovered and get back into professional baseball. Each year the talent level has gotten better at the tryouts, and the players that have signed, have made an impact on the team,” said Patrick McVerry, President/ General Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.


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