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February 13, 2008 – Chiaravalotti/Hobson Talk February 13, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Southern Maryland News: From the “complain and ye shall receive department” (see yesterday’s comments) I received a phone call from Butch Hobson early this afternoon.

To be serious, there was a simple misunderstanding, and I was never mad at Butch or anything like that, so I don’t want anybody thinking that way. I like Butch a lot, and he’s always been very giving of his time with me and everyone else I’ve worked with. That was not the issue.

In any event, Hobson and the Blue Crabs are pretty far along in the player signing process. Hobson said he mas many contracts out, but that as of now, none of the players selected in the expansion draft have been signed.

Hobson told me that Eric Junge is planning on going to Japan, and that (as has been reported here) R.J. Swindle is with an organization, so neither of those players are options. He’s reached out to Eric Crozier, John Halama and Frank Castillo and would not rule out any of those players joining the Blue Crabs.

He also told me that considering the resume of Mike Lockwood, that there was absolutely no consideration given to selecting Jose Morban from Somerset, as I had speculated about earlier.

Hobson also told me that he has — as Jason Guarente has reported about — inquired about the availability of Josh Stevens from the Lancaster Barnstormers, which would make sense considering Hobson managed Stevens in Nashua.

It sounds like Hobson has several players that he intends on bringing with him from Nashua, as well as at least one returning player from an Atlantic League championship team and a first round pick new to the league. As a lot of the contracts have not been finalized, names can’t be publicized, but from what I understand, it sounds like Blue Crabs fans have a lot to be excited about.

Additionally, two left handed pitchers that are new to the league are expected to join the team as well.

I also asked him about his championship guarantee, and he said that he had mentioned a championship being a possibility and when he was asked if he was willing to guarantee it, he said that it hadn’t worked out so well the last time had done so.

“Do I believe that we can make the playoffs? Yeah,” Hobson said.

“But my number one job is to get guys back to organizations.”

Hobson also said that he had mixed feelings about coming back to the Atlantic League and leaving Nashua.

“I’m very excited to be coming back to the Atlantic League, but it was a little disappointing to leave Nashua,” he said.

“Nashua was my home, and I’m glad to see that team is still surviving.”

Also, for my other venture — which I see many of you have found via various searches — I asked for his thoughts on the Roger Clemens situation. Hobson managed Clemens for several seasons in Boston.

“We all know somebody’s not telling the truth,” Hobson said.

“Roger’s a workaholic and he’s had a tremendous career. I just hope something like this doesn’t put a mark on his career, but with what Andy Pettitte’s saying, that he thought Roger took HGH, I don’t know.”

Chiaravalloti Finally Gets To Wear White: I had the opportunity to speak to the newest Patriot yesterday, 1B Vito Chiaravalloti.

The friendly first baseman was inbetween giving baseball lessons in Edison, NJ, but couldn’t hide his excitement at getting his first chance to wear white in the Atlantic League after a season with the Road Warriors.

“Last year was a really fun experience, but it’s one of things you only want to do once,” Chiaravalloti said.

Chiaravalloti, who set career highs with 19 home runs and 81 RBI last season, said that if he ever got the chance to play for the Patriots he’d jump at the opportunity. It was an opportunity he says he tried to create last year, calling the Patriots only to find out there was no room for him since they were already full at first base.

This year, the Patriots called him.

“Somerset is by far the best place to play in the league,” said Chiaravalloti, who also pointed towards how nicely the Road Warriors were treated by the Patriots staff last season.

“There’s a great atmosphere there, with a great crowd and top-notch facility.”

The Middletown, NJ native told me that grew up and matured as a hitter last season, making the adjustment to a higher level of play after only limited experience in Double-A. After a solid 2007, he thinks this is his best shot to get back to affilated baseball.

“I hit well last year, and I thought that was going to be my best shot,” he said.

“But this year is going to be a great opportunity. Having some long homestands can’t hurt, and I’m just hoping that I can play well enough to maybe get a Double-A job in an organization.”

Barnstormers Update: Jason Guarente’s got some chatter going on over at Barnstormin’ about some possible returnees and new additions to the Barnstormers for 2008.

Pressley Interview Tomorrow: As promised, I also spoke with current Florida Marlins farmhand and former Somerset Patriots 1B Josh Pressley yesterday. Check back tomorrow for his take on leaving the Patriots and some insight on how the Marlins organization views the Atlantic League. – Mike Ashmore



1. Kevin - February 13, 2008

Wow, I can’t wait to see who those Blue Crabs teasers turn out to be. It sounds like Hobson and company know what they’re doing.

2. Anonymous - February 14, 2008

Denny Harriger played with Nashua in 2005. I wonder if Hobson could ever convice him to come out of retirement.

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