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March 20, 2008 – Randy McGarvey/Josh Pressley Talk March 20, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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McGarvey’s The Guy In ’08
: For the first time during his tenure with the Camden Riversharks, Randy McGarvey comes into the season knowing he’s the starting catcher.

“It’s a good feeling,” said McGarvey from his South Carolina home.

“But at the same time, I know there might be one or two other guys trying to take my spot. I’m going to go into spring training with the attitude that I’m fighting for a job, because you can’t get complacent or ever be satisfied with where you are.”

Where McGarvey is for 2008 is somewhat surprising, considering his breakout season a year ago. Well, surprising for everyone but perhaps McGarvey himself.

“Nothing surprises me anymore, you always expect the worst and hope for the best,” he said.

“It is frustrating, but you can’t really let that get in the way of preparing for the season.”

The recently married 29-year-old backstop hit .355 for Camden last year, finishing second in the AL batting race to Newark’s Victor Rodriguez. With catching at such a premium in affiliated baseball, it’s hard to believe that he wasn’t picked up during the season, no less after the year had finished.

But none the less, the former Astros farmhand comes into this season with a positive attitude.

“So far, things look good for this year,” McGarvey told me.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the guys we’re bringing in, and I think David Keller’s doing a great job.”

McGarvey, who credited his increased playing time for his career year, said he’s spent this off-season focusing on improving his core, an area especially important for catchers.

With some of the veteran leadership on the team rumored to be on the way out, it looks McGarvey will be a part of the core of the clubhouse as well.

Pressley Back In Somerset (UPDATED): On the heels of the Joe Borowski story, it’s nice to see someone who’s happy to return to the Atlantic League.

Such is the tale of Josh Pressley, who told Patriots officials he’s never be happier to be released by a team, as he was by the Marlins yesterday. He immediately contacted club officials, and has reached a verbal agreement to return.

The 27-year-old Florida native hit .283 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI, but really impressed team officials by electing to put off hamstring surgery until after the playoffs, essentially playing the final few weeks of the season on one leg.

I’m hoping to speak to Pressley at some point either today or next week…but I can tell you that the guy genuinely was disappointed he wasn’t going to be coming back to Somerset this year, and I’ve heard that he couldn’t be happier to be back.

And trust me, considering Pressley quickly emerged as the face of the franchise after Jeff Nettles left, team officials are absolutely thrilled to have him back as well.

On the baseball side of things, it’ll be interesting to see what this means for Vito Chiaravalloti. I’d assume that the very tentative plan would be to DH Pressley and have Vito play first…but the season is still a few weeks away.

—- UPDATED WITH PRESSLEY QUOTES —-

Why he got released…

“It didn’t work out with (the Marlins) for a variety of reasons. Basically, what happened was they had a situation where some guys who were up top got bumped down, and it affected everyone underneath, especially the free agent guys.”

“I didn’t really get the look I was hoping for, but that’s part of the game. A lot of guys in this game have drawn a much shorter straw than I have, so I’m just fortunate to be where I’m at, and I’m looking forward to coming back to Somerset.”

Note — Pressley told me he was 3-for-10, but that he was told his release had nothing do with performance…

How he felt in his first games after off-season surgery…

“I feel great, I feel like I can actually move around again. Last year, when I was at first base, I could barely move out there, but I feel good.”

On if he spoke to Brett Jodie about where he’ll be playing, considering the team brought in Vito Chiaravalloti…

“I just know that I’m going to be playing. Brett and Pat (McVerry) have brought in a bunch of new guys along with the ones we already had, and those guys make the decisions on where we all play. I just want to go out there and help the Patriots win.”

His thoughts on being back in Somerset…

“I was somewhat torn when I had to make the decision (on whether to sign with Florida) in the first place. But everyone has to try to achieve their goal of trying to get to the big leagues, and at the time I thought that was my best opportunity, so I don’t regret doing it. But Somerset’s a great place to play, and I’m just looking forward to getting back in the same clubhouse, and seeing some of the same fans, teammates and same front office guys from last year.”

Ducks Ink Everett: The Long Island Ducks have re-signed OF Carl Everett. Everett’s one of the more fascinating people to talk to in the league, but he can also still get the job done with the bat too. Looks like the big name parade is starting in Long Island.

(Here’s the release. Oddly, I get the team releases in my e-mail, but can’t actually open them. This happen to anyone else?)

Long Island Ducks team officials today announced that former Major League outfielder Carl Everett will return to the team for his second season in 2008. Everett was a major component of the Ducks lineup in 2007, hitting .312 while belting 25 home runs and establishing a new Ducks single-season record with 97 RBI.

“We’re excited to have Carl back with us this season,” says Ducks general manager Michael Pfaff. “He’s an important part of our club both on and off the field, and helps solidify both the heart of our lineup and our clubhouse.”

Everett made his Major League debut in 1993 with the Florida Marlins and became a full-time starting outfielder during a three-year stretch with the New York Mets. He was traded to Houston in December, 1997, and blossomed with the Astros, batting .296 and .325 during the 1998 and 1999 campaigns. Everett continued to put up impressive numbers in 2000 with the Boston Red Sox, hitting .300 with a career-high 34 home runs and 108 RBI, and was named to the American League All-Star team. He earned a spot on the AL All-Star roster again in 2003 with the Texas Rangers, and was a member of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox, batting .444 in the Fall Classic. The 36-year-old is a veteran of 1,405 big league contests, and owns a career .271 batting average with 202 home runs and 792 RBI.

Reed Returns: (PR) The defending Atlantic League Champion Newark Bears announced today that the club has re-signed veteran outfielder Keith Reed to a contract for the 2008 season.

Reed will be entering his 10th season in professional baseball, his second in the Atlantic League, and his second with the Bears. The former Major Leaguer, in his first season with the Bears, hit .286 with a career-high 21 home runs, 26 doubles, and 78 RBI. He ranked 2nd in the Atlantic League in runs scored (97), 4th in stolen bases (22), and 2nd in at-bats (497) and also played in the Atlantic League All-Star Game a year ago.

Not only did Reed have a solid year offensively during the ’07 campaign, he was also terrific defensively. In 2007, Reed made only 2 errors all season, while posting a career-high 18 outfield assists, which was tops in the Atlantic League, and he had an excellent .993 fielding percentage.

During the 2007 playoffs, Reed came through with a clutch bottom of the ninth inning walk-off single in Game 3 of the Atlantic League Championship Series that gave the Bears a 2-1 series lead against the Somerset Patriots. The next day Newark clinched its second Atlantic League Championship title in five years. He also had seven hits, three runs scored, and batted .260 in the post-season.

“Keith was a solid presence in the middle of our lineup a year ago, and defensively he was without peer,” said Newark Bears Assistant General Manager of Baseball Operations Jim Cerny. “Most importantly he’s a well-respected team leader who always involved himself in our community initiatives, as well. It is a joy to be able to bring Keith back to Newark in 2008.”

The 29 year-old Reed has played in over 1,000 career games, in which he has Major League experience and has reached the Triple-A level three times in his professional career. He was originally selected as the 23rd pick in the first round by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1999 draft. He spent most of his career in the Baltimore Orioles farm system, and last season was his first year in the Independent Leagues.

DePriest Coming Back: But the question is where. Jason Guarente has the story over at Barnstormin’, reporting that Derrick DePriest has been released from his Mexican League team, and is now available to Atlantic League teams.

Seip Looks At York Prospects: It was during my interview with Damian Sapp back in 2003 that I first heard the term “suspects” used.

It’s essentially when a player who was once a prospect finds himself at the bottom of the ladder…hence, he’s a suspect. Using that criteria, the Atlantic League is full of suspects trying to regain that prospect status once again.

Revs beat writer Jim Seip takes a look at six potential prospects on the York roster in this post, basing his thoughts on what scouts have been looking for in the AL over the past few seasons.

Gomes Signs With Northern League: OF Joey Gomes, who hit .320 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI as a member of the Newark’s Atlantic League Championship team last year, has signed with the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League.

There was some talk that Gomes might be coming back to the Atlantic League with a different team, but that clearly isn’t the case. – MA

Southern MD Fans, We’re Trying: I’ve gotten some emails in recent days asking why we have no Southern Maryland player interviews. The truth is, we’ve been trying. I, as well as Mike, have reached out to the team’s officials several times and have gotten very little to nothing in return. You can only do so much.

Ashmore’s note: Both Scott and myself will continue trying, but considering I have stuff I know I need to write for the paper (and therefore have a boss to answer to) since Southern Maryland will be playing their first games in Somerset, it’s been rough.

AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com On Facebook: This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. We have so many people that visit the site every day and so I created a new Facebook group specifically for the site. This way people can get to know each other better, comment on happenings and just have a good ‘ole time. Sign up now. – Scott Stanchak

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Comments»

1. Anonymous - March 20, 2008

It is nice to see some franchises care about the faces of their organizations while others just let them walk out the door without even an offer to bring them back!

2. IslanderFan77 - March 20, 2008

I’m sorry that Josh didn’t make it with the Marlins, but really glad that he’s back with the Patriots!

3. Jeff - March 20, 2008

Ducks resign Carl Everett

4. www.BrickCityBruins.com - March 20, 2008

That stinks about Joey Gomes not coming back. What an awesome guy. He was so good to the fans, too.

5. Anonymous - March 20, 2008

What is up in Camden?? Is Maness ans Abreau coming back or are they going in another direction?

6. Anonymous - March 20, 2008

Sign up for the Facebook group everyone. Great idea guys!

7. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - March 20, 2008

I’ll know more on the Camden stuff tomorrow…


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