March 21, 2008 March 20, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Maness Out In Camden: Every year there’s been baseball in Camden, Dwight Maness has been there.
The Riversharks have played in 894 regular season games as an organization. Maness was on the field for 796 of them.
He had 2,960 at-bats, hit 108 home runs, drove in 455 runs and stole 189 bases. I don’t even want to take a guess at how many autographs he signed.
Unquestionably, the man teammates knew as “Dewey” was the face of the franchise.
But when Camden plays their 895th game, hosting the York Revolution on April 25th, Maness won’t be there.
AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com has learned that the soon to be 34-year-old outfielder won’t be coming back to Camden this year, continuing not only a changing of the guard for the Riversharks, but the league as well.
Emiliano Escandon and Justin Davies have now long since retired. Only Angel Espada remains from the group of players that have been the faces of their respective franchises for as long as they were there, with Espada having enjoyed his ninth consecutive season in Bridgeport last year.
Other long time AL players, like Will Pennyfeather and D.J. Boston are gone too.
Players moving on, whether it be on their own terms or whether they weren’t asked to return, is a part of sports, and the Atlantic League is no exception. But it will still take some getting used to walking into the Camden clubhouse and not seeing Maness, according to Randy McGarvey.
“Playing with Dewey for two years, you’re going to miss a guy like that,” he said.
Although Maness did play for the Somerset Patriots in 1999, it’s hard to imagine him in any other uniform than Camden’s. And he loved playing there, as is evidenced in a 2004 interview we did when he compared playing for Somerset to playing for Camden.
“For me, Camden is home,” he told me.
“I grew up 45 minutes from there so I’m basically home. And it’s very similar, the place looks similar. The fans; we get good fan support, so it’s pretty similar and it’s worked itself into being home.”
So why isn’t he returning for an eighth season?
“The club decided to move in a different direction,” said Camden’s Director of Baseball Operations, David Keller, when reached by phone in Arizona.
“Dwight was a great contributing member of the organization, and was outstanding both on and off the field. He had a good year last season, but we just decided it was time to move on.”
It’s unclear whether Maness will play this year. What is clear is that he can still play.
Last season may have been his best yet; he hit .279 with 21 home runs and 62 RBI.
But Camden’s moving on, and it looks like Maness is too.
Bluefish Sign Three: We’ve already told you about Bridgeport’s trade for Jake Daubert. But the team released two more signings yesterday; Eddy Ramos and Adam Morrissey.
Ramos is a name you know if you’ve followed the league for a while. This will be his sixth year in the Atlantic League, as he’s also pitched for the Road Warriors and Bears. Last season, he was 4-4 with a 1.56 ERA and 16 saves in 44 appearances.
If I remember correctly, Morrissey was very briefly a member of the Camden Riversharks in 2006, but was signed before ever playing a game. Could be wrong there. Anyway, he’s a 26-year-old Australian born second/third baseman who has Triple-A time with the A’s and Rangers.
In Double-A with the Angels organization last year, he led the Texas League in walks, but was also second in strikeouts. – Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com
Bonds To The A.L.?: According to this article in the Rocky Mountain News, A.L. President Joe Klein has offered all-time home run king Barry Bonds a chance to resume his career in the Atlantic League. He’s offering Bonds the chance to come to Spring Training on April 14, and if he’s not picked up, he can join one of the league’s teams for Opening Day, April 25.
I’d say the chances of this happening are very slim, but I wouldn’t completely write it off. No big-league teams are showing interest in Bonds and the A.L. has housed other superstars (Rickey Henderson). I give it a 20% chance right now.
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