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March 31, 2008 – Kevin Haverbusch Talks March 31, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Interview Schedule: We’ve got Lance Burkhart for you tomorrow…based on the voting in the poll, I’m sure more than a few people will want to check this one out.

Then, on Wednesday, we have York Revolution outfielder Jason Aspito for you. Aspito is currently in York with Matt Dryer giving hitting lessons. Interested? Contact the Revolution front office

Kevin Haverbusch And The Scarlet Letter: With six years of experience covering professional sports under my belt, it’s not too often I hear a new term or phrase thrown my way. But, when talking with Long Island Ducks OF Kevin Haverbusch about what else he had to prove in the Atlantic League after four pretty solid years for the Pride and Ducks, he told me this…

“When I had my back surgery a couple of years ago, that was kind of like a scarlet letter for some teams,” Haverbusch said.

It’s really the only reasonable explanation as to why Haverbusch, who put together his fourth consecutive solid Atlantic League season, didn’t even get a sniff from an affiliated team this off-season.

“It was frustrating for the first couple of years,” said Haverbusch, who said he had some interest from teams overseas.

“But this is a good situation for me, it’s only about a half hour away from home.”

The 31-year-old Massapequa, NY native had just returned from a trip to Florida. But he wasn’t on vacation.

Instead, he and several other Atlantic Leaguers joined the Long Island Storm to play some affiliated minor league teams.

“The first couple of days are pretty rough, you get off the plane and play nine innings. The first two days, we were dead,” Haverbusch told me.

“But it certainly can’t hurt. I got 20 at-bats…that’s 20 live bullets I saw that maybe someone else didn’t.”

And the scarlet letter? Get rid of it.

“The last two off-seasons, I don’t wanna say I couldn’t workout fully, but I just couldn’t really add much with running and lifting,” he said.

“This year? No limits.”

Not that last year doesn’t still stick with Haverbusch, who has yet to win a championship ring in his 11-year professional career.

“You look at our roster last year, and yeah it was a star-studded roster and all that, but personality-wise, that was probably the best club I’d ever played on,” he said.

“It was actually a little shocking that we lost.”

This year, Haverbusch will join an outfield that features Jamal Strong and Carl Everett, two players with Major League experience.

“It’s not so much picking their brains, it’s watching them play,” said Haverbusch of learning from his big league teammates.

“Just watching the way they go about things, it’s almost like osmosis, where you’ll just kind of pick up on stuff just from watching them do it.”

Riversharks Sign Four: The Camden Riversharks officially announced the signings of OF Josh Rabe, INF Richard Lewis, P Buddy Hernandez and P Julio Guerrero.

We already told you about Rabe, the former Minnesota Twin.

With the Yankees signing a comedian, it was only fitting that the Riversharks signed Richard Lewis…wait, it’s not the comedian? I’m sure he’s never heard that one before…

Anyway, Lewis was a first rounder for Atlanta in 2001. He got a lot of looks from a few different teams in big league spring training, but never reached the show. He’s a career .258 hitter, with below average pop and some speed.

Hernandez is someone I’m familiar with. I saw him pitch last year in Richmond in relief of Jo-Jo Reyes. He actually ended up picking up the loss against Durham when I saw him…but overall, his numbers are pretty solid — A 26-12 record with a 2.50 ERA in 247 appearances.

He has four years of Triple-A experience. He got hurt (forearm) in 2005, missed all of 2006, but came back and set a career high last year with nine wins.

He nearly made the Braves out of camp in ’05, and was a Rule 5 pick of the A’s at one point as well.

Guerrero has pitched for the Road Warriors for the past few seasons. Clearly, David Keller liked what he saw. The Dominican native made 105 appearances over the past two seasons while wearing gray, and had a much better season in 2006 than he did in 2007.

Bladergroen In Lancaster: Lancaster announced today that they’ve officially signed 1B Ian Bladergroen, who they acquired in a trade with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

Does The AL Have A Steroid Perception Problem?: Jason DiAngelo, Damian Moss, Damien Myers, Steve Smyth, Tetsu Yofu (signed, but never played), Josh Pressley, Matt Padgett and Ramon Castro (twice!).

Jorge Piedra and Jamal Strong.

Brendan Donnelly.

Armando Rios, Jose Canseco, Jim Leyritz, John Rocker and Paxton Crawford.

Marvin Benard, Ozzie Canseco, Juan Gonzalez.

Respectively, according to this website, these are the players who’ve played or are going to play in the Atlantic League who have: been suspended in the minor leagues, suspended in the big leagues, were implicated in the Mitchell Report, are admitted users, or have been otherwise implicated.

19 names out of a group of well over a thousand isn’t so bad. Perhaps I missed one or two. But still, can the Atlantic League be doing more to show they’re a clean league? Nobody’s saying that these players or any players are or were using PED’s while in the league, but the league’s performance enhancing drug policy is vague at best. Even league insiders and the players themselves give varying answers on what exactly is and isn’t tested for.

Hopefully, at some point this season, the league will make the specifics of their policy public. As the premiere independent league in the country, this is one area where they really need to step it up.

E-Mail Stuff: For reasons that defy logic or explanation, my regular e-mail account has been down for the past few days. Please use mashmore98 AT gmail.com for now…

Nettles Signs With O’s: See yesterday’s “Breaking News Alert” for more info on Jeff Nettles signing with the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Brownlie Going to Harrisburg: P Bobby Brownlie won’t be coming back to Newark this year. Instead, he’s stuck with the Washington Nationals, and has been assigned to Double-A Harrisburg.- Mike Ashmore

Hoorelbeke & Smith Stick With Halos: Half of the Arkansas Traveler’s infield will be anchored by former Atlantic Leaguers. At first will be former Bridgeport Bluefish star Jesse Hoorelbeke and at third, former Newark Bears stud Corey Smith.

I don’t know if Smith should be playing third, as his defense has not been good there. He told me earlier this off-season he was battling Hoorelbeke for a spot on the club, so it looks like the team will keep both of them and move Smith back over to his original position.

The Travelers are the Double-A affiliate of the Anaheim Angels.

Check out our interviews with Hoorelbeke and Smith from this off-season. – Scott Stanchak


1. Anonymous - March 31, 2008

I’m not saying Pete Rose Jr. is a steroid user or dealer, but it is common knowledge that he was dealing other illegal drugs, right?

2. Anonymous - March 31, 2008

P.J. Rose was convicted of selling steroids in the minors.

3. BoosterBabe - March 31, 2008

PJ Rose committed the crime, served his time, paid his debt to society and it’s history.
Let it go.

4. Anonymous - March 31, 2008

boosterbabe- What’s your problem? No one is getting on P.J. they were just stating someone that was missing from the list.

5. Anonymous - March 31, 2008

Great to see K. Haverbusch get a little ink. He’s not afraid to let his emotions show and gives you everything he has every game he plays. All Duck fans should be in for a treat if he is finally totally healthy.

6. BoosterBabe - March 31, 2008

Word from “sources close to the man himself” that Jesse Hoorelbeke will be playing in AA Little Rock, within the Angels’ organization. Hoping he’ll move up to AAA rather soon though.

7. Anonymous - March 31, 2008

I agree.Haverbusch is one of the true gamers in the league.He has been good for 25 dbls and 15hrs every year even with injuries.If he could stay healthy all year the Ducks would have a steal.

8. Francis - March 31, 2008

Steve Doetsch is back in affiliated ball, he’s on the Opening Day roster of the Hi-A Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League.

9. Anonymous - April 1, 2008

Mike and Scott-
According to your blog, in June 2006, Scott Patterson talked about steroid testing in a newspaper article. His comments made it sound like there wasn’t any testing…and you said you’d ask him to clarify his comments when you interviewed him. So, here’s my question: What did he say???

10. Anonymous - April 1, 2008

Felix Jose tested positive for steroids last year.

11. Mike - April 1, 2008

If you can go through the June stuff, then you can find the answer to the question in the July stuff, yes?

From the 7/1/06 post…

“Patterson Comes Clean: I spoke to former Lancaster Barnstormers P Scott Patterson via telephone about his recent comments in the Trenton Times, and he says he never said the majority of what he was quoted as saying.

“I never said that, I never said the word steroids,” Patterson said. Patterson was upset that he was mis-quoted and was afraid that people in the league would be upset with him for being quoted how he was.

I’ll talk to Scott more in Trenton, and hopefully I can talk to the reporter who did the story as well and try to clear this up.

I did apologize to Scott for slamming him here, and I’ll apologize on here as well…but with what he was quoted as saying, I think you’d be hard-pressed to blame me.

Anyway, hopefully I can get the real story in a couple of days.”

As for Felix Jose, you would be correct. I overlooked that because the test was in the Mexican League, and there aren’t any lists for that…

12. Anonymous - April 1, 2008

Did you ever get the real story?

13. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - April 1, 2008

He said he was misquoted is essentially the gist of it. This was two years ago, so I don’t remember what he said word for word…but apparently there was some sort of misunderstanding between him and the reporter, and it was left at that.

14. Anonymous - April 1, 2008

Contest: A prize to the first writer/blogger who can tell us about the AL’s Official Steroid Policy and Testing Procedures. For example, does a player have to be testing prior to playing in the AL? How often are players tested? What happens if a player does test positive? Are players allowed to do recreational drugs?

Okay Ashmore, Seip, Dunleavy, Stanchak, and Guarente… someone get to the bottom of this. Hopefully the teams/league will have integrity and be forthcoming.

15. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - April 1, 2008

I can answer one of those real quick…

Recreational drug use isn’t allowed. Players have been suspended for it before — every time I say nobody I know of has been suspended for steroid use, that’s kind of what I’m referring to — and other consequences have happened due to that.

For the positive tests, the players were suspended 10 days…but I can’t tell you if that is still the current “first offense” penalty.

I am hoping to get some sort of clarification on the league’s PED policy before the season starts…would like to have an article for my season preview stuff.

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