April 1, 2008 – Lance Burkhart Talks April 1, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Interview Schedule: Scott Stanchak will have his chat with York OF Jason Aspito for you tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue our streak of days with at least one player interview…I’m certainly working on a few things, so hopefully that will be the case.
Bears Add Two (PR): The defending Atlantic League Champion Newark BearsProfessional Baseball Club announced today that the team has signed former Major League right-handed pitcher Will Cunnane and former MajorLeague left-hander Benito Baez to contracts for the 2008 season.
Will Cunnane enters his 15th season of professional baseball, and his first with the Newark Bears. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Florida Marlins in 1992, and he has pitched in the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals organizations.
Will first reached the Major Leagues with the Padres in 1997, appearing in a career-high 54 games at the big league level, posting a 6-3 record.
The 34 year-old Cunnane has 184 games of experience in the Major Leagues with the Padres, Brewers, Cubs, and Braves. While with Kane County in 1994, Cunnane led the Midwest League in shutouts with 4, was third incomplete games with 3, and first in ERA with 1.43, which set a team record that he still holds today. He also posted an 11-3 record in 32games with 16 starts and struck out 106 batters.
In 2006, Cunnane pitched briefly with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League, where he won both of his starts before signing with the Cardinals.
Lancaster Signs Two: The Lancaster Barnstormers made two more additions to their ever-improving bullpen today, signing Ryan Cullen and Patrick Cassa.
You might remember Cullen from my list of players I thought would be good additions to the Atlantic League. Well, here he is.
Cullen has extensive experience in the Mets system, reaching Triple-A on several occasions.
Cassa…well, he’s 22 and just out of college.
“He has four years of major college, and that’s why we took a chance onhim,” said Barnstormers vice president of baseball operations Keith Lupton. “He’s a mature guy, and Pac-10 baseball is certainly comparable to rookieball. In fact, some of the elite teams are much better. We’re anxious tosee how well he does in spring training.”
Burkhart Leads By Example, Not Words: Lancaster Barnstormers C Lance Burkhart isn’t much of a talker. And when he does talk, it’s rarely about himself…he’ll even tell you as much.
But still, the Missouri native couldn’t help but talk about how happy he was to be coming back this year.
“I’m excited to be back in Lancaster,” Burkhart said.
And why wouldn’t he be? The Barnstormers have recently announced some big additions to the bullpen — Jose Cabrera and Sendy Rleal — and a new name in the starting lineup in Ian Bladergroen.
But looking back at last year, things weren’t so great. Burkhart got hurt relatively early in the season, and the Barnstormers played some relatively miserable baseball on the way to a disappointing season just one year after winning it all.
“Those are just things that happen in the game,” Burkhart said.
“Hopefully we’ll catch some breaks this year, and things will be better.”
At 33 years old, Burkhart’s window with affiliated baseball is slowly closing. Despite solid numbers over the past three seasons, and his prowess in working with his pitching staff, a lot of teams might not be willing to take a chance on the Missouri native.
“There’s always that hope, but you can’t really think about that,” Burkhart said.
“I just want to keep playing, and there’s really no better place to do that in than Lancaster. I wouldn’t base everything I do on getting picked up.”
What Burkhart is doing this off-season is focusing on staying in shape, saying that the older he gets, he realizes just how important it is.
Taylor Sticks With Braves: Jason Guarente is reporting that former Lancaster Barnstormers and Long Island Ducks OF Reggie Taylor has made the Triple-A Richmond Braves roster.
Ducks Follow Yankees Lead, Sign Actor: The Long Island Ducks have announced that “world famous” actor Steve Guttenberg will join the team for spring training. Guttenberg is the “star” of such films as Short Circuit, Police Academy and 3 Men And A Baby.
“I’m not bragging but my movies have grossed well over a billion dollars,” Guttenberg said.
“We couldn’t get Billy Crystal, but I think we got the next best thing,” muttered Ducks GM Mike Pfaff, clearly disappointed that negotiations with other “famous actors” Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Yahoo Serious had fallen through.
There were mixed reactions around the league when the news was announced.
“I heard Seagal wanted them to play clips of Exit Wounds every inning and the Ducks wouldn’t put their fans through it,” said one rival team’s executive.
“Yahoo Serious? I thought he was dead,” said one player, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he owns several of his movies on laserdisc.
As part of the agreement, Joe Klein has announced that the divisions will no longer have patriotic names, but will now be known as “Steve” and “Guttenberg.”
The team has also announced that Pauly Shore will be coming on as a batboy.
And no, I couldn’t think of anything better for our annual crappy April Fool’s joke.
– Direct all your lovely hate mail to: Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com