April 29, 2008 April 29, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Bears Raise Banner Tonight: Thanks to an odd choice by the league of having the defending champions open on the road, I’ll be able to attend the Newark Bears home opener tonight.
I’ll have some photos and hopefully a few player and coach reactions up later this afternoon.
I’m also scheduled to have an interview with Bears INF Randall Simon at some point before the game, so stay tuned for that in the very near future.
Is It Easy To Get To Newark?: Yes. If you’re in the area, and want to see some good baseball, there’s no reason not to head out to the Den tonight.
It’s 1:45, and the field looks like this…
After some rough weather earlier this morning, everything is fine, and as you can see the tarp isn’t on the field.
Getting there is easy. Personally, I take the Raritan Valley Line train from the Patriots ballpark in Bridgewater to Newark Penn Station. Once inside, you can take the light rail…
$1.35 and two or three stops later, and you’re dropped off directly in front of the stadium.
You’d get to see a home opener, a banner raising, a ring ceremony and a combined 19 former Major Leaguers on the field, including a rare Atlantic League start from Will Cunnane, who will likely be picked up again shortly.
The Bears will have a post-game fireworks show, traveling mascot Rally and American Idol’s Joanne Borgella as well.
So come on out…
4:55 PM – Have managed interviews with Randall Simon and Bridgeport’s Calvin Pickering. Apparently, today’s focus was to talk to big first basemen.
Yes, I asked Simon about the sausage thing, and yes, Pickering made me feel about 2 feet tall.
You’ll see Steve Foucault’s thoughts on his pitching staff and interviews with Simon and Pickering on here shortly.
Henry Mateo, in 2005. (Photo: Ashmore)
Bluefish Have Castillo, Mateo: So I’m at the ballpark — six hours before game time, mind you — and I see that the Bluefish have long-time Atlantic League pitcher Carlos Castillo on their roster.
Oddly, former Major League infielder Henry Mateo is also on the roster…but get this, he’s listed as a pitcher.
Rich Elliott of The Connecticut Post has written about the two new signings as well, but it would seem from reading his article that Mateo being listed as a pitcher is simply a typo.
Sharks Cut Gandolfo, Activate Lewis: The Camden Riversharks have relased INF Rob Gandolfo and activated INF Richard Lewis.
Five Things From Three Games: Five things I’ve noticed from the first three games of the Atlantic League season…
1 – York has gotten off to an awful start. As a team, they’re hitting a league-worst .163, and their team ERA of 6.38 places them 7th in an eight team league.
The second statistic is far more puzzling than the first, considering many felt that the pitching would be the strength of the Revolution this year.
2 – Lancaster is going to be leaps and bounds better than they were last year. Ian Bladergroen has gotten off to the hot start many people thought he would, hitting two home runs with five RBI in his first three contests.
The Barnstormers are hitting a league best .312, and while they’re unlikely to challenge Newark’s league best batting average mark last season, this team is going to hit. When Jose Cabrera and Sendy Rleal get here, if they ever do, it could be real interesting.
3 – The Blue Crabs may not be as bad as everyone thought they were. In our fan poll, only a handful of people predicted that Southern Maryland would finish above .500. And while the jury’s still out, there are some guys on this team who can play.
Derrick Depriest and Matt Hammons are a nasty 1-2 combination in the 8th and 9th innings, and they’ve received nice production so far out of Eric Crozier, George Sandel and others.
4 – The Bears will still be good. The lineup may not be as electric as it was last season, and the pitching staff may not have the name value from 2007, but this is still an Atlantic League force to be reckoned with.
There’s good chemistry in the clubhouse yet again, and that alone will put some W’s on the board for the Bears.
5 – You should pick up a copy of the Bears yearbook. It features some of my photos, and also a feature I did on Bobby Hill. – Mike Ashmore
Back-To-Back Bears?: In an effort to drum up some support for my new web site, “The Cheap Seats: Notebook,” I’ve posted a preview for the Bears’ home opener tonight.
You can visit the site at: http://www.cheapseatsradio.net/. Check it out five days a week, Monday-Friday, for a new column, feature article or interview. I’ve already done some amazing interviews for it, so you might want to check out some of the past ones. As always, thanks.
(I also may be at the home opener, as well.) – Scott Stanchak
Danny Graves Interview Tomorrow: I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with former Long Island Ducks closer Danny Graves, who is now in Double-A with the New Britain Rock Cats.
Just got done transcribing it, and you’ll see that tomorrow. – MA