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May 7, 2008 May 7, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Patriots Sign Smith: The Somerset Patriots have signed OF Sean Smith. Smith is a career .254 minor league hitter who was last in Double-A with the White Sox organization.

Ryan Dunleavy and I spoke to Smith, and it looks like my feature for the paper this week will be on him, but here’s a little bit of what he had to say…

“I knew that this team had won a couple of championships and that the Long Island team was their big rival,” Smith said.

“I have a buddy that I used to play with, a couple of them acually, Jon Searles and Ray Navarrete. They’re pretty good players. Navarrete filled me in on the league and said this was a great league to be in.”

Also, I spoke to Michael Ryan and Jeff Duncan briefly during BP — during which both of them were in street clothes in the dugout — and both seemed to be all right. Duncan said his head was fine, and Ryan was already making jokes about the incident.

Patriots To Audition Pitchers: I spoke to Patriots pitching coach and director player procurement Brett Jodie this afternoon, and he told me the team would be bringing several pitchers to throw for the team before making a decision on who they’ll ultimately sign at some point this weekend.

“There’s a lot of potential players, so I’m having a few guys come in,” Jodie said.

“I’m having a guy come in tomorrow, then the day after that, and then I think Saturday too. So I’m going to look at a few of those guys, look at some numbers on some other guys. I’m trying to be selective with that spot, since there’s only one spot right now.”

One player has Major League experience, while another has pitched professionally for another local independent league team.

Shackleford Signs With Southern Maryland: Former MLB P Brian Shackelford has apparently signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Shackleford is, unfortunately, probably best known for this incident. He has a 2-0 record in 63 games over two seasons for the Reds.

Stormers Sign Two: Jason Guarente is reporting, as Jason Guarente tends to do…that Lancaster has acquired two pitchers.

P Jeff Muessig was acquired from the Joliet Jackhammers in exchange for absolutely nothing future considerations. Also, the team has agreed to terms with Cuban defector Yamel Guevara. – Mike Ashmore

Be sure to check out yesterday’s news for updates on Somerset Patriots outfielders Michael Ryan and Jeff Duncan.

Davis Promoted: The Baltimore Orioles promoted former Camden Riversharks catcher Ben Davis to Triple-A Norfolk Tuesday. In 24 games with Double-A Bowie, the former big leaguer was hitting just .227 with two home runs and 13 RBI. In his debut last night, he went 0-for-2. – Scott Stanchak

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1. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 7, 2008

I wrote this this morning in yesterday’s news, but wanted everyone to see it…

Mike and I talked to Tommy John about attendance a few weeks back. He said that it’s not the players that are going to draw the people to the stands, it’s what’s going on inside the stadium.

He told us a story of how his wife went to see a game his son was playing in and how much fun she had. She told him she didn’t watch much of the game, but would go back just for the atmosphere.

I asked if he thought Bridgeport had a good atmosphere and he said it was okay. Granted, he said they hadn’t played any games this year, but still, 500 people in the stands doesn’t exactly bring the money in to bring the big entertainment.

The Bridgeport organization has the right people in charge; it’s really just up to the fans. John is one of the bigger names in the league and I still mention where he’s coaching to some people and they have no clue.

Maybe, as you did with Camden, you could suggest some ideas for Bridgeport to listen to.

2. Anonymous - May 7, 2008

Fish/Ducks fan says -In regards to the Bridgeport situation, you have to question the front office in their decision making. Some of the previous day’s posts were commenting on the 11 A.M. kid’s day starts and how most of the teams have them (the Ducks do not due to the sharing of the parking lot with the County and Federal Court house) and how they are scheduled as the last game of series so that the players have some extra time for themselves before going on to their next destination. They obviously draw a good gate (although it is predominantly kids and probably at a discounted price for the tickets) but they are still getting a good crowd and the concession stands always have a large line at them so it is definitely better than having less than 600 people (587 Monday/573 Tuesday in BP) attend the game. Yet Bridgeport has only one kids day planned per month (if they draw a good gate wouldn’t you think they would try to schedule more of them?) and they are not the last game of a series(on get-away day). In May, July and August it is the second game of a series, in June it is the first game of a series and comes after a day off by the players (so instead of having one and a half days off to spend with their families they only get one which further annoys them more).

I go to both the Bluefish games and the Ducks games and the difference between the two of them is like night and day. I know it is unfair to compare the two. The Ducks have tremendous local advertising and community involvement and thereby they are able to have a sponsored give away just about every game and draw a great gate and the Bluefish are in a Catch-22 situation. They have little to no give-a-ways for their games because they can’t get any one to sponsor them so no one is interested in going to the games for that “family entertainment” factor. Even their on field promotions leave something to be desired and need to be overhauled. I have been to Sunday games at Bridgeport where they claim to have a players autograph session (only 3-4 players signing autographs and a little line of kids seeking them) and then you see the total opposite when you go to Long Island for their Sunday autograph session (98% of the team on the field every Sunday with 200+ fans on the field getting autographs from them and pictures with them). You have to ask why the front office doesn’t make the rest of the Fish players get out there and sign for the kids and build up that involvement with them and thus create a larger gate in the long run for them.

Mike/Scott, I know I have been rambling on but don’t you think that this rekindles the fire on the rumor of Bridgeport moving to Yonkers when(or if) that city joins the Atlantic League?

3. Anonymous - May 7, 2008

It sure is distressing to see the low attendance at Bluefish games on Monday and Tuesday. Last night the other reported attendances were 3428 at Lancaster, 3763 at Somerset and 2005 at Southern Maryland. It was a school night for THOSE cities, too. Yes, we have heard that it’s always tough in May and in early June, until school lets out. But these numbers are WAY down. You wonder what help some large corporations like GE or Sikorsky or RBS or UBS might do. If there’s not more involvement (and the City of Bridgeport has to step up here, too), there may NOT be baseball in a city that really needs such an outlet. How much advertising does the team do? It takes more than 1 or 2 daily ads on Cablevision’s channel 12 to get the interest up. Can the investment group that owns the team put any more cash into media buys? Local radio (and we’re not talking NY radio stations) might be an option. Get a tie-in with the traffic reports done on WEBE 108 or some other short bursts of exposure. And give those stations you advertise on a block of tickets…..give em 50 tickets a day if you have to, so they can dole them out on the air and at least put more people in the park. And yes, there should be more involvement from the players, signing autographs. Those post-game sessions on Sundays that were held last year were pretty well recieved. Why not bring those back? I don’t want to lose professional baseball in this part of Connecticut, and two games of low attendance does NOT a season make. The team is playing pretty good ball, overall. And the new front office has good ideas. But something’s not adding up, thus far…..

—Eddie Ramos

4. BoosterBabe - May 8, 2008

Giving tickets away on the radio is a terrific idea and especially on WEBE. WEBE is without arguement the most powerful radio station in this part of the state and people really listen to it, especially in the morning. Giveaways get the talent talking about you. They endorse it, they get excited about it. It helps create a buzz. That’s what they need.

I wonder if the GM realizes that the average commute for people in the greater Bridgeport area is 45 minutes? If you’ve just spent 45 minutes in your car to drive 15-20 miles home from work in heavy traffic… you’re not going to impulsively decide to take your family to the ballgame because it’s a beautiful night and you heard a Bluefish commercial when you tuned in to hear the traffic report.

I think they need to rebuild their brand at this point. It’s not just about “there’s a game tonight, come on down” anymore. I think there’s a serious lack of awareness that they are there and they need to rectify that.

To be fair, there have only been 6 games played at home this season, there is a lot of time to get the word out.
It will turn around. If anyone can do it, I think Todd can.

5. barnstormer1 - May 8, 2008

Lancaster released lhp Ross Peeples after tonights game.

6. Anonymous - May 8, 2008

question relating to yesterday: for the riversharks…is a “baseball in education day” the same as a camp day????

7. barnstormer1 - May 8, 2008

Yep…either way it means alot of kids in the ballpark. School or camp groups..take your pick!


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