May 22, 2008 May 21, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Von Hayes Interview: Is below the live updates from Newark…
Being Mike Ashmore: Sometimes it sucks, and sometimes it doesn’t. Let’s see how today plays out, shall we?
10:30 PM, last night – I get home from the Patriots game, after leaving in the bottom of the 7th inning. I knew I had to be up early, so I knew I’d need some sleep…
11:00 PM, last night – I put on Sportscenter. Shockingly, they don’t have any highlights of who won the Patriots game. They did show Albert Pujols attempt to decapitate Chris Young, though.
4:45 AM – And I’m up. Not that I particularly slept well or anything.
5:00 AM – I’ll spare people pictures of me in the shower…but take my word for it, I took a shower.
5:45 AM – It’s about 25 minutes before I have to leave, and I decide to fire up the XBOX real quick and sneak in some Grand Theft Auto. I’m pretty far along in the game, about 40% done, so I’m trying to get as far as I can when I have the time to play.
6:15 AM – I leave to make the 25 minute drive to Bridgewater to take the train to Newark. I keep an eye out for the ball Lloyd Turner hit last night, as it may not have landed yet.
6:40 AM – The first sign that today might not be so good would be that as I was getting out of the car, the train was pulling up. Nothing quite like a good sprint with a heavy bag to carry early in the morning.
7:30 AM – I arrive in Newark, and decide to get some McBreakfast. Clearly, I’m still jazzed about my 40-yard dash to the train…
7:35 AM – I receive my McBreakfast. I’m McPissed, as I feel it’s kind of a McRipoff. How is the following five dollars?
8:00 AM – So this is starting to look like one of those not so good days. I head on over to the light rail, and make the short trip to Riverfront Stadium. Well, it couldn’t get much worse, at least…
8:05 AM – In a development that has me contemplating jumping in front of the light rail train, the marquee in front of the stadium says that the next game will be today at 5:05 PM. I am pissed. I call the front desk.
“What time is the game today,” I asked, already knowing the answer since someone picked up at eight.
“Game time is 11:05, gates open at 10:05,” said the voice on the other end.
So no committing hari kari for now. Always good.
8:35 AM – Always bad would be the view I currently have. It’s raining a bit, and the tarp’s on the field. Thrilling.
9:00 AM – After a brief chat with the lovely Stephanie Rosman, another Bears staffer comes along…this time, it’s Jim Cerny. I’d describe Jim’s job title, but I know you don’t have all day for me to describe the eighteen things he actually does. Anyway, he gave me a great stat…
Cory Aldridge is hitting .517 against left-handed pitchers this year. .517! Not like he sucks against righties, too…he’s hitting over .300 off of them.
9:15 AM – Another great stat from Jim Cerny. The pitching staff’s ERA has gone down about a run in the past week. But that’s not the great stat…
If the Bears win today, they’ll match their franchise record for longest winning streak with…
Eight! The Bears have been around for 11 years now, and their longest winning streak is eight. How is that physically possible?
9:20 AM – Interesting stat I got on my own? The York Revolution have seven big leaguers on their pitching staff, and none in their lineup. Makes it easy to believe that they’re hitting .218, but much harder to believe that their ERA is 5.08
9:35 AM – This makes me feel better about McBreakfast, said the bored writer.
10:15 AM – Went down into both clubhouses for a while. Spoke to Wayne Krenchicki, Cory Aldridge and Matt Dryer.
Krenchicki and Aldridge was with the recorder on, Dryer was just to chat. I wanted to talk to Chris Hoiles, but the door to the coaches office was closed for quite some time, and I was told they were having a meeting.
You’ll see the Bears quotes either tomorrow or this weekend.
11:45 AM – York’s up 1-0 through 2 on a Keoni De Renne home run. I’ll have some pictures shortly…
11:55 AM – Bears tie it at one with a John Pachot home run off of Corey Thurman.
12:00 PM – Fun with photos…
Obligatory artsy-fartsy shot
Corey Thurman, who…yes, was the guy I was all geeked out to see.
12:05 PM – Fun with video…
12:10 PM – York’s up 2-1 in the 4th after Kevin Kotch (!!!) drove one home on a wacky play. Good crowd here today, tons of kids.
12:30 PM – The Bears took a 3-2 lead just as it started to pour. We’re through five innings, so a hurricane could come through for all I care at this point…
12:45 PM – Great job by Kenny Perez to bust his tail down the first base line and beat out a ground ball with the bases loaded and two outs to tie the game at three. However, if I’m still here at like, say…4 PM, I won’t think it was such a great play.
1:00 PM – Several things of note. One is that Cory Aldridge has homered to give Newark a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Secondly, I noticed I almost made it through an entire camp day without mentioning how much I can’t stand them.
6,000 kids who don’t understand the meaning of the words “walk” or “calm” isn’t necessarily my idea of a great time, at least when I’m trying to work…
1:05 PM – First baseman (yes, first baseman…) Val Majewski and catcher John Pachot just crashed into each other on a Matt Dryer pop up. Pachot hung on and is all right, but it was one of those things you could see coming for quite a while.
Cory Willey now in the game for Newark, by the way, after six decent innings from Mike Bumstead.
1:20 PM – Ramon Castro singles home a run in the bottom of the 7th to give Newark a two-run lead.
1:25 PM – Jose Herrera then triples one in past a diving Kaz Tanaka, Newark’s up 6-3 now.
1:45 PM – This one’s pretty much over. Val Majewski just doubled home two runs in the eighth to make it 8-3.
York…pretty light on the good. Heavy on the not so good. I think there needs to be a point where Adam Gladstone just cuts the cord on a few of these guys. Most of the lineup has been bad all year, and the pitching staff has underperformed quite a bit.
He’s got 45 games or so to reconstruct the roster for a second half run, because the team I predicted would win the championship is making me look like an idiot.
1:55 PM – It feels like this inning started yesterday. Ramon Castro with the RBI double, now it’s 10-3. Matt Trent’s ERA taking a climb.
2:10 PM – York scored a run in the ninth, but couldn’t pull off the extremely unpopular eight run rally and lost, 10-4.
4:00 PM – I’m in the Somerset press box now after a short trip on the light rail and an hour long train ride from Penn Station to here. Not…uhhh, yeah…not a whole bunch going on here. D.J. Mattox starting against his old team is, in theory, the storyline…but I have a feeling Von Hayes is going to stomp that one out by starting a reliever.
5:00 PM – Going to go watch BP for a while. Then will likely eat. Riveting stuff, I know.
5:45 PM – Spoke to Matt LeCroy for about 10 minutes. Good stuff. You’ll see it…hmmm, maybe Monday or so.
6:35 PM – There is some sort of karate display on the field that must have been going on now for a good 20 minutes. Nothing quite gets me amped for Atlantic League baseball than seeing kids do karate, gotta say…
6:50 PM – So the karate is…uhhh…you know, still going. Yeah.
8:00 PM – Pick your storyline. Brandon Knight has 8 K’s through four, or D.J. Mattox has held his former team hitless through three.
8:15 PM – Lance Burkhart hitting eighth? Jutt Hileman hitting ninth? I seem to recall a press release stating Hileman was the best center fielder in the league…
8:20 PM – Transaction of the day…
CALGARY VIPERS-Traded RHP John Odom to Laredo (UL) for equipment.
At least in the Golden League, they admit their trades are generally for next to nothing. You know, it’s almost worth my time calling one of these teams to see exactly what they got for the guy…
8:30 PM – Knight now has 10 K’s, and Mattox’s defense grenaded on him a little bit in the 5th. 1-0 Pats, top 6.
9:00 PM – Cold outside. The perhaps inebriated — and if not, certainly enthusiastic — females in the crowd are entertaining, as was Brian Stavisky’s home run off of Knight. 1-1, bottom 7.
9:05 PM – Looking up the players middle names. Certainly not a time killing activity…
9:15 PM – Knight with 14 K’s through 8. 14. Yeah. League record is 16, set by Ray Davis in 2000.
The offense not exactly helping him, however…still 1-1.
Hayes Talking ‘Stormers: Yesterday, I spent a few minutes with Lancaster Barnstormers manager Von Hayes and pitching coach Rick Wise.
Here’s what I got out of it from Hayes, you’ll see my chat with Wise tomorrow…
On his team’s performance so far…
“Well, I think the record indicates how the team’s doing. Last place is never any fun. We’ve lost a lot of close games.”
On the strategy to start a reliever…
“We started one of our bullpen guys who needed to get some work in, and we needed him to be in a little bit of a different situation than he has been in. The thinking there was obviously to get our starter deep in the game — we wanted to give our starter an opportunity to pitch in the eighth inning. We feel pretty comfortable with the person we were going to close with, and we’ve been struggling in those middle innings. The theory was to try to get one of our guys by the first couple of innings. Any runs that are given up in those innings, we have seven innings to make up for, not just two or three.”
On if he’d seen that strategy implemented before…
“No, not really. I just kind of thought of it, thinking of a way that we could get through a tough period right now. We’ve got a couple of guys in our middle relief that are struggling and some that are also injured and trying to play through some pain. We’re a little bit short in that department, so we’re trying to do what we can in a short-time thing until we get healthy again.”
On if we’ll see the strategy used again…
“You’re seeing it (last night). Pat Cassa will start, and Nannini will pick him up probably in the third inning.”
On the acquisition of D.J. Mattox…
“Well, he pitched a pretty good game against us. He kept the ball down and threw strikes. He didn’t walk too many guys, and that was something that we were very interested in. When he called, we were interested, and we had one of our starters put on the disabled list. So the timing was good, and we were more than happy to look at him. He pitched real well against us, so I’m hoping he can do the same for us.”
On the adjustment Hayes has had to make from affiliated ball to having to deal with things like player procurement in the Atlantic League…
“It is quite a different scenario. You’re not only dealing with trying to get players, and getting the best players, but you’re also dealing with budgets and things like that. And every team doesn’t have the same budget, just like in the big leagues, where every team doesn’t have the same budget. Sometimes, that becomes a little bit of an issue, trying to get the best players.”
On the level of talent in the league…
“I’m actually very impressed with the league, and especially some of the pitchers that I’ve seen, even on this team, Somerset. There’s three or four guys…if you look down their lineup, there’s guys with Major League experience and Triple-A experience. But that doesn’t really mean anything if they’re way past their prime. But what I’m seeing is guys that still have a lot left in the tank. I’m pretty impressed with the quality of play.”
Veres Did Have Hip Examined: Jim Seip spoke to York’s Dave Veres, and writes in this article that Veres did, in fact, have his hip examined while on a personal leave of absence.
“I had it double-checked and nothing is structurally wrong,” Veres told Seip.
Amazing how secretive some teams try to be with this stuff…
Alvarez Available: Have heard that recently released former big leaguer P Abe Alvarez was on the radar of one team. If anyone wants some instant press coverage, sign him up…
Bluefish Re-Activate Glenn Murray: It was a great story the first time, but this time…
Anyway, the Bluefish have activated hitting coach Glenn Murray.
Blue Crabs Make Moves: The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have released P Brian Shackelford and added OF Mike Conroy, former first round pick of the Cleveland Indians.
Catching On: C Mike Muscato, who was cut by the Somerset Patriots out of spring training, has landed with the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League.
Bears To Serve Icee’s, Ashmore To Consume Them In Mass Quantities: Over on the Newark Bears blog, they’ve revealed that they now serve Icee’s at the concession stands. I’ll make sure I have a full and very comprehensive report on that shortly… – Mike Ashmore