June 21, 2008 June 21, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Best Pitching Matchup In The League?: After the longest hiatus from covering the Atlantic League I’ve had in my six years of doing this (16 days), I’ll be back in an AL stadium tonight.
And it looks like I couldn’t have picked a better game to go to…
Newark’s Pat Stanley (6-0) faces off against Camden’s Ryan Drese (5-1) in what may be the best possible pitching matchup available in the Atlantic League today.
Certainly, people expected the former big leaguer to put up the numbers he has, but Drese has really gotten into a groove lately. In his last two starts, he’s gone 15 innings and allowed just three runs.
At least one team will be taking a look at him tonight, and it’s likely that he’ll join now Riversharks teammate Brian Lawrence back in affiliated ball sooner rather than later.
Stanley’s ascension to Atlantic League stardom — an oxymoron if there ever was one, but still — was considerably more unexpected.
The gigantor-sized (6′ 7″) righty spent the past two seasons with the Frontier League’s Washington Wild Things, and only appeared in four games last year before missing the rest of the season following the removal of a rib to improve circulation.
His best stretch of games came several weeks ago, when he posted back-to-back complete games against Lancaster and Long Island; setting a team record with 15 strikeouts against the Barnstormers and shutting out the Ducks.
Daneker Interview Coming Soon: I was recently able to catch up with former Atlantic League P Pat Daneker, who appeared in games for Camden, Newark, the Road Warriors and Somerset.
I spoke to Daneker in Brooklyn, where the pitching coach’s Staten Island Yankees were visiting for a three-game series to kick off the New York-Penn League season.
Stay tuned for that interview…and yes, I was at the game you saw highlights from on Sportscenter, where the switch-pitching Yankees prospect and switch-hitting Mets prospect couldn’t figure things out.
Replying To Your Comments: Noticed quite a lively discussion in the comments the other day, and I never got around to responding to some of what you guys have said. I’ll bring up the point made, and then add my response…
* Bridgeport’s media relations sucks. This is not true. Maybe the fans might not think they do a good job, but I think they’re actually incredibly helpful. There might be a team or two in this league that goes out of their way to not help you, so when I see press releases from Nick Razzette alerting me to something that’s ultimately pretty trivial, but also something that the media should know about, like guys going on and off the DL, that’s impressive.
They went out of their way to help me this off-season to get us players for off-season interviews, also getting some of those quotes in the paper. Will someone reading my paper go to a Bluefish game because they see Mike Church quoted in there? No. But they’re still getting mentioned in a market that they wouldn’t otherwise be in at that given time.
* Southern Maryland has attendance issues. This is true. I’m of the opinion that an expansion team in a professional baseball league should be the hottest ticket in town.
It worked in Lancaster. Ultimately, it didn’t work initially in York. Perhaps it was fans not buying the idea of seeing players play on a construction site with stands and grass that doubled as a baseball field for the first few months. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, said the writer who dabbles in cliches, and the Revs may have hurt their long-term future with their construction delays.
Not including last night, as I haven’t seen the attendance figure, the club has drawn less than 2,500 fans in their last four games. A whopping 1,221 fans marked the low point on Monday…and keep in mind, that’s paid attendance.
The cynical person will say that the Atlantic League flopped colossally in their first attempt in Maryland a few years back. The optimist will tell you that the ballpark they played in was a joke, and that eventually things will get better with a better league and a new ballpark.
Is the league disappointed? I’m sure they are. But do they still talk about expansion? Sure they do.
No joke, I honestly do not know if the Blue Crabs send out press releases. I don’t even recall seeing them on OurSportsCentral, which is where I tend to go to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
I don’t buy the explanation that they’re in a rough spot with media coverage. They were getting written up in the Washington Post semi-frequently this off-season, which was actually a pretty impressive accomplishment.
* We should talk to Walter Young. More or less, not true. I think this is something that Scott was tossing around the idea of doing. It works under the “Hey, this guy would be a good candidate to play in the Atlantic League” premise, but few things are worth the trip to Sussex. I’ve covered a little under 450 professional games in my career, and the one game I did there was without question the worst experience I’ve ever had.
That aside, I did interview Young when he was in the big leagues with Baltimore. I don’t know if there’s that sort of Calvin Pickering novelty factor going for him, or what the deal is with the level of interest in him, but I admit it would be interesting to see what he could do in this league, at least for a little while.
“You can use (your size) in a lot of ways,” Young told an inexplicably deeper-voiced me back in 2005.
“I can mis-hit balls and still get them out of the park. That’s a good thing.” – Mike Ashmore