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July 11, 2008 July 11, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Home Run Derby Participants Announced: Remember a couple days ago when I assumed that every team would be represented in the Atlantic League All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby?

About that…

The six participants were announced yesterday, and it’ll be three Somerset Patriots versus Ray Navarrete, Jesse Hoorelbeke and Ron Davenport.

Somerset’s sluggers are Brandon Larson, Josh Pressley and Matt Hagen.

While the Patriots players are certainly deserving, I’d have rather seen one player from each team so that every team was equally represented.

Each player will get five outs in the first round, and the top three players will advance to the second round, where their slates will be wiped clean and they’ll receive seven outs. The top hitter from the final round will win the derby.

Swindle Getting Some Ink: Former Newark Bears P R.J. Swindle, recently called up to the big leagues by the Philadelphia Phillies, earned a mention in ESPN writer Jayson Stark’s latest column.

You may remember Swindle’s nasty offspeed pitch, and I was lucky enough to ask him about it last season before he got picked up…

So what the hell is this pitch you throw?

“(Laughs) It’s a curveball. I picked it up about a year or two ago, and it usually baffles hitters,” Swindle said. “It comes slow out of my hand and comes out at about 52 or 54, and it’s a good way to get people out in front.”

How do you learn something like that?

“Just practice, really. I was just screwing around in the bullpen, and I hadn’t thrown my curveball in a few years, and it came out a lot differently than when I threw it in the past.”

How beneficial is it for you to be facing someone who’s never seen that pitch before?

“That’s definitely to my advantage. I purposely don’t throw it when I warm up, either. Just so the guy who’s coming up for the first time who’s never seen it has no idea what he’s about to see and has no idea how slow it’s coming in. The first guy who saw it last night, he probably could have taken three or four swings before it got there.”

So when’s the right time to throw it?

“I’ll throw it any time. Usually I’ll throw it early in the count and get a free strike, because nobody’s looking for it that early. Or I’ll throw it with two strikes, too. I’ll throw it any time, because it’s a really tough pitch to wait back on. If I throw a fastball on the next pitch, it looks like it’s coming at 95 instead of 81.”

Riversharks Sign Johnson, Baez: Sadly, this isn’t about the team adding Revolution beat writer Jeff Johnson. Instead, Camden has signed SS Tim Johnson to a contract.

Johnson is a 21-year-old former Astros farmhand who hit .192, .127 and .186 in his first three professional seasons.

The team has also added P Federico Baez. Baez is a 26-year-old righty reliever with parts of three seasons spent at the Triple-A level with the Cubs. He’s a converted middle infielder who pitched for Saltillo in the Mexican League earlier this year.

In four starts there, he went 0-1 with a 21.60 ERA. The league was only hitting .482 off of him at the time. – Mike Ashmore


1. Anonymous - July 11, 2008

Richie Sexson was released by the Mariners and Pete Rose Jr. has been playing like crap lately (cept today) if he avalible he fit in well with the Ducks 😉

2. Anonymous - July 11, 2008

No chance of that. Rose is one of “Dave’s boys”.

3. Tony Horton - July 11, 2008

Shades of the Folly Floater.

4. Robert - July 11, 2008

I really don’t understand the presence of 3 Patriots. It seems that there ought to be more representation, like 1 from each team represented in the game. Not that I necessarily represent this view, but some people are not even remotely interested when their team isn’t even involved.

5. www.BrickCityBruins.com - July 11, 2008

I know I lost interest in the homerun derby when I read that only some of the teams will be represented. What’s the sense in having the Patriots vs. 3 other guys? Having one guy from each team would have been worth watching.

6. Anonymous - July 11, 2008

not that hard to figure out and not a patriots conspiracy.they picked the top six guys in the league in home runs.

7. Robert - July 11, 2008

I don’t think anyone said it was a conspiracy. We only said we don’t WANT to see a home-run derby that DOESN’T have a home run hitter from each team.

8. Anonymous - July 11, 2008

Bears catcher John Pachot has left the team for the Mexican minor league. How long will it be until he comes back?

9. Paul - July 11, 2008

I’m a Patriots fan, and I still would rather see one player from each team in the home run hitting contest.

I’d really like to know who fouled this one up.

10. IslanderFan77 - July 11, 2008

I agree with Paul. I’m also a Pats fan and would rather the Home Run Derby have one player from each team.

11. the tao of shep - July 11, 2008

How about an All-Star game where one team plays the rest of the league?

12. Robert - July 12, 2008

What’s up with the Sharks signing with Baez? It’s seems to be a stretch with that guy. Perhaps their bullpen is weak. I know they just lost the series against SOMD, so maybe they are just reacting.

13. Anonymous - July 12, 2008

The Mexican league ends at the end of this month. Why would Pachot go there for 2 1/2 weeks?

14. Paul - July 12, 2008

According to Camden’s web site, they’ve signed P Jose Lima.

For those who collect baseball cards, Newark and Southern Maryland have their team sets out and are selling them via their websites. Somerset’s team set has been out for awhile, but if it’s online, I can’t find it.

15. Robert - July 12, 2008

I got my set the other day. Not a bad deal, $8.

16. Anonymous - July 12, 2008

Bobble arm night in Bridgeport was fairly successful. First 1000 fans got Tommy John figures. NOT much advance sale action. Walk-up was okay, but it might be accurate to say that the park was half-full of paying fans. Bluefish bats were good. Pitching? Tim Drew was rolling along till he ran out of gas in the 5th. Newark defense was spotty. Bridgeport bullpen was decent. Ramos was back on top after losing the night before. Beautiful summer night. Can’t figure out why this team isn’t more of a draw in CT, as it plays competitive ball night in and night out. 7 All Star selections(really 8 now that Ellison will go, replacing Dubose as a pitcher) means—there’s SOME talent on the ‘Fish. They don’t stop swinging, that’s for sure. Now, if their middle relief can show some consistancy….the second half might be pretty interesting.

—Eddie Ramos

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