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July 15, 2008 July 14, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

ALB Exclusive Breaking News: Elder May Return To Somerset

The Somerset Patriots have already secured a playoff spot. Now, they may have secured one of the top relievers on the market.

Dave Elder may be returning to Somerset, a source tells Mike Ashmore and myself.

Elder, who has spent part of the last four seasons with the Patriots, is in the process of getting his arm ready and would be ready to pitch in less than a month.

The former big leaguer pitched in Mexico last season, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.75 ERA in 26 appearances.

Elder, 10-5 with Somerset throughout his career, pitched himself out of the Atlantic League twice. Once with the New York Yankees in 2004 and then with the Kansas City Royals in 2006. He’s widely considered one of the Patriots’ top relief pitchers of all-time.

Somerset is leading the Freedom Division in the second half with a 4-2 record. The Patriots return from the All-Star break with a series against Bridgeport beginning Friday. – Scott Stanchak

AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com Mid-Season Awards: This is pretty self-explanatory. If I were in charge of giving out the Atlantic League’s various awards, here’s who’d be getting them at the halfway point of the season All-Star Break.

MVP: Brandon Larson, Somerset Patriots

I thought about giving this to Carl Everett or Ray Navarrete, but the fact of the matter is that the Patriots won the first half and the Ducks didn’t.

The former Reds third sacker is fifth in the league (among active players) in hitting with a .338 average, tied for first in home runs with 17 and fourth in RBI with 59.

A frequent subject of rumors regarding players leaving for Mexico, as is Everett, Somerset likely wouldn’t be where they are now without Larson’s bat.

Pitcher of the Year: Nobody.

Seriously. Overall, the pitching is pretty far behind the hitting at this point in the season. Affiliated baseball has pounced the best pitchers in the league, and while there are many candidates to win the trophy, it is absolutely up for grabs in the second half.

Manager of the Year: Joe Ferguson, Camden Riversharks and Sparky Lyle, Somerset Patriots.

It’s got to go to the guys with the best record in the first half, right? Wouldn’t it be interesting — considering everything that went down last year — if these two clubs met in the championship series?

Executive of the Year: David Keller, Camden Riversharks.

Keller got absolutely ripped to shreds for getting rid of some fan favorites and essentially blowing up last year’s very successful Camden ballclub.

With only a handful of players returning, it seemed like an uphill battle for the Riversharks to earn a playoff spot this season.

Not only have they done that — by winning the first half, no less — they’ve emerged as the best team in the Atlantic League.

And for all the crap that he got for dismantling last year’s club, Keller deserves just as much credit for the team’s success in 2008.

Radmanovich, AL Alums Named To Canadian Olympic Roster: Current Somerset Patriots OF Ryan Radmanovich has been officially selected to play for Team Canada in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Also named to the team was former Patriots P Mike Johnson and ex-Bears P R.J. Swindle.

Bender To Call All-Star Game: Brian Bender, long-time play-by-play announcer and voice of the Somerset Patriots, will be in the booth for the 2008 Atlantic League All-Star Game.

This marks the second midsummer classic that Bender will have been a part of, as he also called the 2001 Atlantic League All-Star Game in Newark while serving as the Bears radio man.

Is he excited?

“Absolutely, All-Star Games are always fun,” Bender said. “I’m really looking forward to this.”

The University of Miami grad will be joined on the field by current Somerset C Travis Anderson to provide commentary for the fans during the pre-game Home Run Derby as well. – MA


1. Anonymous - July 15, 2008

I agree with most of the things that Tom posted in yesterday’s comments. In the case of Lancaster, when the team starts out with talent and then they are replaced by less talented players when the original players are taken back to the big leagues is a factor of how much the team pays their players. The $3000/month high limit per player is a not what most players are getting. This is why you see less talented players as replacements and why talented players go to the Mexican or Italian leagues, for more money. If the owners would pay higher salaries then the league would attract better players and keep the good ones that they have.

-Disgruntled Lancaster fan

2. Anonymous - July 15, 2008

I disagree with Brandon Larson as your choice for MVP. Just because Somerset won the first half, that should not be why you chose Larson over Navarrete. Navarrete has better numbers than Larson in BA, Runs, Hits, Doubles, RBI’s and OBP while being one behind Larson in Triples and Homeruns.

3. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - July 15, 2008

I took no joy in picking Larson, trust me.

But I’m not going to vote for someone as MVP if his team didn’t make the playoffs.

If you hit .450 with 45 home runs and 170 RBI in this league, but your team finishes 55-85, how valuable of a performance was it?

In an eight team league, great performances on bad teams mean nothing to me…

The Ducks are a good team and will probably win the second half…but they haven’t done anything yet. Navs is a great player, perhaps the best overall player in this league…but Long Island didn’t win the first half.

4. Anonymous - July 15, 2008

What exactly is it that is holding back some affiliated club from giving Ray another chance? Is it his age or the fact that he can play many different positions without really excelling at one. He seems to be fairly comfortable at 2B lately.

5. Anonymous - July 15, 2008

A lot of these guys, especially ex-affiliated players, probably don’t play here for money. They play for the exposure or just for something to do. I don’t believe salary is really a problem in Lancaster. I believe the problem is that the past 18 months haven’t driven ticket sales into a tailspin so why not let Lancaster drift in neutral, spending just enough to keep it alive, and put the money elsewhere, such as S. Maryland, Camden, Newark, etc? Frank Klebe was so incompetent that the management issue HAD so they spent some money and got Von Hayes and his excellent track record. He brought some good players with him, Matt Lecroy is still there and starting to play very well, but the “AL players” are mediocre at best and some of them flat out suck. Hileman, Turner and Francia, for example, have their strengths but overall, they’re not the least bit impressive. When will it change for Lancaster? I’d like to say next year but I said that after last yea’s debacle and here we are again, with an almost identical track record. So now I figure it’ll change when Lancaster is on par with Atlantic City’s last year in the AL. When they open the gates and 1500 show up, maybe Lancaster will get the players they need to again become competitive.

6. John - July 16, 2008

If Dave Keller is really the exec. of the year, let’s see how the sharks hold together in the second half. It doesn’t take a great baseball mind to load up on ex-majorleaguers knowing you’ll be selling their contracts in a month or two. Camden is terrible right now and it doesn’t look to improve anytime soon. The problem with Keller wasn’t his signings in the off season, but the burning of bridges between himself and some of those fan favorites and also the fans. As for a Somerset – Camden final, it will never happen. Camden will go out in two straight in the first round with those excellent second tier players Keller signed to step up when all the major leaguers went back to affiliated ball. I feel sorry for L.J and Randy McGarvey – they’re class acts that deserve better, but they’ll probably be pushed aside for next years “NEW DIRECTION”

7. Anonymous - July 16, 2008

In referring to the distrungtled Lancaster fan he/she is abosolutely right. The overseas leagues are starting to attract more and more quality players with their increased incentives. Here is where a bit of economics comes into play. With incentives such as addtional flights for homesickness or family to travel, free rent, car, per diems to travel in August when most of Europe is on vacation, and most importantly with the dollar devaluing to the EURO, clubs are offering players salaries in EUROS which equate to much higher salaries. An example for a bottom of the barrel team in the Netherlands they are offering American players 3500 Euros per month. For those that wonder that is about 5,533 in US dollars. A chance to travel and better pay…why not leave the US?

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