July 17, 2008 July 17, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
A.L. All-Star Game A Hit: I was one of over 8,000 to catch Wednesdsay’s All-Star Game at Commerce Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots. Here are some of my observations:
– League CEO Frank Boulton said the league will go from a three-game to a five-game first round playoff series beginning in 2009.
– Mark your calendars, next year’s All-Star game has been awarded to the Newark Bears and they will host it on or about June 23. That A.S. game also features a new tie-breaker rule, where each side competes in a home run derby contest after nine innings to determine a winner. Managers pick the hitters, hitters choose the pitcher.
– Rosters for all eight teams will expand from 25 players to 27 players beginning next season. At the end of May, the teams must go back down to 25, and those leftover players will be put into a draft. Teams with the worst record select first. Good move, but I don’t see why a team who has to release their own two worst players will take someone else’s’.
– The league expects to break its season attendance record this season. Not a shock considering the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have a home stadium, replacing the traveling Road Warriors.
– Somerset did an outstanding job — outstanding job — with this year’s festivities. Everything ran smoothly, there was no confusion and they packed the place. It was a stadium record (you mean Jessica Simpson didn’t draw 8,290?) and A.S. Game record. From a well-run autograph session to fireworks after the national anthem, they didn’t miss a beat.
– Jim Frey and Don Zimmer were both in attendance. The former big league skippers served as honorary managers and watched the game from Patriots owner Steve Kalafer‘s box. I spoke with them for a bit, and both were really great guys. Frey said Josh Hamilton‘s home run display during Monday’s MLB Home Run Derby was perhaps the coolest thing he’s ever seen during the A.S. Game. Zimmer, who also was in awe of Hamilton’s homers, said he’ll miss the old Yankee Stadium. As for the rumor that Barry Bonds could join the Tampa Bay Devils, where Zimmer’s a Senior Advisor, he said he has no opinion on that. I’ll take that as a no.
– A different Josh took charge in the Atlantic League Home Run Derby. Let’s face it: We aren’t going to see the mass quantity of bombs we saw Monday night, but there were several that got launched out of CBB. Josh Pressley was by far the top homer hitter of the night, launching several off the Patriots’ new video board. His seven home runs in the first round, three more than Bridgeport’s Jesse Hoorelbeke, were enough to give him a victory in the finals.
– Donald Trump made his second ever appearance a CBB. I was lucky enough to catch the first one a few years back. As soon as “The Donald” walked onto the field, players and coaches surrounded him, trying to get photos and autographs. Trump, who said he watched the MLB A.S. Game with George Steinbrenner — talk about a name drop — was excited to be there. He enjoyed the attention and, yes, was with his beautiful wife, Melania.
– There were in fact a good amount of scouts in the stands Wednesday night. Only two, by my count, had radar guns.
– I was looking over the stats of some of the players in the game. Without naming names, I don’t know why some actually got selected. The league needs to do a better job of picking only the best.
– The Newark Bears are poised for big things in the second half. MVP Ramon Castro’s two home runs and Jose Herrera’s two RBIs were huge for the Freedom Division. I’d be shocked if neither are picked up in the next couple of weeks.
Give me your thoughts on the All-Star Game. Also, if any of you took pictures of on the field before the game that might have caught Ashmore or myself with Trump or anyone else, let me know. I’d love to get a hold of them. – Scott Stanchak
Poll Results: Will you be going to the 2008 A.L. All-Star Game?
Yes – 40 (45%)
No – 44 (50%)
Maybe – 3 (3%)
Total Votes: 87