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August 19, 2008 August 18, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Cliff Hawks Still A Possibility: The Bergen Cliff Hawks could still come to the Atlantic League. Read more in this article. – Scott Stanchak

Autograph Issue More Widespread?: In receiving e-mails from fans of various teams, it seems that players being unwilling to sign autographs for fans during pre-game Sunday sessions is significantly more widespread than happening in just Long Island.

And while apparently the Ducks refusing to sign autographs as a team had more to do with being upset about not finishing a game until well after midnight, they’re still apparently one of the biggest offenders, as fans report that some of the highest profile players on the team refuse to come out on a weekly basis.

But fans have written in about players from the Somerset Patriots and Camden Riversharks being unwilling to sign during these sessions, and some players and coaches even having rude remarks to fans who ask them for an autograph.

One Patriots fan, who was hoping to attend the rained out game from Somerset that had been rescheduled to be played in Long Island, wrote in to say that the Ducks were asking which team this particular fan was supporting before agreeing to sell the fan tickets for the game, and told the fan that if he wanted to support the Patriots, he should go to Somerset.

It seems like there’s just a general disdain for the fans in this league, whether it be from players or even some front offices.

What’s interesting about that, is that there seems to be a league-wide sensitivity to negative comments by reporters in this league as well. You’d have to think they’d know somebody would eventually be writing something about this.

The league would be well-served to issue an updated player code of conduct policy for the 2009 season, requiring mandatory participation in autograph sessions, and perhaps other clauses that would make things more fan-friendly. – MA



1. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Thanks to Mike & this community for bringing light t this issue. I am a baseball fan first & autograph fan second. But, I defintely go to more AL games for the opportuinities to get some minor league cards & yearbooks signed.

I had a few experiences with NJ teams where players did not come out on Sundays. I asked the staffs & gotten answers akin to "be lucky they are even signing today" & BS like, "(blank) hardly ever comes out".

This past season, I had some great experiences with former MLBers, Shea Hillendbrand, Dave Veres, & Jose Lima (who told us, "Thank you & God Bless"). For the record, I am always respectful of the players & children & have never sold an autograph on Ebay.

Just my two cents….


2. ribby14 - August 19, 2008

I have to say I am really surprised with the events of the last week…I used to go to games in Nashua and would have no problem getting most players to sign stacks of cards at a time…I think most players in the AL realize that they are in a position to try and resurrect their career and may even be a little humbled to be playing in a non-affiliated league after being a major leaguer year after year for an extended period of time…

3. ribby14 - August 19, 2008

and the whole “end up on ebay” stuff is completely ridiculous…if anyone out there thinks there some hidden magical market for autographed cards of Jose Offerman or Carl Everett they are sadly mistaken…in fact, it probably costs the average autograph collector more in gas, tolls, food etc to actually go to the game than he would ever recoup by selling or posting what he got signed on ebay…i’ve heard that excuse for years and it is really ridiculous…

4. Robert - August 19, 2008

Being a fan of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, the Atlantic League is certainly new to us Blue Crab fans. So, sometimes, it’s hard to know what to expect when watching indy ball. And it is certainly hard to predict how the team/players will respond to things.

For all the Atlantic League does to entertain fans, and create a “family friendly” atmosphere, I believe there are two competing goals here, that cannot coexist. Having independent baseball that is fan friendly, and running a business.

First, and foremost, it’s a business. Not everything the teams or the league do will be good for fans. Exhibit #1 is the anti-fan handling of several events that have occurred this season, both here in SOMD, and elsewhere (ie the handling of the Park and Rec field trip, that brought food to the stadium).

Exhibit #2 is the way the games themselves are run. No doubt, it’s different from one team to the next. But, when a team has agreed to allow a certain group to sing/perform, advertises it, sells tickets to those fans for said performance, and then that group is told at the last minute they will not be allowed to perform because it was overbooked… well, that’s a bunch of horses**t. (The GM in question said, “This is a professional organization…” Interesting, since they overbooked!)

I’m sure there are others.

At times, I feel that the general game experience is exactly what I was expecting/hoping from. I enjoy the games, and find the game to be competitive.

But at others, I am reminded that those big name baseball players (who don’t run for fly balls, or slide into 2nd) and those big headed ex-major league execs are only interested in making a buck, and returning to the bigs. The Atlantic League is only a stepping stone back to the bigs, and it’s fans are only there to pay their the gate. Nothing more, nothing less.

BTW, Curtis Pride waits after every game I have seen to sign autographs. The man is class.

5. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Lancaster is one of the only teams not to have the “autograph Sundays”. That being said, Matt Lecroy is always out early to sign for the fans and often after games as well…not just Sundays. Von Hayes doesn’t have Matt’s personality, but always signs before every game.

6. ribby14 - August 19, 2008

I think there is also a clear difference in whether a player wants to sign before a game on his own volition or whether he is “forced” to in an organized autograph session…Not to speak for pro ball players because I am not one, but I assume alot of the ex-major leaguers don’t really like the autograph sessions because they are so used to their pre-game routines (stretching, etc)…I would always show up to the stadium WAY before game time to get the players I wanted to sign so I wouldn’t be handing them a bunch of things to sign 5 minutes before game time…On the other hand, I really don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask guys playing in the AL to sit at a table and sign a bunch of things for kids once a week…

7. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

What is RIDICULOUS to ask a manager or player to autograph NUMEROUS items each autograph Sunday. I too would get annoyed if I was asked to sign a dozen or so pictures. Enough is enough. Or my favorite, waiting for the guys outside the ballpark after the games to sign things again–give it a rest.
As in most things in life, it takes one bad apple to ruin it for the bunch.
Also, just go onto Ebay and put in certain coaches and players names—and wow look at that their stuff IS up for sale.
Maybe those who are whining about the coach or player not wanting to sign should not go back or root for another team! Please……..

8. chip saunders - August 19, 2008

I agree with the last post about some people wanting numerous item’s signed. I saw one lady pull out about 30 item’s for Ray Naverette to sign,even though there was a decent sized line behind her. In fact,Naverette seemed a little surprised that this women wanted so many thing’s signed. But,she was totally clueless to what was going on around her,even the snide remarks we where all making to her.That was totally ridiculous.

9. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Re:"Also, just go onto Ebay and put in certain coaches and players names—and wow look at that their stuff IS up for sale."

I don't anybody here will disagree with that, but did you take a look how many people are actually bidding on these items? I just checked EBAY & You could get a certified Fleer Sparky Lyle Autographed card for a $1.00. Why bother with somebody who got Sparky's auto at the ballpark one Sunday.

Sometimes I wonder what is more ridiculous; a autograph collector putting a signed card on EBAY for $1.50 after spending the time to scan & upload the item or some players inflated value of their own autograph.


10. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Be careful….you dont want to offend any of the cry babies complaing about managers or players not signing their 5-10 items the other day………lets please move onto real baseball news.

11. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

I agree with the last comment, let’s move on to real baseball news. It’s nice to get an autograph of your favorite players as a memento every now and again, but I for one look at as a privilege to get one not a demand on the players; and to go on and on whining about it, is just childish quite frankly. But I will tell you about one recent experience I had was during the all star game, when I brought a guest onto the field not during a signing just to meet Sparky Lyle, and he couldn’t have been more pleasant; we shared nice dialogue, he posed for a few pictures. We didn’t ask him for an autograph, because we already have it, and he knew that but I’m sure he still would have signed regardless, but over all it was a pleasant experience with him, so maybe those particular people who are having issues with Sparky should re-examine the situation and discover it’s not Sparky it’s them and their approach. “You get more flies with Honey” I always say.

12. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

agreed! let’s talk real baseball news!

13. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

The Ducks are absolutely rolling right now

14. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Unfortunately, this is Atlantic League baseball news because ALL the owners, GM’s and league hierarchy have billed this league as “family entertainment filled with fan friendly players” and to see that this now goes on with every team is something that this league needs to address. I think Mike and Scott should pursue this further and get comments from Joe Klein, Frank Boulton and the GM’s from the clubs on what they plan to do about it. To think that they are unaware of this is ridiculous. I know that the GM and manager from the Ducks have been aware of this situation for the entire season and yet, nothing has been done to change it. I also know that they read this site on a regular basis and are aware of what has been going back and forth between us for the past few days and it will be interesting to see what happens the next time the Ducks have a Sunday home game. That game is September 14th and it will be the last regular season home game of the year and it is also billed as their “fan appreciation day”.

15. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

I think there is room (and cause) to talk about both topics here. If the discussion of the players actions is just limited to three days on here then it will be swept under the rug by the owners and GM’s. However,if the fans keep on this subject and express their feelings to their teams owners and GM’s, maybe something will be done by them to rectify the situation.

Now on to game discussions:

The Ducks are getting hot just at the right moment. They have a six game winning streak and they have hit at least one home run in each of their last 23 games.

Their starting pitching has started to turn things around. Alvarez is 6-1, Paniaqua is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA and Leek is 9-2.
Also, 5 out of 9 batters in their line-up are hitting .300+.

16. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Does anyone know what happened to the Ducks’ Todd Williams? He hasn’t appeared in any of the Ducks’ games in the past several days. Is he still on the team?

17. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

the best thing to do regarding “the” incident is what’s done is done, learn from it and move on.I’m sure there will be no further problems.

18. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Being a Barnstormers fan since the Inception of the team(2005)I never had a bad experince with any of are players regarding autographs etc. Just the other night are DH Matt Lecroy stood 10 minutes after the game signing autographs.
And trust me all fans are welcome at the Clipp no matter who you cheer for.You may get heckled (Mainly Revolution fans)But It’s all in the spirit of baseball.

19. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Southern MD vs. LI next week could decide the Freedom 2nd half champ. Big series. Ducks are hottest team in the league right now.

20. chip saunders - August 19, 2008

Now that the Duck’s are finally rolling,how long until we see the yearly signing of Bill Pulshipher?

21. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Do you honestly think the owners and GM’s are going to do anything about this? Unless it’s in their contract that they must come out and sign on designated days, they have no power over them except for letting them go and then they just hurt their team and bottom line. One person posted that the Ducks GM and manager were aware of it since the beginning of the year. You know that if the GM and manager is aware of it, then Frank Boulton is aware of it and even HE couldn’t make them come out and sign.

The Bears Jim Cerny has posted here before, what does he have to say on the matter?

22. Anonymous - August 19, 2008

Fan friendly because that is how they make their money and a lot of it at that since the players dont make jack !@@#$!!!!

23. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

When you overload an independent league team with former major leaguers, you are going to get major league attitude…both the good and the bad.

Given his past problems, does it really surprise anyone that someone like Carl Everet doesn’t want to sit in the sun and sign autographs?

24. chip saunders - August 20, 2008

Say what you want about Everett,but from what I have seen as just a fan,he has been nothing but a true pro. He has alway’s been good with the kid’s who stand next to him during the anthem,and he seems like he has been a good team guy in his 2 years on Long Island.

25. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

You can’t rip Carl Everett if you weren’t at Sunday’s game. He was entertaining the fans by leading the “trash-can cover” chants of Let’s Go Ducks from the top of the dugout. He did have past problems but that is the problem with people who talk without knowledge, they don’t know that he has been a model citizen and tutor of younger players with the Ducks. He knows this is probably the end of the road for him and he is accepting that and playing mentor and seems to be having fun.

26. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

I’m sure that any kids who missed out on getting autographs from the Ducks last Sunday had their disappointment soothed by seeing a player leading chants from the top of the dugout.

27. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

wow.that was dramatic.

28. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

wow all you people really need to get a life. If this autograph thing really is troubling everybody how about a boycott against going to any of the games. Stay home save your money for more important things than spending it on baseball. If the players don’t care why should the fans. Take your son to the beach or to the park play catch with him why take him to the ballpark if all everyone is going to do is complain. Send a message to the ball teams cancel your season tickets stop going to the games and when the attendance goes down the front office will be scratching their heading wondering what went wrong. There a whole world out there other than baseball and I’d rather put food on my plate than spend it at the ballpark.

29. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

I don’t understand why Everett does not come out for the autograph session. He really is a nice guy and since he is the DH 99% of the time, he is always signing for kids and joking around with them from the tunnel next to the Ducks dugout during the game. He often hands a signed baseball to the usher for that section and tells him which kid in the stands that he wants to have the ball. While we were in Southern Maryland on our annual Ducks road trip, a bunch of us decided to have an impromptu beer and pizza party in the lobby of the hotel and Carl was the only player that sat and had pizza with us and stayed and talked with us. He signed a few autographs and he had no problem showing me his World Series ring that he won with Chicago. Would he be looked upon diferently if he came out on Sunday’s to sign autographs, yes. I’m sure he must have some reason why he doesn’t do it, but we don’t know that reason.


30. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

The Ducks now have won 7 in a row and have a 5 game lead over Southern Maryland. P.J. Rose is on a Doubles hitting tear. Manny Ulloa pitched a great game when he had to come in for Mandritch after only facing the first batter of the game. He pitched five scoreless innings. Maybe that is the key for Ulloa. Get him into a game without giving him advanced notice that way he doesn’t over think the situation.

31. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

Just an FYI it is in every players contract that they have to do public appearances and autograph team events. It is up to the GM’s to fine them for not attending. In Camden it used to be a $150 dollar fine for not attending an autograph corral. One of those fines will make you show up the next time especially since it is about 2 days pay. The problem may lie in the guys who can afford the fine.

32. Anonymous - August 20, 2008


33. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

How can you say enough already. Obviously this is a hot topic. When have you ever seen 32 posts on any subject on here. The nerve is struck. It is a message board and like you have said to others if you don’t like what is being said on this particular day don’t read it and don’t participate!

34. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

I agree.It is pointless to keep beating a dead horse.I’m sure all the teams have been made aware of what happened and it will be rectified.It is playoff push time and THAT should be the focus.

35. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

Can’t you multi-task and do both?

36. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

Speaking of player conduct…

Last night in Southern Maryland the York Revolution showed how classless their players are. Chris Hoiles is my favorite manager in the league, but his team is a bunch of jerks, plain and simple. After pouring soda on our mascot, Corey Thurman decided it would be a good idea to come out of the dugout and try to start a fight with a fan. After security intervened, he still kept it up, belittling our staff that was trying to simply get the story. This only adds to an episode earlier this season, when Jason Aspito had to be restrained from attacking fans who did nothing more than chant “0-for-4”. The chant started again this past series because, well, if a player is dumb enough to react you have to, and Mr. Aspito did the classy thing and stared down a bunch of fifteen year olds in threatening fashion. The players in the league need to act like professionals instead of a bunch of classless jerks.

37. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

how bout the fans act like human beings and not classless jerks. i understand that fans “think” they have the right to say whatever they want to the players just because the bought a ticket, which is BS. what do you think would happen if these teenage kids started yelling at their teachers in school that they sucked as teachers? im sure if the teacher said something back to the kid they wouldnt be looked at as classless jerks now would they.

38. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

When did “fans” start thinking they have a divine right to act like attention getting asses just because they pay $10 for a ticket.And part of me doesn’t blame players for not being to enthusiastic with mandated autograph signings because of how pushy and rude some of those seekers are.Not all.But alot of them.Many fans act like they are owed something by these players on top of performance.

39. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

I agree 100% with the last post. Autograph seekers are totally rude and I do not blame the coaches or players telling the fans enough is enough with certain autograph requests! It is as though certain season ticket holders feel the staff and coaches and player owe them something cause they bought tickets. Go to enjoy the game and all thats comes with it…….

40. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

Has anyone been able to pinpoint exactly what the source of contention was betwee Navarette and Rolls?

41. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

I’ve heard but not positive that Navarrete called Rolls a prima dona and Rolls took a swing at him in front of the dugout. During the top of the first, they continued to yell at each other, Rolls from third base and Navarrete from second. Leek called Lapoint out to the mound to put an end to it.
To defend the players, there was really no reason to go into a rain delay in the top of the ninth at 10:15 p.m. and come back two hours later to finish. That doesn’t respect the fans or the players. No game in the Atlantic League is important enough to be going on after midnight. That isn’t very fan or player friendly.

42. Anonymous - August 20, 2008

To illustrate a point about autographs, a few years ago I was at Pete Rose’s restaurant in Boca Raton, Fla. The place is baseball paradise with memorabilia all over, including the World Series trophy. And Rose was there almost all the time. He was gracious to his patrons, signing autographs upon request. I tried to be a little greedy and went across the street to a shop that sold baseball cards and purchased about five Rose cards to get signed. When I presented them to him, he said nicely that he will gladly sign five autographs for me but they have to be on something either purchased in his gift shop or on a card that he gives out to patrons. So he gave me five signed cards, about the size of a file card. My point is that a player will accomodate fans when the fans show the player respect. At these Sunday signings, fans get pushy, adults push kids out of the way and it becomes chaos. Forget the ebay thing, Atlantic League autographs will hardly ever become worth much so fans should respect the players and each other and get an autograph, take a picture and move along so that everyone has a chance. I respect the players for having the guts to take a stand like this and it obviously worked since that’s all that everyone on this site has talked about for days now.

43. Anonymous - August 21, 2008

“what do you think would happen if these teenage kids started yelling at their teachers in school that they sucked as teachers?”

If that teacher were being paid to play a kid’s game, I’m pretty sure I would expect them to grin and bear it too. Athletes have no right to be as pampered as they are, especially at this level. If there’s a heckler, the way to deal with them is not to turn and trash talk…you play the game, win the game, and smile at them after. Anybody who has even played high school sports knows that. I agree with you to the point that if these were high school kids being heckled, it’s unnecessary..but as soon as these guys call themselves “professional” baseball players, it adds another dimension. What if your boss told you you suck at your job, would you turn and start cussing him out? Doubt you would be employed very long…If there weren’t fans, there wouldn’t be players, it’s as simple as that. Sign some balls, wave your little hat, and get on with the game.

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