August 21, 2008 August 21, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Catching Up With Jeff Nettles: As the Bowie Baysox recently came into Trenton, I had an opportunity to sit down with former Somerset Patriots 3B Jeff Nettles for a few minutes.
Here’s how our conversation went…
AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com: You’re back where you belong in affiliated ball for your first full season there since 2002. What’s the experience been like?
Jeff Nettles: “It’s been good. Getting released out of spring training by the Royals, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. I was actually on my way back to Somerset. But to have these guys call up and to come down here and get an opportunity like this, it’s all I could ask for. I’m with a good club, and a good group of guys with a good clubhouse, and we’re winning a lot.”
ALB: You spent four and a half years in Somerset, then the Royals released you…after playing for s long without being able to get back with one team in affiliated ball, were you a little surprised that there was another team that signed you following your release?
Nettles: “I was fortunate to get picked up by the Royals midway through last year. They stuck by their word, I played every day. I knew I was going in there to fill in because someone got hurt, and all I could do is try to open up some eyes in the short time that I was there. I went to spring training, they invited me back, and I had a good spring. But the business of the game was that the guy I went in for last year was healthy, and they were going to stick with him. That’s how the game and the business works, and here I am.”
ALB: It seems like you’ve been putting together a really nice season for Bowie. Are you exceeding your own expectations for this season?
Nettles: “There’s not too much difference as far as the Atlantic League and here. The only difference here, is the pitching is a little better. Not experience wise, but guys are throwing a little harder. Double-A is where all the prospects are at, and if you’ve got all these kids up here that are throwing 94-95 and have got some movement, to put yourself up against that kind of competition, it’s good.”
ALB: Are you surprised that you’re still in Double-A considering the numbers you have put up?
Nettles: “No, not really. They told me they had a job here for me, that they had an open spot in Double-A for a corner guy. I’m just taking advantage of what I can. I’m not worried about whether I should be somewhere else or not, I’m here now and I’m thankful for this opportunity.”
ALB: Is it a situation similar to the way a lot of players view things in the Atlantic League, where over there you’re playing for 30 teams…do you kind of feel like you’re playing for the other 29 teams over here?
Nettles: “Yeah, definitely. I’m playing for the Bowie Baysox, but yeah there’s scouts at all the games and there’s other managers and hitting coaches, and they write reports at the end of the year. They write reports on all the teams and the players, and hopefully I can open up some eyes that way too. Maybe if something doesn’t happen with these guys next year, I can land with somebody else.”
ALB: You stopped in Somerset for a game before coming to Trenton for this series…is it still a little weird to go back there considered you played there for so long?
Nettles: “Definitely. The last time I went back was at the end of my season last year, and that wasn’t as weird as this year. Last year, I was at least with them for the first half of the season. So to go back and see those guys was fun. But this was definitely different. From what I hear, they’ve got a good, solid team, and a good clubhouse just like they’re known for. But I went in there, and I probably knew five guys in that clubhouse, which is kind of different. That was the really weird thing. I was talking to Sparky for about a half hour, and he said, ‘All right, well go on out there and see some of the guys,’ and I said, ‘Sparky, I don’t really know too many of the guys.’ I went and talked to Pressley and Ryno and just hung out, yeah.”
Playoff Information: Courier News beat writer Ryan Dunleavy, who’s been doing a great job all season covering the Patriots, has the scoop on the 2008 Atlantic League Playoffs posted on his blog.
If you want to know who has home field advantage this year, and what could happen under various postseason scenarios, that’s the place to go.
A Message From Scott: Great discussion the past few days about the autograph issue. Sorry there hasn’t been news posted in a few days — not too much going on outside of normal games. Playoffs are around the corner though. Give me your thoughts on who will face off and win it all.
Poll Results: Do you still follow the playoffs if your team isn’t involved?
Yes: 43 (62%)
No: 14 (20%)
Depends Who’s Playing: 12 (17%)
Total Votes: 69