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September 15, 2008 September 15, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

More Players To A.L.: You know, I really don’t get it. I’ve never seen so many trades in the Atlantic League before. The thing about these deals is: They’re not bringing in the quality players the league is known to have; instead, these players are lowering the playing level.

Today the Somerset Patriots got LHP Joel Kirsten from the Fort Worth Cats of the American Association. He has only Single-A experience with the Texas Rangers organization. Not exactly the Triple-A quality we’ve gotten to know over the years.

Then there is the Bridgeport Bluefish, who got LHP Mike Joyce and RHP Jarrett Stawarz from the Nashua Pride (Both teams gave up PTBNL). Joyce only has Single-A (New York Yankees) experience. Stawarz, on the other hand, only indy ball time.

These players are being brought in for any number of reasons (1) They’re cheaper or 2) They can’t find anyone else)

Not to take anything away from these players. They could be great heading into the playoffs, but these are not the ex-major leaguers or Triple-A guys we’ve gotten used to over the past decade. – SS

Poll Results: Do you think Long Island or York will hang on to win their halves?

41 (37%)
17 (15%)
Just York
26 (24%)
Just Long Island
24 (22%)

Total Votes: 108



1. Newark - September 16, 2008

Reason for these pick ups —
quite simply put— pitching has been PATHETIC this year!!!

Anyone fresh is worth a try for last 8-9 games.

League is usually AA – AAA field players with issues vs A – AA pitching.

This year pitching is below A ball
level. Beware….NO LEAD IS SAFE!!!

2. Betty Rand - September 16, 2008

You would have to say there is a lower caliber of player in the AL this season. Even in Somerset which was always the elite team of the league they have carried a stock of players with minimal experience. We talk about it in the stands all the time. It’s like they have gone cheap. Somerset stands out because they never did it this way before. I think its money more than anything else. There are good players out there they just don’t want to pay them or they won’t pay even a reasonable wage to secure better pitching or hitting. Its a shame the overall quality is down and it makes it less entertaining. This was the first year that I thought the competitiveness and talent in the Can-Am league was as good and sometimes better than the Atlantic League. Some of the Patriots pitching has just been terrible. I think owners just want to make more and pay less believing the fans will stay either way. Why make trades that lower the talent pool. You can’t tell me that the guys we just released were no better than what we just brought in. Boring!!!!!!!

3. Betty Rand - September 16, 2008

I agree with Newark–just look at the Patriots second half. Their bullpen is garbage. They blow leads, throw long homers and just stink up the joint. And until recently they carried infilders that couldn’t hit their weight.Look at the number errors that the Patriots have made all sesason long. There are no fundamentals here. It really lowers the fans expectations. And as I said before it is just plain boring. Pay the players a liveable wage and lets get back to real baseball not this beer league junk.

4. Newark - September 16, 2008

I am not sure that there is an answer for pitching woes. Once games get to bullpen this year beer league level describes them well. This problem is not restricted to Bears. Inferior pitching gets hit hard in the Atlantic League. Weaker Indy leagues have just as poor pitching but less good hitters to exploit it so obviously.

I know stadium radar guns are inaccurate but velocity at times this year has been downright embarrasing. Good pitchers are in affiliated ball or only here short time after injury problems etc…
No lead is safe can be fun but too many times leads to long low quality games. I may return to watching AA options in area.

Unfortunately, AA-AAA level older released pitchers don’t want to play for $500 a week long-term. They may come for one last shot but won’t hang around for more than one season.

5. Alex Maroni - September 16, 2008

Have to agree with all of the assessments of the trades and the talent. This has been a strange year in the atlantic league and I hope it is not the beginning of a new direction. All year in Somerset I watched as good players were mixed with guys who had little if any affiliated experience. Low batting averages and the ERA’s are embarrassing. You can’t tell me there are not guys out there-there are. Its all about money and not paying salaries that can bring the talent. I also think that it has affected where the fans go. I sat in Somerset last night-a fine pitching job by Brian Adams–but it was ghost town. SomethingI have seen alot more this year. Been to about 20 games and what used to be empty seats here or there is now large sections. Have to believe the quality of play and talent is a factor. All the bad concession food, gas prices and weather are not going to keep real baseball lovers away. The owners aren’t losing money but the players are making less and the quality of pitching and play is down. You figure it out. If people can pay the same for affiliated ball at AA or better why go to indy ball where the play is down. Some of the guys who were released recently should never have been on the team to begin with. But to release them now seems potentially damaging. Very strange year. I hope for the league and Somerset’s sake its a fluke. It can be pretty boring at times.

6. Alex Maroni - September 16, 2008

Just a followup thought. I see where the Atlantic League site talks about record crowds. I would love to see the mathematics used. Seriously we have been talking about it amongst ourselves all year. Empty seats in Somerset. It’s never been like this. Beautiful park, nice people. You tell me why. baseball lovers will always find a good game–they will also avoid a bad one.

7. Sportswriter - September 16, 2008

Just my opinion but I think the economy is a major factor here. There just isn’t as much disposable income with prices of gas, food, etc. soaring. As far as the level of play, people got spoiled in the past with so many former major leaguers in the Atlantic League. This year, the league opted for more players who hadn’t reached the majors. While the Ducks had a few major leaguers, when the season started you were waiting for a big announcement and they had more local players than majors. They did get their share of major leaguers but not like the past. Pitching all around (look at the Mets and Yankees) is horrible so of course it will get worse as you get to lower leagues and independent leagues where the pickings are slim.

8. jake bell - September 16, 2008

I think that there are a number of good points here but I alkso believe that there is a different atmosphere in the league and Somerset this year. Because of Somerset’s glorious past it is probably more noteable. But clearly the type of player, particularly opitchers has changed. When in the past would the patriots have carried infielders with averages below 200 as regular players. The answer is never, and the reason they did is money. There were times this season I sat in Commerce Bank Park and I thought they were listing a players weight on the scoreboard. And the pitchers eras, and the number of errors. It’s all about money. Last year we read in the newspaper the grievances of players who said they could not live on the wages paid in this league. Even some of their wives were quoted and there seemed to be a general consensus that if the quality of play were to be maintainbed that salaries and other conditions for players had to improve. Talk to the players at Somerset and they will tell you that the salaries haven’t gone up–they have actually gone down. Sure they can afford to release guys this late in the season because at best there are a few days left and even a few players–if there are any–who demand more, will still not cost that much.
Management has cdlearly made the choice to go cheap. Yes I agree we have been spoiled by some of the former major leaguers, but if you look back at the Patriots past their best were not necessarily major leaguers. They were professional ballplayers who demanded a reasonable wage. It may very well be thast Somerset and other cities are sufferring the ills that come with not paying a liveable salary. That was always a concern. Maybe thats why there are empty seats or people are going toward affiliated ball.

9. Scott Stanchak - September 16, 2008

Everyone is making really good points.

10. Scott Stanchak - September 16, 2008

The Sussex Skyhawks traded RHP Matt Petrusek to Newark (Atlantic) for a player to be named today.

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