Independent Leagues Newsbeat
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Hopefully Laredo has some sidearmers. (And hopefully the Lemurs have guys named Joey.)
Twenty-eight years ago, Pete Incaviglia went straight from the campus of Oklahoma State University into the cleanup spot in the Rangers’ Opening Day lineup. He never spent a day in instructional league. Incaviglia never rode the buses. He never caught the 5:30 a.m. connecting flights to get from one Minor League city to another.
Now look at him. Incaviglia knows all about bus rides, and meal money that can barely cover the cost of coffee, much less meals.
Incaviglia is the manager of the Laredo (Texas) Lemurs in the independent American Association… And on Wednesday night, the Lemurs clinched an American Association playoff spot for the second time in three years, earning the Wild Card berth with five games remaining in the regular season…
Incaviglia was so intent on going directly to the big leagues that after Montreal made him the eighth overall Draft pick in 1985, he refused to sign without a guarantee. The Expos declined and then traded his rights to the Rangers, who signed him. That led to Major League Baseball adopting what is known as the “Incaviglia Rule,” which forbids a team from trading a Draft pick until one year after he signs his first pro contract…
Incaviglia played 12 years in the big leagues, the first five with the Rangers. He hit 206 home runs during his time with the Rangers, Tigers, Phillies, Astros, Orioles and Yankees… the Dallas-Fort Worth area native took a job as manager of the Grand Prairie Air Hogs in 2008, leading them to the American Association championship in ‘10. After that season, the Grand Prairie ownership bought the American Association franchise in Shreveport, La., and moved it to Laredo. Incaviglia decided to make the move with them.
The players in independent baseball don’t get rich. They all need offseason jobs so they can pay bills. However, they all have the dream to playing in the big leagues, and Incaviglia wants to help them achieve their dream… It’s something Incaviglia never even thought about when he came out of Oklahoma State.
It’s something that, nearly three decades later, consumes his life.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Ugh, I’d rather reminisce about “underrated OBP guy” than “nearly killed someone”, but, here we are.
You may remember when former major league infielder Jose Offerman attacked two players with a bat while he was a member of the independent Long Island Ducks back in 2007. One of the victims was catcher Johnathan Nathans of the Bridgeport Bluefish, who was hit on the side of his head by Offerman. Nathans sued and the result is in today:
The jury in the two-week-long bat-attack trial of Jose Offerman awarded the victim, former Bluefish catcher Johnathan Nathans $940,000 in damages.
... Nathans, whose career was ended by his injuries, had sought nearly $5 million in damages. He claims the attack has left him permanently disabled with vertigo, splitting headaches, nausea and other problems.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Searching for grit mostly just turns up dirt, but it can occasionally unearth a gem.
Chris Carminucci, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ coordinator of independent league scouting… is why the fourth-place Diamondbacks can claim one of the best stories in baseball this season: David Peralta, the effervescent 27-year-old rookie outfielder from Venezuela…
Peralta, who made his major-league debut June 1, is now the Diamondbacks’ everyday right fielder and No. 3 hitter… Peralta’s .793 OPS ranks among the top 30 major-league outfielders who have at least 250 plate appearances this year… Peralta’s pro baseball career began as a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals’ system. He was released in 2009 after two shoulder surgeries, having never made it out of rookie ball. But Peralta went home to Venezuela, transformed himself into a position player and returned to the U.S. in 2011… As the ‘12 season wore on, two of Carminucci’s contacts with a rival team in the American Association —Laredo Lemurs manager Pete Incaviglia and pitching coach Bill Bryk Jr.— reaffirmed his original assessment of Peralta: He’s a good ‘A’ ball player if you need one... “He was calling me every three or four days: ‘I was 2 for 3 with a double. I went 3 for 4,’ ” Carminucci remembered… Finally a roster spot opened at Class A Visalia, and the Diamondbacks purchased Peralta’s contract. He had his second chance at affiliated ball—and responded with a .346 batting average in 51 games…
Added to the roster for a spring game because the Diamondbacks needed an extra outfielder, Peralta grounded a single up the middle and hustled to second on a momentary bobble by the center fielder… That one play in spring training stood out in our GM’s eyes, and it stuck with him all year.” [said Carminucci]...
In contrast to massive amateur scouting departments that cost upwards of $4 million per year— before signing bonuses— only a handful of major-league organizations employ a full-time independent league scout like Carminucci.
Perhaps more of them should.
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Pete Rose is back in professional baseball—for one game anyway. Rose, who still is serving a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball, will return to the dugout to manage the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish for one day. The Bluefish, who play in the Atlantic League, announced Saturday that Rose will serve as their manager on June 16 against the Lancaster Barnstormers.
the line just changed
Bluefish general manager Ken Shepard referred to Rose’s one-game managerial return as “one of the biggest and [most] influential announcements in not only franchise history, but in professional baseball in the last 25 years.”
Suzyn Waldman’s bastard son out of Steve Garvey?
for his generous support.
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