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Atlantic League realignment

The Somerset County Parks Commission is offering fans the chance to have their names engraved on personalized bricks at the entrance to TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Atlantic League's Somerset Patriots
The Somerset Patriots will be part of the Atlantic League’s Liberty Division in 2014 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The Atlantic League is looking to the future, and has re-arranged its two divisions for the 2014 season.

The Somerset Patriots and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs will switch places.

  • The Patriots will move from the Freedom Division to the Liberty Division, joining the Camden Riversharks, Bridgeport Bluefish and Long Island Ducks.
  • The Blue Crabs will move from the Liberty Division to the Freedom Division, joining the Lancaster Barnstormers, York Revolution and Sugarland Skeeters.

“This division alignment prepares the Atlantic League for the creation of the Western Division as teams are added in Texas, and other markets, over the next few years,” said Atlantic League President Peter Kirk in a statement. “It will also create a well-balanced travel schedule and continue to enhance fun, local rivalries amongst the four Liberty Division teams which are within close proximity of one another.”

Now if only somebody could come up with more memorable names for the Atlantic League’s current divisions…

8 thoughts on “Atlantic League realignment

  1. OK, even though it’s independent, the Atlantic League is the best minor league ball in the area.

    But, as each team plays each other 20 times–doesn’t matter whether it’s in the division or not, who cares about realignment? You could draw four teams out of a hat every year and place them in the same division.


    1. The way the Atlantic League schedule has been set up, the division structure only matters for determining playoff brackets. It does make more sense to have both New Jersey teams in the same division, but it’s not really a big deal.

      Where I found Peter Kirk’s statement interesting was when he talked about a future “West Division,” suggesting that the Atlantic League is hoping for further expansion away from its East Coast roots.


    1. Ron,

      My guess–and it’s only that–is that they’re cooked. There are three reasons for my opinion.

      The first, and this is one if you bet on past performance, is that AC went two years and out after dropping from the Atlantic League and Nashua went four and out (going from memory–I think it was four) after dropping from the same league. Newark is at three and, though the sample is very small, there is no team who switched leagues like that and was successful.

      The second is that, in the past three years in the Can Am, they’ve averaged 900-something, then 600-something then 450 last season. They don’t know how to market and the proof is at the turnstile.

      The third is that they (I’ll Danielle and her doctor boyfriend “they”) canceled “Stadium of Screams,” claiming they wanted to concentrate on the upcoming season. Now, if Screams has been successful in the past, a Halloween event nearly two months after the season is over and more than six months before the start of the next season should have no bearing on concentrating on next season. In other words, one event has nothing to do with the other. Which means Screams was likely a dud and they don’t have much in the way of money, so any they do have has to be put into the baseball operation–the one they have no idea of how to market.

      I’m surprised they answered the bell for LAST season. I’d be really surprised if they do so this upcoming one.


    1. Ron,

      “Since 1999” is from the beginning. It hasn’t been all bad.

      I worked for them in 2005 & 2009. Did more in 2009 (official scorer, some PA, broadcast the games for the final six weeks of the season after Spencer Ross was unceremoniously dumped). We had a really good crew in the press box and dealing with some of the ex-major leaguers was a lot of fun. Tom Cetnar, who was the nominal owner (my guess is that he put up little, if any money and suckered people into investing with him) turned out to be pure turd, but I had almost no dealings with him.

      When the team was in the Atlantic League, it was good ball and worth the price of admission. For the life of me, I have no idea why Cetnar (and I’m almost certain he did it unilaterally or did his usual snow job on his newest partners–Danielle and the doctor) dropped the team to the Can Am. Did he think there would be a rivalry between the Bears and Jackals? If he thought that, he was either a man who didn’t understand his product or he wanted to put the screws to Danielle and the doc for whatever reason was floating around his evil mind.

      The beginning of the sad story began around 2006 when Cetnar arrived. The drawn out ending began in 2011 with the drop to the Can-Am. But there were some good years in there when going to see a ballgame in Newark was worth the trip.


      1. Agreed markruck. Similar to yourself I consider myself a Newark Bears fan. They did put together a number of very good years and were a fun team to watch. It’s a shame how things have worked out.

        I forget the blog site but someone did put together a history of the Newark Bears from 1999. They blamed Rick Cerone for being under capitalized. This got the Bears started off on the wrong foot. There was also the owner of the Patriots who took over ownership of the Bears for a while. He later wanted to fold the Bears and move them to the meadowlands. The move never materialized.

        I also didn’t like the way they treated Jimmy Hurst. your thoughts?


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