Posted in Baseball, Baseball Cards, Newark Bears, Uncategorized

Quick links

Starting off with a sad story: Former major league outfielder Danny Clyburn Jr. was shot and killed early yesterday morning following an argument. Clyburn appeared in a total of 13 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 1997 and 1998, and 28 games for the 1999 Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was a Newark Bear from 2002 through 2004.

All’s quiet on the Mets front – Joel Sherman says the team has more or less stopped looking for a left-handed bench bat, and will see who might be available later when teams begin to make their spring training cuts.

Over at Mets By The Numbers, Jon Springer has the rundown on which players have switched numbers, and what numbers the team’s new acquisitions have been assigned. As has been the case for years, #24 and #8 have not been issued to anyone. Considering issues of age and health, it’s well past time for the organization to make a decision on whether those numbers should be retired for Willie Mays and Gary Carter. The unofficial retirement limbo just looks sillier and sillier every spring.

The New York Yankees have signed utility man Bill Hall to a minor league contract, and he can opt out if he doesn’t make the major league team. Every time I hear the name Bill Hall, I think of Billy Hall, who once stole 104 bases in a season for the Somerset Patriots and for a time held the Atlantic League’s consecutive game hitting streak record.

Finally, the Greatest 21 Days, a blog focusing on the 1990 CMC minor league baseball card set, profiled New York Mets manager Terry Collins yesterday.

Posted in Baseball, Newark Bears, Uncategorized

Daryle Ward suspended for 50 games

Daryle Ward (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former major league outfielder/first baseman Daryle Ward has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance under minor league baseball’s testing program.

Ward, who is currently a free agent, last played in the major leagues in 2008. His suspension will take effect once Ward signs with a big league organization.

Last season, Ward played in 57 games for the Newark Bears. He hit .312 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI. Later in the year, Ward went to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and played in 28 games for the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears, where he hit .318 with two home runs and 18 RBI.

In 11 major leagues seasons, Ward has played for the Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.

Posted in Newark Bears, Uncategorized

[Press Release] Newark Bears Sign Two New Coaches- Ralph Citarella and Ken “Obie” Oberkfell

A native of New Jersey and former Major League pitcher of Saint Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox, Ralph Citarella joins the new Newark Bears Professional Team as their pitching coach for the 2012 season. Mr. Citarella has already begun to train and assist the Bears with player development and is preparing for spring tryouts in April.

Ken “Obie” Oberkfell, former 2011 Bench Coach for the New York Mets, will be joining the New Newark Bears Professional Baseball Team coaching staff for their 2012 season. Obie played in the Major Leagues for 16 years. He played on the 1982 World Series Championship for St. Louis Cardinals. In 2005, he was awarded Manager of the year by Baseball America.

Citerella and Oberkfell will be making their first appearance during the Bears annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball on Saturday, February 18th at the Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium located at 450 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102.

For more information contact the Newark Bears office at 973-848-1000 or send an email to info@newarkbears.com. You can also learn more by visiting http://www.newarkbears.com.

Posted in Baseball, New York Mets, Newark Bears, Uncategorized

5 memorable games from 2011

Today is the last weekday of 2011, so I wanted to take a few moments to look back at a few memorable games from the 2011 season.

Opening Day

1) April 8th, 2011 – The Washington Nationals defeat the New York Mets 6-2 in their home opener. This game tops the list because it was my first Major League Opening Day. The ceremonies were amazing, from the traditional floral presentation from the Shea family, to the player introductions and Ralph Kiner throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. The game turned out to be a typical 2011 Mets contest – the team battled, but couldn’t quite come up with the victory.

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Link: Seedlings To Stars looks at Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Famila

autographed 2010 St. Lucie Mets Jeuyrs Familia card from my collection

Minor League prospect blog Seedlings To Stars is currently counting down the top 100 prospects in the game, and this week they took a look at two pitchers who might figure prominently in the New York Mets’ future: Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia.

Nathaniel Stoltz says of Wheeler:

He could be analogous to Trevor Cahill or a righthanded Ricky Romero with his arsenal, and could serve as an excellent #2 starter in the big leagues…. There’s obvious upside here, and if he can erase the two lingering concerns about him in 2012, Wheeler could become one of the top pitching prospects in the game.

Stoltz raises some alarm bells about Familia, though:

I don’t think there’s a single pitcher on this top 100 list whose delivery worries me more than Familia’s. In terms of his command, it works fine–he’s able to keep a decent line to the plate–but all of his velocity is generated purely from his arm, as his lower body is a complete afterthought in his motion. I don’t often predict injuries for pitchers, but it’s tough for me to imagine somebody doing that for 200 innings a year for three or four seasons and not having some sort of major breakdown.

We’ll see what the future brings for Wheeler, Familia and their fellow Mets’ pitching prospects Jenrry Mejia and Matt Harvey. The Mets need at least a couple of them to develop into front-line major league players.