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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.