I couldn’t tell you how many times it’s been rumored to be the final season for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish. I could tell you that it happened often enough that I stopped believing the rumors because they were always wrong.
I’m hoping that Chavez can get back to the Major Leagues, and failing that, at least play well enough that he can feel like he’s walking away from the game on his own terms… whether that happens this year or two or three seasons from now.
And I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get my photo of The Catch signed by Chavez at some point this season.
The Bluefish staff members are huge fans of [Brian] Williams, and are firm believers in second chances. The organization is hoping to provide him with a monthly stipend of $500, as well as an opportunity in sports reporting. “Our thought is to get Brian’s assistance in writing game reports following any Bluefish losses in 2015,” says Bluefish general manager Jamie Toole. “With his reporting style, we may even win a few of those games.”
I can’t recall saying too many positive things about the Florida Marlins after September 2007. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything positive about the Miami Marlins at all.
Except, today they kind of did a nice thing.
Adam Greenberg was a prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization, and in 2005 he earned a call-up to the big leagues. It was a dream come true – until the very first pitch he saw hit him in the head. He battled back from the head injury and continued playing baseball, moving on to the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish when he couldn’t convince an affiliated team to give him another chance. Most recently, Greenberg played for the Israeli team in the qualify event for next year’s World Baseball Classic.
I met Greenberg and talked to him a few times when he was playing for the Bluefish. He seemed like a great guy. One of my friends likes to tease people, so he’d tell them that Greenberg was the grandson of Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg. It turned out that story is actually true, in a sense — Greenberg later told us grandfather really was named Hank, but of course he never played major league baseball.
For one at-bat next week, I will be rooting for a Marlin.
Atlantic League spring training is underway, and there are quite a few former New York Mets players on the rosters.
Reliever Jorge Julio (2006) is back for his second season with the Bridgeport Bluefish. Pitcher Tobi Stoner (2009-10) will make his Atlantic League debut with Bridgeport after being released from the Mets organization this spring. Outfielder Prentice Redman (2003) will also return for his second season with the Bluefish.
Kevin Baez (1990, 1992-3) is back for his second season as the Long Island Ducks’ manager and his 10th with the organization. Bud Harrelson (1965-77) is a co-owner of the team and is likely to be seen at some games at Bethpage Ballpark this year. While none of the players on the Ducks’ roster ever appeared in a game for the New York Mets, pitcher Eric Niesen was one of the minor leaguers released by the Mets organization this spring.
Infielder Chin-Lung Hu (2011) will make his Atlantic League debut with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs this year.
Pitcher Tim Hamulack (2005) returns to the Lancaster Barnstormers for his third Atlantic League season.
The Somerset Patriots don’t have any former New York Mets players, but pitcher Roy Merritt had been part of the Mets organization until he was released this spring.
I don’t see any former Mets on the spring training rosters of the Camden Riversharks, Sugarland Skeeters or York Revolution either, though there are undoubtedly more players who spent time in the Mets organization on the rosters of the eight Atlantic League teams.
At the moment, it seems as though you’d have better luck checking rosters by visiting the individual team websites than going to AtlanticLeague.com. The league site has incomplete or 2011 information for several teams.
In a few weeks, I’ll take a look at the rosters of the five Can-Am League teams to see how many players I can find with ties to the New York Mets organization.