Saturday, May 9, 2009

2009 Atlantic League All Stars (UPDATED!)

(UPDATE #5: Mack.Wack. Mackowiak. Yes indeed, Rob Mackowiak is a Newark Bear. Rejoice, Pirates fans)

(UPDATE #4: Shawn Chacon is in the building. The Newark Bears are building a very, very entertaining (and emotional!) team. h/t mlbtraderumors.com)

(UPDATE #3: Ryan Drese, you might have a suitor. ALREADY! h/t mlbtraderumors.com)

(UPDATE #2: Two words: ARMANDO BENITEZ. More on this after Felix Rodriguez at the bottom.)

(UPDATE: I am proud to report that the Independent League rosters are filled with recognizable names and hilarious spare parts. The updated list begins after Brian Lawrence and features an array of names from past MLB seasons. If this list doesn't get you fired up for Independent League baseball, then nothing will)


The first week of major league baseball is all about hope. There is hope that your team will perform fabulously this season. There is hope that your favorite player will put up big numbers this season. There is hope that the struggling prospect will finally put it all together and become a useful major league baseball player. And finally, there is hope that a player who no one has any idea actually exists will work his way through the system, up the depth charts, and into the minds of baseball fans all over the country.

Why yes, in April, hope does spring eternal.

But how about for those players, who are just searching for a way back into the major leagues? Where's the hope for them? The Atlantic League, of course. Every season, former major league players, former minor league players, and countless others play ball in the Atlantic League, hoping for one last chance to play in the majors. The hope is if you play well enough, a major league team will come calling and just like that, opportunity knocks.

With two weeks to go before the Atlantic League gets underway, rosters are still in the process of being finalized. But luckily for us, some big names have already signed on with Atlantic League clubs!

Back in 2008, we examined the Atlantic League and several of the more well known players still playing. As we look forward to 2009, it's interesting to note how many of those guys are still around in the Atlantic League.

So without further ado, Jorge Says No! proudly presents:

Oh My God! He's still around!

2009 Stars of the Atlantic League


Preston Wilson, OF, Long Island Ducks: Yes, this is the nephew of Mookie and the guy who was the centerpiece of the Mike Piazza trade in 1998. Wilson was an all star in 2003 and a world champion in 2006, but injuries and prevented Wilson from catching on with another club. In the early 2000s, Preston looked like he was on his way to becoming one of the best outfielders in baseball, but that was not to be.

Carl Everett, DH, Newark Bears: Oh, Carl Everett. Where do we begin?

Over the course of his 14 year career, Everett was a very productive player. He was a two time all star, a world series champion, and he mashed over 200 home runs for his career. That's the good.

And now for the ridiculous and borderline insane character that is Carl Everett: click here.

What a character.

Tony Batista, 3B, Newark Bears:
Need I say more? This guy is a legend.



Ruben Mateo, OF, Newark Bears: At one time, people were sky high on Mateo. Just look at the Baseball America's top 100 prospects list in 2000:

1. Rick Ankiel, lhp, Cardinals
2. Pat Burrell, 1b/of, Phillies
3. Corey Patterson, of, Cubs
4. Vernon Wells, of, Blue Jays
5. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
6. Ruben Mateo, of, Rangers

7. Sean Burroughs, 3b, Padres
8. Rafael Furcal, ss, Braves
9. Ryan Anderson, lhp, Mariners
10. John Patterson, rhp, Diamondbacks


It's a shame that Mateo never made it big in the majors because by all indications, he had all the tools in the world. A horrific broken leg in 2000 seemed to sap Mateo of his enormous gifts and after the injury, he was never the same.

Dan Reichert, P, Bridgeport Bluefish :
At one time, Reichert was one of the Royals best prospects. However, like many other Royals pitching prospects, Reichert flamed out in large part because of his terrible control. In his major league career, Reichert walked 223 and struck out 240....yikes.

Brian Lawrence, P, Camden Riversharks:
Back in 2006, Brain Lawrence seemed to have established himself within baseball circles as a back of the rotation innings eater. He was unspectacular, yet productive, which made him quite an asset for the Padres in the early 2000s. But during spring training with the Nationals in 2006, it was discovered that Lawrence had a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff. Lawrence has not been the same pitcher since. What a shame.
Lew Ford, OF, Long Island Ducks: LEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Back from a stint playing baseball in Japan, one of the Twins most lovable players is finally back playing ball in the states...in Long Island this time. The fan favorite had a few good seasons with the Twins before bottoming out in 2006 and 2007.

Fun fact: Lew Ford finished 24th in the MVP voting in 2004 by garnering a whopping two votes.



Amusing, eh?

Brad Halsey, SP, Long Island Ducks: Yes, this was the guy, who the Yankees included in the deal for Randy Johnson. Just 4 years later, he's out of the majors. That's what a "alleged torn labrum" can do.

Fun fact #1: Brad Halsey gave up Barry Bonds' 714th home run
Fun fact #2: Brad Halsey started the game in 2004 against the Red Sox where Derek Jeter dove into the stands. Yankee fans remember that one, I'm sure.

Dan Miceli, RP, Long Island Ducks: Dan Miceli is no Mike Morgan, but hell, he's still traveled quite a bit over his major league career. Miceli has played for 10 different teams in 14 seasons including 4 different organizations in 2003 (Rockies, Indians, Yankees, Astros). That has to be a record.

Daryle Ward, 1B, Newark Bears: Pinch hitter extraordinaire. A guy that I would love to have on my bench, even if he is past his prime (ok, maybe not). But Ward has his moments in the sun as a pinch hitter over the past few seasons, especially with the Cubs in 2007.

Jay Gibbons, OF, Newark Bears: Direct quote from Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez after releasing Jay Gibbons this spring:

"You don't want to keep a guy like that too long where he doesn't get an opportunity to get a job someplace else," Gonzalez said. "He's got some years left. He showed the bat skill a little bit. He swung the bat well. I think if somebody gives him an opportunity in the right situation, he could help."

And whatdya know, nobody gave Gibbons another chance. I wonder why??? (past steroid use?)

As a result, Gibbons is off to Newark, praying to God that some he catches the attention of some MLB team.

Keith Foulke, RP, Newark Bears: Yes, this is indeed the Keith Foulke, who just five years ago helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Championship in 86 years. Strange, isn't it?

How did Foulke not get a job this offseason? When he wasn't hurt, he pitched well for the Athletics and served as a useful setup man. Why did no team give Foulke a look at least?

On the plus side, for Yankees fans, having Foulke in Newark provides ample opportunity to boo the former Red Sox great.

Michael Tucker, OF, Newark Bears: I completely forgot that Michael Tucker was on the 2006 Mets before I looked at his baseball reference page. It's hard to believe that Tucker has not played in the majors since, but I imagine that his .196 batting average with the Mets has alot to do with that.

Tucker had a long and successful career in the majors that was high(low)lighted by two things:

1. The Giants inexplicably giving up a first round draft pick to sign him in 2004

2.
And no, Michael Tucker is not infected with SARS...at least to my knowledge.

Dewon Brazelton, SP, Camden Riversharks : The flameout of all flameouts. The former third overall pick never could put it all together for the Devil Rays and was an absolute disaster. He famously was placed on the suspended list for not reporting to AAA. Brazelton had all the talent in the world, but was never able to perform on the big league stage.

Felix Rodriguez, RP, Camden Riversharks: Here's a timeline of Felix Rodriguez's career for ya:

2001: dominant set up man
2002: gives up huge home run to Scott Spiezio in game 6 of the 2002 World Series
2003-2004: pretty good
2005-2006: WASHOUT
2007: out of MLB

Wow, that was quick.

Armando Benitez, RP, Newark Bears: My heart is still broken because of Armando's failures in the clutch with the Mets. I can honestly say that Armando Benitez added a great deal of misery to my childhood.

With that said, a bullpen of Keith Foulke and Benitez in Newark will be very entertaining.

Shawn Chacon, SP, Newark Bears:
Further proof that choking out a GM does not completely kill all future job opportunities.

Other Notables:
Bret Prinz, Rick Asadoorian, Kenny Baugh, Wayne Franklin, Bill Simas, Alberto Castillo (that one's for you, Evan), Abraham Nunez, Ryan Drese, John Halama, Esteban Yan

Junior(s) Division: Pete Rose Jr, Tim Raines Jr., Junior Spivey

As more players are added to rosters, I'm sure this list will continue to grow. I hope that a few of these guys actually do make it back to the majors because well, I'm a sucker for a good story.

(Note: This list will not be complete until Rich Garces and/or Randall Simon join a Atlantic League squad.)

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Telling the truth I do enjoy reading your blog, but don't you think it needs some redesign? Default Blogger themes seem to be boring for such a great resource. I think you should take a look at Free Custom Blogger Themes and pick the right one for your website.

Josh said...

anon: I'm good, thanks.

One More Dying Quail said...

Preston Wilson is Mookie Wilson's son? No way, I said. That cannot be true. So I went to Baseball-Reference.com to check it out.

"Preston Wilson is the nephew and stepson of Mookie Wilson. (Mookie's brother is Preston's father. Mookie married Preston's mother after Preston was born)."This blows my mind.

Oh, and great post. I used to work in the Atlantic League and now write a blog about minor league baseball, so I love this stuff.

(Garces played in Nashua, NH, the last two seasons, but alas, is not expected back in 2009.)

Josh said...

One More: Good catch with Preston...I knew that, but my mind was in an obvious brain fart.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you enjoy your time with the Atlantic League?

Joe M. said...

Wow,

That is a great list. I looks like the Newark Bears have the market cornered on pro washouts.

Josh said...

Joe,
The Newark Bears roster has me giddy.

Andrew Vazzano said...

Who would win: The Newark Bears or the Washington Nationals?

Josh said...

Bears 3, Nationals 1

Bears win on a misplay by Elijah Dukes

Bank on it

Snake Fox said...

Yikes, Armando Benetiz...my freshman year of college got off to a rocky start because of his two ENORMOUS blown saves to the Braves in September 2001. The crazy thing about that year was he was like 41/43 in save opportunities that year but I can only remember those two games he gave away.

Josh said...

Snake Fox,
I remember those painful games...as a Met fan myself, the sting of Armando Benitez will never go away

MSGiro said...

Dude, you forget Adam Greenberg who is playing for Bridgeport. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9cbRwinWAc

Josh said...

Ah, good call. Can't believe I missed him. What a sad story. Hope he makes it back

HookMan said...

Nice post. Go York Revolution!

William said...

Really fun post. Very enjoyable to read and really fun to hear about all these familiar players who haven't given up on baseball.

Josh said...

Hook and William,
Thanks, I appreciate it

everythingbaseball said...

Nice work. I hadn't realized how many former players were still kicking around in the Atlantic League. I had thought a number of these guys had retired (like Foulke, Batista, Wilson, etc).

Any thoughts on checking the league rosters for other players in other leagues?

Josh said...

everything: It's actually in the works....stay tuned for more next week!

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Welcome to Thebettingonline. We are here for to be the most online betting. For read our online casino gambling and betting guide click on www.thebettingonline.com. We also suggest you types of betting action Opening bets, Calling, Rising, Checking, it will help you to win the Bet.Online Poker Betting

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Welcome to Thebettingonline. We are here for to be the most online betting. For read our online casino gambling and betting guide click on www.thebettingonline.com. We also suggest you types of betting action Opening bets, Calling, Rising, Checking, it will help you to win the Bet. Poker Betting

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Super Betting Guide, this is a place where you can learn casino betting tips, online gambling, betting guide, how to play blackjack, casino betting, betting tips and many more.Betting Tips

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Super Betting Guide, this is a place where you can learn casino betting tips, online gambling, betting guide, how to play blackjack, casino betting, betting tips and many more.Online Gambling

mukesh said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Club casino online is a place where you can play the best and most popular online casino games. Here you will enjoy the very finest in online casino entertainment presented today, you may be sure of a secure and sound, helpful and friendly environment. If you want to play Blackjack, Pontoon, Baccarat, Casino War, Desert Treasure, A night Out, Ways Royal, 4 Line Jacks Or Better, Aces and Faces and more online casino games then just visit on clubcasinoonline.com.Online Casino Games

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

We are here for online bingo store, online bingo reviews, bingo articles, online bingo is so popular you’ll meet lots of new friends. Online bingo store provide you Bingo Reviews, Bingo Store, Bingo Articles and many more. Play online bingo at online bingo store, play bingo at this fantastic online bingo background with a lot of bingo games. Join Online Bingo Store and play online. At online bingo store our games play out in progressive jackpots.Poker Betting Rules

mukesh said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Club casino online is a place where you can play the best and most popular online casino games. Here you will enjoy the very finest in online casino entertainment presented today, you may be sure of a secure and sound, helpful and friendly environment. If you want to play Blackjack, Pontoon, Baccarat, Casino War, Desert Treasure, A night Out, Ways Royal, 4 Line Jacks Or Better, Aces and Faces and more online casino games then just visit on clubcasinoonline.com.Club Casino Preview

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

We are here for online bingo store, online bingo reviews, bingo articles, online bingo is so popular you’ll meet lots of new friends. Online bingo store provide you Bingo Reviews, Bingo Store, Bingo Articles and many more. Play online bingo at online bingo store, play bingo at this fantastic online bingo background with a lot of bingo games. Join Online Bingo Store and play online. At online bingo store our games play out in progressive jackpots.Poker Betting

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

We are here for online bingo store, online bingo reviews, bingo articles, online bingo is so popular you’ll meet lots of new friends. Online bingo store provide you Bingo Reviews, Bingo Store, Bingo Articles and many more. Play online bingo at online bingo store, play bingo at this fantastic online bingo background with a lot of bingo games. Join Online Bingo Store and play online. At online bingo store our games play out in progressive jackpots.Online Bingo Games

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

We are here for online bingo store, online bingo reviews, bingo articles, online bingo is so popular you’ll meet lots of new friends. Online bingo store provide you Bingo Reviews, Bingo Store, Bingo Articles and many more. Play online bingo at online bingo store, play bingo at this fantastic online bingo background with a lot of bingo games. Join Online Bingo Store and play online. At online bingo store our games play out in progressive jackpots.Online Bingo Articles

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Las Vegas Card Game is the only place where you can get card games, online card games, betting games, online card games news, Here you can play black jack 21, 3 card poker, baccarat, seven card stud, slots and many popular games, So if you want to play with fun then come with us and let’s play card games with lasvegascardgame.com. Card Games

deepak said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

Las Vegas Card Game is the only place where you can get card games, online card games, betting games, online card games news, Here you can play black jack 21, 3 card poker, baccarat, seven card stud, slots and many popular games, So if you want to play with fun then come with us and let’s play card games with lasvegascardgame.com.Online Card Games

mukesh said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

We are here for online bingo store, online bingo reviews, bingo articles, online bingo is so popular you’ll meet lots of new friends. Online bingo store provide you Bingo Reviews, Bingo Store, Bingo Articles and many more. Play online bingo at online bingo store, play bingo at this fantastic online bingo background with a lot of bingo games. Join Online Bingo Store and play online. At online bingo store our games play out in progressive jackpots.Online Bingo Store

mukesh said...

it's a really nice blog thanks for add my comment...

We are here for online bingo store, online bingo reviews, bingo articles, online bingo is so popular you’ll meet lots of new friends. Online bingo store provide you Bingo Reviews, Bingo Store, Bingo Articles and many more. Play online bingo at online bingo store, play bingo at this fantastic online bingo background with a lot of bingo games. Join Online Bingo Store and play online. At online bingo store our games play out in progressive jackpots.Online Bingo Games

onlinebingostore said...

hi dear i m visit your blog and really nices and very help full blog please add my post in your blog Las Vegas Betting Games

bingo king uk said...

This is fantastic information for blog. I really love the way infomration presented in your post. I have added to you in my social bookmark…and i am w8ing ur next post.

Online Casino Directory said...

Really nice review! Unboxing is the best part of getting something! thanks for a nice post.

Online Casino Directory said...

Excellent post and awesome content with the post!

Online Bingo Reviews said...

Thanks, great site.. your is one of very few blogs worth taking the time to read..

infinity downline business said...

infinity downline business

infinity downline business

infinity downline business

infinity downline business

infinity downline business

Casino Advertising Sites said...

I will take a look at all the blogs, thanks for sharing this list.