Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: MLB experience all over

04/12/2015 10:53 AM - Devo

Indy teams and leagues are having a busy week when it comes to the signing of players with professional experience.

The Ottawa Champions, who are on the verge of beginning their inaugural Can-Am League season, have signed former Texas Ranger, Wilmer Font. Font, still young at 24, has spent seven years in the minors, appearing in 166 games. He's recorded 24 wins and posts a solid 3.66 ERA. With over 418 innings under his belt, he has a career 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Font made his MLB debut in 2012 and has appeared in five games for the Texas Rangers, compiling a 5.40 ERA in just over three innings.

If you're going to sign players with experience, you should sign them in bunches. The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have signed five players, all with minor league experience, including two with significant Major League time.

Daryle Ward, who made his last appearance in the bigs in 2008, has played 16 years of pro ball.  Known more for his time with the Houston Astros in the late 90's, Ward's a veteran with 90 career home runs and nearly 400 RBI. His presence is an undeniable boost to the Blue Crabs lineup. This will not be Ward's first dance in Indy ball. He's been around, 369 games to be exact. Always known for his superior power, Ward continues to batter pitchers whenever he has the chance. Over the course of his six Indy years he's punished pitchers. 32 percent of his hits have gone for extra bases (61 home runs, 66 doubles).

Fred Lewis, a former second round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 2002 draft, split time between four teams over seven MLB seasons. He joins Ward on Blue Crabs roster. Lewis, a career .266 hitter, isn't a stranger to independent baseball. Lewis began his Indy ball career in 2014 splitting time with the Lancaster Barnstormers and Bridgeport Bluefish. In his first season he batted a combined .259 with six home runs and 39 RBI. His 225 career steals is an additional boost to a club that has its fair share of speed.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 

Tommy Bahama unveils 2015 MLB Collection

04/03/2015 9:35 AM - Devo

With the 2015 MLB season upon us, Tommy Bahama has launched their new Major League Baseball Collection for the sixth time. And what a collection it is!

Celebrating the San Francisco Giants dynasty, Tommy Bahama honors them with a classic panel back camp shirt and a half-zip sweatshirt. The new gear celebrates the Giants three Word Series wins in the last five years.

In addition, their Collector's Series edition will feature the New York Yankees, Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers on custom-designed, signatures silk camp shirts. Each one will showcase their name, logo, and signature landmarks representing their location. For example, the Dodgers highlight the mid-century, modern Dodger Stadium, the crowds at Yankees stadium, and the Golden Gate Bridge and Cooperstown logo for Giants enthusiasts.

If that weren't enough, what fan wouldn't want St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago Cubs shirts with a retro-inspired team logo and graphics? For Tommy Bahama fans, the joy doesn't stop there. If you are looking for tropical inspired themes featuring all 30 clubs, polo shirts and long sleeves, Tommy has all your bases covered.

For more information, please visit tommybahama.com where you can find all these styles plus more. The collection of all premium apparel that every MLB junkie could want is available at Tommy Bahama stores and select retailers across the country.

Batter up! The season is only a few days away.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 

Atlantic League experiments with three-ball walk and two-strike foul out

03/28/2015 3:38 PM - Devo

Come April 18, the Atlantic League is really going to test the waters. These changes are not yet implemented league wide, though the proposed experiment will be for all to see in a game against the Long Island Ducks and Bridgeport Bluefish.

The league's Pace of Play Initiative is, in all fairness, meant to make the game more enjoyable for fans. To cut down on all the things that slow the pace of the game, these great baseball minds want the fans to come to the ballpark and enjoy their time. They don't want people bogged down by delays. They want a fast-paced sporting event that truly showcases the talent of the athletes. If that means tweaking the rules and upsetting the historical balance, so be it. With that being said, it's not meant to disrupt the integrity of the game. Everyone has to adapt to keep up with the times, it doesn't mean changing your whole persona, only a minor change here and there.

With the three-ball and two-strike foul out experiment will, without a doubt, speed up the game significantly, suggesting that every at-bat will last no longer than five pitches. League president, Rich White, sees this as a way to get people talking and a way to improve the pace of today's game.

''While these rules are not under consideration by the Atlantic League, we continue to serve as an experimental laboratory for ways to improve the pace of games,'' said Atlantic League president Rick White in a statement Tuesday. ''The changes should spice things up for fans as the 2015 season approaches.''

The odds on this experiment gaining traction and being implemented as a rule is extremely premature at this point. But, if successful, this could be the start of something big. Yes, it would cause immense discussion, but if cutting down the times of games brings more fans to the game isn't that a good thing?

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: York Revolution want Ryan Howard

03/22/2015 9:29 PM - Devo

Independent baseball never ceases to amaze. They don't get the credit they deserve for the product they put on the field, hundreds of their players have taken it to the next level, and their promotions will give any marketing company a run for their money.

The York Revolution aren't any different. Founded in 2006, York has been one of the best teams in all of Independent baseball claiming the league championship twice (2010, 2011). Not only are they a success on the field, but also at the turnstile. The Revolution average nearly 4,000 per game and were one of only three Atlantic League teams that saw an increase in attendance over the 2013 numbers (13,325).

It wasn't long ago that Ryan Howard was considered elite. He was one of the best first basemen in the game rivalling Albert Pujols as one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball. Ryan burst on to the scene in his third year with the Phillies, putting up MVP numbers: 58 home runs, 149 RBI, and batting .313 with a Ruthian 1.084 OPS. Over the next three years, Howard topped 140 RBI twice and never hit less than 45 big flies.

That was 2009. Come 2015, Howard is a dead man walking. In his first full season since 2011, the power isn't what it used to be (23 home runs), his .223 average is the second lowest of his career, and he struck out a league leading 190 times. All numbers are trending down, and at age 35 and $60 million remaining on his contract, the Phillies aren't shy about wanting him gone.

According to the NBC Sports, the Phillies are offering to pay $50 million of the last $60 million remaining on his contract. That's where the Revolution come in! Just play along. York is looking to raise enough funds to bring Howard to York. If they fall short, 83% of the funds raised will be given to Penn-Mar Human Services. The maximum league salary is $3,000, leaving them $9,999,997 short of the ultimate prize. General Manager John Gibson said if York County's 400,000 or so residents chipped in $25 they would be close to having to having the necessary funds to trade for Howard. 

Whatever it takes right? Of course this will never happen, but look at them now. More people know who the York Revolution are than ever before.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.


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