Tommy Bahama presents the 6th Annual Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival

05/27/2015 5:01 AM - Devo

Tommy Bahama, known for its support of the island lifestyle and relaxed fashion sense, has also been a big supporter of Major League Baseball and its roots. For over 20 years, Tommy has been one of the most forward thinking companies, creating a brand of clothing that any man, woman or child could enjoy. That forward thinking has also been a big reason why they are involved in so many projects. You just never know what's next.

On June 6, 2015, Tommy is the proud sponsor of the 6th Annual Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival. Going back to the 1930's, the Santa Monica Pier’s Manoa Paddleboard Club (the first of its kind) was where the sport could thrive. Santa Monica became the hub of paddleboarding where races became the norm. 

The event will feature thousands in attendance and hundreds taking part in a multitude of stand up paddleboard races, dory races and a thrilling ocean swim. One of the most anticipated events is the Tommy Bahama Paddlecross Cup, a short sprint race out and back through the surf.

In addition, the Festival will showcase live music, hula dancers and everything that made the Pier in the 1930's what is was. This year Paddleboard legends Preston “Pete” Peterson and Dorothy “Dottie” Hawkins will be honoured with an award being named after them. 

Not only focusing on the history of the Pier and the people that created the legend, it will also feature family friendly free time (10:30am - 1:30pm). This will also benefit Heal the Bay, and environmental nonprofit dedicated to cleaning Southern California’s coastal waters and watersheds.

Needless to say, Tommy's Paddleboard Festival is a one of a kind celebration to honour a time long ago, but to also build a tradition that could spark its resurgence for years to come.

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

 

Rumours abound about Indy ECBL folding

05/23/2015 9:13 AM - Devo

The season is scheduled to start, unfortunately the East Coast Baseball League has apparently folded before the season even started.

According to WWNY TV, the Watertown Bucks, one of the league's six inaugural clubs, has pulled out of the league for a variety of reasons and are working on forming another league with three other teams. It has been reported that another team has withdrawn from the league. While the article quoted league president, Colin Cummins as saying that the league start was delayed because of "clerical issues", nothing has really been confirmed at this time.

When I spoke with Cummins earlier this year, the focus was on brining baseball back to the Niagara area and helping unsigned talent realize their dream of playing professional baseball. When I asked Cummins about the expansion of the league, he was quite adamant that the necessary due diligence was completed and endless discussions had taken place in multiple cities.

"GMs: How did you go from the possible team in Niagara to expanding to the four or five teams you have right now?

CC: A lot of due diligence. We talked to, I can’t even tell you how many people we’ve talked to in reference to their facilities, and the opportunities of bringing a franchise to their respective city. Of course some people said no, others were very interested. Now we’re at a point where we have four teams to start out with right now. (At the conclusion of this interview it was announced that the Watertown Bucks are the fourth and newest franchise of the East Coast Baseball League). We still have opportunities to enter into a couple other markets, but we’re just trying to clarify their stance on what they see."

TheRecord.com talked to Waterloo Whiskey Jacks general manager, Andrew Hendriks, who said "it's like promoting a ghost at this point", when asked about what players they'll be receiving and who they can protect on the roster.

Cummins, who was in talks with the Record, said the season is not cancelled just delayed. He also says he is optimistic about the season beginning in June, but hopeful to a point.

"It's not true," he said, when reached by phone Thursday. "Everyone else has been saying it. I'm not saying it yet."

"If I can't do it in June, I will definitely cancel the season," said Cummins. "I'll be the one to make that determination."

Regardless of what happens, there are too many rumours swirling to make a concrete decision. The season is on hold and teams have withdrawn from the league. Some are looking for a beginning others see an end.

Please note, at the conclusion of this article, the Watertown Bucks officially begin their season on Sunday in the newly formed North Country Baseball League. The League consists of four teams; Watertown, the Newburgh Newts, the Old Orchard Beach Surge, and the Road City Warriors, all who were originally in the ECBL.

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

 

Ricky Romero and Chris Colabello: The tale of two careers

05/16/2015 2:36 PM - Devo

Ricky Romero and Chris Colabello are two athletes at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Romero, a former Ace and once a potential CY Young candidate, was given his walking papers by the Toronto Blue Jays with $7.5 million remaining on the last year of his contract. His release also ignited a $600,000 buyout of a club option for next year.

Colabello, a superb independent league and minor league player, has finally made his way back to the Major Leagues. His road ins't necessarily the best route, but he did what he had to do to make it back.

Why focus on two athletes that aren't impact players? Because Romero and Colabello are at a crossroads with endless potential.

Colabello has 11 years in the game at this point. At 31 years of age, his stint with the Blue Jays could be his best and last opportunity to make a name for himself. He's proven countless times that he's a master at his craft. A career .313 career batting average over the span over 3,300 at-bats is proof of that. Currently batting .474, that number will come back down to earth in the coming weeks. However, injuries and underperformers may keep him in the line-up longer than expected, obviously not the worst thing in the world. Journeyman ballplayers should look to guys like Colabello. Without a doubt, he's an inspiration to hundreds of players who went undrafted, yet still have the dream to compete at the next level, Colabello is quiet and carries a big stick.

Romero has been given a second chance by the San Francisco Giants. And why wouldn't they? They Jays are paying his salary. The Giants have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The former first-round pick hasn't become a terrible player overnight. It's a combination of injuries, confidence and mechanics that resulted in underwhelming numbers. Romero really does have to regroup and start from scratch, very similar to what Scott Kazmir did. Expectations will be minimal as he begins his Giants career after signing a minor league deal. Just as Colabello has flew under the radar until a spectacular International League season earned him his first call-up in 2013, Romero needs to fly under the radar for the time being, while showing the promise that once made him one of the most promising young left-handers in the game.

Colabello has been at the bottom and clawed his way up from obscurity. Romero is at the point in his career where all the doubters have been proven right. He has to prove them wrong. While bother players resumes contrast, a closer look finds more similarities than you might think.

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

 

Jays' Colabello making the most of his opportunity

05/09/2015 6:13 AM - Devo

Whenever Chris Colabello drives the ball into the gap I can't help but smile. The long-time Indy standout is back on the radar, this time as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. 

For years Colabello put up numbers, numbers that would make any manager proud. Unfortunately, those numbers were in the Independent Baseball leagues. Indy ball is getting more recognition now than ever, but back in 2005 at the age of 21, no one really understood what he could provide.

While attending Assumption College, Colabello became one of the most prolific hitters the school has ever seen. He was a career .350 hitter who also hit for power (24 home runs and 40 doubles) in his four collegiate seasons. When no one signed him upon graduation, he began a seven-year journey to the Major Leagues. 

After signing a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins organization, Colabello continued to prove naysayers wrong and went on to have one of the best overall minor league seasons one could ever hope for. In 2013, only his second affiliated season, he was unanimously voted the International League MVP after hitting .352 with 24 home runs and driving in 76.

Enter the 2014 season and Colabello was named the starting first baseman for the Twins. He started off on a torrid clip batting .346. An unfortunate undisclosed injury hamstrung the current Jay, resulting in 7-83 slump and a demotion to Triple A.

After the Jays claimed him off waivers from the Twins this past December, he was vying for a job with the big club, however, since first base has enough qualified participants, (Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Smoak, Danny Valencia), the Jays designated him for assignment.

A bump in the road isn't the worst thing in the world. In 23 games for the Jays' Triple A affiliate, Buffalo, he is currently leading the club with five homers and 18 RBI. His call-up is another highlight in his strange, but otherwise successful career. For someone undrafted to put 11 professional seasons on his resume, any opportunity to produce at the Major League level is full of opportunity.

“Enjoy the moment as much as possible, try to help this team win,” he said Wednesday before making his second straight start in left field. “At the end of the day I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunity to get to the big leagues. Every day is about embracing moments for me. You can get caught up in thinking about what’s in the future, what’s in the past. It wears on you and I’m tired of doing that.”

Since the call-up, Colabello has performed exactly as the Jays wanted and provided a huge spark to a sporadic offense. In three games, he's hit .583 in three games collecting seven hits, three of which are for extra bases.

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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