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.

Eric Patterson has taken his Indy game to a whole other level

03/16/2015 5:17 AM - Devo

Eric Patterson is not a big name in the baseball world. He's one of those journeyman traveller types that goes year to year appearing in about 50-90 games, does a decent job when he's in there, but never really gets credit for the job he's doing.

Patterson was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round of the 2004 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut in 2007 after putting up terrific numbers in the minors, including batting at a .297 clip at Triple A Iowa. He belted 14 home runs while driving in 65. He also stole 24 bases. He appeared in seven games with the Cubs that year hitting .250. From there his career consisted of bouncing from the minors to the big club despite a .295 career average in over 450 games in Triple A.

His numbers in the minors were always consistent, yet that never transferred over when he got called up. Could it be due to lack of playing time or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time? Patterson is not the first to experience this and he won't be the last. There are plenty of talented guys who are dynamic at Triple A but can never bridge that gap to the MLB game. Lucky for us, independent baseball allows these AAAA guys to get the playing time needed to fully showcase their abilities.

Patterson, who can play any outfield position as well as second base, played five years at the Major League level splitting time between the Cubs, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and San Diego Padres. In 226 games, Patterson hit 10 home runs and recorded 50 RBI. He stole 35 bases in 40 attempts. After signing a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers in 2012, Patterson exercised his opt-out clause essentially giving him his release, allowing him to search for other opportunities.

Patterson raised some eyebrows during his first Indy season with the York Revolution. In 62 games, he batted .275 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI. Considering he spent much of the year in the leadoff role is even more impressive. After spending 38 games with the Brewers Double A team, a pedestrian .204 average led to his release, and an eventual minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in January of 2014. Two months later the Sox released him.

Bringing us to 2014, no one could have imagined the year he was about to put together. In his first full professional season since 2007, Patterson had as good of a season as anyone. In 500 AB's, he went deep 15 times, drove in 86, hit .301 and had a .913 OPS. His 86 RBI was good for 6th in the Atlantic League, his 35 doubles good for fifth and his league record, 17 triples (yup), led the league.

Needless to say, Patterson's return to the Revolution is a big boost to a team that finished three games behind the league champion, Lancaster Barnstormers. In addition, his story is one of hope and determination, another prime example of an athlete not giving up on a dream.

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.

 

The new MLB seasons brings new Tommy Bahama gear

03/10/2015 5:36 AM - Devo

The 2015 baseball season is on the horizon and the outlook for all 30 teams is sky high. In addition, we're getting new fresh gear from Tommy Bahama.

The new and up and coming Tommy Bahama 2015 MLB Spring Training shirts for both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues are now available in two different styles – the classic silk camp shirt and a long sleeve cotton t-shirt. Spring Training means a new beginning and the new spring lineup captures that sort of spirit with their signature style with a “relax in the park” graphic embroidered on the back.

There are not many companies so in touch with the game as Tommy Bahama. Their passion and the quality of their product is second to none, hence, why they continue to be a front-runner in the MLB apparel game. Whether its MLB legends like Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays or the promotion of yearly All-Star festivities, when Tommy Bahama launches their next line, you know it's for one specific reason. 

The 2015 MLB Collection will capture the heart and imagination of any fan. For more information, please check out their new items here. And when their next line of authentic MLB wear becomes available, you can bet that we will have all the information you need.

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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