Can-Am League joins American Association

11/30/2013 1:32 PM - Devo

American-Association-of-Independent-Professional-Baseball.pngThe Can-Am League announced Friday that they will join the American Association for the 2014 season.

In hindsight, this really isn't a surprising move. The Can-Am League consists of only four teams, once it was announced on Wednesday that the Newark Bears, would not be returning for the 2014 season.

The four remaining teams - the Rockland Boulders, New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Les Capitales and Trois-Rivieres Aigles - will make up a whole new division (four), which already includes, the North, Central, and South. Both leagues will be represented in the 2014 AA All-Star game that takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 29.

Commissioner Miles Wolff, who has been making some slight changes to the Can-Am League in the last month (see interview), says that this collaborative agreement can only set the bar for what's expected in the coming years, according to the league press release.

“The Can-Am League is extremely pleased to continue its alliance with the American Association. It has been a great rivalry with the teams in the central U.S. and Canada, and we believe it sets the stage for growth of the Can-Am in 2015 and beyond.”

With the inclusion of an Ontario based team all but set to begin play in 2015, the Canadian factor could lead to so many new rivalries, battles within battles, but most of all, great baseball.

The Can-Am League has been in existence since 2005, but its roots go back to the mid 1930's. You can say the league has not been successful because of a relatively small following and fewer teams than most leagues, but now we can see two leagues that have been successful for years working as one. Fans from both can witness just how good the caliber of baseball is, and the deep-rooted history that encompasses both, can begin a new legacy.

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.

MTV and MLB are challenging you

11/27/2013 1:04 PM - Devo

mlb-fan-cave.jpgMTV, Major League Baseball, fame and glory!

What else could you ask for?

MTV2 and Major League Baseball will give a select few the opportunity to get their face on TV. If you have "it" you could be watching baseball 24/7 for the entire year, and become a huge focal point of the game we all love, while becoming one of lucky ones that gets and insiders' point of view.

The MLB Fan Cave is "where baseball and pop culture meet". They are accepting applications up until February 15, 2014. You can apply directly on their website. Why wouldn't you try this? You just never know what can happen.

Here are a few of the 2013 dwellers;, which includes the Canadian Baseball Networks' April Whitzman and the 2013 winner Danny Farris.

Good Luck!

The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective, November 25, 2013

11/25/2013 6:07 AM - Devo

DEVONTEEPLEINDYPERSPECTIVE.jpgWelcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

  • Bridgeport Bluefish middle infielder Daniel Mayora has signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mayora was an undrafted free agent when he was signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2005. He spent six years with the Rockies before joining the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2011. In nine professional seasons, Mayora has never hit below .265 and has a career batting average of .293. He hit a career high 14 home runs in 2007 to go along with 26 stolen bases.
  • Want to play professional baseball? The Normal CornBelters will give you that opportunity. According to the CornBelters, tryouts will be held May 3, 2014 at the Corn Crib. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and will be led by the CornBelters coaching staff. One roster spot will be filled by a player from the tryout. Tryout or not, these are great opportunities to be seen. You just never know who's watching.
  • The Pecos League recently held tryouts at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, according to the league website. And as a result of that camp, two players have been signed to contract by the White Sands Pupfish. Tyler Garkow was a standout at NCAA Division 2 Point Loma University. In 13 starts, he went 7-4 with a 2.45 ERA. He struck out 62 in 92 innings while holding opponents to a .245 average. Outfielder Sam Montgomery was signed out of Division 2 Sonoma State University. Montgomery was the Seawolves leading hitter at .331. His OPS was .862 and was seven for eight in the stolen base department.

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.

Scott Kazmir represents more reward than risk

11/24/2013 10:35 AM - Devo

ScottKazmir50.jpgIf you look up determination in the dictionary you might see Scott Kazmir's face. He was as unwanted as any player in recent memory, but did what he had to do to get back in professional baseball.

His first year back wasn't anything that will rewrite the record books: 10-9, 4.04 ERA, 158 innings, 167 strikeouts, 47 walks, 1.323 WHIP, 9.2 SO/9. All of these numbers were very similar to his 2008 season when he was an all-star with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Injuries and a lack of control took Kazmir from one of the best left-handers in the game, to a man without a team. A failed stint with the Los Angeles Angels sealed his fate, and he was out of baseball shortly thereafter.

Kazmir found some solace in Sugar Land Texas where he went back to the basics. He struggled at first and his overall numbers weren't all that appealing: 3-6, 5.34 ERA, 64 innings, 74 hits, 33 BB, 51 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.67. When you look at the splits you do see improvement on all fronts (statistics courtesy of baseballreference.com). His Achilles heel has always been control. Yet, in the second half of the season he walked three or less in five of his last six starts.

A short stint in Puerto Rico was where he began to fine-tune his skills and really made scouts take notice. In five starts he went 0-2 with a 4.37 ERA, with eight walks and 22 strikeouts in 22 innings, and rumour had it that the fastball we were all used to in the past was back.

Around that time, the MLB Winter Meetings were a buzz with rumours that Kazmir was being looked upon as a serious "prospect" and a free agent contract was imminent. Doubt followed Kazmir around Spring Training. With Daisuke Matsuzaka in the running as the favorite to win the job as Cleveland's fifth starter, in all likelihood, Kazmir would begin the year in Triple-A. Only time would tell if he would make it to the big club.

Instead of this feel good story taking a nosedive, it only continued to pick up momentum as Kazmir kept reeling off start after impressive start. With the odds deftly against him, he tossed four scoreless appearances until giving up five runs on 13 hits in his final appearance, before the Indians set the final roster and signed him to a $1 million deal with a chance to earn another $750,000 in incentives.

In 29 starts with the Indians, Kazmir surrendered five or more runs five times or once every six starts and kept opposing teams under three runs or less 18 times. In 2007, arguably his best season, he held teams under threes runs 23 different times in 34 starts.

Beginning in 2007, Kazmir's velocity began to drop off considerably. When he made his final appearance in 2011, his fastball averaged a pedestrian 86.mph (courtesy FanGraphs). Contrary to popular belief, there is still life in the former first-rounder's arm. BrooksBaseball charted his pitch speed over the course of a full year (as seen below) and you can see that there's been a steady increase in the velocity of his fastball. His other pitches show a slight decrease, but level off by the end of the year.

 

Kazmir is now a free agent and should be included in a top 10 of available pitchers. It appears the Indians aren't going to re-sign him, and there are plenty of teams that could use a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter. Take the Toronto Blue Jays for example. The Josh Johnson experiment was a disaster from the beginning. Johnson never looked comfortable all year, and has since signed a one-year deal worth $8 million with the San Diego Padres.

If the Jays have any interest in Kazmir, they must hope that the home run factor decides to become absent this year. The Rogers Centre gave up 214 home runs last year, an average of 2.64 per game, good for second in all of MLB, behind Camden Yards in Baltimore. On the other hand, Progressive Field, where Kazmir made 14 starts, ranked seventh in the American League at 2.04 per game.

The Jays do have an abundance of questions surrounding their starting rotation. Led by R.A. Dickey, and Mark Buehrle, experience is abundant. From there is gets dicey. Brandon Morrow is their opt-injured potential ace J.A. Happ is in an endless battle to maintain No. 5 status. Todd Redmond surprised the club by picking up four wins, and Esmil Rogers showed signs off brilliance at times before boasting a 6.00 ERA in the second half. 

Former-ace Ricky Romero, who is battling his own demons, sits in Triple-A struggling to regain the form that led the team in wins (15) and ERA (2.92) in 2011.

If anything, Kazmir can be the missing link that could bring back Romero from the brink. A two-year deal that brings leadership, experience and the possibility of their "ace" seeing that it can be done, is well worth the risk.

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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