Indy Riversharks cease operations

10/25/2015 10:05 PM - Devo

After 15 years the Camden Riversharks are no more. Early last week, the Riversharks announced that due to the inability "to reach an agreement on lease terms with the ballpark's owner, the Camden County Improvement Authority ("CCIA"), they will cease operations, leaving a huge gap in the Independent baseball world.

Founded in 2001 the Riversharks, have played nearly 2,500 games compiling a .497 winning percentage and have had some notable alumni put on the jersey over the years, including Danny Bautista, Word Series champion, Stephen DrewJose LimaJosh Towers, and Delwyn Young. Despite bring up the rear in attendance, It's a shame that a staple of the community will be gone. 

The clubs press release doesn't give much information in the way of what the future holds, though I cannot see how a team that has been there for so long and has put out family friendly and affordable entertainment for so long will just disappear. There is still alot of time left before the 2016 season starts, hopefully ownership can come up with an alternative. 3.5 millions fans through the turnstile can't be wrong.

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

Jose Bautista's legendary bat flip sparks controversy

10/19/2015 5:27 AM - Devo

When Jose Bautista hit his epic three-run blast against the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS, he pimped it so well, it's been called the greatest of all-time. The swing, the stare, the bat toss, and the strut. It was jaw-dropping, like something out of a video game. If he's on your team, you love it. If not, you hate it. The controversy, if any, is the baseball "code", an unwritten set of rules that every player who has played the game knows about. The rules range from not bunting against a pitcher who is throwing a no-hitter, not stealing when up by an exorbitant amount of runs, you bean my guy I bean yours, and of course, don't show up my pitcher. 

Showing up the pitcher is a no-no, but there are some players who are "allowed", so to speak, to get away with it. Whether it be their chase for history; Barry Bonds or players chasing career milestones; David Ortiz. Another unwritten rule applies to them. They have put in their time and have gotten a free pass. There are others who are not as fortunate, those who have well-established careers and have been in the game a long time, but don't have the same luxury.

Boastful, cocky and brash players simply aren't that well liked amongst opposing teams. Carlos Gomez is the epitome of a talented player who knows it, and when he takes the pitcher deep he's not afraid to celebrate. On more than one occasion Gomez has had run-ins with Brian McCann, then of the Atlanta Braves (view it here). McCann, obviously not a fan of his post-bomb celebration confronted him at home plate and all heck broke loose.

Could this type of reaction be avoided if Gomez puts his head down and runs? Of course, but it's a game filled with money, power, ego, and attitude. In the Bautista example, there's really no evidence to say that he was showing up the pitcher. It's once in a lifetime moment and the players have the right to be excited. Bautista's home run was something that no Blue Jays fan will ever forget. The bat flip that sent the Jays to their first AL Championship Series since 1993 was glorious, unfortunately, Texas Rangers' Sam Dyson had a different take.

“He’s doing stuff that kids do in whiffle ball games and backyard baseball,” Dyson told reporters. “It shouldn’t be done.”

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

 

Athletics sign LHP strikeout king

10/13/2015 5:08 AM - Devo

Everyone loves a strikeout, even the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics are in full rebuild mode so why not get an "unknown" powerful arm.

In what is becoming a regular occurrence for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, another one of their players has been signed to a minor league contract with an MLB organization. Brandon Mann became the 65th RedHawks player to ink a minor league deal when the Athletics purchased his contract early last week.

Mann was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 27th round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur Draft and spent most of his career within their minor league system. Mann has been around the block. The game is no stranger to this 12-year veteran with over 1,100 innings under his belt. In nine MiLB seasons, his numbers aren't eye-popping but are very workable. In 196 appearances between rookie ball and high A, he's recorded 38 wins to go with 56 losses. A career 4.45 ERA is not too shabby, either is his 599 strikeouts.

In addition, this ex-Ray, ex-Los Angeles Dodger and ex-Pittsburgh Pirate has experience abroad participating in two seasons in the Japan Central League. There's no doubt Mann has talent and the independent league is the perfect platform to prove it. After being released by the Altoona Curve midway through the 2014 season, Mann spent the remainder of the year with the Lancaster Barnstormers where he averaged nearly nine SO/9.

2015 was a whole other story, one for the record books. According to the American Association, Mann recorded 157 strikeouts in 143.2 innings pitched breaking the previous record of 144. Seven wins and 10 losses isn't why he got signed. He got signed because his arm is electric, posting nine strikeouts in eight of his starts. Not only did he set an Association K record, he also set or tied franchise records for strikeouts, starts and innings pitched.

Mann may not be on the radar, but the Athletics have a guy that is determined, slings it from the leftside and has a history of getting people out. Seems like a pretty straightforward formula for success.

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

Twins roll up Boulders' MVP Joe Maloney

10/05/2015 5:32 AM - Devo

The Minnesota Twins, who made a valiant run toward the 2015 playoffs, hope to have found a diamond in the rough. The Can-Am League announced early last week that the Twins signed the league's Most Valuable Player, catcher Joe Maloney to a minor league contract.

Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 10th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft from Limestone College, Maloney spent three years in the Rangers organization peaking at High A, Myrtle Beach. He hit 21 home runs over the course of 184 games and drove in 101. His career .221 average is hardly conducive to the talent he possesses.

After the Rangers released him in January of 2014, he began his Indy league journey and had the greatest statistical season of his career until he blew those numbers out of the water this year. Maloney had career highs in nearly every offensive category and led the Boulders in average (.337) and RBI (83) which were also good for second in the league in both categories. The impressive numbers don't end there. His .559 slugging percentage and 50 extra-base hits were good for first in the league and his 14 home runs were good enough for fourth. Maloney was named Can-Am Player of the Week three times and Player of the Month for June. 

Substantial increases in almost every category will get the attention of any scout. And becoming league MVP in your second season will only validate their reasoning for the contract. The Twins signing a five-year veteran out of Independent baseball will not drum up many headlines, but for people who love underdog stories, chalk this up to another great chapter.

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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