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Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Musings - Baseball In Full

We are approaching the saturation point; that is, the point at which every professional, semi-pro, and amateur baseball league is underway for 2004. Where to go tonight with so many choices?
This weekend I had a chance to catch a game of the Southern Maine Twilight League, mostly a mix of promising college players many of whom would like to get spots in the NECBL (perhaps the Sanford Mainers?). The game, at Sanford's lovely Goodlall Park, featured some good looking players from various Maine and other New England universities. The price was also right: my time and attention.

Red Sox: with Lowe's head sinking into an abyss and my guy Bronson Arroyo looking pretty shaky, the Big Machine is down to 3 spokes on its starting pitching wheel. What's next? Arroyo faces Bartolo Colon in Anaheim on Tuesday - a tough test indeed. Lowe? Time for a head shrinker or some vacation time? Jamie Brown was called up to the big club from Pawtucket, where he was starting and mowing them down and Terry Francona has not really used him much. Give him a start! Move Lowe back a day or give him a break from the rotation; Can't hurt, Terry.

Youkillis? Ain't going back to Pawtucket folks. Any questions?

PawSox: struggling, mostly because half their top-flight talent is in Boston (Arroyo, Brown, Youkillis, Dominique, Daubach). But, that's the life of a farm team - condolences to Buddy Bailey. FYI: Saw Kelly Shoppach, (C) prime Sox prospect, throw out two Indianapolis Indian base stealers the other day - nice work. But the .230 BA means more AAA life ahead for this prospect.

Atlantic League and NE Leagues: Nashua is averaging 1,500 - 1,700 so far this season, probably not enough to sustain the team's viability in the long term. While discussions have been hinted at, Nashua looks to be ticketed to be part of a new, short-season league, or will actually migrate from the Atlantic League to the shorter-season Northeast League. The Atlantic League also says that it expects to dissolve the Pennsylvania Road Warrior team, which makes the league's roster of team's pretty short for any real divisional set ups - though the Lancaster (PA) team is supposed to debut next year. My guess: ATL and the NE league may end up swapping franchises, with one or two teams from each league joining the other by the end of 2004. Nashua might be better off in a division with New England rivals North Shore, Bangor, and Brockton while teams such as the New Jersey Jackals might want to play against Somerset and Long Island, and Newark of course. Plus, if the Waconah ownership group can get a NE League team placed there, then the New England rivalry gets even better. Keep tuned.