Monday, July 03, 2006


A little potpourri of baseball to talk about while you wait for the Fireworks Show to begin at your favorite Independent stadium this Fourth of July week.

The TV crews figure to be out in full force at Chico, CA tonite (July 3) when designated hitter/knuckleball pitcher Jose Canseco makes his first competitive appearance since 2002 for the Golden League's San Diego Surf Dawgs. Canseco, said to be down 30 pounds to 230, brings 534 professional home runs into his first appearance for Manager Terry Kennedy. Seven of those were struck for Newark in the Atlantic League in 2001 in his other Independent Baseball stint while 462 came while wearing major league uniforms. As for being part of the San Diego pitching staff, a wait-and-see attitude may be the best approach. His next mound victory will be his first.

The Golden League is going all out, also entering into a marketing agreement with Canseco, who turned 42 Sunday. The agreement is said to include a special Jose Canseco apparel line "and interactive events with fans and kids at all of the League's ballparks." We will no doubt have updates in this week's Independent Baseball Insider column.

Have you noticed Chris Coste's recent success with the Phillies? He has three multi-hit games in his last four appearances in which he has had more than a single at bat, and has raised his National League average to .294 by collecting eight hits in his last 18 at bats (.444). What's more, this Independent Baseball original may be in for a heavier schedule with Sal Fasano listed as day-to-day after being injured in a play at the plate Sunday. Coste pinch ran in the fourth, then singled, doubled, scored twice and drove in a run in Philadelphia's 11-6 win at Toronto.

As for the auto racing, NASCAR standout Matt Kenseth is making an appearance at Joliet, IL (Northern League) Wednesday, and Indy darling Danica Patrick will be at Rockford, IL (Frontier League) July 18. Ms. Patrick, who grew up in the area at Roscoe, IL, and the RiverHawks are teaming up for an auction to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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