We just could not let the weekend arrive without adding our two cents worth to a few "breaking" stories.
In case you missed the news, I suspect much of the Independent Baseball world is taking a sigh of relief over Thursday's announcement that Ed Nottle is going to manage the new Ottawa Rapides of the Can-Am League. We had lamented in our Independent Baseball Insider column December 20 how the personable Nottle's streak of managing in every season since the Indy game re-started in 1993 might end. Now, he and Doug Simunic of Fargo, ND in the Northern League can continue their march as the only two managers in each of Years 1-16.
What about that nickname chosen in Ottawa? Rapides comes into play because of the major transportation route along the Ottawa River as well as paying tribute to the pounding water down the river during springtime thaws.
JAPAN MAY CONTRIBUTE TO USA INDEPENDENT BASEBALL
This may be a case of "shame on me", but I know little of the Japanese version of Independent Baseball. The World Champion Red Sox, according to The Boston Globe, are trying to sign Independent league catcher Hayato Doue to a minor league contract. The deal may even be done by now. Doue hit .322 in the Shikoku-Kyushu Island League in 2007. That league and the Baseball Challenge League each have six teams.
BIG VANCE LOVELACE MAKES DODGERS' ALL-CUPID TEAM
The Los Angeles Dodgers' PR staff had some fun on their last spring training at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL by selecting an all-Valentine's Day team. Bobby Valentine was the obvious choice as manager with the team including such names as Rick Honeycutt, Candy Maldonado, "Sweet" Lou Johnson and Johnny Roseboro. Naturally, we scoured the all-Cupid roster looking for members who had been in Independent leagues and found big Vance Lovelace, who is Special Assistant today to Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti. Lovelace was an imposing figure when he played and coached in the Northeast League in the twilight of his uniformed days since he stretched every bit of his listed 6-foot-5 and would have needed scales that went well beyond the 200-pound mark. A major league lefty for a brief time for the Angels and Mariners, Lovelace wore Northeast League uniforms for both the Catskill Cougars and the New Jersey Jackals, the latter still very much present in the Can-Am League.
Friday, February 15, 2008
NOTTLE'S HAPPY LANDING IN OTTAWA TOPS THE WEEKEND NOTEBOOK
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.