Have I ever been negligent. Sorry. Now that this week's Independent Baseball Insider has gone out I can find more time. There certainly is not a lack of subjects to touch on in this space. For example:
**While it was disappointing to see Houston take Chris Coste off its 40-man roster and move him to Triple-A Round Rock, I cannot imagine that this Independent one-of-a-kind is finished in the major leagues. There is too much need for a competent catcher, even if it is in a backup role. It helps that Coste can play first base; maybe even third, and can pinch hit. He has done mighty well for someone who did not break into the majors until he was 33, playing in 299 regular season games so far with a .272 batting average. Being with the Phillies during their World Championship run one year ago had to be the opportunity of a lifetime. The BA did slip to .224 this year with only two home runs in 205 at-bats. His Independent days were spent with two in Minneapolis followed by a sterling career with hometown Fargo, ND of the Northern League.
**It seems a safe prediction that young women will want to gather near the first base stands at Sioux Falls Canaries games next season now that Patrick Reilly has been named South Dakota's hottest bachelor by Cosmopolitan magazine. He is remembered in Sioux Falls for one other reason, too. The onetime University of Arizona lefty drove in the winning run in the 2008 American Association championship game.
**I have been trying to confirm that onetime pitching star Bobby Madritsch, who came up to Seattle with longtime Indy teammate George Sherrill, has turned to boxing. Madritsch's baseball career went south because of injuries, but I recall well when I interviewed him before a Long Island (NY) Ducks (Atlantic League) game that he had the type of physique frequently found in the ring.
**Fans itching to follow Independent players this winter should check out the new Florida Winter League (www.FWBL.com). More than 30 Indy players are on the four rosters.
**Two sluggers this typist has been hoping might get a major league shot for some time now are in the Mexican-Pacific League this offseason. John Lindsey is with Mazatlan and Sandy Madera with Mochis. Both played Independent Baseball in Little Falls for the New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League).