The telephone rang this morning, and I found the familiar voice of Jon Weber on the line.
Jon, who many people remember for his brilliant spring training with the New York Yankees (.483 and the outstanding rookie award)followed by a disappointing few weeks with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and his eventual release, had just signed with Detroit where he will start play with the Toledo Mud Hens Thursday.
This is, once again, a happy guy. Now, if only his usual run of hits follow maybe, just maybe, the 32-year-old lefty outfielder will get his first trip to the major leagues.
Another classy guy, reliever Brian Sweeney, got the call he had hoped for yesterday, rejoining the Seattle Mariners, for whom he last pitched in 2003. Sweeney spent parts of 2004 and 2006 with San Diego, went to Japan for a time, and was signed out of the Somerset Patriots' Atlantic League preseason camp in April.
Weber and Sweeney are both veterans of Independent leagues, Weber with Canton, OH in the Frontier League and later with Fargo, ND of the Northern League while Sweeney started in the departed Heartland League with Lafayette, IN.
We will include some of Weber's thoughts and have more to say about Sweeney in this week's subscriber-based Independent Baseball Insider.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
JON WEBER LANDS IN TIGER SYSTEM AND BRIAN SWEENEY WITH PARENT MARINERS
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.