Thursday, October 06, 2011

TV COMMENTS ASIDE, ONLY TWO FORMER INDY PLAYERS ARE IN CURRENT MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

A comment during one of the telecasts of a National League Division Series game involving Milwaukee sent me scrambling to various sources. I take pride in being able to identify the former Independent players who are anywhere on the major league landscape, as regular readers here or with my subscription-only Independent Baseball Insider column can attest.

The TV voice said Brewers closer John Axford had played in an Independent league. (I also get somewhat annoyed when the commentators or writers say "Independent league" instead of identifying the league by name, but that is a different story.)

Alas, Axford did not pitch in one of the recognized Indy leagues. Back in 2006 before being drafted and signed by the New York Yankees, he pitched for a team called the Melville Millionaires of the Western Major Baseball League. This is a collegiate league in Canada.

Detroit's Max Scherzer and Brad Ziegler of Arizona are the only two former Indy players in the first round of playoffs although southpaw relievers Alberto Castillo (Arizona) and Raul Valdes (Yankees) are on standby for possible inclusion in the League Championship Series or World Series.

TIMO PEREZ, TWO COACHES SIDELINED

It was sad to see that veteran outfielder Timo Perez, who had played in the Can-Am League (New Jersey Jackals) at one time, was among those suspended for 50 games for violation of the minor league baseball drug program. The former major leaguer, 36, is a free agent after hitting .304 with Detroit's top farm club this season.

Former Indy managers Ken Oberkfell and Jon Debus were among those not renewed when the New York Mets made some changes to their coaching staff. Oberkfell had been the bench coach and Debus the bullpen coach.

ANOTHER UNITED LEAGUE

I have a feeling, without concrete knowledge, we may wake up one day soon and find the United League has returned, at least in some form. The three teams left standing without another home after 2010 plus the McAllen, TX team did not seem to fit when they were part of the North American League this season.

The Insider won't be dealing with this matter when it publishes later today, but we will be getting into some other interesting franchise developments.



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1 comment:

Blake said...

I was the Batboy for the Mills the year Axford played with them!