The duo, who both played at Winnipeg as recently as two summers ago, now have a combined 16 championships to their credit after helping Mexico repeat as Caribbean Series champion, taking the final step in a 7-1 win against Puerto Rico. Roberson was named Most Valuable Player after his sixth inning home run broke a scoreless tie and ignited a six-run inning. “This is a big league environment, and these teams bring their best every time out,” the 34-year-old told MLB.com.
This was the sixth time Roberson has been part of a championship team although he still lags four behind Weber. They were strong contributors in ’12 when Winnipeg swept six consecutive playoff games on its way to the American Association title. Roberson got into 85 major league games with Philadelphia in ’06-07, but only had 69 at-bats (.232) while the closest Weber has come to the majors was in 2010 when he was voted the top rookie in the New York Yankees spring training camp because of his .483 batting average. No other player was within 100 points, but he was sent to Triple-A anyway.
Roberson hit .370 with two homers and six RBI in the six games of the Caribbean Series while Weber, who also has played Independent Baseball for Fargo, ND (now an American Association team) and Camden, NJ (Atlantic League), hit .333 and was 2-for-4 with a run in the finale. A trio of 2013 Indy players also had strong series for Mexico with third baseman Yunesky Sanchez (Somerset, NJ, Atlantic) hitting .384, first baseman Daryle Ward (Lancaster, PA, Atlantic) hitting .333 and right-hander Jason Urquidez (Lancaster) handling eighth inning pitching chores.
JEROME WILLIAMS COULD MAKE $3.1 MILLION
Jerome Williams’s willingness to pitch in the Atlantic League (Lancaster, 2011) while trying to get back to the major leagues, continues to pay rich dividends. When the free agent signed with Houston recently it was for a guaranteed $2.1 million with another $1 million a possibility in incentives. His 4-0 record last September with the Angels could easily put the right-hander into starting rotation plans with the talent-starved Astros.
Chaz Roe’s stepping stone to the majors was through the American Association team in Laredo, TX, and the 27-year-old righty will get a fresh opportunity with the Miami Marlins as a non-roster pitcher in the major league spring training camp. Roe was in 21 games with Arizona last season (1-0, 4.03), found himself with Texas briefly during the offseason and when the Rangers designated him for assignment he declared for free agency and became a member of the Marlins almost instantly.
TEXAS STYLE, THE “Y’ALL-STAR GAME”
The Atlantic League plans to be more innovative once new President Rick White has time to get his feet on the ground, with the All-Star Game at Sugar Land, TX being one of the opportunities.
Someone has been grinding out ideas already. During his introductory news conference, conducted on Facebook, White said the working title for the event is the “Y’All-Star Game”. Very clever. I would run with it.
In another Atlantic League tidbit, multiple team owner Peter Kirk told Baseball America Virginia Beach, VA is making progress as a possible expansion site.
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