Some meanderings while shipping out the early orders of our fourth annual book wrapping up an Independent Baseball season and packing for next week's Winter Meetings in Nashville where the rumor mill will be in full gear:
**If we had our own award, Philadelphia probably would walk away with Organization of the Year honors. The Phillies had 24 former Independent players in their system (prior to the usual free agency of six-year free agents), including major league catcher Chris Coste, when "The Independent Minor Leagues: 2007 Season in Review" went to press. They easily lead all other organizations, and many of the players came on board after Charley Kerfeld and Mal Fichman landed in Philadelphia somewhere around a year ago.
**I have not seen a breakdown of Yankees postseason shares, but if onetime Indy hurler Edwar Ramirez (Pensacola, FL, and Edinburg, TX) got even one-third his extra "gift" of $8,768 should make him smile here in the holiday season. Not bad for someone who was twice released by the Angels, forcing the changeup artist to work his way by through the Independent leagues. Several other onetime Indy players also get postseason checks, headed by J.D. Drew (St. Paul, MN), who got $308,235.75 as a member of the World Champion Red Sox, Stephen Drew (Camden, NJ), $139.459.87 with Arizona, and Joe Borowski (Newark, NJ), who earned $107,457.62 with the Indians.
**One cannot help but wonder which of these former major league stars will have the most impact in their new managerial roles in Indy baseball: Rick Miller, Nashua, NH, Can-Am League; Les Lancaster, Sioux City, IA, American Association; Von Hayes, Lancaster, PA, Atlantic League; or Butch Hobson, Southern Maryland, Atlantic.
**It is difficult even at this end of the keyboard to realize our annual book recapping the season has gotten up around 170 pages.
More soon when we visit the magnificent Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
PHILLIES, WORLD SERIES SHARES AND NEW MANAGERS ALL MAKE NEWS
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.