I have been somewhat neglectful on this site in recent days, but I presume you will understand when I tell you my Mother passed away. What a dear lady, 100 years, 10 months and 3 days old when her time came up last week. My resulting trip to Nebraska did not allow a great deal of concentration on Independent Baseball although I know so much has taken place.
Aside from what I reported in last week’s Independent Baseball Insider, I have tried to keep up with some of these developments:
Justin Christian continues to make the most of his infrequent appearances for the New York Yankees, helping to keep the Bombers within striking distance in the American League East and the Wild Card chase. He was credited with igniting the Yankees' 14-9 comeback win Sunday over the always-challenging Los Angeles Angels by swiping third as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning, then scrambling home with the tying run when the throw ended up in leftfield. He had a run-scoring single later in the inning, and Manager Joe Girardi told The New York Times he "did an unbelievable job". Christian, who started his pro career with River City (O'Fallon, MO, Frontier League), has had only nine at-bats in the last three weeks, but has contributed four hits, four runs, four RBI and three steals. His season average is up to .296 (8-for-27).
The gesture of the HARLINGEN (TX) WHITE WINGS to help fans disenfranchised by Hurricane Dolly by providing free admission the rest of the United League season. I hope fans respond.
Philadelphia’s second recall of 1B-3B MIKE CERVENAK, the onetime Chillicothe, OH (Frontier League) standout. Now, if only he could get some chances to show how good his bat can be.
TIM DREW decided to give up his pitching career, retiring after a ceremonial one-pitch appearance for Bridgeport, CT in the Atlantic League. Tim had some major league time, but was in the shadow of his celebrated brothers, J.D. of the Red Sox and Stephen of Arizona. J.D. broke into professional baseball with St. Paul, MN, now in the American Association, while Stephen started in the Atlantic League (Camden, NJ).
Signings by MAJOR LEAGUE ORGANIZATIONS off Independent rosters countinue to mount.. The count since the season started is at least 70, with more detail likely in the August 7 Insider.
TOM COCHRAN and BRAD ZIEGLER continue their unbelievable pitching runs. Cochran, a 25-year-old southpaw, has improved his record for Worcester, MA of the Can-Am League to 11-0 plus 2 saves, and has allowed only 16 earned runs in his 11 starts while pitching at least six innings each time out. Ziegler's major league record for most scoreless innings at the start of a career is up to 32. The right-hander, who comes at batters from down under, added seven innings in the last eight days, with three appearances of at least two innings apiece.