Here is a story that may draw a few converts, at least when the Houston Texans are involved? The Texans now have a former Independent Baseball pitcher on their roster.
James Casey worked 26.1 innings (0-0, 6.84 ERA) for the Fort Worth Cats during the first season of the American Association (2006). He is now a tight end turned fullback in the NFL and caught five passes for 126 yards (both career highs) and scored a touchdown during Houston's 40-33 loss to New Orleans last Sunday. The 126 yards were a team record for a running back. The former Rice jack of all trades also had the first carry of his pro career, an 11-yard gain.
Casey had two huge gainers, a 62-yard reception and a 26-yard touchdown catch.
INDY TALENT SCOUT HAS ROLE IN 'MONEYBALL'
We made mention in yesterday's Independent Baseball Insider that onetime Northern League infielder Stephen Bishop (St. Paul, MN, and Sioux Falls, SD, 1994) portrays former major league outfield star David Justice in the much-heralded movie "Moneyball", about the career of Oakland General Manager Billy Beane.
Thanks to a tip from Bill Tyler (www.aabfan.com) we also learned that longtime Independent Baseball talent boss and onetime St. Paul coach Barry Moss is Scout Barry in the flick.
NOT ENOUGH LEFTIES TO INCLUDE VALDES ON ALDS ROSTER
Based on various reports, we suggested in the Insider former Can-Am League pitcher Raul Valdes (New Jersey Jackals and Nashua, NH) was likely to be on the New York Yankees' American League Division Series roster. The Cuban native obviously made an impression during the stretch run, but the Yankees decided to leave the lefty off for this round of the postseason since their opponent, Detroit, does not have as much left-handed hitting as the Texas Rangers would have offered.
New York is sending Valdes to its minor league complex in Tampa so he can stay ready for possible inclusion if the Yanks reach the A. L. Championship Series.
BROADCASTERS TAKE ON NEW ROLES
Radio voices Jacques Doucet and Josh Caray added big names to the Independent ranks this season--and could return--but they also have taken on new assignments.
Doucet, who has been doing Quebec Capitales games for several years in the Can-Am League after a distinguished career as the French-speaking voice for the Montreal Expos, returned to the major league scene when a new French language network started carrying Toronto Blue Jays games.
Caray, the grandson of legendary radio voice Harry Caray, did Southern Maryland (Atlantic League) broadcasts all summer, and now that the Blue Crabs are finished he has returned for a second year as a studio host for IMG College, which airs a great many collegiate football and basketball games. Caray will work out of the Winston-Salem, NC facilities of IMG College.
"It was really interesting," Caray said of his first Atlantic League season. "The play was good, the stadiums are good and guys are fighting to get out of here (when major league organizations come calling). It is pretty close to Triple-A."
Caray, who hopes to add his name to the three generations of his family who have made a name in major league baseball, is the son of the late Skip Caray and half-brother of current Braves broadcaster Chip Caray. His previous baseball work has included being in the United League at San Angelo, TX.
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