Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vlad On Inactive List, Ducks Acquire Fleishman And Sign Jones

Vladimir Guerrero has been placed on the "Inactive" list for the Long Island Ducks. According to Ducks General Manager Mike Pfaff, he's attending to personal matters in the Dominican Republic, and once he arrives on Long Island he will activate him.

The Ducks also acquired Matt Fleishman from the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League in exchange for a player to be named later, and signed pitcher Rusty Jones for the 2013 season.

Fleishman, a Commack, NY native will begin his second season with the Ducks. Last year he played 17 games for the Ducks after finishing his career at Villanova University. He hit .238 with 3 RBI, in 42 plate appearances. 

Rusty Jones joins the Ducks after playing his entire career in the independent leagues. He has a career 15-16 record with a 4.21 ERA in 280 innings pitched. Last season he had 4-1 record with a 2.44 ERA for the Edinburg Roadrunners of the North American League.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ducks Fan Fest Today!

The Ducks will host their first ever fan fest today at 10:30, at Bethpage Ballpark.

There will be games, food, and a chance to meet players and get autographs. After the fan fest the Ducks will play an exhibition game against the Bridgeport Bluefish at 1:05pm.

Go to the Ducks website for more information.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Atlantic League Rules To Speed Up Games

New Atlantic League Rules To Speed Up Games

by Tom Stryjewski, Contributing Blogger

Hey Duck fans, we all know how long and drawn out Atlantic League games are. Getting a game in under 3 hours is a rarity. Most of the time you would get home from a night game just in time for the 11 o'clock news to begin. This season the league will be taking measures to decrease the long length of its games. These measures include limiting visits to the mound by coaches and players, enforcing time limitations on: in between innings activities, the amount of time a pitcher takes to throw a pitch and the time a batter has to step in the box. They also want the umpires to enforce the "high strike" rule to further help speed the game along.

Umpiring in the Atlantic League has also been a sore subject for many years. There has never been any consistency between the different umpiring crews and even among the same crew. This season there has been a large turnover in the umpires in the league. A majority of the veteran umpires from past seasons will not be in the league. Crew chief Mark Facto is out and Atlantic League Executive Director Joe Klein will now supervise the umpires.

What will be interesting to see will be the inventive ways the teams will use to circumvent the new system. Will we see phantom injuries (like you see in professional soccer) occur in the field that will bring out the trainer to slow the game down or enable the manager not to be charged a time to the mound visit? Will the catcher opt to go talk to the third baseman instead of the pitcher to relay infield plays or assignments that the manager wants? When the catcher goes out in front of home plate to relay infield signs, how far will he be allowed to walk before the umpire decides it is counted as a trip to the mound? Will there be a 12 second clock on the scoreboard for the umpire and players to see? Will we have to rely on Tim and the rest of the Duck fans to count down the time when the opposing team is on the mound? Will the players be retying their shoes in the infield more often to slow down momentum of the other team?

There are bound to be a lot of bumps along the road with this new system but hopefully it will reach it's desired goal of bringing the game length to a respectable time, one that will keep all the fans in their seats until the end of the game.

Below are some articles by Jim Seip of the York Daily Record and John Walk of the York Dispatch detailing the plans of the league to speed up the game.

Atlantic League Hopes To Speed Up Games - By Jim Seip
Atlantic League Tries To Speed Up Games -By John Walk

Tom Stryjewski has been season ticket holder of the Ducks since 2000. He is a regular contributor to the Long Island Ducks group "LongIslandDucksQuackPack."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lew Ford Reassigned to Double-A Bowie

Photo via wikipedia
For those Duck fans wondering why Lew Ford isn't on the Baltimore Orioles roster, it's because he was reassigned to their Double-A affiliate Bowie. 

Last season after starting the season with the Ducks, Ford had his contract purchased by the Baltimore Orioles and eventually made it back to the majors. He finished the season with a .183 batting average, 3 home runs and 4 RBI in 25 gamesfor Baltimore.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ducks Add Henriquez And Suarez

The Long Island Ducks have signed catcher Ralph Henriquez and Gabe Suarez for the 2013 season.

Ralph Henriquez was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round (72nd Overall) of the 2005 Major League Draft. He's spent time in the Houston Astros, New York Mets, and Seattle Mariners organizations, advancing to Triple-A twice in 2011 and 2012 with Seattle's Triple-A affiliate Tacoma. He has a minor league career .228 batting average with 22 home runs, and 193 RBI. He's also thrown out 26% of the runners who tried to steal against him during his career.

Gabe Suarez begins his fourth season with the Ducks, having previously played for them in 2007, 2008 and 2010.  Last season he split time between the Dodgers organization, and the Mexican League. He has a .237 batting average with 4 home runs and 96 RBI in his independent league career.

The Ducks have a loaded roster now, and with the signing of Ramon Castro today, Henriquez will be relegated to a back-up role. Suarez should see some playing time around the entire infield, as a back-up also.

Ducks Sign Former Mets Catcher, Ramon Castro

The Long Island Ducks announced today that they have signed former New York Mets catcher, Ramon Castro for the 2013 season. 

During his major league career, Ramon Castro played in 567 games for the Florida Marlins, New York Mets, and Chicago White Sox. He has a .237 batting average, with 67 home runs, and 217 RBI in big leagues.  He was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 1st round (17th overall) of the 1994 Major League Draft.

A lot of Ducks fans were asking when the Ducks were going to sign a catcher. Well they couldn't have made a bigger splash by signing Castro. He's a solid catcher who handles pitchers well, and hits for power.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ducks Sign Dontrelle Willis

Long Island Ducks General Manager Mike Pfaff announced via his twitter account that the Ducks have signed left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis for the 2013 season. 

Willis was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round (223rd overall) of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft. He broke into the major leagues in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. That season he was electric, going 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA, leading the Marlins to a World Series title. He was eventually named the National League Rookie of the Year. In 2005, he had another stellar season with the Marlins, finishing the season with a 22-10 record and a 2.63 ERA, He was voted to his second Major League All-Star game and finished second to Randy Johnson in the Cy Young Award voting. Over the next few years Willis was a solid pitcher for the Marlins but nothing like his first three seasons. A string of injuries contributed to inconsistency, which saw him play for five different organizations (Detroit Tigers, San Fransisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, and Baltimore Orioles) since 2008.  Last season, he pitched in 4 games for the Orioles Triple-A affiliate Norfolk.

I've always liked Dontrelle Willis. He was always smiling and you could tell he really enjoyed playing the game, which is probably why he hasn't retired yet. Hopefully like many other for major league veterans, he can resurrect his career with the Ducks.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guerrero Signs With Ducks

According to Ken Rosenthal, Vladimir Guerrero has signed with the Long Island Ducks. This hasn't yet been announced by the Ducks, but normally the Ducks keep this under wraps until they can get a public relations game plan together to announce it.

Vladimir Guerrero was considered one of the best players in baseball from 1998 until a few years ago. He has a .318 batting average, with 449 home runs, 1496 RBI in his major league career. Guerrero was selected as a Major League All-Star nine times, and was named American League Most Valuable Player in 2004. He's considered by many as a future Hall of Famer.

I could list all the accolades that Guerrero has received through out his career but I won't. Guerrero was one of the best players in baseball for over a decade. During his prime he was a 5-tool player who could do it all. At this point in his career he will used as a DH, but doubt he's lost the power that helped him hit 449 home runs during his major league career. Not only will this help the Ducks on the field, but it will generate ticket sales off of it. 

Update: At 8pm, Long Island Ducks General Manager Mike Pfaff confirmed on his twitter account that the Ducks have signed Vladimir Guerrero! 

Paul DeGrocco Not Returning As On-Field Host

Long time On-Field Host, Paul DeGrocco will not be returning for the 2013 season. DeGrocco joined the Ducks in the 2003 season, and has been the voice of the Ducks for many fans over his 10 years.

Paul has been the biggest ambassador of the Ducks over the years. He's represented them with professionalism and dignity in a job that commands composure.  He always greeted fans with a smile, and hello. His voice echoed through Bethpage Park to the sounds of laughter from fans. He was never above the fans, but rather one of them. Thanks Paul!

Flocking to Long Island, Ducks Ink Two More

The Long Island Ducks have signed outfielder Danny Perales and pitcher James Houser for the 2013 season.

Danny Perales was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 22nd round (657th overall) of the 2006 Major League Draft out of the University of Southern California. Over his seven year minor league career he's played in the Diamondbacks, Reds, and Blue Jays organization. His best season came in 2006 with South Bend (A), when he hit .282 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI. Last season he hit .279 with 6 home runs and 39 RBI for the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate, Las Vegas.

Pitcher, James Houser was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2nd round (38th overall) of the 2002 Major League Draft. The lefty pitched seven seasons in the Rays organization before joining the Florida Marlins in 2010. He started the 2010 season with the Marlins Triple-A affiliate New Orleans before getting called up to the majors on May 20th. Houser pitched 1.1 innings for the Marlins that season before being sent back down. Houser missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing open heart surgery. Last season, Houser pitched 34.1 innings, posting a 5-1 record and a 4.74 ERA between Camden and York.

It's interesting to look at both of these guys careers and see the potential. Perales is a run machine, who has some pop. While Houser is a solid reliever who throws two curveballs, a change-up along with a with a fastball that could hit 90. Should be interesting to see where they fit in with the Ducks.