A 2012 Eastern League All-Star baseball card signed by league MVP Darin Ruf, likely my final baseball park autograph of the season.

I really haven’t been posting regularly for the past two months. Partly it’s because of the mix of apathy and frustration that the New York Mets have inspired, but mostly it’s been because of personal issues. I don’t think I’m going to be back to writing every day anytime soon, but I will try to do better than I have been. I’ve been a bit more active on Twitter (@PaulsRandomStuf) and Instagram (@pauleybaseball), since they are easier to access via my phone when I have a few free minutes.

Congratulations to the Akron Aeros, who defeated the Trenton Thunder last night to win the 2012 Eastern League championship title. I didn’t get to see any of the series, but I did watch the Thunder beat the Reading Phillies to advance past the first round. The Reading Phillies were very gracious after their defeat, hanging out to sign autographs and handing out cleats and caps to their south Jersey fans after the game. Darin Ruf, who gave me what will probably be my final baseball park autograph of the season, had reason to want to celebrate – he was headed up to the big leagues. The rest of the guys could have been forgiven if they just wanted to get home.

As for the other leagues I followed to some degree this season, congratulations to the Quebec Capitales, who won their fourth straight Can-Am League championship title, and the Hudson Valley Renegades, who won the New York-Penn League crown. The Brooklyn Cyclones reached the NY-Penn League playoffs, but were knocked out in the first round.

About these ads

About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper and current contributor to Hot Stove Baseball. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

8 responses

  1. Hope everything is OK with you, Paul. And, if it’s not, I hope everything works itself out for you soon.

    I understand the apathy part. Hell, I’ve been a Mets fan since 1965 and I’ve gone through plenty of that. But the season’s almost over so, two weeks from now, there won’t be much to talk about anyway. In other words, don’t close up shop just yet as it’ll close on its own soon enough.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thank you, Mark. I’m not planning to close up shop completely, but unless R.A. Dickey gets a shot at 20 wins I don’t think I’ll be writing about the 2012 Mets again unless I feel the urge to do a post-mortem.

      Like

  2. Freddy says:

    I wonder if there’s going to be a Can Am league next year or some type of merge with the American Association. The NJ Jackals were once in the old Northern League- the AA has many former NL teams.

    Like

    • Freddy,

      Though anything is possible, I’d bet on no Can-Am League.

      As you know, there were five teams this year. Worcester is cooked; they couldn’t pay their bills and the league suspended their operations. That’s four. Newark averaged under a thousand last year and under 700 this year. Atlantic City went two and out after dropping down from the Atlantic League and, sorry to say that the Newark owners, also staring down at two and out, aren’t going to be asked to apply to Mensa anytime soon. So, we’re down to three. And one of those teams is 500 miles away from the other two and the American Association is about a thousand miles away.

      So, sayonara Can Am. Unless, of course, two or three teams could be found to replace the dearly departed. And I don’t think that’s going to happen.

      Like

    • Paul says:

      I saw an article suggesting Rockland was in favor of some sort of merger between the leagues (I think you sent me the link, Freddy), but I’d be interested to see what the American Association teams thought of the idea. The travel can’t be very appealing.

      Unless the economy picks up very quickly, I don’t think the northeast can support all of the pro teams that currently exist. The Can-Am League has some of the weakest markets. If it goes, maybe Rockland could try to lure a New York-Penn team or get an Atlantic League franchise. Maybe Montclair could host a college summer league team.

      Like

  3. Will in Central NJ says:

    Best wishes to you, Paul. Hoping it all works out.

    I went to Bridgeport yesterday to see the Sugarland Skeeters play the Bluefish under gorgeous September skies. I even ran into some familiar ‘graph hunter faces from Newark. I got plenty of Bluefish to sign on Autograph Sunday, and a handful of Skeeters, too. Sugarland Manager Gary Gaetti signed tons for everyone…hats off to him for his generosity. RHP Gary Majewski was also nice with ‘graph seekers. LHP Scott Kazmir limited himself to one per person. Everyone knew Clemens didn’t travel with the team, but we were all disappointed former Met RHP Tim Redding was on the inactive list, and not present.

    With an Atlantic League ERA over 5.00, I wonder if Kazmir’s got anything left to show in the Majors….on the other hand, he is a lefty, so if he hangs on, someone in the Majors could take a flyer on him.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thank you, Will.

      I always liked the Bridgeport park – it’s got one of the most unique backdrops I’ve ever seen. I caught a game between the Skeeters and Riversharks in Camden earlier this season. Gary Gaetti signed everything for everybody then, too, and former Astros outfielder Jason Lane was also obliging. Kazmir hadn’t joined the team yet… I don’t think Majewski or Redding were on the roster then, either.

      As much as I’d like to see Kazmir find his way back, I think that if he had been able to convince any major league scouts that he had something left, he wouldn’t be a Skeeter.

      Like