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bushleaguer

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About bushleaguer

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  • Birthday 12/14/1965

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  1. Jason Perry has signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. http://lancasterbarnstormers.com/news.cfm?newsID=338
  2. Huey, here is something to confirm that: http://houston.astros.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20071130&content_id=2314300&vkey=pr_hou&fext=.jsp&c_id=hou Also, I noticed that Tony Jaramillo, former hitting coach for West Michigan from 2004-2006, was named hitting coach for Greenville.
  3. I thought that Miner still has two option years. I may have missed something, and often do, but I thought that he was put on a 40-man roster for the first time in 2006 (Tigers purchased 5-31-06), then he finished the season on the 40-man. In 2007, he was optioned and recalled several times, making this his first option year. I believe this leaves him two more option years, but maybe I missed something.
  4. http://www.seawolves.com/seawolves-news/2008/01/former-wolf-alan-mills-new-job-in-retirement Alan Mills flew under the radar in 2007 when, after five years of not stepping on the mound, made a triumphant return to baseball. Mills filled the one major gap on the ’07 SeaWolves squad, a closer. While no one really knew what to expect from the 40-year-old Major League veteran, he quickly showed he still “had it” when he hit 90+ miles an hour on the radar gun. While Mills did not receive a callup to the Tigers, his accomplishments were amazing, converting on 23-of his first-23 save opportunities and helping lead the SeaWolves to their first Southern Division crown since 2001. His 23 saves also tied him for third-most all time in SeaWolves history. But it wasn’t only his on-field accomplishments that caught the eyes of the Tigers minor league brass in 2007, it was his off the field contributions to the club that made him a prospect once again. This time, however, it was a prospect of a different variety. The Tigers were so impressed with how the humble Mills interacted with his teammates that he was offered a job as the West Michigan Whitecaps pitching coach. Below is a recent article by MILB.Com’s Lisa Winston on the life story of Alan Mills. Perspective: Mills' return went beyond stats Former Major Leaguer's comeback in Erie impressed players, coaches By Lisa Winston Right-hander Alan Mills enjoyed a comeback season unlike any other I have ever seen in my 20 years of covering baseball. Like a meteor shower in your own backyard, it was brilliant and unexpected and all-too-brief. In his first 27 games with Detroit's Double-A Erie SeaWolves, Mills went 23-for-23 in save opportunities, posting a 1.65 ERA and limiting Eastern League hitters to a .154 average. He finally got hit on Aug. 28, giving up four runs in two-thirds of an inning to "skyrocket" his final ERA to 2.79. All this came at the age of 40 after having been away from the game since the end of 2001. A fellow closer in the league mentioned that he thought of Mills when his pitching coach had been filling out a survey that asked for "the best" in every category in the league. "How great would it be," he mused, "if Alan Mills was named the top relief prospect in this league?" I witnessed first-hand the season he had when he should have been voted the best relief prospect in his league. It was 1989 and I was the rookie beat writer for the Yankees' Prince William Cannons in the Class A Carolina League. At the end of the first half, the team had the worst record in the league, and was mired in last place in the first-half North Division standings. The team's biggest bugaboo was its pitching, which was in shambles. Great talent but no consistency and a bullpen that could not find a true closer (or, as we called it in those days, stopper). That changed on June 24 when the Yankees brought up Alan Mills from their Class A Fort Lauderdale team. He wasn't immediately welcomed as a savior, at least not to any Prince William fans who had known him in his previous two full-season stints with the Cannons in 1987-1988, when he'd combined to go 5-19 with a 5.07 ERA (2-11, 6.09 in 1987 and 3-8, 4.13 in 1988). "In 1987 I had pitched so badly that I was probably one of the worst pitchers in the league," Mills recalled of his first few go-rounds in Virginia. "I was fortunate not to get released. ... and 1988 wasn't much better." During the following offseason Mills knew he would have to do something drastic to continue his career so he built a mound in his backyard and hung up a tire to throw through several times a day. "Before that I was more of a thrower," he said, "But pitching is much easier when you can locate and throw strikes." In the second half of 1989, the Cannons went from worst to first, going on to win their first -- and only thus far -- Carolina League title (they're now the Potomac Nationals). Much of the credit for that can go to Mills. Going 6-1 with an 0.91 ERA, he was not only the best pitcher on the team but he made everyone else better as they discovered their roles. The Yankees responded by doing what was almost unheard of for them at the time. They brought Mills from Class A to the Majors to start 1990. He posted a 4.10 ERA in 36 games with the Bronx Bombers in '90, en route to a 12-year Major League career in which he went 39-32 with a 4.12 ERA in 474 games. He spent the bulk of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, to whom he was dealt in 1992, with a brief stint in Los Angeles. His best season came in 1992 when he was 10-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 35 games for the Orioles. His last regular-season appearance came with the Orioles in October 2001. So when I saw that he had returned to the mound this past summer, I circled the date that Erie would come through Bowie in red pen and headed out to Prince Georges Stadium that afternoon. One thing I knew about Alan was that although he is one of the most kind and thoughtful gentlemen I have ever met in my 20 years covering the game, he's not comfortable being in the "media spotlight" and generally respectfully declines to talk about himself on the record. So when people there found out who I was there to see, I got a very definite, "yeah, good luck with that" look. But when Alan peeked out and saw it was me, the slightly wary expression was replaced by the big welcoming smile I'd missed. He explained to me he still wasn't talking on the record -- yet -- about the comeback attempt. He just wanted to see how everything worked out. He was flying so far below the radar that even some of his family was still in the dark about what he was doing. His dad knew, of course, but his siblings all thought he was there as a coach. "Well, what if they Google you to find out your stats? Won't they find out then?" I asked. He gave me a slightly mischevious smile. "Lisa, how many people Google a coach for his stats?" But last week, while enjoying the holidays with his kids, he shared his story, reflecting on his reasons for leaving, his reasons for coming back and his plans for 2008. During Spring Training of 2002, with two of his three children still babies, he made the decision to walk away from the game to be with his family. What he didn't expect was to go through a divorce shortly thereafter. It took awhile for him to, in his own words, "regroup," and he didn't want to venture too far from his home and kids in Lakeland, Fla. During that time, Mills coached local amateur baseball teams, staying in shape and keeping his 90-mph fastball, slider and changeup sharp. There were a few times he looked into returning to the game with teams that had local Spring Training camps. He came close to signing with the Cleveland Indians, and went to Spring Training in 2004 for several weeks with Tampa Bay, but in both cases their farm teams were too far from home so he walked away. Over time, though, he and his ex-wife worked through the situation to the point that by last spring, Mills felt he was ready to give it one last try. "I knew the window of opportunity was closing," he said, "And our ability to communicate allowed it to take place without any conflict of interest when it came to our kids." Through a network of local baseball friends and former players, the word spread to Dan Lunetta, Detroit's director of Minor League operations, that Mills still "had it." He arranged for Mills to throw for pitching coordinator Jon Matlack and player development director Glenn Ezell and, after a few months, Mills was headed to Erie, Pa. He joined, in early June, a club that was just 30-25, somewhere in the middle of the Eastern League pack. He joined a pitching staff that featured several of the Tigers' top young prospects. For that matter, even his manager, Matt Walbeck (who has since left the organization to become Texas' third base coach) was younger than Mills at 37. Mills did not set any particular goals for himself, no deadline that said "Detroit or bust." All he wanted was the chance to see what he could do after more than half a decade away from the game he still missed. "After being out so long, I really didn't know what to expect, or even if I'd be able to endure the rigorous demands of a season," he said. "I just went with the intention of trying to be available every day. I couldn't have imagined pitching the way I did." By September, Mills had helped lead the team to an 81-59 record, first place in their division, and a spot in the Eastern League playoffs. If he was disappointed not to be called up to Detroit in September, he hid it well. "They were in the race and were having issues in the bullpen with injuries and what not," he said. "So once a certain amount of time passed by I figured it wouldn't happen." Ezell already had some strong thoughts about where he wanted to see Mills down the line -- as a member of the Tigers' player development field staff -- and his performance, both on and off the field, simply reinforced them. "He is absolutely a consummate professional," Ezell said, "The players had the utmost respect for him." Ezell's impressions were confirmed when he went to see his Tigers prospects play in the Arizona Fall League. While there, he was chatting with Matt Rankin, the trainer for Triple-A Toledo, who was serving as the trainer for the Peoria Saguaros. "He asked me, 'Who is this Alan Mills guy that all the pitchers were talking about?' Because everybody who came up from Erie to Toledo had nothing but high praise for him," Ezell recalled. "That to me is the ultimate compliment. Even after numerous years in the Majors, here he was in Double-A, still working to get better, and the young players saw that and appreciated it." Mills met with Ezell and Matlack this fall and was offered the position of pitching coach at West Michigan, the two-time defending champions of the Class A Midwest League. Among the pitchers expected to be in his charge could be teenage right-hander Rick Porcello, the Tigers' top draft pick in 2007 and a young man widely regarded as the top high school pitcher available in that draft. But just because he's no longer pitching doesn't mean he's lost his competitive spirit. "I hope that I never lose the feeling of wanting to play, because it allows you to maintain a certain energy level and passion," he said. "But there comes a time when you have to let go of playing." Meanwhile, instead of throwing a ball through a tire in his backyard this offseason, he's reading as many books and watching as many videos about teaching pitching as he can, while trying to reflect on everything he learned over the years from a variety of great coaches that have included A.J. Sager, Dick Bosman and Ray Miller. But maybe one of the best lessons he could pass along to his charges this summer, came from one Alan Mills circa 1987-1988. "When you get to the Majors and become established, sometimes you can forget about the past," he said. "I try not to forget about the rough years I had, because I had talent but wasn't seasoned enough to really know what I needed to do with it to be successful."
  5. The Tigers website has links to listen to the Inside Tiger Town broadcasts. They have broadcast 4 shows so far, with 10 more to follow. The shows are around an hour long. Helps fill a void during the offseason. http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/fan_forum/hotstove.jsp
  6. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=rotowire-lexeiamirezignsithhi&prov=rotowire&type=fantasy Update: Ramirez has signed a four-year contract with the White Sox, ESPN reports. The Cuban defector had established residence in the Dominican Republic in November. Recommendation: He led the Cuban baseball league in home runs last season and some speculate he could win a major league job right away in spring training. He'll be a wild card and a player to watch early in spring training.
  7. http://www.thedailystar.com/archivesearch/local_story_349040049.html Published: December 15, 2007 04:00 am Hello, Newman By P.J. Harmer Staff Writer Oneonta, start your engines. Ryan Newman will make Oneonta his home this summer, when the former New York-Penn League player and coach who shares his name with one of NASCAR's top drivers will manage the Single-A Oneonta Tigers. O-Tigers team owner Sam Nader announced the hire Friday afternoon. Newman said the Detroit Tigers offered him the position Tuesday and he accepted it Thursday. "I'm excited to come to the Tigers and I felt this was a good opportunity," Newman said from his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. "The way they run things and the way they move people is exciting. It gives you a boost of excitement." Newman becomes the 26th manager in Oneonta history, the seventh since the team switched its affiliation from the New York Yankees to Detroit in 1999. He takes over for Andy Barkett, who was promoted to Single-A Lakeland last month after leading the O-Tigers to the Stedler Division title in his first season as a manager at any level of professional baseball last summer. Barkett led the O-Tigers to a 45-34 record and the first round of the NY-Penn playoffs. Eventual league champion Auburn eliminated Oneonta by winning their best-of-3 postseason series, two games to one. "This is a great way to celebrate the holidays," said Newman, who inherits a team that has won four of the last six Stedler Division crowns. "Me and my wife (Megan) have been discussing it this week and it's a great opportunity for me, not just to manage, but to get in the Detroit organization." Newman, 28, has spent his entire professional career in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, including the last three seasons as a coach. Although Newman played for NY-Penn rival Williamsport in 2002 and coached the Crosscutters in 2006, he has never been to Oneonta because the Tigers were on the road for both series. Still, he became familiar with the area as a coach under former O-Tigers manager Kevin Bradshaw in the Hawaiian Winter League this year. "He said the people are great, it's a beautiful area and a fun place to go in the summer," Newman said of Bradshaw, who managed the O-Tigers in their first season as an affiliate of Detroit, in 1999. "I heard things as a player about the ballpark, but I've heard they've done some things with the park." Newman also coached this past season at Single-A Hickory under Gary Green, who managed Oneonta in 2000 and 2001. Newman is the son of former major leaguer Jeff Newman, who played in nine major league seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox. He also coached third base for 14 years at the major-league level with Cleveland, Oakland, Baltimore and Seattle. An infielder who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002, Ryan Newman played three seasons in the minor leagues for the Pirates, peaking at Single-A Lynchburg in 2004. A career .189 hitter (77-for-407), Newman had three doubles, a home run and 33 RBIs in his three professional seasons. "I like to score runs," he said. "But it all comes down to the team we get out of mini-camp after the draft. ... I'm old-school where I think pitching and defense will win, but I'm aggressive on the offensive side." New trainer Nader also announced Tyler DePew will take over as the trainer of the O-Tigers, earning a promotion from the Gulf Coast League Tigers. DePew replaces Eric Hall, who earned a promotion to Single-A West Michigan. DePew is in his third season with the Detroit organization. Connolly signs with Tigers Oneonta High graduate Jon Connolly, 24, signed a Triple-A contract Friday that will keep him in Detroit's organization. "This was my free agent year, so I could have signed with anyone," said Connolly, a left-handed pitcher who went 7-7 with a 4.58 ERA for Double-A Erie and 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA for Triple-A Toledo last season. "Detroit wanted to sign me back and that was a good feeling." Connolly, drafted by the Tigers in the 28th round of the 2001 draft, said he'll likely begin the season at Erie or Toledo. ___ P.J. Harmer can be reached at pharmer@thedailystar.com or 607-432-1000, ext. 229.
  8. BA's minor league transactions for 12-1-07 to 12-11-07: Signed: RHP Francis Beltran, RHP Marcelo Perez, LHP Jon Connolly, C Dane Sardinha http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=694
  9. Roger, do you know something we don't? After all, you broke the news on the Bradshaw/Barkett moves...
  10. Baseball America did a nice piece on Wally: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/features/265153.html
  11. Rogers is a B type FA (according to USA Today about a week ago). If arbitration is offered, and he signs elsewhere, what would draft pick(s) would be the Tigers acquire? I have not been able to determine this exactly, and have seen some stuff about the top draft picks being protected, and signing dates coming into play. Regardless, I think the Tigers should offer arbitration, try to re-sign to an affordable/reasonable contract and take the draft pick(s) if signed elsewhere.
  12. Another USABaseball.com article, this one about about Dallas Trahern: http:///mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/article.jsp?story=pro_notes_103007
  13. USABaseball.com article: http://mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/article.jsp?story=pro_notes_110107 Mentions Trahern being in the running for a starter spot, and Holliman being a super-sub.
  14. That’s a good question, Edman. Can a team & player arrange a contract that allows extra option years, so that being optioned to the minors does not expose the player's contract to be claimed? I don't know the answer to that one. It seems to me that the player would be able to contractually relinquish the option rights if they so chose, in order to guarantee where they are playing & living, but I do not know whether the MLB rules allow it.
  15. From the Free Press: Mike Hessman, who batted .235 in 17 games for the Tigers this year, has signed a split contract with the club for 2008 worth $390,000 in the majors and $120,000 in the minors. He will participate in spring training but is not guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071030/SPORTS02/710300394/1050
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