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All-Star Break Notebook

Well, the All-Star Break is here.  Last year at this time, the Long Island Ducks and Lancaster Barnstormers had already clinched playoff spots after winning the first half in their respective divisions, and the Revolution were in limbo after a second place finish.  And this year…well how’d that work out for those two clubs last fall?

Once again the Revolution will need to qualify for the postseason in the second half to win their third straight championship, either by winning the Freedom Division race or by a wild card entry, should Lancaster win the second half as well.  Last season, York became just the second team in the Atlantic League’s first 14 seasons to win a championship after making the playoffs via the second half.  Somerset was the other.  Now on to business…

If you’re making the trip to Camden for Wednesday’s Atlantic League All-Star Game, drive safe. Here are some tidbits sure to make you’re the life of any pre-game or post-game party:

  • If you are unable to make the trip, but would still like to watch the game, there is a live stream courtesy of the Riversharks you can watch.  Hit that up here:  http://meridix.com/everywhere.php?liveid=RiversharksRadio
  • As was the plan last year when the All-Star Game was in York, should the game be tied after nine innings, it will be settled by a homer-off opposed to extra-innings in an exhibition game.  As I did last year, please cross your fingers this happens.
  • York’s Michael Hernandez will attempt to be the first two-time winner of the Atlantic League All-Star Game MVP award.  Last year at Sovereign Bank Stadium, Hernandez rode a home run and double to MVP honors, albeit in a Somerset Patriots cap.  The Revolution haven’t yet had an All-Star Game MVP, although Ramon Castro earned the award in the 2008 game at Somerset as a member of the Newark Bears.  Long Island’s Kevin Baez, who will manage the Liberty Division squad as last year’s division champ, was voted MVP of the 2004 All-Star Game as a Ducks player.  Fond memories this week for Baez, as that 2004 game was the most recent All-Star Game held at Campbell’s Field in Camden, before Wednesday night.
  • On July 9, former Camden Riversharks outfielder and current Buffalo Bison Valentino Pascucci won the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo.  Pascucci played 14 games with Camden to start the season in 2010, before the Mets purchased his contract and sent him to Buffalo where he played the remainder of the year.  He played in 130 games for Buffalo last season before earning a 10-game September call-up with the Mets.  That placed Pascucci fairly high on the list of all-time Major League comebacks, as the now 33-year-old had last played in the big leagues when he made his MLB debut at 25 with the Montreal Expos, 32 games back in 2004.  After 288 games and counting in Western New York, the Buffalo Bisons fans  have taken to Pascucci as one of their own.  According to the team website, fans chanted VAL-EN-TINO as he was blasting his way to the derby win.  Another proud moment for an Atlantic League alum.  This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Triple-A All-Star Game, and it’s back where it all began in Downtown Buffalo back in 1988.  It’s the same stadium, but back then it was known as Pilot Field, and before it was Coca-Cola Field, it was also Dunn Tire Park.  (Too much info?  Read my bio, I love Buffalo.)  The Triple-A All-Star Game is Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. and will be televised on MLB Network.
  • York Daily Record Revolution beat reporter Jim Seip has been brushing up on his Chinese.  He posted this report on his blog Revs’ Inside Pitch about former (and future?) Revolution pitcher Matt DeSalvo leading the Chinese Professional Baseball League in strikeouts.  The CPBL is on the island of Taiwan of course.  Their season wraps up before ours, so the Revs coaching staff is still aiming for DeSalvo’s return for the stretch run late in the season, and hopefully the postseason.  He is playing for the Lamigo Monkeys over there for the time being.
  • As many of you are aware by now, Sugar Land signed Houstonian Scott Kazmir.  Should Kazmir still be playing for the Skeeters and in their rotation in September, Sugar Land’s final visit to York this season is September 3-6, a four-game series.  So Kazmir would have an 80% chance of starting a game at Sovereign Bank Stadium during that series.  If he’s still with the club at season’s end, the Revolution end the regular season with six games in Sugar Land.  If he’s still in the rotation then, he would definitely have to make a start against York.

-Paul Braverman

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