Vlad, D-Train, and Promo Vans … Wait, what?
ICYMI, while the Long Island Ducks were signing Dontrelle Willis and Vladimir Guerrero, the Bluefish were busy getting their promo van freshly wrapped. Woohoo! Way to go Ken. I’ve mentioned before how frustrated I’ve been with the stark difference in the way Frank Boulton deals with his two teams—the Long Island Ducks and the Bridgeport Bluefish, these signings just put me over the edge.
I can only dream of the excitement a big Latin name like Vladdy would bring to a ballpark like Bridgeport’s Harbor Yard. Such a name would draw in Bridgeport’s local Hispanic baseball fans to become Bluefish fans and attend games throughout the season. Right now, the weekends can sport some pretty full stands with folks that make one trip a year from the suburbs for the fireworks or because little Johnny’s Little League team will be out on the field or little Becky’s grade school choir is singing the national anthem. These folks don’t make it back and they most definitely don’t bother with weekday games. At some point the front office DOES have to bother with what will bring in actual baseball fans—big names and winning.
So how are we doing on that folks? Well, the roster has gone up from 8 to 16 players. Great, it doubled, right? Yeah, sounds great until you check out the other teams’ rosters. Let’s just say the ‘Fish are playing catch-up, but isn’t that the story most seasons? The biggest names for the team so far are Alexis Gomez and Jeff Fulchino. Exactly, I had to look them up as well. I’m exaggerating a bit, Gomez was an AL Champion with Detroit and Fulchino had a great 2009 with Houston, but since neither were with northeast teams they don’t ring a bell for most. Oh and one more thing, those last two I mentioned, in addition to about 5 other players, didn’t play last season—ANYWHERE. So I root for the Bluefish and the Yankees. How’s YOUR baseball season going so far?
On the Upside of Last Place
Well, they’ve done it. They’ve managed to get themselves to the bottom of their division after they were ridin’ high in 1st place earlier in the season. Should we still hope they’ll get back to first from 6 games back by the All Star break? As much as I love my Fish, I’m definitely skeptical, BUT I’m determined to keep this post positive—so here are some reasons why the Bridgeport Bluefish fans should be excited and believe they can make their way back to first place.
Top 5 Reasons the Fish will find their Upside
Frank Boulton’s Ugly Step Child
Six days and two series later, the Bridgeport Bluefish are still sitting at 3.5 games back. They lost the Blue Crabs series and split the Long Island series. The split with the Ducks was actually a high point after they had lost 7 out of the last 9 games. I was ready to lose hope for the 1st half if they had finished 1-3 or 0-4 vs the Ducks. The 2-2 split lets the fans know the Fish bats are gettin’ going and they’re still fightin’ for first.
The fight will be a little more difficult now that they’ve lost two of their top players. Joey Gathright, our everyday centerfielder and lead off hitter was signed by the Reds organization this past Thursday. We have yet to acquire a replacement that will make up for the loss. First Collen DeLome filled in, then Kennard Jones, but before the next series was over, we lost Collen DeLome to the Braves organization. DeLome stuck around for the last game vs Long Island, but didn’t play. He’s probably headed south as I write this. Good luck to both, but they’ll be missed. Joey’s already steppin’ up with the Louisville Bats going 3 for 8 with 3 walks and a stolen base.
Here’s where the venting starts. While Frank Boulton and his LI Ducks acquired Armando Benitez, which put them into sports news tickers across the country, Frank Boulton and his Bluefish acquired Wynn Pelzer and Peter Barrows to fill the roster spots left by Delome and Gathright. Not much excitement comes with these two; Wynn Pelzer was a LI Ducks cast off and Peter Barrows has about a season’s worth of experience. Does anyone else see a problem with the same guy owning two teams not only in the same League, but in the same Division??!! And they’re each other’s biggest rival! The Long Island Ducks are the haves and the Fish are the have nots—from empty ballpark seats to a website that looks like a high school freshman put it together. To us run of the mill fans, it’s always looked as if none of the suits are interested in improving the Bridgeport Bluefish presence. Even something as simple as keeping your fans up to date on team transactions doesn’t happen. I shouldn’t have to scour the internet for the latest news. Their homepage, facebook page, and twitter account should be giving me all there is to know about the Fish, but that’s not the case. Am I grateful that Boulton snatched the team up for the sake of the league? Yes, but its time for a legit owner now. Wanted: One passionate Bridgeport native baseball fan with plenty of money to buy an Independent League Team. Thanks.
Bluefish vs Ducks Preview
The Bluefish start a 3 game series with their Liberty Division rivals, the Long Island Ducks. The starting pitchers/lineup are nowhere to be found online right now. My best guess for the Ducks is that they go back to their #1, Mike Loree, or Randy Keisler will make his first start. Mike Loree already made a decent showing in their first game vs Somerset. He went 5.1 innings with 6 strikeouts for the no decision. Keisler has yet to pitch for the Ducks this season, but last year’s 19 of 23 appearances for the LA Dodgers Triple-A club were as a starter. As a LI Duck in 2010 he went 5-0 starting 8 games.
Ducks To Watch Out For
Ray Navarrete - He play 2B and on Sunday became the all-time franchise leader in games played with 638. Not only does he show up, but he’s their hottest hitter right now going 7 for 16 with 4 doubles and 1 homerun.
The Ducks Bullpen - Jon Meloan has been serving as their closer and already has 2 saves. He’s struck out 6 batters in 3 innings and has yet to give up a walk—yikes. The Fish better get the lead and keep it early on. Jason Monti has pitched 4 strong innings in 2 relief appearances. He struck out three, gave up 1 run, and didn’t walk a soul.
Bottom line? The Bluefish will win the series, not because of stats or records, but because that’s my team! Completely subjective. Now go out and catch a game at Harbor Yard!