Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prospects for Baseball and Baseball Prospects in the Mid-Atlantic

"J.D" has been keeping me abreast on the latest news regarding minor league baseball returning to Richmond. You may recall the Atlanta Braves moved their AAA team from Richmond to suburban Atlanta, leaving Richmond without a team. Lately, there has been talk of building a new stadium in the Richmond area in hopes of bringing a AA team to the area. This article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch is the latest news as of Saturday. Some of the potential ownership groups have the names of baseball legends attached to them, Ripken and Ryan.

My hope is Richmond will get a AA team and that the Nationals will have the team as their AA affiliate. I have jokingly told my friends any new team in Richmond should be called the Richmond Grays in homage to both the Negro Leagues and Richmond's historical significance. And, I think the team mascot should be an African-American Conferderate Army officer. Yes, I know that mascot would be offensive to everyone, that's why I said was joking. Of course, a friend of mine pointed out to me Clayton Bigsby may have already set a precedent for the mascot. If you're wondering who Clayton Bigsby is, you can watch part 1 of the "Frontline" profile of him here and part 2 here.

Friday's Washington Times had profiles of the two young baseball players who are considered the saviors of the mid-Atlantic's two major league clubs. Of course, pitching prospect Steven Strasburg hasn't even been drafted by the Nationals yet. The piece features some interesting thoughts by Tony Gwynn, the Hall of Famer, who now coaches Strasburg at San Diego State. (Virginia gave Strasburg his first loss of the year in the NCAA baseball playoffs Friday night. The AP story on the game is here.) Meanwhile in Baltimore, catcher Matt Wieters was called up from AAA by the Orioles Friday and was immediately made the O's starting catcher. The Times piece details the excitement in Baltimore.

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