Atlantic League of Professional Baseball


Atlantic League of Professional Baseball

:"This article refers to the modern Atlantic League. For the original incarnations of the Atlantic League, which operated between 1896 and 1915, see Atlantic League (1896-1915)"

Infobox sports league
logo=Atlantic League.pngpixels=150px
sport=Baseball
founded=1998
teams=8
country=USA
champion=Somerset Patriots
website= [http://www.atlanticleague.com atlanticleague.com]

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, especially the greater metropolitan areas of Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. It operates in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The Atlantic League requires cities to have the market for a 4,000 to 7,500-seat ballpark and for the facility to be maintained at or to exceed AAA standards. [cite web | title=Atlantic League Market Requirements | work=Atlantic League of Professional Baseball | url=http://www.atlanticleague.com/about.html | accessmonthday=May 6 | accessyear=2006]

The Atlantic League exists so that professional baseball players who are not signed by a Major or Minor League organization could have another chance at playing at a higher level. Although the level of Atlantic League play can be categorized as between AA and AAA, players in independent baseball are usually not scouted heavily by Major League teams. Many former Major League ballplayers have called Atlantic League teams home in an effort get back to the Majors. The league also caters to players who are not quite talented enough to play at a higher level.

History

In 1998, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball played its inaugural season. The creation of the league was the result of the New York Mets' objection to Frank Boulton's proposal to move the former Albany-Colonie Yankees to Long Island. The Mets objected to the move because of its territorial rights to the region. Boulton, a Long Island native, decided to create a new league that would have a higher salary cap for its players and a longer season than most of the other independent baseball organizations. He modeled the Atlantic League after the older Pacific Coast League, with facilities that exceed AAA-level standards. Boulton also emphasized signing players of Major League Baseball experience for all Atlantic League teams, raising the level of play above other independent leagues. With the success of the Atlantic League and his hometown Ducks, Frank Boulton hardly regrets the New York Mets' rejection to his proposal to move an affiliated team to Long Island. Boulton knew he would not have any say over the on-field performance of the players, or whether or not he could maintain his roster with promotions and delegations. The Long Island Ducks continue to be a strong draw in the region, averaging 400,000 fans a season, and have seen the likes of such Major League alumni as Edgardo Alfonzo, Pedro Borbón, Jr., José Offerman, Donovan Osborne, Bill Pulsipher, Armando Ríos, John Rocker, and Mark Whiten. In 2007, Frank Boulton expressed his contentment with the Atlantic League and the Ducks to Baseball America, saying: "The Long Island Ducks are the best thing I've ever done in baseball." [ [http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/features/265158.html Baseball America's 2007 Independent organization of the year] ]

Possible expansion

* Bergen County, New Jersey: legal issues have plagued Steve Kalafer's attempt to bring the Bergen Cliff Hawks to a new ballpark in the Meadowlands Xanadu complex. Kalafer sued the former ownership of the Xanadu complex, the Mills Corporation, after reneging on their agreement with him. In 2008, Kalafer agreed to drop the lawsuit against the Mills Corporation in lieu of the Meadowlands Developer Limited Partnership, the current ownership of the Xanadu Meadowlands complex, conducting a nine-month feasibility study for the ballpark. [ [http://www.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080819/SPORTS0104/808190370/-1/sportsfront MyCentralJersey.com] ]

* Northern Virginia: The Atlantic League is holding off on releasing its 2009 schedule while it determines its expansion options. One of those options include a new, Opening Day Partners-owned team in the Northern Virginia market, specifically Loudoun County. The potential team would play in a temporary stadium until a ballpark of its own is constructed. [ [http://www.inyork.com/sports/ci_10400921 Revs' owners eye expansion] ]

* Richmond, Virginia: Peter Kirk, the president of Opening Day Partners, is proposing a $40-million, 8,500-capacity ballpark in the city of Richmond. The stadium would include the Brooks Robinson Life-Skills Center, a skateboard park, miniature golf, and a bumper boat pond. The new ballpark could potentially host either a dedicated or interim Atlantic League team, or a Major League-affiliated team could lease it from Opening Day Partners. [ [http://ballparkdigest.com/news/2008/kirk_richmond.html Opening Day Partners ballpark in Richmond] ]

* West Chester, Pennsylvania: Both the mayor of West Chester, Dick Yoder, and Opening Day Partners are considering a $35 million-dollar ballpark for an Atlantic League team, or a possible relocated New York-Penn League franchise. [ [http://ballparkdigest.com/news/2008/kirk_richmond.html Opening Day Partners ballpark in Richmond] ] [ [http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/stories/2008/05/26/story3.html Group, towns in Chester County want to hear, 'Play ball'] ]

tructure

League leaders: A player must have a minimum of 340 plate appearances (at-bats, walks, hit-by-pitch, sacrifices and catcher interference) to qualify for batting categories. (2.7 x 126 games)

Disabled list: Any player placed on the disabled list must sit out for at least seven games. The first day on the disabled list is the day after the player's last game.

Designated hitter: A hitter may be designated to bat for the pitcher in any spot in the batting order in any game without affecting the status of the pitcher. The DH must be selected and be included on the lineup cards presented to the umpires prior to the game. The DH is locked into the batting order, but may be removed for a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner, who in turn immediately becomes the DH. While still in the game, the DH may be used defensively, but the pitcher must assume the batting of the replaced defensive player, thus terminating the DH role.

Pinch hitter: A player shall be considered a pinch hitter only if he enters the game as a substitute batter, and then only on his first time at bat, which must be before he becomes a fielder.

Regulation game: A regulation game consists of nine innings, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened (1) because the home team needs none of its half of the ninth or only a fraction of it, or (2) because the umpire calls the game.EXCEPTION: A double-header consists of two seven inning games, in which the rules applied for the ninth inning are applied to the seventh inning. If a game is called, it is a regulation game:1- If five innings have been completed.2- If the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings.3- If the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score. If each team has the same number of runs when the game ends, the umpire shall declare it a "tie game." If a game is called before it becomes a regulation game, the umpire shall declare it "no game."

Expansion drafts: When a new team joins the league, the existing teams must protect a given number of players from their end-of-season roster (active and disabled). The new teams will draft The Atlantic League negotiating rights to a selected number of players from the existing teams' rosters. No team can lose more than two players.

Open tryouts: The Atlantic League holds a league wide open tryout in Florida every winter. Each team in the league has the option to hold open tryouts for the ballplayers to attempt to make the team. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and have prior baseball experience for tryout for the team. Players signed by the open tryout are invited to spring training, but not guaranteed a place on the teams' roster.

alary guidelines

Players in the Atlantic League typically make under $3,000 a month. While the $3,000 per month maximum is not a salary cap, Joe Klein, Executive Director of the Atlantic League said that "(The eight teams) do their budgets together," Klein said, "It's hard to get them all in the same room, no less to agree on the same number." according to Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat. [ [http://www.mikeashmore.com/052506.htm The Official Web Site of Mike Ashmore | Patriots Article ] ]

Playoffs

The Atlantic League plays a split season format in which the first half and second half winners of each division will play in a best of three Divisional Series.

In the event a club should win both halves of their division, their opponent for the best of three divisional playoff shall be the club, regardless of division, designated as the WILD CARD, that has achieved the best overall record for the entire season. In the event of a tie between 2 or more clubs, the normal tiebreakers would be in effect.

Double Wild Card

In the event the same clubs win both halves of their respective divisions there are two scenarios:

l. If the two Designated Wild Card entrants (teams with next best overall record) are in separate divisions, they shall play the Division Champion in their respective division (regardless of record) in order to ensure each division having a representative in the Championship Series.2. If the two Designated Wild Cards are from the same division, then and only then would a seeding system come into play, by won loss record with one playing four and two playing three with all ties decided by the tie breakers system described above.

The winners of the two Divisional Playoff Series will meet in a best-of-five Atlantic League Championship Series. [cite web | title=Atlantic League Rules | work=Atlantic League of Professional Baseball | url=http://www.atlanticleague.com/rules.html | accessmonthday=May 6 | accessyear=2006]

Current franchises

* - First Half Winner + - Second Half Winner @ - First And Second Half Winner

Yesterday's Games:

References

ee also

*Independent league baseball

External links

* [http://www.atlanticleague.com Atlantic League of Professional Baseball]
* [http://www.atlanticleaguebaseball.com/ Atlantic League blog]
* [http://www.atlanticleagueindependent.com/ Atlantic League Independent]

Team websites

* [http://www.bridgeportbluefish.com Bridgeport Bluefish]
* [http://www.riversharks.com Camden Riversharks]
* [http://www.lancasterbarnstormers.com Lancaster Barnstormers]
* [http://www.liducks.com Long Island Ducks]
* [http://www.newarkbears.com Newark Bears]
* [http://www.somersetpatriots.com Somerset Patriots]
* [http://www.somdbluecrabs.com Southern Maryland Blue Crabs]
* [http://www.yorkrevolution.com York Revolution]


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