Friday, April 29, 2011


est. 1998

SP - Joselo Diaz
SP - Pat Ryan

From The Ballpark at Harbor Yard
Bridgeport, Connecticut

LONG ISLAND DUCKS:  Looking To Rebound From An Average 2010 Season.

One of the most successful Independent League franchises ever; The Long Island Ducks, are kicking-off their 14th season of Atlantic League Baseball. 

They are managed by an ex-Met farm-hand; Kevin Baez, who played parts of three seasons between 1990-1993 in Flushing.  And, beloved Met Legend; Atlantic League patriarch; and part team owner, Buddy Harrelson returns to his familiar role as Bench Coach.

Many Met fans will recall this name; Duaner Sanchez.  The former Major League pitcher joins Long Island this season.  Other Long Island pitchers sporting Major League experience are:
Valerio De Los Santos
Joselo Diaz
Lenny DiNardo
Ruddy Lugo
Mike Parisi
Heath Phillips 
Ehren Wasserman
and Jeremy Hill.

New Jersey native, Port Washington resident and crowd favorite, Ray Navarrete is returning for his sixth season in a Ducks uniform.  In 2009, he was voted Atlantic League MVP.  And, another minor league veteran Javier Colina - whom I watched have his best season in 2007 while playing for the Bears in Newark, returns for his second season on Long Island.  In 2007, during the Bears last A.L. Championship season, he batted .309, with 26 home runs and 101 RBI in 121 games played.  In Game Three of that Championship Series, Javier Colina tossed me this ball:

Among Long Island's position players with MLB experience are:
Outfielder - Lew Ford
Outfielder and Native New Yorker - John Rodriguez  
Catcher - J.R. House

The Ducks open the season with a three game series versus Bridgeport, then head down to Camden, New Jersey and take on the River Sharks.  Long Island's Opening Day will be Friday, May 6th in a return series against the Bridgeport Bluefish.  Last season, the Bluefish lost the Championship series to the York Revolution.

Far from being bad, the 2010 season didn't go so well for the Quack Attack.  They finished the first half of the season in last place of the Freedom Division 5 games back of first, with a 36-34 (.514) record.  They finished the second half in third place with a .500 record; 34-34, and 12 games back.  Overall, they had a respectable 70-68 record (.507), but did not qualify for the playoffs.

But that hasn't dampened the spirits of their records-setting fan base a bit.  This season, based on early ticket sales, it looks like Long Islanders plan on making sure every home game is a sell out again, and therefore continuing their tradition of exceptionally strong support of the team.

This season, my goal is to make four or five trips out there.  They play 74 miles from my door.  I just hope they have room for one more.

Tonight, I'm headed to Bridgeport.

Let's Go Ducks!

Long Island Ducks
Bridgeport Bluefish
Atlantic League

The Road Warriors @ Lancaster Barnstormers
Camden River Sharks @ York Revolution
Somerset Patriots @ Southern Maryland Blue Crabs


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