Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gibbons Gets His Chance

One day after his desperate plea for a job went public, Jay Gibbons is poised to sign a professional contract:
Gibbons says he expects to sign with a team in the independent Atlantic League and be back in uniform within days, The Baltimore Sun reported. The outfielder, who was named in the Mitchell report and acknowledged using human growth hormone, had been without a job since he was released by the Orioles a the end of training camp.

"I want to continue my career and start over," Gibbons said, according to the report. "This is an opportunity, and that is all I have been looking for."
I guess we'll soon see if, as he claims, his best baseball is ahead of him.


Alex said...

I don't know anything about this Atlantic League, but I can't imagine it's got much more talent than the low minors. Gibbons has very recently been a moderately productive major leaguer. If he's serious about coming back, shouldn't he annihilate the independent leagues? I wonder, though, if he'll actually have some trouble adjusting to playing with talent so far below him. That doesn't make any sense at all, does it?

Pete Toms said...

I'm a day late, but...

Alex, you are misinformed about the Atlantic League. The AL is easily the best of the independent leagues and would be the nearest thing to AAA outside of AAA. Check out the rosters and transactions for the AL and you'll find a LOT of guys who were VERY recently in AAA or even MLB. Within the past week the Braves picked up Brian Lawrence and the Red Sox Dave Gassner out of the AL. They play a 140 game schedule now.

As for the rest of the Indy Leagues, yes certainly more akin to low minors. My city ( Ottawa ) is home to CanAm League (indy) this season after 15 years as a AAA city. Most of the guys in this league are recently released from low minors or were never signed after college. This league plays 94 games which is much, much more typical of indy leagues.

I read in BA last year that more than 100 ( IIRC ) players were signed out of indy leagues last season by big league clubs. There are success stories ( George Sherrill i.e. ) but overwhelmingly these guys are signed to be "organizational" players.

I'm happy to have indy ball here though, it's better than no ball at all and my boys ( 7 & 5 ) think it's a big deal.