Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 3/15/13
The best place for an Independent Baseball fan to hang out this month—at least aside from a major league spring training site where many a hopeful is playing—might be at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex on the south side of Sarasota, FL.            At one time, this same site hosted the Kansas City Royals’ innovative Baseball Academy.  Now, it is the Baltimore Orioles minor league spring training camp, where well over 20 products of the Independent leagues are trying to claw their way up the baseball ladder.  More than half of them have joined the Birds’ nest since the end of last season.            “We have placed an emphasis on Independent Baseball, and acquiring players from Independent Baseball”, Executive Vice President Dan Duquette told The Baltimore Sun during the winter meetings last December.  Last season’s signing of veteran outfielder Lew Ford (Long Island, NY, Atlantic League), who helped the major league club late last year and into the postseason, may have inspired them.    They also brought veteran Indy scout Mal Fichman in, and they have dipped into seven different current or former leagues with seven players having experience in the American Association and at least three each in the Atlantic, Frontier and Can-Am Leagues.            Each player—whether new to the Baltimore Orioles system or already established—has his credentials, of course, with left-handed pitcher David Quinowski, righties Tom Boleska and Stu Pomeranz, catcher Zane Chavez and veteran outfielder Adam Greenberg high on this typist’s radar. And obviously on that of the Baltimore Orioles This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball.  Forty columns are planned during 2013.  Fans may subscribe at WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy the blog, IndyBaseballChatter.com, which has supplemental stories, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.) The post Baltimore Orioles scouting the independent leagues hard appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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