Marlton Athletics Baseball Club: A's Team Info

2001 A's Spring Preview
The Marlton A's 2001 ballclub will have a drastically different look to it, as due to injuries and work/family related committments, only five players will be returning from the 2000 squad.

As of March 24th, IF Terry Annese, 2B/P Ken Ferry, IF/OF Ed Miller, OF/IF Keith Wood and C/OF Lance Wood; are the only players returning from last year's decimated roster who are expected to ready by Opening Day. IF Jim Fischer, OF/IF Dan Kennedy and SS/P/OF Gary Giese have been placed on the inactive list due to personal committments. CF Todd Camp, 1B/3B Steve Lomax and 1B/OF Barry Annese have been placed on the Disabled List (DL) and will miss a portion or all of the upcoming season. Finally, OF's Dave Spector and Kevin Lomax were released in the off-season.

That leaves the roster in the position of needing some healthy bodies, and the rebuilding process has begun with the addition of eight new players to the ballclub.

Here is an overall Spring position-by-position preview of how the roster currently breaks down:

CATCHER: Behind the plate is where it all begins, and the A's have added depth in Bill Hazel, John Reidenbaker and Harry Ritchie to work behind the dish. All three will also be used at other positions around the infield and Hazel will also add some depth to the pitching corps as well. Lance Wood returns for a second season, but is expected to see more time in the outfield in 2001 rather than behind the plate.

INFIELDERS: The A's are doing quite a bit of reorganizing up the middle....2B Ken Ferry anchors the right side but may have to move back over to SS in order to plug up the projected loss of SS Gary Giese. The other middle infielders include 2B Pery Shusterman, 1B/2B/OF Keith Wood and Terry Annese, who can play all four infield positions.

There are quite a few choices to anchor the corners, which must replace ailing 1B/OF Barry Annese, who suffered what may be a career ending torn biceps tendon midway through last season; and 1B/3B Steve Lomax, who is rehabbing a reconstructed knee.

Utility specialists Ed Miller and Terry Annese played both 1B and 3B last season.....Harry Ritchie is expected to see time at 3B and SS when not catching and Rich Mazzella adds pop and a left handed bat at 1B....Keith Wood and P/1B/OF Ken Joerg can play other positions, but will also see time at first if need be.

OUTFIELD: A source of total rebuilding, the A's must deal with the loss of leadoff hitter and speedy CF Todd Camp, who is out at least through the first half of the season recovering from shoulder surgery. Last season's RF Keith Wood is likely to see more time in the infield and as an EH, opening up more time for all three outfield spots. The temporary loss of Camp will be filled by newcomer Ed Hall, who will be joined in an outfield mix with Lance Wood, Joe Walton, Ed Miller, Ken Joerg and John Reidenbaker.

PITCHING: The enigma of the ball club last season, the A's have been proactive in adding several arms to rebuild the pitching staff, following the projected losses of Gary Giese and Barry Annese.

Righthander Ken Ferry emerged as a valuable arm, both as a starter and out of the pen. Joining him this season will be Bill Hazel and Ed Miller, who's dancing knuckleballs will be more effective given the switch to wood bats.

From the left side, Ken Joerg and Rich Mazzella join the club in 2001 to help replace Annese, both of whom will be given the opportunity to work out of the pen in the early season.

The hope is that of the five projected pitchers, at least two starters (one from each side) will emerge, with the remaining players working out of the bullpen.


2004 MARLTON ATHLETICS PREVIEW

MARCH 25 - Eight months after the Good Guys in Black last walked off Bordentown's Gilder Field in defeat last August, the Marlton A's will open up the 2004 South Jersey MSBL schedule on April 18th looking something just short of an extreme makeover.

Gone are eight players from last year's playoff squad, including original A's Todd Camp, Barry Annese, Gary Giese and Keith Wood. Manager Terry Annese, tapping the experience of the A's 2001 roster overhaul, began the team makeover in December with the signing four veteran SJMSBL players: 2B Gary Shears (Sharks), OF/IF/P Jay Rabinowitz (Yankees), C/IF/OF George Rogers (Yankees) and SS/3B Hector Colon (Cardinals). They will be joined on the roster by SJMSBL newcomers C/IF Rich McNee (USOTB - Moorestown), 3B/SS Rich Hudgins (California MSBL/SJMSBL Fall League), 1B/OF/P Larry Hubert, OF Bob Karas and P Henry Williams (Utica Bluesox).

INFIELD: Larry Hubert, Gary Shears, Hector Colon and Rich Hudgins will form the core of a new Marlton infield. P/IF Ken Ferry, IF Terry Annese and 1B/OF Pery Shusterman should provide infield depth along with George Rogers and Rich McNee, who both can play the corner infield spots.

CATCHER: Rich McNee and George Rogers will take over the catching duties for ailing veteran A's backstop Bill Hazel, recovering from off season back surgery. In addition, Marcus John will once again include third catcher duties on his busy positional resume.

OUTFIELD: Jay Rabinowitz takes his strong arm across town from Medford Lakes to assume the fleet footed centerfield shoes of the departing Camp, while Marcus John anchors the left field spot when not on the hill. Ed Miller, Phil Anselmo and Bob Karas should see time in both right field and at the EH spot, with Larry Hubert and George Rogers providing some extra depth. In addition, Bill Hazel is targeted to return in mid-May as an OF/EH upon completion of his back rehabilitation.

PITCHING: The most stable position returning from last season, Marlton ace Ken Ferry will anchor the staff and look to continue his mound dominance over the last half of 2003. Now with a year under their belts, Marcus John and Phil Anselmo will get the lion's share of the remaining innings. Newcomers Jay Rabinowitz, Larry Hubert and George Rogers will add depth to the bullpen, while hard-throwing ex-Florida Marlins farmhand Henry Williams will assume Giese's closer role upon the completion of his rehab from off-season elbow tendonitis.

OFFENSE: The top five batting positions will be new in 2004. Marcus John and Gary Shears will be given the first crack at the 1-2 tablesetter spots - giving plenty of RBI opportunities to Rich McNee's steady righthanded bat at the number three hole. Manager Terry Annese will look to mix and match power threats Rich Hudgins, Larry Hubert, Ken Ferry and Bill Hazel in the middle of the order to take the best advantage of the friendly confines of new home Rotary Field. The remaining spots will be filled a combination of players based upon game to game needs. Ed Miller, Terry Annese, Pery Shusterman and Phil Anselmo look to bounce back after off seasons in 2003; while Jay Rabinowitz, George Rogers, Hector Colon and rookie power threat Bob Karas should add some pop in the lower half of the lineup.

PREDICTIONS: A second consecutive SJMSBL playoff berth will depend on a strong defensive showing, as well as the pitching staff maintaining form from its three returning mainstays from last season. The bullpen will be deeper and a healthy arm from closer Henry Williams could mean lights out for opposing teams after seven innings. Should the offense gel as expected it should be a very positive season for the Amazin's.



Top 10 of 2004
By Gary Shears

2004 had its’ shares of memorable moments. It was the most successful in team history and thus many memorable moments. A crack team was assembled to rate the Top 10 Marlton A’s moments of 2004. And here they are:

10. “Dumb and Dumber”: During the A’s/Blaze game in Glassboro,      Umpire 119 blew several calls that a blind man could have made. One was so bad it led to the ejection of A’s manager Terry Annese.

9. “Hoagie Gate II”: First Baseman Larry Hubert becomes the first baseball player in the history of the sport to smuggle food between double headers onto the field and utilize the first base bag as his personal China set.

8. “Bad Boy”: Upon being ejected from a game in Glassboro, Terry Annese is forced to sit on a curb across the parking lot from the field and phone in his strategies to base coaches. He was later brought a folding chair to make the experience more bearable.

7. “Morning Sickness”: Tobacco chewing second baseman Gary Shears decorates the first base coach’s box with his entrails after swallowing his chaw while running out an infield single. Shears quits tobacco shortly thereafter.

6. “The Contender”: After a long hot and humid game played versus the Blaze that resulted in a 12 run mercy rule, A’s ace Ken Ferry recommends coaching techniques and personnel management to opposition manager, Pat Quinn. A minor altercation ensues and Ken wins citizen of the year award.

5. “Old School”: On the eve of the 2004 season, Todd Camp and his lovely agent Carol pull the Georgia Peach out of retirement and agree to a multi-year deal with A’s ownership over hot wings and beers. Camp goes on to hit .444 and lead the team in steals for the 4th straight season.

4. “Duel at Dawn”: Steve Paolini and Cardinals ace, Ed Horner squared off in a pitchers duel that will be one for the SJMSBL ages. When the smoke cleared the Cardinals were ahead but the A’s got a glimpse of the future.

3. “Summer Catch”: Todd Camp ends the Deptford Twin rally with a highlight reel catch to end the game. It capped a double header sweep and gave Marcus John his first MSBL win.

2. “THE THROW”: Jay Rabinowitz brilliantly cuts down the angle of a gapper versus the Astros and in one motion hits SS Paolini with a bullet. In turn, Pao throws a seed to catcher Rich McNee who sells the “no throw” tag to nail the runner. It is arguably the best play of the year.

1. “Champs”: A’s put the University City Gray away at U Penn to seal their first division title in team history.

Honorable mentions:
•        McNees’ moonshot versus MudKats in Millville.
•        Ferry goes 10 innings vs Astros allowing only 1 unearned run
•        Hazel blasts one versus Blaze sparking A’s comeback
•        Back to Back Jacks by McNee and Hudgins versus Grays
•        Shears tagged out sleeping at second.