While I was browsing Twitter today I noticed that Long Island Ducks outfielder Danny Perales was using one of my photos as his Twitter photo. I thought that was extremely cool, so I've decided to put some more pictures of Danny on my blog for him and his fans to see.

2013 Topps Heritage - Ike Davis
Going into tonight's game against the New York Yankees, Ike Davis is hitting .152. Yes, .152.

The player who the Mets thought would be their franchise first baseman for years to come has struggled over the first parts of the last two seasons. Davis finished last season with respectable power numbers, 32 home runs and 90 RBI, but his batting average was a dismal .227.

Over the last two seasons Ike is hitting a combined .210.

In 2010, Davis came up to the major leagues with some fan fare, and impressed that first season. People were expecting bigger things out of him in 2011, but he was derailed by an injury and missed almost the entire season. Before he was hurt he was hitting .302 with 7 home runs and 25 RBI in 36 games.

It's obvious that Ike has the talent to be a solid major league first baseman, but he needs to work out his swing, confidence, and overall game. It's possible that the injury Ike suffered in 2011 could still be in the back of his mind.

With the Mets season going nowhere, the organization needs to send him down to the minors to work things out, so when they are competitive in the future he can contribute. I felt this move should have been made last year, but it's easy to second guess the Mets at this point. Also, being away from the New York media and scrutiny should be a breath of fresh air to Ike. 

Hopefully Ike can get his head back together, and be the player that we all hope he can be. The one thing you always fear if and when a player gets sent down is that they won't produce in the minors, and they'll fall further into a funk. It's a risk the Mets will need to take if they hope to get Ike back on the track. 
I'm pretty excited about the upcoming MLB Draft which will be held on June 6, 2013.

In the past I haven't paid much attention to the draft a side from who the Mets drafted, but this year my interest is peaked as I'll be attending more New York-Penn League games this summer.

The draft will supply a majority of players on New York-Penn League rosters.

Many of the players who play in the New York-Penn League will never make it to the major leagues, but there are a few who do. It will be interesting to see who the big prospects are that land in Troy, Brooklyn, and Burlington this summer. 

Last season, I got a chance to see Mets 2011 1st round pick Brandon Nimmo play for the Brooklyn Cyclones in Vermont against the Vermont Lake Monsters.

New York Mets 2011 1st Round Pick, Brandon Nimmo
It's cool to see these players at such a young age and watch them develop over time. Also, you never know which players will end up being a star in the major leagues one day.
Former New York Yankees great, Sparky Lyle will be the special guest at "An Aficionado Experience" presented by Northwestern Mutual to benefit the Center for Disability Services in Albany, NY. The event is being held at the Pruyn House, in Loudonville, NY on Thursday, June 6th at 6pm.

The Center for Disability Services is very close to my heart, as it has provided to swimming lessons for my daughter Emma, who has Autism. Emma loves swimming and prior to her lessons at the Center, we struggled to find her a setting where not only she felt comfortable but we did as well. The Center for Disability Services provided that for Emma and us.

It also provides many services for children and adults with various disabilities, who may not be able to afford those services on their own. 

Most of my readers will not be attending this event, but I've provided a link so that you can see what the Center offers and how special it is. Please take the time to visit their site! 

This past Sunday I went to the pre-game autograph session at the Long Island Ducks. I had got many of the cards for my collection signed in April, but Drew Pelto and some other collectors sent me some cards to get signed for them.

I met up with fellow collector Howie Kaplan prior to the game and we exchanged some cards, and talked baseball. He hooked me up with some pocket schedules from the Binghamton Mets, and Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for my pocket schedule collection.

The autograph session went extremely well. Here's what I got during the pre-game autograph session.

Billy Murphy - 4/4 (including custom card)
Ian Snell - 6/6
Ben Broussard - 8/8 (including custom card)
Josh Barfield - 3/6
Bryant Nelson - 4/4 (including custom card)
P.J. Phillips - 4/4
Nick DeBarr - 4/4 (including custom card)
Josh Lansford - 1/1 (custom card)
Joash Brodin - 1/1 (custom card)
Rian Kiniry - 1/1 (custom card)
Adam Bailey - 1/1 (custom card)
Danny Perales - 1/1 (custom card)
Ralph Henriquez - 1/1 (custom card)
Gabe Suarez - 1/1 (custom card)
Steve Foucault - 1/1
Dan Lyons - 1/1 (Vermont Lake Monsters ice cream helmet)

As I got to the end of the line, I heard one of the ushers say that the line to get Dontrelle Willis was closed. So like in April, I walked into the stands and leaned over the railing. Dontrelle did 8/8 for me, and was really cool about. I think he's warmed up to the Long Island fans and signing autographs.

After I got Dontrelle I realized that I didn't get Ducks closer Leo Rosales so I ran back through the autograph line, and ask a few other collectors if they saw him and they said he wasn't there. A few minutes later I saw the Ducks GM and asked him, and he said Leo was at a wedding.

Also in attendance was Mets legend Ed Kranepool, who threw out the first pitch. The Ducks didn't set up a table for him to sign, so I went over and asked him as he was leaving the field after the first pitch. He signed a mini bat for me, but didn't say much as many people were attempting to talk to him.

After I got Kranepool I went over to the Ducks dugout and got Bud Harrelson to sign 5/5 set cards for me, and manager Kevin Baez to do a 2012 set card for me. I wasn't planning on getting these guys until later in the season but saw the opportunity.

A side from Rosales I only needed to get two other players, Eric Niesen and Ramon Castro. Niesen wasn't there for personal reasons, and Castro was catching that day. I was able to get Castro after the game on 2 cards in the tunnel, and 6 after the game outside the clubhouse.

Overall, I ended up get 65 autographs for the entire day. 

Here's Four More Long Island Ducks 1985 Retro Customs:

***Note, These cards are made by me for my personal collection, and for artistic purposes only. They are not to used without my permission or sold***

Here are the game photos from May 26, 2003 between the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and the Long Island Ducks. The Ducks won the game 3-2 behind a strong pitching performance from John Brownell.

Dan Lyon makes a throw to first

Newly acquired Murray Watts

Ryan Mulhern makes the play at first

Bud Harrelson and Ray Navarette talk at first

Bryant Nelson

Ray Navarette turns second

Murray Watts takes a throw at first

Ryan Mulhern pulls into second with a double

Ducks pitcher John Brownell

Kevin Hankerd takes a hack

Former New York Met, Ramon Castro

Wade Korpi with the delivery

Wladimir Sutil tries to drop down a bunt

Murray Watts slides into second (Rian Kiniry coaching first base)

Play at the plate with Ray Navarette, shot 1

Play at the plate with Ray Navarette, shot 2

Play at the plate with Ray Navarette, shot 3

Dan Lyons practicing between innings

Perfect fundamentals from P.J. Phillips

Brian Barton lunges for a pitch

Dan Lyons turns the double play

Crabs catcher Jose Salas

Josh Barfield as first base coach

Dan Lyons

Kevin Hankerd and Patrick Osborn after Hankerd's solo shot

Pitching coach Steve Foucault has a meeting at the mound

Dan Lyons bobbles a ground ball

Jose Julio-Ruiz takes a cut

Bryant Nelson with the throw to first

Up and in to Ray Navarrete

Patrick Osborn gives Logan Williamson the hook

Gaby Hernandez with the pick off throw to first

Jared Lansford trying to close out a win

Ramon Castro with the throw to first

John Brownell and Ray Navarette

Here are some photos from Friday's night game (5/24/13) between the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and Long Island Ducks. On an extremely wet and cold night, the Crabs eventually won the game 

Dontrelle Willis makes a delivery

D-train fielding his position

Former big league player, Brian Barton

Crabs score the first run of the game

Crabs pitcher Jeremy Sowers

Joash Brodin

Jeremy Sowers and Alvin Colina have a chat

Danny Perales plates the first run for the Ducks

Bryant Nelson takes a lead off first

Sowers misplays a ground ball

Bryant Nelson makes the throw to first

Sean Smith

Dontrelle Willis

Jose Julio-Ruiz picks a ball between innings

Rian Kiniry with the leg kick

Dan Lyons

Danny Perales pulls into second, after ripping a double

Nick DeBarr as first base coach

Danny Perales and Rian Kiniry

Joash Brodin

P.J. Phillips taking ground balls between innings

Ryan Mulhern

Kevin Hankerd pulls into second

Adam Bailey makes a throw back to the infield

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