Tim Tebow Set to Join St. Lucie Mets


By Jerry Del Priore

T. Tebow

Tim Tebow set to join St. Lucie Mets.

After no news on the Tim Tebow promotion front, New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson announced today that the Fireflies outfielder will play his final game in Columbia.

 

The 29-year-old will be promoted to the Class A-Advanced St. Lucie Mets after tonight’s Fireflies’ home game.

“Tim brought an incredible amount of experience and leadership to our clubhouse,” Fireflies president John Katz said in a press release. “His contributions, both on the field and in our community, have made a tremendous impact on our team, the City of Columbia and the entire South Atlantic League. We wish Tim the best as he continues his journey to Citi Field.” 

 

Advertisements

Tim Tebow Promotion Still Up in the Air


By Jerry Del Priore

Tebow

Tim Tebow of the Columbia Fireflies.

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the New York Mets promoting outfielder Tim Tebow to the next minor league level at some point this summer.

Rarely does a minor league baseball player garner the mass hype that Tebow gets. But, if you have followed his professional athletic career, Tebow is anything but the typical professional baseball player; the normal rules don’t seem to apply to the sometimes-loved, sometimes-despised two-sport athlete.

Currently with the Columbia Fireflies of the mid-level, full-season Single-A South Atlantic League (SAL), there was serious talk amongst Mets’ brass, saying that the polarizing ex-NFL quarterback might get the call to a higher level after the SAL All-Star game, which took place on June 20th.  

But the game has passed, and nothing has taken place yet. And it might not. According to the Brooklyn Daily, New York has announced that Tebow, 29, will remain with the Fireflies for the remainder of their baseball season.

T. Tebow

Tim Tebow hustles to first base.

 

However, you can’t completely rule out a possible promotion of the former Heisman Trophy winner, who is batting .222 with three home runs, 22 RBI, 14 doubles and a triple in 212 at-bats in 63 games with the Fireflies. Tebow’s drawing power is undeniable, and he would be a good fit with the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League (FSL) because of his Florida ties.

Tebow met with the media on June 9th, raising further conjecture that a move could be in the works.

However, no change has been reported. The Fireflies didn’t return an email regarding the Tebow matter.

Moreover, Tebow is in his first season of professional baseball, and has room to develop into a better overall player, hopefully for him. Whether the former Florida Gator is good enough to make ‘The Show’ at this point is too early to make the call. But some baseball insiders don’t think he has the diamond skillset to do so.

Tebow fans will just have to wait and see, for now.

 

 

New York Mets Minor League Moves: Three Columbia Fireflies Promoted to St. Lucie


By Jerry Del Priore

Michael Paez led Fireflies with two homeruns Thursday night.

Mets infield prospect  Michael Paez gets promoted to St. Lucie.

During the week, the New York Mets announced that they promoted three Columbia Fireflies of the mid-level-A South Atlantic League (SAL) to Advanced-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League (FSL).

After hitting .290 with eight homers and 43 RBI in 224 at-bats in 64 games with the Fireflies, the Mets moved infielder Michael Paez, 22, up a level.

The Miami, Florida, native has gone 3-10 with two RBI in two tilts with St. Lucie.

In addition, New York transferred right-handed hurler Merandy Gonzalez, 21, who started the SAL All-Star game, from Columbia to St. Lucie after amassing an 8-1 record with a 1.55 ERA in 69.2 innings of work in 11 games.

Plus, the Mets promoted righty pitcher Jordan Humphreys, 21, from the Fireflies to St. Lucie.

J. Humph.

Hurler Jordan Humphreys is now with the St. Lucie Mets.

The Floridian was masterful while with Columbia, posting a stellar 10-1 mark with an impressive 1.42 ERA in 11 contests.

However, the former Brooklyn Cyclone didn’t a fare nearly as well in his first outing with St. Lucie, surrendering six runs (five earned) in four frames.

But the Mets bats bailed him out, as they routed the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays), 19-7, Friday night at First Data Field.

Ex-Cyclones Gonzalez, Paez Shine as Fireflies in SAL All-Star Game


By Jerry Del Priore

All_StarAnnouncings19201080_6672zvad_noalmtdpTwo former Brooklyn Cyclones were on display in the 58th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game Tuesday night at Spirit Communications Park, the home of the Columbia Fireflies.

The game ended in a 3-3 tie after seven innings due to rain.

Columbia right-handed ace Merandy Gonzalez (8-1, 1.55 ERA), a Cyclone in 2016, started for the Southern Division, pitching a scoreless top of the first.

Fireflies infielder Michael Paez (.290/8 HRs/43 RBI), who played with Brooklyn last year, had a single and scored a run.

The SAL named Columbia first baseman Dash Winningham as the game’s MVP, as he doubled in two runs and a drew a walk.

Fireflies reliever Adonis Uceta struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh.

Staten Island Yankees Pitcher Drew Finley Eyes Bounce Back Season


By Jerry Del Priore

Drew Finley

Drew Finley with the Staten Island Yankees.

Last year with the short-season Single-A Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League (NYPL), right-handed pitcher Drew Finley failed to find his groove. He posted a 0-3 record with 4.28 ERA in six game starts in 27.1 innings of work.

Finley said it was due to a strained flexor tendon in his throwing arm, which curtailed his second season of professional baseball.

But after a few months of rehabbing the injury, Finley said he’s now ready to pitch and win for his current team, and see wherever this season takes him.

“I feel good. I’m starting the season here (Staten Island) and I’ll see what happens from there,” Finley, 20, said Saturday at the Staten island Yankees’ Media Day at Richmond County Ballpark. “But as long as I’m here, hopefully I’ll put my team in a good spot to win. I’m back and better when I was here last year, so I’m excited to see what happens, that’s for sure.”

After the New York Yankees selected him in the third-round of the 2015 MLB amateur draft out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California, they shipped him to the Pulaski Yankees of the Appalachian League (Rookie).

Finley enjoyed a decent first year of pro ball, recording a 0-1 mark with a 3.94 ERA in six games across 32.0 frames that same campaign.

20170617_152609

Drew Finley answers questions Saturday on Media Day at Richmond County Ballpark.

While getting promoted is something he aspires to, Finley isn’t overly concerned with it at this point. He just wants to feel healthy and pitch well; everything else, he believes, will fall into place once it all happens.

Moreover, “The Show” will come in due course.

“That’s not really my call,” he said of being called up. “Wherever I am, whatever day I’m being called to go throw, I’m going to out there and do the same thing I do wherever I’m at. Each step of the way, my goal is to get the Big Leagues. However long it takes to get there, I’m okay with it. As long as I’m playing baseball, things can’t be too bad, right?”

Finley is slated to start game two of the season against host and cross-bridge rivals, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

 

Michael Paez Blasts Columbia into First Place


By Jerry Del Priore

Michael Paez led Fireflies with two homeruns Thursday night.

Michael Paez slammed two homers Thursday night.

Fireflies second baseman Michael Paez clubbed two homers and drove in four en route to a 7-2 win over the Greenville Drive (Boston) and first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division Thursday night at Fluor Field at the West End.

The former Brooklyn Cyclone smashed a three-run round tripper in the third inning and later blasted a solo shot over the left-field wall in the eighth. Paez is currently hitting .284 with six dingers and 39 RBI in 208 at-bats in 60 contests.

Columbia right-handed starter Harol Gonzalez (4-4, 4.11 ERA), another ex-Cyclone, was superb, allowing two earned runs while whiffing six over 7.2 frames.   

The Fireflies (39-26) have been on a torrid stretch, going 18-6 over their last 24 games, dating back to May 24th, when they trailed the Drive by six.

Columbia, the mid-level, full-season Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets, holds a half game lead over Greenville (39-27) with three tilts left in the first half and now control its own destiny. If Columbia wins its final three games, the team will clinch a playoff berth.

 

Pitcher Gabriel Llanes Gives Fireflies Shot in Arm Sunday


Jerry Del Priore

Gabriel Llanes

Pitcher Gabriel Llanes picks up 4th win of season.

Pitching has been the Columbia Fireflies’ strong suit this season, with Jordan Humphreys (9-1, 1.41 ERA) and Merandy Gonzalez (8-1, 1.56 ERA)  leading the way.

But they’re not the only two hurlers having productive seasons. Righty Gabriel Llanes picked up his fourth victory of the year after tossing 8.2 innings of two-run ball in Columbia’s 3-2 win over the Charleston RiverDogs (New York Yankees) Sunday at Spirit Communications Park.

The 21-year-old former Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher has lasted seven or more frames in three consecutive starts.

For the season, Llanes, the New York Mets’ 15th-round pick in the 2014 MLB amateur draft, is 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 70.2 innings of work in 11 contests.

With the Cyclones in 2016, the Downey, California, native posted a 4-8 mark with a 3.94 ERA in 80.0 frames in 14 games.

Five Borough Wrestling Celebrates Three Years in Brooklyn with Superb Local Talent


By Jerry Del Priore

20170609_223318

The Man of Steel Mike Verna plays up to the fan in Brooklyn Friday night.

New York City is currently producing some of the top professional wrestling talent on the independent circuit.

And that was evident to the standing room crowd Friday night at Five Borough Wrestling’s, in conjunction with New York Wrestling Connection, third year anniversary ‘A Night to Remember’ show at the American Legion in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn.

Local grapplers such as Mike Verna, Chris Dickinson, Logan Black and Talon were on hand at the high-octane action event.

Here’s how the combat conflict went down.

Darius Carter (Wrestling’s Richest Prize) vs. Pro Wrestling Maniac Joe Gacy

It was a pick your poison match, with Verna, FBW’s heavyweight title holder, selecting Darius Carter’s, Tier 1’s Champion’s, opponent.

Verna chose Joe Gacy, and he gave Carter a run for his money, in a highly competitive, back-and-forth match. But Carter emerged victorious after using the reverse code breaker to secure the 1-2-3.

The Infamous Bobby Fish vs. Dirty Daddy Chris Dickinson

20170609_204001

Chris Dickinson gets ready to peel Bobby Fish out of the corner.

Staten island’s own rough-and-tumble Dickinson took on Fish of Ring of Honor fame.

Fish utilized the ankle lock move to submit Dickinson in another high-quality, physical affair.

Challengers Logan Black (King of Chaos) and Bam Sullivan vs. FBW Tag Champs Fource (AJ Spectre and Bear Bronson), with PJ Stackpole in their corner  

Fource picked up the victory after outside inference from Matt Macintosh, who grabbed Black’s valet, causing the distraction, which led to eventual pin of Sullivan.

Rex Lawless vs. Talon

Talon, a Bay Ridge native and talented wrestler, scored the win, with a roll up of Lawless.

Ethan Page vs. Space Monkey and Caveman in the Governor’s Invitational

After Page mocked and refused to face Space Money, Caveman entered the ring. Page said he would take on both wrestlers, and destroy them without a doubt. the Governors invitational the Governors invitational

Much to Page’s chagrin, Space Monkey and Caveman pinned him in an extremely entertaining match.

The Greek God Papadon vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman in a Career Match

With his career on the line, Papadon make quick work of MJF with a roll up. To say the least, MJF left feeling irate.

The Man of Steel Mike Verna vs. The Rogue and House of Glory Champ Anthony Gangone (Main Event)

It took help from Carter, who picked Gangone to go up against Verna, but The Rouge defeated the Brooklyn superhero with a powerbomb.

In addition, Denny Gavin, an oblivious fan favorite in his debut match in a fatal four-way, fought his way to triumph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are the New York Mets Promoting Tim Tebow?


By Jerry Del Priore

Tebow

Tim Tebow of the Columbia Fireflies.

The Columbia Fireflies, the New York Mets’ Single-A South Atlantic League affiliate, announced yesterday that Tim Tebow will meet with the media today at 5:00 p.m. at Spirit Communications Park.

Back in May, the New York Post reported that the Mets were considering promoting the former NFL quarterback to a higher level, but not until the mid-season All-Star break.

One conceivable scenario includes a demotion to the Brooklyn Cyclones, New York’s short-season A affiliate in the New York-Penn League.

Since the Cyclones draw well on their own, they wouldn’t need Tebow’s star power to draw more fans.

Another possible situation is that, since the ex-Heisman trophy winner is batting only .226 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 168 at-bats in 49 games, he might call it quits. But that doesn’t seem likely.

However, I’m just speculating at this point. Tebow has had stretches in which he’s hit well.

Possible landing spots include his home state of Florida, where the outfielder is considered god-like, to suit up for the High-A Port St. Lucie Mets, or the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

We’ll find out soon enough. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Three Former Cyclones Make SAL Southern Division All-Star Team with Columbia


By Jerry Del Priore

Jordan Humphreys

Righty hurler Jordan Humphreys is an All-Star.

,

Columbia Fireflies starting pitchers Jordan Humphreys and Merandy Gonzalez and infielder Michael Paez were named to the South Atlantic League Southern Division’s All-Star squad, the league announced Tuesday.

The 58th annual SAL All-Star game will be play at Spirit Communications Park, Columbia’s home field, on Tuesday, June 20th.

Humphreys, a Cyclone in 2016, has been a beast for the Fireflies this season, compiling an 8-1 record with a league-best 1.40 ERA, while recording 73 whiffs and only seven walks in 57.2 innings of work.

Gonzalez, in Brooklyn last season, has been equally impressive, posting a 7-1 mark with SAL’s second-best ERA at 1.73 along with 56 strikeouts against 10 bases-on-balls. 

M.G.

Merandy Gonzalez has made the All-Star, too.

Paez, a Cyclone in ’16, has been wielding a hot bat, hitting .306 (tops on the club) with six round trippers and 33 RBI.

In addition, the Miami, Florida native has laced 19 doubles, tied for first in the SAL, and is second in the league in extra base hits with 27.

The other players on the Souther Division All-Star team include relief hurler Max Kuhns and infielder Dash Winningham. Plus, manager Jose Leger and three members of his Columbia coaching staff: pitching coach Jonathan Hurst, athletic trainer Kiyoshi Tada and strength and condition coach Tanner Miracle.

Please visit www.ColumbiaFireflies.com for more information on the game and team.