Playing the prediction game

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No Atlantic League team has signed a single player yet for the 2009 season.

Is that really a reason to hold off on predicting how the season will play out, though?

Hardly.

So here are five things that will take place in the Atlantic League this year, according to yours truly.

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ODP rubs some the wrong way

NEWARK, N.J. — There is no questioning the fact that Opening Day Partners knows how to run successful baseball franchises.

The organization, formerly known as Keystone Baseball, has been incredibly successful over the last eight-plus years running Camden, Lancaster, York (the Revs’ Sovereign Bank Stadium appears above) and Southern Maryland in the independent Atlantic League.

But along the way, ODP has acquired a reputation for making rash decisions when it comes to baseball operations. The organization adopted Baseball and Sports Associates — an agency that procured talent for four different teams, including York, in 2007 — and that moved backfired badly while creating an incredible conflict of interest.

And ODP has also shown a willingness to shake up its staff and remove its managers on the field. Last season, ODP made the first mid-season fire of an Atlantic League manager in league history when Lancaster let go of Frank Klebe.

That came after the organization let Wayne Krenchicki, a Trenton, N.J. native, walk after six seasons as the Camden Riversharks’ manager.

Krenchicki, now the manager of the Newark Bears, still has a bobble-head doll of himself on his desk decked out in Riversharks’ garb. And there’s a touch of bitterness in his voice when he discusses the way he was ushered out the door in Camden after leading the ‘Sharks to the Atlantic League’s best record from 2002 to 2005. 

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