Sports News & Notes

UPDATE: Harvey released by Kansas City T-Bones

KANSAS CITY, Kan., – Former Kansas City Royals All-Star Ken Harvey was released June 2 by the Kansas City T-Bones.

Harvey, who is hitting .351 on the season with one homer and seven runs batted in, was released along with John Urick. Harvey was instrumental in last year’s run for the Northern League championship winning T-Bones and was re-signed during the offseason.

But he and other members of the lineup have been in a prolonged slump. Replacing Harvey is Greg Jacobs, who played for the T-Bones early in the season last year.

“It was a tough relase,” T-Bones manager Andy McCauley told the Kansas City Star. “The Northern League has certain roster parameters and there’s a salary cap. We did it to afford Greg Jacobs and Neb Brown. It came down to a veteran pinch and a numbers cruch with the cap, as it does so often.

“Ken Harvey is one of the best players in the league,” McCauley told the Star. “But in order to get two for one, it’s a tradeoff we had to make. We get more flexibility as Neb can play left and Ken is pretty much relegated to first base and DH. Of course, he did it better than anyone in the league. He was just the odd man out in this situation. He’s a great guy and he’ll catch on somewhere else.”

Harvey, a 1995 Beverly Hills High School graduate, hit .341 with five home runs in August to help lead the T-Bones to the 2008 Northern League championship. In 11 games this season, Harvey, who plays first base, is batting .351 with three doubles, a home run and five RBIs.

He was originally drafted in the fifth round by the Kansas City Royals in 1999 amateur draft and was a member of the organization until he was released in 2005. He was named to the 2004 American League All-Star team as a Royal

Harvey played in 271 major league games with the Royals from 2001 to 2005. He is a career .274 hitter at the major league level with 27 home runs, including a career-high 13 each in 2003 and 2004.  He has also compiled 126 RBI throughout his big league career.

On Dec. 8, 2006, Harvey signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins with an invitation to spring training. He opted for minor league free agency on Nov. 3, 2007.

He signed with the T-Bones on June 11, 2008.

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Skaggs taken by L.A. Angeles.

SANTA MONICA – Tyler Skaggs of Santa Monica High School was selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the 40th pick in the Major League Baseball draft on Tuesday. Skaggs, who had been considered a possible first round selection, was take by the Angels in the compensation round and was the team’s third draft pick of the day.

Skaggs, who turns 18 on July 13, is 6-5, 180 pounds with a fastball in the 90s and a quality curve. Hampered by an ankle injury, he was 2-3 with a 1.60 ERA as a senior, striking out 12 three times in nine appearances. He was the Ocean League MVP as a junior. 

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UPDATE: Santa Monica baseball’s Duron resigns

SANTA MONICA – Rob Duron, head coach of Santa Monica High School’s varsity baseball team, confirmed Monday that he had resigned his position effective last month. Duron, who has been a teacher at Santa Monica since 1987, said he submitted a letter of resignation to athletic director Norm Lacy thanking him for all his support and turned in his keys two days after his team’s playoff loss. 

On May 26, the Vikings lost 3-1 to Los Altos in the second round of the Division III California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section playoffs. 

Duron took issue with Lacy’s statement that coaching was a hobby for many coaches at the high school and that he was burned out after two years as head baseball coach.

“I’m not burned out,” he said. “Coaching is a full-time job that you don’t get paid a lot of money to do. You do it because you want to teach the kids something that you’ve learned.”

In an interview last week, Lacy said Duron had just resigned. “He had been under a lot of pressure, spent a lot of time coaching and didn’t get paid a lot. It’s a burn out factor,” he said. “It’s unfortunate. Parents have to remember it’s high school sports. This is not professional sports. Coaching is a hobby for many of us that we do in addition to teaching.” 

Lacy’s comments followed a number of complaints he received from parents and boosters, which included claims of verbal abuse and calls for Duron to be replaced. 

Earlier this year, Dan Ramos, Santa Monica’s assistant softball coach, wrote a letter to the editor of the Santa Monica Daily Press criticizing Duron and writing that “they should of got rid of this guy a long time ago.” The Santa Monica Mirror reported that Ramos had applied for the job when Kevin Brockway was chosen in 2004.

Duron said the situation at Santa Monica just “got worse and worse” during the season. He replaced Brockway, who resigned in 2007 after the Vikings lost to Charter Oak, 7-1, in the Division 4 finals at Dodger Stadium to take an assistant coaching position with West Los Angeles College. In two years, Duron was 34-27, 16-4 in the Ocean League. 

This year, Santa Monica finished in a tie for third with Hawthorne at 6-4 in the Ocean League, but defeated the Cougars, 6-5, in an extra game to reach the CIF playoffs. Two of Santa Monica’s league losses were to Beverly Hills, giving Vonzie Paysinger his first season sweep of the Vikings in 11 years as head coach. 

Beverly Hills, 12-15, 8-2, captured the Ocean League regular season title, before losing in the first round of the CIF playoffs, 9-8, to Bell Gardens.

“I think Santa Monica is losing a good coach,” Paysinger said. “In his two years Santa Monica was 16-4. The administrations and parents were not happy with that record. I don’t think they will ever be happy. It’s sad that he was forced to resign.”

Duron declined to comment on Paysinger’s remarks, only saying that Paysinger did a great job with Beverly Hills this season and should be considered for coach of the year in the Ocean League.

A year ago Samohi went 10-0 in the Ocean League but lost a first round playoff game, 3-2, to Diamond Ranch High School of Pomona. There is no indication of who the new coach will be, but Lacy said a search for Duron’s replacement has begun and several current coaches at Santa Monica have applied for the position.

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Rocchio Released By Clearwater 

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Joe Rocchio, a 2003 Beverly High graduate, has been released by the Clearwater Threshers, a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. 

He was drafted by the Phillies in the tenth round of the 2007 draft out of Cal State Northridge. Rocchio started the season with the Threshers in the Class A Florida State League and posted an 8.59 ERA in five appearances before being released on May 11. 

— By Chris H. Sieroty

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