WHITE PLAINS, Md. – The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs started their season on the road against reigning champs, the Lexington Legends, in Lexington, Kentucky, on April 21, falling by a slim 5-4 margin. But in a sport with many opportunities, and the return of several stars from last season, the Blue Crabs are looking to make another run at a title.
After making the playoffs last season, the Blue Crabs looked to make some adjustments this past offseason. Their main priority now is to win their first Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) championship.
Stan Cliburn, the Field Manager for the Blue Crabs, described how his crew went about putting together the 2022 Blue Crabs roster.
“The first thing I wanted to do was bring back the nucleus of the club from 2021…if you get the nucleus of the team back, then you can develop from there. Then you’ve got to fill in the rest of the slots, and that all comes from camps that I’ve been out to across the country,” Cliburn told TheBayNet.com. “It’s really all about just attending all of these camps and hopefully finding a diamond in the rough. You learn a lot from agents, peers, scouts, and just the baseball fraternity.”
“I’m closing in on fifty years in the professional game next year, and in fifty years you gain some connections, and you cherish and respect their word,” he continued. “You don’t have scouts in the Independents, it’s not like the majors, it really all comes down to getting to know guys.”
Cliburn was also the winner of the ALPB Manager of the Year Reward. He went on to describe how that made him and the rest of the team feel.
“It’s a very humbling experience for your peers to vote for you. However, it won’t change who I am. It’s not my first Manager of the Year and hopefully won’t be my last. It’s awards that are given to people in this game that fulfills what they’ve done during the course of that season. It was an award I was given last year, but last year is over, it’s time to go do it again,” Cliburn said. “That’s the same concept I put in these players, what you did last year was great, but this is a new year and we gotta go do it again. That’s the beauty of professional sports, a true professional goes out and proves themselves every single day. That’s what we have to do here, not only for myself as a manager but also for my players.”
Connor Lien, an Annapolis native who was traded to the Blue Crabs this offseason is also very excited and motivated for this upcoming season.
“This is where I wanted to play this year, and I’m really happy to be here,” Lien told TheBayNet.com. “My biggest goal is to play to my full potential, that’s kind of what it’s always been like. I always play hard, and I always want to have fun, but you have to produce. I want to come to the ballpark every day, bring one hundred percent effort and know exactly what I’m working on. But my main goal is definitely just to play to my fullest potential.”
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ first home game of the season will be against the Staten Island Ferry Hawks on April 26, 2022, at Regency Furniture Stadium.
Stay with TheBayNet.com all season as the Blue Crabs hope to build off their success from last year and bring a championship to Southern Maryland.
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