Cotton helps minor league team win a title
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Jamaine Cotton and the Quad Cities River Bandits minor league baseball team are the Midwestern League Champs. The River Bandits completed a three-game sweep en route to the sixth title in franchise history and second in three seasons. Cotton, of St. Thomas, contributed in Game 2, striking out six batters in three perfect innings of relief to help the River Bandits to a 5-0 victory over the Silver Hawks.
"That is how I envisioned the season coming to an end," said Cotton.
Cotton concluded the season with two wins and five losses but struck out 50 batters in relief work.
While Big Cotton celebrates, Little Cotton, Jharel, had an up-and-down season.
"The season was really fun, man," said Jharel. "I had a good time, but I got hurt. Being injured was horrible because it messed up the great season I was having. But I learned from it. Next year, I'm going to do a better job than this year. But for right now, rest is what I have to do and rehab, because I ended up getting two screws put into my elbow."
Jharel played for three teams last season and really settled down when he was sent to Rancho Cucamonga. His ERA was down to 1.59.
Staying with strong arms, Akeel Morris was lights out for the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Mets draftee's ERA hovered around 0.52 for most of the season. He was even featured in ESPN.com in "V.I. Farm product Morris dealing."
At the time, he was undefeated and amassed 53 strikeouts. By season's end, he dropped his last contest by giving up just one run in five innings tossed. The 20-year-old right-hander is the son of Corlette and Kenneth Morris. I now know why Morris has a fast delivery; his mother is a great cook. So you know he works quickly to get home.
Jabari Blash had a nine-day streak that he would never forget. The 6-foot-5 outfielder batted .500 (12-for-24) with two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, four runs, 14 walks and 10 RBIs. Blash also posted a .692 on-base percentage and was named the Southern League's Hitter of the Week for the week of Aug. 19-25.
He hit two home runs against Montgomery on Aug. 15 and had two home runs and five RBIs on Aug. 30 against Huntsville. It was the first time in Jackson General's team history that a player hit two home runs in the same inning.
Richard White of Frederiksted had an outstanding season with Everett Aqua Sox. The right-hander struck out 27 hitters, picked up three wins and dropped two decisions.
Milty is a general manager
I have to add my two cents because Milton Newton was a turn coat. I remember several year back when he worked with Team USA and I was on him, teasing him about selling out his country, the Virgin Islands. Now, I am proud to say that all his hard work and perseverance has taken him to heights no Virgin Islander has ever been before. Milton Newton is the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"Twenty-two years ago after I received my masters in sports management from Kansas University, I knew I wanted to be a general manager," said Newton. "I had faith in God that it would happen, but I did not know when. This was my second time applying for such a position after losing out on the Cavaliers job in 2005. It was a long road to get this job, but I prepared for the process based on my past experiences and my years with the Washington Wizards. I am so excited."
With all the excitement, I had to find out what is a general manager. What do they do besides sit in the luxury box and make faces on television.
"A GM is general management of the team, being involved with marketing, sponsorship, ticket sales and community relations as well as the building of the team and managing the basketball staff and office staff," said Newton. "It is way more responsibility than what I had in Washington."
"Don't forget, I am on a committee at USA basketball," he said.
How could I forget that you are on Team USA's committee? I've lived through the beatings you have put on my islands. However, your days a member of the Virgin Islands national team will not be forgotten.
"I have to say a special thank you to Dale Benjamin (cousin), Butty Chase Benjamin (uncle), Lavie Potter (aunt) and Fedelis Benjamin (uncle)," Newton said. "Be Blessed Virgin Islands! And a special stay up to all the future GMs in the VI. Think big!"
Football round up
Shawheem Dowdy was upset that I left him out of the Virgin Islanders in college football story.
"I am the starting quarterback at Virginia Union," said Dowdy.
The 6-foot-4 redshirt freshman threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns, but Shaw University outlasted VUU, 33-21, on Saturday. Dowdy completed 21 of 34 passes in the game.
Louisville redshirt freshman defensive end Pedro Sibiea can be seen representing the Virgin Islands on Facebook. So I inquired.
"I grew up on St. Thomas and my mother still lives there" he said. "I consider it home."
At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds you could do whatever you want big fella. Now you have two reasons to root for Louisville, Sibiea and senior linebacker Deon Rogers, the brother of Samuel Rogers.
- David Edole is a V.I. sports aficionado.