Buchanan: ‘Play better and get the hell out of here’: A weekend in indy ball, the League of Second Chances

From Zach Buchanan at The Athletic on November 20, 2019:

As a familiar face poked through his office door, Pete Incaviglia’s eyes beamed. The former big-leaguer leaped — barrel- and bare-chested, wearing only athletic shorts, black-rimmed glasses and a horseshoe mustache to engulf Diamondbacks scout Chris Carminucci in a bear hug. (Bare hug?)

“Hardest-working man in baseball,” Incaviglia said.

“I get to see all of you,” Carminucci replied.

This was 29 years of combined independent baseball league experience, some of it overlapping, coming together in that embrace. Incaviglia had been managing in indy ball since 2007 when Carminucci hired him to lead the brand-new Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association. Back then, Carminucci was something of an indy ball startup guru — if you wanted to start an independent league team, you called him.

Twelve years later, they were standing in Incaviglia’s office at Constellation Field, the home of the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. This was the top tier of indy ball, and the 55-year-old Incaviglia was in his second season as manager. Carminucci, 45, was now a part of the establishment. In 2011, he’d joined the Diamondbacks as their independent league scout. Now, he has regular pro coverage and makes only rare cameos at indy ball fields around the country. Perhaps that’s why Incaviglia smiled so widely at seeing his longtime friend.

Read the full article here (subscription required): https://theathletic.com/1367234/2019/11/20/play-better-and-get-the-hell-out-of-here-a-weekend-in-indy-ball-the-league-of-second-chances/

Originally published: November 21, 2019. Last Updated: November 21, 2019.