It would’ve been a bit of a stretch to have called the Smithereens indie rock, but vocalist/guitarist Pat DiNizio is attempting to break into the independent Atlantic League. From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Jay Lustig (link taken from David Pinto’s Baseball Musings)

(scoff if you want, but he might be younger than Julio Franco)

Next week, DiNizio, 50, of Scotch Plains, will travel to Lakeland, Fla., to begin spring training with the Somerset Patriots, a minor-league team that plays its home games at the Commerce Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater. He’s trying to make the roster as a designated hitter and part-time first baseman; there is no guarantee there will be a spot for him.

“After endless workouts, and hours and hours each day spent in the batting cage, I can actually hit very well,” says the ever optimistic singer-songwriter-guitarist, whose hits with the Smithereens include “A Girl Like You,” “Only a Memory” and “Too Much Passion.” “So I’m hoping for the best, and we’ll see what happens after those two weeks in Lakeland.”

A film crew will be on hand to shoot footage for a reality special that is scheduled to air on ESPN2 in July. It’s tentatively titled “7th Inning Stretch.”

In the event DiNizio’s noble attempt to make the Pats falls short, I am very hopeful that the Deuce will cobble together enough related footage to air a 2nd or 3rd episode. For instance, Bronson Arroyo being locked in a warehouse full of Enigma Records overstock with no food and water. Kind of like “McGyver” meets “Star Search”, but with much more dust.