A few ramblings heading into a weekend of World Series baseball...
MORE GAMES FOR MORE TEAMS IN GOLDEN LEAGUE
The official addition of former Northern League entries Edmonton and Calgary certainly solidifies the Golden League, but I find the 12-game expansion of the schedule also intriguing. Instead of a 76-game schedule from June to August, the GBL teams will now start in late May and play 88 games, finishing up in early September. It seems entirely possible the Golden League still could add other teams, most likely Canadian, possibly getting to 10 franchises for 2008.
Meanwhile, the Northern League already has announced its schedule with, you guessed it, only six teams, half of what the venerable circuit had as recently as 2005 when it led Independent Baseball with nearly 2.2 million in attendance. Rumors indicate some of the remaining clubs may want out next fall.
YANKEES SIGN TWO FROM ISREAL LEAGUE
The New York Yankees have become the first major league organization to sign players out of the Israel Baseball League, which debuted this summer with players from nine nations. The Yankees will give an opportunity to an outfielder who is a native of Australia and a catcher from the Dominican Republic. I would expect a few players from the Israeli league will find their way into Independent leagues by spring.
MANAGERIAL SLOTS FILLING UP
Several Independent teams have signed new managers within the past few days, but one job still open is that with the newly-named Harlingen (TX) White Wings. Eddie Dennis has retired from the team known as the Rio Grande White Wings during the first two seasons of the United League. General Manager Dave Kost has made it clear the team wants someone who "will weave his way into the community" in addition to leading a competitive team.
IS NO NEWS GOOD NEWS?
Nothing definitive has been announced on whether Nashua, NH will be back to defend it Can-Am League title, although various sources have been mentioning possible managerial candidates they have heard of for the Pride. That seems very positive, but it also would indicate veteran skipper Butch Hobson has choosen not to return.
Our regular Independent Baseball Insider column will dig deeper into some of these topics in its regular slot next Thursday.
Friday, October 26, 2007
LEAGUE SHUFFLES AND THE RUMOR MILL
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.