It appears the United League is slowly coming back to life after weeks of speculation that its third season may have been its last.
CEO Brad Wendt went public on the subject earlier this week, and even if the John Bryant-Byron Pierce lawsuit is playing a role in keeping it going we are once again seeing team press releases and player signings, which would seem to be decent indicators.
DETROIT LATEST TO GET ACTIVE
Perhaps it is the economy and maybe it is the mere recognition of the talent. Regardless, more major league organizations seem to be focusing increased attention on the Independent leagues.
Count Detroit as among those more active. The Tigers only had six of the 243 players who showed up on our master roster--an average of 8.1 per organization--until recently. But all of a sudden Detroit has reached into the American Association twice and the Can-Am and United Leagues once in recent weeks. Three pitchers and an outfielder for your at-home scoreboard.
By the way, we soon plan to post all of the recent signings on this blog.
BRIDGEPORT BLUEFISH NOW IN HANDS OF FRANK BOULTON
A screaming headline in today's Connecticut Post informed readers the hometown Bridgeport Bluefish are getting new ownership with Past Time Partners, LLC, led by Atlantic League Founder Frank Boulton, taking over.
Boulton, who also owns the Long Island (NY) Ducks in the eight-team league, told the newspaper the other owners have approved the deal and that the new group will pay off the nearly $250,000 overdue in rent as soon as the city okays the sale.
Indications are the team will stay in Connecticut although it is well documented that another Atlantic League owner, Peter Kirk, has been working toward placing a franchise in Richmond, VA which Atlanta has just vacated as home of its longtime Triple-A franchise.
BASEBALL AMERICA SPREADS AWARDS AROUND
I do not profess to know whether Baseball America is merely trying to be fair to everyone in Independent Baseball, but the magazine's announcement of its All-Independent teams and its list of top Indy players not yet signed by major league organizations is very balanced.
Four leagues (Atlantic, Can-Am, Frontier, Golden) each placed three players on the 14-player first All-Independent unit. The Northern League and American Association had one player apiece with the United and Continental shut out. The Atlantic edged out the Frontier, six players to five, when the second team was included, but six of the eight leagues had at least three players apiece.
Seth Loman, an outfielder-first baseman at St. George, UT (Golden League), is Baseball America's top choice among players still without a major league organizational contract. Mike LaLuna, a hard-throwing righthander discovered in a tryout camp, had that honor, but his contract has been purchased by Detroit. BB-A had three United League players in its top ten unsigned (including LaLuna), with the American Association, Atlantic League and Golden League with two apiece. Some players were in more than one league this season.