The Edmonton Capitals pulled the plug on playing in 2012, apparently not wanting to be part of a four-team division. The only known teams in the North for the second year of the league are Yuma, AZ, Maui, HA and newcomer San Rafael, CA. Chico, CA and Fullerton, CA have been mentioned, but it is getting very late.
Even Edmonton Manager Orv Franchuk, who led the Capitals to the league title last season and has another year on his contract, was caught by surprise with the announcement, according to multiple media sources.
"It is a tough decision," Capitals Governor Patrick LaForge told The Calgary Herald. "We suspended the team for one year and we're working on finding a proper situation. It could include the NAL but it doesn't have to, under these circumstances." The only other option that would seem even remotely possible with the makeup of leagues today would be for Edmonton to join the American Association, but hundreds of miles separate Edmonton and the next closest AA city, which is Winnipeg. Calgary also dropped out of the NAL after last season, and one would think the Vipers also would need to return to offer a two-team pairing to give some sanity to scheduling.
The Southern Division of the NAL has six teams, but all are in Texas and they have a schedule which calls for regular season play only within that group.
MIKE O'CONNOR MAY HAVE GOTTEN AN EARLY BREAK
Since Mike O'Connor has become exclusively a left-handed specialist the last two seasons, it is entirely possible this onetime Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Atlantic League) starter (2009) was handed an early break in his initial season as a non-roster invitee with the New York Yankees.
Veteran major league southpaw specialist Hideki Okajima was released after failing his physical so O'Connor, 31, has one less competitor as he bids to join Boone Logan as the lefties in the Yankees' bullpen. O'Connor was 0-1, 2.70 in nine games with the New York Mets last season and 5-5, 5.22 with Triple-A Buffalo.
Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions