It certainly was not a shock since finding six or more suitable–and available–ballparks in the East and Northeast is a giant task, even for a man as determined as the Atlantic League founder.
The next steps will be to see whether Miles Wolff can put suitable ownership into Sussex County’s Skylands Park near Augusta, NY or Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in Worcester, MA–or find at least one other site–to build his Can-Am League up from its current five teams and what Boulton and his Atlantic League partners will do to keep from an awkward nine-team lineup when the Loudoun (VA) Hounds start play next season.
Boulton’s statement continues what he called the belief “in the economic model and the need based in the game of baseball for a circuit like the Diamond League to exist.” That model would offer fresh opportunities for recent college graduates who are not drafted and other early to mid-20s players.
“I’m disappointed,” Boulton told NewJerseyHerald.com. “I don’t like shutting this down, but when I do things I want to do them right and I didn’t think we had everything we needed to go forward next year.”
His patience certainly paid off before the Atlantic League launched.
DAZZLING STRIKEOUTS EARLY IN RETURN
When friend Scott (Skip) Nathanson calls I know he almost certainly will have one or more good tips, probably about players he has managed.
Sure enough, Nate, who loves this game as much as any man possibly can, wanted me to know that Zach Woods was back on the mound and thriving. The right-hander, only 25, pitched for Nathanson with the New York Federals and with Brockton, MA (both then in the Can-Am League) when he was right out of East Carolina in 2011 and with the league’s New Jersey Jackals last season before joining the New York Yankees farm system.
Woods sat out a good portion of this season with an injury (knee, I believe) before putting what Nathanson called a “nasty, nasty slider” to work for Tampa in the Florida State League. All he has done so far is strike out 17 (one walk, eight hits) in 10.1 scoreless innings split over six appearances. “He hides the ball very well,” my friend added, to which FSL hitters would surely agree.
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