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The Biz of Baseball :: Minor League News
DRays Minor Leaguer Houser, Jr. Suspended 50 Games PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 18 August 2007 09:12

DRaysThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Tampa Bay Devil Rays Minor League player James Houser, Jr. has been suspended for 50 games, effective today, for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Houser is currently with Double-A Montgomery of the Southern League.

Houser represents the 20th minor league drug violation, along with 3 major league violations bringing the total to 23 for all of 2007. By comparison, 20 minor league players had been suspended for being in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program at this point last year.

To view historical information on drug violations within MLB, and Minor League baseball, check The Biz of Baseball's Drug Violations page

 

 
Portland Awarded 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 14 August 2007 09:49

2009 AAA All-Star GameThe Portland Beavers, PGE Park and the City of Portland will play host to the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game and its surrounding events, it was announced today in a special news conference at PGE Park in downtown Portland. The multiple-day event will take place in July 2009 and feature elements that showcase the City of Portland and the entire state of Oregon on a national stage.

(Look for an interview with Portland Beavers owner Merritt Paulson tomorrow on The Biz of Baseball)

The Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be celebrating its 22nd year in 2009, features the top players from Minor League Baseball’s top two leagues – the Pacific Coast League and International League – in a head-to-head contest that is annually broadcast to a national television audience on ESPN2. In recent years, the game has evolved from a one-day competition into a week-long, city-wide celebration. Additional events planned surrounding the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game in Portland include a home run derby and skills competition, All-Star Fan Fest and autograph sessions, All-Star Gala, All-Star Luncheon and several other events to mark the historic event.

Merritt Paulson“The 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game will be a national showcase for the city of Portland, our rich baseball tradition and our outstanding fans,” said Merritt Paulson, owner and president of the Beavers. “We are honored to be selected by Triple-A Baseball as the host city, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to showcase Portland and our wonderful ballpark during this prestigious event.”

Today’s announcement marks the first time the combined Triple-A All-Star Game has been awarded to Portland. The city played host to Pacific Coast League All-Star Games in 1945, 1956 and 1962 previously.

"It is an honor that Portland and PGE Park have been chosen to host an event of this magnitude," said Portland Mayor Tom Potter. "This is a wonderful opportunity for the City of Portland, as the all-star game will be played in front of a national television audience and will undoubtedly bring great benefit to our community for some time into the future."

Since its introduction in 1988, the Triple-A All-Star Game has attracted more than 250,000 fans to a host of premier cities and ballparks. The 2007 game was played in Albuquerque, N.M., as the International League defeated the Pacific Coast League 7-5 in a spirited game that drew 12,367 fans to Isotopes Park and thousands more to an impressive variety of city-inspired events. The annual game, which rotates among PCL and IL host cities each year, will be played in Louisville, Ky., in 2008. Recent games have been held in Toledo (2006), Sacramento (2005), Pawtucket (2004), Memphis (2003), Oklahoma City (2002) and Indianapolis (2001).

“In choosing Portland, the Beavers and PGE Park for hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game, the Pacific Coast League and the International League continue a tradition of showcasing our classification, our best markets and our premier facilities,” said Branch B. Rickey III, president of the Pacific Coast League. “Given the widely known, successful turnaround by the Beavers, both leagues see the 2009 game as an expected shining example of the continued growth of our most glamorous Triple-A game.”

The original Triple-A All-Star format featured a game in which players from National League organizations played against those from American League organizations. The game took its current format in 1998, now pitting players from the Pacific Coast League against players from the International League in the midseason contest for Triple-A bragging rights. All 30 organizations that comprise Major League Baseball are annually represented in the game.

Major league stars who have played in past Triple-A All-Star Games include Derek Jeter, Pedro Martinez, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Todd Helton, Kenny Lofton, Alfonso Soriano, Mike Piazza, Garret Anderson, Bernie Williams and Brian Giles.


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

 
Sand Gnats: Lohan Drunk Driving Awareness Night PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 02 August 2007 06:11

Sand GnatsTonight, the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Single-A affiliate of the NY Mets, will host a Lindsay Lohan Drunk Driving Awareness Night at Grayson Stadium as the Sand Gnats will take on the Greensboro Grasshoppers at 7:05 p.m. in the finale of a four-game series.

In an odd twist, the Drunk Driving Awareness Night will coincide with a Thirsty Thursday promotion of half-priced beer and Coke and $1 Papa John’s Pizza slices presented by Connect Savannah, Rock 106.1 and Papa John’s Pizza. 

The Sand Gnats, however, are encouraging all fans in attendance to learn from the redheaded actress’ mistakes and plan for safe transportation home from the game.

Hook Towing will have a wrecked car from a drunk driving accident on display on the plaza in front of the main gate. Savannah Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) will also be at the game with its blood alcohol testing van.

 
DBacks Minor Leaguer Sadler Suspended 50 Games PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 28 July 2007 06:14

DiamondbacksThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League player Donnie Sadler has been suspended for 50 games, effective today, for testing positive for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Sadler is currently with Triple-A Tucson on the Pacific Coast League.

King represents the 18th minor league drug violation, along with 2 major league violations bringing the total to 21 for all of 2007. By comparison, 16 minor league players had been suspended for being in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program at this point last year.

To view historical information on drug violations within MLB, and Minor League baseball, check The Biz of Baseball's Drug Violations page

 

 
Former Giants Minor Leaguer King Suspended 50 Games PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 27 July 2007 09:11

GiantsThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Minor League player Thomas A. King, who most recently had played at Single-A Augusta (South Atlantic League) in the San Francisco Giants organization, has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. King’s suspension would take effect immediately upon signing with another Major League organization.

King represents the 18th minor league drug violation, along with 2 major league violations bringing the total to 20 for all of 2007. By comparison, 16 minor league players had been suspened fobeing in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program at this point last year.

To view historical information on drug violations within MLB, and Minor League baseball, check The Biz of Baseball's Drug Violations page

 
Brewers Minor Leaguer Salome Suspended 50 Games PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 24 July 2007 09:21

BrewersThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Milwaukee Brewers Minor League player Angel Salome has been suspended for 50 games, effective today, for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Salome is currently with Single-A Brevard County of the Florida State League.

To view historical information on drug violations within MLB, and Minor League baseball, check The Biz of Baseball's Drug Violations page

 
Minor League Coach Killed By Line-Drive PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Sunday, 22 July 2007 18:17

Tulsa DrillersMike Coolbaugh, the first base coach for the Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League was killed Sunday evening when he was struck in the right side of the head by a hard hit line-drive foul ball in the top of the ninth. The game with the Arkansas Travelers was immediately suspended.

The Drillers website states that, "With the Travelers leading 7-3 and Matt Miller at first base with no outs, Tino Sanchez hit a line drive that struck Coolbaugh in the head. He was knocked unconscious and was administered CPR on the field."

The AP reports :

Sgt. Terry Kuykendall, spokesman for North Little Rock police, said Coolbaugh was still alive when he was put in an ambulance for the trip to the hospital, but stopped breathing as the ambulance arrived at the facility.

"They tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.," Kuykendall said.

Coolbaugh played 44 games in the major leagues over two seasons, his last appearance with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002. The Drillers' web site said Coolbaugh joined the Tulsa team's staff on July 3.

 The Drillers are a AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

 
Red Sox & Sea Dogs Extend Agreement to 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Monday, 02 July 2007 06:23

Red SoxThe Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs today announced the extension of their Player Development Contact (PDC) for an additional four years. The extension keeps the Red Sox Double-A affiliation in Portland through the 2012 season. Red Sox Vice President/Player Personnel Ben Cherington and Sea Dogs’ President and General Manager Charlie Eshbach made the announcement in a Monday afternoon press conference at Hadlock Field.

“We are thrilled to extend our PDC with the Portland Sea Dogs through the 2012 season," Cherington said.

"The most important ingredient in an affiliate is the people involved, and we are very fortunate to work with some of the best people in Minor League Baseball here in Portland. Dan Burke, Charlie Eshbach, and the entire Sea Dogs’ staff have consistently gone the extra mile to provide support to our players and staff over the last 4 ½ years. This support translates to performance on the field over the course of a long minor league season.

"The planned clubhouse improvements will make Portland an upper echelon Double-A facility, benefiting our players and staff for years to come."

(Select Read More to see more details on the extended agreement between the Red Sox and Porland) 

Read more...
 
College Naming Rights Deal in Dispute with Owlz PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:34

Orem OwlzA dispute over a naming rights deal for a stadium that the Utah Valley State College owns has created a major league dispute with the Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League, who play at the college-owned stadium.

At issue is the renaming of the stadium to “Brent Brown Stadium”, as part of a 10-year naming rights agreement with Brent Brown, a local car dealer, who has committed $1 million over the life of the agreement. The minor league Orem Owlz, who play at the stadium, say that during the Pioneer League season that the stadium must be named "Home of the Owlz."

Looking into the Owlz's assertion that the naming deal cannot occur during the Pioneer League season is Minor League Baseball, who sent a letter stating that changing of the name might break with Major League Rule 54, which states that renaming of a stadium is considered a “Regulated Transaction” and therefore must be approved by the Pioneer League and Minor League Baseball. MiLB further states that the agreement is also “subject to the review of the Baseball Office of the Commissioner.” (read the letter from Minor League Baseball to the Owlz - PDF).

The dispute has spilled over into the media, where the Owlz threatened to pull the credentials of anyone in news outlets that did not refer to the stadium as "Home of the Owlz". That has caused the Provo Daily Herald and the Deseret Morning News to decide not to cover the minor league team for the remainder of the season by asking reporters to turn in their credentials so they can be turned in to the Owlz front office.

"I don't take well to blackmail," said Randy Wright, executive editor of the Daily Herald said to the Deseret Morning News.

"This is a dispute between the Owlz and UVSC that has nothing to do with us," Wright continued in the Daily Herald. "The Owlz are trying to punish the media for referring to the stadium by its proper name -- Brent Brown Ballpark."

"We won't trade our independence for access to athletic teams or any other news source. We simply don't let our subjects dictate how we report on them."

"What we won't do is send credentialed writers and photographers to Owlz home games while the Owlz's threat is hanging over us," said Dave Schneider, the Morning News' sports editor.

In response, Jeff Katofsky, one of the owners of the Owlz replied, "If you chose to ban yourselves from the Home of the Owlz and deprive your readers of the happenings at the most beautiful and entertaining summer events in Utah Valley, that is your choice," Katofsky wrote by email. "However, I think you are better journalists and businessmen than that."

In the midst of this, Owlz employees tried to cover up a sign over the stadium's press box recognizing Brent and Kim Brown, but a UVSC vice president said college officials made them stop.

While Minor League Baseball sent a letter asking for clarification, upon review, they are backing Utah Valley State College.

"Rule 54 would apply if the college was involved in the ownership of the team, it would all be part of a thing that would need to come to our office," MiLB spokesman, Jim Ferguson, said to the Deseret Morning News. "But they are not involved in the ownership. As I understand they (the Owlz) just rent the ballpark."

The Owlz owners are sticking to their claim that the name should remain “Home of the Owlz” during the Pioneer League season as they consider UVSC partners. The minor league team has paid for upgrades to the facility, and entered a yearlong contract in which the Owlz would collect a fee if they helped line up a naming rights donor.

The naming rights deal with Brent Brown was secured by UVSC without assistance from the Owlz.

The Morning News is seeking copies of the lease agreement through an official government records request.

 
Phillies Minor Leaguer Childers Suspended 50 Games PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 16 June 2007 20:33

PhilliesThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Philadelphia Phillies Minor League player Matt Childers has been suspended for 50 games, effective today, for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Childers is currently with Triple-A Ottawa of the International League.

The exact nature of the violation (a positive for performance-enhancing drugs, or a positive for a drug of abuse) was not announced.

Childers' violation brings the total of minor league drug violations to fifteen so far this season. By comparison, that total was not reached until July 20th of last season. The total for all minor league violations last season was twenty four. 

To view all historical information on drug violations within MLB, and Minor League baseball, check The Biz of Baseball's Drug Violations page 

 
Athletics Extend Agreement with Double-A RockHounds PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Thursday, 14 June 2007 07:47
AthleticsThe Oakland Athletics have announced the club has extended its player development contract with the Double-A Midland RockHounds of the Texas League through the 2012 season.

“We are pleased to continue our productive and valuable relationship with the RockHounds and the Midland community for another four years,” said A’s Vice President and General Manager Billy Beane.  “Midland continues to play an integral part of our player development system.”

In addition to Midland, the Oakland Athletics minor league system consists of the Arizona Athletics (Rookie), the Vancouver Canadians (Short A-Northwest League), the Kane County Cougars (A-Midwest League), the Stockton Ports (A-California League) and the Sacramento River Cats (AAA-Pacific Coast League).

Midland brings a 39-22 record into tonight’s game at San Antonio. The RockHounds are currently in second place in the Texas League South Division standings, two and a half games behind Frisco.
 
PCL Tucson Sidewinders Sold, Most Likely Reno-Bound PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Staff   
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 09:24

SidewindersThe Pacific Coast League Tucson Sidewinders won the PCL championship a year ago, but now the team has been sold, and appears to be headed to Reno, NV after the 2008 season.

Jay Zucker, the owner of the Sidewinders, made the announcement of the sale yesterday at Tucson Electric Park.

“We bought the Sidewinders with the intention to increase the quality of life in Tucson, and I think we succeeded,” Zucker said. “We had our fair share of financial struggles, and unfortunately, the time came for us to sell.”

As reported by the Arizona Daily Star:

Under the proposed deal, Zucker and two minority owners will be paid $13.5 million for the team by SK Baseball LLC. The group, headed by Jerry and Stuart Katzoff and joined by shopping mall mogul Herb Simon, has a deal in the works to move a team to Reno.

As further reported:

The proposed Reno stadium will have 6,500 fixed seats and a total capacity of 10,000, counting skyboxes, party units, club seats and lawn seating, according to a pre-development and finance agreement issued in May among Washoe County, Nev., SK Baseball and Nevada Land.
 
The pre-development agreement states that Washoe County would use rental-car taxes and revenue bonds to pay for the stadium. The county has been collecting a 2 percent tax since adopting the tax on Jan. 13, 2004. Since then, owners and developers have tried to lure a baseball team to Reno.
 
The agreement would dedicate the balance of the state's Baseball Fund — $3 million — toward the project by July 1. The agreement also would commit all future rental-car revenues each year, expected to be about $1.36 million annually.
 
The county selected HOK Architects of Kansas City, Mo., to prepare a preliminary design for the ballpark. The stadium is expected to be completed by March 2009, according to a May 15 Washoe County report.
 
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Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?