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One and Done? South Coast League Suspends Operations Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 29 March 2008 11:20

South Coast LeagueAfter one season, the South Coast League officially is over.

The South Coast League of Professional Baseball announced today that on April 1st, the league will be suspending business operations and postpone the 2008 season indefinitely. 

The SCL launched in six markets located in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida in 2007. Most recent plans called for the replacement of one team by a new addition to the league out of Jackson, Mississippi.

Cash flow issues have followed the SCL since launching last year. Earlier this week, SLC CEO Jamie Toole resigned, an ominous sign for the league.

Talk has centered on relaunching the league next season. As reported earlier this week in the Macon The Telegraph :

 "I don't think we've ever talked about going away for good, just shutting the door and that's it," Toole said during a phone interview this evening. "We've evaluated every aspect of how do you, quite frankly, get better than you were last year. And I think probably every organization does that." 


OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK


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, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 

 
MLB Properties In Copyright Dispute w/ Cape Cod League Print
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 09 March 2008 21:51

Cape Cod Baseball LeagueThe Cape Cod Baseball League and MLB Properties are in a copyright dispute over the names of teams in the Cape Cod League, all of which have been in existence for at least twenty years.

MLBP is in dispute with six franchise names that the Cape Code League uses: the Bourne Braves, Harwich Mariners, Orleans Cardinals, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Chatham Athletics (A’s), and Hyannis Mets.

MLBIn the case of the Mariners name being used by the Harwich club, it predates the Seattle Mariners.

MLBP owns the rights to the shared names, and contacted the CCBL regarding changing them. MLBP has allowed the CCBL to go about business using their names for all of last year. Now, MLBP has contacted CCBL in an effort to address the names.

As reported by the Cape Cod Enterprise:

One Cape League franchise’s general manager, who asked that he not be identified, said that he hopes that an agreement can be reached so that the Cape League teams do not have to change their names. “The bottom line is that they do own our names,” he said.

CCBL officials are hoping to come to an amicable agreement with MLBP. They are currently pondering a handful of different possible solutions to the situation.

At Wednesday night’s meeting the Cape League people discussed whether or not they would agree to the terms that have been laid out by MLBP in order for them to continue using those names for their franchises. MLBP and the CCBL have had a working relationship for better than two decades, with MLBP providing an annual grant since the mid-1990s. Over the last two years that grant has been $100,000.

Under the terms and conditions laid out by MLBP, the big league organization would agree to continue to provide a $100,000 grant to the Cape League, which the league uses for a variety of operating costs, as long as the six affected teams return signed permission agreements. Under those agreements each team will be granted the right to use a text-only and stylized version of the team’s nickname (e.g. the word mark Mariners) and a composite logo consisting of MLB’s silhouetted batter logo combined with the text “funded in part by Major League Baseball.”

MLBP is requiring that Cape League teams purchase any MLBP-approved merchandise and promotional items “directly from an official MLB licensee of MLB’s choice,” and that any purchased merchandise and promotional items that were not licensed by MLB can be sold by CCBL, but only if they agree to a royalty rate of 11 percent.

What has been the reaction from CCBL officials?

CCBL Commissioner Paul Galop said, “Currently there’s no story; it’s business as usual as far as we’re concerned.”

Thanks to Keith Dangel for pointing us in the direction of this article


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, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network

 
Cecil Fielder Named New Manager of Atlantic City Surf Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 26 February 2008 12:54

Cecil FielderThe Atlantic City Surf, member of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball, have announced former major leaguer Cecil Fielder (pictured) as the club’s new field manager in a press conference today.

Fielder spent 13 seasons in the major leagues from 1985 to 1998 with the Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Anaheim Angels and Cleveland Indians. He also played one season with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan Central League. One of the top 100 home-run hitters in major-league history with 319 round-trippers, he also made three All-Star Game appearances (1990, 1991 and 1993). Fielder’s 51 home runs for Detroit in 1990 marked the first 50-homer season for an American Leaguer since Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle accomplished the feat in 1961. He led the majors in RBI from 1990 to 1992, and is the only Detroit Tiger to ever hit over 25 home runs in six consecutive seasons (1990-1995).

Fielder appeared in the playoffs in three seasons (Toronto-1985, New York-1996, New York-1997), and hit .391 during the 1996 World Series.

The Los Angeles native made his managerial debut with the Charlotte County Redfish of the independent South Coast League last season. His son, Prince, the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year, is a first baseman with the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I’m excited to join the Surf organization,” Fielder said. “This is a great opportunity, and we’re putting together a team that will give one hundred percent every night. I’m looking forward to managing in such a strong baseball area, and we’re working to bring another championship to Atlantic City.”

Fielder, 44, is the fifth former major-leaguer to manage the Surf, after Doc Edwards, Tommy Helms, Mitch Williams and Jeff Ball. He replaces Chris Carminucci, who will remain as club president and oversee the team’s business operations.

Source: Atlantic City Surf


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, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available as a freelance writer.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Atlantic League Announces Realignment Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 04 January 2008 04:19

Long Island DucksThe Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs yesterday announced plans for divisional realignment set to take place with the start of the 2008 season. With the entry of the expansion Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, the divisions formerly known as the North and South will receive new designations as well. The Long Island Ducks will join the newly formed Liberty Division, along with archrival Bridgeport, expansion Southern Maryland and the Camden Riversharks.

“I am excited as we move into our second decade that we are able to keep our traditional rivalries intact in this new divisional setup,” said Atlantic League Founder & CEO and Ducks principal owner Frank Boulton. “It is with the addition of Southern Maryland and in the best interest of the league to create these two new divisions and move away from our North/South setup.”

Despite the new alignment, the Ducks traditional cross-Sound division rivalry with the Bluefish will be maintained. Long Island will also compete for the first time in the same division as the Camden Riversharks. The teams do have a history, however, with the Ducks sweeping the Riversharks in 2004 to win their first league title.
 
Competing in the Freedom Division, the Lancaster Barnstormers, York Revolution, Somerset Patriots and Newark Bears will square off. York and Lancaster will continue their “War of the Roses” battle (Lancaster won the inaugural series 10-8 in 2007), while defending league champion Newark will play in the same division as traditional rival Somerset. The two northern New Jersey teams played in different divisions in 2007, eventually meeting in the Atlantic League Championship Series, which the Bears won three games to one.
 
“The key is keeping the rivalries intact,” said AL Executive Director Joe Klein. “And we have done that.”
 
The Atlantic League will play a balanced 140-game schedule in 2008 with a two division setup leading to the 2008 Playoffs to determine the league champion.

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, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
South Coast League Suspends Two for Drug Violations Print
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 06 August 2007 04:37
South Coast LeagueToday, the South Coast League of Professional Baseball announced that they have suspended South Georgia Peanuts 2B Joey Hooft and OF Doc Brooks for violation of the league’s drug policy.

After hearing of the results, the SCL issued the following statement.
“The South Coast League’s drug prevention policy covers everything from performance enhancing substances to recreational drugs and a failed sample can be attributed to many different factors. We will continue to promote a healthy and professional environment for our players, and a violation of the drug policy is something that undermines those ideals.”

Under the current policy, a first time violation carries a 10 game suspension without pay. Last week, two additional SCL players were suspended for diluted samples and SCL Medical Director Rob DeSantis continues to stress the importance of these procedures.

“We continue to make strides in keeping our game clean and want our players to understand the importance of a safe and healthy lifestyle,” shared DeSantis. “As professional athletes, these young men are role models to young fans across the league, and we want to portray a positive image to all our supporters.”

The South Coast League is currently the only independent league in the country with a written drug policy. As a league built on professional player development, the SCL will continue to provide the knowledge and resources necessary for their players to make a smooth transition into affiliated baseball.

Read the South Coast League's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program here on The Biz of Baseball.

 
South Coast League Suspends Two For Drug Violations Print
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 11:11

South Coast LeagueYesterday, the South Coast League of Professional Baseball suspended Aiken Foxhounds SS Tim Sweeney and RHP AJ Montano for violation of the league’s drug policy.

“This is unfortunate for Aiken as they will lose two valuable pieces of their team for an extended period of time during the final month of the season,” shared SCL Chief Operating Officer Chris Allen. “Nonetheless, a violation of our drug policy is not something to be taken lightly, and the South Coast League will not condone this type of behavior.”

Under the current policy, a first time violation carries a 10 game suspension without pay. Over the last month, acting SCL Medical Director Rob Desantis has conducted numerous random drug tests in all six markets.

“Both of these tests came back as ‘diluted samples’, which mean that there was a masking agent used to cover up the potential of a positive test for a banned substance,” shared DeSantis. “Per league policy, a diluted sample falls under the category of a failed sample, thus triggering the suspensions.”

The South Coast League is currently the only independent league in the country with a written drug policy. As a league built on professional player development, the SCL will continue to provide the knowledge and resources necessary for their players to make a smooth transition into affiliated baseball.

Read the South Coast League's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program here on The Biz of Baseball 

 
Cecil Fielder to Manage Charlotte County Redfish Print
Written by The Staff   
Saturday, 16 June 2007 08:38
RedFishFans of the Charlotte County Redfish will be seeing a lot more of SCL Roving Hitting Instructor Cecil Fielder as he will take over managerial duties for the Redfish beginning Sunday.

“Having someone with the knowledge and passion for the game like Cecil Fielder accept this position will allow a smooth transition for everyone involved,” shared SCL Chief Operating Officer Chris Allen.

Former manager Jackie Hernandez will continue to be a part of the South Coast League family, accepting a position on the league level for the remainder of 2007. The Redfish, who currently are posting a league worst 5-20 mark to begin the season, can use a breath of fresh air in the dugout.

“It’s a benefit to be able to promote from within,” shared Redfish GM Steven Tricarico. "Cecil Fielder is a name and personality that our fans will be familiar with and we look forward to having him guide us through the rest of our season.”

Fielder will take over a team that has struggled to find an identity early in the season. Numerous roster moves and player turnover haven’t helped a young team like the Redfish find their stride. With a focus on taking the season one game at a time, Fielder believes that his squad will make an impact in the second half.
 
Say it with me: "LBALACUSNAIBA" Print
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 05 June 2007 14:36

The Golden Baseball LeagueMike Veeck, eat your heart out...

It seems that the Golden Baseball League will break the record books for the longest franchise name by changing the Long Beach Armada to (takes a deep breath) the...

Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska.

Or, if you're reading the boxscore:

LBALACUSNAIBA

"In order to better reach the larger Armada Nation, we felt compelled to lengthen the name to incorporate all our fans stretching from the warm beaches of Los Angeles to the frigid beaches of the Arctic Circle," Golden Baseball league CEO Dave Kaval told the AP.

In other news, sports reporters in the Long Beach area were seen jumping from bridges. Arte Moreno, look what you have done.

 
PA SportsTicker Partners with South Coast League Print
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 06:06
PA SportstickerBaseball is a game of numbers. Fifty homerun seasons, 40-40 clubs, .300 hitters and 20 win campaigns all play a role in defining greatness. With the help of PA SportsTicker, the South Coast League of Professional Baseball will be able to keep track of their own players’ statistics during the upcoming season.

“We are pleased to partner with PA SportsTicker,” said SCL Chief Operating Officer Chris Allen. “They have been the premier stats provider in our industry for many years and they’re success speaks volumes in their quality of work.”

PA SportsTicker is America 's leading real-time sports news information service provider, covering all major sports for the US sports fan. Formed from the acquisition of SportsTicker by PA Sport, the world's leading sports news and information provider, it is the natural successor to Western Union 's original Baseball Ticker, established in 1909. Today PA SportsTicker's sports news heritage is honored in a permanent exhibit at Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , NY .

PA SportsTicker is the primary instant sports news source for the ESPN television networks, ESPN.com, Yahoo!, CBS Sportsline, MSNBC, CSTV and the YES Network. It is also the official statistician for more than 20 professional leagues and associations.

PA SportsTicker will be responsible for keeping track of every statistical detail throughout the season for all six South Coast League franchises and will compile daily and weekly statistical releases for SCL personnel. At season’s end, PA SportsTicker will also provide the SCL with a comprehensive final report of all statistical data compiled during the 2007 season.

The South Coast League is a six-team based independent professional baseball league located in the Southeastern U.S.   First pitch is scheduled for May of 2007.   
 
FineDeering Signs as Presenting Sponsor for Foxhounds Print
Written by Press Release   
Sunday, 11 March 2007 15:03
FoxhoundsThe Aiken Foxhounds are proud to announce that FineDeering Development Group has signed on as presenting sponsor for the 2007 inaugural season. The Foxhounds, a member of the independent South Coast League, and FineDeering have a number of exciting events planned for the upcoming season, which begins on May 24th at 7:05 PM versus the Anderson Joes.

On opening night, FineDeering will present the first 1,000 fans with a commemorative ticket holder to chronicle Aiken’s first professional baseball game with a fireworks show following the game. FineDeering will also present two other fireworks shows during the season and will play an active role in the Foxhounds Kids’ Club.

“FineDeering and the Foxhounds both strive for family values and entertainment,” said Foxhounds GM Bradley Bell. “We are looking forward to a great partnership as well as a fun and exciting season.”

FineDeering Development Group is currently constructing two unique residential communities in Aiken. Sage Creek, located on Bettis Academy Road one mile south of Interstate 20, features the new Byrd Elementary School to be open for the 2007-2008 school year. Trolley Run Station is located at Highway 118 and University Parkway, adjacent to the University of South Carolina, Aiken and Aiken Regional Medical Center and right next door to the Foxhounds home at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. Trolley Run Station will house the new Wyatt Family YMCA.

“FineDeering Development Group is thrilled to sponsor the inaugural season of the Aiken Foxhounds,” said Co-Chairman Bob Deering. “We are proud that our partnership with this organization will bring such fun, family-friendly entertainment to the area. FineDeering is committed to the growth and vitality of Aiken County and sees its support of the Foxhounds as an important part of this commitment.”

The newly formed Foxhounds Professional Baseball Club is proud to call Aiken, South Carolina home. Through our National Pastime, the Aiken Foxhounds will provide affordable family entertainment to the citizens of Aiken and the surrounding areas while serving as a loyal partner to the community.
 
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