Urgent Plea By MRPBL Commissioner to Save League

Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League LogoPRESS RELEASE – Our league is asking for help. If the structure doesn’t change in the next 24 hours, the league will be done. I do NOT want this to happen.

When I set out to start a new professional league a year ago, I wasn’t fully aware of everything and everyone that was needed to be successful. I had big dreams and great intentions, still do. But the last couple of weeks, frankly the last couple of months, have proven that I’m currently in over my head. I should have asked for help rather than praying things would get better once games started getting played. I, along with many other coaching and league staffs, have poured time, passion, money, and our own reputations into the MRBPL. We asked communities to support us. We ensured them this would work, but poor execution and poor lack of financial backing on my part, has let these communities down. Players simply want to play baseball.

I will take the blame for this whole thing. I ran it. I didn’t get stuff in time, didn’t delegate enough, and was relying too much on passion and drive, rather than the reality that it takes money to make money. Most of the problems have been financial.

I’ve made some attempts to try and salvage the league. I’m willing to give away franchise rights for $0 if someone is willing to invest in a team to keep it going. We recently had a private owner take over Ellensburg. Glacier has expressed serious interest in acquiring their franchise contingent on the league longevity. If we can find inventors/owners for Moses Lake and Grays Harbor, I believe I can make Skagit Valley work. It would allow people to solely focus on their respective team without being reliant on myself as the league owner.

We can no longer ask players to put up with the conditions we have provided them. Some have had to stay in hotels as we haven’t been able to get host families. Teams have had to pay for team travel hotels as we haven’t been able to provide the funds. Teams have been wearing other team’s uniforms or t-shirts as uniforms hadn’t come in on time. Approximately 150 players fill 6 teams. Players WANT to stay if the league can sustain and work through the issues. Players WANT to come tryout for teams that are already in motion. These teams have full rosters, full coaching staffs, ballparks who have adjusted schedules to make this all happen. The infrastructure is all in place, we just need the financial support.

My budget required an average of 300 fans per game to sustain funding. We had over 300 for the Oregon City opener, 520 at the Grays Harbor opener, and close to 300 at the Glacier opener. The fans want to see the baseball, but we have to provide them the experience. Uniforms and hats are now in for each team. If the league can continue, sponsorship, housing, and promotions will be the primary focus. Some teams have done this better than others and have offered to share their knowledge and materials to other teams so staff is not reinventing the wheel each time. In other words, the budget isn’t holding up, and I need help.

For those that have been able to watch a live game, you can see why I started this league. There is such great talent and players with huge dreams. That was the vision from the beginning. TREAT THE PLAYERS, STAFF, COMMUNITY, AND FANS RIGHT…AND WE WILL SUCCEED. I failed you all somehow. The dream was that these guys could keep playing baseball. Communities would support them with host families, fans, and city governments. I still believe that the communities I chose are good for this but it is our responsibility as organizations to go out and make this happen. We want these players active in our communities, active in our local media, and good stewards at the ballpark.

I am to a point I do not know what to do any longer. I have hotels wanting money and can’t pay for them. I have players needing host families. I have players that are expecting payroll. One thing is for sure, I have players that WANT TO PLAY BASEBALL.

So there are frankly only two options 1) we play all games tonight throughout the league and then call it a season tomorrow or 2) we gain ownership interest and a commitment from all involved to help nurse this league back to health.

I hope and pray for option 2.

Franchise ownership would require the following:

All travel expenses for your team on the road which includes hotel, gas, transportation, and food
$2000 for hotels, $1200 for transportation
Promotional and marketing efforts to attract fans
Stadium lease payments
Game balls, bats, helmets (uniforms and hats are already provided)
Commitment to weekly league conference calls by one member of the staff
Pointstreak administration for live stats
All staff and player wages
I believe the above commitment would take approximately $70,000 to get things off and running allowing enough capital to be sustainable throughout the season. If we have interest, my suggestion would be for the league to take 1 week off from play to get everything in order from leases, equipment, travel schedules, funding, Pointstreak stats, etc.

Let me know please if you can help within the next 24 hours. I apologize for letting everyone down. My heart was there, but 6 teams was too overwhelming both financially and time wise.

Thank you,

Mike Greene – League Owner/Commissioner

mrgreene65@hotmail.com

Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League

P.O. Box 33116

Shoreline, WA 98133

206-578-0167

http://www.mrbl.com

17 Comments

Filed under League & Franchise, Market & Location, Money & Financials

17 responses to “Urgent Plea By MRPBL Commissioner to Save League

  1. Big D

    Posted on the Skagit Valley Lumberjacks Facebook page:

    I would really like to make an announcement about the Lumberjacks but do not want to jump the gun.
    We do need sponsors and host families to keep it going and the plans are to be back playing ball by the 10th at latest.
    Please host a player, or become a sponsor.
    mrgreene65@hotmail.com

    We want to play baseball and have community support. Lots of great players wanting to continue there dream.

    We could really use a good sponsorship salesman that knows the area. 33% commission. email if interested.

  2. Big D

    The press release has again changed and removed specifics about when the league wants to resume play. I’m guessing Greene is having a harder time selling the idea of flushing money down the toilet than he thought he would.

  3. ballparkbiz

    Mike Greene has issued a press release indicating the MRPBL is restructing to include just four teams with a restart date of June 6:

    http://mrpbl.pointstreaksites.com/view/mrpbl/news-1672/news_303196

    We assume Moses Lake is out. Not sure about the other one.

  4. tenaciouspuma

    Between this and the what was East Coast League, what are these people thinking. It is ruining Indy ball. Well said above, business people need to run these things.

  5. Been Around

    There’s a reason businessmen, not coaches, put together teams and leagues. Apparently Coach Greene waited too long to find this out. “I love baseball” is the worst reason to do this. Everyone in the game “loves baseball,” that’s a given. Not a reason to believe you can pull off an entire league by yourself, with no business experience beyond ordering baseballs and uniforms.

    Even the amounts Coach Green lists in this “press release” are way, way low, showing no knowledge of the business. $2,000 for hotel and $1,200 for transportation (I’m assuming bus)? That’s the low end of one road trip.

    Giving people 24 hours to bail him out, when he was obviously in over his head from day one and realized it a while back, also shows tremendous lack of knowledge in the business of any kind, much less of sport.

    If he wants to continue, my humble opinion is shut it down this year before it gets really ugly, get some real businessmen in there and get out of their way, try it again next year.

    • eastfirst107

      No. Just stop. Don’t “try it again next year.” This. Will. Never. Work.

      There’s no way you could ever “get some real businessmen in there,” because any “real businessman” would realize that the markets are too small, and the stadiums are too inadequate, and the cities are too far apart, and a million other reasons that it doesn’t make any financial sense.

      Who knows, maybe if someone wanted to, they could try the summer college route with this, or they could create some crummy, hand-to-mouth, Pecos League-style setup that subsists on player fees (therefore making it no longer “professional.”)

      But a legitimate, viable, respected independent league? Forget it. Can’t work. Just go away already.

  6. justbaseball

    Maybe call John Bryant of the Former ULB…He’s probably the best candidate for teaching how to keep a league alive. Word is he’s looking for something to help pass the time since…Well, wait a minute, he could have written the above letter just as easily, but then again, never would since He was never the problem…Kudos Mr. Greene for taking responsibility.

  7. eastfirst107

    Aah, schadenfreude…

    Throughout the offseason, Greene was told it was a terrible idea. And clueless donkey that he was, he decided to cover his ears and yell at everyone else that they were being “negative,” rather than ask questions, listen, learn, and maybe rework or reconsider this thing. Zero sympathy for you, bud.

    So (in one form or another) we’ve gotten the “yup, I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing, and this turned out to be the s***-show that everyone said it would be” mea culpas from Cummins and Greene.

    Really looking forward to the Art Wilkinson edition in a couple of weeks.

  8. Big D

    This should come as a surprise to no one. The league is an abysmal failure.

  9. Unfortunately, the business model needs to be much more refined. It is nigh impossible to be profitable at all, much less with 7 days of startup time. This is a “player-centric” concept, much like the Pecos League. Mr. Greene has grossly underestimated the operating expenses. In order to attract solid investors, a much more comprehensive business plan needs to be in place.

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