Major League Baseball has neared completion of its extreme revamp of the minor leagues, officially offering 120 Player Development licenses to franchises that will survive as affiliated clubs and comprise a slimmed-down player-development apparatus with centralized control under MLB. Read more here. Read more from Forbes here and Sporting News here.
Category Archives: Personnel & Operations
PRESS RELEASE – For 28 years the St. Paul Saints introduced the baseball world to pigs delivering baseballs to umpires, nuns giving massages to fans, and promotions poking fun at current events, politics, the baseball industry, and oftentimes themselves, all while being an Independent Professional Baseball Club. The Saints “Fun is Good” motto is about to enter center stage on a completely different level. The Saints, in a partnership with the Minnesota Twins, have received an invitation to become the top tier, Triple-A, Minor League affiliate of their Twin Cities neighbor beginning in the 2021 season.
The Staten Island Yankees, the former short-season Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Thursday that the organization is ceasing operations and filed a lawsuit against its former parent club – as well as Major League Baseball. Read more here.
The Orem Owlz (Independent Professional, Pioneer League) have announced that they are relocating from their home in Orem (UT) to the Future Legends Complex in Windsor (CO). They will be renamed the Northern Colorado (NoCo) Owlz in 2021. Read more here.
The Minnesota Twins are looking for a new top farm team, after officially informing the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A, International League) that they are out. The St. Paul Saints (Independent Professional, American Association) are the targeted replacement. Read more here.
PRESS RELEASE – After 38 years in professional baseball and 28 years with the Minor League Baseball office, Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner [this week] announced that he will retire on Dec. 31, 2020.
PRESS RELEASE – The Salem Red Sox, Advanced-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, have announced that Greg Wong will serve as the club’s new Broadcasting and Media Relations Manager and “Voice of the Red Sox” during the 2020 season.
PRESS RELEASE – On Wednesday, the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders officially announced John Adams as the team’s new president. Members of the RailRiders ownership group were on hand to welcome Adams into his new role ahead of the 2020 season.
For the second time in two months, the Auburn Doubledays’ (Single-A, New York-Penn League) general manager is stepping down. Bob Scarbrough, who was named general manager after Adam Winslow‘s departure in November, resigned effective Jan. 24. Read more here.
PRESS RELEASE – The Winston-Salem Dash have added several talented people to their staff and promoted several current employees in preparation for their 11th season at BB&T Ballpark, which will begin on Thursday, April 16.
PRESS RELEASE – Fast Forward Sports Group, LLC, led by Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp owner Ken Babby, has promoted Harold Craw from the role of general manager to the club’s executive vice president/general manager, the club announced Wednesday.
PRESS RELEASE – Ohio native Brandon Monty will be the play-by-by broadcaster and director of media relations for the 2020 season. Currently a senior at Ohio University, Monty spent last summer as the play-by-play broadcaster of the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Baseball League. Monty also broadcasts for BobcatTV at OU for the soccer, field hockey, women’s basketball and baseball teams.
PRESS RELEASE – RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols has announced the hiring of Jason Kempf as the next Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Charleston RiverDogs. He replaces Matt Dean, who is now assuming a similar role with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Advanced-A, Houston Astros). Continue reading
While cautioning it’s early in the game, John Sherman, the new owner of the Kansas City Royals, has no problem talking up the economic benefits of downtown baseball and says he’s already being lobbied on possible sites. Read more here.
The Winnipesaukee Muskrats (Summer Collegiate, New England Collegiate Baseball League) have selected Carey Hough as their new general manager. Read more here.
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball shared the same Las Vegas hotel at last year’s Winter Meetings. A year later, the MLB contingent was at the Grand Hyatt, while MiLB was housed at a Hilton down the road. Physically, the two groups were separated by only a mile. After a few rounds of negotiations—both in conference rooms and in the media—the sides appear much farther apart. Read more from Baseball America here.
PRESS RELEASE – During this week’s Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, representatives from Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Major League Baseball (MLB) engaged in formal and informal discussions regarding the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) that were cordial and productive. Following those meetings, MLB has repeatedly and inaccurately stated the position of MiLB with respect to several key areas under consideration in the PBA negotiations. To correct the record, Minor League Baseball’s positions on the key areas are as follows: Read more here.
PRESS RELEASE – Zawyer Sports, owner of the Fort Myers Miracle baseball club and Jacksonville Icemen hockey team, as well as operator of spring training for the Minnesota Twins and Hammond Stadium, has announced a new management team for the growing company. Andrew Kaufman, CEO of Jacksonville-based Zawyer Sports, has named Bob Ohrablo as president of Zawyer Sports. Ohrablo will oversee operations for both the Miracle and Icemen, as well as future Zawyer Sports business interests.
PRESS RELEASE – The Charleston RiverDogs have announced the addition of two new members to the front office, hiring Kayla Greaves as the club’s new box office manager and Ryan Perry as the director of video production.
Buoyed by a new owner, the Kansas City T-Bones (Independent Professional, American Association) will stay put, after the local government approved a $1 million infusion of tax revenues to help with ballpark improvements. The new ownership group, called Max Fun LLC, will also invest significantly in the stadium, the staff and marketing to broaden the customer base and improve the team’s public image. Read more here.
It appears the homeless Florida Fire Frogs (Single-A, Florida State League) could be headed back to Brevard County (FL), if a deal to sell the team to Cocoa Baseball Group LLC is indeed consummated. In a motion filed with the Orange County Clerk of Courts on Oct. 7 (“Tennessee Manatee’s Emergency Motion for Order Requiring Sale of the Club Pursuant to Cocoa Baseball Club, LLC Purchase Agreement to Avoid Forfeiture of that Asset”), it includes details of a Management Agreement dated Oct. 3, 2019 (“Exhibit 3”), which provides the following: Continue reading
The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Read more here, here and here.
PRESS RELEASE – Today the Can-Am League and the Frontier League are announcing a historic merger resulting in the creation of the largest league in all of Independent Professional Baseball. The newly formed Frontier League will begin play in 2020 with a soon to be revealed 96-game schedule spanning from mid-May through September.
PRESS RELEASE – The Kansas City T-Bones are progressing toward a sale and are scheduled to complete the sale this week. The incoming owner has been in close negotiations and planning with the Unified Government, all for the sake of setting the table for continued American Association professional baseball in Wyandotte County. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE – The North Shore Navigators are devastated to announce the passing of beloved general manager Bill Terlecky after a courageous battle with cancer. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE – The Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s North Shore Navigators are excited to announce local baseball icon Derek January as the leader of the team’s new ownership group. The transition from Patrick A. Salvi to the Swampscott native January was made official on Thursday. Continue reading
PRESS RELEASE – The Florida State League today announced longtime baseball executive Terry Reynolds will become the league’s new president on Jan. 1, 2020. Reynolds will take over for retiring league president Ken Carson, who ran the league for the past five seasons.
Quint Studer and Diane Hendricks have announced that they are buying the Beloit Snappers (Single-A, Midwest League) and proposing a new stadium near the Rock River behind Beloit City Hall. Studer Entertainment & Retail currently co-owns the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A, Southern League). Read more here and here. Watch news report here.
Two former Mobile BayBears (Double-A, Southern League) assistant general managers are now part of a new company working on a plan to manage Hank Aaron Stadium, which is losing it’s team to a new ballpark near Huntsville (AL). It’s called Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group, or MSEG, and the owners plans go beyond, but include, baseball. Read more here.
After two seasons in Aberdeen (SD), the Hub City Hotshots (Summer Collegiate, Expedition League) have suspended operations for the 2020 season. As reported, in a letter from Expedition League President Steve Wagner, who took over operation of the Hotshots this summer, he cited neglect by former team owners Chuck and Mayra Heeman. Read more here. Read more background here.
Talk to people who know John Sherman, the coming new owner of the Kansas City Royals, and three points come up over and over again: He’s a meticulous businessman, he is deeply devoted to Kansas City and, even given his stature in the community, he’s private about his endeavors. Another thing to know about Sherman: He cares about downtown Kansas City. Read more here.
The Florence Freedom (Independent Professional, Frontier League) are officially under new ownership and, as expected, will continue play at city-owned UC Health Stadium. Freedom Baseball Club, LLC, comprised of four general partners, acquired the professional team from Canterbury Baseball, LLC. Read more here.
If you like some food with your baseball, Town Madison (AL) has unveiled an appetizing plan that blends the best of both worlds. A giant food hall – featuring 18 kitchens as well as breweries and food trucks – will be the primary connection between the Town Madison retail/restaurant district and the development-anchoring baseball stadium that’s home to the Rocket City Trash Pandas (Double-A, Southern League). Read more here. In other Panda news, the team has named Josh Caray, grandson of baseball legend Harry Caray, to be the voice of the team. Read more and watch news report here.
Rocket City Trash Pandas Name Josh Caray, Grandson of Baseball Legend Harry Caray and Son of Braves Hall of Famer Skip Caray, Play-by-Play Announcer!
Welcome to the Trash Pandas @seawolvesvoice ! pic.twitter.com/eaZHxI6nXs
— Rocket City Trash Pandas (@trashpandas) May 14, 2019
PRESS RELEASE – The Sioux City Explorers announce today the hiring of Boyd Pitkin as Director of Baseball and Stadium Operations. Pitkin will help lead the Explorers during their 27th season in Siouxland.
— Owen Siebring (@owensiebring) May 3, 2019