- GBL rosters will remain at 22 players for the 2010 season. However, after August 15th rosters will expand to 25 players. This means that the trading frenzy will start a few days earlier next year as playoff-bound team will cherry pick the best players from the teams that are out of playoff contention. However, managers will have a hard time pinch-hitting for pitchers when they are restricted to a 22-man roster. You can expect to see decent-hitting pitchers pinch hitting for weaker-hitting pitchers when a GBL team is behind in the mid-to-late innings.
- The league will be making further announcements about 2010 teams in January. No surprise here. See the previous blog post for details. However, given the uncertainty, I'd be surprised if a regular-season schedule was published before the beginning of February.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Our Sports Central on December 22nd:
Posted by Gus at 12:13 AM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here are a few tidbits to nibble on as we approach the shortest day of the year:
- GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt was quoted in The Sun (Yuma, AZ) as stating there was "about a 30 percent chance -- and it's always rising" that Tijuana will be in the league in 2010 as a result of the involvement of a new ownership group.
- Outcalt also said that it was less likely that the Palm Springs team would join the GBL in 2010, but they were likely to start up in 2011.
- Outcalt also said that the St George team is not officially dead. This means that there are still only 9 firm GBL teams for 2010: Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Chico, Maui, Orange County, Long Beach, Tucson and Yuma. Other teams that could still join the league in 2010 (in estimated order of likelihood) are Ottawa, Tijuana, Palm Springs, Scottsdale, Kamloops and St. George. There are two unsolicited bids in for a stadium lease in Ottawa, and if the Ottawa Stadium Group (OSG) is awarded a lease in the next few weeks then they will likely join the GBL.
- Outcalt also had this to say about the signing of Eri Yoshida: "I've gotten an unbelievable amount of media calls today," Outcalt said. "CNN wants to do a feature, and about 10 different Japanese media outlets want to do a story on this. I think it's going to be a highly covered event." As I mentioned yesterday, the Seals would be wise to sign her -- especially if she can keep her ERA under 9.00 in the Arizona Winter League.
Posted by Gus at 9:54 PM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Here's where the Victoria Seals come in. It makes perfect sense for the Seals to sign Yoshida if she does anything other than stink it up in the AWL. Think of how much the Seattle Mariners have profited from putting players like Ichiro and Kenji Johjima out on the field. If you were to put a 17-year-old Japanese female out on the mound for the Victoria Seals, a significant percentage of the Japanese students and Japanese-Canadians in Victoria would flock to Royal Athletic Park whenever she was due to pitch. Plus, every girl who plays softball in Victoria (and there are many) would be lining up to buy a Seals ticket.
If she were to spend the summer in the Garden City, there would be an entourage of media (Japanese, Canadian and American) that would follow her every move. That would do nothing but greatly increase the national and international profile of the Victoria Seals. I also have no doubt that Yoshida would sell a lot of Victoria Seals merchandise -- and not just to the locals. Japanese baseball fans would most likely be ordering a bunch of caps and jerseys off the internet.
Wishful thinking on my part? Perhaps. But signing Eri Yoshida to a Victoria Seals contract makes a lot of sense. I mean, she couldn't be any worse than Mike Reeves or Eziequiel Ruvalcaba.
Posted by Gus at 9:42 PM
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
In any event, it is unclear if there are currently 9 or 10 teams in the GBL circuit. The Golden League's entry on Wikipedia indicates that the Tijuana team will be part of the South Division in 2010, which would leave the league with 10 teams. However, I'm not convinced that this is a done deal just yet.
There was a chance that Kamloops would be granted an expansion team in time for the 2010 season, but so far no suitable owner has been located.
The other possibility for a 2010 GBL expansion team is Ottawa, where an interesting political game is underway. Two rival ownership groups are attempting to secure a lease for the 10,000 seat Ottawa Stadium. One group, lead by Can-Am League commissioner Miles Wolff, would like to bring a Can-Am League team to the nation's capital. On the other side of the battle is the Ottawa Stadium Group (OSG), lead by David Butler and Duncan MacDonald. If the OSG can secure the lease then they would be granted an expansion team in the GBL.
No matter how the Ottawa battle plays out, the GBL needs an even number of teams to be able to develop a reasonable schedule. Last season's last-minute pull-out of the Tijuana franchise led to an ugly schedule and far too many stretches of three to four consecutive days off for teams.
Posted by Gus at 9:20 PM