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http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories...ml?ana=from_rss

The Golden Baseball League Tuesday announced the addition of the Calgary Vipers, which previously played with the Northern League.

The GBL is expected to announce another addition Wednesday.

The independent startup minor baseball league, whose headquarters are in Dublin, was planning to add two expansion teams to create an eight-team league, when a dispute between the Northern League and the Vipers presented the opportunity.

The Vipers began play in 2005, the same year that the GBL officially launched.

The GBL's CEO, Dave Kaval, called it a great opportunity to grow the league. He praised the team for its strong roster and the experienced staff in the organization.

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It's more like the Northern League grew sick of flying out there, grew sick of the Alberta teams complaining about subsidizing said flights, wanted to minimize travel, and therefore kicked them out.

Golden Baseball League's the only Indy League on the West Coast, so they had little choice but to join.

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Allegedly they are looking to add more Canadain/Pacific NW teams in the near future, however I have a feeling the Golden League will get sick of Calgary and Edmonton just like the Northern League did, they are too isolated from any other good baseball markets.

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Wouldnt be surprised if the Edmonton Cracker-Cats will join as well with Calgary... but the questoin is why in the hell would the 2 Alberta teams join the GBL?? oh boy... and yeah I know about their snit with the Northern League... I would think maybe there should have been another team in the middle between both Calgary & Edmonton and Winnipeg, say in Saskatoon or Regina... that might have helped with the travels costs?

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Supposedly it is significantly less expensive for the Vipers and Cracker-Cats (still can't get over how stupid that name is...) to travel to California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah rather than Indiana, Illinois and Kansas.

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The Northern League, believe it or not, is going forward as a 6-team operation for 2008. After that, I figure everything gets split up between the Frontier League (Schaumburg, Joliet, Gary,) and the American Association (F-M, KC, Winnipeg.) Maybe Winnipeg and Fargo go under instead, but I doubt the other 4 and their shiny new stadiums are going to be ceasing operations.

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The Northern League, believe it or not, is going forward as a 6-team operation for 2008. After that, I figure everything gets split up between the Frontier League (Schaumburg, Joliet, Gary,) and the American Association (F-M, KC, Winnipeg.) Maybe Winnipeg and Fargo go under instead, but I doubt the other 4 and their shiny new stadiums are going to be ceasing operations.

Supposedly the '"Chicago 3" to the Frontier League' rumor keeps getting debunked. I think Winnipeg draws too well to die, but I don't have attendance numbers in front of me to back that up.

I do also recall seeing that they attempted to get the American Association to play a partial schedule, but the AA wasn't interested for next.

Personally, I'll buy the argument that cutting loose the Alberta teams makes the Northern League somewhat healthier. Its got to be easier on everyone's budget.

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Winnipeg do have a beautiful ballpark and do draw well no matter what... so why is it Soyboy ya think Winnipeg will go under?? geez....

Yeah the NL will go on as a 6 team league for maybe a couple years and then check into proper expansion or so... who knows?

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I said "maybe" because I wasn't familiar with the situation in Winnipeg. Geez, no reason to jump on me. You'd think I was actively pursuing the termination of the franchise or something.

The question I have is, where does the NL go from here if it doesn't go under? I can't see it maintaining as a 6-team operation for a long period of time. They've tried and failed in several markets, and others they might have gone into are being held by the American Association or the Frontier League. I think they need to get up to at least 8 teams to be viable, and perhaps Wisconsin is an option. Is anything still standing in Kenosha from the Twins' days there? And perhaps Wausau could work, as they used to have the single-A Timbers, and have been in the summer college Northwoods league as of late. Places like Michigan City, IN or New Buffalo, MI might offer possibilities, but that would require a stadium getting built from the ground up.

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I said "maybe" because I wasn't familiar with the situation in Winnipeg. Geez, no reason to jump on me. You'd think I was actively pursuing the termination of the franchise or something.

The question I have is, where does the NL go from here if it doesn't go under? I can't see it maintaining as a 6-team operation for a long period of time. They've tried and failed in several markets, and others they might have gone into are being held by the American Association or the Frontier League. I think they need to get up to at least 8 teams to be viable, and perhaps Wisconsin is an option. Is anything still standing in Kenosha from the Twins' days there? And perhaps Wausau could work, as they used to have the single-A Timbers, and have been in the summer college Northwoods league as of late. Places like Michigan City, IN or New Buffalo, MI might offer possibilities, but that would require a stadium getting built from the ground up.

From what I've seen thus far, the Northwoods League seems to be doing well enough to preclude a return by the Northern League to Wisconsin. However, if they need the numbers, they may have little choice but to try it again in Madison or Duluth/Superior. St. Joe's is not an option....

If they aren't able to work something out with the AA, I think you'll either see the Northern League go after some of its former markets, or try to tread water and hope that something opens up elsewhere....like Omaha.

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Winnipeg do have a beautiful ballpark and do draw well no matter what... so why is it Soyboy ya think Winnipeg will go under?? geez....

All is not "sunshine and lollipops" with the Goldeyes.

As of late, the team has been taking a beating in the press over it's failure to pay interest on $434,000 owed to the Crocus Investment Fund, an entity that is currently in receivership after costing it's investors tens-of-millions of dollars. The investment fund's receivers contend that the $434,000 represents a loan that was made to the Goldeyes, while the team's owner and attorney have categorized it as an "equity investment".

Further, the team's owner, Sam Katz, claims that the Goldeyes are unable to pay the interest because the club is $4-million in debt. Katz says that the debt is due to the club's lease at CanWest Global Park and the purchase of equipment for the team - including a $1-million scoreboard. When pressed for details, Katz has conceded that the Goldeyes turned a profit in 2006. However, he is quick to point out that it's too soon to say whether the same will hold true for 2007.

On top of the financial questions surrounding the team, many people see Katz's majority ownership of the Goldeyes as a conflict-of-interest, given the fact that he is also Winnipeg's sitting mayor. Katz draws an annual salary of $217,000 for his position with the Goldeyes, and his estranged wife drew a $60,000-a-year salary from the team. This, despite the fact that Katz claims the Goldeyes couldn't make interest payments to the receiver for Crocus Investment Fund.

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I said "maybe" because I wasn't familiar with the situation in Winnipeg. Geez, no reason to jump on me. You'd think I was actively pursuing the termination of the franchise or something.

The question I have is, where does the NL go from here if it doesn't go under? I can't see it maintaining as a 6-team operation for a long period of time. They've tried and failed in several markets, and others they might have gone into are being held by the American Association or the Frontier League. I think they need to get up to at least 8 teams to be viable, and perhaps Wisconsin is an option. Is anything still standing in Kenosha from the Twins' days there? And perhaps Wausau could work, as they used to have the single-A Timbers, and have been in the summer college Northwoods league as of late. Places like Michigan City, IN or New Buffalo, MI might offer possibilities, but that would require a stadium getting built from the ground up.

From what I've seen thus far, the Northwoods League seems to be doing well enough to preclude a return by the Northern League to Wisconsin. However, if they need the numbers, they may have little choice but to try it again in Madison or Duluth/Superior. St. Joe's is not an option....

If they aren't able to work something out with the AA, I think you'll either see the Northern League go after some of its former markets, or try to tread water and hope that something opens up elsewhere....like Omaha.

Madison and Duluth are out of the question. The Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League averages 6,000+ in a league with less overhead. Plus one of the reasons Duluth and Madison are no longer in the Northern League is because their stadiums where not up to Northern League Standards.

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Winnipeg do have a beautiful ballpark and do draw well no matter what... so why is it Soyboy ya think Winnipeg will go under?? geez....

All is not "sunshine and lollipops" with the Goldeyes.

As of late, the team has been taking a beating in the press over it's failure to pay interest on $434,000 owed to the Crocus Investment Fund, an entity that is currently in receivership after costing it's investors tens-of-millions of dollars. The investment fund's receivers contend that the $434,000 represents a loan that was made to the Goldeyes, while the team's owner and attorney have categorized it as an "equity investment".

Further, the team's owner, Sam Katz, claims that the Goldeyes are unable to pay the interest because the club is $4-million in debt. Katz says that the debt is due to the club's lease at CanWest Global Park and the purchase of equipment for the team - including a $1-million scoreboard. When pressed for details, Katz has conceded that the Goldeyes turned a profit in 2006. However, he is quick to point out that it's too soon to say whether the same will hold true for 2007.

On top of the financial questions surrounding the team, many people see Katz's majority ownership of the Goldeyes as a conflict-of-interest, given the fact that he is also Winnipeg's sitting mayor. Katz draws an annual salary of $217,000 for his position with the Goldeyes, and his estranged wife drew a $60,000-a-year salary from the team. This, despite the fact that Katz claims the Goldeyes couldn't make interest payments to the receiver for Crocus Investment Fund.

You know, the funny thing is, the Goldeyes only pay $1 a year as the lease on the LAND that Canwest sits on, so the whole lease arrangement/equipment argument is bunk.

Go ahead and Google Crocus Investmend Fund, you'll see crimes and fraud charges left, right, and centre, including the company that owned the restaurant chain I worked for in Winnipeg...which was partially owned by Katz.

I do have a soft spot for the Goldeyes, I've been following them for 13 years, since their 1994 inaugural/championship season back at Deformity Field...and I'd hate to see them go down in flames because of a media whore's continued misappropriation of public funds.

That being said, I do see a NL/AA merger of some kind coming down the road, forming the largest Indy league of its kind (since the days of the old Nothern League, half of which became the Can-Am league...I don't remember what they were called prior to the merger). Also, Screw Calgary and Edmonton. They didn't draw because they went from AAA ball to indy, low-AA ball. That, combined with a definite disinterest, will prevent them from ever being an attendance-success story in the minors.

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