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Sodboy13

Northern League: 1993-2010

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Well, now it's official: Winnipeg, Fargo-Moorhead, Gary, and Kansas City have all made the jump to the American Association. That leaves your Northern League comprised of:

- The Schaumburg Flyers, who owe hundreds of thousands in debt, and are still seeking a buyer after a sale fell through over the summer;

- The Joliet Jackhammers, who owe hundreds of thousands in debt, and are still seeking a buyer after a sale fell through, um, yesterday;

- The Lake County Fielders, who still don't have an effing stadium; and

- The Rockford Riverhawks, who just jumped from the Frontier League last year, and probably wouldn't mind going back one bit.

Ideally, the knuckleheads involved here would be able to pull themselves together and realize that jumping in with the Frontier League is the only viable option at this point, especially with teams already in Crestwood and Woodstock making for a tidy little Chicago Suburban Division. However, since this is the Northern League, word has it their plan is to try to make a go of it as a four-team circuitfor 2011, seeking suckers/expansion candidates. I also read (though can't find the link) that they've been approached by the Frontier League, and basically spurned the offer.

So, the end result here (probably) is that Schaumburg and Joliet get left with some very nice empty ballparks, Rockford wiggles its way back into the FL, and the city of Zion wonders what it's going to do now with all these bleachers and light towers.

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I've had a soft spot in my heart for independent baseball since I worked for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, one of the top independent teams in the country. The Northern League is one of the oldest going independent leagues, but it appears that it's time has come.

As Sodboy said, the franchises that did make the jump are the most stable of the group. This is great for the the American Association, though it looks to spell doom for the Northern League.

On a related note, the Newark Bears officially moved from the Atlantic League to the Can-Am League last week. That move is actually motivated by the fact that Newark has been struggling mightily and it costs a lot less to operate a Can-Am team than an Atlantic League franchise. But the move likely means the resurrection of the Road Warriors in the Atlantic League, an all-travel team.

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Finally. I would have (kinda sorta) liked to see Winnipeg go to the Golden League to form a Canadian Division with Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria (maybe Saskatoon, since they're always in the expansion mix), but this is the way to go.

O, Northern League. The world was never meant for one as poorly-run as thee.

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Sounds like its been a bad couple of days for Joliet, since they also lost the 1A and 2A State Baseball Championships to Peoria.

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Zion just got dicked in every available orifice. Yes, ears too!

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Ahh I see now my Winnipeg Goldeyes gonna be in the AA.. cool and I think it will help to see new teams so often for next year... so maybe it will be something if the Goldeyes does win a league championship finally after so many years!!!

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Why do I have a feeling this was done in some not small part to freeze out Rich Ehrenreich?

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Considering that five years ago, Smilin' Sam Katz was telling Winnipeg newspapers that the Goldeyes "will go to the AA over his dead body," I can only assume that Sam is planning a Budd Dwyer-like resignation from politics sometime around May.

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Isn't Sam Katz the mayor of Winnipeg? Does he own the team personally, or does the city own it and he speaks on behalf of the team, or does he not own the team at all and just has spirited remarks regarding the Goldeyes?

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Katz owns the Goldeyes.

Can Independent Baseball even survive anymore? Teams fold left and right and leagues fold left and right. Goldeyes play in easily a Double A quality park though I can't speak for the other teams.

What's the problem with having more affiliated leagues with the Majors :P

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Considering that five years ago, Smilin' Sam Katz was telling Winnipeg newspapers that the Goldeyes "will go to the AA over his dead body," I can only assume that Sam is planning a Budd Dwyer-like resignation from politics sometime around May.

I hear he has a future in soccer. Maybe the Whitecaps could use a destroyer in midfield.

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Isn't Sam Katz the mayor of Winnipeg? Does he own the team personally, or does the city own it and he speaks on behalf of the team, or does he not own the team at all and just has spirited remarks regarding the Goldeyes?

He is both mayor AND owner/chairman of the Goldeyes.

LunchLadyDoris.jpg

"I draw two paychecks this way."

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I know a couple of the umpires in the Can-Am League. They love it, say it's a well run organization. They say all the teams treat them well when travelling, because they work 5 days at a time.

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Finally, this pretty much had to happen for the 4 teams sooner or later. Nice to be back in a stable league again.

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Katz owns the Goldeyes.

Can Independent Baseball even survive anymore? Teams fold left and right and leagues fold left and right. Goldeyes play in easily a Double A quality park though I can't speak for the other teams.

What's the problem with having more affiliated leagues with the Majors :P

Many of the independent leagues are the result of territorial disputes or just plain old neglect of certain areas by affiliated leagues. In the case of the Atlantic League, CEO Frank Boulton used to own a Yankees MiLB team and wanted to move them to Long Island. The Mets blocked it, citing Long Island as their territory. The Yankees wouldn't have allowed such a move by a Mets squad, either. Rather than give up on the idea, Boulton started his own league with teams mostly based in the mid-atlantic states.

The existence of the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) and Staten Island Yankees can be traced directly back to the creation of the Atlantic League. Realizing that their infighting allowed someone else to claim the very lucrative Long Island market (as well as Newark, Bridgeport, and others), each agreed to let the other put a Short-A team in the city limits to prevent the Atlantic League from getting a foothold there.

He also required any franchise entering the league to play in a ballpark that meets Major League Baseball's requirements for Double-A status. Not every independent league has such requirements, but the top independent teams are most often those that play in good ballparks. The ones that play on Little League bleachers can't make nearly the same kind of money.

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Considering that five years ago, Smilin' Sam Katz was telling Winnipeg newspapers that the Goldeyes "will go to the AA over his dead body," I can only assume that Sam is planning a Budd Dwyer-like resignation from politics sometime around May.

A Budd Dwyer reference?

Well played, sir. Well played.

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Considering that five years ago, Smilin' Sam Katz was telling Winnipeg newspapers that the Goldeyes "will go to the AA over his dead body," I can only assume that Sam is planning a Budd Dwyer-like resignation from politics sometime around May.

A Budd Dwyer reference?

Well played, sir. Well played.

I thought the correct way to compliment any Budd Dwyer reference was "Hey man, nice shot."

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Considering that five years ago, Smilin' Sam Katz was telling Winnipeg newspapers that the Goldeyes "will go to the AA over his dead body," I can only assume that Sam is planning a Budd Dwyer-like resignation from politics sometime around May.

A Budd Dwyer reference?

Well played, sir. Well played.

"For any fans thinking of leaving during the seventh-inning stretch, you're going to want to stick around until the end."

#obscureandpossiblydistastefulBuddDwyerreference

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Joliet, are you ready for some second-tier summer collegiate baseball?

Two quotes from this guy in the article, and he already sounds shady as hell. Also, the only web record I find of a Chicago Shamrocks hockey team is one from the 1930s, so I'm guessing he didn't work for them, and instead provided some intentionally misleading information about the NLL Chicago Shamrox, who Stefani actually did work for. I'm sure he learned plenty there about what doesn't make money.

Have a gander at his pedigree.

And while we're at it, have a look at the league, which apparently already had a team in Joliet this past season, as well as such exotic locales as Waukegan, Elgin, Flossmoor, Chesterton... Yes, this is a league playing to crowds of no one on high school and JuCo fields. A 7,000-seat park with full amenities like Silver Cross Field fits right in with this league's style.

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It's more likely that some Tribune idiot, when not being cursed at in person or in email, looked up the Chicago Shamrox and thought they were an ice hocky [sic] team that played on green ice because of the Irish theme. No wonder they folded; buying all that dye really must've added up.

You're in a rough patch when that boilerplate-CCSLC-concepts-folder Rockford Foresters logo is your best one. I gasped irl at the Jayhawks one.

I also have my real estate license, which I don't actively use at all

Banking this one for future avatar subtitle/signature potential.

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