The Mariners are coming to Pulaski, bringing the number of teams in the Appalachian League back to 10—a move that will be a big financial relief to the City of Pulaski as well as the other nine owners in the league.
The deal means that Christmas will be coming a few days early for Lee Landers, who has been dogged in his year-and-a-half pursuit of filling the void in Pulaski.
After two years of pounding hotel lobbies at the Winter Meetings in Orlando and Nashville, Landers pulled off a late-December deal with the Mariners to bring a Rookie-level club to Pulaski. Seattle will add a seventh affiliate in its first foray into the Appalachian League.
The Appy League was left with nine teams in 2007 after the Blue Jays pulled out of Pulaski late in 2006 and Landers’ efforts to find a replacement proved fruitless. The odd-numbered schedule forced the league to play two-game series and the increased travel added expenses to teams’ budgets.
"It’s a relief for everyone in the league, from the players to the managers to the front office (personnel)," said Landers, noting that new MILB vice president Tim Purpura and longtime executive Roland Hemond played key roles in getting a deal done. " I can’t see how playing a nine-game schedule and two-games series enhanced player development. We have younger guys in the league, but it wears on you."
The Mariners signed a one-year lease with an option for a second year. Pulaski Baseball president and general manager Tom Compton said the Mariners are interested in staying long-term, but first want to make sure the league is a good fit.
"Ownership wants to make sure they are doing the right thing before they enter into a longer-term deal," Compton said.
Enduring a season with Calfee Park dark proved to be a financial hit for the City of Pulaski. The minor league team is the park’s prime tenant, and Compton estimates the city lost $20,000 in rent alone—not including lost revenue for local hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog