Here’s you chance to see in action a good chunk of the Yankees Top 30 Prospects as ranked by one John Manuel in the 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook (by the way, have we mentioned that operators are busy taking orders for The Handbook; get yours today).
The Double-A Eastern League champion Trenton Thunder will host an exhibition against Triple-A Scranton on April 1 in a meeting of the Yankees top two affiliates. Tickets go on sale here Jan. 21.
“This should really be a special night for Thunder and Yankee fans,” Thunder GM Brad Taylor said. “Getting the players from last year’s team together again for this game will be a thrill. It’s not too often we get guys to come back after they’ve moved on, so this gives fans a chance to see them united in Trenton one more time.”
That much-anticipated press conference in Erie yesterday announced that the SeaWolves extended their PDA with the Detroit Tigers through 2010 and extended the team lease with the Erie County Convention Center Authority for another three years as well–essentially squashing any rumors that Erie may be among the teams interested in moving to Richmond after next season.
“We are very pleased to make this announcement today. It really shows a great commitment to a great community by all parties involved,” SeaWolves General Manager John Frey said. “The Tigers have been a big part of the success of the SeaWolves for the past seven seasons and we look forward to continuing that relationship. A big part of the thanks also goes to Casey Wells and the entire ECCCA for their continued improvements to the ballpark and commitment to the club.”
It hasn’t taken long for teams to begin coveting the Richmond market. A source tells us that two Carolina League clubs have already contacted Richmond about relocating there for 2009. I imagine they won’t be the last.
But before I get to local coverage of Atlanta’s decision to sever its ties to Richmond after 42 years by moving its Triple-A affiliate to Gwinnett, Ga., there are a few other stories worth noting:
• Rookie-level Williamsport plans to unveil a new team identity tomorrow. The New York-Penn League affiliate has been working with Plan B. Branding on new logos, uniforms, caps–the works.
• Double-A Erie sent out a press release to announce a press conference for this afternoon "to make a special announcement regarding the future of the club." An inquiry seeking further explanation of the rather vague e-mail was not returned. Representatives from Mandalay Baseball and the Erie County Convention Authority will be attendance.
• Everything must go at the Great Falls souvenir shop, for beginning next season the team will change its moniker from White Sox to Voyagers. Apparently the nickname Voyagers has some local history. According to the new team Website, Voyagers was chosen because of its connection to Legion Park. In 1950, Nick Mariana, the general manager of the Great Falls Baseball team, filmed two rotating, silvery objects above the ball park. The Mariana film is one of the strongest cases supporting the existence of UFO’s. [...] Continue Reading »
The Atlanta Braves’ 42-year relationship with the city of Richmond will come to an end following the 2008 season when the club packs up its Triple-A affiliate and moves to the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County.
Dissatisfaction with Richmond’s antiquated stadium and frustration in the slow pace of building a replacement coupled with Gwinnett’s eagerness to land a team and construct a new ballpark was at the heart of Atlanta’s decision to relocate its International League club.
"We began discussions two months ago (with Gwinnett officials) and we have a deal done," Braves executive vice president of business operations Mike Plant said, comparing the process to the eight years of negotiations for a new ballpark with Richmond, during a conference call with Richmond-area media. [...] Continue Reading »
Little word coming out of Richmond and Atlanta regarding the Braves relocating its Triple-A affiliate after 42 years in Richmond to the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County. However the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Gwinnett officials have called for a news conference this afternoon and that the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners was expected to approve a $5 million purchase of land, seemingly as the location of the affiliate’s future stadium.
Richmond officials declined to comment on the situation and Atlanta Braves executive vice president of business operations Mike Plant did not immediately return phone messages yesterday afternoon or this morning (he will be available to media this afternoon at 2:45). A Minor League Baseball official said that they have not been involved in the situation and described the dealings as a well-guarded secret. [...] Continue Reading »
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