The independent Tucson Toros (Golden League) are expected to announce today their plans for next season, the Arizona Daily Star has reported. Triple-A Portland is planning to relocate to Tucson next season while it awaits a permanent home—owner-in-waiting Jeff Moorad is awaiting a Nov. 30 vote by the city council in the San Diego suburb of Escondido on a proposed $50 million ballpark. (There's some scuttle that the council should postpone the vote if legislators lose their seats in the Nov. 2 election, but the council appears determined to proceed because Moorad is scheduled to make a final lump sum payment before new officials would take office.)
Toros owner Jay Zucker has expressed his interest in operating the Portland club this season at Tucson's Hi-Corbett Field. The Daily Star reports that Portland is likely to play the newer facility, Tucson Electric Park, across town. (Two sources had previously told me that the team was more likely to play at Hi-Corbett.)
The Pacific Coast League has yet to release its 2011 schedule, though PCL president Branch Rickey previously said they have it set so that Portland's location does not impact the schedule.
• New low Class A Hagerstown owners have begun a new team restoration plan by funding a $99,000 overhaul of the playing surface at Municipal Stadium and upgrading its technology network to provide fans with more in-game information, the Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, Md.) reports. With the city's assistance, the team is also renovating home and visitor clubhouses.
Mandalay Baseball completed the sale of the Suns last month to an ownership group headed by local businessman Bruce Quinn.
• If you look closely during the upcoming World Series, you might be able to see new Rangers co-owner Chuck Greenberg. He's that guy just off the screen during one of the dozens of shots of Nolan Ryan. The Post-Gazette's Bob Smizik says Greenberg is continuing a recent trend of Pittsburgh (non-player) representation at the World Series.
• Ken Griffey is stumping to land a managing job. With the low Class A Dayton Dragons. Griffey, the former member of the Big Red Machine, served as the club's hitting coach last season, and has made public his desire to replace Todd Benzinger, whose contract was not renewed this offseason.
• Sod wars in Omaha? Apparently the Triple-A O-Royals' new ballpark is growing faster than the College World Series' new downtown facility. Sarpy has sod in the ground. Omaha has a pile of dirt. Both sides claim progress.
• New ballpark proposal as part of downtown renovation in Amarillo seems to be gaining steam. The question is can the city afford it?
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