The new ownership group at low Class A Hagerstown continues to reshape the franchise, on and off the field.
With the ballpark undergoing a variety of renovations, the Suns announced that it is promoting assistant general manager Bill Farley to general manager. Farley joined the team last year and replaces Bob Flannery, who left after the season to join the front office an Oklahoma City minor league hockey team.
Farley previously served as a franchising agent for Jersey Mike's Subs, where he helped establish 30 franchises.
"No one wants this job more than I do," Farley said in a release. "I love baseball and I love the minors. (Team president) Bruce (Quinn) and I have a great working relationship. I knew what he was looking for in a general manager, (that) he wants someone who can get it done (the) way he wants it done."
The Suns also confirmed that Jon Peterson has been hired as a consultant to the team president in the areas of marketing and promotions. Peterson previously served in the front offices for Triple-A New Orleans, high Class A Kinston and short-season Aberdeen.
'Laugh. Cheer. Oink'
• The Lehigh Valley IronPigs have managed to do what many new teams have not: continue to increase its fan base. Within the story in The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), Lehigh Valley general manager Kurt Landes explains the third-year club's continued pride in its nickname:
"We've always felt confident that our name and logo would be successful, and it is, not just because we're in the top 25 in sales but also because we've been able to integrate it into the Lehigh Valley community, from the 'Laugh-Cheer-Oink' slogan to 'Go Hog Wild' to the way we theme the ballpark.
"We're excited that our fans have loved the logo and we're one of the more successful minor league teams. It's a huge sense of pride when I'm out in public and see people wearing IronPigs hats and T-shirts."
Indy Leagues To Omaha?
The independent American Association and Northern League have pursued placing a team in Omaha's new $128 million downtown ballpark. The Northern League was the front-runner, according to the Omaha World-Herald, before the league saw four of its teams defect to the American Association.
The Money Guys
A look at the men behind the men of the new Rangers ownership group. XTO Energy chairman Bob Simpson and Dallas oilman Ray Davis have helped create an ownership group that operates more like a publicly traded company than a sole proprietorship.
The new owners say they want to add a new scoreboard in left field that will rival that of the Yankees and that the team plans on signing their star players. The article is an interesting read all around.
"We're going to go after Cliff Lee — hard, and we have the financial firepower to do that," Simpson said. "Guys like Josh Hamilton, we will take care of those guys.
"And we'll do it within a model that's sustainable. The most important change for the Rangers is a model that's sustainable and not based on leverage or something that will jeopardize the long-term franchise. I don't know that it's ever had that before."
Cedar Rapids Kernels and city government continue to bicker over who is responsible for certain repairs to the ballpark. The Kernels recently penned a formal letter of complaint that the city and the commission have not lived up to their part of the deal of the lease to fund structural repairs. The club has estimated the cost of repair needs at about $1.6 million over 10 years.
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