A few stories from around the minors.
• Low Class A Fort Wayne will begin a new era when it moves into a brand new downtown ballpark next season. In the meantime, they’re going back to old reliable in advance of the move: a name the team contest. The team hasn’t committed to dropping their Wizards moniker—the team is simply looking for suggestions at this point.
“If we do change, we would love to have a team name that connects with the community, represents some of the rich history and tradition of leadership and innovation that exemplifies Fort Wayne and that celebrates where we’ve been as a community as well as where we’re going in the future,” Wizards General Manager Mike Nutter said in a news release. “We know our fans can be very creative and, with their help, we think we’ll come up with something great.”
• The Cubs and Padres will take the field today in Cooperstown for the final Hall of Fame Game—a 70-year tradition coming to an end due to difficulties in getting teams to upstate New York in the middle of the season. Opponents of the game’s cancellation plan to protest by asking fans in attendance to remain silent for a half inning.
• In somewhat rambling fashion, this Greensboro columnist points out that the Grasshoppers are proof that it is not the level of play that matters, but the ballpark and the product.
• Alien life has been spotted in Great Falls s the Rookie-level Voyagers debut a new mascot in their first season since changing their team name. Orbit, a bug-eyed, green, ET-inspired creation apparently was a hit with the younger fans. Even an old ballpark, like Avista Stadium in Spokane, can get the job done with the right attention. The Rookie-level Indians begin their 2008 season coming off a record 2007.
• What will the "possible" relocation of the Red Sox high Class A affiliate from Lancaster to Salem mean for The Nation?