Browse Articles

Blue Jays Embrace Role As Canada’s Team

Larry Millson -Premium Content

In December, the Montreal Expos, after years of speculation, left behind an uninterested Quebec to become the Washington Nationals. Then the National Hockey League, Canada's pastime, became the first North American league to lose an entire season to a work stoppage. But as spring arrives, the Blue Jays believe they are well equipped to provide a ray of hope to Canadian sports fans.

Majors | #2005#Season Preview

Selig Outlasts Critics

Tom Haudricourt -Premium Content

Ten years ago, Bud Selig was commissioner of a sport that was shut down in a labor dispute so bitter that management took the desperate measure of bringing replacement players to spring training. Ten years later, Major League Baseball is in what Selig calls a Golden Era.

Majors | #2005#Season Preview

Officials Plan To OK Return Of TAWS

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The minors have seen various forms of a Triple-A World Series over the years, the most recent coming from 1998-2000. It was one of the main reasons Triple-A realigned into two leagues—remember the American Association?—and debuted as a best-of-five series in Las Vegas with much fanfare. It didn't work, at least not on the scale organizers hoped for. So after the original three-year deal to hold the event in Las Vegas expired, so did the Triple-A World Series. But the idea got moving again thanks to Ken Schnacke, president of the IL's Columbus Clippers, and Minor League Baseball vice president Pat O'Conner. It was a major topic of discussion in Sacramento this year at the Triple-A all-star game, and there is strong momentum for bringing the series back in 2006.

Minors | #2005#Column

Brett Brings Verve To The Futures Game Manager Job

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The job of Futures Game manager is largely a ceremonial one, an opportunity for Major League Baseball to pay a small tribute to a past hero of the game. The managers often have local ties, as World manager Guillermo Hernandez did this year, returning to the city where he had his greatest success. But United States manager George Brett was too busy to get his pat on the back. Looking to interview George before the game? He's around the batting cage, watching his charges take batting practice and dispensing advice. Hoping for a photo op? Sorry, George is throwing BP to the fourth group. Brett is one of the only Futures Game managers ever to throw BP. That's not to say Brett made like Tony La Russa. He delegated most of the actual work to his coaches, who were minor league managers and much more familiar with the players than he was.

Minors | #2005#Column

Hard Work Helps Futures Game Grow

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The Futures Game has become one of the best events in baseball, going through a few growing pains since debuting in 1999 to become a fixture in the mental datebook of the serious fan. Most of you have just noticed the steady parade of prospects who have added their names to the Futures Game alumni roster, usually on their way to the major leagues and greater success. And that's as it should be. The hours of hard work by those of us behind the scenes is supposed to go unnoticed, as long as we provide a few hours of quality baseball entertainment for you.

Minors | #2005#Column

Base Closings Even Affect Minors

Will Lingo -Premium Content

Minor league teams tend to avoid getting involved in politics. But when a political issue lands right in your backyard, it's hard not to jump into the fray. A Pentagon commission has recommended closing the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn. On the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut, it is the Navy's first submarine base, receiving its first four submarines in 1915 and now serving as the home of 16 nuclear submarines. Just up the river from the submarine base is Dodd Stadium, home of the Norwich Navigators. General manager Keith Hallal said the team started talking about ideas to rally the community around the base last fall, when rumors first circulated about the base being targeted for closure.

Minors | #2005#Column

West Tenn Faces Uphill Battle For Fans

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The West Tenn Diamond Jaxx were averaging a little more than 1,500 fans a game this season, almost half of the average of the teams just ahead of them in the league attendance standings and light years away from Jacksonville, which leads the league with about 6,000 fans a game. It's the continuation of a sad decline in Jackson, Tenn., which has lost almost all of the enthusiasm it had when the team debuted in 1998. The franchise has faced a series of setbacks since then, from a contentious relationship between former owner David Hersh and the city to a flirtation with moving last offseason.

Minors | #2005#Column