Stories Making Headlines Around The Minors
It’s been a busy stretch here at Baseball America getting out our latest issue’"we bid farewell to the draft-and-follow with a feature by editor in chief Will Lingo’"but it’s time to get back to the Biz Beat with news from the past few days.
(Once again, send any upcoming promotions and business news to me at email@example.com.)
• Go ahead and call it the Scott Boras Academy. For the past two years, Boras has sent pitchers looking for better value in the draft to independent Fort Worth and both pitchers (Luke Hochevear and Max Scherzer), in addition to Boras and Fort Worth, have come away better for the move.
• Portland announces the Bob L. Head bobblehead winner’"and it’s the dude from Iowa who won the internet voting race. Not exactly American Idol, but quite a creative promotion that actually garnered national media attention.
• The future home of the Northwest Arkansas Travelers came in $4.1 million over its estimated cost of $29.3 million. As a result, some party decks and luxury suites in the plans hit the cutting room floor.
• Josh Hamilton’s rehab assignment, which begins tonight in Durham’"just a few miles from his hometown of Raleigh’"figures to be a media tour as well.
• A reporter for the News Herald (located somewhere in northeast Ohio) takes some shots at Columbus Clippers’ Cooper Stadium‘"saying among other things, that the Nationals should be ashamed of letting their Triple-A team play there. I guess he hasn’t been to RFK.
• The Reds hold the worst record in the National League and their fans are expressing displeasure by staying away from the ballpark‘"the team is on pace for its lowest turnout since Great American Ballpark opened five years ago.
• Ryne Sandberg has been a windfall for the Midwest League.
Not minor league related, but the Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, La.) takes a look at the 16 facilities hosting NCAA regional tournaments beginning today.
• Jacksonville front office executives Peter Bragan Sr., and his son Peter Bragan Jr. were honored at the annual Rickwood Classic in Birmingham.
• The new majority owner in River City promises the ballclub will be a “whole new animal” this season.
The opening of Rent One Park has been making headlines, and rightfully so, around Southern Illinois. Here’s another piece, about how the luxury boxes in the 4,000-seat stadium give it a “big-time feel.”
• Gold, Jerry, gold. That’s what Merritt Paulson has found in purchasing Triple-A Portland.
• Taking its cue from the McDonald’s business model, the independent Golden League sells another franchise.
• It’s up to the state of Maryland’s to approve the budget to build a stadium in Waldorf for the independent Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’"a project that is more than $5.4 million over budget. The state, Charles County and the team owner (Maryland Baseball, LLC).
• Who says early-season baseball doesn’t count? Ratings for major league telecasts are up at both ESPN and Fox.
• Great Lakes landing in Michigan this season has inspired the local television reporter who first broke the story of the team’s move to write a book: “Loons Have Landed: Baseball Comes to Mid-Michigan.” Like the stadium, the book was ready for Opening Day.
• So close, yet so far. That’s the life of a Triple-A player on the cusp of reaching the major leagues, Newsday’s Barbara Barker discovered in this piece. Take Andy Phillips, who last season played at Yankee Stadium but this year is living at a Hampton Inn in Scranton.