View Full Version : Southeastern League future
01-05-2004, 07:39 PM
I have hardly heard anything new on the SEL since the end of last season.
I know that Montgomery had lost its franchise due to the arrival of the former Orlando Rays, now the Biscuits, while the league assumed ownership of the Macon Peaches. Also, there was talk of Alexandria, La. getting a franchise after the Aces announced they would not return to the Central League this season. Other than that, there's hardly anything new on the SEL during this offseason. In fact, it's a safe bet that the league's days might be numbered. Any questions?
01-07-2004, 09:37 AM
I believe that the reason is that there is no new news on the SEL, is that the Central League is considering bringing in Pensacola to the league. This would bring a halt to the SEL and bring a bit more stability to the CL at this time. I am guessing that there would then be another reconfigurement of the CL then. It is my guess that this is the reason the schedule has not come out yet.
I would love ot hear from some of the original people that regularly put there thoughts to this site.
01-07-2004, 11:24 AM
Yeah, but press releases from the CL say that the league plans to go with eight teams in 2004, and has no mention of Pensacola. Assuming Pensacola does decide on Central League membership, it could be 2005 at the latest.
01-07-2004, 02:42 PM
My guess would be that the CL might drop the springfield/ozark team and the frontier league pick this up as an alternative site to Kenosha (I realize that the FL schedule has already come out, but there could be change). Of course this is a guess and I appreciate the fact that I might be wrong, but quickly time will tell.
By dropping the S/O team it would pick up a very strong operation and a quality owner and also pick up an experienced management group in Pensacola. Thus, that would make 8 teams for the 2004 schedule and it would somewhat legitimize the travel.
Though I would be curious to see how the schedule makers will work this out for travel in the CL is already poor.
Interesting indeed. :? Since S/O is in the East division, that would put Pensacola, Florida playing Jackson, Miss (252 mls) ; Ft. Worth (686 mls) and Shreveport, LA. (468 mls) Those are about the same distance the the Ducks had to travel to play within same division. Pensacola to Amarillo, TX is 1011 miles. Ozark to Edinburg was 994. Amarillo to Jackson is 932. So it's not THAT far fetched for a bus league like CBL to branch out into Florida. But I wouldn't want to be the one making out the travel schedule. :shock:
01-08-2004, 06:15 PM
I think you're right in concluding that the Pensacola SEL franchise will ultimately end up in the Central League, and maybe even that a vacant Price Cutter Park in Ozark would be a great place for the FL's Kenosha franchise to land. But it is highly unlikely that Pensacola will take the Mountain Ducks' place in CL, especially in 2004.
Price Cutter Park was the first new facility built for a CL (then the Texas-Louisiana League) team, and it was a tremendous success initially. The team's inability to handle the post-honeymoon phase, as well as the new Double-A level stadium being built in Springfield, have dropped the team from the top of the heap to the middle of the pack. In the future, the team may leave Ozark, but I hardly expect that to happen until a new Double-A team makes their existence inconsequential.
From what I have heard, the CL team most likely to close up shop is, surprisingly, Amarillo. Due to amazingly poor management, the franchise that was once perennially the class of the league is now suffering. The Chens, owners of half the league's teams, have apparently looked into dispensing with the franchise, either by selling it to local interests or shutting the doors for good. I think it is unlikely the team will fold; its history proves that the team's recent decline and image problems are due to gross ineptitude and not a declining market. Still, it has gotten people talking about the future of the Dillas.
The improvements at Pelican Park would make the SEL's best facility even better, but they hardly make it a stadium to clamor for. What makes Pensacola attractive to the CL is not the team itself or the facility, but the owner. Quint Studer has shown not only a passion for the game and a genuine interest in the long-term future of the team, but a willingness to invest money into project. Every league wants an owner like that.
So what does the future hold? Studer better hope the SEL can get things righted for 2004, because there's really no other place for the Pelicans to play this season. An opening might be available in 2005, but I think the league would rather find an expansion partner than simply shift a franchise. Ozark won't leave until an affiliated team shows up, and Amarillo should make some management changes--whether they will, though, is another story.
For time being, expect the status quo. And for Studer's sake, hope the SEL plays this year.
There was talk last spring about the SEL and CBL merging, mostly read on boards like this and nobody I know within the CBL was talking it up. But that would only be the politics of business preventing leaking the story. Now I'm hearing more and more about Pensacola replacing S/O and as early as 2004; as you say, maybe thats the scheduling delay. The home dats for most teams were confirmed but it's all about who they play when. The West teams would only make that trip once, just as they did to S/O (and vice versa). But Ft.Worth, Shreveport and Jackson will have the scheduling challenge playing Pensacola more often within the same division.
And if Chen wants to shut the doors on Amarillo, I think they'll find local ownership. I heard rumors of a new sports complex the city was considering downtown. Attendance for their championship playoffs was miserable in 2003, shameful almost compared to their history in the league. But bad management can kill a good thing. Their ice hockey team is a huge success this year and they've suffered many many years without ever making the playoffs. But hockey still draws bigger crowds. Marketing and management paid off big. If the CBL loses the Dillas, Abilene is supposedly on board for 2005 assuming that new stadium gets built. Given a year off, Rio Grande could conceivably come alive with local owners and be back for 2005. The league HAS played with an odd number of teams before so they could do it again.
The downside of losing S/O for some players will be that lost opportunity to shop at the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield. :lol:
01-12-2004, 11:49 PM
According to a CL press release now on OSC, Pensacola has joined the Central League, replacing Springfield/Ozark. Should be interesting to see what happens with the SEL and the now vacant Springfield market.
01-13-2004, 08:52 AM
I wonder what the odds are that the Frontier League will scoop up Springfield/Ozark for 2005?
Everything I read says Frontier League is interested in the Ducks market. I think it could happen as early as 2004. The Ducks fired manager Phil Wilson end of 2003 so they don't have a manager named. I think a few former CBL managers were interested in the job. Glad they finally made it official so now the CBL can confirm a schedule and move forward.
Our CBL Forums titled the move "Ducks become Pelicans" ;o)
01-13-2004, 01:52 PM
OK, OK, I was wrong. I didn't think a Pensacola/Ozark/Kenosha shuffle, one involving three different owners and leagues, could happen for the coming season. I couldn't have more wrong if I had said, "There's no way the Dodgers are leaving Brooklyn! Who would want to move a Major League team all the way to California?"
That being said, I think that makes the future of baseball in Ozark even more precarious. The CL team had ties to the stadium that no other owner or league could boast, namely that it was the first stadium built specifically for a league (then TL-L) club. They might have been up for a fight against a new Double-A team in Springfield; I don't think another owner will do so.
Which brings us to the new Ozark Ducks, formerly the Kenosha Mammoths and Dubois County Dragons. Ownership has quite obviously been looking for a permanent home for this team, and the last two locations certainly weren't that. But I also think Ozark isn't, either. With Double-A baseball almost assured of coming to Springfield, ownership knows that the prospect of long-term success in Ozark is minimal--especially for new owners and a new league. All the while the team was in Kenosha, the franchise was looking for a permanent home; Lee's Summit came up more often than any other location. It appears that Ozark may be a convenient resting spot for a year or two until a permanent deal is worked out elsewhere. If so, at least it's a much better situation than Kenosha!
As for Quint Studer and the Pelicans, this is a great move for them. This gives him all the stability in the world, considering his willingness to invest in the franchise. I'm sure he is breathing easier right now, as are the baseball fans in Pensacola.
With regards to the future of some CL teams, I agree that local ownership would step up if Chen decides to back out of Amarillo. The only question will be, how much damage will management be allowed to do before that takes place? I also think that local ownership will come forward in Harlingen for the WhiteWings. The ownership group that is trying to buy the dormant Wings is led by the mayor, who would lose a lot of political capital if he failed to retain the team after the city spent seven figures to renovate the ballpark.
OK, I'll stop talking now, before I make more mistakes.
01-14-2004, 03:15 PM
With the Pensacola Pelicans decision to defect to the Central League, that could mean the end of the Southeastern League, unless the SEL decides it wants to go with the franchises that already exist,i.e., Macon, Ga., Baton Rouge, La., Houma, La., Southeastern, and maybe either Alexandria, La., Warner Robins, Ga. (assuming a deal can be made) or both. Still, I'm not holding my breath for a 2004 season from the SEL. :(
01-20-2004, 12:17 PM
Lets start the funeral march. As of 1:15 pm est the sepbl website was not accessable. So much for the latest in a series of failed indys. Maybe one day these guys will understand that you can't just put out a team and hope people hear about it word of mouth. Advertising should be the first thing you consider in your budget after salaries. Maybe it is just a computer glitch, but my gut feeling is the league is DOA or on life support.
01-20-2004, 04:15 PM
<<Maybe one day these guys will understand that you can't just put out a team and hope people hear about it word of mouth.>>
No kidding. Our recently departed Berkshire Black Bears did next to zero advertizing this past season (their second in town), and then the owner had the audacity to blame Pittsfield for his attendance woes. Many people didn't even realize the Black Bears were still in town including one friend of mine who is a cop who thought they left after 2002. She only found out otherwise when she was assigned to provide security at some games. If an owner can't afford a budget that includes money for marketing, they have no business owning a team. You gotta spend money to make money.
01-22-2004, 02:00 PM
For what it's worth: Following up on a previous post, the Southeastern League official site is now completeley down. This can't be a good sign. :(
01-22-2004, 02:14 PM
I also called the league office and got the following recording: "At the subscriber's request, this phone does not accept incoming calls." That doesn't sound good either. Again, for what it's worth.
01-22-2004, 08:14 PM
So, I guess that means any hope that Warner Robins, Ga., or any city in the Southeast currently without professional baseball for that matter, had of landing a team basically has been dashed, likely for the foreseeable future. Who knows, maybe the Peach States League might get off the ground within a year or two, but I'm not holding my breath on that, either. Anyway, it's only a matter before the official announcement of the SEL's demise comes, if it comes at all. And even I don't think that will happen. :cry:
01-26-2004, 05:31 AM
Now I notice that the Warner Robins group has decided to scrap plans to join the SEL in 2004 and wait until 2005. I doubt there'll be a league for the to join, unfortunately. :(
02-18-2004, 08:28 AM
Well, it's past the Feb. 16 date for an announcement concerning the SEL as reported by the Macon Telegram. Is there anyone privy to any inside info on the league's status? With it being mid-February and no news for the upcoming season, I would guess that it's all over but the crying. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!
02-18-2004, 10:18 AM
03-11-2004, 12:41 PM
The latest news out of Macon, Ga. is that the Macon Peaches have decided not to play in 2004. At this point, it's anybody's guess as to how that decision will affect the future of the SEPBL as a whole. My guess is that SEPBL officials will either wait until 2005, or abandon the effort altogether.
vBulletin® v3.8.6, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.