October 12, 2007 - Northern League (NL) - Calgary Vipers
The Calgary Vipers and Edmonton Cracker-Cats have been notified that they will not be included in the 2008 Northern League schedule. Both teams were informed on Thursday of a Friday deadline to post a $1,000,000 bond or be excluded. As a result of irreconcilable differences, the Calgary Vipers and Edmonton Cracker-Cats are no longer a part of the Northern League.
Based on this decision the two Alberta teams today announced they are pursuing discussions with the Golden League to join their expanding roster of teams for the 2008 season and beyond.
The Golden League, with headquarters in the Bay area of California, has teams in Long Beach, Orange County and Chico, California; Yuma, Arizona; Reno, Nevada and St. George, Utah. Their plans for expansion include a new team in the Bay area in 2009 plus northern locations in Washington, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
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The Vipers and Cracker-Cats both had major announcements in the past week. Vipers star Darryl Brinkley was named All-Independent Baseball Most Valuable Player. He and third baseman Carlos Duncan were named to the Baseball America Independent Leagues First All-Star team. Both have made verbal commitments to play in Calgary in 2008. In addition Edmonton pitcher Scott Richmond and catcher Brian Munhall were both signed by major league organizations in the past month.
The Golden League had 15 players signed by organizations this past season and placed three of the first six players on the Baseball America top 10 prospects list.
Off the field the Vipers announced today that field manager Mike Busch has agreed to a guaranteed two year contract extension. Busch, who led the Vipers to the NL championship series last month, was already under contract through 2008 but now will be with the team through at least the 2010 season. Vipers president and Chief Operating Officer Peter Young also agreed to a new three year contract. "Buschy and I started this entire venture on behalf of Jeff Gidney", said Young. "Now I know he\'ll be with us for at least three more years to bring a championship to Calgary".
Edmonton, meanwhile, announced the hiring of Brent Bowers as their new field manager and of The Capacity Group. Darren Parker, son of former Cannons owner Russ Parker, will act as Edmonton\'s new Chief Operating Officer. The Capacity Group (Parker, Craig Burak and Travis Tinning) also worked with the Vipers this past season.