Wooden's World of Baseball

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What the flux?

Within three days of my last post, the North Shore Spirit website went dead. A week later, the Nashua Pride announced yet again that they'd be back in 2008. The following week: The New Haven County Cutters closed its doors quickly and quietly, just like every other Jonathan Fleisig-associated venture.

In years past, I'd written about the pattern of one team in, one team out for the NeL/CanAm league, but the past three years have seen much more change (hence the headline):

2008 North Shore & New Haven out
2007 Atlantic City & Grays in
2006 Nashua and Sussex in, Elmira and Grays out

This kind of instability cannot bode well for the future. Commissioner Miles Wolff is, as always, sunny and optimistic, confident he can achieve the stability of the Atlantic League, the Road Warriors not withstanding. But it's hard to ignore that the CanAm League seems to be dependent now on failure for its future markets.

Nashua and Atlantic City "dropped down." Sussex and New Haven took over when the affiliates left town. Ottawa is next up, having lost the Lynx after a 15-year run. The Plymouth Eels are insistent that they're not the next Danbury Coyotes.

Considering the southern drift of the Atlantic League, Uncle Miles must be targeting either the Bridgeport Bluefish or the Connecticut Defenders or both for his next magic act. The Bluefish were the worst in attendance in the AtL, but have a relatively new ballpark (that's another subject for another day, but let's face it: the CanAm has but one state-of-the art stadium that's built to last -- sorry Worcester, you're a glorified h.s. field). The Defenders' affiliation with San Francisco ends after 2008, but the stadium is leased through 2012 and it's also relatively new.

With the Indys semi-officially meeting this week at the "Fun Is Good" conference in Charleston, SC, perhaps there will be some news on this front later this week.


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