Thursday, May 28, 2009

What a mess!

Yes, the sale of the team to Bryan Bostic's group as originally planned is dead. But this is far from over.

EL presidente Joe McEacharn held a press conference in Richmond, Va. today proclaiming the new attempt to bring local and non-local parties together. There's no guarantee that a sale will happen, something McEacharn acknowledged today. He also tried blowing smoke you-know-where by saying people need to look at the teams not being mentioned. Right. Because the Rock Cats are leaving.

Could the Ryan-Sanders group do this? Yes. They have deep pockets and can move quickly. The spokesman for Richmond Baseball LC -- which has bumbled everything -- said the plan is to pair with other parties to make this happen by Aug. 1. He also said he was the head of the group, not Bostic. He also told others that money was the reason, but denied comment to me. Whatever. Richmond Baseball's handling of this entire process speaks volumes.

More than that, the EL's inability to do this the right way: from forcing Lou DiBella out against his will (read tomorrow's Bulletin) to plotting this entire move and damaging not just the team but the market shows how ruthless the league is when it wants its way.

Check out the audio of the press conference on Thanks to my friend Wes McElroy at 910 AM in Richmond for providing and allowing the use of that file.

In the end, this deal has to get done because of all the damage done. I know that DiBella is disappointed that more people aren't supporting the team. All I can tell those who don't want to lose this team is go to games; rally other fans. Consider this a second-chance to try and change the outcome. Maybe Erie goes if attendance surges here.

McEacharn wants to get rid of DiBella and Norwich. He's willing to play dirty if he has to -- and he has. He's also played ignorant as he failed to see that Bostic had money. He didn't care. He hitched his wagon to a pipe dream on the mere hope of getting the team out of here and into Richmond.

Right now, he's left holding the pipe and scrambling to make this happen.


greg8370 said...

...and so a new countdown begins...this one being August 1st some 65 days away or so.
How can Lou turn this thing to his advantage in selling the team and getting a Single A team in here?
Joe, have you heard anything from your peers about the NY-Penn league being excited about a team in Norwich?
My other question is about Erie. I've had Google send me daily news alerts about the SeaWolves for the past month or so. Not once have the papers down have even hinted at a franchise move. What's up with that? Poor reporting or something else?
And will you be at Dodd this homestand?

Michelle28 said...

Not gunna lie, this sale is giving me a major HEADACHE trying to follow it all.

Joe said...


Minor League Baseball wants Lou out of the game. They figure if they make his life hell he'll sell cheap just to lose the headache.

No one is talking Single-A at all. They can't. Besides the whole tampering element, if the Defenders stay, there can't be two teams here. No talk about a Single-A team or anything else will even take shape until this situation is resolved.

The SeaWolves beat writer knows what's happening here and of the implication of Erie as a candidate.

I was going to be at Dodd Sunday until we learned John Smoltz won't be there. I might try to go on Saturday on my free time.

And Michelle...everyone has a headache from this. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. My guess is Richmond Baseball LC and another group (or two) will join together to make this happen.

A lot of people think Lou wanted this to all happen, but I can tell you that this deal was forced upon him.

That's not to say he never thought of selling the team, because I am sure he did. But its value lies anywhere but Norwich and MiLB wants what it wants.

thehondohurricane said...

Well, it seems like McEacharn got it stuck up his correct bodily part. The other thing here is in the past I've been DiBella's biggest (only) critic, but this whole mess has got me feeling sorry for him.

I agree people have to start paying attention to the team and it's a first place team. Wouldn't it be nice if "the powers to be" at the Bulletin recognized this and started covering all the games again? Someone's got to spread the word that there is finally a decent team at Dodd.

thehondohurricane said...

Over a 30 year span in aerospace, I was involved in a lot of contract negotiations. No matter if it was six, seven ,or eight figures, you acted ethically or you walked. That was the rule. These proceedings are, or already have, turned out to be the most unethical I've ever heard of. Minor League Baseball should be ashamed.

I don't know what the contract between team ownership and Minor League or Eastern League baseball is, but it sounds like Lou has excellent grounds to pursue recourse when this soap opera ends. And being a lawyer, I'm sure he knows it and he'll find excellent representation. McEacharn and his co-conspirators should end up getting their rears handed to them.

Damn, I never thought I'd ever be rooting for Lou but he doesn't deserve this.

greg8370 said...

The EL has gone from wanting a new ball park and local ownership to now being OK with outside majority ownership and playing in the old stadium for at least two season (that'll turn out to be much longer) so great is their desire to put Lou and Norwich in it's rear view mirror.
Hondo's right--it does make you feel sorry for Lou.