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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tijuana out of GBL for '09

It seems the Tijuana Project is once again going adios for now. The GBL announced today that due to health risks, the Tijuana Potros will not participate in the 2009 Golden Baseball League season.

While this does alter the Armada's 2009 schedule, it's not as bass-ackward now as you might think. Yes, the games that were originally scheduled against Tijuana are off, but the majority of the schedule is still in tact. I'm sure players will be disappointed that they won't have a chance to catch the swine flu ... darn. And, yes, I realize this announcement makes a previous post seem a little cavalier.

Here's the official word from the GBL:

Tijuana Potros Put on Hold For 2009 Season in GBL
Health Risk Issues Scuttles Team's Launch and Facility Too Close To Season Start

San Ramon, CA. May 7, 2009 – The Golden Baseball League announced today that the expansion Tijuana Potros have been forced to shelve their plans to participate in the upcoming 2009 Golden Baseball League season due to the impact of the health risk issues that have erupted throughout Mexico in the last few weeks. Sports facility closings, uncertainty of stadium availability, and government mandates limiting public gatherings have all contributed to an impossible business environment to launch and operate a professional sports franchise with the start of the season less than two weeks away.

"The H1N1 virus health risk and the necessary government response and actions have wreaked havoc with the economy and businesses small and large throughout the country," said Tijuana Potros President Jose Manuel Pena. "It is not possible to operate with this uncertainty that keeps sponsors from committing, fans from buying tickets, and the stadium unavailable to host public events. We know this will pass and the Potros will be ready for next year to bring exciting professional baseball back to the people of Tijuana, but realize the timing of this natural disaster has left us with no other choice."

With so little time left prior to the start of the season, the Golden Baseball League has amended the schedule to play with nine teams for this year. This solution leaves the schedules for all teams unchanged, with a few very slight modifications, with the exception of series that were to be played versus the Potros. Those series, which average just four home contests per team, are now open dates and will be used either for off days or may be filled with special games played outside of the official schedule -- such as fundraiser games with military teams, or for other organizations that are suffering in these difficult economic times such as school districts, police and fire departments, and charitable organizations.

The GBL South Division will now be composed of the Long Beach Armada, Orange County Flyers, St. George Roadrunners, Tucson Toros, and Yuma Scorpions. The GBL North Division will be made up of the Calgary Vipers, Chico Outlaws, Edmonton Capitals, and Victoria Seals. The dates of the season remain unchanged, but due to the unbalanced nature of the original schedule some teams will have a few more games than others each half. The split season format remains the same, first half and second half champions will be decided upon by winning percentage and will advance to playoffs as already scheduled.

"We understand and our very sympathetic to the plight of the Potros in these challenging times," said GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt. "We are disappointed to not have the Potros with us this year, but look forward to the health and economic recovery that is already underway that will enable the Potros to have a strong entry into the league next season."

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