Oct 072013
 

Morning Reading 2We’re almost ready for the AFL to start, which is where we’ll lead off with this edition of Morning Reading (our fill-in post for when it’s slow on the minors front):

• This year the Nationals will fill out the roster of the Mesa Solar Sox. Nick Melotte has a preview on John Sickels’s site.

• Both Baseball America and Ballpark Digest have covered the recent front-office turnover in Syracuse. The good news? The Chiefs don’t appear to be going anywhere. The bad news? Neither story chose to discuss the role of economics or demographics.

• The Hagerstown Suns have formally applied to NAPBL and the South Atlantic League relocate to Fredericksburg for the start of the 2015 season. Worth noting — and not mentioned in the story — the Player Development Contract between Washington and Hagerstown expires after next season. While this may not prevent the Suns from leaving town, it does not preclude the Nationals from seeking a new team, either.

  8 Responses to “Morning Reading”

  1. No off season news on Caleb Ramsey
    @ his temp . Inactive listing??
    How many spare infielders will Doug Harris
    Sign this winter to fill spots @ PNats, AA
    And AAA
    ??

  2. Dave Freitas will also reunite with former teammates Skole, Souza, Solis and Nieto in Mesa.

  3. I get that the Nationals have the option of allowing their PDC with the Suns to lapse, I don’t see how the team moving to Fredericksburg would push the Nats away. If anything, the team would probably prefer Fredericksburg. It’s marginally closer to DC, allowing for rehabbing players to move back and forth, and the team has a much more fertile are for expansion of the fanbase in central VA than it does in MD (what with the Orioles and, if you get much past Hagerstown, possibly even the Pirates already holding some fan loyalty). Going South you have to go all the way through the Carolinas to get to the Braves; it’s a natural growth area.

    Personally I think the Nats would be well served by investing some money in working a deal with the Giants to get them out of Richmond. ‘Tis a pity the O’s are already in Norfolk, because I’d love to see the Nats farm system line up with Norfolk (AAA), Richmond (AA), Potomac (A+), Fredericksburg (A) and, well, I suppose Auburn. I’m not sure that there is a low A league that operates in this area (the NYPL doesn’t seem to). Won’t happen, of course, but I think it would be in the team’s long term interest.

    • It’s amusing to me how many people keep coming back to Richmond unless they (A) really like traffic (B) enjoy run-down neighborhoods (C) love substandard facilities.

      My point with Fredericksburg is that why *wouldn’t* the Nats want a fresh start with a new affiliate, newer facility, and fewer issues overall? They’ve proven that they rather like how far-flung Hagerstown is for hiding high-profile and/or hurt players.

      As for cultivating fanbase, Hickory, Kannapolis, and Greensboro are all in the no-man’s land that is North Carolina, into which MASN does broadcast (albeit sporadically).

      Of course, as a STH for the P-Nats I don’t need to remind anybody here about the disconnect between the intent to build a new stadium and the actual action… even when privately funded and no territorial rules to obey (looking at you Loudoun).

      • Couldn’t agree more on Richmond. In Harrisburg you have one of the most beautiful facilities in America and in Richmond you have a dump. Dump may be too polite a word, actually.

        And the drive there is a whole lot more pleasant.

        • Oh, I’m not for the Nationals playing in the lousy stadium/location that is the home of the Flying Squirrels. I’m for having the team drop a decent amound of cash on a new, state-of-the-art stadium. If the team wants to hang onto Harrisburg (and I have heard good things about the ballpark there – when it’s not underwater), then move the AAA team from Syracuse. Richmond has supported an AAA team before, and with a decent stadium and location I don’t think it is in any way a step back from Syracuse. Richmond is significantly larger, has more corporate presence and a higher median household income. Syracuse is cold, inconvenient and attendance there isn’t very good (12th of 14 teams in the IL). And I don’t think that Western NY is a particularly fertile ground for Nationals’ fans, while Richmond could be.

          To be clear, I am completely aware that there is no way in hades that this happens. A team spend its own money on facilities to develop its extended fanbase? Unpossible! To say nothing of convincing the Giants to move their AA team. But I do think that it would be very much in the team’s long term self interest to at least explore the possibilities.

    • I also don’t think that the Nats should completely alienate MiLB fans north of the Potomac. There are Nats fans in Maryland who want to be able to cheer on the minor league clubs.

  4. A non-Nats affiliate in Fredericksburg would be a big mistake for Fredericksburg and the Nats, IMHO. Hope that doesn’t happen.

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