Monday, May 21, 2007

Music sing, Redfish smoked out and Juice just odd in the SCL

The Dugout received a surprise phone call on Saturday from South Coast League CEO Jamie Toole. The dugout was critical of the independent SCL's preparations for the start of their inaugural season in a previous blog, including not responding to interview requests from

Toole apologized for not returning the call earlier. He didn't mention the blog entrie during the 20-minute conversion, leading The Dugout to believe the criticism didn't prompt the call. The SCL regained some points for that. It looks like he really was too busy.

In the blog, The Dugout was also critical of the SCL's inability to update their Web site. Toole acknowledged the Web site issues and promised they would be remedied quickly. As of Monday afternoon, however, there were still no entries one the scores or standings pages. Who's leading the SCL? This early in the season it must not be important.

Overall, Toole was pleased with the opening couple of days. He attended the league opener in Macon. According to the Macon Telegraph, the Music played in front of more than 5,000 fans for Thursday's opening night game, but that number was cut in half for Saturday's contest.

Wild fires caused a few more glitches for Charlotte County (Fla.). The Redfish, who play in the park the Texas Rangers used for spring training, had to cancel their opening night fireworks because of drought. They planned to put the money budgeted for fireworks toward a money drop. They planned to load a helicopter with more than $1,000, then toss the money onto the field after the game. The mad dash for cash had to be cancelled in the fifth inning because smoke from a nearby wildfire grounded the helicopter. Luckily, the money drop was going to be a surprise to the fans, so the crowd didn’t leave upset. The Redfish have yet to decide whether they will reschedule the event.

The SCL originally hoped to start the season with eight teams. It settled for six, with plans to expand. Toole is hoping to grow to 10 teams by 2009. He would not say which markets the league is considering, but did mention that, at one point, the league was looking at putting a team in Tinker Field in Orlando. That deal could be reached with the city. There are a few other former spring training facilities available in FloridaCocoa Beach and Kissimmee come to mind – which could host a team.

Hopefully those teams will come up with a better nickname than Bradenton's. The Juice is an odd nickname, especially in this supposed “post-steroids era.”

Again, The Dugout wishes the SCL well. Still, they need to overcome plenty of challenges to reach that 2009 season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dugout, did you ever consider that the Bradenton Club was named the Juice because it is home to Tropicana and after all it is Florida where oranges and orange juice is a pretty big industry! Come on Dugout, you are better than these negative blogs!