Valcke to leave Baseball Hall of Fame
11/30/2011 9:20 PM - Devo
PRESS RELEASE - Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Marys - After more than ten years of devoted service to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum (CBHFM), president & CEO Tom Valcke has advised its board of directors of his intention to resign and pursue other opportunities. The CBHFM has accepted Valcke’s decision and sincerely thanks him for his contributions to the organization over the years.
“During his decade with the Hall, Tom has been instrumental in branding us nation-wide, establishing our credibility as a true tourist destination, and leading the development of our facilities. His accomplishments include having moved the Hall from a vision to a reality, with the continued development of a three-diamond baseball complex that hosts 500+ events annually, the annual Kids On Deck summer camp programs that have attracted hundreds of youth, and an annual Induction Ceremony Weekend that draws thousands of fans and garners national media attention,” said board member Harry Gundy.
“Tom’s ongoing efforts to manage the Hall’s daily and annual activities demonstrate his commitment to baseball and the Canadian identity of the game. His passion is second to none, and has been contagious to our staff, volunteers, inductees, members and partners. He and his family have also been valued contributors to our community,” added board member Bob Stephens.
Valcke’s departure is anticipated to happen during the first quarter of 2012. In the interim, he will assist the Hall in the transition of his duties and responsibilities. The CBHFM board will undertake an organizational review and develop a strategic plan prior to hiring a replacement.
The CBHFM board remains committed to continuing the growth of the Hall in the town of St. Marys and looks forward to its ongoing work to share the living history of baseball in Canada with Canadians across the country.
“It is the right time to explore some business opportunities for me and my family,” noted Valcke.
“Our time here in St. Marys as a family, and my decade of service to the Ball Hall, have given me great pride and joy, and nothing but pleasant memories to carry forward,” says Valcke
In the interim, Scott Crawford, Director of Operations, will be the key staff contact.
For further information, please contact:
President & CEO, CBHFM
Tel: (519) 284-1838
Cell: (519) 272-7406
Spokesperson, CBHFM Board of Directors
Tel: (416) 463-4617
Cell: (416) 450-6557
Professional Minor League Baseball Umpires Ratify New Collective Bargaining Agreement
11/28/2011 6:31 PM - Devo
Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU/OPEIU Guild 322)
Agrees to Five-Year Deal
“It is exciting to have such a good contract and get it done before the December holidays,” said Shaun Francis, AMLU president. “In this deal we have more money and a better overall contract than what we were able to get last time after a strike. It’s clear to me that this union’s solidarity and determination in 2006 was one of the driving forces behind getting a deal done this time around. And our affiliation with OPEIU gave us the strength and the resources we needed to get a deal done.”
This agreement is the first deal since AMLU went on a prolonged strike to start the 2006 baseball season. That year, Minor League Baseball used replacement, amateur umpires while 100 percent of the professional umpires remained on strike. Umpires returned to work after agreeing to a six-year contract in June of that year.
“It isn’t necessarily the deal that you get when you’re on strike that makes a work-stoppage worthwhile; often it is the deal you get the next time around when both sides don’t want to have to go through that again,” said Francis.
AMLU became an affiliated Guild of OPEIU in 2010. OPEIU Director of Organization and Field Services Kevin Kistler served as the lead negotiator for the union. “We’re very pleased that we were able to secure a contract that provides for improved working conditions and benefits for these hardworking umpires,” said Kistler.
“I cannot thank OPEIU, Kevin Kistler, and International President Michael Goodwin enough for the resources and support they put behind AMLU and the Minor League Umpires. Now it is time to take a breath and then get ready for negotiating the next deal in 2016,” said Francis.
About Association of Minor League Umpires/OPEIU Guild 322
AMLU, founded in 1999 and headquartered in New York City, is a national labor union that represents professional baseball umpires working in the United States and Canada. AMLU’s mission is to promote the integrity of the hardest working employees of the national pastime; to create a work environment for professional umpires where they can display their strengths and abilities; to uphold the integrity of the game of baseball; to improve wages, benefits and working conditions for those who devote their lives to the game of baseball. AMLU is an affiliated Guild of Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO. OPEIU represents more than 125,000 employees and independent contractors in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada in banking and credit unions, insurance, shipping, hospitals, medical clinics, utilities, transportation, hotels, administrative offices and more.
For more information on AMLU:http://www.AMLU.org
London Rippers legal battles could cost hundreds of thousands
11/28/2011 5:41 AM - Devo
The newest Frontier League team, the London Rippers, are ready to take the field in 2012, but by that time, the “Rippers” might not be their name anymore.
The Rippers have been taking a beating recently for their name, one that has similarities to London’s Jack the Ripper. London’s owner David Martin, who has been under fire from a variety of organizations since day one gave this explanation about the Rippers’ name,
"The character's name is Diamond Jack, a frustrated hockey player who found he could 'rip' the cover off baseballs. Despite his talent, teams grew weary of the expense of replacing balls so Diamond Jack decided to form his own team in London, Ontario.
The city of London, obviously under fire to rectify the situation, met with Martin last week to come up with some solution. Ward 9 Councillor Dale G. Henderson commented on the details of the meeting as reported on by the Londoncommunitynews.com,
“What we have heard is there is some movement out there legally. There may be a compromise going on,” Henderson said. “I think at this point, for us to wade in with our opinion doesn’t help the situation. I think it will play itself out . . . to the betterment of everyone.”
Ultimately the decision to move forward with legal action has been withdrawn, yet, if Martin, his team, and the city are forced to act, legal fees could run in the neighbourhood of $200,000. This is definitely not how a brand new club should start off their inaugural campaign. Sure, their name is all over the news, talked about on every sports site imaginable and if they were in need of advertising they sure got it, but ideally this is not the right way.
For the sake of the town and everyone involved, if this does go to court and a new logo is suggested it might be in the best interest of everyone involved to take the path of least resistance. London and everyone that has ties with the team wants this be a success especially since there is a history of professional teams that move in and move out.
Hopefully this gets taken care of quietly and out of the public eye, if that is even possible anymore. More importantly, the focus should be about putting a winning team on the field for the fans that are starving for a successful baseball team.
Torontos chances vastly improve with second Wild Card
11/25/2011 5:51 AM - Devo
Now that MLB has brought in a second wild-card team, this will obviously give the middle of the pack teams some new hope come the 2013 regular season.
Playing in the ultra-competitive AL East almost guarantees the Jays and the Orioles prime-time real estate on the golf course. These two teams, have in recent memory, been out of the playoff picture since the All-Star break. Now with this new Wild Card, the Jays are now in prime position to make a run for the playoffs.
I was almost certain last year that the Jays had a legitimate shot at finally returning to the promise land. With a new manager, the emergence of Jose Bautista as an unearthly power threat, and great young pitching, it had to be there year right? Wrong.
With a young pitching staff that greatly underperformed; Brett Cecil 4-11 4.73, Brandon Morrow 11-11 4.72, and regulars not pulling their weight; Adam Lind .251 26/87, all led to an uneventful yet very familiar 81W 81L season.
If the core group of Jays’ can stay healthy and improve, even slightly, their chances have to improve. More than likely Toronto will compete with Wild Cards hopefuls from the East; Yankees, Red Sox and Rays and quite possibly the Angels from the West.
According to MLB.com Alex Anthopoulos won’t let this change his overall strategy, but does admit this is beneficial for everyone involved,
"I think it goes without saying that if you have a chance for more meaningful games in September, that is good for the game," Anthopoulos said before the CBA became official. "I understand the other argument of the importance of winning your division, and that is what separates baseball from all the other sports.
"But I think for the most part, if they're doing things like [adding a team], it's because the players are on side, the owners are on side, everyone feels it's for the good of the game."
Bud Selig has been criticized relentlessly over the years for how he handled the steroid situation; however Selig is finding news way to keep the game exciting and levelling the playing field the best way he knows how. Selig confirmed earlier this week in a press conference that “the two Wild Card teams in each league would play in a single postseason game to see who would advance to the Divisional Series”, which really doesn’t effect the teams that win their division.
What we witnessed to close out the 2011 regular season was the stuff legends are made of, but can you imagine the final day of the season in 2013 if two sets of Wild Card potentials are at war for those precious playoff spots? If baseball wasn’t already a nerve-wracking game, picture the multiple scenarios when the outsiders are finally looking in and knocking on that playoff door.