The season is scheduled to start, unfortunately the East Coast Baseball League has apparently folded before the season even started.
According to WWNY TV, the Watertown Bucks, one of the league’s six inaugural clubs, has pulled out of the league for a variety of reasons and are working on forming another league with three other teams. It has been reported that another team has withdrawn from the league. While the article quoted league president, Colin Cummins as saying that the league start was delayed because of “clerical issues”, nothing has really been confirmed at this time.
When I spoke with Cummins earlier this year, the focus was on brining baseball back to the Niagara area and helping unsigned talent realize their dream of playing professional baseball. When I asked Cummins about the expansion of the league, he was quite adamant that the necessary due diligence was completed and endless discussions had taken place in multiple cities.
“GMs: How did you go from the possible team in Niagara to expanding to the four or five teams you have right now?
CC: A lot of due diligence. We talked to, I can’t even tell you how many people we’ve talked to in reference to their facilities, and the opportunities of bringing a franchise to their respective city. Of course some people said no, others were very interested. Now we’re at a point where we have four teams to start out with right now. (At the conclusion of this interview it was announced that the Watertown Bucks are the fourth and newest franchise of the East Coast Baseball League). We still have opportunities to enter into a couple other markets, but we’re just trying to clarify their stance on what they see.”
TheRecord.com talked to Waterloo Whiskey Jacks general manager, Andrew Hendriks, who said “it’s like promoting a ghost at this point”, when asked about what players they’ll be receiving and who they can protect on the roster.
Cummins, who was in talks with the Record, said the season is not cancelled just delayed. He also says he is optimistic about the season beginning in June, but hopeful to a point.
“It’s not true,” he said, when reached by phone Thursday. “Everyone else has been saying it. I’m not saying it yet.”
“If I can’t do it in June, I will definitely cancel the season,” said Cummins. “I’ll be the one to make that determination.”
Regardless of what happens, there are too many rumours swirling to make a concrete decision. The season is on hold and teams have withdrawn from the league. Some are looking for a beginning others see an end.
Please note, at the conclusion of this article, the Watertown Bucks officially begin their season on Sunday in the newly formed North Country Baseball League. The League consists of four teams; Watertown, the Newburgh Newts, the Old Orchard Beach Surge, and the Road City Warriors, all who were originally in the ECBL.