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Na Koa loses 10th straight
August 4, 2011 - Robert Collias
My story is not posted yet, but let's just sum it up by this quote from Na Koa Ikaika Maui manager Garry Templeton: "This team is a mystery to me."
Na Koa continued their free fall from .500 with loss No. 10 in a row. They are now 19-18 at home where they were 38-12 last season and one night after drawing 644 for the opener of their final homestand, a listless 3-1 loss to Edmonton, 385 showed up for Wednesday night's even more hapless 8-2 defeat. Maui is now 11 1/2 games behind Edmonton for the final playoff spot available with 34 to play.
There are signs that things could turn around, if its not already too late: Templeton said outfielder J.J. Sherrill, the heartbeat of this team, IMHO, will return from injury today with his .323 batting average; after Edmonton leaves town, the schedule does get easier, but without a significant amount of wins in the final seven against a very good Capitals team, it will be too late; and even with teams that are not powerhouses on the slate after the Caps, only four of 27 are at home and Maui is 7-18 on the Mainland this season.
Signs that things are not going well financially for the team also abound: On-field P.A. announcer Branscombe Richmond has not been at the last two games with his crew that puts highlights on Youtube and he is not slated to be back until the final home game of the season, Aug. 13; despite going to great lengths to have phone lines installed — the previous lines had been cut — to accommodate the equipment the team purchased for radio broadcasts more than a month ago, there still has been no radio coverage of the team for the last 51 games; on Wednesday night there were P.A. announcements promoting KONI as the new broadcaster of the team (as there has been for six weeks now) and that this newspaper is sponsoring a name-the-mascot contest, the first of which seems like a huge longshot at this late date, the latter of which I confirmed a couple of weeks ago will not happen.
On the other hand, the team has made good on its debts to Pacific Radio Group, which sued for more than $12,000 and won the lawsuit when Na Koa officials did not show up in court.
The bottom line is that this team needs as many okole in the stands as it can get right now, both to start a rally from the depths of this losing streak and to show the ownership group that next season has some financial promise.
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