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Lake County mystery continues
August 11, 2011 - Robert Collias
UPDATE (7:49 a.m.): Here is the latest from the NABL website, "The Lake County Fielders failed to show up for the scheduled series in Maui yesterday. The league is in discussions with Lake County and Maui regarding the schedule for the remainder of the season and will make an announcement shortly."
Stay tuned right here for this ever-changing mess. I will do my best to keep up.
Here is a statement from the North American Baseball League that I found at about 9 p.m. last night:
"The North American League is disappointed to announce that the Lake County Fielders have eliminated themselves from the league by failing to appear for their scheduled series today," the short message on the website said. "Schedule changes will be announced shortly."
Interestingly, mysteriously — y'all can choose your own adjective at this point — that statement is now nowhere to be found on the NABL website.
And then there is this story from the Chicago Daily Herald, where apparently the Fielders gathered to come to Maui but didn't because all of them couldn't get on the same plane. Sorry if I sound skeptical, but that sounds eerily similar to a lot of other excuses I have heard from all around the NABL this season and last season in the Golden Baseball League.
And, again, I have to be at the locker rooms and stop owner Bob Young from leaving the scene in his rental car to pry a comment from Na Koa's front office (for my story this morning), while a Chicago newspaper has no problem getting them on the phone. Unbelievable.
Then, there is this update today from ballparkdigest.com, a reputable site that has kept up with the Fielders fiasco pretty well. This piece says that Richard Ehrenreich, the owner of the Fielders, is simply hanging around as a fall guy as new ownership is being cultivated — a very similar circumstance to what happened on Maui last year as the current ownership group took over late in the season, but kept original owner Michael Cummings around to the end of the season.
Whatever, it clearly appears that Maui's final homestand is off and that 15 scheduled games from last night through Aug. 23 against the Fielders are in serious jeopardy, at best. Does Maui bother with the final 12 games of the season in Chico and Texas after that? I seriously doubt it. I honestly think we have seen Na Koa Ikaika Maui play its final game, at least for this season, and very likely ever.
I will update when I hear anything. A press release from the league is supposed to be forthcoming.
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