Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Olympia will never have a minor league baseball team as you know it (unpacking Olympia Brewery Visioning, Part 1)

Tonight was pretty fun on twitter, with the Olympia Brewery visioning event going on. The folks from Einmaleins.tv attended and got us all going on the #olympiabrewery hashtag.

The first take away for the night for me was running down the rule I knew existed (but didn't have bookmarked) between major and minor league baseball on how teams on the various levels are located. This is the rule that I repeat to folks like Rob Richards when they go on about building a waterfront minor league baseball stadium.

Short of it is, as long as Tacoma has a minor league baseball team, we won't.

Please consult your most recent version of the Professional Baseball Agreement. While this document is also the heart of darkness that is Organized Baseball and the great horrible monopoly that it is, it also includes Rule 52 "Major and Minor League Territorial Rights."

Please flip to page 151 of the pdf file (or page 130 of the paginated document). Rule 52 states that every club is given a territory of their own, in which certain rules apply to teams that want to operate inside those territories.

Basically, the rules are:
  • A major league team can enter a minor league's team territory for a price. 
  • A minor league team can be inside a major league team's territory with consent or by being grandfathered in (and paid off, see Rule #1). 
  • But, a minor league team holds a veto for any other minor league franchise wanting to locate inside their territory.
And the Rule 52 Attachment lists Tacoma's home territory as Pierce County. And, when you add on the Rule 52 15 mile buffer, you cannot locate an affiliated minor league franchise within Lacey, Olympia or Tumwater. You could get a team along I-5 just south of 93rd, but that would be way out of town. You certainly aren't building a minor league baseball stadium anywhere on the old brewery property and expecting an affiliated minor league team to play there.

That said, there is an exception to this rule. Just ignore the rule. There are many independent leagues that play professionally. Sadly, none of these operate in the Pacific Northwest.

Then again, we do have a league of our own in town. They play semi-pro collegiate ball, but they do play with wood bats. And, they're the best you're going to get for awhile if you want to watch baseball down here inside Tacoma's home territory.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Capitol City Bombers and Thurston County Senators (my baseball summer)

In addition to one Mariners game with the family, my baseball summer will be solely around two teams: the Capital City Bombers and Thurston County Senators. As mentioned before, the Senators are the all-star traveling team portion of the local Puget Sound Collegiate League.

The Capital City Bombers are the local representatives in the Roy Hobbs system and, most importantly, they play a few minutes from my house at Olympia High School.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Holy cats, in my previous blog life, I was a jerk

I'm manually scrapping the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine this morning for old posts from my previous local blog "Oly News Boy" (killed off sometime in 2004). And, man alive, I was a jerk. I know I probably thought the way I wrote back then, but damn Emmett, calm down, would you?

Here's an example:
See? SEE? I told you that Matt Heins was a freaking stupid candidate.

I knew something like this was going to happen, the law would eventually bite him in the butt, and for God sakes, he deserves it. Wasting our time like this, making the Position 3 race go into a primary like that, wasting the "tens of thousands of dollars" that he says that he's not going to raise, so I guess the freaking laws just don't apply to him.

"I know it was a form, but I didn't know it was a legal requirement." Nuff said.
My memory is fuzzy now, but I suppose Matt Heins ran for city council. Boy, and I suppose I was mad at him for not filing forms correctly.

Anyway, "Nuff said" Emmett? Who are you, Stan Lee?

Here's what I've saved so far. The plan is to repost them on the archive of this blog, so you'll get everything in one place. Stupid mid-20's Emmett and all.

One lesson learned, I have learned not to delete blogs without saving them. God bless the good folks at the internet archive, but I cannot for the life of me remember why I deleted Oly News Boy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Japanese team not joining the Puget Sound Collegiate League

One of the most exciting things about the upcoming Puget Sound Collegiate League season this summer was the inclusion of a Japanese college baseball team. Unfortunately, a virus is making its way through the school and city, so the team is cancelling its plans.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Olympia Reign (Local summer semi-pro sports Part 3)

3. Last (but only in my eyes) is the Olympia Reign of the International Basketball League. I'm glad this team is still around, but I'm sorry to admit that semi-pro basketball is in third place for me behind soccer and baseball. I might go see them this year, but that's still a might. They're out at Evergreen State College this year, which isn't a bad home court, just a bit of a hike. It might seem small-time, but it might be worth them trying out a high school court. I imagine St. Martin's field house is a bit steep in price.

I'd just also like to note the other reasons I'm lame for not trying to support the Reign more. First, they're name is great.

Also, I've complained in the past that there really is no minor or independent league basketball in the country, but that there should be. And, independent basketball should play along side college and the NBA on the calendar, not try to carve out a summer league like the IBL. So, if you love basketball and hate (like me) that the NBA took the Sonics out of Seattle, then spend money on teams like the Reign. Because only because of support by fans like us will the NBA ever reform.

That's true of all sports leagues, by the way. If you don't like the major league option in your area, for whatever reason, support your local independent franchise.

Olympia Reign are on the web and on Facebook.

Thurston County Premier FC (Local summer semi-pro sports Part 2)

2. Second most exciting is the emergence of a Super 20 soccer team.  First under the moniker of Capital City FC Inc. and now Thurston County Premier FC, this team will play a two month season in the United Soccer League's Super 20 Northwest Division. If  you find that last sentence sort of arduous, there is a reason for that. While its a great that there is a local team in the deep and broad USL setup, its not at a level that most community's around us are already at. Bremerton, Tacoma, Everett already play a step above in the Premier Development League level of the USL, which draws collegiate and actual professional players.

Also, TCPFC seems to be one side of a division between two different organizations with the same plan, to bring high level (possibly PDL) semi-pro soccer to Thurston County. Over the winter, TCPFC seemingly broke off from Capital City FC Inc. (and on Facebook taking its arrangement with the USL to field a Super 20 team. Whatever strife is between the two groups, it likely isn't helping.

Thurston County Premier FC is on the web and on Facebook.

Puget Sound Collegiate League (Local summer semi-pro sports Part 1)

All three local semi-pro sport outlets are either underway already or have their schedules up.

1. Most exciting is the local collegiate wood bat baseball league, Puget Sound Collegiate League. Think of the mythic Cape Cod League or the more local West Coast Collegiate, but just in Thurston County. Most of the games on the schedule will be played at the RAC in Lacey and the rosters are made up of college players on summer break.

The largest differences I've seen from last summer are the inclusion of a Japanese college baseball team (Riseisha College) and a full schedule for the league's all-star team (Thurston County Senators). The league is made up of a half dozen teams that play a full season against each other (mostly at the RAC), and also fields a couple of all star teams (Senators and Junior Senators).

You can find the Puget Sound Collegiate League on the web, and Facebook and Twitter.