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  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Mets To Remain In Savannah For Two More Seasons (Post #15)

    Winning is Gnats' Top Offseason Priority
    by Adam Van Brimmer, Savannah Morning News


    The Sand Gnats' new ownership wants a winner.

    And unlike their recent predecessors, Hardball Capital is in position to demand one.

    Savannah's season ended yesterday afternoon. So did the club's contractual affiliation with the New York Mets.

    The new ownership group can renew that deal. But Hardball Capital can also negotiate with every other Major League franchise, just as a free-agent player would.

    Typically, Savannah is about as attractive on the open market as an aging utility infielder with no pop left in his bat. Bugs outnumber paying customers. The playing surface long resembled a washboard without drainage slots. The clubhouse doors once deserved biohazard labels.

    As a result, the Sand Gnats haven't so much as tested free agency as begged for a playmate.

    The Mets are the sixth franchise to put their developing stars in Savannah since 1996, and only the Texas Rangers sent enough prospects for the Sand Gnats to contend in the South Atlantic League. Those Gnats won 74 games in 2001 and were one of only two Savannah clubs to finish with a winning record over the last 15 years.

    Savannah's reputation improved this season, however.

    The city ironed the field flat last winter and put in a drainage system that cut the number of rainouts by more than half over 2007. Ownership put new carpeting in the clubhouse and refinished the lockers, with more upgrades on the way this offseason.

    And attendance broke the 100,000 mark for the first time since the 2003 season, even with rain washing out two Thirsty Thursdays and a Friday night games.

    Those improvements should allow Hardball Capital to play hardball with would-be parent organizations.

    "What we have here now should be attractive to just about everybody at the major league level," said Grant Morain, one of the ownership group's four partners. "And we're experienced at making people happy."

    And Morain knows happy major league clubs will lead to happy fans. Those teams willing to treat the South Atlantic League as a developmental circuit rather than a pit stop between the rookie ranks and high-A ball do well and draw well.

    Futility on the field, meanwhile, leads to futility in the stands. The Gnats hit .250 as a team this season with a league-low 62 home runs. They scored two or fewer runs in 37 of their 76 losses - and three or fewer runs in 11 of their 61 victories.

    Nobody makes a point to support a low-scoring loser like the Sand Gnats. Most of the 1,600 fans who came out on average this season were at Grayson for the experience, not the baseball. Promotions such as cheap beer and amenities like kiddie play areas can only attract so many more fans.

    The product on the field must match the goods off it to truly impact attendance.

    Morain admits Hardball's sales pitch needs some polishing between now and Sept. 16, the date ownership can open negotiations with major league teams.

    First, the South Atlantic League must formally approve the team's sale to Hardball from John Simmons. That's expected to come Thursday.

    Then, Hardball will announce "at least two significant changes" to the ballpark for next year and address the security issues that cropped up this summer. Thieves robbed the Sand Gnats of concessions sales and gate receipts twice this season and broke into the stadium on at least half-a-dozen other occasions.

    "We want to find a team that wins, and we'll do everything we can as an affiliate to convince them to put that kind of talent in Savannah," Morain said. "It might be the Mets. It might be some other club. But we'll find a good partner."

    Adam Van Brimmer's columns appear on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact him at adam.vanbrimmer@savannahnow.com or 912-525-0733.

    Yank Fan since '58 -- Mets Fan since '62
    Model Trains - N-scale, Genealogy, Philately, Photography, Paradise

  2. #2
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    Interesting, seems like the Mets could have a couple of teams moving

  3. #3
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    Well, I'm not to fond of team named Sand Gnats.

    Don't know where the Mets will go. Here's a list of the teams in the Sally League


    • Asheville Tourists
    • Augusta GreenJackets
    • Charleston RiverDogs
    • Columbus Catfish (moving to Bowling Green and moving to Mid-West League)
    • Delmarva Shorebirds
    • Greensboro Grasshoppers
    • Greenville Drive
    • Hagerstown Suns
    • Hickory Crawdads
    • Kannapolis Intimidators
    • Lake County Captains (moving to Mid-West League)
    • Lakewood BlueClaws
    • Lexington Legends
    • Rome Braves
    • Savannah Sand Gnats
    • West Virginia Power

    RED = Affiliation contracts that expire in 2008

    And all of them got a better team name. Well except the Braves.
    Last edited by Drucifer; 09-05-2008 at 12:33 PM.

    Yank Fan since '58 -- Mets Fan since '62
    Model Trains - N-scale, Genealogy, Philately, Photography, Paradise

  4. #4
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    Just put Flores Welch and Harris there and theyll be a winning team

  5. #5
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    Jan 2008
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    Prague, Czech Republic
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    Greenville Drive is the best name lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    I kinda like the Lexington Legends

    Yank Fan since '58 -- Mets Fan since '62
    Model Trains - N-scale, Genealogy, Philately, Photography, Paradise

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Snow Hill NC
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    Screw the Sally league, it has a Peanuts-Charlie Brown gay name anyway. Move to the Carolina league!

    Not saying that just because I live about three miles from Kinston, a Carolina League affiliate for the Indians, and would be able to see the A team play at least a few games a year, No ulterior motive at all!!!
    I can be boring and vanilla, too! Controversy = BAD...

  8. #8
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    Savannah sucks but there aren't going to be many markets to move to. Back to Hagerstown? Columbus maybe? Most of those teams are happy with the owners and vice versa. But anything is possible I guess.

  9. #9
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    What other teams contracts are coming up for renewal? Anyone know?
    I can be boring and vanilla, too! Controversy = BAD...

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    List and deadlines.

    September 12-15: The beginning of the process, where MLB and MiLB teams are notified of the status of affiliations,

    September 16-30: Teams can begin to negotiate affiliations.

    October 1-7: Teams without deals will be assigned an affiliation by MiLB and MLB.
    Code:
     
    Affiliate 		Current Team 	New Team 	Notes
    Class AAA 	  	  	 
    Albuquerque 		Marlins 	Marlins 	Signed through 2008
    Buffalo 		Indians 	??? 		Columbus will be open in 2008
    Charlotte 		White Sox 	White Sox 	Signed through 2010
    Colorado Springs 	Rockies 	Rockies 	Signed through 2010
    Columbus 		Nationals 	??? 		We would not be surprised if the Indians expressed interest in a switch
    Durham 	Rays 		Rays 				Signed through 2010
    Fresno 	Giants 		Giants 				Signed through 2010
    Gwinnett County 	Braves 		Braves 		Owned by Atlanta Braves
    Indianapolis 		Pirates 	Pirates 	Signed through 2012
    Iowa 	Cubs 		Cubs 				Signed through 2012
    Las Vegas 		Dodgers 	Dodgers 	Signed through 2008
    Lehigh Valley 		Phillies 	Phillies 	Signed through 2012
    Louisville 		Reds 		Reds 		Signed through 2010
    Memphis 		Cardinals 	Cardinals 	Signed through 2008
    Nashville 		Brewers 	Brewers 	Signed through 2010
    New Orleans 		Mets 		???		Mets ownership says they're interested in shift to Syracuse
    Norfolk 		Orioles 	Orioles 	Signed through 2010
    Oklahoma 		Rangers 	Rangers 	Signed through 2010
    Omaha 			Royals 		Royals 		Signed through 2010
    Pawtucket 		Red Sox 	Red Sox 	Signed through 2010
    Portland 		Padres 		Padres 		Signed through 2010
    Reno 			D-Backs 	D-Backs 	Signed through 2010
    Rochester 		Twins		Twins	 	Signed through 2010
    Round Rock 		Astros 		Astros 		Signed through 2010
    Sacramento 		A's 		A's 		Signed through 2010
    Salt Lake 		Angels 		Angels 		Signed through 2012
    S/W-B 			Yankees 	Yankees 	Signed through 2010
    Syracuse 		Blue Jays 	??? 		Mets say they're interested in shift
    Tacoma 			Mariners 	Mariners 	Signed through 2008
    Toledo 			Tigers 		Tigers 		Signed through 2010
    
    Class AA 	  	  	 
    Akron 			Indians 	Indians 	Signed through 2012
    Altoona 		Pirates 	Pirates 	Signed through 2010
    Arkansas 		Angels 		Angels 		Signed through 2010
    Binghamton 		Mets 		Mets 		Signed through 2010
    Birmingham 		White Sox 	White Sox 	Signed through 2010
    Bowie 			Orioles 	Orioles 	Signed through 2010
    Carolina 		Marlins 	Marlins 	Signed through 2008
    Chattanooga 		Reds	 	Reds	 	Signed through 2008
    Connecticut 		Giants	 	Giants 		Signed through 2008
    Corpus Christi 		Astros 		Astros 		Signed through 2010
    Erie 			Tigers	 	Tigers	 	Signed through 2010
    Frisco 			Rangers 	Rangers 	Signed through 2010
    Harrisburg 		Nationals 	Nationals 	Signed through 2010
    Huntsville 		Brewers 	Brewers 	Signed through 2008
    Jacksonville 		Dodgers 	Dodgers 	Signed through 2008
    Midland 		A's 		A's 		Signed through 2012
    Mississippi 		Braves 		Braves 		Owned by Atlanta Braves
    Mobile 			D-Backs 	D-Backs 	Signed through 2010
    Montgomery 		Rays 		Rays 		Signed through 2010
    New Britain 		Twins 		Twins 		Signed through 2010
    New Hampshire 		Blue Jays 	Blue Jays 	Signed through 2012
    Northwest Arkansas 	Royals 		Royals 		Signed through 2012
    Portland 		Red Sox 	Red Sox 	Signed through 2012
    Reading 		Phillies 	Phillies 	Signed through 2010
    San Antonio 		Padres 		Padres 		Signed through 2008
    Springfield 		Cards 		Cards	 	Signed in perpetuity
    Tennessee 		Cubs 		Cubs	 	Signed through 2012
    Trenton 		Yankees 	Yankees 	Signed through 2008
    Tulsa 			Rockies 	Rockies 	Signed through 2010
    West Tenn 		Mariners 	Mariners 	Signed through 2008
    
    High Class A 	  	  	 
    Bakersfield 		Rangers 	Rangers 	Signed through 2010
    Brevard County 		Brewers 	Brewers 	Signed through 2010
    Charlotte County 	Rays 		Rays 		Rays are partial owners of the franchise
    Daytona 		Cubs 		Cubs 		Signed through 2012
    Frederick 		Orioles 	Orioles 	Signed through 2010
    Fort Myers 		Twins 		Twins 		Signed through 2008
    High Desert 		Mariners 	Mariners 	Signed through 2008
    Inland Empire 		Dodgers 	Dodgers 	Signed through 2008
    Kinston 		Indians 	Indians 	Signed through 2010
    Lake Elsinore 		Padres 		Padres 		Signed through 2012
    Lancaster 		Red Sox 	??? 		Red Sox probably will be back in Carolina League
    Lynchburg 		Pirates 	Pirates 	Signed through 2008
    Modesto 		Rockies 	Rockies 	Signed through 2010
    Myrtle Beach 		Braves 		Braves 		Signed through 2010
    Potomac 		Nationals 	Nationals 	Signed through 2010
    Rancho Cucamonga 	Angels 		Angels 		Signed through 2010
    Salem Avs 		Astros 		Red Sox 	Red Sox now owns team
    San Jose 		Giants 		Giants 		Signed through 2008
    Sarasota 		Reds 		O's, Red Sox?	Signed in perpetuity; with team moving spring operations to Arizona, they're out of the FSL as well
    Stockton 		A's 		A's 		Signed through 2012
    Visalia 		D-Backs 	D-Backs 	Signed through 2008
    Wilmington 		Royals 		Royals 		Signed through 2010
    Winston-Salem 		White Sox 	White Sox 	Signed through 2008
    
    Low Class A 	  	  	 
    Asheville 		Rockies 	Rockies 	Signed through 2012
    Augusta 		Giants 		Giants 		Signed through 2010
    Beloit 			Twins 		Twins 		Signed through 2010
    Bowling Green 		Rays 		Rays 		Signed through 2010
    Burlington 		Royals 		Royals 		Signed through 2010
    Cedar Rapids 		Angels 		Angels 		Signed through 2010
    Charleston 		Yankees 	Yankees 	Signed through 2012
    Clinton 		Rangers 	Rangers 	Signed through 2008
    Dayton 			Reds 		Reds 		Signed in perpetuity
    Delmarva 		Orioles 	Orioles 	Signed through 2010
    Fort Wayne 		Padres 		Padres 		Signed through 2010
    Great Lakes 		Dodgers 	Dodgers 	Signed through 2010
    Greensboro 		Marlins 	Marlins 	Signed through 2010
    Greenville 		Red Sox 	Red Sox 	Signed through 2012
    Hagerstown 		Nationals 	Nationals 	Signed through 2008
    Hickory 		Pirates 	Pirates 	Signed through 2008
    Kane County 		A's 		A's 		Signed through 2010
    Kannapolis 		White Sox 	White Sox 	Signed through 2010
    Lake County 		Indians 	Indians 	Signed through 2010
    Lakewood 		Phillies 	Phillies 	Signed through 2008
    Lansing 		Blue Jays 	Blue Jays 	Signed through 2010
    Lexington 		Astros 		Astros 		Signed through 2012
    Peoria 			Cubs 		Cubs 		Signed through 2012
    Quad Cities 		Cards 		Cards 		Signed through 2010
    Rome 			Braves 		Braves 		Owned by Atlanta Braves
    Savannah 		Mets 		Mets 		Signed through 2008
    South Bend 		D-Backs 	D-Backs 	Signed through 2008
    West Michigan 		Tigers 		Tigers 		Signed through 2010
    West Virginia 		Brewers 	Brewers 	Signed through 2008
    Wisconsin 		Mariners 	Mariners 	Signed through 2008
    
    Short Season 	  	  	 
    Aberdeen 		Orioles 	Orioles 	Signed through 2010
    Auburn 			Blue Jays 	Blue Jays 	Signed through 2008
    Batavia 		Cardinals 	Cardinals 	Signed through 2008
    Boise 			Cubs 		Cubs 		Signed through 2010
    Eugene 			Padres 		Padres 		Signed through 2012
    Everett 		Mariners 	Mariners 	Signed through 2008
    Hudson Valley 		Rays 		Rays 		Signed through 2008
    Jamestown 		Marlins 	Marlins 	Signed through 2008
    Lowell 			Red Sox 	Red Sox 	Signed through 2010
    Mahoning Valley 	Indians 	Indians 	Signed through 2008
    Oneonta 		Tigers 		Tigers 		Signed through 2010
    Salem-Keizer 		Giants 		Giants 		Signed through 2008
    Spokane 		Rangers 	Rangers 	Signed through 2008
    State College 		Pirates 	Pirates 	Signed through 2010
    Tri-City Dust Devils 	Rockies 	Rockies 	Signed through 2008
    Tri-City ValleyCats 	Astros 		Astros 		Signed through 2008
    Vancouver 		A's 		A's 		Signed through 2010
    Vermont 		Nationals 	Nationals 	Signed through 2008
    Williamsport 		Phillies 	Phillies 	Signed through 2010
    Yakima 			D-Backs 	D-Backs 	Signed through 2010
    
    Rookie 	  	  	 
    Billings 		Reds 		Reds	 	Signed through 2010
    Burlington 		Royals 		Royals 		Signed through 2010
    Casper 			Rockies 	Rockies 	Signed through 2008
    Great Falls 		White Sox 	White Sox 	Signed through 2010
    Helena 			Brewers 	Brewers 	Signed through 2008
    Idaho Falls 		Royals 		Royals 		Signed through 2008
    Missoula 		D-Backs 	D-Backs 	Signed through 2010
    Ogden 			Dodgers 	Dodgers 	Signed through 2010
    Orem 			Angels 		Angels 		Signed through 2012

    http://www.ballparkdigest.com/affiliates_2008.html
    Last edited by Drucifer; 09-05-2008 at 12:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    In the deepest depths of the mind.
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    Wish Lakewood was possible but those guys own Reading, Lehigh valley and Lakewood, and a share in Clearwater. They are Phillies for life.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Snow Hill NC
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    Well, with St. Lucie our high A team, I guess that my dream of the Mets getting a Carolina League A team is dashed.

    So I hope we move our AAA team to either Buffalo or Syracuse so that I can make the trek to Norfolk to root against the home team!
    I can be boring and vanilla, too! Controversy = BAD...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New York Lower Hudson Valley
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie CCPBA View Post
    List and deadlines.

    September 12-15: The beginning of the process, where MLB and MiLB teams are notified of the status of affiliations,

    September 16-30: Teams can begin to negotiate affiliations.

    October 1-7: Teams without deals will be assigned an affiliation by MiLB and MLB.
    What's your source?

    Yank Fan since '58 -- Mets Fan since '62
    Model Trains - N-scale, Genealogy, Philately, Photography, Paradise

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    29,953
    West Virginia Powers please
    Matt Harvey - 8-2; 2.37 ERA; 94 K's; 76.0 Inning.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New York Lower Hudson Valley
    Posts
    20,961
    New York Mets To Remain In Savannah For Two More Seasons
    SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Sand Gnats today announced a two-year extension of their player development contract with the New York Mets. Under the new agreement, the Sand Gnats will be the Mets' South Atlantic League affiliate through the 2010 season.

    This year's Sand Gnats promoted 14 players to High-A St. Lucie and one of the players, Opening Day starter Mike Antonini, reached the Double-A level. Savannah's Opening Day starter from 2007, left-handed pitcher Tobi Stoner, is also currently pitching in Double-A.

    "We are thrilled to continue our association with the New York Mets," said Sand Gnats co-owner Jason Freier. "The Mets have been great partners, on the field and in the community."

    The Mets have had one of the most productive farm systems in the Minor Leagues. Their NL East squad is powered by home grown talent such as David Wright and Jose Reyes.

    "We are pleased to continue our terrific relationship with the Sand Gnats for two more years," said Adam Wogan, Director, Minor League Operations, New York Mets. "The new playing surface, dimensions, and lighting at Grayson Stadium enhanced the experience of our players in Savannah this season. Thanks to great efforts of Hardball Capital, the city, and its fans, our players and staff feel at home in Savannah."

    The just-completed 2008 Sand Gnats campaign saw 105,537 fans support the team at Historic Grayson Stadium, an increase of nearly 14,000 fans over 2007.

    "The fans really responded to the improvements at Grayson Stadium and the changes that our new ownership made in 2008," said Sand Gnats General Manager Bradley Dodson. "We are committed to continuing to improve the game day experience for the fans and to delivering a better product each season."

    The Sand Gnats open the 2009 season April 9 at Historic Grayson Stadium when the Augusta GreenJackets come to town. For information on 2009 season seats and a complete 2009 schedule, visit www.sandgnats.com or call 912.351.9150.

    http://www.oursportscentral.com/serv...es/?id=3718760

    Yank Fan since '58 -- Mets Fan since '62
    Model Trains - N-scale, Genealogy, Philately, Photography, Paradise

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