Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

The St. Paul Saints have quit the Northern League

I just got a letter from the St. Paul Saints saying they and I don't
know who else have quit the Northern League and plan to form a more
geographically diverse and I don't know what else league. The letter
said I knew this already, but that's just Saints management believing
that I care more than I actually do. I barely follow whether the
Saints are in the standings. I don't know what to make of it.

This is not out of character, however. For three years the Northern
League was merged, in principle, with the Northeast League, which
included the New Jersey Jackals, playing at Fairleigh-Dickinson, I
believe. (We 'stole' their manager.) But that basically came to
'nothing'. All you got was a lower chance of hosting the all-star game
and an extra, World Series-like playoff round, like in the days before
MLB had interleague play.

This last season, though, the Northern League had teams in Calgary and
Edmonton, which are extremely distant, I imagine requiring air travel
(and when Calgary played here I noticed they were using one of the
local bus lines for their team bus). Maybe some of the owners decided
that wasn't so bad after all, and so they want to make a new Indy
League based more on air travel.

When the Northern League started in '93, the largest distance you had
to go was from Sioux City, Iowa, to Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was very
much a regional league. Gradually, since then, the league has spread
out, but it does seem to have reached a crisis point where teams must
decide whether to try to be a regional league or to try something
else. So maybe this is a good change. I don't know yet.

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