Whither goeth the ECBL?

* What now for the East Coast Baseball League which has pushed back its start date until June ... while four of its member begin play in the North Country Baseball League. ....

* What now for the East Coast Baseball League which has pushed back its start date until June ... while four of its member begin play in the North Country Baseball League. ....

Rumours abound about Indy ECBL folding

GM's Perspective
The season is scheduled to start, unfortunately the East Coast Baseball League has apparently folded before opening day.

According to WWNY TV, the Watertown Bucks, one of the league’s six inaugural clubs, has pulled out of the league for a variety of reasons and are working on forming another league with three other teams. It has been reported that another team has withdrawn from the league. While the article quoted league president, Colin Cummins as saying that the league start was delayed because of “clerical issues”, nothing has really been confirmed at this time.

When I spoke with Cummins earlier this year, the focus was on brining baseball back to the Niagara area and helping unsigned talent realize their dream of playing pro ball. When I asked Cummins about the expansion of the league, he was quite adamant that the necessary due diligence was completed and endless discussions had taken place in multiple cities.

GMs Perspective: How did you go from the possible team in Niagara to expanding to the four or five teams you have right now?

CC: A lot of due diligence. We talked to, I can’t even tell you how many people we’ve talked to in reference to their facilities, and the opportunities of bringing a franchise to their respective city. Of course some people said no, others were very interested. Now we’re at a point where we have four teams to start out with right now. (At the conclusion of this interview it was announced that the Watertown Bucks are the fourth and newest franchise of the East Coast Baseball League). We still have opportunities to enter into a couple other markets, but we’re just trying to clarify their stance on what they see.”

TheRecord.com talked to Waterloo Whiskey Jacks general manager, Andrew Hendriks, who said “it’s like promoting a ghost at this point,” when asked about what players they’ll be receiving and who they can protect on the roster.

Cummins, who was in talks with the Record, said the season is not cancelled just delayed. He also says he is optimistic about the season beginning in June, but hopeful to a point.

“It’s not true,” he said, when reached by phone Thursday. “Everyone else has been saying it. I’m not saying it yet.”

“If I can’t do it in June, I will definitely cancel the season,” said Cummins. “I’ll be the one to make that determination.”

Regardless of what happens, there are too many rumours swirling to make a concrete decision. The season is on hold and teams have withdrawn from the league. Some are looking for a beginning others see an end.

The Watertown Bucks officially begin their season on Sunday in the newly formed North Country Baseball League. The League consists of four teams; Watertown, the Newburgh Newts, the Old Orchard Beach Surge, and the Road City Warriors, all who were originally in the ECBL.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM’s Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM’s Perspective on twitter and Facebook.

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Devon Teeple

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com