Thursday, March 31, 2011

Darren Parker hired by RG Properties

The former president and owner of the Victoria Seals, Darren Parker, has been hired by RG Properties as their senior vice-president of sales and marketing. The hiring was announced on Wednesday. The move is a good one for RG Properties, as Parker has proven skills in producing entertaining sporting events that put a lot of bums in seats. His experience in minor-league and independent baseball can only improve the (recently morose) atmosphere at the SoFA.

It's probably not a 
coincidence that multiple media outlets are reporting that the transaction to move the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL to Victoria is a done deal. Darren's father Russ is owner of the WHL's Regina Pats and both Parkers know a thing or two about running a major junior hockey franchise. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Darren Parker didn't do much work for the Victoria Salmon Kings of the East Coast Hockey League (Oops, ECHL -- sorry!). I'm betting that the move of the Bruins to Victoria will be made public as soon as Chilliwack is eliminated from the WHL playoffs. With Chilliwack being down three games to one in a best-of-seven series against the Spokane Chiefs, the Bruins could have officially played their last game in Chilliwack by as early as this Saturday night.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

North American League down to 10 teams?

Originally announced as a 16-to-20 team league, the North American League may have shrunk down to only 10 teams. Ballpark Digest is reporting that a 10-team schedule is being drawn up after the recent eviction of the Schaumburg (Illinois) Flyers from their ballpark. That leaves the Eastern Division with only five squads. Rumours are circulating that one of the Western Division teams would be taken out of play in order to get back to an even number. It's likely that this organization would be the hastily-assembled Henderson (Nevada) Roadrunners, one of three league-owned teams.

The black clouds continue to gather on the North American League's horizon. Unconfirmed rumours that the Rockford Riverhawks are planning to jump ship to the Frontier League continue to circulate. That would leave only one team in Illinois, a scenario that would likely kill the Lake County Fielders (who lack a proper ballpark in which to play anyway). The result would be only three teams in the Eastern Division, all of them in Texas. There is also talk of adding a fourth team in the Lone Star State, but this would be a travelling team named after the city of McAllen.

Another unconfirmed rumour has the NAL considering putting a team in Kamloops for the 2011 season. Victoria fans may remember that the Seals played a pair of mildly successful exhibition games in Kamloops prior to the 2010 season.

It will be interesting to see how things play out for the still unstable North American League.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tampa Bay sends ex-Seal De la Rosa to minors

The Tampa Bay Rays sent ex-Victoria Seals hurler Dane De la Rosa to their minor-league camp today after he struggled with the big club during spring training. De la Rosa posted a 12.60 ERA in five relief appearances this month.

De la Rosa will likely start the season in AAA with the Durham Bulls.

Jeff Duda signs with Québec Capitales

Former Victoria Seals pitcher Jeff Duda has signed with the Québec Capitales of the Can-Am League (roughly AA baseball). Duda had a pretty decent season for the Seals in 2010, posting a 4-3 record in 21 appearances with a 3.90 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his first year of professional baseball.

Duda was signed by the Seals in June of 2010 after excelling for the Okotoks Dawgs of the Western Major Baseball League. Duda also pitched for Canada in the 1998 Little League World World Series, setting a LLWS record by striking out 17 batters.

Best of luck in 2011, Jeff!!

Photo courtesy of Christian Stewart.