Wednesday, October 05, 2005
A New Landscape ?
What is Mike Veeck up to now ? With the recent announcement of three teams leaving the Northern League (and now four with the Sioux City announcement yesterday), many are wondering what Veeck's plan are for this new league of his. This article reveals a few details which seem to indicate where Veeck (and Miles Wolff) believe that independent baseball should be headed. It seems to be a rather radical new vision, and frankly I'm not sure it's one that makes a whole lot of sense. The fundamental idea that Veeck is pushing towards is making indy baseball more national. There is talk of having interleague play among the several independent leagues as well as having a combined all-star game and "world series". But my question is, for what purpose ? Do casual fans (which make up the majority at minor league games) really care about who the opposing team is or where they're from ? Are more fans going to come out in Elmira if Sioux Falls is coming in for a series ? I would really doubt it. To make this "interleague" play possible, other leagues would have to cooperate by reworking their schedules. With no obvious benefit, why would leagues disrupt their schedules to play what would in essence be exhibition games ? Maybe I'm missing something or perhaps Veeck's plan hasn't been properly described yet, but to me this just seems like a publicity stunt by Veeck to get himself and the St. Paul Saints some attention, which they haven't gotten in several years. Perhaps Veeck is once again ahead of his time. Or perhaps his vision will never get off the drawing board. Whichever, it should be interesting to watch over the next few months and years.