Tag Archives: Crickets

Columbus Crickets related news

ULB Gives Final Approval for Montreal Move

Union League Baseball approved the sale of the Columbus Crickets today. Also given final approval was the move of the Columbus franchise to Montreal in light of Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos taking flight and moving in next to the ULB’s Washington Senators.

Donald Sutherland leads a group that is buying the Crickets and moving them to Montreal.
Donald Sutherland leads a group that is buying the Crickets and moving them to Montreal.

The Crickets will be leaving behind a legacy in Columbus that included the 2nd start of Michael Jordan’s brief but Hall of Fame career before he set up shop in Charlotte. The Crickets attracted fans, but an inability to expand Dave Thomas Memorial Field or get a new stadium approved in recent years was the final nail in the coffin of the Crickets.

“In modern terms, the Crickets park was a refurbished nightmare. Built quickly and on the cheap, it held 32,000 fans, but lacked amenities. It wasn’t a ballpark built to last decades. The Thomas group always envisioned a new ballpark built within a decade. That never came to be due to potential voter backlash.” said Commissioner Steve Greenberg.

While MLB Commissioner George W. Bush was apparently miffed at the idea of the ULB’s Generals changing names to the Washington Senators two seasons ago, he enlisted high powered help to get approval for a new ballpark to be built in the footprint of Old RFK Stadium.

With the Expos leaving Montreal and the Thomas family looking to sell, the ULB hooked up with Canadian actor Donald Sutherland who had originally put together a group to buy the Expos from Jeffery Loria and keep them in Montreal. When that failed to come to fruition, the group approached the ULB with the idea to bring a ULB team back to Canada. With the sale approved from the Thomas Family to the Sutherland Group, and Labatt Park soon to be sitting empty after just 10 years of baseball, the fates aligned and the Montreal Royals were reborn.

The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League. The Royals are most famous as the top farm club (Class AAA beginning in 1946) of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1939 to 1960, which included the pioneering African-American player, Jackie Robinson, as a member for the 1946 season.

Sutherland’s group include Eugene Levy, Saul Rubinek and The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, the 18th Prime Minister of Canada.

“If we need to make a movie about the Royals, we’ve got 3 fine lead actors.” quipped Mulroney at the press conference.

Who will Win The Players League Eastern Division?

Could Juan Pierre and the Eagles Surprise the League in 2007?
Could Juan Pierre and the Eagles Surprise the League in 2007?

Who will Win the Players League Eastern Division in 2007?Brooklyn has won the Division 4 times. The Colonials match that total with 4 titles to their name. The Crickets have 3 titles to their name, and the Brewers and Eagles have never won since joining the league in 2001 and 2004 respectively. The Houston Apollos won the Division twice before being moved to the Federal League in 2004.

Blizzard Set to Face Colonials in Union Cup

The 2006 Union Cup will feature the Boston Colonials and Buffalo Blizzard.
The 2006 Union Cup will feature the Boston Colonials and Buffalo Blizzard.

The 2006 Union Cup Match up is now set after the Boston Colonials knocked off the Columbus Crickets 4 games to 1. They will head to Buffalo to face the defending champions, the Buffalo Blizzard. Buffalo knocked off the perennial bridesmaids  of the ULB and swept the Portland Mavericks out of the playoffs. Buffalo gains home field advantage, and Games 1 and 2 will be played in Chilly Buffalo before moving to Chilly Boston for Games 3 and 4.

“Pack your long johns boys, we’re going to Buffalo!” said Boston GM Michael Sternberger as the Colonials celebrated after winning Game 5 by a score of 8-7 in Columbus.  Buffalo GM Dale Winchenbaugh will hope to become the 3rd team to become back to back Champions in ULB History.

“The Blizzard are ready!” he said to reporters outside his office at Wegmans Field.

The weather forecast for the new week projects temperatures in the low 30’s to low 40’s in Buffalo and Boston, with the possibility of snow in Buffalo and Boston.

“We could have a potential situation on our hands, but we’re prepared to deal with the cold. We could have a bit of snow for Game 2. Hopefully Mother Nature will take some pity on both cities, and let us avoid having to cancel any games.” said Commissioner Greenberg.

Mavericks, Blizzard, Colonials and Crickets Advance

The 2006 ULB Divisional Cup is now finished, and the ULB League Championship Cup match ups are now set. Four teams remain to challenge for the right to hold the Union Cup high.

The Portland Mavericks swept the San Juan Storm in 4 games, sending one former champion packing. The Mavericks weathered the Storm easily, but Portland remains concerned about the poor performance of Ace pitcher Roy Halladay, who allowed 11 hits and 6 runs in 6 innings of work in Game 1 of the Division Cup. Thankfully for the Mavs, the offense picked up the slack and was able to help Portland squeak out a 7-6 victory. Game 2 went 11 innings, with Portland coming out on top thanks to a Mark Teahen walk out solo home run.

Kevin Forbes hit .381 with 3 HR against the RedHawks to lead Boston to victory.
Kevin Forbes hit .381 with 3 HR against the RedHawks to lead Boston to victory.

The Boston Colonials defeated the Oklahoma City RedHawks, 4 games to 1, and were the only Wild Card to advance to the League Championship Cup. Oklahoma City took Game 1 by a score of 6-5, but the Colonials then dominated the rest of the series. Kevin Forbes and Dernell Stenson both homered in Game 2 and led the way to a 7-5 victory.  Dan Mozingo gave up just 1 run in 6.2 innings of work in Game 3 to help the Colonials to a 4-1 win in Boston. Ben Sheets went 8 innings and allowed just 3 hits in Game 5 as Boston won the series in 5 games with a score of 5-2.

The Columbus Crickets put out the Phoenix Fire in 5 games to eliminate another former Union Cup Champion. The Fire won game one by a score of 5-4 behind Tim Lemon. The rest of the series was not as kind to the fire. A.J. Pierzynski provided a home run to tie Game 2 in the 3rd inning, and Jeff Baker scored on a Pat Osborn double to give the Crickets all the lead they would need in a 2-1 victory in Game 2. Matt White kept the Fire at bay in Game 3, allowing just 2 runs and 4 hits in 8 innings of work in a 5-2 victory for the Crickets. Kerry Wood went  7 innings and allowed just 2 runs in an 8-4 victory in Game 4. The final nail in the Fire’s coffin was Dan Denham who allowed just 2 unearned runs in Game 5. Eric Junge would allow a Jody Gerut solo homer in the 9th to briefly bolster the Fire’s hopes, but he then got Tagg Bozied to ground out and struck out Michael Sirois to send the Crickets to the League Championship Cup with a 4-3 victory.

The defending Union Cup Champion Buffalo Blizzard survived the hardest fought series as they sent the New Orleans/Kansas City Gold Sox back to their adopted home for the rest of the playoffs. Buffalo won Game 1 on a 3 run walkoff home run by Corey Smith in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Blizzard an 11-10 victory. The Gold Sox won Game 2 in the 10th inning on a Tom Brady RBI single in a 4-3 Gold Sox victory. The Gold Sox took a 2-1 lead in the series behind Gen Sueyoshi’s 8 inning, 2 run masterpiece in a 5-2 loss for Buffalo. The Blizzard tied the series in a 15-11 scorefest in which every starter for both teams had a hit. Darren Holt had 5 hits in  5 at bats, with 3 runs scored to lead Buffalo to a hard fought victory. Jeff Flaig added 4 hits and 2 home runs and 4 RBIs as well. Lloyd Peever went the complete game in Game 5 and allowed just 1 run, while Roy Oswalt fell apart early and lasted just 1 inning and allowed 5 runs. The Gold Sox would win 11-1 and take a 3-2 lead in the series. Antonio McDowell,  Bryan Bass and Gene Smith all homered for the Gold Sox. With the series on the line, Gerik Baxter turned in a dominant performance and held the Gold Sox to 2 runs on 6 hits in 8 innings of work. Corey Smith and Brent Abernathy both homered for the Blizzard as they went on to win 6-2 and send the series to a decisive Game 7. Kris Benson went 7.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits. But Gen Sueyoshi lasted just 1.2 innings and allowed 5 runs, 2 of them unearned. Bryan Bass had the unfortunately costly error in the second which led to the unearned runs by Ben Cordova and Brent Abernathy and ultimately drove Sueyoshi from the game. Bass was also caught stealing in the top of the 2nd to end the inning. Darren Holt added another 3 hits to bring his Division Cup average to .433 with 13 hits, as well as 11 RBI’s. The Blizzard would secure a 8-4 victory, with Stan Green striking out Auturo McDowell to end the game and send the Blizzard to the League Championship Cup as they continue to attempt to become 3 team to win back to back Union Cups.

In the League Championship Cup it will be the Boston Colonials hosting the Columbus Crickets and the Portland Mavericks hosting the defending champs in the Buffalo Blizzard.

ULB Divisional Cup Preview

The Union Cup Playoffs kick off tonight, and we have some interesting matchups in the first round of the Playoffs.

Victor Martinez and the Buffalo Blizzard begin their quest to repeat as Union Cup Champions tonight.
Victor Martinez and the Buffalo Blizzard begin their quest to repeat as Union Cup Champions tonight.

Boston Colonials (85-77) vs Oklahoma City Red Hawks (100-62)

The RedHawks took the season series, going 8-6 against the Colonials. However in their last meeting in September, the Colonials took 3 of 4 from Oklahoma City. In that series, they outscored the RedHawks 26-19. Josh Lyons was 2-0 against Boston, and Dan Mozingo played the RedHawks hard, beating them twice this season. Boston will look to keep the momentum of that recent series alive as they head to Oklahoma City tonight.

Phoenix Fire (91-71) vs Columbus Crickets (95-67)

The Fire and Crickets split their season series 7-7. The Crickets won the last series in September 2 games to 1. The Fire will be without ace Andy Yount, and they will have to hope that Tim Lemon can win a couple of games for them. He went 3-0 against the Crickets this season with a 1.59 ERA. If the Crickets’s bats stay hot and can get to the Fire’s bullpen, the series could end badly for Phoenix.

New Orleans/Kansas City Gold Sox (91-71) vs Buffalo Blizzard (94-68)

The Blizzard are the defending champs, but lost the season series against their divisional rivals 12 games to 11. The Gold Sox swept the Blizzard in their last meeting, which ended yesterday. If the Blizzard hope to repeat as Union Cup Champions, they will have to go through the Gold Sox, and a rabid fan base that has enjoyed being the temporary home of the New Orleans franchise. Luckily, the Blizzard will have home field advantage for the first two games before heading to Kansas City. Roy Oswalt could be the key to victory for Buffalo.

San Juan Storm (85-77)  vs Portland Mavericks (96-66)

The Mavericks won the season series 10 games to 4, and though the two franchises haven’t seen each other since August, you have to give the Mavericks rotation a slight edge in the series.  Andy Pettitte dominated the Storm when he faced them, and Roy Halladay and Mike V. Gonzalez all have good numbers against the Storm. The Storm won the first three games against the Mavs and went 1-10 the rest of the way, including the last 8 meetings. Clearly things look bad for the Storm right now, but the Mavericks also have a long history of losing in the Playoffs. (Most Appearances, Most Losses in ULB Playoff history…) We’ll find out if the Mavericks can finally crack the code soon enough or if the Storm will once again send Portland home early.