BREAKING: Rochester Red Wings won't operate Batavia Muckdogs in 2018
The New York-Penn League has blocked a proposal for the Rochester Red Wings to return to Batavia in 2018 as the operators of the Batavia Muckdogs.
This past season was the end of a 10-year agreement and sources say the league said it would not approve an extension.
What that means for the future of the Batavia Muckdogs is unclear. The 2018 NYPL schedule has already been released and it includes the Muckdogs.
Brian Paris, president of the Genesee County Baseball Club, the community group that owns the team, wasn't immediately available for comment.
Naomi Silver, president, and CEO of the Red Wings confirmed this morning that the Red Wings would not operate the team in 2018. She said he had no idea what the league or the owners planned for 2018.
"We offered to stay but the league could have prevented us from operating the team 10 years ago and they allowed us to operate it for 10 years, so I can't really fault them," Silver said.
The agreement between the Red Wings and Genesee County Baseball includes a provision that if the team is sold, the Red Wings would receive 5 percent of the proceeds for each year the organization ran the team. That agreement, Silver said, survives this decision by the league.
Silver said it was a pleasure for the Red Wings to operate the team this past decade.
"I hope things work out," Silver said. "It's a wonderful community. It's just not as well-populated a community that it has to be, to be able to support a team and so you can't fault the community."
UPDATE 10:32 a.m.: The office of the New York-Penn League is in St. Petersburg, Fla. A call to the league's phone number this morning went to voice mail for league president Ben Hayes. No messages can be left because the mailbox is full.
UPDATE 10:50 a.m.: Brian Paris said it's unclear who will operate the team in 2018, perhaps the league, but there is nothing settled.
"We're currently working with the league to determine the outcome for the Muckdogs," Paris said. "The hope is that we'll be playing and we will have a season in 2018."
He said he has a good working relationship with the league and Ben Hayes.
"We're working with the league and we're excited about hopefully making an announcement in the near future as to the outcome," Paris said.
Asked if the league could just shut down the team, he said he doesn't know.
"I think the league is in the business of promoting baseball and they're going to do what is best for promoting baseball in the New York-Penn League," Paris said.
UPDATE: Don Rock, the Muckdog's groundskeeper, left the following comment below:
I would like to start out by saying THANK YOU to Naomi Silver and the Rochester Redwings organization for being there for all of us the past 10 years. I have worked as the groundskeeper for the past 16 years with my 1st year in the office, for a total of 17 years and all this is a major heartbreak to me. I AM DEVASTATED, to say the least. I hope things work out because I LOVE MY JOB very much. After hearing the news, I went and sat in the grandstands and cried. I was and still am very upset. The stadium has been my life.
We've made repeated calls to the NYPL office in St. Petersburg, Fla., and have not been able to reach anybody.
I would like to start out by saying THANK YOU to Naomi Silver and the Rochester Redwings organization for being there for all of us the past 10 years. I have worked as the groundskeeper for the past 16 years with my 1st year in the office, for a total of 17 years and all this is a major heart break to me. I AM DEVASTATED to say the least. I hope things work out because I LOVE MY JOB very much. After hearing the news, I went and sat in the grandstands and cried. I was and still am very upset. The stadium has been my life.
somebody will take over the team rocko, maybe the league itself like the story mentions....I hope so