The World Independent League emerges and grabs PEBA franchises

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Updated: August 9, 2016

There was widespread shock when just before the PEBA Winter Meetings Fox TV, through it’s international arm World Sports TV, announced the funding of a new international baseball league. They will be contributing a fantastic sum to establish the new World independent League. This, they say , was forced on them by the new PEBA National Media deal. Fox had in the past relied on agreeing local media deals with PEBA teams in their regional stations locality but the PEBA’s taking in-house all media contracts had destroyed this business model. Consequently the Board of Fox TV had decided that if they could not show any PEBA baseball they would show their own and subsequently through their Internationally based World Sports TV would fund an initial eight team league which would contain teams in America, Europe and Asia. The biggest shock though was that six of the participants would according to the release be current PEBA teams.

Without this revelation the whole thing might have passed without much comment but the initial press release stated that a number of yet unnamed PEBA franchises would be tendering their resignations and would from 2024 be competing in the new “World Independent League”. This would be the biggest upheaval the PEBA has faced since the LRS scandal . I managed to catch up with Commissioner Laverick as he travelled home from the Winter Meetings where he had this to say,

“Yes, it’s a big upheaval but we’ve copped with this sort of thing before, the LRS amalgamation, and come through it. We can now confirm that the teams leaving the PEBA will be Charleston Statesmen, Manchester Maulers, Marseille Fishermen, New Jersey Hitmen, Niihama Ghosts and the Tempe Knights. I met with all their representatives and thrashed out a deal on the eve of the Winter Meetings which would allow them to leave on good terms. The PEBA has been sailing in choppy waters recently and this could perhaps be a good deal for the league. We allowed the affected franchises to leave after they agreed to a contraction draft in which all the remaining PEBA franchises could select two players to remain in the PEBA. This draft was held during the Winter Meetings although some teams refused to participate because of the short notice, the door is still open for them to submit their selections via the PEBA Commissioners Office for the next five days. Doubtless the PEBA teams will be announcing their selections in the coming days.

Going forward we have identified a revised structure for the PEBA that will start from 2024. I expect PEBA Schedule Guru Reg LeBlanc will be briefing you more on this within the week. We also would like to welcome San Juan into the PEBA fold after Rio Grande headed there after just a few brief years on mainland America, they had of course been previously part of the LRS. 2024 will be an exciting season for us all with several new GM’s in place, the new structure and of course there will be some interest in how their former PEBA brethren fare in the new WIL.”

 

The biggest losers in the affair would appear to be the City of Madison. They were rumoured to be negotiating behind the scenes with two PEBA teams to come and fill their brand new facility which turned out to be Tempe and New Jersey. The formation of the WIL seduced both franchises and they left to compete in pastures new without giving their former suitor a backward glance. That Madison staring at a locked, empty facility with little hope of filling it.

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