Golden’s Castle Tabbed as New PEBA Commish

Updated: January 10, 2019

Ray D. Enze, NLN baseball Blogger

December 17, 2027: Asheville, North Carolina – It came from way out of left field. Somewhere stage right, perhaps. Not directly from within the PEBA community, but certainly no stranger. Not a former GM, as the Planetary Extreme Baseball Alliance has done in the past – where the previous six Commissioners came straight out of the General Managers office. Nope. This time around, the owners and GMs of the PEBA searched outside the box and nabbed someone from Big Business. Someone with organizational and financial experience to lead what was once a small league-business venture, but has now become exactly what he’s familiar with – Big Business.

Today, in front of a large crowd of reporters, League and team personnel, the PEBA presented their 7th Commissioner in their 22nd season. That person is Edward ‘Harry’ Castle, 69, the former-CFO of Golden Entertainment – the overseeing corporate entity that owns, amongst other things, the Aurora Borealis. Castle, a cousin of the Topham clan that has owned the Borealis since their purchase of the team from the Estate of the late John Rodriguez, Sr (in 2011), has been credited for increased earnings for the company over the last 10-years.  His resignation from Golden, three days ago, caught The Street by surprise, and perhaps unexpectedly has contributed to the company’s 3% stock decline over the past three days.

Aurora GM, Will Topham, addressed the crowd, introducing the PEBA’s new leader. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to inform you that the Leagues leadership has wasted no time in it’s search for a new Commissioner.” A smile crossing his face, “We wanted someone whose experiences were outside the world of baseball, and yet was not totally out of the loop. I felt confident about who fit that description, made my recommendation to the search committee, and a brief interview process sealed the deal.” Topham scanned the crowd, sipped his water and continued, “I vouch for this guy. He’s not a stranger to the PEBA backrooms. A truly calm, steady influence in any boardroom, I am confident that when the public gets to know Harry, you will agree. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you my friend, and our new Commissioner, Edward Castle.”

To great applause Castle rose and strode to the podium – for a second time in a week. He gently bowed to the audience, then turned to the collection on the stage – Topham, GMs Duane Rudis (Kentucky), Dylan Krupilis (Toyama) and Reg LeBlanc (New Orleans). Aurora owner Michael Topham, Jr and former-Aurora GM and 2nd Commissioner of the PEBA John Rodriguez, Jr and new Golden CFO, Wellman Castle (Edward’s brother) all stood to honor the new PEBA Head.

“Thank you,” Castle began. “I am honored to be the one who has been selected to lead this League forward. The PEBA has experienced some challenges over the past few years – challenges that would have taken a lesser organization down. It is my experience that organizations that survive trying times abound with leaders; strong leaders. That is what I have seen, looking into the heart of the PEBA all these years. Strong Leaders.” A small cough cleared his throat, and then he continued. “I come to this job not just as a numbers man. I know the numbers – sure, but I know the people in organizations across the league. I’ve established relationships. I’m not just a bumped up GM – I’m an outsider with a fresh look and I’m an insider who knows where things work and where they don’t.” He looked up from his notes and looked firmly at the collection of people in the audience. “It is my goal for openess and transparency. I am here to serve you.” And with that he spread his hands out to the crowd and opened them wide, in a collective nature.

Edward Castle will be the 7th Leader of the PEBA, following in the footsteps of John Rodriguez, Sr (2007 – 2010), who was replaced by his son, John Rodriguez, Jr (2011 – 2018), upon his death and sale of the Borealis. Former-GM of the San Antonio Calzones of Laredo, Matt Higgins (2019 – mid-2023) followed, his tempestuous personality being his hallmark, promising to never leave a crowd bored. Englishmen Nigel Laverick (mid-2023 – mid-2024), the former-GM of numerous clubs, including London followed Higgins to begin a carousel of Commissioners, with Reg LeBlanc (mid-2024 – 2025) and then Morris Ragland of Okinawa (2026 – 2027) following in short order. Castle, coming into the job with a lack of… distraction, if I can use that word, bodes well for the League. Well… one can always hope.

Castle will be jumping into the pot while the water is boiling – the Rule 5 Draft is on the horizon. The entire League has signed on with a new German tech company (OOTP, Orangenhaut Organisieren Technisch Programme) to revamp the League’s entire communications system.  The draft system is in need of renegotiating with the Players Union and a living, breathing Constitution is also in need of some… clarity. When I had a moment with Castle, he simply told me he was “ready to hit the ground running.”