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BowieMike

Orioles cut ties with Bluefield

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From Steve Melewski's blog:

Here is a statement from Andy MacPhail:

"On behalf of the Orioles, I wish to express our deepest appreciation to the town and residents of Bluefield for their support of the Orioles organization and over a thousand players who have worn the Bluefield Orioles uniform in the last 53 seasons. While extremely difficult, we believe the decision to end our affiliation with Bluefield is in the best interest of the franchise moving forward. The history of Orioles baseball is not complete without Bluefield, and we have enormous respect and gratitude for the club and the community that helped launch the careers of legends such as Cal Ripken Jr. and Boog Powell. We hope and expect that the next organization in Bluefield enjoys as long and as productive a relationship as we have enjoyed."

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It is unfortunate but necessary. The Orioles were extending their resources too much with seven teams. With the other teams in Aberdeen and Sarasota, Bluefield was left out in the dark.

Though this years caps and design were the best to date IMO.

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Loved going to see games at Bluefield. It's a shame from that stand point, but seven teams seemed excessive and honestly, i'm not sure the organization is getting bang for it's buck with so many non-prospects at these lower levels.

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wow...unbelievable.

Goodnight sweet Bluefield. My a flight of Angels sing thee to thy rest.

My big issue with losing Bluefield is that it extends the Orioles as a brand quite far beyond the boundaries of the Maryland/PA/Virginia area. I get it, though, this team has a lot of affiliates, and I'm sure it can be taxing on resources.

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I assume the O's preferred to have a GCL team because it strengthens their ties with Sarasota.

I think the GCL is a better league for most HS kids and the young Latin players to break into. A kis like Machado could probably handle the Appy League but kids like Narron, Webb, Avery, etc. are better off starting out in an easier league like the GCL. The Appy League has it's place but most college guys are going to go to the NY Penn league. A guy like Brenden Webb would have just repeated the GCL this year with no Bluefield. The O's are probably losing something because Bluefield is a stepping stone in a player's progression. I guess they just feel they aren't losing that much. That is, unless they replace Bluefield with a team in another rookie league.

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Definitely came out of nowhere, at least it did for me. It's disappointing on some level, but it probably wasn't going to last forever. The Yankees left Oneonta, the Dodgers left Vero Beach, and now the Orioles leave Bluefield. Even the longest standing traditions end eventually.

One question I do have though is didn't the Orioles at one time say they were going to discontinue the GCL Orioles? I feel like a few years ago, either early or mid 2000's they said they weren't going to have a team in that league, for the same reason they're leaving Bluefield. Don't quote me on that though, I might be going crazy.

Edited by ShaneDawg85

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Definitely came out of nowhere, at least it did for me. It's disappointing on some level, but it probably wasn't going to last forever. The Yankees left Oneonta, the Dodgers left Vero Beach, and now the Orioles leave Bluefield. Even the longest standing traditions end eventually.

One question I do have though is didn't the Orioles at one time say they were going to discontinue the GCL Orioles? I feel like a few years ago, either early or mid 2000's they said they weren't going to have the team in that league, for much of the save reason they're leaving Bluefield. Don't quote me on that though, I might be going crazy.

According to Roch, they did:

I seem to recall that they dropped the GCL team a few years ago and brought it back

http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roch/2010/08/machado-man-2.html

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I think the GCL is a better league for most HS kids and the young Latin players to break into. A kis like Machado could probably handle the Appy League but kids like Narron, Webb, Avery, etc. are better off starting out in an easier league like the GCL. The Appy League has it's place but most college guys are going to go to the NY Penn league. A guy like Brenden Webb would have just repeated the GCL this year with no Bluefield. The O's are probably losing something because Bluefield is a stepping stone in a player's progression. I guess they just feel they aren't losing that much. That is, unless they replace Bluefield with a team in another rookie league.

I highly doubt the Orioles go back to a seventh team. That is not the message I got from AM's statement.

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The mian good thing about Bluefield versus the GCL League is that players get to play at night. I hope with the upgrades the Orioles will play their GCL games at night which would better for everyone. The players get out of the heat and humidity and they get used to hitting at night.

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The mian good thing about Bluefield versus the GCL League is that players get to play at night. I hope with the upgrades the Orioles will play their GCL games at night which would better for everyone. The players get out of the heat and humidity and they get used to hitting at night.

I will enquire if they plan on replacing the lights at Twin Lakes since it is likely where the next years GCL Orioles home games will be played.

The problem with playing at night for most of the teams here is that this would one cause a scheduling headache between the GCL and Florida State Leagues (FSL) (most of the other practice fields are not equiped for night games which means playing in a rated field, the ones already used by FSL teams).

The another issue with playing night games here is the weather. Most of our thunderstorms hit around 5-7 pm which has caused havoc at times in FSL play. Unfortunately even with the sun going down it really doesn't make a huge difference in the heat and humidity.

I think 12:00 games were decided due to the fact it gives the teams time to travel to their apponents fields and back and normally weather is not much of a factor (rain that is) during the 12:00-2:00 period that the games run.

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