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BowieMike

Orioles cut ties with Bluefield

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So what does this mean for guys like Bob Bundy and Corey Thomas in their second years? I'm talking about HS draftees who only manage to get into a few games their first year. They'll get thrown into the deep end with college players at Aberdeen? Or will they be left to dominate against first year HS players in the GCL?

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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.

Thanks for the info Craig.

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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.

Why is that Tony, does the GCL field have no lights?

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So what does this mean for guys like Bob Bundy and Corey Thomas in their second years? I'm talking about HS draftees who only manage to get into a few games their first year. They'll get thrown into the deep end with college players at Aberdeen? Or will they be left to dominate against first year HS players in the GCL?

An interesting question really but maybe it comes down to this, do the Orioles really draft enough guys out of high school to worry about whether they play another year in the GCL if they are not good enough to make Delmarva in their second year?

From the pitching side I think losing Bluefield hurts a bit because Joe likes to draft the younger more project able guys, and they need a place like Bluefield for them to pitch.

If it were up to me, I'd get rid of the GCL before Bluefield, but since they just started a relationship with Sarasota I could see that it would look bad to pull out of the GCL.

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If it were up to me, I'd get rid of the GCL before Bluefield, but since they just started a relationship with Sarasota I could see that it would look bad to pull out of the GCL.

I assume since the Orioles and Sarasota are sinking money into upgrading the fields and Buck O' Neil facility at Twin Lakes, the Orioles stay in the GCL is likely cemented for the time being (who knows really).

Why is that Tony, does the GCL field have no lights?

Twin Lakes has lights. However; I was told a while back they don't meet the requirements set for league night play (since the fields are county property they can be used for other play like little league which apparently the lights meet the standards for that play).

Other minor league facilities (the Twins, Red Sox and Rays I know off the top) don't have lights at all. In order to play night games at these locations they would have to play in the stadiums at these locations. The Rays have done this at times but they have to schedule around the Charlotte Stone Crabs, a Florida State League team, when they do. The Red Sox as far as I know don't use their major league facility during the GCL season and I don't know the working relation between the GCL Twins and Hammond stadium (which also has a FSL team the Miracles).

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I have been an Orioles fan since 1965 and have lived and followed the Bluefield Orioles for many years.

The decision to end the affiiliation with Bluefield is yet another example of the end of the Oriole Way and a continued alienation of the many fans in this part of the country who followed the Orioles in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and through today.

There is ABSOLUTELY no justification for taking this much needed part of the Appalachian region of our nation at a time when the economy continues to suffer and at the same time to insult the generations of Orioles fans who live throughout the Appalachian region.

There are many fans who will never get over this, including many who attendees with disabilities who live and die with the Bluefield Orioles. There are multigeneration fans of this franchise and it is just APPALLING that the history of the Appalachian League is not appreciated or sustained. It is fine to have a Gulf Coast League but there are few minor leagues with the history of the Appalachian League.

I, for one, will never again attend another Orioles game given this unnecessary and crass decision by Andy Macphail and I will encourage all Bluefield Orioles fans to switch their allegiance and dollars to another major league team.

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I have been an Orioles fan since 1965 and have lived and followed the Bluefield Orioles for many years.

The decision to end the affiiliation with Bluefield is yet another example of the end of the Oriole Way and a continued alienation of the many fans in this part of the country who followed the Orioles in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and through today.

There is ABSOLUTELY no justification for taking this much needed part of the Appalachian region of our nation at a time when the economy continues to suffer and at the same time to insult the generations of Orioles fans who live throughout the Appalachian region.

There are many fans who will never get over this, including many who attendees with disabilities who live and die with the Bluefield Orioles. There are multigeneration fans of this franchise and it is just APPALLING that the history of the Appalachian League is not appreciated or sustained. It is fine to have a Gulf Coast League but there are few minor leagues with the history of the Appalachian League.

I, for one, will never again attend another Orioles game given this unnecessary and crass decision by Andy Macphail and I will encourage all Bluefield Orioles fans to switch their allegiance and dollars to another major league team.

I can't blame you for feeling this way. It totally sucks for Appalachian region fans of the Orioles, but I really don't think this was a decision that the Orioles came to quickly. The reality of baseball has changed and the Orioles minor league talents were being spread too thin under the current arrangement. The good news is that Bowen Field remains a gem and hopefully Bluefield can attract another team from a franchise that doesn't have as many minor league teams as the Orioles do. If they can, the talent in Bluefield will be better than what has been there the last few years and the fans there will be better off for it.

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From the mid-70's, when I lived in Independence, VA for a few years, thru the early 90's, I traveled throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. I attended more than a few games at Bluefield, as well as Charlotte, NC, during that time. I was upset when the Orioles pulled their AA team out of Charlotte, and it's sad to see them end a long relationship with Bluefield. You could always tell when the Bluefield Orioles were in town because the stadium lights lit up the night sky and you could see it for miles around.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that baseball is a business.

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Consider me a very disappointed Os fan in Appy League territory. I just caught a Bluefield game this week in Bristol. It's nice to put on an Orioles jersey and drive down the road and show your pride in the organization.

So I forget that I guess. Oh well, it's not like the Orioles stocked Bluefield with much if any talent. Most of those kids this week looked like they belonged on a high school team with little better than DII projections.

Certainly there wasn't enough talent to stretch between three short season teams. Unfortunately, the team closest to me got the short end of the stick.

I'll miss the Bluefield Orioles. RIP.

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I have been an Orioles fan since 1965 and have lived and followed the Bluefield Orioles for many years.

The decision to end the affiiliation with Bluefield is yet another example of the end of the Oriole Way and a continued alienation of the many fans in this part of the country who followed the Orioles in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and through today.

There is ABSOLUTELY no justification for taking this much needed part of the Appalachian region of our nation at a time when the economy continues to suffer and at the same time to insult the generations of Orioles fans who live throughout the Appalachian region.

There are many fans who will never get over this, including many who attendees with disabilities who live and die with the Bluefield Orioles. There are multigeneration fans of this franchise and it is just APPALLING that the history of the Appalachian League is not appreciated or sustained. It is fine to have a Gulf Coast League but there are few minor leagues with the history of the Appalachian League.

I, for one, will never again attend another Orioles game given this unnecessary and crass decision by Andy Macphail and I will encourage all Bluefield Orioles fans to switch their allegiance and dollars to another major league team.

I understand this reaction completely and feel for you. I hope Bluefield gets a great new affiliation. It truly is a fun place to watch baseball.

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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.

Right -- Baltimore had no GCL team for a few years, until maybe four years ago, when they picked one up again. I think they found that Bluefield was just too advanced for most of their highschoolers and even some of their free agent and high round college picks to start there. Now their problem will be players who are too advanced for the GCL but can't hack it at Aberdeen. To be fair though, they have been one of only a few major league organizations that have affilates at all 3 short season levels in the U.S.

I'm personally saddened because for the last 6 years I've trecked to Bluefield in July to see a couple of games. It was a great escape to a cooler summer climate and, believe it or not, the little stadium has become my favorite baseball venue anywhere. On balance, I'd rather see a game there than at Camden Yards.

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This is my favorite story ever involving Bluefield.

During a game at Kingsport on August 31, 1957, Steve Dalkowski struck out 24 Bluefield hitters in a single minor league game, yet lost 8–4. He had issued 18 walks, hit four batters, and threw six wild pitches.

Can you imagine? How many pitches did he throw?!?!?!

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This is my favorite story ever involving Bluefield.

Can you imagine? How many pitches did he throw?!?!?!

A minimum of 148, but probably a whole lot more.

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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.

Gulfbird44, Your quote from Bull Durham regarding Butch Davis was great. Butch was in the Bowie dugout tonight along with Mike Bordick and BJ Surhoff. He is a great guy and even better roving coach.

Edited by BaysoxFan39
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I have been an Orioles fan since 1965 and have lived and followed the Bluefield Orioles for many years.

The decision to end the affiiliation with Bluefield is yet another example of the end of the Oriole Way and a continued alienation of the many fans in this part of the country who followed the Orioles in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and through today.

There is ABSOLUTELY no justification for taking this much needed part of the Appalachian region of our nation at a time when the economy continues to suffer and at the same time to insult the generations of Orioles fans who live throughout the Appalachian region.

There are many fans who will never get over this, including many who attendees with disabilities who live and die with the Bluefield Orioles. There are multigeneration fans of this franchise and it is just APPALLING that the history of the Appalachian League is not appreciated or sustained. It is fine to have a Gulf Coast League but there are few minor leagues with the history of the Appalachian League.

I, for one, will never again attend another Orioles game given this unnecessary and crass decision by Andy Macphail and I will encourage all Bluefield Orioles fans to switch their allegiance and dollars to another major league team.

Most of my family live in or near Richmond, VA. When the Braves moved out after almost 37 years it was the worst that could happen to the city. Sometimes things happen for a reason. The word floating around (just hearsay) is that the SF Giants will not renew their contract with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Wash Nationals will move their AAA team out of Syracuse and will place them in Richmond with a new stadium in the works within 2 years next to the Diamond. The Nationals will then have their A (Potomac), AA (Harrisburg, PA) and AAA (Richmond) all within 100 miles of their dugout. A win win. The chance a ML team will move their minor league players to Bluefield is a strong possibility as early as next season. It may seem bleak now but there could be sunny days in the horizon. Until then buy up all the Orioles/Bluefield hats and stuff you can because they will be great memorabilia.

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