All posts by IndyBallIsland

28. Baseball fan. I prefer indy ball and the minors over the majors. If it's summer, you can find me at a ballpark. The Washington Wild Things and the Pittsburgh Pirates are my "hometown" teams, but I'm always up for taking a baseball road trip! Follow me on Twitter: @kmthomp29

Western Association Of Professional Baseball

Today, Indy Ball Island was sent an official press release from the newly formed Western Association of Professional Baseball (WAPB).

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A NEW LEAGUE IS BORN

by Western Association

Newport Beach, CA – The Board of Directors representing the development of North America’s latest premier independent professional baseball league development, proudly announcing the official formation of the Western Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (“WAPB”) an association of independent professional baseball clubs owned by individual ownership groups throughout the Western United States. The League plans to kick off its inaugural season in June of 2020 and is expected to host 8 teams to be located throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada. 

The League’s inaugural season will feature a 78-game regular season schedule to begin in the third week of June and wrap up in the first week of September with the top four franchises in the League advancing to the Western Association playoffs in hopes of being crowned League Champion. 

Seasoned professional sports and media executive Peter Young who is tasked with leading the League’s business had this to say about the start-up Western Association, “I’m looking forward to another startup opportunity.  I was fortunate enough to be with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in their first two seasons in the Northern League, winning a championship in 1994.  Then in 2005, I was named the president of the Calgary Vipers as we came into existence a mere two (2) months before the season started but only missed the playoffs in the inaugural season by half a game.  

Like many premier independent professional baseball leagues, the Western Association will seek the highest level of talent available and the League and its’ teams will look to take advantage of the amazing talent pool of the regions we service with both inexperienced players and those with Major League Baseball playing experience that remain unsigned calling the warm-weather states that round up our market home. 

We look forward to serving markets now and in the future that has had limited exposure to professional baseball yet have the right formula of a growing population, strong corporate sector and like most great communities an ever-growing need for affordable family entertainment. 

As we announce our birth, please stay tuned for additional announcements and in the meantime please be sure to follow us on all of our social platforms and be sure to check back often.

The league does have an official website up and running as well at: westernprobaseball.com

The site does have an ABOUT US section (similar to the info found in the press release) and a section on the STAFF involved.

Beyond this information, not much else has become available. Stay tuned to Indy Ball Island in the upcoming weeks and months for more information.

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MLB, Atlantic League Announce Additional Rule Changes for Second Half

At the beginning of the season, Indy Ball Island reported about the partnership between the MLB and the Atlantic League. This partnership included experimental rules that the MLB wanted to try, but didn’t want to implement in their own minor league system.

Now, they have announced additional rule changes for the second half of the season, starting tomorrow (July 12th).

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Four new initiatives to debut in Atlantic League games beginning Friday, July 12
(Lancaster, Pa., July 11, 2019) – Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced today four additional experimental playing rules that will be in place during the second half of the 2019 Atlantic League Championship Season. The list of changes is as follows:

  • Pitcher is required to step off the rubber in order to attempt a pickoff
  • One (1) foul bunt is permitted with two strikes before a strikeout is called
  • Batters may “steal” first base on any pitch not caught in flight (the batter can be thrown out if he attempts to run)
  • “Check swing” rule made more batter-friendly

These new experimental playing rules will be used along with the current rules and equipment changes that were put in place at the start of the 2019 season. These include:

  • Home plate umpire assisted by radar tracking system and an MLB-defined strike zone
  • No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than pitching changes and medical visits
  • Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters or reach the end of an inning before they can exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured
  • Increase size of bases from 15 inches square to 18 inches square
  • Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45

MLB will analyze the effects of these changes before deciding on potential additional modifications for the 2020 ALPB Championship Season.

The experimental playing rule and equipment changes are part of a new three-year agreement between MLB and ALPB. The agreement covers the transfer of players from ALPB to MLB and enhances MLB’s scouting coverage of ALPB games. MLB will continue to provide statistical and radar tracking data from ALPB games to MLB Clubs.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of interest in these initiatives from our players, coaches and fans throughout the first half of the season,” said Rick White, ALPB President. “We look forward to working further with Major League Baseball and observing these additional rule changes in action throughout the remainder of the year.”

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) 

With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.