Thursday, January 21, 2016

California Winter League

Today is the first day of the rest of some young hopeful's life. The California Winter League starts today in - you guessed it - California. To be precise, it's in Palm Springs. It's a league manned by coaches out of independent baseball (it's affiliated with the Frontier League) and filled with teams with creative names like the the Power, the Chill, the Bootleggers. One strange thing about their naming structure is the fact that a lot of the teams have location names that have nothing to do with California (the New York Colonials) and about half of them have Canadian place names. I'm not sure what that's all about, but if someone can get me a Canadian A's or Manitoba North Stars hat it would be cool.

Touted as an instructional league, the CWL is really more of a "get in front of some scouts" league. Kids who want to play pro ball, but who have not been picked up otherwise can go there and prove themselves. Many get picked up by pro teams in independent ball and some lucky few end up getting snagged by franchise baseball.

All the games are played on two fields and admission seems to be a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, for those of us not in Palm Springs there does not seem to be any kind of audio or video stream of the games. You can get standings and some stats from the league's website, but not much more. This is probably a good thing for me since I don't think my boss would appreciate me watching baseball all day while I'm supposed to be working. However, a YouTube stream would probably help both the kids and the league, but I don't know how hard that is to accomplish so I shan't criticize too much.

Anyway, good luck to everybody out there in California and I hope to see some of you in the Appalachian League this Summer or maybe when I go watch the Evansville Otters or Florence Freedom this year.