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Reminder: No need to be at Maehara for rest of season
August 14, 2013 - Robert Collias
We reported this online Monday and in Tuesday's paper, but don't show up expecting to see Na Koa Ikaika Maui play baseball anymore this season because the team has cancelled the final four home games that were set for tonight through Saturday.
Why? Well, the major reason, according to my talk with GM David Andrus, is that they are tired after playing six games in Japan from July 30 to Aug. 4 and then coming home for a five-game set in Hilo that finished Sunday.
“We really didn’t want to do that, but we finally came to the conclusion that the fans had seen both these teams teams play each other a bunch of times this year,” Andrus told me Monday. “And that it was the best for the team to let them rest and be at the top of their game to get into the playoffs.”
This is the second time in three years that the team will not finish the season as scheduled — two years ago, the final 27 games were wiped off the slate, including four at home. That finish seemed largely the fault of a team in Illinois (believe it or not), but the fatc remains the slate was not completed as published, promised, whatever y'all want to call it.
Now, Andrus says the teams in Maui and Hilo, both owned by Bob Young, want to be fresh for the playoffs, which will be held in Northern California beginning Monday (again, never mind that pesky schedule linked above) when other prospective owners will be watching.
With a little planning, the Hilo and Maui teams could have shaved some or all of the five games off the slate that they just played on the Big Island — they average about 100 fans per game there. Also, they had two days off to travel home from Japan and they had Monday and Tuesday scheduled off already this week.
I'm not sure if the powers-that-be for Na Koa realize the impact this sort of thing has on the fans who have been faithful to them over their four-year run here, a history that has included several missteps (and that is as kindly as I can put it).
One thing this does avoid is a battle for the War Memorial Stadium locker rooms on Saturday when the Lahainaluna football team plays Kapaa at 4:30 p.m. and Maui High faces Konawaena at 7 on what would have been the home finale for Na Koa.
Andrus said that fans holding tickets — that were purchased, not freebies — can get refunds by calling the team at 891-2221 or visiting the team office located at 240 Alamaha St., Unit N-18 in Kahului, or any Minit Stop store.
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