WAILUKU - Na Koa Ikaika Maui's scheduled game against the Lake County Fielders did not take place Wednesday night at Maehara Stadium because the cash-strapped Fielders did not make the trip.
At approximately 9 p.m. HST, the North American League posted on its website that Lake County is out of the league.
"The North American League is disappointed to announce that the Lake County Fielders have eliminated themselves from the league by failing to appear for their scheduled series today," the short message on the website said. "Schedule changes will be announced shortly."
Maui had been scheduled to start a season-ending 23-game road trip with 11 games in Lake County, Aug. 15-23.
"Obviously when a team doesn't show up, it has serious ramifications for us all," Na Koa managing partner Bob Young said before the league announcement. "We are trying to make the best of it and I have nothing more to say under the circumstances right now."
After Wednesday's scheduled game was called off, Na Koa played an intersquad game. During that game, a public-address announcement from Na Koa vice president Bob Elder said that Maui will be off today and have exhibition games Friday and Saturday.
|Rio Grande Valley||42||29||.592||2|
McAllen 9, Edinburg 6
Rio Grande Valley 13, San Angelo 7
Chico 7, Yuma 6, 10 innings
Lake County at Maui, ccd.
Today's Games (HST)
Edinburg at McAllen, 2:05 p.m.
Rio Grande Valley at San Angelo, 2:05 p.m.
Yuma at Chico, 4:05 p.m.
In the fifth inning of Maui's game against the Edmonton Capitals on Tuesday, Na Koa had announced to a crowd of 934 that the Lake County series was a go. The Fielders had an off day Tuesday for travel to Maui.
The Chicago Tribune reported Saturday that the Fielders were possibly days away from disbanding over a stadium dispute with the city of Zion, Ill. A game Friday in Lake County against the Calgary Vipers was suspended after 1 1/2 innings when the umpires felt the baseballs supplied by the home team were insufficient, several news outlets reported.
Maui manager Garry Templeton said he was unsure if Wednesday's game will be scored a forfeit.
"I don't know how they are going to rule this, but I would imagine it would have to be a forfeit because they didn't show up," he said.
Templeton, a 16-year major league veteran in his 13th season as a minor league manager, said the unscheduled break is something he has never experienced.
"That is tough on our team because our team has nothing to do with it," Templeton said. "This is hard on these kids because these kids have been here and they are looking to play some baseball and all of a sudden you have got a team that is unwilling to come. It makes it hard on us as coaches, it is hard on our owner, it is hard on our fans, it is hard on the community because they are expecting to see baseball and, like I said, you have the Lake County owner who is not cooperating."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org