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It's official: Baseball here in January
The Golden Baseball League announced Wednesday that it will proceed with its plan to host a four-team winter league at Desert Sun Stadium in January after reaching an agreement with the Yuma Parks and Recreation Department.
The Yuma Scorpions, Canada Miners, Snow Falcons and Sonora Surf Dawgs will be the charter clubs of the Arizona Winter League which will be presided over by GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt.
"The purpose of the Arizona Winter League is not only to bring great entertainment to Yuma during a time of year where you've got a lot of baseball fans that don't get to see the Scorpions in the summertime but also to give the players a developmental opportunity to prepare themselves for spring training and spring tryouts whether its with the independent league or its with an affiliated organization," Outcalt said speaking behind caps from each of the teams at a news conference.
The GBL is expected to announce the Scorpions new manager today. Former Major Leaguers Rusty Meacham, Mike Marshall and Kevin Mitchell have interviewed for the post that will guide both the Arizona Winter League team and the regular season club this summer.
The GBL will tender one-year contracts to the top 24 players in the instructional winter league after the 21-game season which begins Jan. 19 and concludes Feb. 17 Outcalt said.
Current GBL managers Garry Templeton, Less Lancaster and Darrell Evans
will coach the Surf Dawgs, Miners, and Falcons respectively and although Outcalt said he had not yet contacted any players Scorpions starter Chris Langlois is committed to play in the league.
"I'm really exited now that I'm living here it's a good opportunity because I can still work and then I can continue to get better and get myself ready for spring training," said Langlois who has remained in Yuma during the offseason to work in the teams front office. "Every day they are making strides to make the (GBL) better and I think this winter league is going to be huge for them and it's going to draw more attention and it will be great for the community as well."
The right-hander plans to pitch on the winter Scorpions but the league will also be holding a draft after a four-day training period.
Scorpions general manager Jason Matlock said day passes to the daily double headers will be sold for $6 with senior tickets available for $5.
Mark Saxon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6882.