AAIPB: Is This Even Real Baseball?

Jordan HofeditzAnalyst IJuly 18, 2008

Now don't get me wrong. I have respect for these players. They may not be good enough to be signed by a major league team and a member of one of the official Minor League Baseball teams, but they are still getting paid to play and following their dream. So for that, I commend them.

Even with that being said, do you remember when you were in elementary school playing for the local YMCA or other rec league?

You would show up to the game and wait for your teammates and coaches to arrive. Some games, due to family vacations or just unreliable friends, you would stand there worried that you wouldn't have enough players to play and might have to forfeit.

Nothing was worse than getting dressed, getting to the game and warming up, only to have nine guys ready to play. You then had to sheepishly pack your bag and head to the car 10 minutes after the game was supposed to start without a touch of dirt or a grass stain on your jersey.

But then you play for your high school, maybe even in college, and then you get your break. You are now a professional baseball player. You're getting paid to show up to play a game you've loved for as long as you can remember. That and you no longer have to worry about any silly forfeits right?


Welcome to the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Home of the Witchita Wingnuts, El Paso Diablos, Lincoln Salt Dogs and the newly established Grand Prairie Air Hogs.

The Grand Prairie Air Hogs defeated the Shreveport Sports 9-4 in five innings. And yes, the game was delayed over two hours because of rain. But the rain wasn't the reason the game was cut short.

That was because Terry Bevington, the Sports' manager, pulled his team off the field. The Air Hogs had taken a 9-4 lead thanks to a home run by Mike Conroy. The next batter was hit by a pitch and the Sports' pitcher was ejected.

Then Bevington was ejected when he came out to argue the call with the umpire. He then motioned to his team to get off the field, which they did, and ten minutes later the game was over.

Yes, the AAIPS has a bit of history. The St. Paul Saints and the Ft. Worth Cats are each franchises with a lot of history.

But can you imagine what would happen if in the fifth inning of a game Derek Jeter hits a home run, then Alex Rodriguez gets hit. Josh Beckett is ejected from the game, and out of the dugout pops Terry Francona. After a few choice words are exchanged Francona is also ejected and then motions to his team to leave the field?

There would be riots on the streets of New York and Boston, and the Red Sox would become the laughing stock of MLB, and everyone with a cell phone would be calling in to ask for, no, demand Francona's resignation.

If you're a small market baseball league wouldn't you want all the positive publicity you can get? This can't be a good start.