Minor league in The Valley?
For you folks outside the Old Dominion, "The Valley" is understood as "The Shenandoah Valley." Saturday's News Virginian (from Waynesboro) reported that talks are underway to bring a minor league franchise to the city of Waynesboro, and preliminary plans are being made for a 4,000-seat ballpark. This move would certainly displace the existing the Waynesboro Generals, who already play there, and could disrupt the whole the Valley League. (That league consists mainly of college-level baseball players who want to hone their skills during the summer.) I've always thought that the Shenandoah Valley ought to have its own minor league team, since Lynchburg and other smaller cities already do. The problem is that the population of The Valley is dispersed among three or four cities and many smaller towns, and it might be hard to consistently draw large enough crowds to a stadium in any one of those cities. Nevertheless, I'm willing to bet that there is sufficient fan interest to get this proposal taken very seriously by city officials.
One possible drawback is the proposed site of the new ballpark, on the banks of the South River. That part of Waynesboro, on the east side of downtown, has suffered repeated serious floods over the years, forcing people to move and businesses to close. But the Cincinnati Reds survived the big flood of 1937, when Crosley Field was submerged under 21 feet of water, so perhaps they could just make sure and water-proof the whole facility.
Another Boone in D.C.
Will the wonders wrought by Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden never cease? The Nationals just signed retired second baseman Bret Boone to a minor league contract, without any guarantees that he will get to play this summer. Boone is 39 and played in three All Star games, and his brother Aaron is already a National player. See MLB.com. Since the Nationals already have an overloaded infield, this seems like a strange move, but it could spark a lot of fan interest and good will. Go get 'em, Bret!