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Recession Hits the Minor Leagues

Major League Baseball may be near recession proof -- check out the attendance despite ridiculous prices at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and elsewhere -- but that's not the case in the minor leagues, as a New Hampshire team discovered in rather stark fashion on Tuesday.

According to the Nashua Telegraph, the American Defenders of Nashua -- the heirs to the now-defunct Nashua Pride -- were locked out of their own field at Holman Stadium for failure to pay some $45,000 in back rent and feed fees to local police officers and firemen.

Before you wonder why players and management didn't just climb the fence and cut off the locks, know this: the city of Nashua also parked a tractor on home plate. Yes, a tractor. Guess they really wanted that $40,000.

Happily for minor league baseball fans in New Hampshire (beyond those who cheer for the Manchester Fishercats), the economic setback won't completely halt the American Defenders from operating, they'll just be doing it in a different state. Nashua is scheduled to play the New Jersey Jackals -- their scheduled opponent yesterday and today -- in a doubleheader in Brockton (Mass.), with the Brockton Rox visiting Quebec. The American Defenders will play the remainder of their home games on the road as unscheduled road contests.

Will the American Defenders ever make it back to Nashua? Anyone's guess is as good as ours. In the meantime, the team's best bet of a future homestand might be looking into how to move a tractor ...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 26, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Minor League  | Tags: minor league baseball  
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It's worth pointing out the difference between the independent leagues and the affiliated minors. The Nashua team is in the independent Can-Am League, which has no affiliations with MLB. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (of Manchester) are in the long-established Eastern League and are the AA team of the Toronto Blue Jays. The affiliated teams are less likely to run into problems like this.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | August 26, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to assume that you meant "fees" and not "feed" for the police and firefighters ... though with the tractor that's a pretty funny image.

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | August 26, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

i live in jacksonville, fl, go see the suns (double a for the marlins) all the time. they dont have much trouble drawing fans, over 5000 on a tuesday night last week, 6 or 7k on the weekends, its nice

Posted by: formerlylove1 | August 27, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

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