Tim Ferguson and the independent American West Baseball League have split ways, as the Yuma Desert Rats have folded before playing a single game at Desert Sun Stadium.
What this means for the 2013 season remains to be seen. The AWBL already scrapped a winter league to be run out of Yuma, and while Ferguson says he wants to run some sort of pro baseball out of Yuma, AWBL founder Michael Cummings says that's not going to happen, because the league controls the lease:
“When he went in and bought the Yuma franchise, acquired the rights to the Yuma franchise, he also purchased the corporation from us,” Cummings said. “The lease is under that corporation's name, and he did not fulfill his obligations as far as acquiring that corporation. So one, he has to return that corporation so he can't do that; two, he has an operating right agreement that states he cannot play professional or collegiate baseball without paying us a substantial amount of money; and the third thing is the lease is in the corporation's name, and we have plans to possibly put someone else there in that location. So he'll end up in legal battles with me.”
Ironically. Ferguson was the most advanced when it came planning for the 2013 season, signing some players and attracting Hal Lanier, longtime independent-ball skipper, as manager.
The move puts the current league at three: North County Cannons, Long Beach Splash and Fullerton Flyers.
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