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Golden Baseball League adds Maui, Tijuana teams for ’10; drops Long Beach

The independent Golden Baseball League released a 2010 schedule that includes Na Koa Ikaika Maui and Cimarrones de Tijuana, while losing the Long Beach Armada.The independent Golden Baseball League released a 2010 schedule that includes Na Koa Ikaika Maui and Cimarrones de Tijuana in an expansion to 10 teams, while losing the Long Beach Armada due to lease issues at Blair Field. The league is also expanding the number of games from 84 to 90 and adopting National League rules — which means no designated hitter.

The six-year old Golden Baseball League will be the only professional baseball league with teams operating in three countries.

New teams to the league include Na Koa Ikaika Maui (nah-ko-uh ee-kai-kuh mow-ee, which means the Strong Warriors of Maui) playing at Iron Maehara Stadium in Wailuku, Maui and the Cimarrones de Tijuana who will be playing at the 18,000-seat Calimax Stadium in Tijuana. In addition, the St. George Roadrunners will be remaining a member of the league for their fourth season, but under new ownership.

The only team casualty for the season was the inability for the Long Beach Armada to reach a lease agreement to continue to play at Blair Field in time to be included in this year's schedule due to permit manipulations by the City of Long Beach so they could transfer the ballpark to the local university which has resulted in multiple legal actions.

The league will play a split-season 90 game schedule, 45 home and away for each team, which is the longest in GBL history. The league will consist of a North Divsion that includes the Calgary Vipers, the Chico Outlaws, the Edmonton Capitals, the St. George Roadrunners and the Victoria Seals. The South Division will include Na Koa Ikaika Maui, the Orange County Flyers, the Tijuana Cimarrones, the Tucson Toros, and the Yuma Scorpions. This season opens on May 19th and concludes on September 6th, followed by a five-game Division playoff pitting the first and second half champs of each Division with the winners advancing to a five-game GBL Championship Series. In addition, there is a July 14th All-Star game on the schedule to be played in Tucson versus the Northern League All-Stars.

Rule changes for the GBL for 2010 include a return to National League rules eliminating the Designated Hitter (the GBL began with National League rules in 2005), an increase in player salary levels, implementation of a Waiver Wire for the first time in league history, and speed of play rules to shorten time between innings and during pitcher changes.

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