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GBL takes over St. George franchise; suspends Bowers for season

Golden Baseball LeagueRough week for the independent Golden Baseball League: the league takes over the St. George Roadrunners after the owners fold, forcing the franchise to play as a road team during the remainder of the season; after that the league is forced to suspend Edmonton Capitals manager Brent Bowers for making anti-gay slurs during a rhubarb with an umpire.

Hot Corner Baseball, owner and operator of the St. George Roadrunners of the Golden Baseball League, ceased operations Tuesday due to a lack of funds. Diamond Sports, the founder of the Golden Baseball League and owner of the Chico and Yuma franchises, took control of the franchise through a voluntary foreclosure, to provide the ongoing financial and management support to the team to enable it to continue to complete the season as a road team.

Efforts are underway to find a new ownership group for the team.

Hot Corner Baseball, led by southern California businessmen Will Joyce, Ed Wong, and Michael Leyva purchased the Roadrunners in the off-season from St. George resident Todd Vowell. Despite keeping the experienced front office intact and the core of players that led St. George to the second half South Division championship last season, the team struggled on the field and at the gate all year. The group has not filed for bankruptcy and is working to meet their existing commitments with employees, fans, and business partners in the St. George community.

“We are very disappointed with Hot Corner’s inability to complete the season as this is the first time in seven years that we have ever had this situation occur with a franchise owner in-season,” said Diamond Sports Chief Executive Officer David Kaval. “We will make sure that the team continues to play out their schedule as a visiting team during August and are working to minimize the impact of this situation on all concerned.”

The second incident occurred Friday night, when Edmonton Capitals Manager Brent Bowers was suspended for the remainder of the season due to an anti-gay rant that he directed at an umpire this past weekend in a game against the Orange County Flyers in Fullerton, Cal.

Bowers was initially suspended for his team’s next two games this week as the league investigated the incident and worked with the Capitals on the consequences of the incident. Bowers and Edmonton Capitals President Patrick LaForge met with GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt Friday in San Francisco to complete the investigation.

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