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Can-Am League revokes Breighner’s membership, takes over Worcester market

Worcester TornadoesThat was quick: the independent Can-Am League has revoked Todd Breighner’s membership in the circuit and is seeking a new owner to play in the Worcester market.

Like many independent leagues, the Can-Am League is based on a membership structure (akin a private country club), where team owners are members — as opposed to Minor League Baseball, which works on a traditional franchise system. That makes it easier for the Can-Am League to boot a bad player — which was the case here, with league officials deciding to boot Breighner and seek a new operator for the Worcester market.

The reasoning was simple: Breighner is facing multiple lawsuits, is hundreds of thousands in debt and has been locked out of team offices and gift shop.

“We have taken this action because the league wants strong, financially viable ownership in the Worcester market,” league commissioner Miles Wolff told the Telegram & Gazette today. “The league’s position is this is now open territory. If he wants to reapply for membership he is welcome to, just like anyone else.”

He may have competition in the form of the Hilton Garden Inn, whose lawyer says she will seek receivership of the team in an effort to satisfy an outstanding debt. That may not be as effective as she thinks: the team’s status in the Can-Am League doesn’t extend past Breighner’s membership (again, remember, we’re talking memberships here, not franchises) and isn’t transferable. And once you get past the membership and assets already seized, there’s not much more left of value to the team.

Breighner says he will fight the move by the league. 

“They can’t tamper,” he told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “I have the records and the relationships. I don’t know how the heck they’re going to sell the team.”

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