Thursday, November 22, 2007

WIL Directors Meet

WIL Split Season Out
SPOKANE, June 24—WESTERN International baseball league directors, in an optimistic mood despite dwindling attendance and the runaway pennant race staged by Vancouver and Spokane, voted against a proposed split season yesterday but approved a post-season playoff for the four top clubs.
Things will pickup, a majority of directors decided, over-ruling those who objected that Vancouver and Spokane are so far out in front interest may lag and attendance drop still further as the season progresses.
Robert Abel, WIL president, reported after the directors’ meeting at Spokane, “There was just no favorable response” to Salem's proposal to divide the schedule in half. Yakima and Tacoma were against it, he said, and Wenatchee wasn’t interested.
Salem had proposed that the schedule end next month and the teams start over again. This would give teams now running far out of the money another chance at the pennant. The winner of each half would have played for the title. Abel said one big objection was the difficulty of drafting a new schedule. He admitted attendance was about 50,000 behind last year but he expected gate receipts to pick up by July 4.
The directors voted to continue a post-season playoff for the top four clubs.
The team on top at the end of the season will meet the third place club while the second and fourth teams clash. The championship will be decided in a best-of-five series, matching winners of the earlier two-of-three series.
Abel predicted the playoff would, accomplish almost as much as a split season. Under current standings, tail-end Yakima is 20½ games back of Vancouver [portion of line missing] out of fourth place and a berth in the playoff.
As an added incentive, the directors voted to earmark 1-3 of net gate receipts of playoff games for a player pool. The winning team will receive 40 percent of the pool, the number 2 team 30 per cent and the first round losers will each receive 15 per cent.

Willy Turns Thumbs Down On Split Season for Help
SPOKANE, June 24 — The Western International Baseball league, its attendance down and its pennant race developing into a two-team runaway, decided Sunday things will get better and turned down a proposed split season.
Robert Abel, the W.I.L. president, said the league’s weakness “is not as apparent as indicated and there is no danger of us not finishing the year.”
The Salem Senators, now in third place but still 13 games from the top, proposed a split season during a four hour meeting of league directors Sunday It got nowhere.
A post season playoff between the first four teams was approved, however.
“Yakima and Tacoma were against the split season,” Abel said. “Wenatchee wasn’t interested—there was just no favorable response although it was discussed at some length.”
The idea was to divide the schedule in half, stopping the first round sometime next month and then starting all over again to give the far-back also-rans another crack at the pennant. The winner of each half would then have played for the title. It was suggested that first place Vancouver and second place Spokane are so far out in front interest and attendance will drop further as the season goes along.
John V. Johnson, representing the seventh-place Victoria Athletics, said his team is going right along and that there is no choice of it folding. Victoria, where attendance is lagging badly, had been considering by some as a weak link on the circuit.
Abel admitted the attendance on June 15 was about 50,000 behind last year. But he predicted the league will be about even in that department on July 4, thanks toa new ball park and a winning team at Vancouver.
Abel said it would be impractical to draft a new schedule for the balance of the year. He called that the fundamental objection. He said there was also doubt whether anything would be gained by it.
The directors voted to continue post-season playoff between the first four clubs. Abel suggested that would be a boon to attendance in some second division towns and would keep interest up accomplishing just about the same thine as a split season might.
For instance, Victoria and the tail-end Yakima, separated by only four percentage points, were both games out of first place in the Sunday morning standings. But they are only 5½ out of fourth and playoff berth.
Dates of the playoffs haven't been decided. The first place team at the season’s end will play the third place club and the second and fourth ranking teams will meet. Both will be two out of three The winners will then square off for the championship in a best-of-five series.
Abel said 33½ per cent of the net gate of playoff games will go to a player pool. The winner will get 40 per cent, the No. 4 team 30 per cent. The first round losers will receive 15 per cent each.

No comments: