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The Continental Baseball League, based in Addison, Texasmarker, is a professional, independent baseball organization operating in the U.S. states of Louisianamarker and Texasmarker in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams nor affiliated with either.

The Continental Baseball League exists so that professional baseball players who are not signed by a Major or Minor League organization could have another chance at playing at a higher level. Although the level of Continental Baseball League play can be categorized as single A standard, players in independent baseball are usually not scouted heavily by Major League teams. Many Major League alumni have called independent league teams home in an effort get back to the Majors. The league also caters to players who are not quite talented enough to play at a higher level.

The League

The CBL's players primarily come from the college ranks, although some former professional players will fill the team rosters.

The CBL's first game was played on May 27, 2007 between the Texas Heat and the Bay Area Toros. It was played at Clear Creek Wildcat Stadium and the Heat beat the Toros, 6-5, in 10 innings.

Current franchises (2009)

Continental Baseball League
Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
Alexandria Aces 1994 Alexandriamarker, Louisianamarker, USAmarker Bringhurst Fieldmarker 3,500
Bay Area Toros 2007 Texas Citymarker, Texasmarker, USAmarker Robinson Stadium 1,800
Big Bend Cowboys 2009 Alpinemarker, Texasmarker, USAmarker Kokernot Fieldmarker 1,400
Coastal Kingfish 2009 Houstonmarker, Texasmarker, USAmarker Travel Team N/A
South Louisiana Pipeliners 2009 Morgan Citymarker, Louisianamarker Travel Team N/A
Texarkana Gunslingers 2008 Texarkanamarker, Texasmarker, USAmarker George Dobson Field 1,600


2009 Season Overview

Standings

Final regular season standings for 2009:
Team Games Wins Losses PCT GB
Bay Area Toros 56 38 18 .679 -
Texarkana Gunslingers 58 38 20 .655 1.0
Alexandria Aces 60 39 21 .650 1.0
Big Bend Cowboys 59 35 24 .593 4.5
South Louisiana Pipeliners 57 16 41 .281 22.5
Coastal Kingfish 58 8 50 .138 31.0


Post-season

Due to rain-outs, five of the six teams failed to play all 60 scheduled games, with only the Alexandria Aces completing their schedule. This resulted in playoff implications when the Bay Area Toros were seeded first due to having the highest winning percentage, but who left two games unplayed against the Gunslingers.

With the seeding not decided until the final game was played on Sunday, August 23, and the playoffs scheduled to begin Tuesday, August 25, the league changed the playoff format, resulting in controversy among the fans, managers, and players.[355533]

The first-seeded Toros hosted fourth-place Big Bend in the best-of-three playoffs, winning two straight games and earning the home field advantage for the championship series.

The second-seeded Gunslingers hosted the Aces, but the format was changed to alternating games for this series. Alexandria won both the first game (in Texarkana) and the second game (in Alexandria), to advance to the championship series.

Yet another controversial change was made when the league announced the championship series would be played in Alexandria. The Toros players refused to give up their home-field advantage; in response, the league declared that the fourth-place Cowboys would advance to the championship game.

Alexandria won the championship series in two straight games, defeating the Cowboys 8-2 and 7-3.

2008 Season Overview

Standings

Final regular-season standings for 2008
Team Games Wins Losses PCT GB
Bay Area Toros 73 44 29 .603 -
Texarkana Gunslingers 72 38 34 .528 5.5
*Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs 72 34 38 .472 9.5
McKinney Blue Thunder 73 29 44 .397 15
*First half winner



Note: Texarkana and Corpus Christi played 72 games, as opposed to 73 for the other teams. The series scheduled for July 22-24 in Corpus Christi was postponed due to Hurricane Dolly, and rescheduled for a series of double-headers August 12-14. The August 13 make-up game was also postponed due to rain, then canceled due to a lack of available dates. The game would not have made a difference in standings for either team.

Managers for the 2008 CBL Season:

Bay Area Toros: Jim Bolt;Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs: Hector Salinas/Trey Salinas;McKinney Blue Thunder: Curtis Wilkerson;Texarkana Gunslingers: Steve Trout/Chris McKnight

Post-season

In the first round of playoffs, the Texarkana Gunslingers hosted the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs. The Gunslingers won Game One by a score of 4-3. Heavy rain and unplayable field conditions caused Tuesday's game to be rescheduled as a doubleheader for Wednesday. More rain on both days worsened field conditions; league officials called for the double-header to be played on Thursday, but the field was declared unplayable at the 9:00 a.m. deadline. By a previous league ruling, the series ended under red flag conditions, and Texarkana was declared the winner by virtue of winning the only game played.

Texarkana advanced to the championship round, hosted by the Bay Area Toros. Bay Area won the best-of-three series in two straight games, by scores of 2-1 and 9-3.

2007 Season Review

Standings

Team Wins Losses PCT
Tarrant County Blue Thunder 30 17 .638
Texas Heat 25 17 .595
Lewisville Lizards 19 25 .432
Bay Area Toros 13 28 .317


Playoffs

The first CBL championship was won by the Tarrant County Blue Thunder, who beat the Bay Area Toros in a double elimination event 17-0 on August 18, 2007 and 6-3 on August 19, 2007.

The 2008 championship will be decided by a playoff involving the first half champion, and top two other teams. The team with the best season record will have a bye in the first round. The other two teams will play a best-of-three round beginning August 18, 2008, at the home field of the team with the better season record. The championship round will also be best-of-three, with the winner of the first round facing the team with the best overall season record, at the latter's home field.

Under the 2008 playoff rules, it is possible for a team with the worst overall record to have a berth in the playoffs, over the team with the third best record.

Season Awards

Zach Duncan of the Tarrant County Blue Thunder won the league's ERA crown with a 3.14 ERA and was named the CBL Pitcher of the Year. He was tied for the league in wins with five and second in strikeouts with 57 Ks in 51 innings pitched for a K/9 ratio of 10.06. He held opposing batters to an average of .241.

Josh Blackstock, also of the Tarrant County Blue Thunder, took the batting title with a .373 average.

First baseman Robby Winn of the Texas Heat won league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards with a .341 batting average, 46 runs scored, and league leading 61 hits, 21 HRs and 64 RBI.

Tarrant County Blue Thunder pitcher George Castillo and Lewisville Lizards pitcher Randy Strann shared the Reliever of the Year award with 7 saves each.

Curtis Wilkerson a former MLB player for the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals won Manager of the Year honors for leading the Tarrant County Blue Thunder to the league's best regular-season record.

Managers For The 2007 Continental Baseball League Season:

Bay Area Toros: Jim Bolt;Lewisville Lizards: Tom Goodwin;Tarrant County Blue Thunder: Curtis Wilkerson;Texas Heat: Royce Holder

Expansion

Year # of Teams Expansion Teams Folded Teams Suspended Teams Returning Teams Relocated Teams Name Changes
2007 4 Bay Area Toros
Lewisville Lizards
Tarrant County Blue Thunder
Texas Heat


2008 4 Texarkana Gunslingers Lewisville Lizards Bay Area Toros Tarrant County → McKinney Blue Thunder
Texas → Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs
2009 6 Alexandria Aces
Coastal Kingfish
Big Bend Cowboys
South Louisiana Pipeliners




Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs
McKinney Blue Thunder
Bay Area Toros
Texarkana Gunslingers


An invitation for the remaining ULB teams to join the league for the 2009 season was made by Ron Baron.

Potential Expansion Franchises



References

  1. Oursportscentral.com Weekly League and Franchise Report, May 4, 2009
  2. http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/yb/131256924
  3. http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_13548629?source=most_viewed


External links and references




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