Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Grand Lake Mariners future uncertain with no general manager
By Ryan Hines
CELINA - For the last 21 years, the Grand Lake Mariners have been a fixture on the summer entertainment schedule for many area residents.
However, summer college baseball at Jim Hoess Field in Westview Park may be coming to an end.
The Mariners are looking for a new general manager to help guide the Mariners into the future after the resignation of 14-year veteran Wayne Miller, who had to step aside with health concerns.
"I'm getting up there in age and my health isn't what it used to be. You gotta say it's time to quit sometime, and now just happens to be the time for me," said Miller, who has also been serving as the President of the Mariners. "I will miss it, there's no question about that, but over the last two or three years it has been getting tougher and tougher to do the job the way it needs done."
Grand Lake Mariners Vice President Pat Smith was quick to thank Miller for his many years of service for the Mariners.
"Wayne has to be commended for the time that he has given to the Grand Lake Mariners and for the job that he has done," said Smith. "He did a lot of work for the Mariners through the years and his determination is appreciated."
With the resignation of Miller, the Mariners are basically down to three options.
They can find a replacement quickly, they can try to take a one-year sabbatical or they can fold the franchise for good.
Grand Lake Mariners board member Oneta Lyda is hoping to fill the GM role soon so there is no stoppage of summer baseball with the Mariners.
"I would hate to see us not be able to find someone to be the general manager and then have to sit out of the league for a season, at least," said Lyda. "I'm afraid that it would fold for good with being out a year. I'm hoping that we can find someone quickly to fill in."
It will take some quick action according to Miller.
"My recommendation is to suspend operations for a season because it's getting pretty late to try and find a GM, who then has to find a coach and then recruit the players," said Miller. "I would be more than happy to help someone get up to speed, but a new person at this time of the process would be tough. Maybe we should just take a year away to tweak the organization so we are ready for the following year. Teams have done that in the past in the league."
The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League has a board meeting in December and will need to make a decision on the immediate future of the Grand Lake Mariners at that time.
"We are running out of time right now to try and save this season," said Smith. "We need someone to step forward. We are pretty much looking at the next 30 days, and if something doesn't happen by then, we will have to step aside for a year."
Quick facts about the Grand Lake Mariners, who play in a wooden-bat league over the summer at Westview's Jim Hoess Field in Celina.
• Team was established in 1990.
• Plays in Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.
• There have been nine managers in Mariners history (Mark Halverson, Mark Ziegler, Tom Brunswick, Matt Palm, Mike Stafford, Scott French, Zach Schmidt, Brandon Tormoehlen and Joe Marker).
• Mariners are 414-336 in the 21 years of existence.
• The Mariners won GLSCL championships in 2006 and 1989.
• 8 former Mariners have gone on to play in MLB (Kimera Bartee, Travis Miller, Luke Wilcox, Doug Brady, Brian Sikorski, Craig Stammen, Alex Garman and Don Wingert).