SWL suspends operations for another year

CNJ STAFF

The Southwestern League, a Class A independent minor league baseball circuit which suspended operations for this summer hoping to field at least six to eight teams in 2005, won’t resume its operations now for at least another year.

League president Bob Lipp said the league has only about four teams ready to go at this point, and doesn’t feel there is enough time to get ready for a May 2005 start.

Clovis was one of the cities scheduled to get an expansion team starting play next year, but Lipp said he’s not sure of its status at this point.

“We haven’t had anybody come forward,” Lipp said. “(SWL vice president) Kim Karabatsos has been talking with several people about starting up a sales campaign there.

“We’re just kind of in a wait-and-see mode with Clovis.”

Lipp said several franchises in the league are not operational at this point, adding that he believes they would need to be so by late summer to be ready to function the following year.

He said about four franchises, including one in Roswell, are not in bad shape, but the league is looking to get two to four more teams lined up before it resumes operations.

According to its website, the SWL plans to use the next year to try to locate “qualified team ownership groups and can take a slow and stable approach.”