Mudcats get new parent club

Posted December 15, 2010
Updated December 16, 2010

The Carolina Mudcats will play in the Carolina League as a Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians starting in 2012, the team announced Thursday morning.

The Mudcats have been the AA farm team for the Cincinnati Reds and play in the Southern League. That team will play in Pensacola, Fla. beginning in 2012. According to a report in the Pensacola News Journal, businessman Quint Studer was selling the city's Pelicans team, a move that paved the way for the Reds AA affiliate to move in.

Mudcats owner Steve Bryant said he was committed to keeping minor league baseball at Zebulon's Five County Stadium.

"The Carolina League teams are close enough for our fans to be able to reach away games more easily," Bryant said. Carolina league foes include the Lynchburg Hillcats, Potomac Nationals and Salem Red Sox in Virginia, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in South Carolina and the Winston-Salem Dash in North Carolina. Only two teams in the Carolina League – the Frederick Keys in Maryland and the Wilmington Blue Rocks in Delaware – are more than a four-hour drive from Zebulon.

The deal was expected to be completed Jan. 2, 2011.


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  • TAGS Dec 17, 2010

    One more thing and I will let it go....these moves are ALL business related. The Kinston Indians are moving because although Grainger Stadium is an icon, it is also very dated. That's why the Richmond Braves moved to just outside of Atlanta...a newer stadium. Just like the Richmond stadium, Grainger Stadium is old. The "Club Seats" consist of metal chairs inside a square ring of iron bars. Also as for the AA team moving, the costs associated with the team just traveling a couple of hundred miles to play each team in Single A as opposed to 8 to 14 hours one way to play Double A is probably pretty significant.

    Besides, Hi Single A is only a half a step down from Double A AND the team will still be known as the Mudcats. AND as I said earlier, baseball stays here. It's a WIN/WIN and who knows if the costs for operating a Single A team are less, maybe some of the prices at the game could come down as well.

    Just keep baseball at Five County Stadium (actually this would be a great time to rename the stadium as well to Mudcats Stadium or The Ballpark of Tobacco Road or better yet, The Ballpark at the Pond).

  • RedStatesManWatts Dec 16, 2010

    I agree with TAGS...I think Bryant will keep a team in Zebulon and that is the most important thing...sorry to see the cats go but I guess business is business. Hey, Mr. Bryant, I'm unemployed right now, do you need some help with the transition?

  • RedStatesManWatts Dec 16, 2010

    Let me understand this...The Mudcats are no longer and will move to Pensacola with Clevelnd as their parent ball club and the Kinston Indians are moving to Zebulon? Maybe I need to read this again. Yes, this does suck for our family but then again all of 2010 has sucked so this just tops it off.

  • TAGS Dec 16, 2010

    View quoted thread

    No bonus needed from the club. You see the "product on the field" is being able to watch players who one day are in Zebulon and then the next day "in the show." That is minor league baseball my friend.

    Minor league teams have little or no control over the players that are "sent" to them by the "parent club." College teams and major league teams pretty much control who they get through contracts and scholarships. The minor league club's job is to "ready" these players for the "Show." And if they win along the way, that is a bonus. Of course they want the minor league teams to win so it will be part of their DNA when they arrive in the majors. But it is not their ultimate goal. Their ultimate goal is for these players to develop into major league talent.

    So you see, the $5-$8 I pay to see a game is well worth it to be able to watch that same player on TV when he has arrived at the "Show" and I can say, "I remember when he player for the Mudcats." (Juan Pierre, Josh Willingham, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, just to name a few). Why even Josh Beckett had a rehab appearance in the same season that the Marlins won the World Series in 2003. Now tell me that's not worth 5 bucks. And please tell me of another sport, at the professional level, that you can do that for $5.00?

    And where do you think these teams start all of their prized prospects whom they just drafted and paid several millions in a signing bonus? I'll tell you, they don't start in Triple A.

    Keep baseball in Zebulon regardless of the level so we can see the next star to make it to the "Show."

  • bgoettee Dec 16, 2010

    View quoted thread

    I realize that you're trolling, but the Carolina League isn't the lowest level of minor league ball - they're actually High A. The progression is Short Season - Rookie - Low A - High A - AA - AAA. Even Low A players are amazing players.

    That being said, I don't care at all about the Mudcats. As others have mentioned, the tragedy is that Kinston is losing their Indians. I've been going to games in Grainger Stadium since my childhood and it's a great place to watch a game. I hope they can find a new affiliation.

  • NCSU84 Dec 16, 2010

    View quoted thread

    Agreed. Grainger Stadium in Kinston is old school and has history.

  • notagain1903 Dec 16, 2010

    Well it looks like "TAGS" is trying to get his holiday bonus from the club. The one major problem you have neglected to address "Is the product on the field going to be worth MY hard earned dollars to watch?" From being a long time fan of all levels of baseball, it will be hard for me to want to pony up the money to see this out in the stcks in Zebulon. If there was some kind of other attraction near there like an entertainment district or dining facilities then the decision would be easier. Unless you consider Walmart as an added draw there is NOTHING out there. The management is going to have to get real creative to bring people out there to see them play more than once. As for the "competitiveness or being hungry" the skill level is not there either and it tends to be a lot of sloppy ball for the fans that understand the game.

  • RM24 Dec 16, 2010

    Professional baseball in Kinston dates back to 1908 when the city fielded a team in the Eastern Carolina League.[1] Kinston adopted the name "Indians" at the start of their relationship with Cleveland, in 1987. They are currently one of the oldest and most successful franchises in their circuit. I am sure that Kinston is just as upset to lose the INDIANS as we are about losing the MUDCATS. However I can only find 5 seasons, since 1987 the INDIANS did not finish above .500, and a couple of them they were only below .500 by a couple of loses.

  • RM24 Dec 16, 2010

    I for one think it is sad to see Kinston lose the Indians! But at the same time at this level teams move around all the time. I hope the Mudcats do as well at this level as they have in the past. Its a great setting for profissional baseball. Nothing but the best wishes for the team. I for one am glad to have a team or professional sporting event to go to that I do not have to drive into a down town city arena to watch. And for those of you in the Raleigh area that use distance as a reason not to attend. Thats an excuse. Its a total of 25 miles from the center of the city to the stadium. Hopefully no over night bags will be needed for this 25 minute journey, as one comment stated. If you live on the out skirts of the city it may take you that long to get downtown and find parking. 25 miles at 70 mph goes by quite easily. So good luck MUDCATS and here's to many more years...

  • floyd_lawson Dec 16, 2010

    This bites... It's bad enough it's cleveland's affiliate but to be single A is not worth the drive. We were lucky to have a productive AA team, many of those teams do not do that well but the 'Cats were worth the drive. At least we still have college and the Bulls in the Triangle.




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