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Minor league announcer quits while he’s on the air

Jul 18, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Lake County logo

Remember the silliness with the Lake County Fielders last week?  How the manager and a giant chunk of the team quit right before a game because they weren’t getting paid, leading to a game in which Jose Canseco pitched for the opposition?

Yeah, well apparently that was just one part of a gigantic cluster going on with that team, because the Fielders’ announcer – Qumar Zaman — felt the need to quit while on the air the other day, just after the game ended.  Seems he wasn’t getting paid either. And he took the opportunity to give the Fielders’ ownership a piece of his mind, as is evidenced in the video below.  Stay with it, because he really gets going.  He’s pissed. And it sounds like he has a good point.

 

Note: don’t stiff a guy who has a microphone and a transmitter.  Or if you do, make sure you take him off the air before you stiff him.

  1. Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Okay…I’ll do it. With deference to Jonny 5, did Qumar go to White Castle afterwards?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

      Please stop, I don’t think there’s a white castle within 300mi of me and I’m getting hungry =\

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:01 PM

      Beat me to it!

    • bigleagues - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM

      Ten of millions of people don’t tune watch teachers teach on their TV every night for 8 months out of the year.

      No offense, but that is the most tired old fuddy duddy complaint in the book with regard to the escalation of salaries. Why did it happen? How did it happen? Because a large number of us tune in every night, buy tickets to the games, buy the merchandise and play fantasy baseball.

      You know what’s far more obscene? Spending hundreds of billions of borrowed money to finance a war that should have never happened. Baseball employs people in a mostly safe enjoyable environment.

      You want more money for teachers – protest corporate wars by electing someone other than a Democrat or Republican.

    • bigleagues - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:59 PM

      Then take a teacher to a game so they can relax a little before the chaos begins anew next month.

  2. redbear18 - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Good for him. Baseball has, in recent years, become a corrupt business from top to bottom. I wish there were more guys like him willing to speak out on the subject. Baseball (along with other sports) is supposed to be about the fans first, the players second, and the owners last. No fans really care about the owners, or even know who they are, yet they have turned things upside down, and everyone is suffering. What has happened with this minor league team is a microcosm for the entire major leagues, in that the owners really don’t care about players or fans, even though they keep them in business. This needs to stop, and I hope the announcer is the first domino to fall.

    • The Common Man - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      That is totally funny, because I thought baseball leagues existed to make money. And that they always have. And that, if they stop making money, they stop playing. I am glad to have been informed otherwise. That said, it seems clear that these players, coaches, and staff have been treated unfairly and they deserve to be paid in a timely fashion. I say we boycott Kevin Costner movies until he ponies up. No Waterworld 2 for me!

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        Something makes me think you’re being a mite sarcastic.

      • The Common Man - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        Well, maybe a little, except for the part where I think the players and staff and coaches got screwed and deserve their money.

    • cerveceros82 - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      To quote the great Buck O’neal “I don’t mean to interrupt, but baseball is still baseball.” Bad owners/management aren’t unique to recent years nor to baseball, so try not to lose any sleep over it.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    You want the poor owners in Bannockburn to own the team AND pay them too?

  4. killabri - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    That… was outstanding. Frankly, the PBP guy was a little bit restrained given the situation he and everyone else found themselves in. Having another job that would be unaffected by his on-air rant likely helped in his decision to blast the entire ownership group.

    Someone needed to say it, and it might as well have been him. The applause at the end of the clip is great too.

  5. SmackSaw - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    How long before Vin Scully makes the same speech?

    • Panda Claus - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      I regret that I can only give you one thumbs-up. Well played.

  6. tdnelson - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Wow dude. Way to rip of CM Punk and the WWE…

  7. Panda Claus - Jul 18, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Wait until Prince Fielder finds out about this. The name “Fielders” has been besmirched and he could easily buy this team into respectability.

  8. xmatt0926x - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    I love that logo though. Very old-school baseball.

  9. cageyfella - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Let’s be careful about the use of the “Minor League” term here. This team is NOT Minor League – it is independent crap baseball. Minor League Baseball is organized with each team having a written development agreement with a major league franchise and solid organization leadership. Independent baseball are fly-by-night hacks who can’t make it in the REAL minors and live in this fantasy world instead. This kind of baseball is far more similar to minor league hockey than it is to the solid organization that is Minor League Baseball.

    • The Common Man - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      There are many many excellently run independent minor league teams. This, however, does not happen to be one of them.

      • bigleagues - Jul 18, 2011 at 7:56 PM

        Correction. (and to back-up what cageyfella said)

        “Minor League” is a trademarked term that applies to teams affiliated with Major League Baseball affiliated teams. The correct terminology is “independent” or “unaffiliated” . . . some might call them bush leagues.

        And specifically to what redbear said:

        The league that the Fielders play in has absolutely nothing in common with Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball except for the obvious – that they all play baseball of one kind or another.

        It is very unlikely that greed is at work here. What is far more likely is a lack of fan support and sponsorships. Just because Kevin Costner is a wealthy entertainer and an investor in the team – it doesn’t necessarily follow that its his responsibility to directly ensure staff and team salaries.

        This VERY rarely, if ever, happens in Minor League Baseball because each ownership group has to go through an evaluation process, turn over financials, etc . . . to ensure that the have the capital available and/or ability to obtain capital when cash flow is low.

        The team I used to work for was owned by 4 millionaires and a handful of minority partners – when cash flow got tight – we took out a loan.

        It sounds as if the Lake County Fielders owners are in way over their heads – which is often the case with Independent teams. Arguably the most successful of the indy leagues is the Atlantic League and they have a team or teams fold or move nearly every year.

    • kellyb9 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      Additionally… minor league hockey (AHL) is very well managed. I know several AHL teams that have great followings and all of them affiliated with NHL clubs.

    • oikosjeremy - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      When you talk about “solid organizational leadership”, do you mean like the leadership of the Nationals’ Patomac affiliate, who have a field so bad that they’re having rainouts the day *after* it rains? Or like the leadership of the Dodgers, who sucked at least $100 million dollars out of the team for their own personal use and then declared bankruptcy?

      Some of those independent league teams you say are run by “fly by night hacks” have been around for much longer than many current major league or affiliated minor league teams. And they’ve survived without the various subsidies provided by affiliation with major league baseball. So either they’ve been run for decades by the luckiest hacks in history, or they’re not actually run by hacks. The truth is, any team can be well-run or poorly run. Yes, Lake County seems to be incredibly poorly run. But please don’t generalize on the basis of one example to all of independent baseball (and please don’t reply to this comment by trotting out one or two further cherry-picked examples).

      I love affiliated minor league baseball–and independent baseball too. I don’t see how one is “real” and the other not. Unless you think independent baseball is scripted in advance like pro wrestling, I don’t see how it’s any less “real” than affiliated baseball. “Real” is a loaded word. Apparently, by “real” baseball you don’t mean “baseball in which the competing teams are free to make their own roster moves and playing time decisions in order to maximize their chances of winning”, because that’s something independent league teams, but not affiliated minor league teams, can do. If the only reason you care to watch minor league baseball is to watch player development, be my guest. But please don’t pretend that your personal preferences define “real” baseball.

      • sportsdrenched - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        If anything Indy Ball is more “real” than affiliated ball. Herm Edwards likes Indy Ball because “They play to win the game.” In affiliated ball you have pitch counts, inning limitations, and a whole host of “working on somethings” getting in the way of winning.

        Most of all, in Indy Ball there is the opportunity to develop a core group of players and characters that the community gets to know.

        Each league has their place. Am I watching MLB quality baseball when watching the Wichita Wingnuts take on the Kansas City T-bones? No. Am I going to have a good time with $1 Shiner Bocks and some freinds? Yes.

      • bigleagues - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

        Do they play baseball in the unaffiliated independent leagues? Yes.

        Do the unaffiliated independent leagues serve a useful purpose? For the most part, yes.

        Perhaps the person who used ‘real’ to describe affiliated vs unaffiliated could have chosen a better term – but at best (the Atlantic League for example) – independent teams play at a mid-A level.

        I’m not naming names, but even the longtime GM of one of the more successful indy teams candidly confessed that fact to me and a co-worker. Not that we needed to him to tell us, but the unofficial official policy of the league was to claim they played at a Double-A level. They wouldn’t advertise it that way (because Minor League Baseball would have sued), but any time they gave an interview and were asked, that’s the answer they would give.

        Occasionally there is nice story to emerge from Independent baseball. Last year it was Daniel Nava. But the talent is very thin. That is not to take away from the passion the players have for the game or the role a team plays in its community.

        But please don’t argue that Indy baseball is on a equal playing field with affiliated baseball. It’s just an absurd argument.

    • bigleagues - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      I’d LOVE to know what part of cageyfellas comments are prompting so many thumbs down.

      I can only guess that whenever someone destroys a myth or challenges conventional wisdom with the truth, it garners negative reactions.

  10. goforthanddie - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Somebody buy this cat a beer for me. That made my day :)

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:56 PM

      Whoa…wait a minute…though this was a tame comment, I thought goforthanddie was a banned handle…? Craig? Is the Calcaterrible list like purgatory?

  11. 1overmind - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Lol this dude stole a lot of that speech from a CM Punk promo on Raw a few weeks ago. lameeeeeeeee

    • rhandome - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

      Wow, that is just appalling and unbelievable….

      …People still watch wrestling?

      • 1overmind - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:34 PM

        Only when it involves an epic promo of a wrestler trashing WWE

  12. popebob23 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    And now we know what happens when you piss-off someone who watches Keith Olbermann AND CM Punk…

  13. natstowngreg - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Under the MLB-MiLB agreement, managers and coaches are hired by, and players are signed by, the MLB parent club. Which gives them some assurance of getting paid.

    Except, perhaps, for those working for the Dodgers…

    • bigleagues - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:06 AM

      Ha!

      Actually PDC’s (Player Development Contract – sometimes called PDA) govern the relationship between each Major League team and its affiliates. The expected conditions of the facility, playing field, hotel and travel arrangements, housing, uniforms, etc . . .

      Meeting payroll on the other hand is a requirement of being a Major League baseball franchise. Right now we are seeing what the consequences of potentially missing payroll can be with MLB and the situation with the Dodgers.

  14. qcubed3 - Jul 18, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    So who owns the Fielders, was the first question I had. I went to their web page, and lo and behold, their owner is right there on the front page: KEVIN COSTNER!!!

    If you build it . . . . nobody gets paid? Maybe the Fielders need more Shoeless Joe . . .

    http://www.fieldersbaseball.com/

    • oikosjeremy - Jul 18, 2011 at 5:04 PM

      I seem to recall reading somewhere (sorry, can’t recall where) that Costner is basically a figurehead who has little if any money invested in the team.

  15. bigleagues - Jul 18, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    “I will be the voice of the voiceless.”

    ROTFLMAO

  16. sergio408 - Jul 18, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    This Announcer is a C.M. Punk Guy :)

  17. macjacmccoy - Jul 19, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Sounds a little whiney to me. Yea they should all get paid and maybe he should have quit. But the fact that he kept saying I have a job and I dont need this job was kinda of annoying to me. There are alot of people out there who need jobs and they dont want to hear a guy be all snarky about how he didnt need his.

    I can just imagine how some of the people who are still with the team, who are still being treated badly and just have to take it bc they have no other opitions feel about what he said . Their probably thinking I do need this job and I dont wanna hear you act like its beneath you.

    The guy is a complete follower he didnt have the guts to quit first or even join the guys when they all walked off. He waited a couple days until he got his nerve up then he decided to quit. Which was an obvious attempt to be apart of the group. You could tell by the way he shouted out them out in the middle of his speech. Being like ya adam jerome byran i know ur gonna be their its gonna be fun “money in the bank”. Tell me that doesnt sound like a nerdy kid trying to act like hes apart of popular group by name dropping them. The whole thing seemed like an attempt to fit in to me. Like something the guy would never do unless everyone else already did.

    • bigleagues - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:09 AM

      In the kids defense I will make this one point . . .

      Most people think being a baseball play-by-play announcer is a great gig no matter what level its at.

      Many more will never know how tedious and thankless the job can be.

  18. jwbiii - Jul 19, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    A little bit of background on team president Rich Ehrenreich. This won’t be the first Indy league team he’s run into the ground. He made some money on the last one, I’ll bet he does on this one, too.

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