Here's a bit of a bombshell that's been pointed out to me: It appears the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees won't be playing in Scranton in 2012. At least that's what this report in Baseball America says.
PNC Field, the team's decrepit stadium that only dates to 1989 but has been poorly maintained, is getting a $40 million facelift and the work will apparently be much cheaper if it can be done through one whole season rather than being split over two years.
The Scranton Times-Tribune, surprisingly, didn't have a lot more insight to add to the Baseball America report with its story on the situation, other than some comments from team president Kristen Rose and some local politicos.
So it looks like the Yankees will play next year somewhere else or in a variety of somewhere elses. Lehigh Valley, Syracuse and the Yankees' Class A stadium in Staten Island appear to be good options. Baseball America also suggest a return to Ottawa for a season is possible.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle speculates that Frontier Field could be a seasonlong option.
What about Buffalo? The Bisons run too many other events in Coca-Cola Field and would not be interested in hosting a large number of additional games. But there's a lot of Yankees interest here and I wonder if each IL North team will be asked by the league to host a Scranton series or two.
If I'm the IL, I pick Staten Island or Ottawa. As IL venues, we already see the Scranton/WB Yankees eight times a year in the North Division. No great shakes if we see more. It would be more special in a non-IL place.
Stay tuned. The final word on this should come in a couple of weeks.