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Local Sports

January 22, 2010

NY-Penn president postpones announcement

BY DEAN RUSSIN

SPORTS EDITOR

The Tigers will have to stay in Oneonta for at least a few more days, whether they want to or not.

New York-Penn League President Ben Hayes postponed a media conference scheduled for 1 p.m. today that was intended to announce the move of a minor league baseball franchise to Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.

Hayes sent a memo to the Norwich City Manager's Office on Thursday afternoon stating the announcement "must unfortunately be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances that have affected the New York-Penn League President's ability to be available for the press conference."

It is unclear why Hayes refers to himself in the third person in his memo, which also states the conference will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at Norwich City Hall.

City Manager's Office Executive Secretary Jill Brennan re-distributed the memo via e-mail to a list of more than 120 recipients. E-mail addresses for O-Tigers owner E. Miles Prentice III, general manager Andrew Weber and assistant GM Eric Knighton were not among those listed and none appeared to be affiliated with the O-Tigers.

The Daily Star contacted Brennan at her office more than an hour before receiving the memo, which arrived around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

"The league president couldn't get a flight out of wherever he is," said Brennan, who added that city manager Alan Bergren was not in his office at the time of the announcement.

The Daily Star left messages at the offices of Bergren and Hayes, as well as another on the cell phone of Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom before Brennan re-distributed the memo Thursday afternoon. None called back.

Hayes placed a league-wide gag order on the move earlier this month. As a result, Weber has refused to comment on whether the O-Tigers are headed to Dodd Stadium or if they will honor their lease with Oneonta to use the 4,000-seat Damaschke Field through the end of the 2010 season.

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