By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the passing of his mentor and former leader Jim Wood two years ago, Sam Rodgers has assumed the role as president of the Bahamas Baseball Association.
And Rodgers, who was accompanied by one of the vice presidents Stanley Mitchell at the announcement of the latest development for the construction of the new Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium yesterday, said he intends to keep the memory of Wood alive as he heads the embattled organisation that seeks to exist without any membership, but remains the governing body for the sport.
Wood died on December 9, 2014 and in January 2015, Rodgers was placed in charge of the BBA. He said at present, he’s trying to complete the administrative structure.
It’s no secret that before Wood died, there was a lot of contention between the BBA and the Bahamas Baseball Federation, which has primarily carried the sport on the ground by doing primarily what the BBA should have been doing. Rodgers said they are looking at a compromise between the two bodies as they chart the way forward.
“We have decided so far that we will not run any leagues that will interfere with the BBF,” Rodgers said. “What we have decided to do is look at baseball from our angle from the international tournament perspective.
“So once we have those tournaments lined up, we will sit down with the BBF and their president Teddy Sweeting and see how we will integrate these tournaments because they have the players. So they will be responsible for getting the players together and we will be responsible for the international tournaments.”
Although the BBF has been agitating for a change to both the Bahamas Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the two highest sporting bodies in the country, Rodgers said he doesn’t see why there is a problem with the picture he’s painting.
“If we both decide to run a league, when it’s time to pick a national team, I could decide to pick all the players from my league, then that would be a problem,” he said. “So we in the BBA have decided that we will not run any league to compete with their league.
“But when we have to go to the international tournaments, we will select their players to take part in these tournaments. We will run some academies, which will be designed for players who are not playing in their league. We will get them on the field and help to develop them so that they can then be integrated into the BBF leagues.”
No doubt with the construction of the new Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex, there is expected to be some contention over the use of the facility, which will be operated by the National Sports Authority.
Rodgers said they don’t see any problems.
“We heard that the stadium will be up and running in a few months. I think we can utilise the stadium, along with the Ministry of Youth, and make it a profitable one,” Rodgers said.
“Most of the time when I travel, people have been asking me when are we going to host an international tournament because they want to come to the Bahamas.
“So I think it would be a smooth transition for us. We hope to bring tournaments of different age brackets here and I don’t have a problem bringing teams here to compete. So we will be happy to integrate with the BBF and corporate Bahamas so that we can properly entertain the teams when they come here to play in the new stadium.”
Hopefully, the BBF will get to voice their opinion on the issue in Friday’s edition of The Tribune.