For the 2nd time in 4 years, the Tri-City Valleycats are the champions of the New York-Penn League, defeating the State College Spikes, 2 games to 1, with a 4-2 verdict on Thursday.
Last year, the shoe was on the other foot, as the 'Cats had won the 1st game of the LCS vs. Hudson Valley at home, only to lose the title to the Renegades on the road. This time, Tri-City lost at home on Tuesday, then had their collective backs pressed against the wall headed to State College, or, as college football fans know it better, Happy Valley (State College is the hometown of Penn State University).
Given the turmoil at Penn State the last couple of years, I can understand the disappointment the fans at State College are feeling. They wanted the championship to put some silver lining in the clouds that have formed the last few years. Maybe next year.
Next June, the Valleycats will raise their 2nd championship banner at Joe Bruno Stadium, but again, there will be an almost completely new cast taking the field. Maybe manager Ed Romero will be the first 'Cats skipper to last just one season before being promoted within the Houston chain. I can picture him in the Astros' dugout within a few years, and this title would be the touchstone.
However, the championship celebration may not be over yet in this region. The Northeast Football Association's title game is Saturday, and the Troy Fighting Irish---who for some unknown reason continue to play their home games in Schenectady----are playing for the title, despite the on-again, off-again local press coverage, and virtually no coverage on radio or television. Not every game was reported by the local paper, though the last I knew, they did have a blogger following the team's progress. That isn't enough.
It also underscores the glaring problem at the paper. They want to drive consumer traffic to their website, which is why they moved their printing operations to a rival paper's offices. All that tells Joe Average Consumer is that the paper's parent company, an out-of-state concern, doesn't care about the market it serves. People have called to complain about the recent changes, which should send this message to the ownership: Not everyone owns a computer. If we all did, there wouldn't be any sniping, but, well...........! Let's see how long it takes for the local paper to tell us if the Irish won their title...........