Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Rockies switch Triple-A affiliation; Sky Sox eye Astros, Brewers as replacement

September 17, 2014 Updated: September 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm
0
photo - Rockie Troy Tulowitski signs autographs for fans before the Sky Sox game against the Sacramento River Cats on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Both Troy Tulowitski and Giambi are both scheduled to play with the Sky Sox through Friday, but will be evaluated on a daily basis. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
Rockie Troy Tulowitski signs autographs for fans before the Sky Sox game against the Sacramento River Cats on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Both Troy Tulowitski and Giambi are both scheduled to play with the Sky Sox through Friday, but will be evaluated on a daily basis. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) 

For the first time since 1993, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox will take the field with players not associated with the Colorado Rockies.

And it may only be a matter of days, not weeks, before area fans find out if the Sky Sox roster will be populated by Houston or Milwaukee players.

Sky Sox general manager and president Tony Ensor sees opportunity in the affiliation change, the first for the Triple-A franchise since 1993.

“We are talking about two organizations, Houston and Milwaukee that are on the rise,” Ensor said. “Milwaukee is contending for the playoffs and many see the Astros as the team of the future.

“The thing everyone needs to remember is there will be Triple-A baseball here on April 9, 2015 and will be for many years to come. This is exciting.”

All the player development contracts between Major League and Triple-A baseball organizations must be completed by Sept. 30.

“They (the Rockies) made a business decision and while it is disappointing we recognize their right to make that choice,” Ensor said. “They contacted me about their decision earlier today (Wednesday) and I have already been in touch with the other teams (Houston and Milwaukee). We have two weeks to make a decision but I expect we will have an announcement well before then.”

The Rockies’ Triple-A club will be the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The falling of Pacific Coast League dominoes started when members of the Dodgers ownership group purchased the Oklahoma City RedHawks recently, ensuring they would move the organization’s affiliation there.

Ensor and others stressed that changing affiliation, while not common for Colorado Springs, is the norm elsewhere.

“It's a big move but this is something that happens pretty regularly with organizations,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “Affiliates move a lot. I think half the PCL will be moving. It's fairly common but it will change the dynamics of things for sure.”

The Sky Sox still have the Triple A franchise rights for the area and will continue in Colorado Springs for years to come, Ensor said.

Either Houston or Milwaukee would be the fourth organization in Sky Sox franchise history, starting with the Chicago White Sox (1950-58), Cleveland Indians (1988-92), Rockies (1993-2014).

The Rockies also cut ties with their Double-A affiliate in Tulsa and Single-A Tri-Cities. The Double-A Eastern League's New Brittain (Conn.) Rock Cats announced a two-year deal with the Rockies on Wednesday.

The Sky Sox came to Colorado Springs in 1988 from Honolulu and were affiliated with the Cleveland Indians before Denver was awarded a big-league franchise.

Nothing about the team, from its front office staff, promotions or even the mascot Sox the Fox, figures to change regardless of which major league team is connected with the Sky Sox.

Joe Paisley and Paul Klee contributed to this story.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.