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Nats leave Vermont for Auburn, N.Y.

Sep 21, 2010, 10:42 PM EST

The Nationals have switched affiliates at the short-season Class A level, signing a player-development contract with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League.

The two-year deal with Auburn, which had previously been affiliated with the Blue Jays, runs through 2012 and ends the Nats’ longstanding affiliation with the New York-Penn club in Burlington, Vt. The Vermont Lake Monsters had been this franchise’s short-season Class A affiliate since 1994, when they were known as the Vermont Expos.

The Doubledays (named for Civil War general, Auburn native and man who incorrectly was credited with inventing baseball) are located 35 miles west of Syracuse, home of the Nationals’ Class AAA affiliate. They play in 2,706-seat Falcon Park, built in 1995.

“We are delighted to add Auburn to the Nationals’ family,” team president Stan Kasten said in a press release. “This agreement again narrows the footprint of our minor-league system, and starting next summer, Auburn and the Doubledays’ fan base will get their first glimpse at the rewards reaped from both our scouting and player development systems.”

  1. JayB - Sep 21, 2010 at 10:50 PM

    Meanwhile we are forced to look away at the horror produced from Stan's Plan……

  2. A DC Wonk - Sep 21, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    Can someone explain to me what goes into a decision like this? What does Auburn offer that Vermont doesn't? Less travel distance? Is that it?

  3. JayB - Sep 22, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    Facility in VT sucks….really sucks….Travel is by bus so that location counts and so does the link to SYR and AAA club… fans in VT either and weather sucks rain…rain…is that enough? Likely Auburn cheaper too if I know Lerners.

  4. Traveler8 - Sep 22, 2010 at 3:21 AM

    … and a factoid that along with a Smart Trip card will get you on the subway, Abner Doubleday also has the distinction of having fired the first shot on the Union side in the Civil War, at Fort Sumter.The team name is really good, but is anything as good as the Lake Monsters?

  5. markfd - Sep 22, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Vermont was good to the Expos/Nats and not having Nate Cloutier, Vermont GM, involved in our player development is sad, all of the guys who have been through Vermont have very kind words to say about Nate. Hopefully, Auburn has a good young GM that will treat the players as well as Nate has.

  6. U-Hoo - Sep 22, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    DC Wonk: Lots of things go into a decision like this, but shorter travel to and from DC probably figures in, as well as the opportunity for brass to check out two clubs (Syracuse and Auburn) in one trip. I've never been to either facility, but those conditions often play a role.Since it's the same league, the level of competition apparently did not figure in.Another commenter mentioned the weather — if Vermont truly has more rainouts, that can screw with schedules and plans.

  7. Rob - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    Its a 53 minute flight from Syracuse to National, and it's fairly easy to travel around that part of NY, driving around Vermont is pretty, but its also a huge pain in the ass.





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