Rob Biertempfel reports that Morgantown is interested in having a minor-league baseball team in the New York-Penn League.
After joining the Big 12 Conference, West Virginia wants to build a new baseball stadium. The university would share the facility with a minor league franchise, which is the same arrangement the State College Spikes (a Pirates affiliate) have with Penn State.
Tuesday, Spikes owner Chuck Greenberg said WVU and the New York-Penn League have asked him for advice about a possible setup in Morgantown.
As a former resident of Morgantown and a frequent visitor there, this doesn't make any sense at all. Ask any townie, if you can find one, what summers are like in Morgantown. They're wonderful, because there aren't eight billion students clogging up the roads and standing in line at restaurants and stores. WVU students are just fine with me, of course, but summer is my favorite season in Morgantown, because there's just no one there. The NY-Penn league is a short-season league, which means that it starts its season around now, in late June, and ends it in early September. This is almost precisely the time frame where students aren't around.
Also, Morgantown would be one of the southernmost and westernmost teams in the NY-Penn League, which has teams scattered through Pennsylvania, New York and New England. The drives in and out of town to play those games would be awful.
The Pirates, incidentally, don't have a great relationship with the State College Spikes, their current NY-Penn League representative. One potential advantage of having a Pirates farm team in Morgantown would be its proximity to Pittsburgh.