Out of nowhere, Quails open their season Wednesday

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- It's official: Albany's newest minor-league baseball franchise is here.

Well, not here, actually.

The Albany Quails started their season unexpectedly and without notice from the Peach State League on Wednesday against the Warner Robins Aviators, and they did so in Macon, where they will play most of their 42 games this season as part of the new, four-team PSL. Coincidentally or not, Albany opened its season on the same day the PSL finally released its schedule for the Quails, despite the season officially beginning this past Saturday.

The game was the second of a doubleheader at Luther Williams Field, as the Milledgeville Capitals beat the Macon Pinetoppers, 7-2, earlier in the day.

As for the other questions surrounding the Quails and the league, some of them were answered Wednesday.

Coaching Albany's franchise will be Eddie Cardieri, a baseball coach for more than 30 years -- 21 of them spent at the University of South Florida, where he won more than 800 games.

And the players?

The team, and the league, is still recruiting.

"Player-wise we don't know (where we're at) for sure," said Bill Larsen, co-founder of the league and co-owner of the Pinetoppers. "It's hard to tell right now, because we haven't seen (the players) that much. That's what we're here for, to find out."

The league signed 30 players in the beginning of June, but Larsen said all the rosters for the four teams haven't been finalized.

Larsen added that a big reason for the confusion surrounding the start of the season, its schedule and its personnel was waiting until after the MLB Draft earlier this month to complete the rosters.

"We knew that we wanted better players, so we delayed (the season) a few games for them," Larsen said. "We started late, but we wanted to make sure everything organizationally was done right. We're getting players that are very good that we hope get signed by major- or minor-league teams."

So while the Quails don't have a full roster yet, they at least have enough to field a team. They'll also play a full season, though only 18 games will be at Paul Eames Park in Albany. Those dates include home games July 1-4, 15-18, 24, 25, 26 and 28, and Aug. 2-7.

"That was the intent from the beginning," Larsen said. "(We wanted) to play some games (in Albany) so people can see what they're doing and maybe play a full season (there) next year."