Brushing off the stiff penalties handed down by the Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA), the Babe Ruth League Inc. is standing firm behind Greg Burrows Sr., stating that it fully supports the local sports figure in the execution of his duties.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Philip Davis, the Babe Ruth League Inc. stated that they are in firm support of Burrows Sr. and that he will continue in his role as Babe Ruth League Caribbean Commissioner, thereby being the liaison officer between the league and Caribbean nations in growing the game around the region.
Over the weekend, the BBA handed down a 15-year suspension for Greg Jr. and a five-year suspension for Greg Sr., prohibiting them from national team duties and the representation of The Bahamas internationally, in baseball, for the foreseeable future.
“In our opinion, the BBA’s action is punitive and severe for a volunteer who has served the sport and The Bahamas with class for the better part of his life,” read the statement. “With his dedication to the sport, many players have graduated from the Freedom Farm Baseball League and represented your country either in the MLB (Major League Baseball) or at other internationally recognized events. The community benefitted from our event through tourism as well as the completion of the Andre Rodgers Stadium and the renovation of the Baillou Hills Complex.”
The statement affirmed that the league has a good working relationship with The Bahamas and the governing body for the sport in the country, the BBA.
“… We have all focused on bringing tourism through baseball to your great country … We hope to continue bringing additional tournaments and opportunities to The Bahamas,” the statement read. “We would hope to return to The Bahamas for the 2024 Babe Ruth League Caribbean Regional Tournament under our regional commissioner Gregory Burrows Sr. and continue to support your ‘Sports in Paradise’ initiative.”
According to findings revealed by the BBA over the weekend, it was determined that Greg Sr. interrupted in the ability of foreign umpire Edaine Cannister, of Curaçao, to carry our his functions as home plate umpire for the 16-and-under semifinal game between The Bahamas and Puerto Rico during the Babe Ruth Caribbean Baseball Championship and Invitational at the Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium three weeks ago.
In its report, the BBA stated that the actions of Greg Sr. were in clear violation of the standard baseball rules by ordering the reinstatement of an ejected game participant, namely his son, Greg Burrows Jr., and the removal of the game officials, Cannister and Robert Coakley, from the middle of the game if they did not reinstate Greg Jr.
The report added that Greg Sr. failed to permit the tournament directors to perform their duties and present a formal complaint to him, as commissioner.
The Babe Ruth League Inc. didn’t have any comment on the actions of Greg Jr., solely throwing support behind Greg Sr.
Greg Jr. was handed a 15-year suspension from all local and international baseball competition in any capacity including and not limited to player, coach, manager, official, executive and organizer in The Bahamas.
It was ruled that he did not leave the playing area within the required time frame after his ejection from the game and that he violated the rules by going into the spectator seating area (the stands) to give game instructions to his team during the remainder of the game competition.
The BBA condemned the actions of both Greg Jr. and Greg Sr., stating that they were inappropriate, and damning and damaging to the image of baseball, and by extension sports, in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“The BBA understands that this is a grave matter that can affect The Bahamas’ tourism product and, in particular, the game of baseball throughout The Bahamas when it comes to hosting any baseball games or sporting events on our soil,” the BBA stated in a release.
The umpire in question, Cannister, an umpire for more than 40 years, is pursuing the matter legally.