November 28, 2007
Albany -- All signs point to the South Coast League playing baseball in 2008 even though the league still owes thousands of dollars to vendors in Albany and other cities in which they are operate.
That according to former South Georgia Peanuts general manager Keith Michlig who is speaking out after his paycheck bounced for a second time in the last two months.
Michlig was fired several weeks ago but was working through the end of this month.
League president Jamie Toole calls Michlig a disgruntled former employee who is lashing out after losing his job. Toole admitted there were problems with the payroll system placed part of the blame on a change of personnel in the league office in Conyers.
Michlig says not meeting payroll is the least of the SCL's troubles now.
He says the league owes tens of thousands of dollars to businesses in Albany and in other cities they operate.
Michlig says those vendors are calling daily wanting to know when they are going to be paid and so far have not gotten any answers. "They insist on trying to hit these guys with one big lump sum. Meanwhile, instead of getting 100 dollars, 200 or 500 from May. They have gone for six months with nothing. I don't blame them. It is frustrating. I take calls every day from folks that are wondering when they might see their check."
Wally Backman's final paycheck in September was also returned to him. Toole says the SCL put a stop payment on the check because they thought they had underpaid him.
Backman says his bank checked with the league's bank and there was not enough money in the league's account.
Funding from the league comes from private investors in Illinois. I have been told were not happy with the league's financial losses in its first season.
The investors though are said to be committed to financing the league for another season but will keep a closer eye on how their money is being spent.