American Association Daily will provide insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Josh Buchholz is named as the Executive Director of the American Association. Will he be taking a new position at summer’s end?
Changes at the Top
The American Association announced on Thursday that Fargo-Moorhead Vice-President and
General Manager Josh Buchholz will take over as the Executive Director of the league starting in May of this year. Buchholz will replace Dan Moushon, who sources confirm resigned at the league owner’s meetings in October. At the meetings, commissioner Miles Wolff also resigned, reported to take effect following the 2018 campaign.
A Clearly Qualified Choice
Josh Buchholz is no stranger to the inner workings of the American Association. The new Executive Director has been in his current position with the RedHawks since October 2005, but has been with the club dating back before their first championship season in 1998. Since then, the club was won four more league titles during his time with Fargo-Moorhead, and he has three times been named the Executive of the Year, awarded in 2008, 2010, and 2012.
In a statement released by the league office, the current commissioner expressed his pleasure at the naming of Buchholz to his new position. “We’re excited and honored to have Josh on board. His years of experience within the league overseeing an extremely solid operation in Fargo-Moorhead make him the perfect candidate for this position.”
How long Buchholz remains in this position will be up for debate. The league owners have formed a committee to determine who should replace Wolff as the new commissioner of the American Association, and Josh Buchholz was considered to be one of three finalists for owners to consider as Wolff’s replacement.
Whether this opens the door for a different candidate to take the position is not known, but the more likely scenario is that the new Executive Director will spend a year in the league office, learning the ropes of the day to day operations before taking the reins of the league.
Rebuilding the Reputation of the League
One of the priorities for Josh Buchholz will be to re-establish a level of credibility to the league, which was lost following the Game 4 call by Joe Stegner in the American Association Championship series which denied the Wichita Wingnuts the title. Many managers and executives around the league were outraged by the call, feeling that it gave a black eye to the association.
The problem was compounded when Wolff made controversial comments to the Winnipeg Sun, where he told the Wingnuts organization that they should not just “sit and whine.” He added that they “just complained,” and completely supported the call by Stegner, despite the fact that virtually no one around the league felt it was a good call. Stegner will not be returning this season according to league sources.
How the credibility of the league will be restored is up for debate. The “call” drew national attention, even appearing on SportsIllustrated.com, and this may make some players question if this is the league they want to be a part of, when umpires make incredibly controversial calls which are supported by the league office.
AAD Notes: The Lincoln Saltdogs continued their quest to return to the playoffs by re-signing infielder Cesar Valera. Valera played a key role in Lincoln’s Central Division winning team, hitting .327 with 4 homers and 52 RBI in 98 games. Valera also scored 70 runs and had 30 total extra base hits. He played outstanding defense at second, making just six errors in 89 games.
By Robert Pannier