It's been a week of turmoil in professional fastpitch softball. The future of the Akron Racers has been questioned after the removal of General Manager Joey Arrietta and reports that majority owner Craig Stout has partnered with a Chinese group to bring in a group of players from China to fill a significant portion of the team's roster.
On Thursday, the Beacon Journal reported that the team will become the Cleveland Comets under new general manager Stephen Dunn. NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf said in an interview Thursday there was "nothing (she) could do to validate that rumor."
The shakeup has also extended to Texas, where the Scrap Yard Dawgs announced they would not play in National Pro Fastpitch this season. They were later formally dismissed from NPF.
Kempf joined the Jasen Sokol Show for an in-depth discussion of the future of pro softball in Akron:
A sad day for softball fans in the area, as the Akron Racers may be no more, at least in 2018. Joey Arrietta, who ran the Racers from top to bottom, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to sort through the news, which caught her by surprise a few weeks back. Arrietta was ousted as general manager, and now the future of softball remains in doubt. Firestone Stadium will still house high school and collegiate games throughout the summer. An emotional Arrietta says she is fighting to retain the team’s name and the colors, though that is up to the league to decide. As far as the league goes, speculation as to how long it will remain continues to loom.
2018 is nearly a month old, and the mayor of Akron, Dan Horrigan, addressed some of the needs and visions in the community on the Ray Horner Morning Show. Topics discussed: *The Akron Racers not playing in 2018, and how that will affect Firestone Stadium and the area of South Akron *What is left of the Rubber Bowl, which looks to cost about $400,000 to demolish *The area surrounding the Rubber Bowl, including Akron-Fulton Airport. *Continued development of the 31 acres that once made up the Innerbelt *Issue 4 and the upgrades to the city’s roads and firehouses *The sewer project
Known for her dazzling play on the field for the Akron Racers, star outfielder A.J. Andrews is featured in this year's edition of ESPN the Magazine's "Body Issue" that is due to hit the newsstands Friday, July 7th.
Andrews, coming off of a Gold Glove award in her first season with the Racers, is a Florida-native who played her college softball at LSU. She is the first ever female to win a Gold Glove award and she took home the 2016 Golden Spikes award for stealing a league-leading 15 bases.
This year's edition of the "Body Issue" features former Ohio State Buckeye Ezekiel Elliot on the cover. Elliot currenly plays running back for the Dallas Cowboys.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love appeared in the issue two years ago.