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      Negotiations for new baseball team in Amarillo begin

      File Photo

      Even though Reunion Sports Group and the Amarillo Dillas are no more, baseball is still on-deck for Potter County Stadium.

      Commissioners heard from four groups Wednesday morning, all making their pitch to make sure there's no absence of baseball for 2011.

      Potter County Commissioners were in the stands as four different groups made their pitches to ensure uninterrupted baseball continues in Amarillo.

      The Pecos League, which has a number of New Mexico and Southern teams playing next year, the Southern Independent League's American Association, the Amarillo Baseball Club, spear headed by former judge and local State Representative, H. Bryan Poff, and the Dillas owners, Reunion Sports Group.

      In the end, commissioners voted unanimously to begin negotiations with the Southern Independent League and it's 14 teams in the midwest.

      "I'm hopeful we can reach an agreement, if not today then this week. And it can be submitted to the county Monday," said Scott Berry, Southern Independent Baseball President.

      Berry said his league would like to maintain the Dillas managing staff.

      "That's my plan, of course, I have to talk to Mark, but i plan on it."

      And if a new stadium is built in downtown Amarillo, he doesn't see that being a problem.

      "I think you could have a downtown stadium and the county stadium be still used. And we didn't come into this expecting to get a new stadium in downtown, we're going with what the county has right now."

      If someone balks during negotiations, next on deck-the Amarillo Baseball Club, followed by the Pecos League and in baseball's vernacular, in the cellar, Reunion Sports Group would get the final look.

      If all goes smoothly, an announcement about the new team is slated for next Monday. Next Friday, the county will start mediation with Reunion Sports Group regarding the $75,000 still owed to the county.