Hot issue goes on backburner

John
John Browne
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Provincial senior gets underway

The burgeoning animosity between Softball Newfoundland and Labrador president Lloyd Power and former finance director Bill Barron, who runs the St. John's Senior Men's League, was put on the backburner Thursday night, which meant the Labatt provincial men's softball tournament got underway without a hitch at Lions Park.

There had been speculation the players, most of whom back Barron in the dispute, would refuse to play unless the St. John's president was able to score the games.

The burgeoning animosity between Softball Newfoundland and Labrador president Lloyd Power and former finance director Bill Barron, who runs the St. John's Senior Men's League, was put on the backburner Thursday night, which meant the Labatt provincial men's softball tournament got underway without a hitch at Lions Park.

There had been speculation the players, most of whom back Barron in the dispute, would refuse to play unless the St. John's president was able to score the games.

Barron is not a member in good standing with the provincial association and isn't permitted to have anything to do with the tournament, according to Power.

"I didn't press the players. Absolutely not. Let them play the tournament. This is all going to be straightened out within two months," noted Barron, who was standing outside the scorer's booth at Lions Park.

Harold Kelly of West Side Charlies/Bud Light, who is also the St. John's League vice-president, said the ongoing feud between Barron and Power is "baffling" and "frustrating" for a lot of the players, adding that he hopes it doesn't have any long-term negative effects on the game.

Power, who was at the park Thursday night, said he was pleased the tournament was underway and added, "It's about the game and hopefully the foolishness is over."

He said Barron's remarks about the players in Thursday's Telegram probably backfired on the St. John's president. Barron was extremely perturbed with the players for not backing him completely when he threatened to run off the tournament without SNL's participation.

He said the players were only concerned they wouldn't get to go to the nationals next year if they didn't play in the official SNL tourney this weekend. Later, there was speculation the players would refuse to play in the official event unless Barron was the official scorer.

While there was a time-out from the hostilities Thursday night, there's more controversy simmering just under the surface.

Barron said he has been waiting for three months for a hearing on an appeal to Sport Newfoundland and Labrador concerning his current status with Softball Newfoundland.

Barron hopes to hear something in the next week to 10 days. He said while SNL's decision isn't binding, "it carries weight."

"The only thing that bugs me," he added, "is that this is all happening because I tried to run against Power at the (provincial) AGM. He won't admit that, but that's the reason."

Power, in an e-mail to Sofball Newfoundland adult director Ross Cracker dated Sept. 1, stated: "Let me be clear. Bill Barron is having nothing to do with provincial tournaments or any Softball Newfoundland business."

"(Softball Newfoundland) knew who was hosting this tournament four months ago and they know who runs the senior league," said Barron. "It's not Harry Smith or John Smith or anybody like that... it's me, right? So why did they wait four days before the tournament to say I couldn't be involved? I was involved last year. What's different than last year?"

Barron is also upset by what he sees as Power's insinuation that Barron's dismissal as financial director somehow means there was a misappropriation of money.

"I've been involved as a volunteer in softball for over 50 years and this is my legacy?" an obviously upset Barron asked. "All I know is, there was $30,854.86 surplus in SNL's bank account when I left in 2004 and I understand there's less than $1,000 now."

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Labatt, Barron's, St. John's League

Geographic location: St. John's, Lions Park, Senior Men Newfoundland

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  • Ball
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    The only reason that the tournament got under way so smoothly last night was because of another threat by SNL President Lloyd Power. He instructed the umpires that if they were to pass Bill Barron the line-up cards as they were going to, they would never umpire at another national event again!! I just read the article on Mr. Hearn calling Premier Williams at dictator. Well maybe Mr. Power should run for politics in the PC goverment. Oh yeh, he tried a couple years back but Danny said NO, we don't want you.

  • Ball
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    The only reason that the tournament got under way so smoothly last night was because of another threat by SNL President Lloyd Power. He instructed the umpires that if they were to pass Bill Barron the line-up cards as they were going to, they would never umpire at another national event again!! I just read the article on Mr. Hearn calling Premier Williams at dictator. Well maybe Mr. Power should run for politics in the PC goverment. Oh yeh, he tried a couple years back but Danny said NO, we don't want you.