By Elsa Maxey
There were rumblings about Sugar Land Skeeters General Manager Gary Gaetti leaving the popular minor league team. Not true. In response to a point blank question, Gaetti told the “Star” from his hometown in Illinois midday on Tuesday that “as of yesterday, I was still signing players.” A shocker outcome if it had been true since the season is about six weeks from its start. Assistant to the team’s president Deacon Jones had previously affirmed that nothing had “crossed my desk,” or been in discussions about Gaetti’s departure before his response to the contrary.
According to the Skeeters, the organization is intact with “everybody on board” …as of this week. However, before a formal announcement is made about the actual departure of one of its officials, the “Star” received a prepared statement in response to its query about the head of the local baseball team leaving.
“After much thought and in light of growing family and lifestyle considerations, I have made the decision to resign from my position with the Sugar Land Skeeters,” said Skeeters President Matt o’Brien. O’Brien, who joined the Skeeters in June 2010 also said that “with a few compelling opportunities in the Midwest region, we are taking this chance to move closer to home.” As for the stay here, “It has been a sweet ride in Sugar Land and I feel fortunate and thankful to have been a part of America’s finest minor league baseball team.”
O’Brien has been credited with leading efforts relating to the $37 million Constellation Field, the team’s growth from a start-up to national prominence in the first year of play with accolades from media outlets that included ESPN and others. He was also instrumental in signing Major League All Star Roger Clemens, which caused a national publicity stir.
Opening Day Partners, which owns the Atlantic League with which the Skeeters is associated, will have Peter Kirk, Jon Danos and Special Advisor Tal Smith operating the local team in the interim. No definite departure date for O’Brien has been announced at this time.