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Peace on turf

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The two semi-pro baseball teams vying for playing time at SLO's public stadium have come to an agreement with the city and each other for the 2008 season.

Last season, after 12 years of shared use with youth and adult baseball leagues at Sinsheimer Stadium, Blues baseball was shook up when a second semi-pro team, the Rattlers, showed up, wanting to use the same field. An ugly conflict ensued between the city's Parks and Recreation Department, the Blues (who sought exclusivity as a semi-pro team on that field), and other teams that had used the stadium, including the Men's Senior Baseball League. The chaos left both semi-pro teams without a schedule, just three months from their opening days. When the '07 season finally rolled around, the men's league officials voluntarily ousted their team from the line-up while Blues and Rattlers scrambled to fill their rosters and sell tickets.

This time around, Parks and Rec told the men's league to find a new field during the months when the semi-pro teams play, and city officials asked both the Rattlers and the Blues to submit Requests for Proposals--essentially bidding for use of the field.

On Dec. 18, the city accepted tentative schedules for both teams, as well as contracts to use the field at an increased cost and under stricter new guidelines. The Blues are expected to play 43 home games next year, and the Rattlers are expected to play 25--not counting games they will play against the Blues

"Everybody knows it could have been a lot worse," said Blues founder Tim Golden.

Contracts are expected to be signed after the first of the year.

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