London Majors manager Roop Chanderdat makes early commitment to return

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Unlike last year, there will be no waiting to find out if London Majors’ field manager and part-owner Roop Chanderdat will return to the Majors.

“I was driving back from camping in Peterborough this weekend and I was already thinking about the lineup,” Chanderdat said. “Yes, I’m coming back.”

Two years ago Chanderdat was seriously considering walking away from the Majors. There is none of that this year.

“I haven’t done much with baseball since the season ended,” Chanderdat said. “I did book the facility for indoor workouts in the winter, which is normally the first thing you do to get ready for next season.

“Right now I’m just thinking about the local players and slotting them in the lineup and figuring out whether they are good enough to play there or not.”

The Majors had an up-and-down season, starting strongly and getting to the Intercounty Baseball League semifinals before being swept by the Kitchener Panthers.

Chanderdat says the season turned around with the loss of ace Murilo Gouvea to a Quebec team in the Can-Am League.

It’s something that’s happened frequently to the Majors in recent years.

“What wasn’t really publicized was that we had an agreement that he would stay until the end of the season,” Chanderdat says. “But I’m not going to stand in the way of any player that gets a chance to move up. That’s not what we’re here for.”

Right now Chanderdat’s focus is on his Junior B Komoka Kings.

In other IBL news, commissioner John Kastner announced the Guelph Royals will return to the IBL under new ownership.

The Royals suspended operations early in the 2017 season.

Shawn Fuller, a Guelph native who lives in Kitchener, and Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie purchased the team from Jim Rooney.

Fuller worked in sales with BlackBerry for 10 years and is the owner of Canadawide Sports, a sports equipment distribution company.

“It would have been great if they could have taken over during the season, but I understand why they didn’t,” Chanderdat says. “It really wasn’t their team.”

Chanderdat is pleased the Royals are back in the fold.

“Guelph has to be in the league,” he said. “They’ve been there since the start. It’s important that a franchise remains there. I also think that in the next few years, you’ll see a couple of other teams come into the league. I don’t know when, but there will be some other teams joining the league.”

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