On Friday, the Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League announced the indefinite suspension of the Manitowoc Bandits from league play.
The suspension is a result of multiple forfeits over the past few seasons, including in 2017 due to not having enough player personnel for scheduled games.
As a result, statistics from games already played against Manitowoc will not be considered in the year-end league totals. Games against Manitowoc will be removed from the overall league-records of the remaining NEWBL franchises.
Also affected by the Manitowoc suspension is the 2017 NEWBL playoff format. The playoffs will now only include the top four teams at the end of the regular season standings, instead of including all six NEWBL teams. The playoff semifinals will now become a best-of-three series, instead of the original single-game elimination semi-final. The regular season #1 and #2 seeds will have home field advantage in the semifinals, hosting games one and three (if necessary) against the #4 and #3 seeds respectively. The winners of the semifinal matchups will meet in the championship, which will also be a best-of-three series, with the highest remaining seed having home field advantage in games one and three (if necessary).
Games against Manitowoc that will remain may be played if league teams wish to play them. The games will be considered exhibition games, and not count towards the league standings or statistics.
The suspension of Manitowoc will remain in effect indefinitely, and until the 2019 season at minimum.