3 strikes for Worcester Tornadoes

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August 28, 2012, 6:38 pm
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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - Locked out! That's the new trouble for the Worcester Tornadoes due to financial strains.

Creditors have now kicked the team out of their offices, locks changed and all.

Movers packed up the Worcester Tornadoes corporate headquarters.

It's the latest action from creditors suing the team for non payment of services.

A defiant team owner removed his belongings from the office Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s what I call the baseball ambulance chaser running through town chasing down vendors. I don't know what business in Worcester doesn't have vendors and that have debt,” says owner Todd Breighner.

He says he inherited a team already $600,000 in debt.

Breighner says he’s helped keep the team in business and has made a commitment to paying off all the Tornadoes creditors.

“I went to each vendor and said ‘I will pay you every dollar back and will do best I can to pay it back as fast as possible.’”

“The money went somewhere. Took in money for attendance, where did it go?” asks David Sears of Print Resources.

Sears’ company began working with the team four months ago, but he says he's yet to be paid the $7,000 the team owes him.

Sears says he was shocked to learn there were so many other vendors in his position.

“That’s $7,000 of real money that we spent on their behalf.”

Steve Bucchalter's cleaning company was among the first to sue the team for unpaid bills.

He has since been paid but says the situation is unfortunate.

“I wish that wasn't the case, wish we were the only ones affected but it appears that wasn't the case,” he says. “It seems every organization who did business with them was affected.”

Meanwhile, Breighner says the team isn't going anywhere.

“Only thing I can tell you is the Worcester Tornadoes will be here in 2014. They're healthy, been under capitalized, I've said that to community members and at the league level.”

Adding to their money woes, former major league slugger and Tornadoes player Jose Canseco filed a suit against the Tornadoes seeking $840,000.

Canseco's lawyer tells the Telegram and Gazette that the Tornadoes owe the former team member over $80,000 in unpaid wages, plus interest.

And there were also other valuable provisions in Canseco's contract, such as housing and cars.

The suit will be heard in court next Tuesday.

Tags: jose canseco, debt, Worcester Tornadoes, Todd Breighner, creditors, Katelyn Tivnan, steve bucchalter, david sears, print rescources
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