Aiken Foxhounds general manager Bradley Bell announced his resignation Monday in a statement released by the South Coast League.
Bell, the only general manager in the Foxhounds' short history, said his decision to step down came after weeks of consideration.
"I've been in minor league baseball for over five years, and it was just time for me to step away," he said in a phone interview. "It wasn't just one factor. I just became burned out on it all. It's taken a toll on me mentally and physically."
J.D. Hardin, chief development officer of the South Coast League, said the news came as a surprise.
"It's definitely not what we were hoping for. That front office has been one of the beacons of stability for this league," he said. "If there's one thing we've learned from last year, it's that you have to learn how to adapt."
The South Coast League and Aiken Foxhounds are getting set to begin their second year of existence, which begins in fewer than three months. The league announced two days ago it would only be fielding four teams instead of six this season.
Hardin said that, despite the string of bad news, the season will go on as planned.
"This is just a change at the top. That's the changing landscape of minor league baseball. You see a lot of turnover," he said. "Bradley is not leaving us empty-handed. Everything is still a go for this next year."
Hardin also said the organization, which has fallen into debt after its first year of operation, will continue to work to pay off several local vendors.
"It's just like any first-year business. We're working toward getting those debts paid off," he said. "They're going to get paid. We're not running out on anybody."
Hardin said the league already has begun actively searching for Bell's replacement.
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