Baseball: Watson’s Loss, Ottawa’s Loss

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One of the main reasons people attend Ottawa 67’s and Gatineau Olympiques hockey games is they get to see players with the potential to play in the National Hockey League.

Unfortunately, the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League, the lowest tier of professional baseball, is composed of never-will-be and never-were baseball players. No-hopers.

That’s reflected in their attendance. The team drew an average of 1,971 fans per game in a 10,000-seat, city-owned stadium last year. People don’t care.

Not so in Manchester, New Hampshire where the Blue Jays affiliate the Fisher Cats are doing 4,258 fans a game in a very cold spring.

Why so many fans?

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette are some of the top prospects in all of baseball and are expected to be with the Major League Blue Jays within a couple or three years. That’s why more than twice the number of fans show up in the tiny Manchester market than in Ottawa. They come to see the future.

Mayor Jim Watson had an opportunity to get that very lineup and bring exciting baseball to Ottawa. Instead he opted for cheaping out on a team run by his friend David Gourlay and the attendance reflects Watson’s decision. Watson should keep his nose out things he doesn’t understand, which would be everything except politics. His meddling caused the mess on Coventry Road. He doesn’t understand the business of sports.

All that excitement in Manchester could have been here had not Watson made a bad choice.

Guerrero Jr., 19, is the son of the Hall of Famer by the same name. Experts say Jr. is better than his dad because his father was notorious for swinging at bad pitches while Jr. is more selective. The younger is flirting with a batting average of .400.

Below are two videos of the same home run by Jr. It was one of the hardest hit balls you’ll ever see. You don’t need to be a baseball fan to appreciated it. You can hear the power. (Please note the first video has some mild  coarse language in it.) Watch the top video in full screen to see the power. Not sure that ball has come down yet.

The Blue Jays wanted this farm team to come here. So too two of the best owners in Minor League Baseball. The Eastern League wanted the move. Franchises were available and the Blue Jays affiliated prospects would be in Ottawa right now.

Then Watson got involved. The rest is history.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Baseball: Watson’s Loss, Ottawa’s Loss

  1. You’re right, Ken. The 10,000-seat Ottawa ball park is a very nice facility. When team ownership realized it was difficult for fans to find parking in and around the park they upgraded the lot to accommodate attendees. Simple. The Lynx served as the the Triple A affiliate for the Expos, the Orioles, and the Phillies. While the park lacked the charm of small-town American parks surrounded by corn fields, it is functional and well-situated. Thankfully the park has never been demolished. After Triple A baseball left Ottawa negotiations for a Double A franchise began and at the last minute the plug was pulled and as I recall Jim Watson was a principal in this decision. I never understood why.
    In the past the Bulldog has asked whether or not Ottawa s a major league city. Beautiful as our city is, I don’t know if it even deserves minor league status. Our mayor doesn’t seem to think so.

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    1. Sisco:

      I remember the night he announced the procurement of the Champions and was surprised by the hostile response.

      Obviously he had no idea what was going on.

      Then later he said Ottawa couldn’t afford the World Series, apparently thinking that if you win the Eastern League title, well that’s the World Series. What else?

      If Watson can’t get baseball right (a very small issue), how can he govern billions of dollars on light rail? Or build overpasses on Woodroffe to Barrhaven over the dangerous Via rail line?

      Here’s how … he gets it wrong.

      The Keystone Cops are better organized than the mayor.

      cheers

      kgray

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