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Baseball Is Kind of Here To Stay

God bless Ottawa Champions president David Gourlay.

It’s his job to sell tickets to his ball club’s games.

“Baseball is here to stay,” said Gourlay, also the Champions’ minority owner. Would he say anything else?

His club’s attendance this year was an average of 2,228 per game. Modest in a 10,000-seat stadium.

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Baseball Money Moves To Arts Court



It’s well known that the money earmarked for Double-A baseball was moved to Arts Court when city staff and Mayor Jim Watson canned a Blue Jay affiliation.

So now we have independent ball … the lowest level of minor league baseball. It’s not drawing well. In contrast, imagine how excited Ottawans would be with a Blue Jay affiliate now that the Jays are contenders.

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Don’t Pull This Baseball Redevelopment Stunt


This is the 2008 schedule for the now-defunct Ottawa Rapidz of the Can-Am league.

It’s not baseball that’s the problem in Ottawa. It’s the league the team is in.

This week I found an old Can-Am League schedule around the house for the one-year Ottawa Rapidz of 2008. The Rapidz were gone as that year ended.

Of the eight teams in the Can-Am loop in 2008, only Les Capitales de Quebec continue to operate in their original form with their original names and operations. So the average team in the Can-Am League fails. They are replaced by other clubs that keep the baseball ferris-wheel turning.

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Champions Face Brutal Sports Competition

Last week in an article with Ottawa Champions executive Miles Wolff in the Citizen, the Can-Am League Champs said the club was hoping for 2,500 fans a night.

In fact as of Friday morning, they were averaging 2,078 for baseball games here.

That’s a tad short but not fatal.

However in the spring, Champs honcho David Gourlay said he was hoping for 3,500 to 4,000 people per night.

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Ottawans Are Not Baseball Virgins



Ottawans are not stupid.

They are accustomed to watching the highest level of hockey in the world at the Canadian Tire Centre.

So when someone brings in the lowest form of minor league baseball to this city, fans will be skeptical. Residents don’t mind watching their Quebec league and Ontario league juniors because at least these players have an outside chance of making the NHL.

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The Champions Are Playing When?

How are baseball fans to know when the Can-Am League or American Association Ottawa Champions are playing?

The only ads I’ve heard are on Blue Jays radio broadcasts which are a good idea except that they don’t make the date of the game stick in the mind. Print ads help in that regard. So does web advertising.

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Reader Enjoyed Champions Game

Bulldog contributor Doug K chips in on the Ottawa Champions issue.

Tell me Doug … did you see any ads for the game? I didn’t but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any:

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Commenter Needs Baseball Reality Check



Here’s a question-and-answer between some guy who calls himself Reality Check (whoever that is) and yours truly

Mr. Reality is referring to the post, Champions Have Bad Money Weekend. To read the post, click here:


I really don’t get your hate on for this team, nor your insistence on perpetuating misinformation to support your irrational attacks.

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Champions Have Bad Money Weekend

Some concerning omens appeared at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Stadium, home of the Can-Am baseball league Ottawa Champions on Coventry Road.

The Champions (why play the games if they are already the champions of the Can-Am League or American Association or whatever independent ball they’re in?) drew an average of 2,815 over the first three nights of the season against the Sussex County Miners (whoever they are).

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Baseball Kiss Cam Features Gay Couple: Video

Has the last bastion of heterosexuality been breached? Is there any barrier left?

A crowd at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium cheers a gay couple kissing on the Kiss Cam between innings at a baseball game.

The video evidence is below:

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“Transit won’t trip up baseball

– headline from Ottawa Sun

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Champions Baseball: Tough Sell Gets Tougher

canamSo the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League or the American Association or an amalgam of both were already in trouble, but now the chance of salvaging the team has become more difficult if not impossible.

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The Most Terrifying Ballpark Snacks

Baseball fans of the world … summer has officially arrived.

Well kinda. The weather might not be cooperating but there is something more reliable than warm weather in July and that’s the beginning of the Major League Baseball season. And that’s today.

To celebrate opening day, The Atlantic’s CityLab brings you seven of the most terrifying snack foods available at U.S. baseball parks.

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This Is Professional Baseball? Whopper Watch

Ottawa Champions president David Gourlay gave us a helpful reminder the other day.

In announcing Sam Bat Corporation as a team sponsor, Gourlay said: “These guys make bats for professional baseball players and we’re a professional baseball team.”

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Brave 2015 Predictions: Top-10 List

Councillor Rick Chiarelli … appointed the Loneliest Man In Town.

Everyone is making predictions about 2015 so why can’t The Bulldog?

Here goes in the form of a Top 10 List:

10. Ex-Kitchissippi councillor Katharine Hobbs leaves planet to return to former home on the Moons of Orion. No one notices.

9. Hobbs calls for higher highrises on Moons of Orion. Ashcroft offers to build them.

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Watson’s Baseball Folly

The Ottawa Champions have named their new manager, former Major League Baseball great Hal Lanier.

You have to be a certain vintage to remember Lanier. That was my earliest vintage. Somehow the 18-34 age bracket might have missed him

Good luck to Lanier, not just on the field, but in the executive suite. Your agent has had an expert on minor-league baseball say that he doesn’t think the Champions will finish the season. We’ll see. The first incarnation of Can-Am League baseball … if that is the league they’re playing in … died after one season. So far, no local ownership.

But the franchise does have a president, none other than that Order of Ottawa award-winning friend of Mayor Jim Watson and professional resume-builder, David Gourlay. Now how did that happen?

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Batting Last, Jim Watson: Whopper Watch



This is grim.

How much did Mayor Jim Watson know about bringing Double-A baseball to Ottawa? Very, very little.

Case in point.

Watson in an interview with the Citizen’s Joanne Chianello said that Triple-A baseball was too rich for Ottawa’s blood. Probably was. The problem is that the Ottawa bid was for Double-A baseball. Embarrassing.

So now Watson has called the baseball bid in the past Major League Baseball and has twice called it Triple-A. Does this guy have advisers?

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You Fund City Hall Swag: Bulldog On CFRA

cfraCFRA’s Rob Snow and Bulldog Ottawa’s Ken Gray look at the ridiculous waste of councillor “swag” at city hall and they discuss the hopeless prospects for a Can-Am baseball team in the city.

In fact, the Can-Am League is not even operating as an independent entity this season. Instead it is a division of the low independent-tier American Association. What that means for Ottawa, well who knows? The city isn’t discussing that.

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Watson’s Baseball Pipe Dream

baseballMaybe it’s time for Mayor Jim Watson to come clean on the baseball situation in Ottawa … if Watson even knows what the status of the ball team is.

Watson is touting baseball coming to Ottawa but that appears very problematic.

You see the whole operation is up in the air.

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Baseball Decision Appealed

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

Subject: Baseball Stadium – Appeal

Sent on behalf of M. Rick O’Connor, City Clerk and Solicitor

Mayor and Members of Council,

I am writing further to my earlier message of March 4th , 2014, in which I advised that the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario had dismissed the action brought by one of the owners of the Rapidz Sports, being Inc., against the City of Ottawa and other parties. Earlier today, the City received a Notice of Appeal of that decision, filed by legal counsel for

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Baseball Litigation Concludes

This a release from the City of Ottawa. Remember that the Can-Am League mentioned below is the same loop that the city awarded the franchise for running baseball at Ottawa Stadium.

The Can-Am League will not operate this summer:

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Jim Watson’s Baseball Top 10 List



Here are the Top 10 things Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said about his rather botched baseball file.

No word on what he said about the casino or bridge files. His Worship speaks below:

1. Just like our new Can-Am League baseball team, our Ottawa needs a good quarterback in the upcoming election and I’m that quarterback.

2. In the words of baseball great Rocket Richard, let’s get one for the Gipper.

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Does Ottawa Still Have A Baseball Deal?

Bulldog Ottawa is just throwing this out there, but consider it.

If the Can-Am League, which the city has an agreement with for a franchise in 2015, is now operating as a division of the independent American Association because it lost one of its few franchises, does that mean that the deal with the City of Ottawa for leasing Ottawa Stadium on Coventry Road is void?

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Can-Am Team Folds; League Joins American Association

Can-AmThe Can-Am division of the American Association has only four teams left.

The Newark Bears are no more and the Can-Am Mortgage and Loan League has joined the American Association as a division of its western cousin for the 2014.

This is (was) the independent league that the City of Ottawa chose over the professionally affiliated Eastern League (AA) because the EL was deemed too expensive for Mayor Jim Watson and deputy city manager Nancy Schepers blood to play at city-owned Ottawa Stadium on Coventry Road.

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Where Did The Baseball Stadium Go?

baseball stadiumAhh, the amazing disappearing baseball stadium.

Bulldog Ottawa was looking through the new set of publicity plans on for the light-rail project when we spotted a box touting the pedestrian bridge to the train and light-rail station.

Just one problem. Where did Ottawa Stadium go? Isn’t that a major feature of the pedestrian bridge to the new ownerless franchise of the Can-Am Finance and Mortgage Baseball League? It appears you can kind of see it in the artist’s sketch of the site. Kinda.

But the box just says the bridge will serve the residential and commercial needs of people on the north side of the Queensway. Hmm. Wonder why the baseball stadium isn’t mentioned. Could it be that the land the stadium is on will eventually serve the residential and commercial needs of Ottawa? After all, it has long been the wish of the planning department to sell and redevelop that land.

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