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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
9. Hobbs calls for higher highrises on Moons of Orion. Ashcroft offers to build them.
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.
This is grim.
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?
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.
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 Zip.ca 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 Zip.ca.
2. In the words of baseball great Rocket Richard, let’s get one for the Gipper.
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?
The 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.
Ahh, the amazing disappearing baseball stadium.
Bulldog Ottawa was looking through the new set of publicity plans on ottawa.ca 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.
Real baseball at Ottawa Stadium. What a concept.
When the bidding for baseball finished, two surprises occurred.
First, the candidate Mandalay Baseball that wanted an ambitious program for Double-A level ball was surprised it lost having been in negotiations with the city for months and having had the RFO tailored to what it was promoting.
Second, the Can-Am League candidate was dumbfounded because it never dreamed it would win having failed in Ottawa years ago is a departure that featured litigation with the city.