Ottawa Business Journal reported this morning that that David Butler fella who wants to convert Lynx Stadium into a "multi-service entertainment and sports complex" has a title sponsor lined up. In 100 years, you'll never guess what "charismatic" beer baron is lined up to attach his corporate brand on to this project, although it's only a side issue. Sorry, this space doesn't worry about little people who seem to be beyond education and beyond embarrasment.
The real issue: Miles Wolff, the commissioner of the Can-Am League, has said, "It won't cost the city anything to let us in." That hits on what the Ottawa Citizen touched upon today in its editorial criticizing the city councillor for the area, Jacques Legendre, for his support of this vaguely outlined plan: Legendre is forgetting that politics is the art of the possible.
It's true, as the Citizen put it, that building a baseball-only facility in the early '90s was shortsighted and, "There is very little that would be successful in that perfect little ballpark other than baseball while taking advantage of those 10,000 seats." (Emphasis mine.) That's a bit of a false dichotomy. The June-through-Labour Day Lynx attendance figures have been pored over and it suggests potential to have very good attendance figures by the standards of the Can-Am League. Besides, the local sports scene is poorer without baseball's calming influence.
The best possible solution is the one that costs taxpayers the least and creates the least headaches. Letting the Can-Am League in comes with its own set of concerns. Those are minor, pardon the pun, next to what this city would be taking on if goes in for this plan.
The gut reaction is that the brains behind this seems to be throwing more spitballs than Gaylord Perry in his later seasons: They're mentioning tennis courts, soccer pitches, "talk of a country music hall of fame," not one but two Tim Hortons on site, capacity of up to 25,000 for concerts (can someone remind these guys Coldplay couldn't sell out Scotiabank Place a few years ago when it was only the biggest act in the world?). What, no pool with a swim-up bar?
Oh, but don't worry, baseball could be squeezed in too. We would just give the batter a ground-rule double whenever a high fly ball hits the roof.
Legendre Strikes Out (Ottawa Citizen)
Chiefs 8 Lynx 5 was a .300 hitter for about 20 minutes in tonight's 3-2 Lynx loss (boxscore, play-by-play): That trio of two-run blasts the Chiefs hit in the decisive sixth inning will serve in place of a 21-gun salute.
There's really not much else to say; the sadness of all this has defeated language. Joe Thurston did sit out to protect his .300 batting average. Gary Burnham ended up one RBI short of tying the team record.The saga of what's to become of Lynx Stadium is getting more surreal by the minute.
How's this for a little numerical coincidence? The team's final won-loss record of 55-88 works out to a winning percentage of .385 — identical to the career on-base percentage of the greatest of all Expos, Tim Raines, who's likely to be snubbed by the Baseball Hall of Fame since there's no obvious reminder of what he did in Montréal.