Between baseball and nothingness, we will soon know what kind of city our elected officials want.
Can-Am baseball league commissioner Miles Wolff has made it known to the Ottawa politicians and the city's legal eagles that his league "has a team available to commence the 2008 season in Ottawa at Lynx Stadium which we would like to make possible under a sub-lease of the existing arrangements that the City of Ottawa has with the Ottawa Lynx.
In his letter to the city that the Citizen referenced today, Wolff has set a drop-dead date of Nov. 14 for knowing whether the city would allow the Can-Am team to sub-lease from the Lynx.
It could be done, Wolff adds, "with or without a departure announcement by the Lynx." Remember, the city's stance that it needs the Lynx to say the magic words is a just a convenient out for them. It's also hypocritical since it negotiated with the Can-Am League while the Lynx were still playing its final season here.
Wolff wants a damn good answer why the city wouldn't go for this and spare itself the embarrassment of an empty stadium and costly ligitation. A simple "yes" or "no," is that too much to ask? This city's taxpayers and its baseball fans, in that order, deserve no less.
The city's options are baseball and buying time to come with a cogent plan, or an empty stadium and litigation. Best as anyone can tell, there is nothing else on the table.
A-OK in Allentown, Pa.: There's been some correspondence with Jeffrey A. Schuler, the baseball beat writer at the hometown Morning Call, about the Lehigh Valley ballpark.
Schuler says that all remains to be done on Coca-Cola Park amounts to what contractors call finish work, nothing that could delay its opening. Most of the exterior work, which is the biggest part, is "is either on or ahead of schedule (depending which construction person you talk to and how superstitious they are) with a completion target date of early February."
Schuler was also lent some moral support: "I hope everything gets worked out for the Can-Am franchise ... It's not Triple-A but it's not a bad brand of ball, and the advantage is that the teams aren't at the mercy of major league personnel directors moving players on and off the rosters. I know it's very popular in Quebec, and I'm guessing a Quebec-Ottawa rivalry would go over very well."
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