Monday, October 27, 2008

Bottom of the ninth for pro ball in Ottawa ...

"My cautious optimism has been gradually replaced with a calm sense of fatalism; if this is the end, we'll carry on. A couple of hours at the Sensplex yesterday reminded me that we’ll always have baseball in Ottawa -- perhaps not at a professional level, but the game will never be further away than the local baseball diamond.

"This may come as cold comfort to those who had hoped to see the Rapids return in 2009, and certainly no one wanted that more than I. But, while the fat lady hasn't sung yet, it just seems less likely today.

"I hope I'm wrong."

-- Carl Kiiffner

Nothing is over until Miles Wolff, says so and decides to field a travel team as the eighth entry in the 2009 Can-Am League. However, follow the money that people seem to less of since about three weeks ago. The credit crunch makes it hard for someone who is interest-rich and cash-poor to take a chance. It also works against any rich investors with a passing interest in the baseball side ponying up the capital. The connection is fairly obvious. It's just not obvious enough for either Ottawa daily to devote space to it amid the hue and cry over a suddenly 28th-place NHL team.

No doubt to some people, this has been a dead issue four weeks ago. It is not, since Wolff and some fans in town were still pushing, but a global economic meltdown (sick of that phrase yet?), is a tough foe. The other six owners probably won't mind an extra half-dozen home dates in 2009,

Please, spare some thought for Ottawa's 2,000 baseball fans today. It shapes up as a cruel summer in 2009. Does anyone know if the Quebec Capitales or Vancouver Canadians will need a scorekeeper next summer? He will work for beer.


kinger said...

Is there anything new that actually is provoking this defeatism? I mean, last we heard from Miles officially he was still hard at work trying to get this going again, right?

Pleeeeease don't let my baseball broadcasting career die before it starts! :P

sager said...

Alls I know is (a) Carl is an eternal optimist who is not optimistic; (b) the lending markets you need to get a line of credit, or to have 400 large to put into an enterprise such as this, are not what they were and (c) Tyler King will have a fine broadcasting career.

Jordie Dwyer said...

Hey Sager,

I hear the Cracker Cats need a whole new front office for next season...If you only work for beer, I'm sure you'd have the job.

sager said...

If they throw in hotdogs, I'm there!

kinger said...

More like (d) a and b, but not c

What does Miles Wolff really need, though, to run the team the way he had planned to in 08? Surely not a massive financial backing if he's already got the entire league in stable shape?

I mean, there's no denying that the slowdown hurts, but it seems to me and my poor, basic, undergraduate level economic study that low-price attractions like the Can-Am League would be affected far less than top-flight leagues dependent on triple-digit ticket prices and luxury boxes.

In fact, I've always been of the mind that those sorts of attractions could tend to gain from a reduction in disposable consumer income as sports fans seek to get more bang for their smaller buck.