Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vindication! Former Rapidz owner strikes out in court

The former owner of the Ottawa Rapidz has suffered another defeat.

Rob Hall of Zip.ca and Momentous has been out for vengeance since his chute-pull after the Can-Am League team's single, farcical season in 2008. Earlier Tuesday, Judge Lynn Ratushny of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Hall's actions against the Can-Am League and Bruce Murdock, a season-ticket holder and Ottawa resident who put a lot of time and sweat equity into the ill-fated franchise. Claims vs. the City of Ottawa and Can-Am commish Miles Wolff are still extant.

The long-story-short is this is vindication for those who were sickened by how Hall and former partner Rick Anderson's gong show in 2008 almost drove the final nails into the coffin of pro ball in Ottawa. The court not only threw out the claim on jurisdictional grounds (i.e., an Ontario court shouldn't address claims against a North Carolina-based league), but also on its merits, which could be significant in the event of an appeal.

Hall, et al., still has claims pending against Can-Am commissioner Miles Wolff and the City of Ottawa (these people is nothing if not thorough). I'll just reiterate what I said in '08:
"The record will show that you and fellow/former Zipperhead Rick Anderson bought the team and acted like overgrown brats with a new toy, not as keepers of a quasi-public trust. You rejected advice from people whose track record, unlike yours, actually suggests they know their ass from second base when it comes to baseball. Worst of all, you toyed with the hearts of the fans. They honestly believed that a new team would rise from the ashes of the Lynx's Long Goodbye. They feel like fools now, and honestly, that sucks.
The legal system is not in the business of applying salve to the thin skins of megalomaniacs. As noted eight months ago, what it boiled down to is that they were trying to get back at the people for their self-inflicted embarrassment. Far be it that they could have found the culprits for causing the embarrassment simply by looking in the mirror first thing each morning.

For pity's sake, one minute Hall was talking about signing a 30-year lease on the Coventry Rd. baseball stadium and the next they were accusing the city and Wolff of duping them into thinking baseball could work in Ottawa. They talked about buying the stadium, but they wouldn't pay their bills. Say whatever you want about the litigation former Ottawa Lynx owner Ray Pecor has vs. the City of Ottawa, but when his team pulled up stakes, they left with every bill paid in full. Wolff worked to get the Can-Am team going and won over the right people at City Hall. The city, for the record, wanted baseball back.

When you get right down to it, the Zipperheads threw an OPM party (other people's money) all summer long party in 2008. Since then, they have been trying to collect a payoff on the backs of people who were sincere about keeping pro baseball alive in Ottawa.

The Rapidz quote, unquote lost $1.4 million. In reality, one of the owners' other businesses, Momentous, was the biggest creditor, to the tune of about $700,000, so one wonders if that was just creative accounting. The rest was unpaid expenses owed to suppliers. Those are the real victims, the businesspeople who have to go to bankruptcy court in hope of getting pennies on the dollar.

The bottom line is Ottawa ball fans should laugh long and loud. They earned it the hard way, by having their hearts broken.


Von Allan said...

Well said, Neate!

Carl said...

And in another bit of... what's that term you use? Schadenfreude? Traffic on the 417 will note that the Zip.ca sign which (cough) graced Lynx Stadium, has been removed.

I trust that it was consigned to the dumpster where it can keep their lawsuit(s) company.

Moggy said...

Very well said, indeed.