Ottawa's newest baseball concern is really putting the "fantasy" in fantasy camp.
The Ottawa Fat Cats, the somewhat fledgling expansion entry in the Inter-County Baseball League, are charging $850 for a fantasy camp they plan to hold in July at the Coventry Rd. ballpark. For about half that amount, you could score four tickets to tonight's Pittsburgh Penguins-Ottawa Senators NHL playoff game, and see actual household name athletes.
Not to dump on the IBL, but where did the Fat Cats get that price point? Who would pay $850 to hobnob with players from a level of baseball in which someone could actually hit .427, as Jeremy Ware (who ironically, tried out for the Ottawa Rapidz in 2008), did in 2009.
A fantasy camp affiliated with a MLB team will typically cost $4,000-$5,000, but that is for an entire week and includes airfare and accommodations. The Kansas City Royals did not even hold one this winter.
It strains credulity to believe a first-year team with largely anonymous players in a league which plays a 36-game schedule can get 40 people to plunk down $850 to toss a ball around with players from what a league one fan of the former Oshawa team described as "essentially an amateur, mostly weekend league in which the players show up when the games don't conflict with their school work or jobs."
Like the team name itself, one bad decision alone should not make or break this venture. It is enough to question the judgment of the people who are (loose usage ahead) organizing the IBL franchise and promising big things this summer. The Fat Cats already plan on having the highest ticket price in the league ($12 for single games, $18 for doubleheaders).
As for the $850 fantasy camp, who knows. Perhaps they will fly in Michael Richards to reprise the Seinfeld in which Kramer confessed to punching out Mickey Mantle at a fantasy camp ("I own the inside of that plate, Jerry").