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  • Say no to baseball in Montréal

    On December 29th, La Presse newspaper and a couple of it's affiliates, ran stories about two groups trying to bring a Can-Am league (independant A ball) to the Montréal area, on the front page (a slow news day, mind you... The again, they couldn't talk about that in the front page of the sports section since La Presse as a very strict policy: No talking about baseball in the sports pages. So I guess they had no choice...). One of them would like to build a stadium in St-Lambert (suburb south of Montréal, as previously mentionned on this board) is spearheaded by former Expos minority owner Paul Delage Roberge, and another group, would like to take the team to Boisbriand, north of the city. League commisionner Miles Wolff would like to have a team in montréal and one in Ottawa in 2008. Here's what they had in La Presse, for the benefit of those who read french.

    <$TI>Deux groupes souhaitent amener du baseball de la Ligue Can-Am à Montréal
    <$ST>La rivalité sportive avec Québec pourrait renaître sur le losange
    <$AUT>Godin, Marc Antoine

    <$LEAD>Il ne faut pas s'attendre à revoir de sitôt le baseball majeur à Montréal. Mais deux groupes tentent d'attirer une concession de la Ligue Can-Am dans la métropole.

    La Ligue Can-Am, dont font partie les Capitales de Québec, rêve en effet d'effectuer une expansion à Montréal et Ottawa. Cette ligue indépendante, composée de joueurs qu'on associe au calibre AA, veut bâtir sur le succès des Capitales en s'établissant dans deux villes qui deviendraient du coup les plus grosses du circuit.

    On saura dans les prochaines semaines si c'est sur le losange, plutôt que sur la glace, que revivra la rivalité Montréal-Québec.

    " Si l'on pouvait intégrer Ottawa et Montréal en même temps pour la saison 2008, et ainsi créer un axe intéressant avec Québec, ce serait idéal pour la ligue ", explique Miles Wolff, le commissaire de la Ligue Can-Am et propriétaire des Capitales.

    La candidature d'Ottawa ne pose pas trop de problème car la ville possède un stade qui hébergera cette année la filiale AAA des Phillies de Philadelphie. Selon toute vraisemblance, cette équipe s'en ira à la fin de la saison 2007, laissant le Lynx Stadium à la disposition de la Ligue Can-Am.

    La candidature de Montréal pose un plus grand défi. Non pas que personne ne veuille allonger la somme d'environ 750 000 $ pour l'achat des droits d'une nouvelle équipe. Mais il n'y a aucune infrastructure dans la région montréalaise prête à accueillir une équipe professionnelle et des foules de 5000 personnes.

    Pour pallier ce manque, deux groupes concurrents peaufinent leurs projets. L'un est piloté par Robert Poirier, l'ancien maire de Boisbriand (voir autre texte). L'autre est soutenu par l'homme d'affaires Paul Delage Roberge, fondateur des Ailes de la mode, ancien actionnaire minoritaire des Expos et fondateur du Vert et Or de l'Université de Sherbrooke. C'est Marc Griffin, autrefois analyste aux matchs des Expos, qui s'occupe du démarchage.

    " Les gens de Montréal se sont écoeurés du baseball à cause des Expos, admet M. Griffin. Dans les dernières années, on ne parlait de baseball que de façon négative. Nous, on veut le faire revivre en tant que sport familial. Il faut recommencer à la base. On veut que les gens puissent être près des joueurs et qu'ils les regardent jouer dans un stade extérieur de 5000 places.

    " Le site qu'on préfère est sur la Rive-Sud, sur le terrain du Collège Champlain. C'est tout juste à côté du métro Longueuil et du pont Jacques-Cartier. Le problème, c'est qu'on n'a pas encore le terrain en question. Ça fait longtemps qu'on négocie avec le Collège Champlain et on espère en arriver à une entente. "

    Au cégep anglophone, on tient un discours optimiste. " On est rendu à la neuvième manche et j'ai bon espoir que ça puisse se régler de façon positive au début de janvier ", affirme Don Shewan, directeur du cégep Champlain Saint-Lambert. " Il faut juste que cette entente réponde aux besoins de notre collège. Le terrain actuel nous permet de tirer des revenus de stationnement. Si le projet se concrétise, il faudra qu'on trouve d'autres moyens de se financer. On envisage un bail à long terme, entre 35 et 50 ans. Et c'est sûr qu'on réclamerait un accès au terrain pour nos équipes sportives. "

    <B+>D'abord pour les jeunes<B->

    En plus d'une équipe de la Ligue Can-Am, Marc Griffin souhaite faire de son nouveau stade le quartier général de Baseball-Québec. " On est dans une ère où le Québec développe de plus en plus de joueurs professionnels. Depuis Éric Gagné, le réseau québécois a plus de visibilité. Et puis, la seule académie de baseball au Canada se trouve à Montréal.

    " La construction de ce stade ne serait pas pour nous une occasion de faire un coup d'argent, mais d'aider Baseball-Québec à se doter d'infrastructures qui lui permettraient un jour d'accueillir les championnats canadiens ou même mondiaux. La Fédération contrôle la grande majorité de ce qui se fait en matière de baseball amateur au Québec, et ce projet-là est appelé à devenir le leur. "

    Sauf que la Ligue Can-Am attend toujours une offre officielle de la part de MM. Roberge et Griffin. Les deux clans discutent sur une base mensuelle, mais parlent de " plusieurs étapes à franchir avant la première pelletée de terre ". Or, compte tenu des hivers montréalais, la construction d'un stade devra débuter en avril ou en mai. Une infra-structure de 5000 places pourrait prendre de neuf à 12 mois à être érigée. Qu'il s'agisse de la proposition Boisbriand ou de celle de la Rive-Sud, le temps commence donc à presser si Montréal veut se joindre à la Can-Am en 2008.

    <$TI_ENCADRE><B+>Qu'est-ce quela ligue Can-Am ?<B->

    <$ENCADRE>La Can-Am est une ligue de baseball indépendante, en ce sens qu'elle n'héberge aucune équipe affiliée à des organisations du baseball majeur. On compare son calibre de jeu à celui du AA. Il y a déjà eu une Ligue Can-Am dans les années 40 qui incluait à l'époque des formations de Québec et de Trois-Rivières. La structure actuelle a porté plusieurs noms avant de revenir, en 2004, au terme Can-Am. Pourtant, à ce jour, Québec est la seule ville canadienne au sein de ce circuit qui compte 10 équipes. Les autres proviennent de villes modestes du Nord-Est américain telles qu'Atlantic City, New Haven et Nashua. Les Capitales de Québec sont champions en titre et leur succès ne s'estompe pas depuis leur création, en 1999.


    <$TI>Le vieux rêve de Boisbriand
    <$AUT>Godin, Marc Antoine

    <$LEAD>Robert Poirier caresse depuis plus de 15 ans le rêve d'amener le baseball à Boisbriand. De concert avec Marc Boucher, président du futur Complexe de baseball Métropolitain Laurentides, l'ancien maire de cette municipalité a déposé une demande formelle auprès de la Ligue Can-Am. Les deux hommes n'attendent qu'un signal pour commencer, dès le printemps, la construction d'un stade évalué entre huit et 10 millions de dollars.

    " On a transmis à Miles Wolff des plans de stade conçus par la firme d'architectes Thibodeau ainsi qu'un montage financier pour nous porter acquéreurs de l'équipe, explique M. Poirier. Qu'on obtienne ou non une équipe de la Ligue Can-Am, le Complexe pourra voir le jour et accueillir une équipe junior. "

    Le hic, c'est que le montage financier de ce nouveau stade est basé sur la location de 20 loges pour 20 000 $ chacune par année. Ces loges ne trouveront pas preneur si l'on n'y présente que du baseball junior!

    Tout comme MM. Roberge et Griffin, le groupe de Boisbriand entend profiter d'un programme sur les infrastructures sportives lancé l'an dernier par le gouvernement Charest. En vertu de ce programme, le ministre Fournier propose un partenariat 50-50 avec le privé pour le financement de nouvelles constructions.

    Pour l'instant ne serait-ce que parce qu'il a déjà soumis officiellement sa candidature et qu'il se dit prêt à entreprendre la construction dans les prochains mois le groupe de Boisbriand fait figure de meneur.

    " On n'a jamais fermé la porte à ce que les deux groupes s'associent, prétend M. Poirier. L'important, c'est qu'on amène une équipe de la Ligue Can-Am à Montréal au plus vite. "

    Le commissaire de la Ligue, Miles Wolff, est conscient de l'impact qu'aurait Montréal sur son circuit. Et il verrait d'un bon oeil la relance de la rivalité Montréal-Québec au sein d'une ligue qui pourrait compter sur plusieurs joueurs professionnels québécois. Néanmoins, jusqu'à ce qu'un stade soit mis en chantier, M. Wolff affiche un optimisme prudent.

    " Je ne me commettrai pas à l'égard de quiconque pour le moment, mentionne M. Wolff. Dans les prochaines semaines, je devrai me pencher sérieusement sur la question et déterminer qui sera en mesure de fournir un stade convenable.

    " Les deux groupes ont des plans en marche, mais il reste à voir jusqu'à quel point ça peut se concrétiser. Comment vont-ils financer la construction de leur stade? C'est la grande question. Car il est clair qu'un club des ligues mineures ne peut financer l'érection d'un stade par lui-même. Il ne génère tout simplement pas assez de revenus. "
    From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

  • #2
    No way

    OK, I gave this Can-Am baseball in the Montréal metro area thing a lot of tought. And I'm ready to take a stand on the issue. I say NO. In a big way. We should laugh at the idea that the Montréal area would get a franchise in that dog and poney show of a league. The reason is simple.

    Montréal is supposed to be an international city. We host major international gatherings of all kinds. We had the olympics. We have formula 1. All kinds of stuff. We like to consider ourselves as a major league city. And as far as baseball is concerned, two years ago , we competed with cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago. We went to the stadium to see the Barry Bonds, the Pedro Martinez's of this world in action. And now, we'll get all worked up when Sussex county or Brockton will come to town? We're gonna fill the stands to watch Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd and Eddie Lantigua? I don't think so.

    That league is beneath us, plain and simple. You want to know how I know? It's a little statistical mesure I call "the St-Hyacinthe factor". St-Hyacinthe is a city of close to 80 000, located about an hour south east of Montréal. And St-Hyacinthe is big enough to have a Can-Am league team. If St-Hyacinthe is big enough, than it's beneath us. Heck, Québec (the city) is too big for that league. So Montréal is just way to big to have a franchise. We have no business in that circuit. Frankly, if we get a team in that league, it will be tough to argue with those who say Montréal isn't a major league city.

    I don't believe we are starved for baseball to a point were we need pro ball, no matter the caliber. So I say to Mr Delage Roberge, Mr Griffin, Mr Poirier, all the others: Please, don't do that. Don't get a Can-Am league team for Montréal. How about St-Hyacinthe? It's a lovely place, and they've been waiting for a pro team for a long time.
    From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

    Comment


    • #3
      I've never been to an indy league game, but I've been to many minor league games. If indy is anything like MiLB, trust me, you want a team there. Minor league games are more fun to attend than major league games. You may not get to see present day "stars" but you get to see players that have passion and fever. It's like seeing twenty Pete Roses play in their youth. The stadium atmosphere is much more relaxed and beer and food is cheaper. Between innings there is always something going on that the wife is trying to take pictures of.

      But again, I don't know if outlaw baseball is anything like MiLB. But look at it this way, Montreal's chances of ever getting a Major League team again is laughable. You are going to have to settle for what you can get. :o
      =======================
      Senior Circuit. Pure baseball.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus"
        OK, I gave this Can-Am baseball in the Montréal metro area thing a lot of tought. And I'm ready to take a stand on the issue. I say NO. In a big way. We should laugh at the idea that the Montréal area would get a franchise in that dog and poney show of a league. The reason is simple.

        Montréal is supposed to be an international city. We host major international gatherings of all kinds. We had the olympics. We have formula 1. All kinds of stuff. We like to consider ourselves as a major league city. And as far as baseball is concerned, two years ago , we competed with cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago. We went to the stadium to see the Barry Bonds, the Pedro Martinez's of this world in action. And now, we'll get all worked up when Sussex county or Brockton will come to town? We're gonna fill the stands to watch Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd and Eddie Lantigua? I don't think so.

        That league is beneath us, plain and simple. You want to know how I know? It's a little statistical mesure I call "the St-Hyacinthe factor". St-Hyacinthe is a city of close to 80 000, located about an hour south east of Montréal. And St-Hyacinthe is big enough to have a Can-Am league team. If St-Hyacinthe is big enough, than it's beneath us. Heck, Québec (the city) is too big for that league. So Montréal is just way to big to have a franchise. We have no business in that circuit. Frankly, if we get a team in that league, it will be tough to argue with those who say Montréal isn't a major league city.

        I don't believe we are starved for baseball to a point were we need pro ball, no matter the caliber. So I say to Mr Delage Roberge, Mr Griffin, Mr Poirier, all the others: Please, don't do that. Don't get a Can-Am league team for Montréal. How about St-Hyacinthe? It's a lovely place, and they've been waiting for a pro team for a long time.
        I don't think it is a bad idea. Just like the article says: It is a good way to bring baseball back at the level of a family sport. The way to bring it back to that level is to start at the basis.
        In this way you can bring the people back to the baseball field again. And then later on, Montreal can make a bid for a MLB franchise again.

        Comment


        • #5
          I get your from Montreal and that you guys are used to international events, but minor league is fun. My city has the Winnipeg Goldeyes and it is a fun atmosphere. Another thing is alot of gamesrun between 2 to 2.5 hours because of no commercial breaks. It's amazing how quick a baseball game can actually be played with no commercials.

          Comment


          • #6
            I mean, really, you are saying no to baseball in your city?

            Comment


            • #7
              You're absolutely right in that a city the size of Montreal is far too big for anything but a AAA minor league team. But unless you have the millions to get a team there yourself, don't you pretty much have to take what you can get?

              What I wouldn't mind seeing is an entire minor league housed in a large city. Now that would be something.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I don't have the benefit of reading french and the altavista translator blows. Therefore, I couldn't read the article.
                However, based on both your summary of what the article says and the general idea I don't think this is a bad idea at all.
                I mean, is a way of bringing back baseball to the city and perhaps the start of Montréal's way back to MLB or higher levels of MiLB. I guess that having MiLB is better than not having any baseball. Moreover, this can be the first stepping stone in the ladder that leads to MLB again in Montréal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another thing is sure you start at this level, but it could grow. For example, my Winnipeg Goldeyes went from a football field that was modified for baseball but wasn't the best but because of success, moved up to beautiful CanWest Global park.

                  http://mysite.verizon.net/charliesba...iums/winni.htm -Winnipeg Stadium for baseball

                  http://www.goldeyes.com/ballparkopener.html -Can West Global

                  In fact.....I could see Winnipeg getting AAA baseball before Montreal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cutchemist42
                    Another thing is sure you start at this level, but it could grow. For example, my Winnipeg Goldeyes went from a football field that was modified for baseball but wasn't the best but because of success, moved up to beautiful CanWest Global park.

                    http://mysite.verizon.net/charliesba...iums/winni.htm -Winnipeg Stadium for baseball

                    http://www.goldeyes.com/ballparkopener.html -Can West Global

                    In fact.....I could see Winnipeg getting AAA baseball before Montreal.
                    That is exactly what I mean. If you start at this level and prove that people will come again, you can take a step to affiliated ball and perhaps later on to MLB again.

                    If these two groups that want to start a Can-Am team in Montreal work together, maybe even more is possible.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can-am is a fun league, I have watched it grow through the past few years, it is a LOT like MILB. I use to go to games, (Idk it it was the Northeast League at the time, but they ended up becomming can-am) I watched A-C Diamond Dogs games all the time, most of the players are young, and some do get sold to MLB teams, but the main dif from indy ball to MILB ball, is that the players stick around for more seasons, you will see your favorites again, its more family style game. Now don't get me wrong, the guys (or kids even) in Can-am CAN play, your acting like they SUCK cause they arent in MLB. But these ppl are true ball players, they play because they want to just play baseball, not earn a ton of money.

                      It sounds a little spoiled of you to say that your city is too good for indy baseball. Some is better than none, I say yes to baseball in Montreal.

                      Can-am is a fun league. http://www.canamleague.com/

                      i've watched this league grow, when I saw it, there were only three teams currently in it now that were in it then, the Jackles, Rox, and Quebecs team. but they seem to add more (and replace others of course) each year, like last year, they got Nashua (w/e) and sussex (im still not use to either of them or there logos) and now we got this team called the Surf for 07, and an away team (the grays) which we hope can land a full time spot in Montreal.
                      Last edited by JordanDL3891; 01-30-2007, 01:28 PM.
                      LETS GO YANKEES!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I tend to disagree with a lot of you who said that having (very) minor baseball in Montr&#233;al could be the first stepping stone to having a major league franchise back. Thing is, we had major league baseball 27 months ago. And we lost it beaucuse no one was ready to step up and put some major bucks in the franchise (&#224; la Ted Rogers). Fan support wasn't there, but that's cyclical. Had the 2004 Expos lead the East wire to wire, they're would have been 30 000-35 000 people every night from late june on.

                        Now, I could be wrong about this, but I don't believe that no one who had his heart broken by the departure of the team has made a billion $ in the last two years. That's the key. Someone with a lot of dough. In 1972, a couple of businessman put 215 000$ together and bought what would become the Qu&#233;bec Nordiques, now the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, (net worth according to Forbes magazine: 219 millions US$). They played in the old Colis&#233;e in Qu&#233;bec, wich had undergone a few hundred thousand bucks worth of upgrades. Back then, a lilttle money and a lot of fan support could get you a major league franchise. Not anymore. Even buying the Kansas City Royals to move them here would set us back at least 200 M$. Plus a brand new state-of-the-art stadium, that's half a billion right there. Major league baseball will remain out of reach as long as we don't have someone ready to invest half a billion for a baseball team. The success or failure of Boisbriand-St-Lambert Expos would have very little to do with us having major league baseball back in this town.

                        Plus, all the media types who were impatiantly waiting for the Expos to leave, they're still here. Still lurking, ready to give us the old "I told you so; no one likes baseball in this town anymore" if the Can-Am adventure fails. If the team succeed, the media will probably ignore it, if it fails, they will be all over that poor club. Baseball in Montr&#233;al has a lot to loose, and very little to gain, out of that whole deal.

                        And by the way, I'm not saying Montr&#233;al is too good for Indy baseball. I'm simply stating the obvious: Montr&#233;al is too big (in size) for indy baseball. I'm sure the product is good, I have nothing against the Can-Am league personally. But for a city to go from the National League of baseball to a league that as bored 3 different names in the last 10 years or so makes no sense whatsoever.

                        So, in retrospect, Say no to baseball in Montr&#233;al. For now.
                        From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus"
                          I tend to disagree with a lot of you who said that having (very) minor baseball in Montréal could be the first stepping stone to having a major league franchise back. Thing is, we had major league baseball 27 months ago. And we lost it beaucuse no one was ready to step up and put some major bucks in the franchise (à la Ted Rogers). Fan support wasn't there, but that's cyclical. Had the 2004 Expos lead the East wire to wire, they're would have been 30 000-35 000 people every night from late june on.

                          Now, I could be wrong about this, but I don't believe that no one who had his heart broken by the departure of the team has made a billion $ in the last two years. That's the key. Someone with a lot of dough. In 1972, a couple of businessman put 215 000$ together and bought what would become the Québec Nordiques, now the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, (net worth according to Forbes magazine: 219 millions US$). They played in the old Colisée in Québec, wich had undergone a few hundred thousand bucks worth of upgrades. Back then, a lilttle money and a lot of fan support could get you a major league franchise. Not anymore. Even buying the Kansas City Royals to move them here would set us back at least 200 M$. Plus a brand new state-of-the-art stadium, that's half a billion right there. Major league baseball will remain out of reach as long as we don't have someone ready to invest half a billion for a baseball team. The success or failure of Boisbriand-St-Lambert Expos would have very little to do with us having major league baseball back in this town.

                          Plus, all the media types who were impatiantly waiting for the Expos to leave, they're still here. Still lurking, ready to give us the old "I told you so; no one likes baseball in this town anymore" if the Can-Am adventure fails. If the team succeed, the media will probably ignore it, if it fails, they will be all over that poor club. Baseball in Montréal has a lot to loose, and very little to gain, out of that whole deal.

                          And by the way, I'm not saying Montréal is too good for Indy baseball. I'm simply stating the obvious: Montréal is too big (in size) for indy baseball. I'm sure the product is good, I have nothing against the Can-Am league personally. But for a city to go from the National League of baseball to a league that as bored 3 different names in the last 10 years or so makes no sense whatsoever.

                          So, in retrospect, Say no to baseball in Montréal. For now.

                          so, you need someone like bill gates to come back you up

                          yea, its not like there will be a lot of media attention from cam-am like MLB, just local.

                          but how would gettting cam-am hurt your chances at MLB in the long run?

                          I agree with the fact that if the expos lead their league, they would get a big turnout of fans.
                          LETS GO YANKEES!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J25nadroj2042
                            but how would gettting cam-am hurt your chances at MLB in the long run?
                            If that team is successful, the baseball bashing media will ignore the phenomenon completely. If it doesent work, they will give it a exaggerated coverage, seeing that as another proof that baseball in Montréal is dead and that we should convert every single diamond in town into a soccer field. It's a no-win situation for the sport.
                            From now until the end of September, I'll be chronicling in real time on Twitter the 1946 season of the International league's Montréal Royals, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. Check it out: https://twitter.com/Royals_46season

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Augustin_"Gus"
                              If that team is successful, the baseball bashing media will ignore the phenomenon completely. If it doesent work, they will give it a exaggerated coverage, seeing that as another proof that baseball in Montr&#233;al is dead and that we should convert every single diamond in town into a soccer field. It's a no-win situation for the sport.

                              you mean a hockey rink right? lol j/k

                              yea, but not everyone in the media in Monteral is against the idea of baseball in monteral right?


                              and you don't really know if it will work or not, i'd ask local people if they would be interested before just plugging a team in. I would also make sure they secure a lot of funds to make a NICE stadium (no one wants to go watch a game at a junky one) that is if they do get a cam-am team.


                              im not really sure if im for baseball in monteral or not anymore.

                              Maybe you can turn this thread into a poll (under thread opts.) and ask what people think about Baseball in Monteral or not.
                              LETS GO YANKEES!

                              Comment

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