Results tagged ‘ Eastern League ’
Put on your parka and cinch up your Snuggie, baseball is coming back to Ottawa.
From 1993-2007, the PawSox ventured to Canada’s capital each year to play the Ottawa Lynx. In the club’s 14-year history, they were affiliated with the Montreal Expos (1992-2002), the Baltimore Orioles (2003-06), and finally the Philadelphia Phillies (2007) before closing their doors.
The following year the Ottawa Rapidz (no, I didn’t misspell that) were formed and had a cup of coffee in the Independent Can-Am League before declaring bankruptcy in September of 2009. Since that time, the cement-clad Ottawa Stadium has been in an indefinite off-season.
(Side note: I actually applied for the play-by-play job with the Rapidz when I was a recent college grad living with my parents in St. Louis. Fortunately, I didn’t get it. I can still remember the look on my mother’s face when I told her I applied for a job in Canada. It wasn’t good.)
Although they won’t re-enter the International League, BallparkDigest.com is reporting that “we should see the move of a Class AA Eastern League team to Ottawa Stadium for the 2013 season.”
The website goes on to say that it’s local Boston-based Beacon Sports that has been negotiating a 10-year lease for the ballpark which would be renovated prior to the start of the season. According to a press release from the city, “Beacon Sports is proposing to invest approximately $2,000,000 into the facility for player development improvements and would also lease a new scoreboard that is estimated to cost an additional $1,000,000.”
So the obvious question is what major league team will the new Ottawa club be affiliated with? Rumors began when the Ottawa Citizen reported that the Double-A Binghamton Mets will close their doors following this season. The B-Mets, who have been the Double-A club for New York’s B-Team since 1992, denied the report.
ESPNNewYork.com proposes a true musical chairs approach to the situation: “One in-the-know person speculates the Mets could wind up in New Britain in 2013, with the Twins moving to New Hampshire and the Blue Jays in Ottawa.”
If this were to play out, I’m not sure the fans in New Hampshire would care all that much. The majority are such big Red Sox fans that when I was broadcasting in Double-A Portland in 2009, the Fisher Cats did a David Ortiz bobblehead giveaway night! That’d be like if we did a Jose Bautista bobblehead night here at McCoy. Whats more, fans in New Hampshire actually cheered louder for a Sea Dogs’ home run than one from the Fisher Cats.
Good for the city of Ottawa for getting baseball back. Although there are still lots of things to be figured out, we know that for the Red Sox prospects in Portland, Me., it’s a seven hour, 41 minute bus ride to Ottawa.
Professional baseball is a pretty small world. With thousands of players and coaches stationed in the dugouts of the Independent Leagues all the way up to the bigs, connecting one player or manager to another in the major or minor leagues is a little like playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that we can connect newly signed outfielder Cody Ross to both the Red Sox and the PawSox.
- Ross played in 124 games in 2003 as a member of the Toledo Mud Hens – nine against the PawSox.
- In those nine games he hit .266 (8-for-30)
- In that same season, Kevin Youkilis appeared in 32 games for Pawtucket as a 24-year-old and hit .165.
- Freddy Sanchez played every infield position for the PawSox that year except first base.
- Although he went on to only play in 32 games for the Red Sox, Sanchez shared the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse with Ross from 2010-11.
- Larry Parish, Ross’ manager in Toledo, enjoyed a 15-year major league career that spanned 1,891 games. 52 of those games where played for the Red Sox where he hit .259 while suiting up at first base and designated hitter.
- In 2003, Ross played in 15 games for the Louisville Bats, none against the PawSox. However, he was managed by a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame: Rick Burleson. An Eastern League All-Star right here in Pawtucket in 1972, Burleson played in 292 games for the PawSox from 1972-74 before spending seven seasons in Boston where he was, among other things, an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and a back-to-back winner of the Thomas A. Yawkey Award as the Red Sox Most Valuable Player.
- Although Ross grew up in New Mexico, his grandmother lived in Cranston, Rhode Island and was a season ticket holder for the PawSox in the 80s.
- (I might have made that last one up).
Everything else is true, however. So as you can see, Ross was practically destined to play for the Red Sox and will hopefully be a nice addition. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to call his grandmother and see if she wants to renew her season ticket order.