LThe announcement of a 16th team in the Frontier League pleased the president of the Capitals in Quebec, Michel Laplante, whose organization has given up the idea of hosting Cuban players next season.
“Imagine that at one time there were only five teams in our league, the closest to Quebec was eight hours away, and we often wondered if the other clubs would continue to play against us. There we are in a league in full expansion, which will have two divisions of eight teams. It enables Quebec, Trois-Rivières and Ottawa to be in an ideal geographical location with a team so close to the United States, it will protect us, ”Laplante explained.
“This is a situation that has been wanted for a long time, it ensures our sustainability,” commented for his part René Martin, president of the Eagles.
The Tri-City team brings together the cities of Troy, Schenectady and Albany. The Capitals had also played the first game in its history in the New York capital in 1999, but the old stadium has been replaced since Albany played in the New York-Penn League under the Houston Astros affiliation. The new Eagles boss Matthew Rusch will also have the chance to lead in his part of the country, where his parents and many friends still live.
“I have fond memories of ValleyCats games when I was young,” Rusch smiles. When I learned that the Astros were leaving the team a few months ago, I felt a lot of sadness. This area needed a big baseball club, it is a great base for amateurs, people love the sport. It is an important addition to the Frontier League. I’m looking forward to going back with the Eagles! ”
“In Albany we are talking about an average amount of 3500 to 4000 per game. For Frontier League, this is a great addition. It is not for nothing that the Atlantic League wanted to establish itself there at all costs, adds Michel Laplante, who was to attend a meeting with governors on Thursday afternoon to discuss new expansion projects now that Tri-City is confirmed.
It remains to be seen if there will be a season in 2021.
“We are working in anticipation of a season that starts on June 1. We hope that by the end of May, the vaccination will be quite advanced for it, both here and in the United States. You never know which brick will fall on your head, but you can not save the effort. In the worst case, we will adapt to the situation. ”
The worst case scenario would be the cancellation of a new season in a row. If that was the case and the calls for help did not resonate, it could be the end of professional baseball in Quebec.
“In Quebec City and in the provincial government, we are told that it must hold, that we will find a solution. Capitals, the synthetic field, the dome, the sports studio, the players who teach there, junior baseball, renovation of the stadium, the transformation of the field in Charlesbourg, development of smaller baseball, contributions from our partners, all that forms a chain that is too important to break , ”Summed up Laplante, optimistic as always.
“The fact is that we have no income since August 26, 2019, we will not be able to continue another year like this or go through a season without spectators”, warned anyone who cares about the idea of hosting major baseball events in the area the next years, even reviving the popular peewee tournament of the 1970s.
Laplante and his colleagues from Trois-Rivières and Ottawa are closely following what is being done in other sports leagues, especially the NHL and major baseball. If the teams could never cross the border, Winnipeg Goldeyes could join them.
One thing is for sure, it should not be players from Cuba in Quebec, in 2021.
At the moment we have enough fish to fry up to work with this file. We are not going to “freeze” two or three positions in the team in case the Cubans can come. Regardless, there are too many players available with the restructuring of associated baseball. The Frontier is the independent league that gave the most players to the subsidiary. There is great interest in playing from our circuit. “
With the collaboration of Louis-Simon Gauthier