Overhaul of minor league baseball: positive consequences after Michel Laplante |  Capitals |  Sport |  The sun

Overhaul of minor league baseball: positive consequences after Michel Laplante | Capitals | Sport | The sun

“It’s so brewing, it’s huge what’s going on. We knew that major league baseball would reduce the number of affiliated teams by around 40, but now we learn that major cities are losing their clubs. There is confusion in the air, ongoing negotiations, but for the Frontier League what is happening is very positive, “explains Capitales president Michel Laplante.

Major League Baseball has raised awareness of 119 of the 120 cities that will play at levels AAA, AA, A and A from 2021. Instead of six or seven school clubs, each organization will now have four.

“Overnight, several cities find orphans in a league. In the middle of the frontier of the Frontier League, there are more. Imagine if we, for example, added the Burlington and Albany markets to our division, we could have five or six teams within a 4 to 6 hour drive, ”noted Laplante, whose colleagues are open to expansion. baseball affiliated executives and loan agreements [dans le partenariat avec les ligues majeures] without losing independence.

ST. PAUL I AAA

If the Frontier League could benefit from these changes, other independent leagues would have lost much. The flagship of the American Association, St. Paul Saints, is moving from independent baseball to AAA level, such as Somerset and Sugar Land, which are doing the same with the Atlantic League.

“St. Paul is the biggest success in independent baseball, it was always full. They were also Winnipeg’s big rivals. I’ve met the Saints before, Patrick [Scalabrini] played for them, it was special to develop there. I remember beating Jack Morris, a member of the Hall of Fame. I remember people singing “Michel, ma belle” to distract me … “, said Laplante.

In 2021, the Frontier League was to focus on 16 teams with the addition of Ottawa and another franchise that remained to be revealed. But now she has the potential to turn 20.

“For a long time, the sword of Damocles was hovering over our heads if we were to have a league to play, it’s crazy to see the progress we’ve made. But the dream scenario that we have been waiting for for 20 years comes in the middle of the COVID-19 storm, we cross our fingers to present baseball next summer. ”

Difficult economies

One thing is for sure, the Capitals – like the Eagles – could not get through a new season like 2020, which was eventually canceled.

“With the upcoming vaccine and the addition of new concessions, we can finally be more optimistic, but if we can not play with a minimum of spectators, we can no longer exist later. Our last income goes back to August 26, 2019, our elastic is stretched to the maximum, and we will not be able to continue like that for long, ”admitted the baseball man.

Despite everything, he is still safe and continues discussions with the various levels of government.

“They listen and tell us that we are a catalyst for the development of sports, that we send a good signal in society. They are looking for a solution, ”remarked the man whose synthetic pitch and dome project interest several American cities.

“We have found the perfect balance sheet for all parties involved, especially public finances. “We knew we were doing something good, the results show that it is even better since the stadium has become a sports center, not just the home of a professional team,” said the person who is still working on a project of this type.

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