MACHINERY. With the departure of four of its eight teams, Ligue de baseball senior Rive-Nord (LBSRN) has decided to stop the activities for a period of one year.
In November last year, the leaders and governors of the district carried out a complete revision of the general regulations. Disagreements, however, led to some teams resigning.
The Boisbriand giants and the Mirabel Indians were the first two teams to surrender. Laval Rays then confirmed the departure. With the arrival of a new list, Circuit Martin thought they could continue with five teams, but L’Assomption Blue Jays recently announced that they were also leaving the ship. “It’s a shame. Teams have made arrangements for the league to fall,” said Michael Lygitsakos, manager of the Maskinongé Tigers.
“There were gaps in the regulations. We went through everything from A to Z. In January, the teams expressed dissatisfaction with regulations that had not been given, and they decided to leave. Among other things, these teams had wanted to have players at the elite level, and I was completely opposed to trying to protect the lower ranks. They finally managed to convince others to go and play elsewhere, “apologizes Mr. Lygitsakos, who also serves as a team representative on the board.
Rive-Nord senior baseball league then had only four teams, namely Tigres de Maskinongé, Confort Design de Mascouche, Lachute Dodgers and Royaux de Saint-Étienne-des-Grès who were to make their entry into the circuit this year. . “It was no longer viable with four teams,” confirms President Sylvain Martin.
“It breaks my heart to know that there will be no baseball this year”
– Michael Lygitsakos
More travel, less interest
With half as many teams, the regular schedule would require players to travel more often over long distances. “The departure of the four teams creates a hole in the center. There are no more layers between the west and east ends. We tried to save the league, but there are teams that will no longer travel far during the week. The players have jobs, children and families. It’s not easy for them, and we understand that. The boys come home late at night, says Martin.
“At the same time, baseball diamonds are not always available on weekends. There is less baseball everywhere. It was unthinkable to just play on the weekends, he says.
In addition to traveling, there is also the pandemic that requires adjustments in the sport. “We also did not want to play a second season like last year. We have not managed to complete the playoffs and crown a champion team due to the pandemic. It is complicated to develop with the alert levels (zones). There are limitations to respect. It would surprise me that that would change this summer. Conditions will probably be the same, and it is difficult to develop in this context, the president confirms.
Rive-Nord Senior Baseball League was to start its 13the the season in 2021. The managers give themselves a year before they reconsider the situation and decide whether it is possible to start the activities again. “We will work hard to find new teams. We absolutely have to fix the league to be able to continue, and it will ideally take six teams to start again, “replied Sylvain Martin.
No baseball in Maskinongé
For the first time in a long time, Maskinongé Tigers will not play in front of their loyal spectators next summer. “I think it’s sad. Maskinongé is a baseball municipality. With the arrival of our league of a team in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, it would have allowed us to reconnect with an old rivalry. On a personal level, I find it difficult. It breaks my heart to know that there will be no baseball this year. I have been on the ball field since I was five years old and have been involved in baseball in Maskinongé for over 20 years. It’s really unthinkable, ”Lygitsakos answers.
The latter will not remain inactive for too long. He has accepted the position of manager and general manager of a new baseball team in Pointe-aux-Trembles for next year. This formation, which will play in the Montreal Senior Baseball League, will bring together players from Mascouche and Maskinongé.
Michael Lygitsakos still fears that this forced break will force some players to hang on to the crampons. “It is certainly not a break that will do any good. It’s likely to end his career, but it’s a decision we have no control over. We will do everything to get baseball back to Maskinongé and to keep more or less the same team, but it will be very difficult, “he admits.
Follow Pier-Olivier Gagnon on Twitter: @POGagnon