For quite some time now, the nation’s capital has, apparently, been positively dying for some kind of baseball connection to the club that plays here in centre of the universe. It makes sense– knowing nothing about Ottawa, I’m gonna go ahead and say that it’s probably the only way that minor league ball is tenable in the city– and now, it might actually be a step closer. Like, for reals this time.
At least, that’s if the Ottawa Citizen is to be believed, as Don Campbell lays this on us, regarding the upcoming decision as to what to do with Ottawa Stadium, former home of the Lynx, which Ottawa city council is slated to do when it convenes in Septemer:
Just short of six weeks from the Aug. 8 deadline for submitting bids, Ballpark Digest reported and a local source confirmed Thursday that Mandalay Sports Properties has prepared a bid for the stadium that would include Rogers Communications, owner of Toronto’s Major League Baseball franchise, with partner Professional Sports Catering assisting in a total re-configuration of the stadium. That would allow for a Double-A Eastern League franchise to re-locate to Ottawa in time for Opening Day 2015.
Rogers’ involvement would include naming rights at the stadium and would be the first visible step toward the Blue Jays re-locating their affiliate from New Hampshire to Ottawa — something in the works for several months after face-to-face meetings between Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Blue Jays president Paul Beeston.
Fans in Ottawa have been teased before, so take this with a grain of salt. And the Jays have– as you’d expect– always said all the right things about their relationship with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and probably (what, am I gonna look it up?) could have fast-tracked a move to the city if they’d really wanted (um… maybe? Or maybe I just made that up), so take this with, like, at least a couple of giant grains of salt.
But if Rogers really is involved in the bid here, there can’t be a whole lot of doubt as to what for. And as much as they want to play nice with New Hampshire and continue the good relationship they’ve had there, in the heart of Red Sox Nation– aaaand as much as minor league ball has failed in Ottawa before– you’ve got to think that having the Double-A affiliate in Ottawa and the Triple-A club in Buffalo is a wet dream for the Jays, in terms of broadening their regional appeal.
I mean, why the hell else won’t this story die, right?
Hey, and Hamilton will probably get an NHL team one day too, right? I don’t know. Interesting stuff, at least…
Image via SportsLogos.net. Crotch grab in the direction of @rprus for the link.