Monday, June 28, 2004

Heir to the whipping boy throne? 

After a salary dump weekend that would have done the 1997 Florida Marlins proud, the Senators have now shed the media's top 3 whipping boys in Martin, Bonk, and Lalime.

Thus, the question now is who assumes the throne of principal whipping boy?

Friday, June 25, 2004

It was a dark and stormy night... 

... and I forgot to bring my rain jacket.

As the game started I held remote hopes that the sky might clear. So much for that. Four drenched quarters later the Renegades were 2-0 after a 20-10 win. Josh Ranek, TSN's "Little Ball of Hate", thrashed his way to 115 rushing yards and a TD, Kerry Joseph hooked up withn Yo Murphy for a 47 yd. TD, and Sandro Sciortino was good on a pair of chip shots to go to 5 for 5 on the year. I'll leave the more detailed play-by-play for other sites, but here are a few random thoughts:

- Pat Woodcock has got some MOVES. On his long reception, he got a good chance to show his stuff

- Note to self: bring rainjacket next time

- special teams did a great job on Levingston

- Note to self: bring rain gear next time, bonehead

- It would be nice if they could bring in a decent non-Molson beer to drink. I might eve pony up $6+ for one.

- Last night, a Tim Horton's would have been even better than a beer

- Note to self: Don't forget rain gear, you dolt

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Independent league future?? 

I'm currently listening to the MP3 of the June 12 edition of Baseball Prospectus Radio. They're talking to Pete Caliendo of the independent minor-league baseball Northern League. In 2005, the league is expanding into Calgary, former home of the AAA Pacific league Cannons, as well as Edmonton, former home of the AAA Trappers. The league already has a franchise in Winnipeg. He spoke of further expansion with the possibility of a 5-team Canadian division.

Under the sad assumption that the Lynx may be living on borrowed time, the Northern league looks like a decent future fit for Lynx stadium. It's a short-season league, with the season starting in late May, eliminating much of the cold weather attendance problem of April. Even hardcore baseball fans, myself included, have a hard time enjoying a ballgame in near-freezing temperatures. Given the Senators' playoff record, the late May start to the season unfortunately only occasionally clashes with Senators hockey.

The big question is though: Will Ottawa support any baseball team? Even when the weather has been nice the team has had trouble drawing a crowd. The problem certainly isn't a lack of promotional effort from Kyle Bostwick and the rest of Lynx management. Bostwick has been tireless and innovative in his promotion of the team. He seems to have tried everything short of signing crowd-drawing, crowd-pleasing SpongeBob Squarepants to play third base (I hear he can really soak up the grouders over there).

Lack of a competitive team has often been cited as an excuse for poor attendance. The early pennant-winning versions of the Lynx sold out the park. However, more recently, last season's wildcard team drew only a lukewarm respose.

A highly competitive entertainment (including Renegades), festival, and cottage scene also make it hard to attract fans that are trying to squeeze the most out of a short, glorious, respite from winter.

Another positive of a shorter schedule is that there are fewer games to "dilute the schedule". It's easy to put off going to a game when there are dozens more to come. Maybe the demand is outstripping the supply to the point that things look worse than they are.

Inevitably, in my haste to replace a team that hasn't even left yet, I'm overlooking some factors. Even outside of dubious fan support, there are possible obstacles, not the least of which are the travel costs of joining a league that is mostly located well west of Ottawa. As a result, The Atlantic league or Northeast league may be a better fit. Maybe I'll do that research another day. For now, the prospect of a short-season independent league intrigued me.

Of course, the best scenario is for the Lynx not to leave in the first place.

New look Lynx 

Visiting the Ottawa Lynx's site, I see they have a redesign. Looks good, although the content is unchanged.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Tales from the turbulent backfield 

The latest:

In - Serge Sejour
Out - Bo Rogers
Eventually in: Johnathan Ordway

As long as they play like they did against the Bombers, it's all good.

Thank you Jacques 

The business community says thanks.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Fanhome CFL board 

Now that it's become more active with the start of the season, I've added a link to the Fanhome CFL discussion board to the sidebar.

Gades open '04 

Opening night for the Gades and the expectations have never been greater. Such expectations, should they be fulfilled like I and many others expect and hope, will make for a great season. If the Renegades regress from last year and fall short of expectations, I expect a lot of hand wringing and panic, possibly deserved, likely not. As Nealon Greene and the green Riders would tell you, things can change in a heartbeat, or on a carpet seam as some are theorizing.

But now is not the time for thinking about what could go wrong. It's the time to bask in the promise of the new season. We have a full year of Kerry Joseph. We have a full year of Josh Ranek. We have an offensive line that has pledged to provide enough holes to get Ranek a rushing title. We have Pat Woodcock. We have a blitzing D that should make it more difficult for opposing QBs to pick apart our secondary like last year. We have the Ti-Cats in our division. We undoubtedly have other guys who will step up as pleasant surprises. We can still dream that it may all come together and we'll be cheering the home team, rather than two visiting teams, come November.

Kickoff is only hours away.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


I feel I should be writing/thinking/caring more about the Bryan Murray hiring, but despite the exciting Stanley Cup Final that just finished I have a hard time generating excitement about hockey this time of year. I've mostly moved on into baseball mode, and to an extent Renegades mode, I suppose. In a nutshell, from the footage I've seen, Murray will definitely be a change of pace behind the bench, and presumably in the room. He certainly said all the right things in the press conference, planning to do all the things that Muckler had previously indicated he's interested in. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Soeaking of those aforementioned Renegades, I never did get around to writing about their opening exhibition game last week. Partly I was busy, partly I was lazy, mostly it's an exhibition game that wasn't terribly inspiring. It was nice to see all my season ticket neighbors but the crowd, like the players, was definitely in pre-season form.

There's not much to be read into last night's 38-10 loss either. Montreal played their starters most of the game (thank you Don ^%#%# Matthews), while the Renegades went with a limited playbook to keep their cards hidden for the season. I listened to a bit of the game on the radio, but not really enough to comment beyond that. I the important thing is that the regular season is now upon us.