Friday, November 18, 2011

Hello, Ottawa. Really?

Oh, Ottawa. With all due respect, you're bringing some weak sauce from the capital city. I spent the afternoon debunking an Ottawa Citizen report that has the New Hampshire Fisher Cats being traded to Ottawa in exchange for the Binghamton Mets. Say what?

According to the published report, "All signs indicate Ottawa would become the new home of the Eastern League franchise in Binghamton, New York. That would involve a swap of working agreements between the New York Mets, the major league parent team of the existing Binghamton club, and the Toronto Blue Jays, whose Double-A team now plays in Manchester, New Hampshire. That trade of affiliations would occur after the 2012 season.”

It spawned other reports, and people actually believed this on Twitter. On a mission to set the record straight, I talked with all parties involved and learned a few things along the way. For one, the Fisher Cats may not pursue a player development contract with a New York team -- a special provision that's part of the territorial waiver signed by Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino in 2003. That contract clause is based on major-league TV markets and precludes the Fisher Cats from entering a PDC with the Mets or Yankees.

Fisher Cats president Rick Brenner, put in tough spot to comment on the Ottawa rumor, handled it very well. “Unlike media speculation that has no foundation in fact, we are going to abide by the rules governing the affiliation process between major league and minor league teams and only say that both the Blue Jays and Fisher Cats are very happy with our eight-year relationship."

More from McEachern: “The speculation is getting way out in front of itself ... It could be one city councilor who thinks it would be cool to have Minor League Baseball again in Ottawa and doesn’t have anything behind it. These rumors pop up all time.”

Some have asked about New Hampshire adopting a Triple-A team. That can't happen, either, based on contract language tied to the team's inception and involving the aforementioned territorial waiver involving the Red Sox.


Matt said...

people who live in glass houses...

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