Friday, September 07, 2007

A quick note about the future

I know I said I'd hold off on commenting about this until the season was over - and I still plan on waiting 'til the end of the season to reflect and discuss this whole experience - but I think it's important to quickly comment on some of the efforts to 'save' baseball in Lynn that have been bandied about in the comments.

As far as saving the Spirit, the die is cast on that one - there is no chance that they come back next year. Business is business. But that doesn't mean we give up going forward.

As I said last night, "This park is too nice to just be used by high school teams."

After Elmira lost its CanAm League team, they got a team in the NECBL. Now, it ain't the pros, but it's something. I'll get contact info for that league if anyone would like me to do so.

If we support that team, and get enough people to voice their desire to see pro baseball back in '09, '10 and beyond, then maybe there's a chance.

It seems like it would be foolish for an owner to try Lynn again after all these failed attempts - especially this one - but when you think about it, you kind of have to be foolish anyway to start an independent baseball team. They almost always fold or move, and rarely make money.

Take a look at some of the places teams have gone to in recent years: Sussex and New Haven had just lost affiliated teams the year before, and owners still came in and started teams. Allentown was a miserable flop, but a new AAA team is moving there next year. So you never know.

However, as we saw in the past 5 years, the stupid city of Lynn (I'm not insulting you Lynners out there, I'm insulting your government) is terribly unsupportive of the team and all the benefits it brings to the city, so it's doubtful that they would do much to help the cause since it's doubtful we'll ever find another owner who puts as much effort in as Mr. Lopardo.

Whatever --- we'll see what the city has to say when the youth of Lynn offer the familiar refrain of 'there's nothing to do here.'

Other towns further up the North Shore have a better chance of supporting successful teams because more people are apt to go to a Salem, Beverly or Swampscott than Lynn on an average night. But those towns also tend to have a lot of fancy pants NIMBY types, who would rather see another shopping mall built than a baseball stadium.

Thus, the future seems kind of bleak, but again, you never know. This is too good of a baseball market - and Fraser too nice of a field - not to at least see something come back here in the near future.

In the meanwhile, we need to make sure to keep this community together. Stay on the blog and talk baseball with us. Next season, we'll make some unified outings to Nashua, Worcester and Brockton games in all of our Spirit apparel --- it probably won't help our cause, but it can't hurt, and it would be a lot of fun.

Until then, let's hope the boys go out champions. GO SPIRIT


wooden said...

Holoyoke Giants?

The Holyoke Giants play in a dilapidated h.s. field and if Fraser is available, it'd be a wise move. Even wiser, negotiating the rights to use the Spirit branding. I'm writing now as a marketer -- my profession these days -- and to the casual fan, the transition may even be seamless.

I'd hate to compare Elmira to Lynn, but the fact remains: That appears to have worked out. Might not be 46 games, but it's a lot more than zero.

wooden said...

Also, I just got off the phone with the mayor himself, so some of the parking problems that have been reference may be overstated. He's invited anybody who wants to see the documents regarding the Manning Field project to take a look.

Joe Grav said...

If the situation is as you describe it, there's no reason for that NECBL team NOT to come to Lynn.

Did you mention that to Senor Clancy?

Scott said...

"The Holyoke Giants play in a dilapidated h.s. field and if Fraser is available, it'd be a wise move."

They play at a high school field is a better way of describing MacKenzie Stadium. Dilpadidated? Not really any more so than any other high school field. In fact, for western Massachusetts, I would consider MacKenzie a pretty nice facility for high school - it has permanent stands and a clubhouse.

DaveCo said...

Agreed with Joe YET AGAIN,.......both in his post and comment.

But anyways......I still blame the municipal governemtn on htis one.,as it sounds like the mayor wanted to raise prices to a man who deserves to be charging him (of course I'm not beign serious :-p).

I plan on frequently reading and posting on this you guys have become liek another family and to completly drop you all out of my life would be horrible. I like the idea of getting together a few times next year and going to games in oru spirit gear--sounds like a lot of fun XD
maybe we can all go to tony c's when it opens up. =]

ALSO: I still wanna go down to AC tomorrow. :'(
we should rent a car and split the costs XD

but i also want to end by saying that if we go out......let's go out on top.....lets go out as champions.

Anonymous said...

One quibble; Elmira is in the NYCBL (as in New York) league; Lynn would petition the NECBL (as in New England) league. I would certainly attend and would root for you any time you weren't opposing the Concord (NH) Quarry Dogs.

Am looking forward to returning to Fraser when the Spirit make the finals!


wooden said...

Spike, et al: The parallel is the point. Elmira bowed out of indy ball but kept its identity and found a new league. In no way did I suggest that the Spirit join the NYCBL; hence, the reference to Holyoke, which is in the NECBL and is looking to move out of what may be better than most h.s. fields in WMass, but is still substandard (read: piss-poor) facility. Fraser Field would be a huge upgrade for them.

Let me clarify regarding Clancy. I faxed a letter to the Mayor's office, figuring it was a symbolic protest that would only matter if others followed suit. He called asking to speak to whomever sent the note (I could get into some trouble @ work; dumb move in hindsight) and then we had a conversation. He bristled at the suggestions regarding parking and went into great detail regarding the efforts made during the project, including specifically hiring a guy to serve as a liaison between Lynn and the Spirit. As such, I think that's not really the issue here. I was caught off-guard, and quite frankly embarrassed, so I didn't get the chance to ask more detailed questons. But having interviewed politicians in my days as a reporter, I tend to believe them when the offer to cough up documentation. If I were still working as a reporter, I'd take him up on his offer -- and I'm sure he knows that; he's a lawyer after all.

Mayor Clancy did refer to Nick saying that attendance had to improve significantly in 2007, which I do recall, and thinking like a businessman, I'd have to agree: it's up incrementally for the season (110,336 vs. 102,639) but down significantly on a per-gate basis (2,299 vs. 2,701), and still short of the 3,000 a night average.

Clancy also mentioned something about Nick having a hip replacement, so when you add it all up, it makes sense. He's tired both physically and mentally and is throwing in the towel.

All that said, I still made the drive to A/C to see these guys tonight and I'm not alone. There's a car w/ MA tags and a Spirit frame parked outside of my motel room.

I'm now thinking, let's win it all so we can close the books on what's been a great run.

icesk8ingtrezzafan said...

I don't care what anyone thinks. I am not going to give up. I am going to keep trying to save the Spirit and keep them here in Lynn. It's not over yet!I'm bringing petitions to the Champioship games next week at Fraser