The president of the Capitals, Michel Laplante repeated that the League Can-Am and the League Frontier “have never been as close to a merger” and that the different owners “have never had so much determination to go ahead with the project”.
October 1, 2019 23h46
The rescue of the Eagles, paving the way for the merger
The rescue in extremis of the Eagles of Trois-Rivières comes to pave the way for the merger of the League of the Can-Am independent baseball with the League of the Frontier, an independent circuit for ten teams located in the Midwest of the United States. The president of the Capitals of Quebec, Michel Laplante, is still confident that the grouping can be done in time for the next season, but remains cautious.
“Let’s say that I have a lot of meetings in Chicago and New York in the next month. The folder should be set in a few weeks. I would not say that this is a formality, because we’ve cried wolf before, and the collection will eventually never realized,” said Laplante in the Sun on Tuesday afternoon.
The talks are already well advanced between Miles Wolff, commissioner of the League, Can-Am, and his counterpart of the League of the Frontier, Bill Lee (a former first-goal of the minor leagues, which has no link of kinship with the eccentric ex-pitcher for the Montreal Expos). “I think we can expect that in the coming years, several leagues minor baseball together. One has only to take as an example the East Coast League was able to do in hockey. This is a major trend and I think it is a good thing that the Eagles of Trois-Rivières remain with us, because it would have been a pity that they do not take advantage of when this will be done,” said Laplante.
The president of the Capitals repeat as the two leagues “have never been as close to a merger” and that the different owners “have never had so much determination to go ahead with the project”.
“Everyone has to put water in his wine, but common sense is beginning to be heard”, he said, stating, however, that different points are still the subject of questioning on the part of the teams involved. “It is necessary to first check the leases of each team to ensure that they have a good back. The difference between baseball and hockey is that a team that gives up in the middle of the season has a very important negative impact on everyone in the League,” stresses Laplante.
The cost of the franchise is also at the heart of the debate. Laplante believes that their value will increase as a result of a consolidation, but some owners are still not totally convinced. There is also the number of recruits and veterans for a team that is different between the two circuits, the League Frontier full of younger players, often fresh out of university ranks, the formula of the series and a fee of up to $ 70,000 for travel by plane.
Laplante sees a league to 16 teams for the next season, then maybe another merger with the american Association for 2021 in order to group almost all of the independent circuits to the east of the Mississippi. “The atlantic League is the one with which we are most far away now, but several teams experiencing difficulties and begin to look elsewhere. Some don’t like the tests that the major leagues are doing in this league, among other things, the robot that determines the balls and sockets, the goals bigger and the fact that a batter can run to first base on a ball breakaway by the recipient,” says Michel Laplante.