As Playoff Hopes Crumble, Bad News Breaks.

The Ottawa Fat Cats pretty much had to win their 2 remaining games to have a chance at a Playoff Spot, but the Barrie Baycats stopped them dead in their tracks last night at Metals Stadium, where the Cats lost 3-2. Again, this was a very emotional game, where both teams very likely put in all that they had.

Ottawa had 5 hits, while the Baycats has 5 as well. Ottawa made 1 error, and Barrie did the same. In fact, the only place where there was really a significant difference on the Scoreboard, was the tally of runs. Unfortunately, that is where it counted.

For the Fat Cats, the leaders in this game at the plate were Eitan Moaz, and Tony Farago. Maoz was the man that had the most hits for the Cats, and also put up an RBI. A valiant performance from the former Mississauga Twin. Tony Farago had an RBI on the one hit that he put up. The thing with Farago, is that he really doesn’t get wood on the ball that often, but when he does, watch out. The other Ottawa Rundriver this evening, was Kyle Barclay.

For the Baycats, leading the offense was Ryan Davis. Davis has been great all season, and last night was no exception. He put up 2 hits. The run scorers for Barrie were 2B Ryan Steer, and C Matt Proctor.

Now, while this loss could very well be the nail in the coffin for the 2010 Ottawa Fat Cats, that isn’t the least of my concerns. According to a couple sources, including ‘News Durham Region” and another IBL Fan Blog, the Ottawa Fat Cats are in the process of kicking the bucket.

Of course, while this is only a rumor, apparently OSG says that it is “not financially viable to keep the Fat Cats in Operation”. I remember when this group was granted a conditional IBL franchise. The guarantee was that they would pay for other teams’ Hotel Expenses, as well as the lease on the stadium.

I realize that Hotel Rooms aren’t cheap, but if the Fat Cats really are kaput, I don’t think that this is the reason that the Cats have finished their run. In my opinion, the real reason is because there are bigger fish in the sea. That’s right, OSG is after the CanAM League.

Honestly, I don’t want a CanAM team right now. I, and a whole bunch of other fans, are perfectly happy with the Fat Cats. Ottawa doesn’t absolutely need Pro Ball.

However if the cost really is too much, it’s a simple process to bring the Stadium Lease way down from what it is right now. Hamilton Yards, Heritage Park and Fallowfield Park are the names of regulation size fields in the Ottawa Area. If OSG payed for some new, bigger bleachers and moved the Cats into one of those fields, their lease would go through the floor.

OK, maybe it isn’t a simple process, but if you think about it, it can be done and I for one, hope that we really haven’t seen the last of the Ottawa Fat Cats.

    • Pierre
    • July 19th, 2010

    > Honestly, I don’t want a CanAM team right now.

    Why?

    > Ottawa doesn’t absolutely need Pro Ball.

    I disagree. The FCs cannot assume these costs without some help. A couple of concerts a year – which we didn’t have this year – would help. Besides, I believe the OSG’s plan is to get pro ball back. Not saying I didn’t enjoy having the Fat Cats this year. I would like a higher level and longer season. It’s mid-July and it will be over 9 months before we play baseball in Ottawa again.

    > it’s a simple process to bring the Stadium Lease way down from what it is right now.

    Won’t happen. Not a simple process either. The city won’t budge. If they had their way, they would increase the rent. They are just greedy and would rather not get a cent and leaving the stadium empty for a year rather than getting a part of $108k.

    As for your other option of other existing fields, that would not work. They certainly would not get 2300 people per game. The thing with the FC is that to cover their costs (remember, they pay transport and hotel for the visiting teams), they need to get as many paying fans as possible. At the stadium, they also get a share of parking and concession revenues. That would probably not happen elsewhere. Plus, they get other revenues such as advertising. While noble to save $108k, the drop in other revenues and attendance would make the venture even less viable.

    Bottom line, I think the Fat Cats are here to stay but they need to share with a pro league. Without more revenues, they won’t stay long, not with the expenses they have.

    • I’ve still got a bad taste in my mouth from how the League left last time.

      When I say that Ottawa doesn’t need Pro Ball, I mean that from a fan’s perspective. Not a business perspective. See, I think that baseball fans here like the Cats more than they did the Rapidz. The unique name really helps that, and the Attendance figures back that up, as they are greater than the Rapidz were. I do agree with you when you say that the season isn’t long enough, which is really my only complaint. Pro baseball would be OK, but I’d like to keep the Fat Cats around, and I just don’t think that that is really in the plans of the OSG.

      You hit a couple of good points in the bottom half of your post. However, I think that if Joe O’Neill’s plan for an eastern division come through, the Fat Cats and th other teams won’t be charged with the task of finding and paying the visiting teams hotel expenses. Those teams will have to deal with it, because it seems that east is the direction that the league is going.

      If the Cats can stay afloat for the next 3-4 years, it should be smooth sailing from there on.

    • Pierre
    • July 20th, 2010

    Hall declaring bankruptcy left a bitter taste in every one’s mouth. The team was all set to go as the Voyageurs last year when Atlantic City, with problems of its own, was forced to fold and given Ottawa had no owner, the league was forced to fold the team. Had there been an owner, we would have had Can-Am baseball the last two years. Atlantic City would have become a road only team at least for one year.

    Attendance for the Fat Cats were a bit higher. Good weather helped. I however remember just two games for the Rapids (two days in a row) where the attendance was under 1000. It was because of weather. Take those away, the attendance figures would be very similar, almost equal in fact. I’m glad for the Cats but this year showed what can be expected here: 2200-2300 a game. This wasn’t shown for the recent Can-Am series however. Not sure why. No team of our own to cheer for perhaps? Poor publicity, which I heard some mention?

    I’ll say it again. A pro team and the Fat Cats can co-exist. I don’t get the feeling the OSG will give up, not after just one year and 2300 average attendance and needing about 1200 to break even. They are the ones whose plan included a pro team and as far as I know, is still in their plans.

    • Forgive me, as I am quite uneducated in this department, but why did CanAM have NO CHOICE but to fold the Voyageurs? Couldn’t they have just ran the team until they found an owner?

    • Pierre
    • July 21st, 2010

    The original plan WAS to run the team until an owner was found (within a year) but the Atlantic City Surf were being sold and the deal fell through at the last minute in April 2009. It goes deeper than that really. The city also did not want to put money into their stadium preferring instead to tear it down and build, if memory is correct, a hotel or casino or both. As if AC needs another casino.

    The Can-Am could not afford to run both the AC Surf as a road team and the Voyageurs. Simple as that.

    As for 2011, who knows. Miles Wolff is working hard to get us a team and apparently, a stadium is now being built in Ramapo, New York and an owner is being courted for the eighth Can-Am there. Ramapo is just outside of greater NYC on I-87. It’s actually not too far from Montclair where the NJ Jackals play.

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