Because of the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which evolves from hour to hour, the Frontier League of independent baseball prefers to wait a little longer before pushing back the date of the opening of the season scheduled for May 14.
The leaders of the new league hosting the Capitals of Quebec and the Eagles of Trois-Rivières held a conference call on Wednesday morning to take stock of the subject. For now, the calendar remains intact, but it may be called upon to change at the next meeting, March 31.
“We don’t put our heads in the sand, there is a strong possibility that the start of the season will be delayed. But since the situation changes every hour, it would be pointless to determine a date at this time. We will talk again, March 31, and each week thereafter, we will then be able to see where things are, “explains Michel Laplante, the president of the Capitals.
The Frontier League is preparing according to several scenarios. Hypothetical calendars starting on June 1, June 15 and July 1 will be established. We could also increase the number of players per team to 28 in a shortened season. The financial health of each of the 14 teams will also be scrutinized.
“We will take the time to analyze the different leases of each formation and to fully understand the financial statements of all the members of the League. If two teams could not afford to continue, for example, could we function at 12 clubs? You have to ask yourself all the questions and anticipate all the situations, ”added Laplante.
In Quebec City, the Capitals have not yet reduced their staff, even though the offices of Stade Canac are closed. Employees work from home, where they prepare for the next season. There is currently no activity under the dome, called to deflate with the arrival of spring.
“If there was no season, it could be catastrophic. There are several impacts to consider. Baseball and hockey teams of our level are toys for the owners. But when you lose 30% of its value, will they be able to afford to still have such a toy? The human chain is currently under attack, but through all of this, is baseball a priority in life? Health, food, transport and trade, for example, are essential in times of crisis. ”
On the other hand, Laplante adds that people will also need to be entertained when the time comes.
“They’re going to need to go out. As soon as the governments change the directives of assembly in the public places and allow the reopening of the stadiums, one will be able to be fired in the space of 15 days ”, he said without predicting the future.
The Capitals are scheduled to enter the Frontier League on May 15 in Avon, Ohio, against the Lake Erie Crushers. Their first home game is scheduled for May 25 against the Evansville Otters, an Indiana team.