Friday, February 15, 2008

Hagerstown snubbed again or is it their own fault??

A small note in Ballpark Digest led to this article and more of the frustrations with the state of Maryland came back to bother me again.
The state and Governor Martin O'Malley has given a 7 MILLION dollar grant to Waldorf MD for a new stadium for a Indy league team,the expansion Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
This adds to the number of NEW stadiums that have been built in this state since the existence of the Hagerstown Suns and the city of Hagerstown (with a few minor improvements) basically have the same stadium conditions since the Suns arrival.
The following cities have added new facilities since that date-Baltimore (Orioles),Bowie (AA),Frederick (High A),Salisbury (Delmarva,Low A),Aberdeen (Rookie) and now Waldorf.
Meanwhile,Hagerstown struggles along and gets zero assistance for any stadium help.
Could it be that the county usually votes Republican in a solid Blue state?
Perhaps,but under GOP Governor Bob Ehrlich-There was no grants or credits that came to the Hagerstown/Washington County area either.

So this led me to write the Governor a letter and here it is-word for word.
If I get a response back,we will post here for equal time.

Governor O'Malley,

I just wanted to bring an interesting fact to your attention after reading of your office agreeing to give a 7 million dollar grant to the City of Waldorf to help with their new baseball stadium for their new baseball team.

This brings the total of new stadiums in Maryland to Six since the Hagerstown Suns arrived in 1982 and the city of Hagerstown and their affiliated team continues to play in a 70+ year old facility.

The Suns and this city deserves a field to be proud of and this Democrat would be satisfied with a renovation of the stadium,similar to that done in Lynchburg VA.

Why do other cities continue to get help from this state while Hagerstown continues to play in a sub-standard stadium?
Is it because the area is a solid GOP stronghold in a Democratic state?

I fear that the state of Municipal Stadium will eventually cost this area their professional baseball team and as I am sure that you know with a stadium in this shape,that a new team will be highly unlikely to return here.

My other question on this topic is this.
Has this area in Western Maryland applied for any grants/help for stadium improvements?
One cannot "grant" what one has not been asked for.

Thanks for the time and I would implore you to visit Municipal Stadium the next time that you would make a visit to Western Maryland.



Bullpen Notes

The New Jersey Devils host the Atlanta Thrashers tonight at the Rock in the second of a 4 game,six day run.
The Devils travel to Ottawa tomorrow for a return match against the Senators before returning home for a Presidents Day matinee' game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Chuck Heaton passed away at the age of 90.
Heaton is more notable to most as the father of actress Patricia Heaton,but stood on his own merits to those in Northeast Ohio.

Great article on on the struggles of basketball programs that rise to Division I from levels.
I realize that it comes down to bucks,but when you look at the road schedules that these teams play you must wonder how much education is going on.
Funny the NCAA has no problems with this,but they are hardline on missing classes for a potential football playoff.

Ryan sends us this note on the retirement of Oakland catcher Jeremy Brown.
Brown was the famous "bad body" catcher in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball.
This leads me to thinking about a future slow day post on the players mentioned in the book,as their draft turns six this year.

Take a look at the new poll-It is an important one for this year's coverage.


Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

Shawn - I suspect that if the current ownership is managing to make a profit with a 4th-rate facility, they're not all that concerned about getting a new stadium. The Atlantic League has a very good track record of getting new stadia built, but it's because they always manage to find ownership that's willing to pay some monies. I couldn't find much on Ballpark Digest that was newer tha 2005, and with the affiliation up at the end of the year, we'll see what's the story.

Again, I go back to the unique situation where there's not many places for the ownership to move the team to and everybody knows it. In the current economic climate, look for the affiliation to be renewed quietly.

Shawn said...

Cannot disagree with anything that you wrote.

And the fact that the local government lifts nary a finger to help any is also a huge factor.

I suppose part of this that bothers me so much is why this area gets crapped on most by state government.

Back when the Suns were drawing well,they claimed to have have budget shortfalls,this while building Frederick and Sailsbury's stadiums.

I am not saying a new field is mandatory,but some renovation $ would be terrific!

Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

Shawn -- Fraser Field in Lynn, MA, also a WPA project, was renovated for ~$4M and it was in FAR worse shape than Hagerstown is, and included a partial turf infield installation and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. If nothing else, it would seem to me that the team could put in more seats with backs and a scoreboard that's at least as good as what you see at a h.s. football game (excluding Texas, of course).

Shawn said...

Exactly,I am not someone that has to have the new stadium,just some improvements......