Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hagerstown/Winchester Suns and a plan to please all!

These are not rumors or anything that I have heard from sources for the most part,more along the lines of things printed and some thoughts of mine.
Just a few things to think about.

I have not given up yet on the Hagerstown Suns staying here,although I am disturbed by things that I have read that Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey is talking to the Suns ownership about bringing a short season team (Think New York/Penn league) team to town to replace the Suns.
Frankly,this would be a financially silly decision and despite my support for the new team (I would certainly be there often),I do not think that the community will support the new team any more than the area do/did the Suns.

Hagerstown baseball has never truly recovered from the day that AA baseball left town and instead of returning to the High A Carolina League (where the town won its only championship since baseball returned to the area),the level dropped to the Low A South Atlantic League.
I have problems believing that the town would be accepting of yet another drop to a league that only plays for eight weeks.
As much as I would like to see baseball here and short season is better than nothing certainly, this will open the door for this from the City Council and County Commissioners-"Since we no longer have a full time tenant,we certainly cannot commit the type of money to fix Municipal Stadium for such a part time tenant".
Another possibility is this scenario,which I call the "Oh,Expletive" scenario-where Hagerstown/Washington County loses the team,then realizes that the lost prestige and travel money lost by allowing the team to leave town is far more substantial than they currently believe.
This ends in either of two not so great results-A)Frederick says "I don't think so as your fans are currently increasing our attendance and revenues or B) Frederick agrees to a short season team only,Hagerstown finally builds a new/renovated facility and discovers that short season baseball draws even fewer people to the facility making it a huge money loser.

I do think Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey is doing his best to keep the team here,although if the Mayor believes a backdoor deal for a NY/Penn team is going to salvage the situation,I believe he is badly misreading the landscape.
I also give the City Council credit for stepping up the funding,although it could be too little too late,thanks to the County Commissioners,who apparently feel that other projects are more important to spend their motel tax money on other than the reason for the tax to begin with.
Although I would like to give a special nod to Ashley Haywood on the City Council,who wants to see a business plan from a team that makes money (although not nearly as much as they could elsewhere),despite her business failing in the downtown due to a  Wait for it....  "Bad Business Plan from Day One!"
Forgive me,if I would rather have someone that knows what a successful business looks like checking things out rather than Ms.Haywood,who offers more gems on what to do with Municipal Stadium without the Suns-

“The Suns have offered us a renovation proposal but they haven’t offered us a business plan for success,” she said. “We’ve been hedging our bets on the stadium being the impetus for them to stay, but we’ve received no confidence from them that that is the case, so we need to switch our perspective a little and plan for the future, whether or not the Suns are going to be here.”

“We need to shift away from building the stadium for the Suns and, rather, if we do choose to build a stadium, build a stadium that will benefit the community in the amenities that it offers, whether or not the Suns stay,”

They don't need to offer a business plan for success,they make money with a slipshod stadium with a nicer facility,they will make more!
Please switch your perspective to something else and what would that something be?
Perhaps a coffee festival at the Muni? Because without a regular tenant,the Muni is going to be a huge waste of space and to attract a new team,you will have to build/renovate anyway,so why not keep the team that is here now?
Enlighten me on the "amenities" that a stadium without a baseball team will offer the area,please?
The NFL coming to Hagerstown,anytime soon?Maybe Wrestlemania?
Nah,let's just have another BluesFest-at least at the Muni,it would not shut the traffic down due to blocked off streets.

I would also like to give a special high five to Winchester,who continue to make progress towards taking care of business and realizing what baseball can mean to towns of theirs and Hagerstown's size and doing what it takes to land it.
Although,I would rather them have the short season team and the Suns stay here,I would have no ill will towards them and would attend games there as well.
I could do without their "Controlled Tsunami" talk about their announcement later this month,but they are excited about baseball coming to their area and I don't blame them a bit.
I wish the people in charge of this area (Bob Bruchey excluded for now) would realize that in a similar fashion.

I have not given up hope yet and I have been told that we have yet to reach end game,but the time is coming near.

Here is hoping the TRS plan is adopted-A new stadium for Hagerstown keeping the SAL and the Suns and a new stadium for Winchester with a short season team for their deserving area or even a full season team from somewhere else works for me.
I hope Bruce Quinn and his group can own both teams under the plan for his efforts in pleasing both towns.
A fairy tale?Maybe,but one that I hope can come true....


Fantasy Baseball Advice said...

I hear there going to tear down the Herald Mail building and build a brand new stadium there, in walking distance of all the downtown restaruants and bars (more economic revenue going around the city)...

Shawn said...

I have no problem with that at all!