We are coming up on some important dates in the uncomfortable situation between Patrick Cassidy’s Edmonton Prospects and Dr. Randy Gregg’s vision for baseball that currently does not include his own baseball team. From within an article by Alberta Dugout Stories, Mr. Cassidy stated:
“…we are looking at other options, we are giving ourselves probably to August 1st to find another option. If there are no options, we will ask the league for a leave of absence until 2022”.
“Irons in the fire. Not looking to sit idle next year but the Aug 1 deadline may not be set in stone. Stay tuned.”
“We’ve been talking to a lot of people and of course you know, I…I to be honest with you, if I think possibly if I were a Prospects fan I would feel kind of betrayed that they would leave the City and want to go to Spruce Grove. You know, it sounds like they are being kicked out but they have a wonderful, wonderful option, a very financially lucrative offer to able to stay…”
To which Mr. Cassidy offered another response via Twitter:
While Mr. Cassidy has admitted the August 1st deadline he gave himself for deciding what he will do with his Prospects for the 2021 season may not be set in stone, I reached out to Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) President Kevin Kvame and asked him when they require the definitive ‘no or go’? I also asked Mr. Kvame when the deadline is for an expansion team to put an application for a team would be.
We have a deadline of September 1st for existing franchises to confirm participation in the following season.
For a new franchise, it would be up to the Board of Governors to deal with each situation.
The Edmonton situation is very weird. It seems that communication is and has been a challenge for months now. I met with the City of Edmonton in February and they committed to getting the Prospects and the Gregg group together and keeping the WCBL abreast of developments. With Covid hitting, that didn’t happen. I reached out to Dr. Gregg on July 6 and had a discussion about the league’s vision of Edmonton. He said he would get back to me in a week or 10 days and I am still waiting for that follow up call.
I hope that things work out in the coming weeks for the benefit of the Edmonton baseball landscape and the WCBL and its partner franchises in Alberta as well as Saskatchewan. I do not think they are not mutually exclusive.
Hours after yesterday’s re-release of this story, WCBL President Kvame tweeted out that Dr. Gregg reached out to him. Kvame’s tweet is a 1 out of 5, the first is listed above. Below is a transcript of his tweets:
“Update: Dr. Gregg called me back tonight to discuss baseball. Nothing too new to report. I expressed my view to him that the WCBL belongs at Re/Max Field long term and disappointed City of Edmonton officials didn’t follow through with meditations as they committed to me.
We left the call by agreeing to stay in touch. My view, Provincial Capital should be key part of a long term Alberta strategy complete with bringing tourists into Alberta and show off our province as well as baseball history. Rivals yet partners, Fort Murray Giants (@FMMGIANTS), Okotoks Dawgs (@Okotoks_Dawgs), Medicine Hat Mavericks (@mhmavericks), Lethbridge Bulls (@lethbridgebulls), Brooks Bombers (@Bombers_Brooks) plus the new guys Sylvan Lake Gulls (@SylvanLakegulls), make a great geographical footprint when you add our Saskatchewan friends. Rational people can sit down when good leadership from all sides come together.
Furthermore, our All Star Game should become a major sports festival annually! It was hosted in Edmonton in 2019 & COVID-19 did it in for this year but what better place to have a annual baseball festival than Edmonton partly due to capacity for 7500 fans. Unfortunately, time is becoming the enemy on this.
Bottom line for 2021 as August is about to arrive, no firm solution to the Edmonton Prospects and WCBL playing situation in Edmonton. No matter how you look at it, especially taking away the politics, this situation is bad for baseball in the area long term unless it is fixed soon!”
Speaking of Dr. Gregg’s team:
“We have some great things coming. There’s a pretty big announcement we want to make in the next few weeks. In a few weeks we’ll have a good announcement to make — one that’s more than just good.
“It’ll be the best calibre of baseball that’s come to Edmonton in years.”
Booster Juice founder Dale Wishewan, a member of the Dr. Randy Gregg led corporation that won the bid for a 10-year lease of Re/Max field, made those comments to Terry Jones in an article published Thursday July 9th. The words “few weeks” are open to interpretation but coming up on three weeks since the proclamation, one presumes the announcement is coming soon.
Let’s follow this slow roller down the line…
Prospects Owner says in terms of sharing Re/Max Field “two WCBL teams in Edmonton was always posturing and never a reality”.
- On May 20th, CTV News released the story about Gregg winning the RE/Max field lease specifically mentioning the WCBL. That story had to get updated when the WCBL was forced into releasing a statement saying no formal discussions had been had.
- WCBL President says he has an unreturned phone call into Dr. Randy Gregg dating July 6th while Gregg’s business associate Dale Wishewan on July 9th went on the record saying there will be a big announcement soon about “the best calibre of baseball that’s come to Edmonton in years” in an article that never mentions the WCBL.
I like to believe Edmonton will have three teams in 2021 – the Prospects in the WCBL, the ECBC Trappers in the CCBC, and Dr. Gregg’s team in what’s becoming evident will not be in the WCBL. I also like to believe all three teams will play out of Re/Max Field.
Sylvan Lake Gulls
Earlier this summer I surmised that the Gulls might be Edmonton’s closest option for baseball in the 2021 season. The Sylvan Lake Gulls announced on Sunday that their first head coach in franchise history will be Jason Chatwood. Gulls General Manager & President of Baseball Operations Aqil Samuel outlined the criteria he used in selecting Mr. Chatwood in two categories. Hard skills such as knowing the game within the game and someone with connections to NCAA Division 1 and 2, Junior College ranks in the US and the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC). Soft skills such as understanding and protecting the Gulls brand and someone who understood the Central Alberta demographics.