Richmond does outstanding job hosting Atlantic baseball championship
It is great that a local ownership group has stepped up to buy the Summerside Western Capitals of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).
The 11-member group called P.E.I. Sport and Entertainment Inc. should have what it takes to make a success of Summerside's junior A team. The new owners offer a wide range of business experience that can only help the Caps going forward.
Although it would have been better for this new group to have a little more time to organize, it will not take long for fans to see progress both on and off the ice. General manager Pat McIver remains in that position, and he states the Caps will have a very competitive team. That will certainly help attendance numbers.
Vice-president of communication and marketing Danny Perry says the Caps are shooting for attendance in the 1,000-1,200 range, which is certainly an attainable goal.
This new ownership group takes possession with a clean slate as far as debt goes, and that allows for a much better situation not having to deal with past bills.
The Caps have always been amongst the league leaders in attendance, and I expect that will only get better under the new owners. It all seems to add up to what should be a very viable, and maybe even profitable, junior hockey team.
It looks like the Capitals and their fans have plenty of reason for optimism not only for this year, but for years to come.
The Caps host Miramichi in their home opener at Eastlink Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Last weekend's Atlantic mosquito AAA baseball championship in Richmond was a huge success. Organizers deserve credit for putting on a great championship, and a lot of positive comments were made by the many fans in attendance.
The entire Richmond Red Sox Association does things the only way they know how – the right way!
From the time you walk into the facility, one could feel that something special was taking place, and obviously fans felt the same way as some estimates had in the range of 300 to 400 fans at last Saturday morning’s exciting game between Richmond and Fredericton, which won 2-1.
Who would ever think that many fans would turn out?
That is proof of doing things the right way. The Richmond field is perfect for minor baseball, and is as nice a field as there is anywhere. Congratulations to everyone involved in making Richmond's first-ever baseball championship a great success. There are many who look forward to the next one.
It is Championship Sunday in the local slo-pitch softball league. Beginning at 10 a.m. in Slemon Park, The Island Business News Titans will take on Tops to Floors in a best-of-three B Division final.
At 11:30 a.m., The Longhorns will face the Old Taproom in Game 1 of their best-of-three A Division final. These are two evenly-matched teams in both divisions, and a winner in each is hard to pick. Both series should provide for some pretty good ball.
Major League Baseball
The addition of playoff wild-card teams has been one of the best changes that baseball has ever made.
Unlike hockey, where there are endless rule changes, baseball rarely has any changes. But the wild-card additions have made for some very good playoff races.
Until 1994, Major League Baseball had two divisions in each of the National and American Leagues. That year they went to the three-division format, and added the wild-card team. Unfortunately, that year’s post-season was called off due to the players’ strike.
Last year, an additional wild-card team was added to each league, and the two wild-card teams play a one-game playoff that will take place one week from Monday.
Without the wild-card race, there would be only one pennant race in the National League Central Division, where only two games separate St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. One of those teams will win the Central while the other two will be the wild-card teams. The Los Angeles Dodgers have already clinched the NL West while Atlanta is about to do the same in the NL East.
The American League is all but settled with Boston, Detroit and Oakland about to clinch division titles. There is a real battle for the AL wild card as only 3 1/2 games separate Tampa Bay, Texas, Cleveland, Baltimore, Kansas City and New York.
It looks like Boston will play the wild-card winner, and barring a major collapse by either Oakland or Detroit, they will meet in a rematch of last year's division series that was won by the Tigers.
Since being brought in, five wild-card teams have gone on to win the World Series, including the 1997 and 2003 Florida Marlins, the 2002 Anaheim Angels, the 2004 Boston Red Sox and the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.
Have a great week!
Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.