In the latest edition of his Indy Baseball Chatter blog, Bob Wirz comments strongly on a quote attributed to Eric Gagne. Gagne played last year (2009 season) in the Can-Am League with the Quebec Capitales, and he was attributed to having said that the league was a “beer league”. Here is Bob’s column:
And here is a link to the quote Bob cites:
If this quote by Gagne is true then it is a shame. Hopefully he actually helped his teammates become better baseball players during private conversations in Quebec. Nonetheless he had to see guys on the Capitales as well as other Can-Am League teams busting their tails to even get a chance at being seen by an affiliated team.
The worst part is that he was on a solid independent league team which drew respectable crowds; and he even may have received all of his money on time (IndependentBaseball.net does not have any information on the paychecks of players in any league). His time in independent baseball was not even with a team which folded midway through the season or had to scrimp on paying salaries to players and staff like independent baseball has seen since its inception in 1993. No matter what he was used to with the Major Leagues, calling any independent league a “beer league” is a bad move. If nothing else, he should have said “no comment” on his time with the Can-Am League and moved onto the next question with the interviewer.
Should this quote be true then he didn’t understand what was around him and how the smaller pro baseball circuits operate. His quote also diminishes the dreams of every kid who attended an independent league game and looked up to a Can-Am player as inspiration to one day become a pro baseball player himself. The quote also does nothing for his teammates who are currently on the “radar” of affiliated scouts and are honing their crafts to become affiliated Minor League baseball players.
IndependentBaseball.net is not into bashing people, especially when quotes are obtained in a second-hand nature. Nonetheless, if the quote is true, then Bob did a great job in defending the independent baseball industry and the Can-Am League in particular.
Feel free to leave your comments on this subject and take a look at Bob’s weekly column at http://www.wirzandassociates.com
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