Good news Vipers fans, the Edmonton Cracker-Cats, who have been on shaky ground for the past two off-seasons, have been sold to Katz Baseball Corp. for a mere $400,000.
Man, if I ever win the lottery, I’m buying me a GBL team. An average house in Calgary even costs more than that.
Katz Baseball Corp. is part of Daryl Katz‘s Rexall Sports Corp. umbrella, which also owns the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. Katz is worth 2.1 Billion dollars, or roughly 24,000 times the $87,000 salary cap imposed on GBL clubs. I call that solid footing.
Out of touch former owner Dan Orlich was about as popular with baseball fans in Edmonton as Joe Torre’s new book seems to be with NY’s illiterate (or ignorant, or both). I’ll bet Edmonton baseball fans are rioting (in the good way) on Whyte Ave as I type.
A quick glance at the 2009 GBL map shows why Edmonton’s presence in the league is important to Calgary:
Those long trips from California to Calgary are easier to justify when you also get to visit Edmonton (and their glorious tribute to butter, time permitting). AAA baseball didn’t last long in Edmonton after it died in Calgary, so it’s reasonable to assume that professional baseball in Alberta needs (at least) two strong teams.
Now that the Oilers are about to own the Cracker-Cats, what can Cracker-Cat fans expect?
- A name change? This seems likely.
- Jerseys with apron-string patterns? Ugh.
- Manager Bill Ranford (or any other Oilers good ol’ boy from the glory years?)
- Hitting Coach Mark Lamb, Pitching Coach Craig Muni, etc, etc
- Strong pushes for 8th place (but nothing higher) season after season? This would be especially bad news in a 10-team league.
- Strong-armed tactics from management in the interest of keeping bloggers quiet?
For the strength of the GBL, and particularly professional baseball in Calgary, I welcome this purchase with open arms. If only tomorrow were opening day…