Friday, 23 January 2015

Mention of minor league pro franchise is missing from Coderre's baseball field announcement

It is great to hear that Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is pledging $11 million to whip the city’s baseball diamonds  into shape with Montreal’s new baseball policy.

"Montreal is a baseball town," the mayor told a City Hall press conference.
Mayor Denis Coderre

I have not had a chance to read Montreal's new baseball policy, but it would nice to see one of the city's diamonds retrofitted sufficiently in order for us to attract a minor league professional team. If Quebec City and Trois-Rivieres can be the home to Can-Am League minor league squads, then why has Montreal had nothing since the Expos left town 10 years ago? Yes, the Montreal Baseball Project and Expos Nation keep hoping that the major leagues will return here one day. The Big Owe was filled to capacity for two Toronto Blue Jays exhibition games against the New York Mets last April. It will be interesting to see if they can duplicate that feat when the Jays host the  Cinncinati Reds. April 3 and 4.

Over the last few years I have made two trips to Vancouver, going to see their "A" level affiliate of the Blue Jays twice. They play in a cozy 5,000 seat stadium in a June  to September schedule. It's a great place to watch a ball game and they  have a loyal clientele.

All those  people working towards this dream of an Expos 2.0 should get on the phone to Coderre. Ask him to retrofit Claude Robilliard Stadium for baseball  or perhaps  a spot like Riverside Park in LaSalle. If we can get a small complex with at least 3,000 seats,  a minor league team would be within reach and the true baseball fans could  get their fix.

"Baseball is part of Montreal's DNA," says Coderre.

If that's true then let's get a franchise at any level of pro ball.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The end of an era: Sid Milech steps back at YCC; Stephen Rabinovitch at the helm

Sid Milech is taking a step back. The legendary long-time boss of the  Y Country Camp (YCC) now has the title of Director of Emeritus, with Stephen Rabinovitch coming forward as the interim director.

Sid Milech

After over 20 years at the helm of  Milech will focus his attention on the strategic development of the YCC. A press release states how he will be " instrumental in ensuring YCC continues to produce future Jewish leaders of our community - while working at camp in the summer - and from our Montreal offices during the off-season."

Milech will continue  in his role as a key member of the executive staff of the Montreal Y and as the senior Jewish educator.

Rabinovitch has been at the camp as Associate Director for the past 13 years, and brings a wealth of experience and energy to this position.  Over the years, he has developed meaningful connections with the campers, parents and counsellors and is known as a caring and sensitive individual who is always there for the kids.
Stephen Rabinovitch and family.

As interim director , Rabinovitch  will be responsible for all the overall operations of the camp, working hand-in-hand with the Milech in his new role. The duo will continue to function as a team.

"I’m very excited about this new challenge, and I look forward to continuing my strong relationship with our current families, campers, staff and alumni while actively recruiting new families and bringing them into the fold,” said Rabinovitch, whose wife Miriam, daughter Livia, 5, and son Ashton,2,  are raring to go  to spend another summer at their home away from home.

The YCC is a residential sleeping camp that offers a full range of activities and outstanding facilities to over 500 campers every summer. It provides versatile programming in a Jewish ambiance ensuring a meaningful summer experience for all who attend. I have seen Milech in action when as a parent I checked out the camp. He is a very thorough individual who has a way of making campers feel totally at ease.