FIRST IN ON THE SINKING OF THE SS PITTSFIELD COLONIALS: NO ONE HAS THE ANSWERS, EXCEPT THE PLANET, AND THEY’RE ON THEIR WAY TO YOU, JOHN and JANE Q PUBLIC … YOU WILL SCARCE BELIEVE!
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, SEPT. 17, 2011) — No one has been digging into the muddied situation surrounding the fate of the Pittsfield Colonials and professional baseball in Pittsfield the way THE PLANET has.
And NO ONE has the story that we do.
Finally, Some Answers: THE PLANET Has Been Digging
Since the season ended so ingloriously, with three playoff losses — the “home” portion of which were held on the road — THE PLANET has been working our with out metaphorical shovel and digging. We’ve spoken to team and league sources, from CEOs to janitors. We are ready to piece together some answers, which the citizens of Pittsfield — especially all who supported the team this year and last — deserve. You won’t believe some of it, but all of it is true, to the best of our ability to determine.
We shall be presenting the first in our series later on today. For now, though, we want to mention that ridiculous decision to send the playoffs totally on the road, thereby stiffing the loyal fans who supported the team 20 percent greater than last year. Yes, attendance rose from 700 to 840 in one year, this despite epic mismanagement that essentially left kids in diapers to serve as GM, community relations, marketing, and other key posts.
Mismanaged and Underfinanced: A Deadly Combination
Boil it all down, however, and it reverts to money. It always does, from pro ball to politics, if you aren’t financed properly, you don’t stand a chance.
From the beginning, the team was underfinanced. They operated on seeds and stems. Vendors, then players, missed paychecks. Who was ultimately responsible? The ownership structure was never made clear. Was Bob Seaman the owner? Was Buddy Lewis? Both? Why wasn’t this team properly capitalized, especially given its disastrous stay in New Hampshire? What happened?
We shall provide some answers, so keep checking back. THE PLANET is in the middle of a hectic (but fulfilling and enjoyable) day. Like McArthur, we shall return.
We will add one point first. The three playoffs games in New Jersey, which included two Pittsfield “home” games, drew about 900 fans COMBINED. I can guarantee that if the first two games were held at home, the C’s would have drawn anywhere from 1,600 to 2,400 fans. Attendance had been tracking up, especially in the second half. As we said, attendance was up 20% for the year. None of that was good enough, and so someone made the decision to go to New Jersey. That worked out great, didn’t it?
The 20% gain showed that despite bad management and no money, the team was starting to gain traction. What would happen if a well-financed group of professionals in the front office took over? What would have happened if the panic button wasn’t pushed, and there was a five-year commitment? That 20% would soon have pushed attendance to then past the break even point. Unfortunately, it appears we’ll never get to know.
Stay tuned for a stunning expose.
WE’RE OFF INTO AN INCREDIBLY JAM-PACKED, EXCITING WEEKEND. NEXT POST WILL BE ON MONDAY, WITH MORE COLONIALS AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE TRIPLE MURDER, EXCLUSIVE TO THE PLANET. STAY WELL, AND …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.