As is usually the case when a season abruptly ends, the Ottawa Titans have been talking about wouldas, couldas and shouldas Monday.
Their inaugural Frontier League season resulted in frustration at Quebec Metropolis late Sunday evening, after dropping a 5-1 choice within the last recreation of their better of three divisional championship sequence in opposition to the Quebec Capitales.
Following a 3-0 victory within the sequence opener Friday in Ottawa, the Titans took the Capitales to 11 innings in Saturday’s Sport 2 in Quebec Metropolis earlier than shedding a 4-3 heartbreaker.
Within the phrases of supervisor Bobby Brown, “it stings” within the rapid aftermath. If the Titans had obtained only one extra good bounce on Saturday, they’d be within the league championship sequence this week.
Huge image, although, it was a profitable season for the start-up franchise.
“You’ll look again in two weeks and mirror on what a terrific season this was and the place we began,” stated Brown.
Means again in April, Brown felt it was essential to get the gamers collectively on the bus as rapidly as potential, driving to Cornwall for an exhibition recreation that ended up as a 27-1 victory.
“After I take into consideration the season, I take into consideration that recreation in Cornwall, and on the very different excessive finish, the final two video games in Quebec and the extent of competitors,” he stated.
Whereas the Titans struggled to get huge crowds out all season, they completed with some passionate fan assist. The common season finale drew 3,500 and after the Titans received a wildcard showdown on the highway in opposition to the New York Boulders, greater than 3,200 confirmed up for the beginning of the divisional last in opposition to Quebec on Friday. The parking zone was full, the strains for beer and concessions have been lengthy and the ambiance was electrical.
“It felt like 8,000 as a lot because the followers have been into it,” stated Brown. “They’ve constructed a bond with this membership.”
The problem now could be channelling that late-season momentum right into a stronger begin on the gate subsequent season.
Titans vp and chief working officer Regan Katz is nothing if not optimistic in regards to the future.
The membership insists it’ll proceed to dwell by its “Right here to Keep” slogan, making an attempt to distinguish itself from the legion of professional groups who’ve come and gone because the preliminary success of the Triple-A Lynx again within the early 1990’s.
“We’re actually happy with this,” Katz stated. “We didn’t know what to anticipate, in a brand new league, ranging from scratch. Competing within the playoffs is one factor, however we have been in a position to put up a extremely good battle in opposition to most likely the most effective staff within the league and are available actually shut.”
Katz says the main focus for 2023 might be on getting extra giant teams and youngsters out to the video games — “We’re about household enjoyable; the baseball is essential, but it surely’s secondary” — and that the staff will actively canvas its fan base in search of areas to enhance.
“We all know what doesn’t work,” Katz stated. “There was a whole lot of renditions of baseball and whatnot because the Lynx have been right here. It wants a sure stage of professionalism, which is why we selected the Frontier League.”
The difficult half is advertising and marketing across the gamers on the sector.
As stable because the Titans season was, most gamers dream increased than the unbiased Frontier League, the place no one strikes it wealthy and lengthy bus journey is a part of the deal.
Katz says the staff would welcome everybody again subsequent season if he might, however acknowledges that gamers transfer on.
There are not any ensures that Brown will return as supervisor, both. Choices open up for gamers who’ve respectable seasons and the identical holds true for many who construct good groups and are charged with making the selections throughout video games.
“It’s going to be Bobby’s selection whether or not or not he desires to return again,” stated Katz. “We hope that we and the followers handled him nicely sufficient that he says sure.”
Rodrigo Orozco, the 27-year-old outfielder from Panama who batted .286 with eight house runs, 44 RBI and 46 runs scored in 91 video games, says there’s no solution to predict the place his profession goes from right here.
As he was packing up his baggage Monday to go house for extra baseball — he’ll play for Panama within the World Baseball Traditional qualifying match — he’ll deliver with him fond reminiscences from the season that was, particularly the fan assist within the last weeks.
“I actually love enjoying right here as a result of lots of people love the sport,” stated Orozco, who beforehand performed in Vancouver. “It was very nice being again right here in Canada. I felt like (the Ottawa followers) actually liked the best way the staff was enjoying. Hopefully, subsequent yr, extra followers can come to the sector, as a result of it’s a great factor we now have right here.”