Even if the Capitale-Nationale region has switched to the orange zone since Sunday evening and that travel is not encouraged, the LBJEQ has obtained the authorization to go ahead with the final of the circuit between the Diamants de Québec and the Dukes of Longueuil.
Baseball Quebec gave its endorsement Monday morning. “We received permission from Baseball Quebec and we will be able to present the final,” confirmed the president of the Quebec Elite Junior Baseball League (LBJEQ), Rodger Brulotte. We did not anticipate the worst. We went there from day to day and waited for instructions. We didn't expect to start the season; we didn't think we'd have a playoff. All the credit goes to the players who followed the instructions. ” Played in the best of five games, the final will begin Thursday in Longueuil. A double program is planned for Saturday in Quebec. If necessary, the 4th and 5th games will take place in Longueuil the next day.
Baseball Quebec did not hesitate to give the green light. “We will continue as long as we have no instructions to stop, summarized the general manager Maxime Lamarche. We are confident the players are safe on the pitch. We have warned the management of the LBJEQ that the celebrations will have to be moderate. It will not be able to happen as usual when a team wins a championship. Sanitary measures are even more important now.
“We do not want to see celebrations as was the case in the Puribec League (senior circuit of Bas-Saint-Laurent) last week, to continue Lamarche. They were very respectful of the instructions throughout the season and everything changed for 25 seconds. I understand the emotion, but it must not happen again. ”
Lamarche expects, however, to receive new instructions from Public Health. “I think we will have specific rules for fans,” he said. The measurements will be even more important. In the worst scenario, we will end the series behind closed doors. Minor baseball is pretty much over and only junior and senior are left. ”
Even though the games took place in front of a maximum of 250 people, Brulotte believes that the owners are very happy to have been able to offer a full season to the players.
“The owners all lost several thousand dollars, but they did it for the kids. There is no team that is in danger of not coming back next year for financial reasons. ”
If the LBJEQ has not recorded any positive case for COVID-19, Baseball Quebec also has an almost perfect record. “Of the 26,000 young people who played baseball this summer, there was only one positive case and two false positives,” Lamarche said. The case was neutralized and there was no outbreak. Health measures did the job. We can give each other a pat on the back. I'm pretty proud of my gang. ”
“Since the end of the season, it's incredible the number of messages of thanks that I have received,” continues Lamarche. It is heartwarming. We did it for the right reasons and the young people had fun. ”