Despite the social distancing to observe, there is talent per square foot in the beginning of the season in the major League baseball junior élite du Québec (LBJEQ).
A jump in the stage, Denis Boucher (Lachine, at the opening night of Wednesday, has helped see to the work the pitcher Zachary Gagnon, Warriors of Granby, and the gunner Conor Angel, and the catcher Archer Brookman, Cardinals de LaSalle.
Gagnon and the Warriors have won 3 to 0, but beyond the result, it was good for a little bit of everyone – players, coaches, referees and spectators – to finally reunite with the sport in an official match. At the same time, other parts of the LBJEQ stood in Saint-Eustache and in the Saguenay. In short, the pandemic COVID-19 has delayed the start of the season and health measures are imposed, but the activities are well and truly resumed.
“Playing baseball is playing baseball. No matter where you are, we pass a good time”, a simply summary Brookman, a product of the Buckeyes of Ohio State, who did stare many eyes with a powerful relay to the second goal to pinning an opponent in a robbery attempt in the sixth inning.
“Just with the mood and arriving at the park, we felt that there was something different and to embark on the field for a regular season game, it has no price”, has indicated Gagnon, a young pitcher a native of Sainte-Julie, which, for its part, obtained a scholarship to join the University, Tarleton State, Texas, this fall.
For young people
Visibly proud of his players, the head coach of the Warriors Denis Lamontagne is perhaps the one which has best summarized the situation.
“My concern with everything that happened with the virus, it concerned young people, said Lamontagne. We spoke of the children of the kindergarten and talked to the elders, but we always seemed to forget about the teens, themselves, have a need to express themselves and move. I found them good to respect the containment. I look forward to it being so outside.”
Even before the start of the match, the general manager of the Cardinals, Milton Lopez, seemed to be regarding him feverish and nervous. Beyond a victory for his team, he wanted to make sure that everything is going well on the field as well as outside.
“One of the rules specific enough that originate from the league and officials of the public health. We put it in motion as best as we can. We count on the collaboration of players and spectators. Our goal is to ensure that the young people can board on the ball field safely,” said Lopez.
Measures to comply with
For contibuer the respect of the rules, the organization of LaSalle has had to buy bottles of antiseptic gel, but also dozens of folding chairs for the players of the two teams. In order to submit to the distancing of two metres, only five players per club to have access to the shelter of their team at the stade Denis Boucher, who, this summer, is being used by the Cardinals because of renovations at the stade Éloi-Viau, LaSalle.
A minute of silence was observed for victims of the COVID-19 before the start of the meeting, and then many messages of awareness have been made by the advertiser in-house during the party.
“It is super important to respect the rules if we want to continue to play,” said Gagnon, after his fine performance on the mound, who has allowed no points in six innings.
A nod to Denis Boucher
The pitcher Conor Angel, which is part of the most beautiful hopes of Quebec, has lived a very special moment on Wednesday night, meeting again on the mound, the stadium Denis Boucher, of Lachine.
“This is the first time I played here since the stadium was renamed in honour of Denis Boucher, has mentioned the gunner of 20 years, evolving with the Cardinals de LaSalle. It was a bit special because I know him very well, he has me already trained and I participated in different camps with him.”
Boucher, who particularly wore the colors of the Montreal Expos in 1993 and 1994, was also on hand to observe Angel. The two have exchanged a few words at the edge of this field renamed in 2017.
No umpire behind the plate
Angel, who attends the University of Louisiana at Lafayette during the school year, has loved his game despite a defeat of his own, and the different sanitary measures in force. In four innings, he conceded only one point, not deserved, because of an error in the defensive.
“The more bizarre rules surrounding the COVID-19, it is possibly not to be able to be with all his teammates in the dugout, he noticed, a bit bothered by the lack of an official behind the plate. On the mound, I’d rather almost have to be the referee behind me. It is closer if I want to adjust and ask him which was a launch, which, according to him, has not reached the strike zone.
A schedule condensed
With the beginning of the season delayed by the pandemic COVID-19, the young players of the major League baseball junior élite du Québec (LBJEQ) will see a lot of action over the next few weeks.
For example, the Orioles Montreal, who planned to play their opening match in the face of the Pirates of Laval on Thursday night at the stadium Gary-Carter, begin the season with seven games in 10 days.
The 12 current configurations of the LBJEQ must play a total of 21 regular season games for each team in the section Sun Life Financial and 22 for the clubs of the other two sections (The Cage–Brewery sports and Rawlings).
The series will start logically towards the end of the month of August. Due to the removal of the Tyrants, of Gatineau, all teams will participate in the playoffs. The first two rounds will take place in the interior of the three sections to determine three division champions. Subsequently, a round-robin tournament will be held on a weekend, and will determine the two finalists. The ultimate duel will be played according to a size of 3 to 5.