Thursday, August 27, 2009

RAT FEEDBACK REQUESTED...and Randoms


Hit my comments section with an answer to this question: Rats in Swift Current...a civic problem that our elected officials need to fix...or a political issue blown out of proportion by opponents of Mayor Larson?

I believe it's a little bit of both.

Hey, the federal Conservatives rode the sponsorship scandal to victory in '06. Sandy has dominated every election she has ran in despite HEAVY criticism from a few. The timing of these town hall meetings is curious, as rat sightings have happening for months now, yet with civic election campaigning set to begin soon this issue is suddenly an emergency??? Is this merely a plot to exterminate Sandy Larson from office...or will we be literally dodging rats on the Chinook Pathway by the end of September?

Fill the comments!

I've been enjoying the daily updates from Keener in regards to Bronco camp. It's nice to have Jon Keen back in the blogging saddle after a summer of MAILING IT IN. HAHA! A link to his blog is on the right side of this page. It seems like a good year to be a Bronco fan is shaping up.

Our first chance at home to boo Regina is October 24th at 7:30. Saturday Night game...SWEET! Plan your flex packs accordingly.

I know...I'm classless. :)

If I had a site meter, I would certainly be able to see my hits from Okotoks and Calgary go up this week. Someone with some inside info who chose to remain anonymous hit my comments section a few posts down on the 'co champs = no champs' post. Scroll down and check it out.


R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Big Mouth

I did it again. Shoot first, ask questions later. I feel like a donkey for something I wrote...a VERY small part of something I wrote, but I need to eat some humble pie. Also, could the owner of WMBL Around the Horn please copy and paste this:

In my ranting on the WMBL championship, I was unfair to someone who's name I dropped a few posts down.

Doc Seaman will forever be remembered as a great Canadian. One of our own from small town Saskatchewan, he worked hard and shared his wealth with many. While this blog is nothing more than a hobby to me, it is something that is taken seriously by some, and the legacy of Doc Seaman deserves better than to have a small market disc jockey refer to him merely as a "gazillionaire".

I also stated, "All they had to do was call it Seaman Stadium" in reference to the Okotoks Dawgs getting the keys to their new home. I was speculating. The more I learn about Doc Seaman, the more I realize he probably would've preferred the park not be named after him, but others likely insisted. I'm glad that the stadium will stand as a monument to someone who supported and believed in baseball on the prairies. I hope what he did in Okotoks paves the way for others to do the same across Western Canada.

I failed to research the philanthropic efforts of a truly great Canadian, and a man people across Saskatchewan and Alberta should be proud to call one of our own.

I apologize.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com


THERE'S RATS EVERYWHERE!!!

I realize the above picture and headline is lost on everyone who doesn't watch Family Guy.

Swift Current has a rat problem. We are now the rat capital of Canada. Our City Council will have to act after Swift Current has made national headlines.

In the meantime, all we can do is make sure a nice five pound rat ends up in the visitor's broadcast booth when the Regina Pats are in town. Haha! Just kidding.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com
Quickie

I'm into this blogging thing. Expect more updates as the days get shorter and the weather gets chillier.

Just to clarify an opinion from my last post. I think Okotoks and Lethbridge are valuable to the WMBL. A league without them would suck. Every baseball fan in Western Canada owes it to themselves to make a road trip to their parks, and when the Dawgs and Bulls are in ANY of the league's parks, it is usually a well attended game full of baseball talent. I'm certainly not encouraging them to take their money and their fancy parks and shove it. One of the most entertaining things a person can do in summer time is take in a ball game at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks and Spitz Stadium in Lethbridge. Yes, Okotoks was very fortunate to have a palatial home built for them...but they have brought that home to life on the field and in the stands and deserve HUGE props for that.

And good for Lethbridge for having the marketing saavy to sign a deal with Spitz to upgrade their home. Other teams in the league should try and follow that lead. I'm sure no one in Swift Current would take issue with $500,000 worth of money put into Mitchell Field and calling it the Credit Union i-Field (for example).

My only concern is the WMBL will eventually implode on itself by forcing other teams to try and keep up with the wealthy Joneses of the league.

My WMBL post is getting some attention on other blogs, facebook pages and news sources. I want to be clear that I fully support a league that is managed responsibly that includes Okotoks, Lethbridge, Melville, Yorkton and all points in between.

But I do think it's unfair that Okotoks got to party with the trophy. Had Melville got the Harry Halas trophy for the night it would've been a great time at the Waverly!

I've also heard rumblings that the Commissioner's chair is now vacant in the WMBL. If that's true...two words.

Commissioner Martinez.

Mitchell Field is the house that Harv built...let's see what he can do with the league.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Co-Champs=NO CHAMPS...and RATS!

The Melville Millionaires and the Okotoks Dawgs have been named co-champs of the WMBL. I can't think of one person outside of Okotoks who thinks that is a good idea. The series was a best of five...the teams split games one and two, rain delayed the series until the WMBL decided on a best of three with a one game winner take all in Melville. Then it was decided that the game be scrapped because of a shortage of players and there would be co-champs. For some reason, Okotoks got to take the trophy home and celebrate.

Melville was going to win the thing. YES THEY WERE! They got the split in Okotoks without using their top three pitchers. The best of five was tied 1-1 heading back to Melville. The Mils went through games one and two without using Jason Chowning, Ray Maldonado and Kevin Crumb...the three coffin nails against the Swift Current Indians.

The odds where HUGE in Melville's favor. This decision was NOT a cool one with the Mils...yet Okotoks got to take the WMBL Trophy back to Seaman Stadium in Okotoks to a hero's welcome and victory party.

Melville got to shake hands with their teammates go home.

The WMBL is going in the wrong direction. I have built a good rapport with Joe Carnahan and Harv Martinez, the past two coaches of the Swift Current Indians. What I write is based on 6 years of traveling the league and talking to coaches, owners and managers from around the league. I'm not regurgitating the thoughts of my coaching buddies like some blogs do...I like to think I've seen enough of the league to form an opinion of my own.

The WMBL brass caters to Okotoks and Lethbridge any chance they get. They are the crown jewels of the league. Okotoks had a multi-million dollar facility built for them by a local gaziollionaire. Doc Seaman, footed the bill. All they had to do was call it 'Seaman Stadium'. The baseball term "if you build it they will come" certainly applied to the Dawgs and their park. I took one to Okotoks this year. It was a rainy night with game 7 of the Stanley Cup final on TV and still the Dawgs drew 1500 fans. The Dawgs do a great job with their game presentation and when you couple that with a first class facility, Dawgs baseball is THE THING to do in Okotoks.

and Lethbridge...already one of the top ball parks and fan bases in the league BEFORE Spitz Seeds pleadged $500,000 to renovate the ball park. All they had to do was call it 'Spitz Stadium'.

The rest of the league doesn't have the luxury of a huge corporate sponsor or a local baseball fan who worked hard and has money to spend on building stadiums. While teams like Regina and Medicine Hat may turn a bit of a profit, the rest of the league is barely getting by.

Yes...even the 8 time champion Swift Current Indians are barely getting by.

Each year, the WMBL allows more and more import players making spots for less and less Canadians and local kids. The cost of bringing in imports who often get injured and have to go home is staggering. It also takes away from what makes the league special. Imagine a CFL that allowed unlimited imports. A Rider team having never known Roger Aldag, Bob Poley or Scott Schultz. Andy Fantuz, Jason Clermont, Rob Bagg, Chris Getzlaf, Jeremy O'Day, Gene Makowsky, Chris Szarka are players that possibly never would get a shot in the CFL if they started going in the same direction as the WMBL.

So in the WMBL you have teams like Swift, Weyburn, Melville and Yorkton flying in gunslingers to compete with the rosters that Okotoks can easily afford.

...and travel.

When I spoke to Garnet Keller, the coach of Melville, and asked him what team he wanted in the first round of the playoffs, his answer was 'Yorkton, cause they are the only team we can afford to travel to play'.

and he wasn't joking.

This year some teams in the league lobbied to add more games to the schedule (you can guess who). For very few teams, more games meant more $$$. For most it only increased travel costs and the cost of players. Each team in the league played at least 40 games this year. For some teams thats an extra six games on the schedule. Easy for some, extra dollars for some, but difficult for most to afford.

And how did that work out? Too long a season, not enough time for playoffs and the inability to CROWN A CHAMPION!

The greed of a few is hurting a league of many. Lethbridge and Okotoks may have their Field of Dreams...but if they don't take a good look at what they're doing...the two of them may be in A League of Their Own.

Through the miracle of facebook I got my hands on this pic. It was taken Monday night when the best of three final game was to happen. It's the Dawgs with the trophy celebrating a "three peat" back in Okotoks. My question; are there enough players in this pic to field a team? Note the 8:30 time on the clock behind them. No one seems to be in a big hurry to catch a plane.



If I'm wrong about anything, my e-mail address is all over this blog and I publish everything to my comments. If I'm incorrect or misinformed, I'll even buy one of those championship shirts the Dawgs are wearing.

RATS!

As I type this, Life is NOT Making Sense on Swift Current due to a sudden and frightening boom in the population of greasy Norway Rats!

Editorials in the paper! Cries of inaction on the part of the City of Swift Current! All with around two months until a Civic Election!

The fact is...these rats are here, there are a lot of them and the City is not in any position to send exterminators to every house and business in Swift Current. People tell the city to "do something!" but no one seems to know what that something is.

Here is what Alberta did in the 50's according to the reliable wikipedia:

Alberta, Canada is unusual in that rat infestation was eliminated by aggressive government action. Although it is a major agricultural area and has a fairly high human population density, it is far from any seaport and only a portion of its eastern boundary with Saskatchewan provides a favorable entry route for rats. They cannot survive in the boreal forest to the north, the Rocky Mountains to the west, nor the semi-arid High Plains of Montana to the south. The first brown rat did not reach Alberta until 1950, and in 1951 the province launched a rat-control program that included shooting and poisoning rats, and bulldozing, burning down, and blowing up rat-infested buildings. The effort was backed by legislation that required every person and every municipality to destroy and prevent the establishment of designated pests. If they failed, the provincial government could carry out the necessary measures and charge the costs to the landowner or municipality.[44]

In the first year of the program, 64 tonnes (71 short tons) of arsenic trioxide were spread throughout 8,000 buildings on farms along the Saskatchewan border. In 1953 the much less toxic and more effective poison, Warfarin, was introduced. By 1960 the number of rat infestations in Alberta dropped to below 200 per year.[45]

Currently, only zoos, universities, and research institutes are allowed to own caged rats in Alberta, and possession of an unlicensed rat (including pet rats) is punishable by a $5,000 fine or 60 days in jail.


Maybe we should be lobbying our MLA/Premier? If the city does take an aggresive approach and eliminate rats but burning down abandoned buildings, fining people with junk on their property and spreading poisons the rats are going somewhere else. They came from somewhere...they'll go somewhere. Is it unreasonable to think they'll just stay in Swift Current and not make their way across the province? There is a lot of things going good for Saskatchewan. I'm sure we don't want to be branded as "the rat province" at our expensive pavilion at the Vancouver Olympics next year.

In the meantime, rats aren't going anywhere for awhile...so make sure you're home is sealed off, no holes in the screen doors, tree branches are trimmed so they don't go over your roof and your garbage is under control.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Coming...

Thursday afternoon. I promise.

Stay Strong!

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Coming

OK, Wednesday, August 19th there WILL be an update. Some of the topics will include;

-The WMBL season in review. Two words Gong Show. The league is going in the wrong direction in many ways. I will explain why. I've done my research, and the post will contain factual data, and not just me saying "it sucks". As I type this, the WMBL brass has declared "co-champions" between Melville and Okotoks. Is any fan, anywhere cool with that?

-The best idea I never had the chance to launch. If you are a single man, this will get you off of e-harmony and 'Plenty of Fish' and into a great life...in theory. You will never "poke" someone in futility again! You will be above that nonsense!

-I had someone ask me about "getting and keeping a girlfriend". Like I'm an expert! I just pretend I'm the guy in the Dos Equis commercials.

I'm other things will come and go from my brain between now and then. Keep it real Banana Peel!

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009




Birthday Blog

Today is my Girlfriend Christina's birthday. It is also Hulk Hogan's. They have both touched my life...in very different ways.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com
Back to Reality

I'm back to work, back to reality and back to a routine. Expect an update of substance in the next few days.

For that post, I want your input.

Me posting my vacation pictures; Narcissistic crap you have no interest in seeing, or something you'd be interested in me posting? Let me know. I went to San Francisco and saw a Giants game, Alcatraz, a wedding and a goat farm. Street Dance and a private Stanley Cup party were also part of the last week in my life.

In the meantime, get to Mitchell Field tonight for game 5 between Swift Current and Melville.

Now hit the comments!

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com