For nearly three years, we were told this day was coming. Rest assured it didn’t sneak up on us.
Now, the day has officially arrived. On Tuesday, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox – the one that was intertwined with Pawtucket and McCoy Stadium for the longest of times – begins a new chapter in a brand-new ballpark in a different city.
In this particular neck of the woods, a recent development springs to mind that you might say is totally applicable to what’s on tap in W-W-W ….
Just like Bill and Melinda Gates, the marriage has dissolved. The time has come for them to draw a line in the sand and for both parties to head their separate ways.
In other words, it’s over.
The PawSox that we came to know and love (not to mention covered for 13 seasons) are D-E-A-D. They aren’t coming back. Cling hard to those memories – 50 years’ worth of them. Take comfort that they weren’t packed and loaded into the moving trucks.
Conversely, those holding baseball-related positions of power in the Massachusetts city that begins with “W” need to put a lid on the notion that the Blackstone Valley – stretching from the state where the team is currently located to the state where it used to play its home games – is one big happy family.
“In our desire, we remain one.”
That quote appeared in a front-page, above-the-fold article of the Sept. 25, 2018 edition of the Pawtucket Times – the former paper of record for all PawSox-related matters. Those words were spoken by Dr. Charles Steinberg, president of the W-W-W …
Sorry, Dr. Charles. Back in 2018, we had a hard time subscribing to the “out of sight but not out of mind” belief. Like a pitch changing its trajectory while traveling from the mound to the plate, no amount of spin is going to change the mind of this particular scribe.
The more you think about it, the concept of the WooSox – there, I finally said it! – maintaining some sort of presence in Rhode Island shouldn’t even enter the subconscious. For starters, the WooSox – there, I said it again! – should be more preoccupied with further immersing themselves in a market that bent over backwards to make them feel welcomed and comfortable enough with the decision to leave behind an entrenched fan base.
By hitching its wagons to a recognizable brand, Worcester – that’s the name of that dang city! – is betting on a new ballpark serving as a catalyst for additional development. All involved parties should be working around the clock to make sure the day never comes when the vultures are afforded the opportunity to swirl over Polar Park and refer to it as Polar Plunge, aka Massachusetts’ answer to 38 Studios.
The WooSox need to focus on Worcester and the surrounding demographic, not focus on how many cars with Rhode Island license plates are going to heed the “come one, come all” message by electing to travel up Route 146. You can’t keep one foot in one state and the other foot in the neighboring state.
Memo to the WooSox: Keep both feet firmly in Massachusetts. Go take care of your new client and fan base. Don’t feed us, the people of Rhode Island, the rhetoric that all we did was move from one end of the Blackstone Valley to the other.
Quick aside if you’re a PawSox faithful follower, the idea of making a trip to Polar Park to view all the bells and whistles has the equivalent feeling of checking in on your ex and seeing that they’re doing outstanding. Come to find out, your ex is now dating a super model. Talk about pure torture.
For the foreseeable future, the WooSox figure to remain a tender subject in Pawtucket. Off Columbus Ave., you’ll find an empty ballpark that’s wondering when the next time the lights will be turned on.
Let’s not lose the power switch to McCoy. Let’s not watch another Pawtucket landmark suffer the same fate as the Apex department store – a reminder of what once was that now sits dormant. Along those lines, we have an idea to make McCoy once again part of the R.I. sporting scene that will be fleshed out in a future column.
Part of the divorce proceedings includes picking up the pieces and moving on. You go your way. I go mine. In the case of the WooSox and Pawtucket, the link has been broken, the ties officially severed.
Know what that means? Time to get busy writing a new chapter.
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03