Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Changing faces

Since it is the offseason, the Bulletin has taken this particular blog of mine down, so it isn't active on the site. That said, I do hope people are coming back for periodic updates. Right now I am writing the UConn football blog which unfortunately has less activity than this blog.

Let me not waste any more words. The Defenders are looking for a new general manager and from all accounts, Jim Beaudoin more or less was done with the last iout of the season. What I do know is that everyone I spoke to, Lou DiBella on down, appreciated the effort Jim put forth and wishes him nothing but the best of luck in Portland, Maine. Jim's mother lives there and his fiance apparently accepted a position there. when? Where? I don't know. I do know this: Whomever DiBella and co. bring in to fill the role of GM needs to be someone savvy, someone who has seen it all in minor league baseball and someone who not is is committed to the team and stadium, but to the basebal fans if the area. This needs to be someone who can reach out to the community and offer an olive branch.

Why an olive branch? There is enough bad blood beneath the surface that it is sickening. Granted, some of it is not deserved in either direction. But I know there are things the team would like to see accomoplished (better signage, etc.) and things fans would like to see (cheaper tickets, concessions, etc.). There has to be someone -- and I emplore whomever the new GM is -- to sit down with Mayor Lathrop and state officials and find the middle ground. There has to be community involvement. Why not a town hall meeting? We can't have people so set in their ways saying "This is the way it's been here for x-number of years and that's the way it should be." These are the people who will inevitably hold us back as a city. These are the same people who probably thought cars were a bad idea because their parents or grandparents didn't have cars or that the Internet was bad because technology confuses them.

At the same time, the Defenders have to recognize the public's concerns and make a whole-hearted effort at give and take. Sorry Lou, you may not get the giant marquee in lights, but get a couple fairly large signs that can't be missed.

No, neither side will get what they want completely. Instead what we get is a city that can try to blossom with a successful minor league baseball team. Not every city can say that. We need to make sure Norwich can and that even the most hardened of critics become no worse than passive supporters.

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