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Published: August 20th 2007
I decided to go and check out the website for the Bois-Guillaume Woodchucks, the team with which I was playing towards the beginning of the season for two months. I had seen on the French website that they were falling in the standings, in fact I am not sure that they have won a game since I left France. So I just wanted to check in.
The front page of their website was an account of a meeting team officials had had with the Mayor of Bois-Guillaume followed by an open letter explaining the bleak situation of baseball in Bois-Guillaume. Apparently the neighbors next to the baseball park filed an official complaint to the Mayor, that balls were flying into their yards and windows were being broken…that it was disturbance to the neighborhood. The mayor, for some reason, agreed with their complaint and sent a letter to the Bois-Guillaume Woodchucks saying that at the conclusion of the season baseball will not be played in Bois-Guillaume. This, to me, is very indicative of the state of baseball in France, and in Europe. It carries no clout. And I am shocked to think that baseball might be shut down cause a few neighbors have complained about foul balls. Can you imagine this happening in the US??
At this point I should mention two facts: 1) that the baseball field was built and baseball was being played at the field in Bois-Guillaume before ANY of the houses filing complaints were built. They knew there was a field there, they must have seen baseball being played, in fact I imagine they found more than a few balls buried in the grass when the the house was going up. And 2), the Bois-Guillaume Baseball Club pays for every broken window and/or damaged property. So what’s the big deal?? What’s with the baseball haters?
It is not finalized, at least the Woodchucks don't think it is. And I hope they can come to some understanding/compromise. I say they need to get the folks filing the complaint to bring their kids to baseball practice and into baseball, and all the problems will be solved.
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