The Can-Am 2019 League: the handover
Miles Wolff made a big decision during the off season. He left his position as commissioner of the Can-Am League. On the sidelines of the opening of the 2019 season, he tells us about his decision and shares part of his vision for the future of independent baseball. Present in three markets of the circuit, Groupe Capitales Médias also presents a portrait of the six clubs that make up the Can-Am League. Have a good season!
QUESTION: How did you make that decision?
ANSWER: About a year ago, I started to warn some people that the time had come for me to slow down a bit. Dan Moushon, who was the president of our league, chose to leave in order to take up a new challenge in affiliated baseball. His departure made me want to speed things up. Kevin Winn, who last year was the Chief Referee, will now be the executive director of Can-Am. He will perform most of the duties of the commissioner. I will continue to sit on a committee of three owners who will be in constant contact with the league.
Q: We do not leave a post as important as it is easily …
A: I have been working in the field of independent baseball since 1993. I made my debut with the Northern League. It’s still 25 years! Exactly. After 25 years, the time had come to give way. The transition has begun. Last year, the American Association hired a new executive director. Our two leagues take opposite directions.
Q: It’s kind of the nature of professional minor leagues. It is not easy to find stability.
R: You are right. There will always be weak links. Some teams work well. Others work less well. It is not easy to maintain harmony in a group of eight to 10 owners. Everyone has their ideas, their way of seeing things. I did it for 25 years. I allowed these two leagues to survive. It was my main goal.
A: Things are good, nothing is easy. The American Association is healthy, but two or three of its clubs are struggling. The Can-Am League has always struggled to maintain a sufficient number of teams. The Atlantic League has two or three franchises that are very strong. The other formations are not so strong. The Frontier League keeps up. All these leagues have survived for 20 years now. It’s far from bad. It suggests to me that there is room for independent baseball.
Q: What would be the ideal scenario for the future?
A: Ideally? The four leagues I just mentioned would find a way to unite! I’m not sure if it’s going to happen, because the owners of all the teams involved have their ideas and priorities. I still believe that unity is strength. All independent leagues would become stronger if they united in one organization.