Thursday, July 28, 2016
Reader: It's time for the Blasters to go away
A long list of names are responsible for this mess.
It started with Mark Rohr who ordered the parks and recreation director Chris Cotten to find an anchor tenant to Becker. Cotten went so far as to say either he had to find a tenant or the second option was the bulldozer.
Cotten sold a bill of goods to council going so far as comparing independent league baseball as equivalent to AA. He later admitted knowing nothing about baseball, just doing was he was told to do by his boss Rohr.
The debacle that is the 2016 Blasters is a combination of bad decisions made by the city finance director (who conspired behind the scenes to push through a bad agreement), the city attorney (who provided bad counsel to the city council) and the Mayor who wanted to push through an agreement and get the team back regardless. Only Bill Scearce had the backbone to stand up and oppose a new lease for 2016. The city manager and current parks director did not recommend to renew the agreement, but council would not consider their recommendations. Someone needs to do an open records request between Suarez, city finance and city attorney and see what those conversations yield. Perhaps emails from the mayor too.
The Blasters are to blame also. With them, it has been one poor excuse after another. From failing to pay players, failing to properly take care of its stadium, failing to honor commitments to vendors and partner organizations. The Suarez family has proven to be a failure at baseball ownership and it has been a bad deal for the entire city and region. They need to go away and I truly hope professional baseball does not return to Joplin because of them.