They’re out

Cape Bre­ton Dodgers kicked out of Big League na­tion­als tour­na­ment.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY T.J. COLELLO sports@cb­ On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports SYD­NEY

Or­ga­niz­ers of the 2015 Cana­dian Big League Cham­pi­onship in Cal­gary have sent the Cape Bre­ton Dodgers home.

Dodgers coach Derrick Hanna said tour­na­ment or­ga­niz­ers told him the team was be­ing sent home for be­ing loud and hav­ing open liquor at the Univer­sity of Cal­gary dorms they were stay­ing at.

The team was in­formed to leave on Mon­day. Hanna said he was told it was a re­sult of what hap­pened Sun­day night, but he says most of his play­ers had gone down­town that night to get some­thing to eat and have a few drinks down­town, since the le­gal drink­ing age in Al­berta is 18. The team had an off day on Mon­day.

He said ev­ery player on the team ex­cept for three went out at about 10 p.m. and got back be­tween 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Among those three that stayed be­hind was one who is only 17. Hanna said he and the coach­ing staff were in their room with the door open when the play­ers got back, and never heard any loud noises.

“We would have heard them,” said Hanna. “We stayed up for another hour and 15 min­utes with our door open, and it was only a small dorm, with maybe eight rooms with two dou­ble beds in it. We had eight rooms and On­tario had four rooms on that floor also.”

Hanna said there were rules in place to not have liquor in the dorm rooms. The play­ers did have liquor the first night, but a meet­ing was held with all the teams and the liquor was re­moved.

Hanna said there were re­cur­ring com­plaints about one Dodgers player in par­tic­u­lar, but he in­formed tour­na­ment of­fi­cials to send that par­tic­u­lar player home if he was an is­sue.

“If there’s one kid, send him home. If we had two kids who were a prob­lem, send them home. If we had four kids that were prob­lems, send them home,” said Hanna, who said the team would fight the de­ci­sion. “If they saw four kids out­side the dorm drink­ing, find out who they are and send them home. Why the whole team?”

The tour­na­ment opened on Satur­day. The Dodgers were win­less in their open­ing three games and were set to play three more round-robin games.

The Dodgers team has en­joyed suc­cess at the na­tional stage. The club cap­tured backto-back na­tional ti­tles in 2009 and 2010, and reached the Cana­dian fi­nal in 2011 and 2012. Af­ter not field­ing a team in 2013, the club com­peted at last year’s na­tion­als in Thun­der Bay, Ont.

“With­out know­ing the whole story, ob­vi­ously it’s dis­ap­point­ing any time you would see any­thing like this hap­pen, whether it was a player, a group of play­ers or whole team,” said Doug MacKen­zie of Syd­ney, Lit­tle League Canada dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tor. “It does cast a bad light on our pro­grams here. We’ve al­ways tried to rep­re­sent Cape Bre­ton proudly, whether it was Glace Bay, Syd­ney Mines or Syd­ney.”

MacKen­zie said it’s been nor­mal prac­tice by Lit­tle League Canada to house play­ers at dorms dur­ing na­tional tour­na­ments in re­cent years. He said it would likely be a topic of con­ver­sa­tion at Lit­tle League Canada’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Ot­tawa in late Au­gust.

Tour­na­ment of­fi­cials could not be reached for com­ment.

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