The Boise Hawks have at least two more seasons as the Chicago Cubs short-season Class A affiliate. Which means they have at least two more seasons to solve their stadium issues.
I certainly believe if we can get this facility solution figured out one way or the other, the Cubs will be here for many, many more years, Hawks President Todd Rahr said.
The Cubs and Hawks announced a new two-year player development contract Wednesday, extending a relationship that dates back to 2001.
An extension seemed unlikely last year when Cubs President Tom Ricketts called Memorial Stadium below standard and said we would like to see it improved.
In February, Boise resident and Hawks hitting coach Bill Buckner put it in even starker terms.
Ill be real blunt about it. Ricketts made it pretty obvious that if the city of Boise and the Boise Hawks cannot have a major improved facility or plans to do that by the near future, at the end of the summer they were going to go someplace else. Thats not a threat. Its just a fact, Buckner told a Boise audience.
But toward the end of the summer with the Cubs going through a minor-league development overhaul and the Hawks surging into the Northwest League playoffs it became clear that an extension was growing more likely.
The players who have come through here over the years speak highly of the city, the fans and the exceptional treatment of the host families, said Jason McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development. We are hopeful that improvements can be made to the current facility in order to best develop our players and keep us in Boise.
Rahr said the Hawks will attempt to expand the training room and add more space for video coordinators, a strength coach and another batting tunnel to Memorial Stadium in the offseason.
Were going to work hard on getting that done, Rahr said. (The agreement) gives us a little bit of a breath. It gives us more time. It will be on us to make some strides. I dont think the reality of the situation is any different than it was. I just think we have a little more time.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444