A Message From GM and Field Manager Josh Matlow
Dear Baycats Nation, Is it May yet!?
As the 2021 IBL Season comes to a close, and the 7-time IBL champions Barrie Baycats are eliminated from the playoffs, it is now a perfect time to reflect. It was a great ride, and an unforgettable summer. While some say the dynasty is over, I say it’s just about to begin. A new dynasty. New faces. New opportunities. Growing pains in any organization is inevitable, but we are all better for enduring everything that comes with those growing pains.
Some told me I am taking it too seriously, but maybe those saying that didn’t take it seriously enough?
I was honoured 20 months ago to take the reigns and be apart of something incredibly special. I was hired to be the Barrie Baycats next General Manager and Field Manager (Head Coach). While most would look at it as a tiresome responsibility, of building a whole new team and being on the road buses till 3am during the week and doing the “grind”, I welcomed it all with excitement and passion for the game of baseball. Being able to help players grow as ball players, but especially as human beings is something at my point in life I am very excited about.
With nothing but good intentions, and love for everything the organization holds, I wanted to make everyone proud. From the coaching staff, to the players, to the volunteers, the ownership, the sponsors, the fans, my family and friends. Proud to be apart of what everyone calls the “new regime”. To come back after all these years and get to be able to keep the torch burning in Barrie, again, what an honour!
While this season is now done for us, I look back on all the defining moments. There was so much positive from this past year, just to get on the field and play through a pandemic to coming back to the game I love so much. I thank everyone included in this years journey for bringing the love of baseball back into my heart. It’s all just good for the soul.
To my coaching staff, I couldn’t have done it without you. To your dedication and willingness to be apart of it game in and game out, including but not limited to indoor workouts, coaches meetings and community events, you boys did not disappoint. You are the greatest support system anyone can ask for, thank you!
To the players, you all embraced the entire year the entire time. You understood the task and challenges at hand and did everything in your power to make this a successful turnaround and core for the future moving forward. To every player who helped push this organization in the right direction for the future, thank you!
To the volunteers, the true legends and dynasty within the organization, a big thank you for embracing the change, adjusting, but also keeping your traditional ways and for the smiles and hugs when arriving to the park every game, thank you!
To the fans, hands down the best fans in the IBL. To be able to have fans at the ballpark alone was a win this year, but to be be able to see how much you mean to not only the Baycats and the players, but to Barrie and Simcoe community was incredible. If it wasn’t for the ongoing support we couldn’t have done it this year. We promise to provide fun, safe and exciting entertainment for many years to come, we appreciate you coming out to the games, bringing the kids and the family, that’s what this is all about, so thank you!
To the ownership, thank you for choosing me! Thank you for entrusting in my ideas, passion and ways of getting things done and supporting me 125% of the way! I am honoured to be chosen and to be able to do everything I can to make sure this organization stays great! I promise to do so as long as you allow me, thank you!
To my family, the support you have provided. The attendance at games, even road games, to cheer me and the team on and to support the Baycats over all the years, it’s why I do this. To have our family come to the ball park and enjoy not only baseball but each other’s company, is magical. To have our kids grow up around the ball park is something I hold dear to my heart and looking forward to all those memories to come, thank you!
I also wanted to thank my beautiful and supportive wife Sasha Matlow. If it wasn’t for her pushing me to do this, I wouldn’t have been able to. Sasha is 9 months pregnant and was pregnant throughout the entire season and while it’s gotten harder each day as we get closer, especially with a toddler at home, Sasha supported me throughout the whole process and supported me the whole way. She also may have become the biggest Baycat fan alive in the process!
I am grateful to have been chosen to continue the great traditions and morals of the greatest organization I have ever played for or been apart of. Thank you all for your unwavering support and I promise to make each and every one of you proud for as long as I am able to be a part of this organization.
From the bottom of my heart, thanks to everyone who contributed to a memorable summer. I hope I made you all proud! I can’t wait to see you all next spring! Is it May yet!?
General Manager and Manager, Barrie Baycats
Photo by Bob Hurley / Bob Hurley Photography