Sunday, April 7, 2013

How Silly is Rays-to-Montreal Talk?

Just as the Rays were wrapping up a six-game series to open their season (avg attendance: 22,839), one of the MLB's top beat writers, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, dropped news on NESN that a group of businessmen in Montreal were gaining some credibility in efforts to bring baseball back.  Watch here.

Cafardo called the effort a "longshot," but of course, he name-checked the Rays as the most logical choice to relocate since MLB "won't be expanding soon." 

Cafardo has previously nailed the Rays' attendance issues on the head, writing "The Rays simply can’t get a stadium built. It’s baffling why people in the Tampa/St. Pete area make such a big deal about driving over the bridge to St. Pete. It really isn’t that bad, is it?"

But nevertheless, we can expect a new round of Rays relocation rumors this week....and that's just what the league wants.  Why?  Because as Hall-of-Famer Peter Gammons said, "You need to be able to blackmail people" with another baseball-hungry city.

Just remember, Montreal lost the Expos because they were drawing fewer than 10,000 a game - often 4,000 a night.

Then again, a new list from Sports Weekly (operated by USAToday & owned by Gannett, my employer), indicates Tropicana Field is the worst park in the majors.  For what it's worth, the article doesn't seem to take into account a lot of the things the Rays do right at the Trop, such as affordability, the ability to bring your own food inside, and also the park's ingress/egress.


  1. Obviously that a-hole never DROVE over that bridge.

  2. Guess I'd just point out that the article in USA Today that ripped the Trop relied heavily on quotes from a guy who has been paid in the past by Major League Baseball to (no doubt) tell them what they wanted to hear.

    For what it's worth, I stopped reading the article when it said batted balls "often" hit the catwalks. When you're going to lie so blatantly, it's hard to take anything else seriously.

  3. "Just remember, Montreal lost the Expos because they were drawing fewer than 10,000 a game - often 4,000 a night."

    This is simplifying things right down to the bare bones. Loria drove the team into the ground while he owned the team, then sold up to MLB, who did everything short of tearing down the tower over the ballpark in a bid to totally alienate the fanbase. Who's to say Sternberg isn't capable of doing the same thing someday?

  4. Attendance doesn't matter in the least anymore. Even if the Marlins averaged 6k a game for the next 5 years it wouldn't matter. Why? Because they have a new stadium and it equals more money for MLB collectively. They don't care about attendance. They want you to think they do though....

    When Loria took over the Expos he was Bud's beard, knowing that he would end up with the Marlins when John Henry got his inside deal for the Red Sox. Bud's master plan worked, his pal's got what he/they wanted and he was able to get out of MLB's dark side of the moon. Why would Loria lift a $ to improve a franchise that he had no long-range interest in?
    The Tampa Bay crossings are a mental barrier not a real one, other larger markets have more onerous river/bay crossings and franchises draw well.

  6. Attendance doesn't matter, it's a ploy to obtain new stadiums. It's all about TV Revenue. PERIOD.