Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Fault in Selig's Stars

Of course Bud Selig would turn a question about Friedman/Maddon leaving into innuendo about the Rays' stadium situation.  It's his thing.

But don't believe the hype/rumormill/fearmongering.

A new stadium isn't nearly enough for medium-market teams to keep all of their stars - just ask the Indians (Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia); the Padres (Adrian Gonzalez); the Marlins (Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle); or the Mariners (ARod in 2000).

The only thing that would allow the Rays to keep their stars (on- and off-the-field) would be modernizing MLB's broken revenue-sharing model in the mold of the NFL.

In the meantime, we'll just get the league officers name-dropping Montreal and the Rays issuing statements denying the rumors {link to Times' site}:
"We are committed to making baseball work in the Tampa Bay region. We will do everything we can to make that happen and right now things are moving in a productive and positive direction. We have not spoken to Montreal — or any other city, including Tampa — about relocation at any point."
Selig & MLB have perfected their tactics...and its amazing the country hasn't caught on to the Boy Bud Who Cried Wolf.

It seems just about every stadium saga goes down the same way...and as fans of the Giants, White Sox, Mariners, Twins, Marlins, and Brewers could tell you...those threats are generally empty and the team stays.

We'd all love a productive, adult, threat-free conversation about building a new ballpark...but that just isn't in MLB's business plan.


  1. Nothing to see here. Certainly St. Pete has nothing to fear about the team exploring Montreal. Why would they. Its preposterous. Montreal only has a large corporate base, a provincial government that funded 100% for an NHL arena for a team that doesn't even exist, a history with only 4 seasons drawing over 2+ million (which the Rays only did in their first season). Plus it only has a stadium that is equally poor as the Trop. Why would MLB and the Rays ever mess with the good thing they've got going on in St. Pete? Don't worry bleeding management and front office talent isn't a sign of anything other than the city's awesome ability to support the team. Or at least that's what the Expos fans would have to say to themselves to get through the 90's.

  2. To add to David's theme, most Montreal'ers & Quebec'ers have aversions to shell out big bucks for facilities that aren't hockey related. The Alouettes found that out, the Big Owe debacle is fresh in their minds.
    MLB won't allow a franchise transfer without shovels already in the ground for a new mallpark with a roof to keep the years in the Big Owe as short as possible.
    Locals won't commit on a $1B (the going rate) mallpark without local ownership with deep pockets emerging (hasn't) and firm commitment from MLB that Bay Area interests (FOX Sports, politicians) won't throw roadblocks in the way. MLB won't be able to do that publicly because that risks extensive and expensive legal battles which the owners have shown an aversion to in recent memory.
    If all this weren't enough, the undeveloped spaces near downtown Montreal have all but disappeared, developers have snatched up a lot of that. The location floated in the 90's has new housing on most of that, shoe-horning a mallpark in the Peel Basin with a large elevated highway on one side and rail viaduct on the other with the closest Metro station almost a mile away doesn't make sense.
    This location isn't 'Frisco's China Basin, there's not much in the way of viable and currently hip downtown locations available.
    Owners will use Expo Necrophilia as far as it will help them keep the status quo.

    1. Things changed quickly since October 29, 2014 in Montreal.

      1. Bonaventure elevated highway is gone, the new boulevard with parks will be completed in 2017. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/say-goodbye-to-elevated-stretch-of-bonaventure-expressway

      2. REM project is moving forward and a station under Peel Basins is budgeted and part of the official RFP. So a mass transportation line will be next to Peel Basins with an entrance on both sides of the canal. https://www.cdpqinfra.com/en/Reseau_electrique_metropolitain

      3. The expected site (Peel Basins land on the south shore in Goose Village) where the Bridge-Wellington station will be located is available. More details are expected by the end of 2016. http://en.clc.ca/property/45

      4. Mayor Coderre confirmed that the stadium project consider a roof as well as geothermal energy to heat the seats and potentially the field (like they do in Europe in soccer stadiums). At 7:05. http://www.985sports.ca/lecteur/audio/course-automobile-formule-e-le-maire-de-montrea-338811.mp3

      Stay tuned!