Monday, July 6, 2015

"Florida is the No. 1 State for Baseball in the Country”

Sometimes, you gotta wonder who writes Florida Governor Rick Scott's material.

This morning, after he held a "ceremonial" signing for a bill that allowed the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros to move forward with a lucrative trip on the spring stadium subsidy train, the Governor's office released the following quote:
“Spring training and Major League Baseball are a major reason why Florida continues to welcome record numbers of tourists. Last year almost 99 million people visited Florida - and we’re on pace for even more visitors this year. With the Nationals and Astros announcing their spring training operations will remain in Florida for the next 30 years, and the news that our state will host the MLB All Star Game in 2017, it’s clear that Florida is the number one state for baseball in the country.” 
I'm guessing this blog's readers have plenty of opinions on the "number one state for baseball" comment...but let's humor the governor for a moment and acknowledge that the Grapefruit League draws a lot of visitors to the Sunshine State each spring.

The bigger problem with his quote is his guarantee that the Nats and Astros will remain in their $135 million stadium for 30 years.  If you're of the belief the Rays' contract isn't perfectly ironclad, you certainly don't believe a spring training deal is ironclad....

That's because last year, Governor Scott signed a bill making it easier for Florida's spring training teams to break their leases.  It was nothing more than a giveaway to powerful franchise-owners by specifically limiting their damages if they break their spring training leases.  Scott has repeatedly dodged my questions about pro teams' reliance on taxpayer subsidies.

Of course, two years ago, I wrote Scott should have cut a deal with Arizona to stop the spring stadium arms race where the only winners are MLB teams and the only losers are taxpayers.  How hard would it be for the two states that host all 30 spring training stadiums to agree to simply stop the handouts?

Apparently very hard,! And photo opportunities!!


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  1. I don't think anyone will argue that FLA is fantastic for Spring Training! It's great baseball, less stressful, more accessible and certainly less expensive than the majors. And guess what... the visitors agree... in droves.

    yes, Miami will host the All Star Game in 2017 in what will be the only sell-out crowd for baseball in Florida in over a decade. There will be lot's of out-of-towners in attendance etc... Then once after the ASG, attendance at Miami Marlins games will be back to usual numbers and the Rays will be playing to a few thousand in the stands in what will be their last season at the Trop before they all receive their complimentary e-copy of "learning French the easy way"..

    1. "only sell out crowd in Florida in over a decade"--someone doesn't know how to fact check.

  2. And someone doesn't know when someone is being facetious

  3. Your a true idiot Carl. Keep talking out of both sides of your mouth.

  4. Not as stupid as you are... learn basic English grammar first (you're vs your). Dumbass

  5. Attendance is a "red-herring." It's all about enrichment through new stadiums and t.v. revenue. You'll see. Just wait.

    1. You said that on the other blog page - you are an idiot to think that.... A complete moron.

    2. You're the son of a whore. An asswipe in a field of buttplugs. Go fuck yourself.

    3. Is such comment is considered basic English grammar?

      Just asking.

      Lots of new words I never read/heard before. Especially in such a short text.

  6. I am 100% on board with the Governor's brand of accidental comedy. His administration is a living, breathing Onion article.

  7. From Owner says Red Sox will move out of Fenway by 1972
    Posted on July 9, 2015 by Neil deMause

    "That was Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, in 1967, explaining why there was no way the Red Sox would still be playing in Fenway Park by 1972."

    1. You are right, Tom Yawkey cried wolf in 1967.

      Now, in 1999, Brochu said publicly that the Expos will move to Washington or other cities if no stadium is built downtown with some public funds.

      "The franchise will not be for sale Monday. That is for sure," said Expos vice president for communications Johanne Heroux. "But what the next step will be, we have not received a directive from Major League Baseball."

      Brochu already has made clear that the team cannot survive in Montreal, unless the provincial government in Quebec reverses its often-repeated refusal to help pay for a new downtown stadium.

      So yes, sometimes it's a negotiation tactic or just a lie. But sometimes, It's a sad observation of what will happen.

      I hope the Rays situation will be resolved soon, but from what I can read (and I've been through such exercise as a fan and a tax payer back from 1994 up to 2004), there is more chance that what is said in TB is the sad reality than just a negotiation tactic.

    2. I've written about the efforts to replace Fenway before. You'll enjoy:

      I've also written about how teams seldom follow through on their threats:

  8. If they get a stadium, it should be no more than 20,000 seats. If the team proves it can fill that reliably, then maybe the next stadium after that is a little bigger. Attended MLB games will die with the Boomers. 10 years of trash baseball, followed by 5 years of winning 1-0 pitchers' duels, and then reverting back to garbage. Even winning pitchers' duels gets boring. We had a good couple years of some fall excitement, but typically it is 162 games x 3.5 hours of blah. 567 hours (or 23.6 days each year) of meh. Meh doesn't put people in seats. Entertainment does. And god knows how many hours of listening to team/media mouthpieces moaning about the stadium. The last two aces of the pitching staff have moaned about it. Anyone who is good stays here for a couple years until a big market payday from Boston or LA or Chicago. I don't blame star players or managers for leaving. It is the reality of a cap-free market. I am as invested in the future of the Rays as the Rays' players and management are invested in the future of St. Petersburg--which is to say, not at all. At least Naimoli did not make any pretense about not being a total piece of sh*t. The current ownership is smarter than that. They've spent careers separating fools from their money and they were compensated well for being very good at it. We can only hope this sick relationship ends before one more $300M upward wealth transfer occurs.

  9. "If they get a stadium, it should be no more than 20,000 seats"

    Another idiotic comment.

    Having said that, your comment "I am as invested in the future of the Rays as the Rays' players and management are invested in the future of St. Petersburg--which is to say, not at all."

    Well, that's exactly why the Rays will be leaving.

  10. Desperate or what? Four free box seats for Clearwater residents!

    Let's if they can even get takers for FREE tix.

  11. I think Montreal would be a great place for a AAA MLB team. The people their have shown somewhat of an interest for MLB. Since baseball won't be expanding and teams won't be relocated, a AAA team would be a good fit for that area.

    1. "The people their have shown somewhat of an interest for MLB."

      Of course, almost 200 000 tickets sold for 4 pre-season games in two years. This is more than somewhat of an interest.

      Montreal is a MLB city, not a AAA one. It will be a MLB team for sure, no interest to have something else. Mayor Coderre was clear on this topic. No doubt about it.

      Investors will never finance any stadium for MiLB.

      If there is no interest for re-location or expansion, why Manfred and MLB owners (including Sternberg) are having meetings (and more than 3-4)?

      Why MLB owners are now calling Mayor Coderre for meetings (not the other way around)?

      Why Manfred met Mayor Coderre in May 2015 if there are no interest from MLB?

      Why Mayor Coderre came to NY with a huge suitcase, you know, the one that contains architects plan?

      Where there's smoke, there's fire. And the winds are starting to activate big time the fire.

      Stay tuned.

    2. @Anon 10:21 - yet another idiotic comment. Tell us, how many Rays games do you attend? Yeah, none.

      You're quite pathetic in your understanding of baseball business. There will be relocation of teams. And the Rays will be on top of that short list to pack up and go.

      There's no room for two struggling teams in FL and since the Marlins managed to swindle a publicly financed stadium in Miami with piss-poor attendance, the Rays will never see a new MLB stadium in the Tampa Bay area given they attract even fewer fans than the Marlins.

      Florida is best suited for Spring Training baseball and that's a huge success. Why else did the Gov. announce plans for ST and not for the Rays?

      And as Anon@11:37 said, MLB is interested in Montreal and what it has to offer.....

      Stay tuned for the Rays' topic to be mentioned at the ASG this year... And oh, yeah - guess who will be attending that game in person? The Mayor of Montreal. Not the Mayors of St Pete or Tampa

  12. I think it's a safe bet that baseball won't be expanding anytime soon. I do know that teams won't be relocating either. Should Montreal obtain a minor league team, I'll be first in line for tickets. I think a minor league team would be a great fit us in Montreal.

    1. Causez toujours monsieur Anon, ce genre de commentaires prouvent que vos interventions sont futiles.

    2. BTW, here is what Montrealers have to say regarding MLB return, nor MiLB.

      Stay tuned!

  13. Ah Mr Anon Idiot again.... You don't even go see any Rays games these days and you certainly don't have a passport so travelling to Montreal is out for you - be it to see the Ex-Rays up there (or as you like to dream, AAA in Canada).