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Tampa Bay Rays: Escape from the Trop


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29 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

I’ve always figured that Montréal was the most trouble-free relocation in the same way DC was for the MK I Expos (no realignment, decent temporary stadium, etc.). 

 

My guess is there would be some reel line mint, if not at first, but eventually.  I think I said this before, but it's killing multiple birds with one stone:

1) Marlins to AL East, where their attendance woud get a boost from Red Sox and Yankees games, and 

2) MTL to NL East, where they'd get their old rivals back, and get a boost (if needed, and presumably) from road-tripping NY and Phila fans.  They'd also be more competitive in this scenario.

 

I think all parties involved would jump at this scenario.

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4 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Did the Expos really ever compete for good free agents?  Is it fair to ask whether they'd be at a disadvantage for recruiting any star African American players without dramatically overpaying?  I don't think Latin American players would be an issue - in fact some might prefer it, at least for the next 1-5 years, and I don't think most white American-born players would have any issue, as it's a great place despite presenting some extra challenges for their families that might move with them, but would AA players really go for it considering they'd be putting themselves in situations where they're more of a minority than they are anywhere in the states, and from things that I've read (not witnessed personally) it's not known for embracing racial diversity?  Is it fair to ask that, and is it a fair concern?

 

It might be a moot point, since the results of a google search for black MLB players shocked me when I saw how few there were, but the ability to draw FA's in a non-capped sport is usually one of the first things on my mind once the other hurdles (basic start-up) prove to be workable (which, so far, they haven't in MTL's case.)  In capped sports, it doesn't matter as much, since there's limited money to go around and any player will follow the money anywhere, but baseball is different.

 

Funny you should mention that, since the first Expo that comes to mind is usually Vladimir. 

 

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I don’t think there’s a whole lot of concern about attracting African-American free agents to Montreal.  The Braves are now in the heart of White Atlanta, but I haven’t heard they’re having that problem.  Similarly, the PNW is pretty white, has a very troubled racial history, and Seattle seems to do fine.  I’m also reminded of the Green Bay Packers, who definitely had a hard time luring black players to town until Reggie White made his statement by signing.

 

Ultimately, I think playing for a competitor is the deciding factor.  With money being a close second.  If the nouveau-Spos can offer either or both of those, they’ll be fine in the free-agent market.  

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8 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Maybe 8 years time... unless that buyout shrinks a bit every year.  In the video that you posted it was said that part of breaking the lease early would be that they'd have to fund the demo, in addition to any financial buyouts.  What is not known, is if it's a compulsory lease (I forget the legal term) that requires them to operate there, regardless of if they just pay the lease off and attempt to operate elsewhere, like most leases are.

 

My understanding is that the buyout does go down every year.  Not to downplay even that amount, but at some point it’s better to spend a big chunk of cash to get out of an unsustainable market.  And the Rays are now admitting that Tampa Bay is an unsustainable market, after many years of publicly insisting otherwise.

 

As for the compulsory lease, that’s just one more hurdle.  There are reports that the Chicago Fire have secured a release from their suburban stadium, which was the most airtight I’ve ever heard of.  Not only were the Fire contractually obligated to play there, but if MLS ever announced a second Chicago club that team would also be contractually obligated to play there.

 

There is no contract that can’t be broken.  The only question is how much it’ll cost.  At some point St. Pete will accept a deal and the Rays will write a check. 

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6 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

I’m also reminded of the Green Bay Packers, who definitely had a hard time luring black players to town until Reggie White made his statement by signing.

 

Milwaukee proper, on the other hand, will be a bit of a fight. The Milwaukee PD’s ineptitude when it comes to race (and sexuality, see Konerak Sinthasomphone) is legendary. Publicized incidents of the MPD harassing Bucks players will not go unnoticed, no matter how competitive the Bucks or Brewers are. 

 

6 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Ultimately, I think playing for a competitor is the deciding factor.  With money being a close second.  If the nouveau-Spos can offer either or both of those, they’ll be fine in the free-agent market.  

 

I would agree with this assessment, to an extent. With waves of immigration into the city, being black would be less of a problem. Language laws may be annoying, but there are workarounds. 

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50 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Funny you should mention that, since the first Expo that comes to mind is usually Vladimir. 

 

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I don’t think there’s a whole lot of concern about attracting African-American free agents to Montreal.  The Braves are now in the heart of White Atlanta, but I haven’t heard they’re having that problem.  Similarly, the PNW is pretty white, has a very troubled racial history, and Seattle seems to do fine.  I’m also reminded of the Green Bay Packers, who definitely had a hard time luring black players to town until Reggie White made his statement by signing.

 

Ultimately, I think playing for a competitor is the deciding factor.  With money being a close second.  If the nouveau-Spos can offer either or both of those, they’ll be fine in the free-agent market.  

 

Vlad was neither a FA nor an African American, but rather a Dominican.  I only draw the distinction because being an immigrant or playing on a visa in the states vs going to Canada is like Gala to Fuji if the alternative is staying in DR and living in poverty, while for a "native" African American, LA or NY vs MTL might be like Gala to Naval.  Not just because of race, because that could be a factor anywhere (though we don't see flocks of great AA players going to any of those places you mentioned in non-capped sports... specifically the PNW, MIN, MIL, etc.) but I've just observed that (and maybe it's just recently with the Kawhi Leonard thing that's sticking in my brain) going to Canada seems equivalent to going to Mars for some people, and if TOR is Mars, then MTL might as well be Jupiter.  Again, I'm putting words and feelings into people that may not even have them, just having the discussion - but there might not even be a discussion to be had.

 

At the end of the day, I'd rank money over winning, rather than how you had it.  There's definitely been some recent cases of guys taking a little less to play somewhere they wanted to be vs somewhere else, but it's usually not a ton less, and it's usually to a place with an equal chance of winning (Cliff Lee to the Phillies in '11 after turning down more from NYY is an example), but nobody is signing with a hot TB Rays team for less than a struggling Mets team would pay them.

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On 6/28/2019 at 6:34 PM, Marlins93 said:

It is starting to seem like the bizarre Montreal-St. Pete split proposal isn't a ploy to gain leverage for public financing of a new ballpark in the Tampa area, but rather to generate buzz and build momentum for a relocation to Montreal. Why else would Sternberg publicly question the viability of the Tampa market for baseball? How can you walk back on that and expect a deal to be made?

 

The Marlins were publicly exploring relocation circa 2005-2006 when ballpark financing reached a standstill, but I don't recall them throwing the market under the bus. If anything, they were denouncing the local and state governments for not being supportive enough.

 

I agree with this.

 

On 6/28/2019 at 6:40 PM, Gothamite said:

 

Being in the AL East, they play an outsized number of games against the Yankees and Red Sox, the two most popular teams in Tampa Bay.  I’ve often wondered how those games skew the Rays’ TV ratings. 

 

That is an interesting thing I didn't think about.

 

On 6/30/2019 at 10:12 AM, BringBackTheVet said:

 

My guess is there would be some reel line mint, if not at first, but eventually.  I think I said this before, but it's killing multiple birds with one stone:

1) Marlins to AL East, where their attendance woud get a boost from Red Sox and Yankees games, and 

2) MTL to NL East, where they'd get their old rivals back, and get a boost (if needed, and presumably) from road-tripping NY and Phila fans.  They'd also be more competitive in this scenario.

 

I think all parties involved would jump at this scenario.

 

The Marlins may get a slight attendance boost, but then they'd suffer record wise from playing those teams as well, meaning they'd be less competitive, which would affect attendance.

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12 hours ago, Wings said:

If the Rays do relocate to Montreal, MLB would most likely leave them in the AL East to rival Toronto. 

MLB is probably salivating at the idea of 18 games a season of Toronto-Montreal...

 

It would probably never touch the intensity of Maple Leafs-Canadians but hey

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On 6/30/2019 at 9:43 AM, SFGiants58 said:

 

I’ve always figured that Montréal was the most trouble-free relocation in the same way DC was for the MK I Expos (no realignment, decent temporary stadium, etc.). 

Montreal might be trouble-free, but I think Charlotte would work fine as well. It wouldn't involve any realignment, and while any Major League team would be stuck in the 10,000 seat BB&T Ballpark until they managed to get a new stadium built, I feel like it could work fine for a couple years.

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3 hours ago, who do you think said:

Why are so many people act like simply placing two teams in somewhat close proximity to one another = automatic rivalry? Or just two cities having a rivalry in one sport means that they'll definitely have a rivalry in another sport?

Toronto and Montreal have always been rivals. They've been rivals for the spot of being Canada's economic and cultural centre, there's the French and English Canadian divide which the Montreal/Toronto dynamic encapsulates. And there are the sports rivalries that play off of that.

Maple Leafs vs Canadiens is probably the NHL's oldest continuous rivalry, and the Argos and Als are rivals in the CFL. The Blue Jays and Expos would likely have been rivals had the AL/NL format not kept them apart for most of their shared history. So I have no doubt that a Montreal team in the AL East would quickly become the Jays' top rivalry in no time.

 

One of the suggested essay topics I had as a second year undergrad history student taking the Canadian History Survey course was "In what ways did the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs rivalry help define English and French relations in mid-20th century Canada?" I was boring and wrote about the Canadian military's unification and peacekeeping efforts instead, but the fact that it was a serious essay question in a history course at a top flight university shows that yeah. The Montreal/Toronto rivalry is a big deal in Canada.

 

 

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First and foremost, I would hate to see the Rays leave town but if the split thing is a possibility.....

 

I had a strange thought earlier, and don't know if logistically it could happen but lets say Montreal gets a team full time.

 

- Relocate either the Rays or the Marlins franchise to Montreal and assign that team to the NL East.

- The remaining Florida team splits time in Miami and Tampa Bay.  Miami has a new stadium already, which would then require existing ownership to focus on a single venue in Tampa Bay rather than two including one in Montreal.

 

I don't know if a plan like this holds water because you'd have to decide who remains owner of the Florida team, what roster remains with the Florida team (maybe Montreal does some oddball dispersal draft where they choose from the Marlins and Rays rosters but the Florida team can protect a set number of players) but i'd think a split team sharing two cities in one state rather than a thousand miles and two countries could be more feasible....if it ever happens.

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In a perfect world, that's the best solution - I suggested as much a few pages ago - but there's myriad reasons it's impossible, one of which being Miami's investment in the Marlins stadium, two being Tampa/St. Pete's reluctance to build a new stadium. The true "Florida" Marlins in AL East would be great, but... 

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4 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

In a perfect world, that's the best solution - I suggested as much a few pages ago - but there's myriad reasons it's impossible, one of which being Miami's investment in the Marlins stadium, two being Tampa/St. Pete's reluctance to build a new stadium. The true "Florida" Marlins in AL East would be great, but... 

 

I mean.....in a perfect world, all 3 markets (Montreal, Tampa Bay, Miami) would be viable markets with near sellout crowds every night, and you wouldn't need any talk of split market teams.

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38 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

 

I mean.....in a perfect world, all 3 markets (Montreal, Tampa Bay, Miami) would be viable markets with near sellout crowds every night, and you wouldn't need any talk of split market teams.

 

“In a world in which we are free to implement perfect solutions to problems that were avoidable but happened anyway.”

 

 

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41 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

 

I mean.....in a perfect world, all 3 markets (Montreal, Tampa Bay, Miami) would be viable markets with near sellout crowds every night, and you wouldn't need any talk of split market teams.

 

I wonder if we now think the swap of Montreal for DC was worth it? DC seems to have embraced the Nationals as their team, and as a casual observer, I never hear any attendance issues there.

 

I think many of us would prefer a team in Montreal and not in one of Miami or Tampa, but that wasn't the option 15 years ago.

 

Remember when the Twins were almost contracted?!

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On 7/3/2019 at 8:29 PM, Ice_Cap said:

Toronto and Montreal have always been rivals. They've been rivals for the spot of being Canada's economic and cultural centre, there's the French and English Canadian divide which the Montreal/Toronto dynamic encapsulates. And there are the sports rivalries that play off of that.

Maple Leafs vs Canadiens is probably the NHL's oldest continuous rivalry, and the Argos and Als are rivals in the CFL. The Blue Jays and Expos would likely have been rivals had the AL/NL format not kept them apart for most of their shared history. So I have no doubt that a Montreal team in the AL East would quickly become the Jays' top rivalry in no time.

 

One of the suggested essay topics I had as a second year undergrad history student taking the Canadian History Survey course was "In what ways did the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs rivalry help define English and French relations in mid-20th century Canada?" I was boring and wrote about the Canadian military's unification and peacekeeping efforts instead, but the fact that it was a serious essay question in a history course at a top flight university shows that yeah. The Montreal/Toronto rivalry is a big deal in Canada.

 

 

 

None of this answers my question. The Leafs and Habs have a deep animosity for each other in the sport that has, by far, the most cultural relevance in Canada. That's all well and good, but it doesn't make for an instant rivalry across all potential big league sports that could place teams in both cities.

 

Take Boston-New York in the States. In baseball, they have the fiercest, most historic rivalry in the game with Red Sox-Yankees. Patriots-Jets is a rivalry in the same way that the Roadrunner vs. Wile E. Coyote is a rivalry. It's one-sided and comical. In the winter sports, forget it. The Celtics and Knicks haven't given a damn about each other since John Havlicek and Willis Reed were playing. All the Bruins and Rangers have is the fact that they're both original six teams. Big deal. 

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17 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

It does, actually. 

 

No, it doesn't. Your entire post is MUH LEAFS-CANADIENS.

 

15 hours ago, Dolphins Dynasty said:

On-field success doesn't apply to New York and Boston; their fans both hate each other regardless.

 

In baseball and sometimes football, yes. In basketball and hockey, no.

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