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Fenway
09-02-2009, 05:23 AM
Last night the Rays only drew 17,692 for a critical game with Boston and Rays players, the manager and ownership noticed.

OK in Florida kids are back in school which hurts but the team has not drawn well all summer and are 12th in the AL.

The usual next season jump in attendance after winning a pennant hasn't happened.

One can blame the location of The Trop which is a pain to get to from the Tampa side of the bay. One can also factor that per capita income in Tampa is the lowest of any MLB market. St Pete has the nickname 'God's Waiting Room' for a reason. Peter Ueberroth when he ran MLB flatly said St Pete can not support baseball and now in year 12 with a team that won the pennant they still do not draw.

As bad as The Trop is it is still air conditioned and with a roof doesn't have to worry about Florida rain which has been an issue in Miami. I think you will see the Marlins attendance increase with their new park but a solution in Tampa looks hopeless.

I know the area well and frankly I have always had my doubts about the area supporting baseball. The Florida State League is always last in attendance.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has been talking quietly to people in Quebec as is the owner of Oakland. Montreal in the AL East would boost attendance with rivals Toronto, Boston and the Yankees which the Expos never enjoyed.

DumpJerry
09-02-2009, 07:14 AM
They're still bitter for not getting the White Sox.

Chez
09-02-2009, 08:09 AM
Saw that in the box score and was very surprised -- especially a game against the Red Sox. But then the Twins only drew 22K last night in a crucial game against their arch rival and Detroit only drew 24K in the midst of a pennant chase. Weird.

Hitmen77
09-02-2009, 09:46 AM
Last night the Rays only drew 17,692 for a critical game with Boston and Rays players, the manager and ownership noticed.

OK in Florida kids are back in school which hurts but the team has not drawn well all summer and are 12th in the AL.

The usual next season jump in attendance after winning a pennant hasn't happened.

One can blame the location of The Trop which is a pain to get to from the Tampa side of the bay. One can also factor that per capita income in Tampa is the lowest of any MLB market. St Pete has the nickname 'God's Waiting Room' for a reason. Peter Ueberroth when he ran MLB flatly said St Pete can not support baseball and now in year 12 with a team that won the pennant they still do not draw.

As bad as The Trop is it is still air conditioned and with a roof doesn't have to worry about Florida rain which has been an issue in Miami. I think you will see the Marlins attendance increase with their new park but a solution in Tampa looks hopeless.

I know the area well and frankly I have always had my doubts about the area supporting baseball. The Florida State League is always last in attendance.

Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has been talking quietly to people in Quebec as is the owner of Oakland. Montreal in the AL East would boost attendance with rivals Toronto, Boston and the Yankees which the Expos never enjoyed.

The Rays are 6 games behind the Red Sox. It's not like they were battling for the wild card lead last night.

ESPN's site has them averaging 24,000 per game.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
That's 10th in the AL and only 4,000 behind the White Sox. The Rays avg per game in 2007 was 17,000. So, they have seen some improvement.

Their biggest problem is that domes suck for baseball and have been highly unpopular for the last 15-20 years.

I agree that I have my doubts about Tampa's ability to support a team and whether a new ballpark would cure their attendance woes, but Montreal in the AL East? :?:You've got to be kidding! That's not going to be successful either. How are you going to build interest in Montreal (or anywhere else for that matter) when you are almost always destined to finish 3rd at best behind the Yankee$$$ and the Red $$$ox?

Look at those attendance numbers on the ESPN site again. Interesting that almost all the top draws are in the NL. For the AL, after NY, Boston, and LA, you have to drop all the way to 12th, 15th, and 16th for the American League's top draws. Perhaps that's because, in the NL, many more fans think their team has a fighting chance to make the playoffs and World Series. Teams like Tampa Bay and Seattle find the playoffs out of reach despite having good seasons. These teams teams would be in the thick of the wild card race in the NL! The Rays would be in the wild card lead in the NL but are 6 games out in the AL. It's the same tired old story year after year.

There are no NL money-binging juggernauts to block everyone else's playoff hopes. Luckily for NL teams, their big spenders (Cubs, Mets) seem to be too incompetent to become dominant monsters.

You really want to fix attendance woes? Shipping the Rays to a French-speaking city isn't going to change anything if they'll almost always be no better than 3rd. To fix this problem, MLB has to do something to stop the ridiculous spending ways of the Yankees and Red Sox.

/rant.

asindc
09-02-2009, 09:51 AM
The Rays are 6 games behind the Red Sox. It's not like they were battling for the wild card lead last night.

ESPN's site has them averaging 24,000 per game.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
That's 10th in the AL, but only 4,000 behind the White Sox. The Rays avg per game in 2007 was 17,000. So, they have seen some improvement.

Their biggest problem is that domes suck for baseball and have been highly unpopular for the last 15-20 years.

I agree that I have my doubts about Tampa's ability to support a team and whether a new ballpark would cure their attendance woes, but Montreal in the AL East? :?:You've got to be kidding! That's not going to be successful either. How are you going to build interest in Montreal (or anywhere else for that matter) when you are almost always destined to finish 3rd at best behind the Yankee$$$ and the Red $$$ox?

Look at those attendance numbers on the ESPN site again. Interesting that almost all the top draws are in the NL. For the AL, after NY, Boston, and LA, you have to drop all the way to 12th, 15th, and 16th for the American League's top draws. Perhaps that's because, in the NL, many more fans think their team has a fighting chance to make the playoffs and World Series. Teams like Tampa Bay and Seattle find the playoffs out of reach despite having good seasons. These teams teams would be in the thick of the wild card race in the NL! The Rays would be in the wild card lead in the NL but are 6 games out in the AL. It's the same tired old story year after year.

There are no NL money-binging juggernauts to block everyone else's playoff hopes. Luckily for NL teams, their big spenders (Cubs, Mets) seem to be too incompetent to become dominant monsters.

You really want to fix attendance woes? Shipping the Rays to a French-speaking city isn't going to change anything if they'll almost always be no better than 3rd. To fix this problem, MLB has to do something to stop the ridiculous spending ways of the Yankees and Red Sox.

/rant.

I wholeheartedly agree. Just look at the NFL and NBA for how competitive balance can be achieved through financial structuring.

asindc
09-02-2009, 09:56 AM
My cousin, who lives in Tampa, called me from the game yesterday. He said that the typical Rays game with either Boston or NY actually has more visiting fans than home team fans. He said one of the big reasons the Rays fail to draw is that most people who live in Hillborough County (Tampa) think of St. Pete as "way over there." That's odd, because I've been there and it's not that long of a drive from Tampa to St. Pete. It seems to be a perception which is difficult to overcome.

I've never been in favor of baseball in Florida, period. It always seemed like a "we want a baseball team, too, just like the big cities have" thing, not a real passion for the game itself.

soxfanatlanta
09-02-2009, 09:59 AM
Baseball in Florida is a bad idea...period.

downstairs
09-02-2009, 10:21 AM
Fenway:

17,000 on a Tuesday? That's not bad.

I'm not sure what you mean by a critical game. They're in 3rd place in the WC race, 6 games back. Same position the White Sox are in, in their division.

Which means they're out of it.

doublem23
09-02-2009, 10:23 AM
I wholeheartedly agree. Just look at the NFL and NBA for how competitive balance can be achieved through financial structuring.

The NFL sucks, "competitive balance" is just a buzzword for every team being mediocre.

ewokpelts
09-02-2009, 10:25 AM
the economy has hampered sales too......

beasly213
09-02-2009, 10:29 AM
The NFL sucks, "competitive balance" is just a buzzword for every team being mediocre.

There are plenty of numbers that prove this statement to be false. At least in a business sense.

WhiffleBall
09-02-2009, 11:15 AM
Kind of off topic but I would love for Montreal to have a team in the AL. We were just up there for a long weekend and had a blast. Montreal is less than a two hour flight from Chicago, has a ton of history, great food & drink options, friendly people, good night life, lots of festivals (we were there for the comedy festival), very good public transportation, and was just an all around great town to visit (unlike Cleveland and Detroit). I would definitely make an visit up there every year to see the Sox play that team.

FloridaTigers
09-02-2009, 11:28 AM
Saw that in the box score and was very surprised -- especially a game against the Red Sox. But then the Twins only drew 22K last night in a crucial game against their arch rival and Detroit only drew 24K in the midst of a pennant chase. Weird.

Yet the Tigers still remain 4th in AL in attendance behind the big NY/Boston/LA guns.

Florida's problem was not having baseball franchises sooner. Look at the Dolphins and Bucs, teams that draw alot. Both teams now have history and loyal fanbases. Everyone in Florida was a fan of other teams be. fore 1993. Don't expect them to change fanbases. Kids born get disappointed by the Marlins constant firesales and up until last year, the Rays constant losing seasons.

PKalltheway
09-02-2009, 12:09 PM
The Rays are 6 games behind the Red Sox. It's not like they were battling for the wild card lead last night.

ESPN's site has them averaging 24,000 per game.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
That's 10th in the AL and only 4,000 behind the White Sox. The Rays avg per game in 2007 was 17,000. So, they have seen some improvement.

Their biggest problem is that domes suck for baseball and have been highly unpopular for the last 15-20 years.

I agree that I have my doubts about Tampa's ability to support a team and whether a new ballpark would cure their attendance woes, but Montreal in the AL East? :?:You've got to be kidding! That's not going to be successful either. How are you going to build interest in Montreal (or anywhere else for that matter) when you are almost always destined to finish 3rd at best behind the Yankee$$$ and the Red $$$ox?

Look at those attendance numbers on the ESPN site again. Interesting that almost all the top draws are in the NL. For the AL, after NY, Boston, and LA, you have to drop all the way to 12th, 15th, and 16th for the American League's top draws. Perhaps that's because, in the NL, many more fans think their team has a fighting chance to make the playoffs and World Series. Teams like Tampa Bay and Seattle find the playoffs out of reach despite having good seasons. These teams teams would be in the thick of the wild card race in the NL! The Rays would be in the wild card lead in the NL but are 6 games out in the AL. It's the same tired old story year after year.

There are no NL money-binging juggernauts to block everyone else's playoff hopes. Luckily for NL teams, their big spenders (Cubs, Mets) seem to be too incompetent to become dominant monsters.

You really want to fix attendance woes? Shipping the Rays to a French-speaking city isn't going to change anything if they'll almost always be no better than 3rd. To fix this problem, MLB has to do something to stop the ridiculous spending ways of the Yankees and Red Sox.

/rant.
I agree as well. Besides, if another team was placed in Montreal, they would likely have to have a deal in place to build a new stadium. Will the people up there even bother?

AnkleSox
09-02-2009, 12:52 PM
Simple solution. Contract the Rays and give their farm system to the White Sox.

soxfanreggie
09-02-2009, 07:12 PM
Why I wouldn't go (being down here) to this game?

I wouldn't want to deal with Red Sox fans and the Trop isn't in the best location.

When will I go see the Rays play? A certain four game series against a team from the Windy City :D: and if they have a good concert. I might have to head to see the Beach Boys and watch the Rays beat the Tigers. $13 tickets for that one.

LITTLE NELL
09-02-2009, 07:55 PM
Someone mentioned that domes are bad for baseball, for the most part they stink but in Florida they are a must. From June 1st to mid October is the rainy season down here. The rains usually start in mid afternoon which kills any walkup sale.
As far as the Rays go I think they would draw much better if they were located in Tampa than St. Pete. I was surprised that only 17,000 showed up last night. I thought they had turned the corner last year. I watch a lot of their games ( have them on right now) and they are an exciting team, would'nt mind seeing most of Rays playing for the Sox. Guys like Crawford, Bartlett, Longoria and Zobrist would sure bring a lot of excitement to USCF.

DSpivack
09-02-2009, 08:01 PM
Someone mentioned that domes are bad for baseball, for the most part they stink but in Florida they are a must. From June 1st to mid October is the rainy season down here. The rains usually start in mid afternoon which kills any walkup sale.
As far as the Rays go I think they would draw much better if they were located in Tampa than St. Pete. I was surprised that only 17,000 showed up last night. I thought they had turned the corner last year. I watch a lot of their games ( have them on right now) and they are an exciting team, would'nt mind seeing most of Rays playing for the Sox. Guys like Crawford, Bartlett, Longoria and Zobrist would sure bring a lot of excitement to USCF.

Well, roofs are a must, domes aren't necessarily needed. Hence the fish building a retractable roof.

SoxSpeed22
09-02-2009, 09:44 PM
There are probably more Red Sox fans in tonight's crowd than Rays fans. I'm sure the Yankees and the Red Sawx are the only teams keeping baseball in Tampa alive. Big win for the Rays though.

fram40
09-02-2009, 09:50 PM
Fenway:

17,000 on a Tuesday? That's not bad.

I'm not sure what you mean by a critical game. They're in 3rd place in the WC race, 6 games back. Same position the White Sox are in, in their division.

Which means they're out of it.


wouldn't you have thought that the game would have had a bigger advance sale in the off-season? League Champs, big rival in town - this game should have sold 30,000+ by opening day.

soxfanreggie
09-03-2009, 10:47 AM
Well, roofs are a must, domes aren't necessarily needed. Hence the fish building a retractable roof.

The Trop was actually finished in 1989 and was party built to lure the White Sox from Chicago. With the stadium already there, it was one of the only options to put the Rays because to this point, there's no public funding to build a new stadium and I don't see the ownership group ponying up all the funds themselves.

WhiteSox5187
09-03-2009, 11:12 AM
I would support a move to Montreal only if they wore the tricolor caps of the Expos.

DSpivack
09-03-2009, 02:35 PM
The Trop was actually finished in 1989 and was party built to lure the White Sox from Chicago. With the stadium already there, it was one of the only options to put the Rays because to this point, there's no public funding to build a new stadium and I don't see the ownership group ponying up all the funds themselves.

Yeah, I just mean going forward from here, they don't necessarily need a dome. Just something with a roof, whether retractable like the Marlins are building, or that seemingly crazy tarp idea they had in their former proposed park.

Red Barchetta
09-03-2009, 02:55 PM
Yeah, I just mean going forward from here, they don't necessarily need a dome. Just something with a roof, whether retractable like the Marlins are building, or that seemingly crazy tarp idea they had in their former proposed park.

If the Rays are serious about staying in the Tampa area, they need a retractable roof ballpark, similar to the Marlins plan, and relocate near the I4 fairgrounds or perhaps down the street on Dale Mabry from Raymond James (Bucs) and Legends Field (Yankees ST).

I moved to the Sarasota area in 2005 and agree with everything said about afternoon showers, etc., however if you have a roof that can be closed rather quickly, walk up sales should not be impacted. The showers are very sporatic and heavy, however usually don't last too long.

Last night is a perfect example. It was actually very pleasant and definintely a great night for outdoor baseball. July and August the roof would probably need to be closed most of the time due to the humidity, bugs, etc., however April, May, June, September and October (playoffs), it could stay open.

CanBuehrleWait
09-03-2009, 03:15 PM
If the Rays are serious about staying in the Tampa area, they need a retractable roof ballpark, similar to the Marlins plan, and relocate near the I4 fairgrounds or perhaps down the street on Dale Mabry from Raymond James (Bucs) and Legends Field (Yankees ST).

I moved to the Sarasota area in 2005 and agree with everything said about afternoon showers, etc., however if you have a roof that can be closed rather quickly, walk up sales should not be impacted. The showers are very sporatic and heavy, however usually don't last too long.

Last night is a perfect example. It was actually very pleasant and definintely a great night for outdoor baseball. July and August the roof would probably need to be closed most of the time due to the humidity, bugs, etc., however April, May, June, September and October (playoffs), it could stay open.

This really would be the best solution. One thing Tampa is not lacking is land for development and that area included. The park being in St Pete is a pain though.. They would be best to centralize the park so The Tampa, Clearwater, and Largo area residents can all reach it easily. What ever happened with that proposed waterfront park?... it looked nice.

ewokpelts
09-03-2009, 03:22 PM
they want to redevelop thier ST site as a new home stadium. with the translucent tarp.

but that all depends on how they can redevelop the trop site.

TheVulture
09-03-2009, 03:29 PM
As long as they can field a competitive team, the attendance doesn't matter. And it looks like they are in the process of winning 185 games including an AL pennant over the last two years.

UChicagoHP
09-03-2009, 04:17 PM
Probably not, I hope that franchise is moved to Portland.

fram40
09-03-2009, 05:16 PM
Probably not, I hope that franchise is moved to Portland.

leading to realignment - giving the West a fifth team and the East with only four.

Hitmen77
09-03-2009, 08:35 PM
Probably not, I hope that franchise is moved to Portland.

Portland in the past has steadfastly refused to pay public $$ for a new stadium.

asindc
09-03-2009, 08:37 PM
Portland in the past has steadfastly refused to pay public $$ for a new stadium.

Good for them. At least one municipality has some cojones.

samurai_sox
09-03-2009, 10:01 PM
Move the Rays to Portland, Oregon adding a 5th team to the AL West.

Britt Burns
09-03-2009, 11:15 PM
The Rays are 6 games behind the Red Sox. It's not like they were battling for the wild card lead last night.

ESPN's site has them averaging 24,000 per game.
http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
That's 10th in the AL and only 4,000 behind the White Sox. The Rays avg per game in 2007 was 17,000. So, they have seen some improvement.

Their biggest problem is that domes suck for baseball and have been highly unpopular for the last 15-20 years.

I agree that I have my doubts about Tampa's ability to support a team and whether a new ballpark would cure their attendance woes, but Montreal in the AL East? :?:You've got to be kidding! That's not going to be successful either. How are you going to build interest in Montreal (or anywhere else for that matter) when you are almost always destined to finish 3rd at best behind the Yankee$$$ and the Red $$$ox?

Look at those attendance numbers on the ESPN site again. Interesting that almost all the top draws are in the NL. For the AL, after NY, Boston, and LA, you have to drop all the way to 12th, 15th, and 16th for the American League's top draws. Perhaps that's because, in the NL, many more fans think their team has a fighting chance to make the playoffs and World Series. Teams like Tampa Bay and Seattle find the playoffs out of reach despite having good seasons. These teams teams would be in the thick of the wild card race in the NL! The Rays would be in the wild card lead in the NL but are 6 games out in the AL. It's the same tired old story year after year.

There are no NL money-binging juggernauts to block everyone else's playoff hopes. Luckily for NL teams, their big spenders (Cubs, Mets) seem to be too incompetent to become dominant monsters.

You really want to fix attendance woes? Shipping the Rays to a French-speaking city isn't going to change anything if they'll almost always be no better than 3rd. To fix this problem, MLB has to do something to stop the ridiculous spending ways of the Yankees and Red Sox.

/rant.

Excellent post and great insight. Of Selig's innumerable failings as commish, him allowing the Red Sox-Yankee$ arms race to escalate and hurt the game as a whole has to rank at or near the top.

doublem23
09-03-2009, 11:43 PM
Excellent post and great insight. Of Selig's innumerable failings as commish, him allowing the Red Sox-Yankee$ arms race to escalate and hurt the game as a whole has to rank at or near the top.

I disagree. First, the Yankees have been more or less dominant since the 1920s. Don't most old-timers refer to the 1950s and 1960s as the "Golden Era" of the game? Guess what; between 1947-1964, the Yankees went to the World Series every year except 1948, 1954, and 1959. 15 World Series appearances in 18 years. If anything, Selig's policies as commissioner (expansion, divisional realignment, and the Wild Card) have hurt the Yankees' dominance. Yes, they still make the play-offs a lot, but it's more difficult for them to continue to win pennants and World Series. In fact, if you go by World Series results, since the last Yankee dynasty ended in 2001, there has been an unparalleled level of parity in baseball. At least 8 different teams will have won a championship this decade, and there's a very real possibility we will crown 9 different franchises in the 10-year period between 2000-2009.

Second, maybe we moan about the Yankees and Red Sox arms race, but ask plenty of owners how they feel about it. Remember, Bud works for them, and the Red Sox and Yankees are two of the most well traveled teams in all of baseball. Owners from the other 28 teams look forward to seeing that NYY and BOS on their home schedule, they pack other parks.

I'm not exactly sure what you propose Selig do about them, are you saying Major League Baseball should actively punish its best teams? While the current era of Red Sox success if annoying, remember in the 1990s, the Atlanta Braves were the model organization. In the late 80's, the Oakland A's were. There is an ebb and flow to these things. Maybe this current Red Sox dynasty will buck that trend, but I wouldn't bet on it. The only constant in baseball is the Yankees, and even they've had their down periods. Two years removed from that remarkable 18 year run, they were in last place in the American League.

I personally believe baseball is better off than every other major sports league that has a salary cap and actively tries to keep its teams mediocre (they'll try and sell you on they're promoting "parity"), but like I said, there already is great parity in baseball today. Don't let the Pirates pathetic run of losing seasons fool you, as we've seen by the way they dismantled their current team, they're not operating to win. That's why they don't.

Hitmen77
09-07-2009, 09:32 AM
I disagree. First, the Yankees have been more or less dominant since the 1920s. Don't most old-timers refer to the 1950s and 1960s as the "Golden Era" of the game? Guess what; between 1947-1964, the Yankees went to the World Series every year except 1948, 1954, and 1959. 15 World Series appearances in 18 years.

Just because the Yankees dominated then doesn't mean that was "good" and should continue. Golden era of the game? According to who? New York fans? I remember watching Baseball by Ken Burns and it was vast majority NY and Boston from the "good old days". It was disappointing to watch, quite frankly.

If you look at the AL teams, many of the original franchises have very few championships to show for 100 years of action thanks to the Yankees often blocking other good teams. At least in the NL, teams like the Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals all have rich World Series histories.

If anything, Selig's policies as commissioner (expansion, divisional realignment, and the Wild Card) have hurt the Yankees' dominance. Yes, they still make the play-offs a lot, but it's more difficult for them to continue to win pennants and World Series. In fact, if you go by World Series results, since the last Yankee dynasty ended in 2001, there has been an unparalleled level of parity in baseball. At least 8 different teams will have won a championship this decade, and there's a very real possibility we will crown 9 different franchises in the 10-year period between 2000-2009.

I would hardly call a decade where the Yankees have had playoff appearances in 14 of the last 15 years (or something like that) a harm to their dominance. Even without a NYY championship since 2000 (as if that drought proves they're "hurting"), this decade the big market teams and big spenders still dominate. 2000, '01, '02, '04, '07 all won by the NY, Bos, LA's of baseball (and Arizona temporarily spending like a big market team).

Second, maybe we moan about the Yankees and Red Sox arms race, but ask plenty of owners how they feel about it. Remember, Bud works for them, and the Red Sox and Yankees are two of the most well traveled teams in all of baseball. Owners from the other 28 teams look forward to seeing that NYY and BOS on their home schedule, they pack other parks.

That's a real ****ty way to run a competitive sports league. Have 2 teams dominate and let the other teams be happy when NYY and Bos grace their ballpark 4 times a year to boost attendance? Please. I doubt the owners are happy to have this reality instead of a decent chance to make the playoffs. If NYY and Bos popularity on the road are just great business models for the American League, then why do you have to drop all the way to 12th to find the best AL team attendance outside of NY, Bos, and LA?

I'm not exactly sure what you propose Selig do about them, are you saying Major League Baseball should actively punish its best teams? While the current era of Red Sox success if annoying, remember in the 1990s, the Atlanta Braves were the model organization. In the late 80's, the Oakland A's were. There is an ebb and flow to these things. Maybe this current Red Sox dynasty will buck that trend, but I wouldn't bet on it. The only constant in baseball is the Yankees, and even they've had their down periods. Two years removed from that remarkable 18 year run, they were in last place in the American League.The Braves and A's didn't buy their championships. The Yankees looked like they had some holes in their lineup after last year and were on the decline. So they just went out to the store and bought an ace pitcher and an all-star slugger 1B. There's no such thing as a bad contract for them. Even with a $200 million payroll they can just out spend their way to success.

NYY and Bos dominance apologists like to point to the 2008 Rays or this decade's Twins and A's as "proof" that everything is fine and dandy. That's just b.s. These teams have to have herculean scouting to even be able to try to catch lightning in a bottle for a fleeting season or two before any good players disappear after a few short seasons of success.

I personally believe baseball is better off than every other major sports league that has a salary cap and actively tries to keep its teams mediocre (they'll try and sell you on they're promoting "parity"), but like I said, there already is great parity in baseball today. Don't let the Pirates pathetic run of losing seasons fool you, as we've seen by the way they dismantled their current team, they're not operating to win. That's why they don't.

You're just hiding behind the Pirates and their lousy organization. People who love the NY/Bos dominance love to scream about the Pirates as if they are the poster boys for all MLB teams who do not play in NY, Bos, LA, or the Urinal. Just because the Pirates have themselves to blame just as much as low payroll doesn't mean that all MLB teams are to blame for never being able to outspend the 3 or 4 top teams. What we're talking about in this thread is not the Pirates....it's that pretty much any team is guaranteed failure in the AL East because they'll almost always finish 3rd at best. Even in the AL in general, the only playoff spot wide open most years is the AL Central title. NYY, Bos, and LAA have the payroll to lock up playoff spots every year. Everyone else can just forget about it.

balke
09-07-2009, 10:41 AM
Haven't read this all so maybe someone mentioned it, but when was in Tampa for a while, it seemed like the majority of people were Yankees fans. The Tampa Yankees I guess. Its kinda sad, they have a great thing going on.

cards press box
09-07-2009, 11:34 AM
If the Rays are serious about staying in the Tampa area, they need a retractable roof ballpark, similar to the Marlins plan, and relocate near the I4 fairgrounds or perhaps down the street on Dale Mabry from Raymond James (Bucs) and Legends Field (Yankees ST).

I thought that either the state or local government were building the Rays' a new field with a retractable roof. Did that deal fall through?

I disagree. First, the Yankees have been more or less dominant since the 1920s. Don't most old-timers refer to the 1950s and 1960s as the "Golden Era" of the game? Guess what; between 1947-1964, the Yankees went to the World Series every year except 1948, 1954, and 1959. 15 World Series appearances in 18 years. If anything, Selig's policies as commissioner (expansion, divisional realignment, and the Wild Card) have hurt the Yankees' dominance. Yes, they still make the play-offs a lot, but it's more difficult for them to continue to win pennants and World Series. In fact, if you go by World Series results, since the last Yankee dynasty ended in 2001, there has been an unparalleled level of parity in baseball. At least 8 different teams will have won a championship this decade, and there's a very real possibility we will crown 9 different franchises in the 10-year period between 2000-2009.

It's true that we've had more parity in the last decade than we've had since the era before free agency. The limited revenue sharing has something to do with that, as well as four teams making the playoffs in each league.

The Yankees have dominated since the 1920's for a reason: the odds were highly stacked in their favor. Prior to the amateur draft, the Yankees used the financial advantage of the New York market to capture far more than their share of available amateur talent. It was no accident that Yankees' farm teams like the 1937 Newark team and the 1939 Kansas City team are among the best minor league teams of all time. Yankee monopolization of talent created a competitive imbalance that almost destroyed the game in the '50's. Look at attandance figures from that era. Not so golden, no matter what Ken Burns thinks. Other factors such as inadequate facilities and migration to the suburbs may have contributed to the decline of such franchises as the Philadelphia A's, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves but competitive imbalance was a problem.

In 1965, MLB instituted the amateur draft and what do you know? The Yankees declined. But crybaby Yankee fans everywhere caught a break. In 1977, free agency arrived and the Yankees could once again throw their financial weight around.

The current playoff system makes it harder for the Yanks to ensure pennants every year but they still have the odds staggered in their favor for no reason other than geographic accident.

I have a solution, though. The Yankees, through their obnoxious spokesman Randy Levine, always say that it's a free market and the Yanks should be able to spend as they please. But it's not a truly free market. If it were, then the Rays could move to Northern New Jersey and really give the Yanks a run for their money.

Maybe we moan about the Yankees and Red Sox arms race, but ask plenty of owners how they feel about it. Remember, Bud works for them, and the Red Sox and Yankees are two of the most well traveled teams in all of baseball. Owners from the other 28 teams look forward to seeing that NYY and BOS on their home schedule, they pack other parks.

The Yanks and Red Sox do fill visiting parks but nothing helps like winning. Here's a revenue sharing idea that might help. Make all teams split their local media revenue with the visiting team. That wouldn't obliterate the Yankees' advantage but it would at least help the situation.

Kind of off topic but I would love for Montreal to have a team in the AL. We were just up there for a long weekend and had a blast. Montreal is less than a two hour flight from Chicago, has a ton of history, great food & drink options, friendly people, good night life, lots of festivals (we were there for the comedy festival), very good public transportation, and was just an all around great town to visit (unlike Cleveland and Detroit). I would definitely make an visit up there every year to see the Sox play that team.

If I were the Rays, I would try to move to New Jersey but the New York Steinbrenners would no doubt block that. Montreal would be a fun destination, though. Give that city a good ballpark and a great young team like the Rays and that could work out well. A Sox roadtrip to Montreal would be a nice bonus.

Daver
09-07-2009, 11:38 AM
The Yanks and Red Sox do fill visiting parks but nothing helps like winning. Here's a revenue sharing idea that might help. Make all teams split their local media revenue with the visiting team. That wouldn't obliterate the Yankees' advantage but it would at least help the situation.





Bill Veeck called for this very thing in the sixties and the other owners wanted to tar and feather him.

Milw
09-07-2009, 12:27 PM
Good for them. At least one municipality has some cojones.
Yeah, I'm sure all the baseball fans in Portland are thrilled about that.

Red Barchetta
09-07-2009, 01:28 PM
This really would be the best solution. One thing Tampa is not lacking is land for development and that area included. The park being in St Pete is a pain though.. They would be best to centralize the park so The Tampa, Clearwater, and Largo area residents can all reach it easily. What ever happened with that proposed waterfront park?... it looked nice.

They abandoned the plan for the waterfront open air ballpark with the retractable sail-like roof due to lack of voter support. Even though the plan called for no public dollars, the local condo owners did not want to lose their view of the waterfront.

Even when they were winning, they still had a hard time selling out the ballpark last season. I can't see St. Pete holding on to them too much longer.

cards press box
09-07-2009, 09:56 PM
Bill Veeck called for this very thing in the sixties and the other owners wanted to tar and feather him.

Veeck was way ahead of his time with regard to the business of baseball. He was also the guy who came up with the idea of amortizing player contracts for tax purposes.