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Baby Fisk
01-12-2006, 04:04 PM
Reading the threads on the ongoing Washington and Minnesota stadium sagas brought this question to mind: which cities or regions have enough population/potential fanbase to support ANOTHER franchise?

I'm thinking:

- New York / New Jersey
- Boston / New England
- St. Louis
- Los Angeles

Please feel free to add, debunk, discuss, ridicule, etc...

illini81887
01-12-2006, 04:11 PM
I think St.Louis and Boston are out of the question

MUsoxfan
01-12-2006, 04:12 PM
I'd say no to LA and NY. Two teams is plenty


The St Louis fan base is hardcore Cardinal and any new team would be laughed out of town. Same thing with Boston. They're way to engrossed into one team....and in their case, almost all their minor league teams

getonbckthr
01-12-2006, 04:13 PM
Reading the threads on the ongoing Washington and Minnesota stadium sagas brought this question to mind: which cities or regions have enough population/potential fanbase to support ANOTHER franchise?

I'm thinking:

- New York / New Jersey
- Boston / New England
- St. Louis
- Los Angeles .

Please feel free to add, debunk, discuss, ridicule, etc...
I say no to NY and LA because they have 2 teams already. St Louis just built a new stadium so I doubt they would be interested right now. As far as Boston I don't think the Red Cubs will let there be another team. I could see Nashville or Knoxville, possibly one of the Carolinas, Vegas, Portland, Alburquerque (sp), and here's a shot in the dark, Des Moines.

KRS1
01-12-2006, 04:15 PM
Reading the threads on the ongoing Washington and Minnesota stadium sagas brought this question to mind: which cities or regions have enough population/potential fanbase to support ANOTHER franchise?

I'm thinking:

- New York / New Jersey
- Boston / New England
- St. Louis
- Los Angeles

Please feel free to add, debunk, discuss, ridicule, etc...


There is no way a team could squeeze its way into any of those cities fanbases. The really is the thought that Iowa or Nebraska could host baseball because there is only college teams to root for there, but then there is the money that both areas lack. Portland has also been popluar, and with the way they proved they can keep a team like the Blazers is on their side. My bet(pun intended) is on Vegas, the Nevada(or Vegas) Greys would be a great name and has history behind it.

illini81887
01-12-2006, 04:15 PM
Isnt Des Moines too cubby ewwwww

Chicken Dinner
01-12-2006, 04:20 PM
The 48 Metropolitan Areas With a Population Above One Million, Ranked

#Metropolitan AreaPopulation(s)1New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA CMSA20,124,3772Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA CMSA15,781,2733Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI CMSA8,809,8464Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA7,285,2065San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA CMSA6,816,0476Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE-MD CMSA5,988,3487Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA5,633,0608Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI CMSA5,457,5839Dallas-Fort Worth, TX CMSA4,802,46310Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX CMSA4,407,57911Atlanta, GA MSA3,746,05912Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL CMSA3,655,84413Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA CMSA3,424,36114Phoenix-Mesa, AZ MSA2,931,00415Cleveland-Akron, OH CMSA2,911,68316Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI MSA2,831,23417San Diego, CA MSA2,780,59218St. Louis, MO-IL MSA2,563,80119Denver-Boulder-Greeley, CO CMSA2,365,34520Pittsburgh, PA MSA2,346,15321Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA2,256,55922Portland-Salem, OR-WA CMSA2,149,05623Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN CMSA1,948,26424Kansas City, MO-KS MSA1,737,02525Sacramento-Yolo, CA CMSA1,685,81226Milwaukee-Racine, WI CMSA1,645,92427Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA-NC MSA1,542,14328San Antonio, TX MSA1,538,33829Indianapolis, IN MSA1,519,19430Orlando, FL MSA1,504,56931Columbus, OH MSA1,469,60432Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC MSA1,383,08033Las Vegas, NV-AZ MSA1,321,54634New Orleans, LA MSA1,309,44535Salt Lake City-Ogden, UT MSA1,267,74536Greensboro--Winston-Salem--High Point, NC MSA1,167,62937Nashville, TN MSA1,156,22538Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY MSA1,152,54139Hartford, CT MSA1,143,85940Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA MSA1,122,97441Austin-San Marcos, TX MSA1,105,90942Memphis, TN-AR-MS MSA1,093,42743Rochester, NY MSA1,081,88344Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC MSA1,079,87345Jacksonville, FL MSA1,044,68446Oklahoma City, OK MSA1,038,99947Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, MI MSA1,037,93348West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL MSA1,032,625

Fenway
01-12-2006, 04:24 PM
I'd say no to LA and NY. Two teams is plenty


The St Louis fan base is hardcore Cardinal and any new team would be laughed out of town. Same thing with Boston. They're way to engrossed into one team....and in their case, almost all their minor league teams

Northern New Jersey without question.

I also think a team in the New Haven/Hartford corridor would do very well. New England is baseball mad and all the minor league teams in the area do well.

possibly Sacremento, CA ( A's relocation?)

I don't think Portland and Charlotte are big enough. Vegas is the mystery but I read a couple of weeks ago something that shows how iffy Vegas could be.
Because most people in Vegas work swing shifts at the casinos, at any given time 1/4 of the population are sleeping and 1/4 are working. Most casino observers feel that people coming to Vegas won't take in a ballgame as most come from a market that already has baseball.

SOXintheBURGH
01-12-2006, 04:26 PM
Charlotte is growing pretty rapidly I hear.

Baseball is pretty huge in the former Confederacah.

KRS1
01-12-2006, 04:30 PM
Charlotte is growing pretty rapidly I hear.

Baseball is pretty huge in the former Confederacah.


Cartman fan are we?

BNLSox
01-12-2006, 04:30 PM
Vegas for sure. St. Lake City, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Portland, Orlando, Mexico City, a Canadian city, etc.

Also I do think NY could handle another team. Brooklyn and Jersey would both get behind a "home" team.

SOXintheBURGH
01-12-2006, 04:31 PM
Cartman fan are we?

:yup:

Ol' No. 2
01-12-2006, 04:37 PM
Reading the threads on the ongoing Washington and Minnesota stadium sagas brought this question to mind: which cities or regions have enough population/potential fanbase to support ANOTHER franchise?

I'm thinking:

- New York / New Jersey
- Boston / New England
- St. Louis
- Los Angeles

Please feel free to add, debunk, discuss, ridicule, etc...Probably not St. Louis. Not that big of a city and they compete with KC for much of the state's remaining population. The other three could easily accomodate another team. I don't think there are any others. And I don't see any other cities that presently have no team that are likely to be able to support one. Baseball has tapped just about all the potential areas short of adding teams to one of the above cities.

Lip Man 1
01-12-2006, 04:47 PM
Another team in N.Y. / N.J. has the added benefit of reducing the value of the Yankees as well as making it more difficult for them to have a 200 million dollar payroll (although the new stadium may off set this...)

Lip

Norberto7
01-12-2006, 04:56 PM
What about San Jose? The city itself is bigger than Oakland or San Francisco, and I understand it's pretty affluent. I never got the feeling that Giants or A's fans were particularly rabid, so would those living in San Jose be hard to sway with a good park and a competetive team?

I don't know the dynamics of baseball fandom in the Bay Area, so I'll leave it up to someone who knows to say why this wouldn't work.

Ol' No. 2
01-12-2006, 04:57 PM
What about San Jose? The city itself is bigger than Oakland or San Francisco, and I understand it's pretty affluent. I never got the feeling that Giants or A's fans were particularly rabid, so would those living in San Jose be hard to sway with a good park and a competetive team?

I don't know the dynamics of baseball fandom in the Bay Area, so I'll leave it up to someone who knows to say why this wouldn't work.The A's wanted to move there but the Giants blocked them. San Jose is in their territory.

SouthSide_HitMen
01-12-2006, 04:59 PM
Another team in N.Y. / N.J. has the added benefit of reducing the value of the Yankees as well as making it more difficult for them to have a 200 million dollar payroll (although the new stadium may off set this...)

Lip

Problem is the Yankees and Mets (not to mention the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, Anaheim and even San Diego with the other examples) would fight to the death to prevent a new team from entering their territory.

The main issue is not which population base is big enough to support MLB. Cities such as Portland, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Charlotte and the Virginia Beach area are bigger than Milwaukee who has enough population to support a franchise. The issue is which of these municipalities is stupid enough to give MLB $500 million + to entice them to move an existing franchise (God forbid they have further expansion). As has been pointed out earlier in this thread, Tampa built a stadium without a team.

It would be a great idea to weaken the two New York clubs for competitve purposes. New York has the population to support three teams. I cannot see MLB being able to infringe on their rights by adding a third as they own the territory.

Daver
01-12-2006, 05:04 PM
Vegas is the mystery but I read a couple of weeks ago something that shows how iffy Vegas could be.
Because most people in Vegas work swing shifts at the casinos, at any given time 1/4 of the population are sleeping and 1/4 are working. Most casino observers feel that people coming to Vegas won't take in a ballgame as most come from a market that already has baseball.

Then the casino observers are morons.

When Bruton Smith built the NASCAR track in Las Vegas, most thought he was nuts, yet it is a very diffucult ticket to get every year, and they are petitioning NASCAR for an additional date on the schedule as well as adding seats by the thousands.

DSpivack
01-12-2006, 05:07 PM
The 48 Metropolitan Areas With a Population Above One Million, Ranked

#Metropolitan AreaPopulation(s)1New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA CMSA20,124,3772Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA CMSA15,781,2733Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI CMSA8,809,8464Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA7,285,2065San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA CMSA6,816,0476Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE-MD CMSA5,988,3487Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA5,633,0608Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI CMSA5,457,5839Dallas-Fort Worth, TX CMSA4,802,46310Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX CMSA4,407,57911Atlanta, GA MSA3,746,05912Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL CMSA3,655,84413Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA CMSA3,424,36114Phoenix-Mesa, AZ MSA2,931,00415Cleveland-Akron, OH CMSA2,911,68316Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI MSA2,831,23417San Diego, CA MSA2,780,59218St. Louis, MO-IL MSA2,563,80119Denver-Boulder-Greeley, CO CMSA2,365,34520Pittsburgh, PA MSA2,346,15321Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA2,256,55922Portland-Salem, OR-WA CMSA2,149,05623Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN CMSA1,948,26424Kansas City, MO-KS MSA1,737,02525Sacramento-Yolo, CA CMSA1,685,81226Milwaukee-Racine, WI CMSA1,645,92427Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA-NC MSA1,542,14328San Antonio, TX MSA1,538,33829Indianapolis, IN MSA1,519,19430Orlando, FL MSA1,504,56931Columbus, OH MSA1,469,60432Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC MSA1,383,08033Las Vegas, NV-AZ MSA1,321,54634New Orleans, LA MSA1,309,44535Salt Lake City-Ogden, UT MSA1,267,74536Greensboro--Winston-Salem--High Point, NC MSA1,167,62937Nashville, TN MSA1,156,22538Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY MSA1,152,54139Hartford, CT MSA1,143,85940Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA MSA1,122,97441Austin-San Marcos, TX MSA1,105,90942Memphis, TN-AR-MS MSA1,093,42743Rochester, NY MSA1,081,88344Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC MSA1,079,87345Jacksonville, FL MSA1,044,68446Oklahoma City, OK MSA1,038,99947Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, MI MSA1,037,93348West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL MSA1,032,625

:?:

chisoxfan64
01-12-2006, 05:22 PM
Montreal. Oh wait, never mind.

ondafarm
01-12-2006, 05:28 PM
#Metropolitan AreaPopulation(s). . .
6Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE-MD CMSA5,988,3487Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA5,633,0608Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI CMSA5,457,5839Dallas-Fort Worth, TX CMSA4,802,463

22Portland-Salem, OR-WA CMSA2,149,05625Sacramento-Yolo, CA CMSA1,685,81227Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA-NC MSA1,542,14328San Antonio, TX MSA1,538,33829Indianapolis, IN MSA1,519,194

Which leaves two possibilities.
Add a second team to Philly, Boston, Detroit or DFW

or

Add a team to Portland, Sacramento, Norfolk, San Antonio or Indy.

My analysis: I don't see Philly or Detroit or Dallas/Fort Worth adding a team. Could a second New England team work? The Braves did start in Boston. Perhaps adding the team in Connecticut might work, especially if they were an NL team. Then again, this is more or less what Montreal was supposed to be and right now I think that'd be called a failure.

I do know that Sacramento, Norfolk and Indy are all already claimed territory (A's, Nationals and Reds) That leaves Portland and San Antonio as the only possibilities, with Portland as the much stronger case.

Here is something I'd like to see:

US minor leagues in both Europe and Japan. Maybe second AA teams.

Fenway
01-12-2006, 05:29 PM
largest markets without a team (
22 Portland-Salem, OR-WA CMSA 2,149,056
25 Sacramento-Yolo, CA CMSA 1,685,812
27 Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA-NC 1,542,143


http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa122099c.htm


26 Milwaukee is the smallest market in MLB today with 1,645,924

Palehose13
01-12-2006, 05:29 PM
Has Indianapolis ever been considered? It seems that the Colts get adequate support and from what I hear from friends that live in Indy, the AAA team there has a good draw. If not maybe somewhere in that area like Louisville or Nashville. There really isn't anything around there for teams besides minor league teams and the Reds...um, ok...minor league teams.

Hitmen77
01-12-2006, 05:30 PM
I'd say the NY/NJ area definitely could support another team. The Yanks and Mets are 2 of the richest teams and are 2 of the biggest draws. Also, a team in, say NJ, would have the benefit of calling a part of the NY metro area (Northern NJ that is) their own.

This is NOT the same thing as saying the Yanks and Mets would allow this. The question was whether the area would support another team and I believe the answer is yes.

Other than that, maybe another team could be squeezed into California. The problem in N. Calif is that the A's aren't exactly thriving in Oakland. I can't see putting a 3rd team up there. I can't imagine any other existing MLB metro area supporting another team.

MLB is really having trouble finding enough markets to support 30 teams. Right now, it looks like Miami, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Pittsburgh are not successfully supporting a team. Pittsburgh is especially discouraging considering they have that beautiful new ballpark. If the DC stadium deal dies, then you can add Washington to the list of cities that can't support a team.

chaerulez
01-12-2006, 05:45 PM
I'm going to agree with the NY area being able to handle another team. They had 3 teams back in the day, and I don't think the areas view on baseball has changed to effect this.

I'd say LA is possible, but at least other California cities (San Jose, Sacremento) could and they wouldn't be hurt by the competition. I don't really think having a baseball team in any other market would make sense though.

lumpyspun
01-12-2006, 05:46 PM
Los Angeles of Anaheim could probably squeeze another team in there.

doublem23
01-12-2006, 07:05 PM
New York needs a third team.

ondafarm
01-12-2006, 08:00 PM
Has Indianapolis ever been considered? It seems that the Colts get adequate support and from what I hear from friends that live in Indy, the AAA team there has a good draw. If not maybe somewhere in that area like Louisville or Nashville. There really isn't anything around there for teams besides minor league teams and the Reds...um, ok...minor league teams.

The Reds owners have always blocked any plans to put a team in Indy.

soxfanatlanta
01-12-2006, 08:10 PM
Mr. BabyFisk,

What about...

Ottawa
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
Winnipeg?

Any chance of El Ciudad de Mexico getting a shot? 24+ million people would be a gold mine, no?

I'd hate to see Vegas getting a team, I'd have to wash my hands after watching a game :wink:

A_ROW33
01-12-2006, 08:57 PM
How about Buffalo? Although it has the same problem as a 2nd team in Phily or Detriot, it's population is stagnant or falling. I don't think it would infringe on Blue Jay territory as I doubt people cross the boarder for baseball, and it should be far enough away from Cleveland/ NY/Pittsburg.

SOXintheBURGH
01-12-2006, 09:13 PM
How about Buffalo? Although it has the same problem as a 2nd team in Phily or Detriot, it's population is stagnant or falling. I don't think it would infringe on Blue Jay territory as I doubt people cross the boarder for baseball, and it should be far enough away from Cleveland/ NY/Pittsburg.


Where's Pittsburg?


Buffalo's population is Shrinking.

Palehose13
01-12-2006, 09:25 PM
The Reds owners have always blocked any plans to put a team in Indy.

Damn, that sucks.

1951Campbell
01-12-2006, 10:22 PM
Maybe I missed this suggestion scanning all the posts, but...

Mexico City.

monkeypants
01-12-2006, 10:33 PM
I've always liked the idea of putting a team in Monterrey, Mexico. It's not far over the border like Mexico City, it has a fairly strong baseball tradition, and it has over 3 million people. If the baseball owners were serious about trying to spread the popularity of MLB and baseball then they should forget about the World Baseball Classic and focus on spreading some teams to other countries. It's apparent that some U.S. cities can't support teams and/or some owners refuse to support their teams. But with the way the finances are set up in MLB, there's no way in hell a team in Mexico can survive.
So getting back to which city or region could support a team, I'd have to place money on Las Vegas, North Carolina, San Antonio, or New Jersey.

Palehose13
01-12-2006, 10:46 PM
I like the Mexico idea. Either Monterrey or Mexico City, whichever is most feasible for travel.

SouthSide_HitMen
01-12-2006, 10:50 PM
What about...

Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg?



AAA baseball pulled up stakes in Edmonton (White Sox had a team there) and Calgary a few years back. Ottawa still has a triple AAA team and Vancouver a short season A ball team.

Montreal is large enough to support a team but Bud Selig ****ed that up. Winnipeg couldn't hold on to their NHL team (Jets).

Canadian teams have three major disadvantages over teams in the states:

1. Exchange rate - Canadian teams take in Canadian dollars but must pay players (by far the team's largest expense) in American dollars. The gap has closed over the past few years but is nonetheless a disadvantage.

2. Canadian Taxes - Canadian teams face a much higher tax rate vis a vis their neighbors to the South. They also do not get the huge real estate tax / infrastructure subsidies most American teams receive.

3. Corporate Welfare - Canadians do not tolerate the $500 million + (NY Jets proposed Manhattan stadium $1.7 billion!) boondoggles extracted from taxpayers South of the border.

Smaller market NHL teams have had trouble operating under these three conditions. Two teams (Quebec, Winnipeg) relocated to the States and two more (Calgary, Edmonton) faced financial difficulty for several years prior to the lockout.

Even with the new NHL low salary cap Winnipeg would still not be able to support a NHL team.

Bud Selig blew baseball's best chance (outside of Toronto) in Canada. Montreal in the distant future may accept a minor league franchise but that is the extent of any new franchises I would expect North of the border.

Brian26
01-12-2006, 11:16 PM
Northern New Jersey without question.


Easily. The New York area could easily host another franchise. This is a no-brainer for MLB. As long as they could get Steinbrenner to agree to it, this should be done before any other market is considered.

NY did just fine for how many years with the Yankees-Giants-Dodgers? I say break it up into threes again and make things more fair for everyone.

A_ROW33
01-12-2006, 11:20 PM
Where's Pittsburg?

Kansas :redface:

DSpivack
01-12-2006, 11:32 PM
Easily. The New York area could easily host another franchise. This is a no-brainer for MLB. As long as they could get Steinbrenner to agree to it, this should be done before any other market is considered.

NY did just fine for how many years with the Yankees-Giants-Dodgers? I say break it up into threes again and make things more fair for everyone.

Steinbrenner and the Mets owners would never approve that. The Nets getting into the NBA, and soon moving into Brooklyn, was/is enough of a mess.

Fenway
01-12-2006, 11:42 PM
Steinbrenner and the Mets owners would never approve that. The Nets getting into the NBA, and soon moving into Brooklyn, was/is enough of a mess.

Split the third teams TV between the existing Mets and Yankees networks and something could get done. It would have to be a National League team in Jersey and sitting between the Mets and Phillies it would do fine. The Mets don't really have a base in New Jersey and the Yankees fans would ignore them just like they ignore the Mets.

Fenway
01-12-2006, 11:45 PM
How about Buffalo? Although it has the same problem as a 2nd team in Phily or Detriot, it's population is stagnant or falling. I don't think it would infringe on Blue Jay territory as I doubt people cross the boarder for baseball, and it should be far enough away from Cleveland/ NY/Pittsburg.

Buffalo's metro population has fallen to the point that it is now the size of Providence.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY MSA 1,152,541
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA MSA 1,122,974

SouthSide_HitMen
01-12-2006, 11:48 PM
Split the third teams TV between the existing Mets and Yankees networks and something could get done. It would have to be a National League team in Jersey and sitting between the Mets and Phillies it would do fine. The Mets don't really have a base in New Jersey and the Yankees fans would ignore them just like they ignore the Mets.

Not that it is going to happen anyway but an American League team would be a better fit to suck some revenue from the Yankees. Another National League team would put four NL teams (Mets, expansion / transfered team, Phillies and Washington) within a few hours from each other. An American League team would only be stepping on the Yankees toes.

SOXintheBURGH
01-13-2006, 12:04 AM
Easily. The New York area could easily host another franchise. This is a no-brainer for MLB. As long as they could get Steinbrenner to agree to it, this should be done before any other market is considered.

NY did just fine for how many years with the Yankees-Giants-Dodgers? I say break it up into threes again and make things more fair for everyone.

Devils, Blue Shirts, and Islanders all share a market with the Flyers just down the turnpike.. I see no reason why baseball can't do the same.

PKalltheway
01-13-2006, 12:15 AM
Kansas City and Pittsburgh are not successfully supporting a team. Pittsburgh is especially discouraging considering they have that beautiful new ballpark.

You can't blame those two cities for the fact that their teams have stunk for the last decade and a half. Pittsburgh finished 62-100 in their first season in PNC Park and hasn't had a winning season since '92. The Royals have had only one winning season in the last ten years. Those are two franchises that are well established in their areas (especially Pittsburgh; they've been around since 1887) and those cities have already proven that they can support teams. It's just that they have had inept front offices in the last decade.

Baby Fisk
01-13-2006, 12:55 AM
Mr. BabyFisk,

What about...

Ottawa
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
Winnipeg?

Any chance of El Ciudad de Mexico getting a shot? 24+ million people would be a gold mine, no?

I'd hate to see Vegas getting a team, I'd have to wash my hands after watching a game :wink:

To supplement southside hitmen's post:


Canada lost its Montreal franchise. Vancouver cannot support a team as Seattle is right there. All other options are minor league at best. Look to latin america...

gf2020
01-13-2006, 01:02 AM
I think Chicago could support a second major league baseball team.

Baby Fisk
01-13-2006, 01:05 AM
Ciudad Mexico would be super-cool. And in keeping with the internationalization of the sport, as demonstrated by the World Baseball Classic...

getonbckthr
01-13-2006, 01:14 AM
What about Puerto Rico or the Dominican. Then Shammy could play somewhere.

doublem23
01-13-2006, 01:41 AM
I think Chicago could support a second major league baseball team.

:)

TDog
01-13-2006, 02:39 AM
Vegas for sure. St. Lake City, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Portland, Orlando, Mexico City, a Canadian city, etc.

Also I do think NY could handle another team. Brooklyn and Jersey would both get behind a "home" team.

Vegas for sure NOT. The demographics are all wrong for baseball. The population isn't dense enough and is too transient -- despite and because of rapid growth. Visitors won't go to Las Vegas to watch baseball. It won't be a tourist attraction the way it is in Chicago or LA. Speaking as someone who used to live in the area and deal with the community, I am certain support from local industry would be minimal at best. South Florida is much more baseball friendly with a larger population.

Indianapolis or Louisville -- but not both -- would be better choices than Vegas. Portland might be a strong possibility. I don't know much about Salt Lake City, but it doesn't look like it could support a team.

The standards are different than they were years ago. I won't bring up the A word, but look at what was considered "support" in the 1970s.

Banix12
01-13-2006, 03:00 AM
Vegas for sure NOT. The demographics are all wrong for baseball. The population isn't dense enough and is too transient -- despite and because of rapid growth. Visitors won't go to Las Vegas to watch baseball. It won't be a tourist attraction the way it is in Chicago or LA. Speaking as someone who used to live in the area and deal with the community, I am certain support from local industry would be minimal at best. South Florida is much more baseball friendly with a larger population.

Indianapolis or Louisville -- but not both -- would be better choices than Vegas. Portland might be a strong possibility. I don't know much about Salt Lake City, but it doesn't look like it could support a team.

The standards are different than they were years ago. I won't bring up the A word, but look at what was considered "support" in the 1970s.

They way I feel about Vegas is if we are talking about an expansion franchise it is a bad idea to start one there but if you are moving a team that is floundering already, like say the marlins, it's not like it can get much worse for them so it may be worth expiramenting with.

Portland has a higher population, and growing population I believe, than both the cities you mentioned so I think they would have first dibs. I think Louisville and Indianapolis will be staying AAA for awhile longer.


New York City has a population over 20 million and apparently plenty of economic resources available, so I think they can support more teams. They could definitely support one more team and I don't think it would be a total stretch to think they could support a fourth.

Of course territorial rights would seemingly preclude this possibility.

The two most likely to me seem to be Portland, mostly because they are making a lot of noise about building a stadium and somewhere in Mexico.

dcb56
01-13-2006, 03:44 AM
Relocation, expansion, and realignment are some of my favorite topics of offseason discussion, especially after the majority of free agent movement is complete. I think it's incredibly fun to come up with wild and crazy realignment ideas, and my latest "master realignment plan" involves relocation and expansion into some of the markets mentioned in this thread:

Havana- After Castro kicks the bucket. He can't hang on forever, can he?
Mexico City
Monterrey
Montreal
San Juan

Two of these markets would be awarded expansion franchises while Florida, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City would relocate to the remaining three cities. MLB would then undergo a major realignment:

AMERICAN LEAGUE- Baltimore, Boston, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York Yankees
NATIONAL LEAGUE- Atlanta, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Houston, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
PACIFIC LEAGUE- Arizona, Colorado, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE- Havana, Mexico City, Monterrey, Montreal, San Juan, Texas, Toronto, Washington

Each team would play the other seven teams in its league 16 times for a total of 112 games, and a three year rotating interleague schedule would be adopted with each team playing a home and away series (6 games) against the 8 teams in the scheduled league for that year to make a season total of 160 games. A sample interleague schedule would go as follows: Year A the AL plays NL, PL plays IL, year B AL plays PL, NL plays IL, year C AL plays IL, NL plays PL. The 16 game intraleague schedule would help alleviate the extensive travel the IL teams would be required to make because it would allow teams like Mexico City to complete its season series with the two Canadian teams in two eight game road trips. From the start of April thru mid-May, early-June thru mid-July, and early-mid August thru the end of the season teams would play their intraleague opponents, while during late May and late July interleague play would occur.

For the playoffs each pennant winner would qualify to participate in a best of seven League Champions Series, the matchups being determined by that year's interleague schedule. For example in year A the AL pennant winner would play the NL pennant winner and the PL pennant winner would play the IL pennant winner for the right to go to the best of seven World Series.

IlliniSox4Life
01-13-2006, 03:48 AM
I would have to say first new team should go somewhere to mexico/latin america. Puerto Rico/Mexico City/etc would all be good options.

As far as Vegas goes, it's not as big, but people go to Vegas to spend money, and with the pace that it is growing right now, I definately think the money is there to support the club. Perhaps offer some "deals". People love deals in Vegas.

Shorty1983
01-13-2006, 03:50 AM
Looking at a demographic location of teams around the states. There is a void in the mid-south, perhaps Memphis could be a perfect fit for the pro's. It's growing city with more than a mil city wide population and 3 states hovering around the town would attract some fans.

Plus, Memphis Redbirds are painful AAA team to watch.

MiamiSpartan
01-13-2006, 08:58 AM
What about San Jose? The city itself is bigger than Oakland or San Francisco, and I understand it's pretty affluent. I never got the feeling that Giants or A's fans were particularly rabid, so would those living in San Jose be hard to sway with a good park and a competetive team?

I don't know the dynamics of baseball fandom in the Bay Area, so I'll leave it up to someone who knows to say why this wouldn't work.

Giants fans support their team. Oakland has been a problem,since they wree winning World Series in the 70s. If I remember correctly, one of the years they won, they did not even draw 1 million fans....

Hitmen77
01-13-2006, 09:44 AM
Steinbrenner and the Mets owners would never approve that. The Nets getting into the NBA, and soon moving into Brooklyn, was/is enough of a mess.

The NJ Nets are moving to Brooklyn? :o:

I hadn't heard that!

Fenway
01-13-2006, 09:49 AM
The NJ Nets are moving to Brooklyn? :o:

I hadn't heard that!

sure are and the word is the Islanders will move there as well
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/photos/nyc-nets-gallery,0,1045495.photogallery?coll=nyc-fasttrack-top-utility&index=2

and the Devils just announced they are moving to Newark

Hitmen77
01-13-2006, 10:08 AM
You can't blame those two cities for the fact that their teams have stunk for the last decade and a half. Pittsburgh finished 62-100 in their first season in PNC Park and hasn't had a winning season since '92. The Royals have had only one winning season in the last ten years. Those are two franchises that are well established in their areas (especially Pittsburgh; they've been around since 1887) and those cities have already proven that they can support teams. It's just that they have had inept front offices in the last decade.

Oh, I agree that KC ant Pittsburgh were once among the league's premier franchises. Growing up in the 70s, they were always among the top teams. But that was an era where 1.5 million was considered "good attendance" and free agency was just getting started. Unfortuately under the current baseball economics, they can't compete. KC has essentially become a farm team by bringing up talent like Damon, Dye, and Beltran and then helplessly watching them leave because they can't afford to keep them. Pittsburgh appears to be pretty much in the same boat. The Pirates are the only team with a new (retro era) stadium that I can think of that didn't experience any "bounce" from their new park. Heck, even Milwaukee - who I used to consider the weakest baseball market, has gained some traction in becoming competitive since moving to Miller Park.

I would rather that baseball was brought into more competitive balance such that the Royals and Pirates could compete. That is definitely a better solution than moving them - especially when there aren't any good places to move them to.

SouthSide_HitMen
01-13-2006, 10:35 AM
Oh, I agree that KC ant Pittsburgh were once among the league's premier franchises. Growing up in the 70s, they were always among the top teams. But that was an era where 1.5 million was considered "good attendance" and free agency was just getting started. Unfortuately under the current baseball economics, they can't compete. KC has essentially become a farm team by bringing up talent like Damon, Dye, and Beltran and then helplessly watching them leave because they can't afford to keep them. Pittsburgh appears to be pretty much in the same boat. The Pirates are the only team with a new (retro era) stadium that I can think of that didn't experience any "bounce" from their new park. Heck, even Milwaukee - who I used to consider the weakest baseball market, has gained some traction in becoming competitive since moving to Miller Park.

I would rather that baseball was brought into more competitive balance such that the Royals and Pirates could compete. That is definitely a better solution than moving them - especially when there aren't any good places to move them to.

It is poor management, not lack of payroll. Brewers will become competitive because Bug Selig is gone. The luxury tax and revenue sharing help the small market teams more than ever.

http://asp.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/totalpayroll.aspx?year=2005

2005 Payroll, Wins

Cleveland - $42 mil payroll, 93 Wins
Toronto - $46 mil, 80 Wins
Minnesota - $56 mil, 83 Wins (and prior four time division champion)
Oakland - $55 mil, 88 Wins
Washington - $49 mil, 81 Wins
Milwaukee - $40 mil, 81 Wins

Kansas City - $37 mil, 56 Wins
Pittsburgh - $38 mil, 67 Wins

Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Tampa are the biggest beneficiaries in revenue sharing. The problem is these owners pocket the money instead of reinvesting it on the field.

If you properly manage your club, you will be competitive. Look at clubs with top payrolls:

Cubs - $87 mil, 79 Wins
Mets - $101 mil, 83 Wins
San Francisco - $90 mil, 75 Wins
Los Angeles - $83 mil, 71 Wins
Baltimore - $74 mil, 74 Wins

Teams with half the payroll of these bloated poorly managed clubs were able to earn 22 more wins. Bud Selig and the owners / GMs in KC and Pittsburgh may want to cry woe is me but the facts are they made their mess. They are getting more revenue than ever but do not know how to spend it. When you spend over $27 mil on Mike Sweeney, Terrance Long, Brian Anderson, Eli Marrero, Scott Sullivan and the putrid Jose Lima it is your fault, not the taxpayers, not the Yankees, not your market share.

dickallen15
01-13-2006, 11:33 AM
I like the Mexico idea. Either Monterrey or Mexico City, whichever is most feasible for travel.

One big problem with putting a team in Mexico is safety for the players and their families. Wealthy people in Mexico are becoming frequent kidnapping targets. I don't think most players or organizations would be up for having to have armed bodyguards around them at all times. I think Las Vegas would work, but don't see any other new cities where you could almost guarantee long-term success. I wouldn't mind seeing MLB cut back on the number of teams it fields.

IUPeterman
01-13-2006, 12:10 PM
"I'd hate to see Vegas getting a team, I'd have to wash my hands after watching a game ":rolleyes:


Wow, so many of you are so misinformed about Vegas. As you can tell from my location, I live in Henderson, a suburb of Vegas (and as of the a few years a go the 2nd largest city in the state). I was born and raised in NW Indiana, and lived in Indianapolis for 8 years prior to goingto Vegas.

There are many misconceptions about a team moving to Vegas. The population growth in the Vegas valley can support a team, especially in a few years. I know in Henderson for example, the population has increased 195% since 1990. An average of 1,000 people move here every month. Compare that to other parts of the country where teams already exist where the population is declining. Projections have Henderson having over 1/2 million people within 30 years. Not too bad for a "suburb".

Also, there is good income for the average household. The median household income is about $56K per year. And, the people are educated. Nearly 42% of the residents have a college degree.

I haven't even begun to discuss Las Vegas, or North Las Vegas (yes it's a separate city that has grown in population by 142% from 1990-2000).

As far as gambling goes, this by far and away has to be THE WEAKEST ARGUMENT for giving Vegas a thumbs down. Vegas represents a very small percentage of sports betting especially compared to off shore betting online. Hell, with the off shore books, I could make a bet from a laptop computer inside of a major league ballpark if I wanted to. Also remember, the books in Vegas are very regulated. Remember the point shaving scandals at Arizona (Arizona state???) Yeah, it was the Vegas sports books that uncovered it. You can't go in to a casino without having who knows how many cameras recording your every move.

As far as Indy goes, the proximity to Cincy and Chicago immediately takes it out of contention. I think that they would support a team, but it would be tough. If MLB came to Indy, that would make 3 major leagues in the city, and I have doubts that a city of that size can support 3 major leagues.

GoSox2K3
01-13-2006, 12:45 PM
One big problem with putting a team in Mexico is safety for the players and their families. Wealthy people in Mexico are becoming frequent kidnapping targets. I don't think most players or organizations would be up for having to have armed bodyguards around them at all times. I think Las Vegas would work, but don't see any other new cities where you could almost guarantee long-term success. I wouldn't mind seeing MLB cut back on the number of teams it fields.

And what about the exchange rate problem? If, as BabyFisk mentioned, Canadian teams have a disadvantage when they take in Canadian dollars and have to pay players in US $, then what about a team that's taking in pesos and having to fund a payroll in US $. Can a Mexican team support 2.5 million fans a year paying $30 US for each ticket? Could such a team generate enough TV and skybox revenue?

GoSox2K3
01-13-2006, 12:56 PM
One problem is that it's much harder for a metro area to support an MLB team than it is for them to support a franchise from another major sport (NFL, NBA, NHL).

Today's baseball economics seem to demand at least 2 million fans per year to be competitive.

By contrast, to totally sellout an NFL season (counting 2 exhibition games), all a metro area needs to provide is 70,000 x 10 or 700,000 fans per year. NBA or NHL? Those arenas hold about 20,000, right? So totally selling out a season would be 20,000 x 40 home games = 800,000 fans per year.

TDog
01-13-2006, 02:07 PM
...Wow, so many of you are so misinformed about Vegas. As you can tell from my location, I live in Henderson, a suburb of Vegas (and as of the a few years a go the 2nd largest city in the state). I was born and raised in NW Indiana, and lived in Indianapolis for 8 years prior to goingto Vegas. ...

I grew up in NW Indiana and lived in the Bullhead City-Laughlin area for a time. Las Vegas was he commercial hub. that area has grown at a faster rate than Las Vegas. (The availability of Colorado River water, a huge political debate, threatens continued growth in the area, by the way.) South Florida has many more people than Southern Nevada, and it is continuing to grow. It takes more than population to support a baseball major league baseball team. All the demographics you want to cite would make Las Vegas inferior to South Florida. It has a greater population than Milwaukee, but Milwaukee has a city and a region that is anchored in the area with a baseball tradition and a population of people working regular hours. The softball leagues that play in he middle of the night aren't scheduled there to avoid the heat, although that would be a consideration. Many people don't work regular hours.

Support your minor league baseball in Las Vegas. That would be a novelty.

Indianapolis and Louisville at least have traditions of supporting minor league baseball.

I agree that gambling wouldn't be an issue if MLB required sports books in Clark County to stop taking baseball bets and posting baseball lines. It's an outcome MLB would like in any case, but I doubt they would sacrifice a franchise to failure to that end.

Ol' No. 2
01-13-2006, 02:11 PM
I grew up in NW Indiana and lived in the Bullhead City-Laughlin area for a time. Las Vegas was he commercial hub. that area has grown at a faster rate than Las Vegas. (The availability of Colorado River water, a huge political debate, threatens continued growth in the area, by the way.) South Florida has many more people than Southern Nevada, and it is continuing to grow. It takes more than population to support a baseball major league baseball team. All the demographics you want to cite would make Las Vegas inferior to South Florida. It has a greater population than Milwaukee, but Milwaukee has a city and a region that is anchored in the area with a baseball tradition and a population of people working regular hours. The softball leagues that play in he middle of the night aren't scheduled there to avoid the heat, although that would be a consideration. Many people don't work regular hours.

Support your minor league baseball in Las Vegas. That would be a novelty.

Indianapolis and Louisville at least have traditions of supporting minor league baseball.

I agree that gambling wouldn't be an issue if MLB required sports books in Clark County to stop taking baseball bets and posting baseball lines. It's an outcome MLB would like in any case, but I doubt they would sacrifice a franchise to failure to that end.It doesn't make any difference how fast the LV area is growing. Twice nothing is still nothing. The metro area is half the size of Minneapolis-St. Paul and smaller than Portland, Indianapolis and Columbus, OH.

IUPeterman
01-13-2006, 02:45 PM
I grew up in NW Indiana and lived in the Bullhead City-Laughlin area for a time. Las Vegas was he commercial hub. that area has grown at a faster rate than Las Vegas. (The availability of Colorado River water, a huge political debate, threatens continued growth in the area, by the way.) South Florida has many more people than Southern Nevada, and it is continuing to grow. It takes more than population to support a baseball major league baseball team. All the demographics you want to cite would make Las Vegas inferior to South Florida. It has a greater population than Milwaukee, but Milwaukee has a city and a region that is anchored in the area with a baseball tradition and a population of people working regular hours. The softball leagues that play in he middle of the night aren't scheduled there to avoid the heat, although that would be a consideration. Many people don't work regular hours.

Support your minor league baseball in Las Vegas. That would be a novelty.

Indianapolis and Louisville at least have traditions of supporting minor league baseball.

I agree that gambling wouldn't be an issue if MLB required sports books in Clark County to stop taking baseball bets and posting baseball lines. It's an outcome MLB would like in any case, but I doubt they would sacrifice a franchise to failure to that end.


Tdog, I don't know how long ago you lived here, but even if you are using numbers from 2000, the numbers are far outdated (which I am sure you are aware of). One of your arguments that Vegas shouldn't get a team is that we don't support the AAA team. I feel there are a few reasons, none which should be taken lightly.

1) Vegas doesn't care for minor anything. I firmly believe that a top level league would thrive here, because people know they are seeing the best/highest level of that product.

2) The current stadium is antiquated. With the heat out here, they do have over-head mister to help keep you cool, but that's it. A retractable dome would help tremendously with attendance. People want to be comfortable.

People are moving here from all parts of the country, and I can assure you, a large percentage aren't moving here to be a dealer at the Wynn, Bellagio, or similar. Ya gotta love no state income tax and no estate tax! Also once of the country's lowest unemployment rates!

IUPeterman
01-13-2006, 03:12 PM
It doesn't make any difference how fast the LV area is growing. Twice nothing is still nothing. The metro area is half the size of Minneapolis-St. Paul and smaller than Portland, Indianapolis and Columbus, OH.


#2, your numbers aren't that far off. But I have to disagree with you saying twice nothing is nothing.....According to the latest US Census info (2004), Vegas has 1,651,000. Good for # 32 in the USA. Who is #31? Columbus,OH. #33 is Virginia Beach. It is ahead of both Indy and Milwaukee. Hardly a "nothing" stat. And, you can't ignore 85.6% growth between 1990-2000 and 20% growth from 2000-2004. It's the largest growth in the USA by far. Here's the link: http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/06statab/pop.pdf

I am not saying the Vegas area is the holy grail. But, at the rate of growth, Vegas is a market that can "grow into" a viable MLB market. It certainly doesn't have the territorial conflicts that most other markets present.

Ol' No. 2
01-13-2006, 03:23 PM
#2, your numbers aren't that far off. But I have to disagree with you saying twice nothing is nothing.....According to the latest US Census info (2004), Vegas has 1,651,000. Good for # 32 in the USA. Who is #31? Columbus,OH. #33 is Virginia Beach. It is ahead of both Indy and Milwaukee. Hardly a "nothing" stat. And, you can't ignore 85.6% growth between 1990-2000 and 20% growth from 2000-2004. It's the largest growth in the USA by far. Here's the link: http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/06statab/pop.pdf

I am not saying the Vegas area is the holy grail. But, at the rate of growth, Vegas is a market that can "grow into" a viable MLB market. It certainly doesn't have the territorial conflicts that most other markets present.You need a lot bigger metro area than 1.6M to support a team. Even teams with metro areas of 2.5M and larger are struggling. Also, most other cities have sizable populations outside their metro areas from which they can draw. Las Vegas does not. Other than Henderson, there's not another decent size town for 100 miles. High percentage growth rates are relatively easy when you start out small. No way they can maintain that as they get bigger.

IUPeterman
01-13-2006, 03:40 PM
You need a lot bigger metro area than 1.6M to support a team. Even teams with metro areas of 2.5M and larger are struggling. Also, most other cities have sizable populations outside their metro areas from which they can draw. Las Vegas does not. Other than Henderson, there's not another decent size town for 100 miles. High percentage growth rates are relatively easy when you start out small. No way they can maintain that as they get bigger.

Agreed, we do need >1.6MM. I am curious if it includes North Las Vegas or not. North Las Vegas is a separate city that had >115,000 people as of the Y2K census. Our isolation from other markets is a double edged sword to be sure.

TDog
01-13-2006, 08:16 PM
1) Vegas doesn't care for minor anything. I firmly believe that a top level league would thrive here, because people know they are seeing the best/highest level of that product....

Vegas wouldn't care about baseball either. Not for 162. People see growth there, but know nothing about the fight over Colorado River water that will eventually stifle it. I've been to some of those commission hearings and I'm sure the local media is covering them. They see people, but they don't see what sort of hours they work The mayor wants baseball as some sort of trophy, but cities (i.e. Miami) where baseball is having problems appear on paper to be far better baseball cities than Vegas would be.

Let Las Vegas try to host the Super Bowl if it wants spectacle. Leave the reality of being a Major League Baseball city to places where people will support a team in April, May, June, July, August and September.

TheKittle
01-13-2006, 08:34 PM
What about San Jose? The city itself is bigger than Oakland or San Francisco, and I understand it's pretty affluent. I never got the feeling that Giants or A's fans were particularly rabid, so would those living in San Jose be hard to sway with a good park and a competetive team?

I don't know the dynamics of baseball fandom in the Bay Area, so I'll leave it up to someone who knows to say why this wouldn't work.

Back in 92 the Giants tried to get SJ to build a new stadium for them. SJ voted it down the Giants came close to moving to Florida. Plus the site where the stadium was going to go used to be a dump.

It seems to me that people living in the SJ area are mostly Giants fans. They don't mind the drive or taking to the train to Pac Bell or whatever the hell it's called now.

While I wouldn't call the Bay Area fans rabid, I think Giants fans are much more passionate. They didn't want to go to Candlestick, since it was cold and it really was a pain to get to. Pac Bell is a very nice park and there are many other things to do, before and after games.

Brian26
01-13-2006, 10:20 PM
Relocation, expansion, and realignment are some of my favorite topics of offseason discussion, especially after the majority of free agent movement is complete. I think it's incredibly fun to come up with wild and crazy realignment ideas, and my latest "master realignment plan" involves relocation and expansion into some of the markets mentioned in this thread:

Havana- After Castro kicks the bucket. He can't hang on forever, can he?
Mexico City
Monterrey
Montreal
San Juan


OH brother, I'm shuddering thinking about a Farmio rant on this:

:farmer

"Chris, did you enjoy the flight in tonight? Yeah. We rolled in around 5am after leaving Havana. That's 5am Eastern Standard Time, not Eastern Daylight Time or Pacific Standard Time, but that's another rant for another day. After three delays on the runway, we finally landed in Seattle to play this make-up afternoon game, and I hardly had time to make morning mass. Now Selig's got us scheduled in Mexico City tomorrow morning for an 11am El Patriots Day game."

:slowswing

"You know, I was thinking the same thing, you know."

eastchicagosoxfan
01-13-2006, 10:24 PM
My two cents worth: New York ( I admit I haven't read every post ). The metro area has more than enough people to support a third major league team. A new team could reduce the revenues that King George has for the Yanks.

roylestillman
01-13-2006, 10:36 PM
Farmio - What uniform is Havana wearing today?

Brian26
01-13-2006, 10:42 PM
Farmio - What uniform is Havana wearing today?

Really KingXeres does the better Farmio impersonations...I leave that to him :D:

PaleHoseGeorge
01-14-2006, 11:17 AM
Metro NYC could easily support two more teams, one in NJ and the other in CT. It will never happen because neither the Yankees or Mets wants to ruin their good thing.

We would need a renegade owner like Al Davis to just do it and relocate his me-too franchise into NYC. MLB has an anti-trust exemption and could be expected to play hardball with that owner in a manner the NFL never could with Davis, but I seriously doubt they would risk losing the exemption by letting the case wind it's way through the federal courts. They'll threaten him within an inch of his life, and then quietly settle out of court.

Here's my guess: they would try to buy out the renegade owner, perhaps offering to "contract" his failing franchise. The full repercussions of the failed CBA negotiations of 2001-02 have not yet been felt. Lenin was right.


:tool
"I'm a useful idiot."