Will the TB Rays become this generation’s Brooklyn Dodgers?

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4 thoughts on “Will the TB Rays become this generation’s Brooklyn Dodgers?

  1. For the life of me, I don't know why there are still professional sports teams in Florida. Tampa Bay is better than Miami I guess, but not by much.

  2. LarryAtIIATMS

    Brien, there are successful sports teams in Florida. The NBA Heat and Magic are the 12th and 13th most valuable NBA franchises, according to Forbes. That puts them in decent company (Celtics are 8th, Spurs are 10th, 76ers are 14th). In football, while Jacksonville is ranked dead last by Forbes, Tampa Bay is ranked 13th and Miami 16th — both of these teams are ranked ahead of such bedrock NFL franchises as the Steelers (17th) and 49ers (22nd). In hockey, the Florida story is not as good, but Tampa Bay is ranked by Forbes ahead of the Capitals and Blues, and even the Panthers are ranked ahead of the Islanders.

    You'll probably argue that these sports are not comparable to baseball, and I'd agree. It will be interesting to see how the Miami public reacts to a new stadium. Ultimately, I'll side with Mark at The Rays Area (our Tampa SweetSpot affiliate), who believes that Tampa Bay will support a baseball team playing at a better location. But I won't bet the house that he's right.

  3. Larry,

    If your mortgage looks like mine, maybe you SHOULD bet the house! Just kidding. I do think Tampa Bay can and will support a Major League Baseball team and I don't think that 12 seasons is enough to decide one way or another.

    I posted about Golenbock's story. I think it is pretty lazy of Golenbock to try and compare the Rays' situation to the Dodgers'. It is just totally different.


    • LarryAtIIATMS

      I knew I was smart not to side against you!

      I don't know the history of the Dodgers move to LA. But Major League Baseball has an unofficial, unstated policy of trying to get taxpayers and municipalities to absorb the cost of building new baseball stadiums. It's an ugly process, where the worst aspects of the political system are exploited for private ends, with varying results. Teams threaten to pack up and leave; fan bases and entire neighborhoods are disparaged, and at the end of the day precious state and local resources are spent (or squandered) to build expensive ballparks (full of private luxury suites) for little or no public benefit. In my role here as thinker of great thoughts about baseball economics and revenue sharing, I've wondered whether revenue sharing $$ should be used to pay for new ballparks. But realistically, baseball will not pay for new construction so long as they can get someone else to pay for it.

      So, Golenbock's piece was just part of the noise we can expect to hear about construction of something to replace the Trop.

      But what I resented about Golenbock's piece was the idea that the Rays' talk about cutting payroll is just noise designed to get someone to build the team a new stadium. Or that a team in a small market can sustain a championship level club when for whatever reason attendance and gate receipts are well below league average. Sure, the Rays could sign Carl Crawford and lose money in 2011, and Sternberg's net worth would not be severely affected. To be honest, I think that this is exactly what happened in 2010, and 2009, and I've written here in detail the reasons why I think so.

      Mark, you're right, there is no obvious city where the Rays might relocate. But the point here is bigger. Sternberg's decision to cut payroll is a sound business decision. He has every right to make it. Bashing Sternberg as a latter-day O'Malley is completely unfair.

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