It’s been a while since MLB went through another expansion phase. No new teams have entered the sport since the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays came into the leagues in 1998.
That expansion brought the number of major league teams to 30, and as such, it can be said to have been incomplete. The number of teams, while even, still left MLB with a lack of balance in the composition of the leagues. The movement of teams between leagues (Milwaukee to the NL, then the Astros to the AL) tried to accommodate the lack of balance in the league structures and schedules, as did the move to introduce interleague play, but there remains, even to this day, oddities that no amount of jiggering with the division formats, unbalanced schedules, and expanded playoffs have been able to smooth out.
Baseball in Harlem: How about something more than a cameo appearance?
So another expansion, which could bring the number of teams up to a far more workable total of 32, might seem like a good idea. The sport–despite doomsaying from the short-sighted–is thriving, thanks to aggressive programs of stadium building, strong marketing efforts, some wise negotiating on both sides of the labor table, and intelligent utilization of digital media to maximize the fans’ experience.
That brings us to the obvious question: where would you put two more teams if you expand MLB today? There are a number of candidates out there for one of the two putative teams, but there’s one market that everyone seems to agree should get another team (even if everyone also says it’s impossible to place a team there for territorial reasons). Let’s, as they say, “start spreading the news.”
Continue reading A Case For The Uptown Nine
The Second Time A Clown
Karl Marx is famously quoted as saying that history repeats itself, “the first as tragedy, then as farce.” If we needed any more proof of this aphorism, we’re getting it thanks to the comedic talents of the NFL’s Louis-Napoleon, Raiders owner Mark Davis.
A story that ran this week in the SF Chronicle shows that Davis is comedy gold–a status befitting a man whose hairdo was apparently inspired by Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. Continue reading The Second Time A Clown
By now you’ve all heard the news that the Oakland Raiders will, eventually, drop the first half of that name and trade it in for the city and the brand that is Las Vegas. You’ve probably seen plenty of video clips of reactions to the news; most of those reactions from fans local to Oakland have, most likely, been a mixture of anger, sadness, disappointment, etc. No surprise there.
Las Vegas Raiders fans: a soon-to-be burgeoning breed
However, it might be illuminating to give some attention to reactions from those who, presumably, would have a more sophisticated point of view–namely, people involved in some way with the Raiders’ organization. Since I live in the East Bay, I’ve had the chance to hear some semi-official thoughts on the subject of the team’s relocation, mainly through the venue of the team’s (current) official media outlet, 95.7 The Game.
Let’s just say, some of these reactions have been “interesting,” to say the least.
Continue reading The Awful Whinge Is A Raider
In today’s pass-happy NFL, how do you stop a quarterback like Tom Brady–or any other QB for that matter?
It looked, through three quarters, like the Atlanta Falcons had that answer diagnosed and ready to go for Super Bowl LI. How did they do it? And why then did they wind up losing?
Super Bowl LI: Atlanta found the recipe…then lost it, and the game
It turns out, you stop quarterbacks today the same way it was always done back in the day: “the quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.”
Continue reading A Recipe For Quarterback Repellent
In the midst of the NFL’s TV ratings crisis, “the shield” has at least had the salve of some bit of good news: the Dallas Cowboys are still pulling in the eyeballs.
This bit of news is pertinent, since we learned recently that NBC’s Sunday Night Football is about to be renamed “The Dallas Cowboys Sunday Smile-Time Super Fun Football Hours” for at least a few consecutive weeks.
Cowboys Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott: inheritors of a long-lived tradition
Apparently, there is indeed a continuing fascination with the Cowboys that lives throughout the land, thus keeping alive the “America’s Team” moniker. Perusing these facts does lead one to ask what seems to be an important question: Why?
Continue reading America’s Teem: The Nation’s Strange Love Affair With The Cowboys