Tag Archives: RBI Program

A Case For The Uptown Nine

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.

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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

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A Manfred For A New Season

Baseball diehards have had February 19 circled on their calendars for months now; that’s the day Spring Training opens. But only the most diehard of the diehards had January 25 circled. That was the day Rob Manfred took over as Commissioner of Baseball, relieving us at last from the burden of having Bud Selig as the game’s figurehead.

What should Manfred’s top priority be now that he is the Commissioner? Here’s a suggestion: hoping and praying that last fall’s run by the Royals wasn’t a fluke. Continue reading A Manfred For A New Season