A faithful YC reader emailed
me the other day posing a very interesting question: "If you were commissioner and were going to expand the league, what would your plan be? How many teams would you add? Which division would you put them in? What cities would host them?"
I like this question
on so many levels. For one, I'm always game for broadening people's exposure and access to the glory and pure golden magic that is baseball, and economically speaking, bringing a new team into certain areas has the potential of boosting the sad situation in some floundering cities. Of course, I also look forward to answering this delightful inquiry for the simple fact that I enjoy any fleeting moments of deluding myself into thinking I could have some control
over the goings on of the sport.
Now that Miami
has confirmed that it will be building a brand spankin' new stadium
in which the Marlins can lose for 4 years and then appear to come out of nowhere and beat the Yankees and we no longer have to ponder whether they'll be switching locales, the rest of the country is essentially up for grabs.
Twas a tad tough decision, but I've come up with a solution that I believe would satisfy fans, players, and the cities themselves.
1) Boston - NL East
: Yes, I know that Beantown already has a team, but if there's room for 2 teams in LA, Chicago, and NYC, why not Boston?
Surely there are enough people in the city to support a 2nd team fan-wise - that city is nuts for sports, don't deny it - and hopefully a rivalry between this new team and the Red Sox would ensure, or perhaps one between them and the Mets, to counter the BoSox-Yanks fights. Clearly this city does not need the economic boost a new team could possibly provide, but there's only so much I can do, folks. I haven't thought of a name for this team just yet; I will need help in that aspect. The Boston Chowderheads? The Massachusettes Tea-Haters?
I'll keep mulling this over.
2) New Orleans - AL Central:
Here's one where my economic boost plan comes into play. Those of you that are loyal readers should be well aware that my empathy and sensitivity towards others far
surpasses that of 99.99% of "normal people" (I've been known to burst into tears at the very thought of a homeless person, have given food that I had just purchased moments before for myself
[perhaps this is why I am now sitting in the hospital being made to drink ensure
...yes, I am impugning hobos as the cause of my illness!], and a few times have gotten back on the freeway in the opposite direction
just so I could the turn around and re-exit in the proper lane to give cash to whichever homeless gentleman was manning the off-ramp at that time), so I feel that a new team in NoLA could be a positive thing (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can't do it all on their own). I'm putting them in the AL central because I think the division needs a shakeup. Until the Tigers magically got good a couple years ago there wasn't much to say about the division. Maybe the "New Orleans FEMA Disaster
" (I'm not married
to the name; I'm open to suggestions) could become rivals with the Royals.
3) Las Vegas - AL West:
The top reason for choosing this division for my new Vegas team is that I have long held a resentment towards the fact that the blasted division has just 4 teams.
While I understand the fact that the league must be made up of even
numbers of teams, that doesn't stop me from losing sleep over the discrepancy. With 5 teams in the ALW, the competition for division winner can be amped up and it makes sense geographically, too. As for choosing Ls Vegas as the primo location, I believe with all the sinful tourism,
a shiny new ballpark and a glittery new ball team would prove to be yet another fine destination for those sinners, right along with that frightening roller coaster and the bevy of hookers (I'm sorry ladies, I meant "escorts"). The only foreseeable problem here is that since Vegas is primarily a tourist destination, recruiting hard core fans could prove troublesome. However, I'm confident that the poker dealers, pimps, and chronic gamblers can join in with the tourists to support the team, which I've tentatively named "The Vegas Craps".
4) Tijuana - NL West:
We tried to get Canadian troops rallied
for some sweet baseball action, but even though the Blue Jays have maintained a relatively healthy fan base (largely, I'm sure, due to the Clemens/World Series heyday) the overall Canadian reaction has been dismal (poor Youppi). On the other hand, the league has been remiss in looking southward for expansion
. The Latin community is rife with both aficionados and potential talent. What's more, T.J. definitely
fits the bill when it comes to areas in need of an economic shakeup!
As for location, TJ is perfect for the NL West--it's even closer to San Diego than SD is to LA. As for naming the team, I'm finding myself unable to come up with anything that doesn't sound remotely (unintentionally of course!! The YC is an equal opportunity employer, dater, fan, writer, etc.!!) racist. Maybe "The TJ Politically Correct Ambiguous Mexican Reference
" will have to suffice.
Whew! This turned into quite a lengthy read. If you'd think that being in a hospital would leave you bored and with a lot of time to write baseball crap* you'd be 100% correct.
If you actually read this whole thing, pat yourself on the back and then join me in discussing the pros and cons of my choices
down in the comments section.*if you have any suggestions for things I should write about whilst I rot in boredom, please email me.