Neyer today shoots down the contraction whispers re: the A’s and Marlins. His basis: lack of necessity and politics:
What’s more, even if both franchises were utter wrecks they still wouldn’t be serious candidates for contraction. No franchise would be. It was, what, eight years ago when this spectre was first raised, regarding the Twins and the Expos? I said then that it would never happen; that Congress (among others) wouldn’t allow it, and that the owners were simply floating the notion as leverage in their negotiations with the union.
I wish I were so right about something just once or twice every year.
Well, I think he’s right again here. But even if those obstacles were hurdled, wouldn’t it make more sense for the owners to sit around a table and figure out how to help ailing franchises rather than kill them? My assumption is that the Marlins’ and A’s owners would demand something akin to the market price + hassle charge in order to give up their franchises. I’m also assuming that, since Bud has cultivated a very chummy ownership group, they’d get at least that much. So we’re talking in the hundreds of millions here.
Here’s an idea: if the owners were seriously considering pooling hundreds of millions to throw at Oakland or Miami, wouldn’t it make much more sense for them to throw it at HOK and a general contractor to build stadiums or make improvements that the their home cities don’t want to do? Rather than a public black eye and a baseball black hole, such a move would result in a nice little revenue-generator for both the home team and the rest of the league, wouldn’t it?
Or is that crazy talk?