Once again, Maury Brown brings some reality (click to read the full article) to the hysteria revolving around the Rays and the talks about contraction.
Bill Madden of the NY Daily News has been known to write a column or two about how Major League Baseball and its desire to dissolve clubs that have seen lackluster attendance through contraction. In 2009, it was Oakland and Florida (A's, Marlins could be goners as contraction looms), and most recently a story touting “The Wave of the Future” that would see the A’s and Rays contracted and with it, major changes in the Divisions (Realignment may be coming to Major League Baseball and here's how it could look)
That was Madden, a Hall of Fame writer known to be well connected with the league, and therefore, it was possible to pass it off as one writer making noise for Bud Selig to get new stadiums built.
But, yesterday, the topic moved from one writer to two as Mike Ozanian of Forbes jumped into the fray (Contraction Looming For Tampa Bay Rays). Ozanian, a stalwart of Forbes and colleague changes the dynamic: it’s no longer a one man show on the topic of contraction, meaning MLB appears to be serious about getting the word out. As Ozanian writes:
Groundswell [is] building in Major League Baseball to dump the Tampa Bay Rays. From what I am hearing, I doubt there will be any baseball at Tropicana Field after 2014 even though the team’s lease runs to 2027.
There may be a “want” for contraction in Major League Baseball – maybe even a need – but even Ozanian said to me, it will be no easy feat.
One could say, chances are nearly impossible.