How can Philadelphia top Jay-Z and Alicia Keys?

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Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performing “Empire State of Mind” prior to Game 2 last night seemed to work out pretty well, as nearly every player from both teams congregated atop the dugout to watch, Ozzie Guillen snapped cellphone pictures from the FOX pregame show stage, and the New York crowd didn’t even boo them off the field.
All of which got me thinking that perhaps the Phillies should follow suit and have someone sing a Philadelphia-themed song prior to Game 3 tomorrow night? Of course, songs about the City of Brotherly Love aren’t quite as plentiful as songs about The Big Apple, so the Phillies may have to settle for a classic rather than a current hit.
What are the choices? I’m far from an expert on music or Philadelphia, so feel free to chime in with suggestions of your own, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
– “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John
– “Philadelphia” by Neil Young
– “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men
– “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen
Not a ton to choose from, like I said. We could expand the list to include something from Rocky or just let a band or group from Philadelphia do one of their hits that’s unrelated to the city, but that kind of defeats the purpose. My vote goes to “Philadelphia Freedom” or “Motown Philly” mostly because “Streets of Philadelphia” and “Philadelphia” are way too depressing.
Actually, my vote goes to the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cast doing a “Night Man”/”Day Man” medley–the show is on FX, so FOX could use it as a promotional vehicle–but that would probably cause Charlie Manuel’s head to explode. Plus, it might be dangerous to let Rob McElhenney get that close to Chase Utley.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”