In Forbes, Mike Ozanian writes about how a “groundswell is building” to contract the Tampa Bay Rays. Read it if you want, but it’s a load of horse hockey.
The arguments are not new. The counterarguments — which I offered here, here and here in the last month and which Maury Brown sharply offers again today — put lie to the notion. As we’ve said time and again, contraction is not happening. Not now. Not unless or until there is a severe financial crisis in baseball, and we’re on another planet from that right now. It would cost MLB owners over a billion dollars to pull it off in order to, what, save a few million here or there? It would lead to a knock-down-drag-out fight with both the MLBPA and multiple governments, all of which would severely impact the brand and potentially the cash flow of baseball at a time when everyone — even the people who run the poor teams — are getting rich. To suggest that the Lords of the Game would subject themselves to this now is beyond ridiculous.
The Forbes piece is echo chamber nonsense. It is being perpetuated either by someone who does not understand the economics and politics of baseball or someone who is willingly carrying water for Major League owners looking to get some sort of a negotiating edge in the current round of CBA talks. There is no way it’s happening now.
Please bookmark this and re-read it in the next 48 hours as other news sources pounce on the Forbes piece and pass it along with little if any critical thought.