Montreal: a successful weekend, but what did it get them?

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The Expos drew over 90,000 people to two exhibition games involving two pretty pedestrian teams over the weekend. That has Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post assessing where that places Montreal on the continuum of cities without Major League Baseball. He notes that MLB officials were quite pleased with what they saw, but …

And for the foreseeable future, moving beyond the stalking horse phase — the phase where baseball can use Montreal’s name to shake money from cities nervous about losing their teams — will be difficult for Montreal.

That’s the real takeaway here, I feel. At least from baseball’s point of view. Gaining a city that can serve as a plausible alternative for current teams if and when they want to try to shake sweet stadium deals away from their cities. Washington D.C. served in that role for years, but eventually did get a team. Las Vegas, Portland and various places in North Carolina aren’t nearly as attractive as that, or as Montreal could be, in the event someone needs to bluff a move.

Most people in Montreal,I imagine, don’t want to play that role given how their team was taken away under such circumstances. But there’s no escaping that this past weekend — in addition to being an enjoyable one for a lot of baseball-staved folks in the city — put it on the map for such uses.

Behold: The new Marlins logo

Marlins
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The Marlins have not released their new uniform design — at least not yet — but they did release their new logo today. That’s it up top. It’s not too bad? Here’s the secondary logo, which you could maybe imagine on a cap?

The logo appears at the end of the video below which is, until the final few seconds, not about baseball at all. It’s about Miami. A “this is our town” promotional thing which takes you on a tour and shows you people and the culture of the city.

A lot of times when sports teams do this stuff it seems somewhat contrived, but I think it’s pretty cool here. The Marlins have almost never sent much of a “we are a part of our community” message. Jeff Loria lived in New York for Pete’s sake and, of course, they infamously consider themselves a foreign corporation for legal purposes. Before this, the most they ever seemed to want out of Miami is tax subsidies and to be left the hell alone.

You can’t just market your way into a community — and the Marlins have a long way to go before they can earn back any sort of trust from baseball fans in Miami —  but the fact that they are at least trying to make themselves part of the Miami community is probably worth something.

Anyway: