Coming soon to a city near you: MLB expansion

Coming soon to a city near you: MLB expansion

It’s always been the mantra of Rob Manfred that MLB wouldn’t look towards expansion until the stadium situations for the A’s and Rays were settled. After all, anywhere they’d award an expansion team could still be used as leverage for those teams to wrangle all the tax giveaways and government handouts they could get their grubby paws on. Or in the A’s case, to actually be the site of a relocation.

The A’s still have to survive a possible public referendum to clinch their balloon-handed deal to get to Vegas. Yesterday, a story broke that the Rays are about to announce a new downtown St. Petersburg dome that will be ready in 2028. The exact details of how the $1.2 billion edifice haven’t been released, but you can be sure it’ll fall under that famous phrase of “private-public” partnership and the citizens of Tampa-St. Pete are going to wake up one day to a front page story (if there are any newspapers left by then) expose about how much money they’re still left on the hook for.

So there wouldn’t seem to be any unstable teams around baseball. The Brewers seemingly have cinched up $700 million in improvements for Miller Park from the Wisconsin government. The Royals are bellyaching about moving out of one of the more picturesque ballparks in the country, Kauffman Stadium. While Manfred and baseball owners are capable of anything, it’s hard to see how anyone could portray the Royals current home as untenable to necessitate wooing Charlotte or Nashville or the like.

Manfred is also going to have a hard time keeping MLB owners from lusting over the free cash deposit of two $1 billion expansion fees, which is assuredly what MLB is going to be asking. The NHL’s Kraken had a $650 million one, and that’s hockey. That’s some $66 million per team, and likely not a penny of it having to go to the players, who will be somewhat sated by the 52 new jobs opening up.

With the jump to 32 teams, MLB will face a great realignment. Six divisions won’t work anymore. It is likely that MLB would try to copy the NFL and have eight divisions of four teams. The one that makes more sense, if MLB is going to continue with the two teams in each league getting a bye, would be a return to four divisions, with each division winner getting to skip the wildcard round.

There’s also been whispers that MLB might radically realign, doing away with what we know as the American League and National League and go strictly geographically. Meaning we could see the Mets and Yankees, Cubs and White Sox, Angels and Dodgers in the same division. It’s been suspected by some that the move to having all 30 teams play each other every season was inching toward this conclusion, preparing fans for the erasure of how the game has been structured for a century and a half.

However it’s going to go, the train is leaving the station shortly. It’s going to get pretty stupid.

Adam Schefter and the meaning of life

-I suppose I’m only helping Adam Schefter attain his only goal in life, which is attention through Twitter. Schefter hasn’t been anything resembling a reporter for a long while so much as a mouthpiece for GMs and agents, and occasionally an air raid siren for ESPN. He was at it again last night after Nate Chubb had his knee turned into scrambled eggs, certainly phrasing this tweet specifically to fool and then piss people off:

In the end, this is a completely useless tweet, as Schefter isn’t telling us what the injury is, even though we easily figured out it was disastrous. Whatever happened eight years ago doesn’t really apply. But it’s meant to pop eyes at first seeing the worst combination of knee injuries possible, and then pulling the rug out from under everyone, and then sending them into a rage and calling him the jerkoff that he is repeatedly which only amplifies.

He’s good at the game, it’s just a shame that it’s a game at all.

Joey Votto at his best

Anyway, we’ll cap off with Joey Votto being pretty endearing and thoughtful as he closes up what might be his last season. Though listening to this, one hopes he makes one last tour with a Reds team that’s shaping up to be pretty tasty next year:

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.