Expos Reloading: Dismiss the Nay Sayers

It’s frustrating at times to hear some jump to conclusions about what may or may not be possible. I recently read an article that, um, ruffled my feathers. So let’s present that article, let you have a read of it, and then address some of the issues I have with it.

“The Tampa Bay Rays Are Not Moving To Montreal Any Time Soon”

First and foremost, as soon as you read that headline  you have to ask yourself this: how would you know? Are you an MLB insider who knows how motivated each side is? Are you part of city council in St-Petersburg? And if not, how in the world are you making this claim as fact?

While the article is very well written and logical in a general sense, it missed many CRITICAL points, which I decided to point out to the author on Twitter.

Here’s a rundown of the conversation.

To which I added,

And also…

If you haven’t read the article below yet, I recommend you do, because it essentially lays out the multitude of issues with the site and presents the opportunity to use development rights as a bargaining chip to get out of the Tropicana Field lease.

Finally, I pointed out the following critical note, which explains the fact that St-Petersburg has already made plans to develop the site without the Rays being in town.

The facts

The truths of it all are these:

  1. We know the Rays ownership group has icy relations with the St-Peterburg group based on two truths: (1) they sought locations to move the team elsewhere despite having been presented a solid plan by the St-Petersburg group and took three years to try to find one,  and (2) when that fell through, they couldn’t be bothered to present their answer to St-Petersburg group, deciding instead to send their response by courier.
  2. Montreal has the stadium in place to accept the Rays as early as 2020.
  3. Montreal has an ownership group that has ingredients in place to make a strong bid for a franchise and MLB’s backing in releasing their research information.
  4. Montreal still needs financing on a new stadium, something they admitted to and stated would be presented “within a few months” in December, 2018.
  5. Should the financing and stadium plans get MLB approval, and an offer to Stu Sternberg meets his approval, the Expos could return as early as 2020.

Those are the facts. It doesn’t mean that it will happen, or that it’s even better than 50/50 that it will happen. It simply means that it is possible.

Anyone who disputes this, particularly with a headline like the one posted on Forbes and noted above, would need to prove it to me, because it is completely false in my opinion.

With all due respect to Eric and his well written article, making false statements that can skew opinions and interest, instead of simply presenting it as “unlikely”, if that’s where you want to go, is disappointing and frustrating.

Rays Investing in Trop

Interestingly, the Rays also recently made the following change to Topicana Field, perhaps in hopes of seeing if some changes to the Trop itself can help attract more fans.

Investments in the site continue to take place. So no matter how you cut it, nobody knows how it’ll all shake out.


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