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Lies! Deceit! Contraction!
Since this is apparently a Conan skit “The Year 2000”, MLB baseball is talking Contraction!
Well…not all of baseball, just White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf was at a fundraiser in Chicago Wednesday night for the Israeli baseball team, who’s attempting to make the 2013 World Baseball Classic. While speaking at this fundraiser, he decided to tackle the issue of contraction. :
"I don't see any baseball expansion right now," he said. "If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don't think expansion [is] on the horizon."
When fans yelled, "What two teams?" Reinsdorf clammed up.
"I have a habit of getting myself into trouble," he said. "I just did yesterday. So I'm not going to (get in trouble)."
Of course he wouldn’t comment on the valid question of “well who the hell would you contract?” because it points to one obvious team: the White Sox.
Back when contraction talk was “in”, we focused on two teams: the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos. At the time, the Expos were owned by the league, and the Twins were in a dumpy stadium, along with ownership issues of their own. Well the Expos are now the Nationals, who have a practically brand new stadium and are one of – if not the - most exciting young teams in the league. They’re not going anywhere. The other team, the Twins, are struggling mightily, however they too just received a new stadium and aren’t a threat to be contracted.
So Jerry, what other teams would you consider?
Marlins? New stadium and an owner who’s dedicated to spending money on talent.
Padres? New stadium and farm system loaded with talent.
Mariners? Maybe! So hey, there’s…maybe half of one team! Although they have a dedicated fan base, a beautiful ballpark that’s barely a decade old, and a city that will riot if it loses another beloved team.
There’s really only two teams you could see contracting (if you can see any happening at all…which I can’t) and that’s the Oakland A’s (even though they’re much more likely a candidate to move to San Jose than be contracted) and Jerry’s White Sox. Think about it: their stadium is kind of old and crappy, poor finances and dwindling fan support.
You might be onto something here, Jerry!