Friday, February 17, 2006

The contraction rumor has reared its head again. Apparently, there's a clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows MLB to contract two teams for the 2007 season as long as they're announced by July 1.

The obvious candidates: Minnesota, Kansas City, Washington, Florida, Tampa Bay and Colorado.

My guesses: Washington and Florida, but with a twist. Washington is the easy choice; MLB already owns them and they have no ballpark agreement, so it doesn't cost anything to contract them. Florida has no agreement yet, isn't likely to get one and is fielding a team that's barely AAA this year.

The twist? Minnesota moves to northern Virginia. Carl Pohlad is 90 and doesn't care, and there's virtually no hope of the Twins getting a new ballpark in the next couple of years. The Twins move to Norfolk, which puts them far enough from DC that Peter Angelos calms down but not too far away to draw some DC fans. The problem is, of course, that they would need to be moved to the AL East, and the AL Central would need a new team (probably the Toronto Blue Jays, who would be extremely close to Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland.) The Pittsburgh Pirates would move to the NL East to make it a 4-team division and get the NL Central down to 5 teams.

If they don't contract two National League teams, then someone has to move to the American League. The only real candidate for that would be the Milwaukee Brewers, who moved out of the AL following the 1998 expansion (to avoid having two 15-team leagues.)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Yeah, so I haven't had time for that Cardinal season analysis. Maybe once Spring Training gets started.

The WBC starts in less than one month, and as soon as the Olympics end I expect the ESPN promotion machine to swing into action and push the hell out of it.

Fantasy baseball will be starting soon as well, so I'll be doing some sort of preview/draft recap of that as well. I might write out the Fantasy Baseball Manifesto too.