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Thread: The New Jersey Rays?

  1. #1
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    The New Jersey Rays?

    http://www.nesn.com/2010/01/tampa-ba...ew-jersey.html

    The Tampa Bay Rays may not be able to afford staying in Florida much longer. NESN baseball analyst Peter Gammons reports on MLB.com that the Rays eventually could be forced to move to a more profitable market.

    With spring training drawing closer and teams putting the finishing touches on rosters, Tampa Bay faces a bigger challenge than filling in its second-base hole. While the Rays have enjoyed success against big-market teams such as New York (Yankees), Philadelphia and Boston, their on-field success has not translated into revenue.

    "There are smart people in the Major League Baseball offices wondering if there's hope of even discussing a potential move of the Rays to New Jersey or Southern Connecticut over certain protests from the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and Phillies," writes Gammons on MLB.com.

    Prior to the 2008 season, the Rays were ranked last or close to last in MLB attendance every year since 2000. The 2008 AL pennant only produced an average of 6,000 more fans per game at Tropicana Field. The less-than-stellar increase still tethers Tampa Bay to the bottom of the MLB attendance report.

    Tampa Bay's baseball history has been an uphill battle from the beginning. When the MLB first looked to Tampa to begin a franchise, city officials of nearby, less-populated St. Petersburg resurrected the Florida Suncoast Dome against the wishes of the league. The Florida Suncoast Dome became the ThunderDome before becoming Tropicana Field.

    Unfortunately, the story is not a "rags to riches" tale. After a struggle to find tenants, the eventual 1998 dawn of the Rays and even the American League title did not mark the end of the rocky road. Still, people are unwilling to travel to the area.

    "The Trop is stuck in a place that no one east of Tampa -- such as the Orlando market -- will drive to" writes Gammons on MLB.com.

    Gammons extends the issue across Florida, citing the Marlins as another strong organization that lacks a following, ranking No. 29 for 2009 attendance. The South Florida team is hoping that "location, location, location" solves its problems, with a new, more accessible stadium close to I-95 and Florida's Turnpike scheduled to open in 2012.

    If locality is not the brunt of the problem with Florida baseball, it may be the state’s poor economy and foreclosures, all cited by Gammons.

    "The Marlins and Rays share a broader issue -- Florida,” writes Gammons on MLB.com. “Yes, it's South Beach and Worth Avenue, St. Pete Beach and Siesta Key. It's also Orville Triebwasser's House of Taxidermy and Fort Lonesome, the Fossil Museum and miles and miles and miles and miles of cattle and hurricane remnants and foreclosures."

    According to the Bleacher Report's JC La Torre, the economy has hit Florida as hard as other areas of the country, but the Rays’ low attendance problem is more complex than just tough times. He believes that if Major League Baseball truly cares about the teams in Florida, it will stop holding spring training in Florida. The area's inhabitants -- most of whom have relocated from other parts of the country -- have former team allegiances. Being able to see their teams in Florida for spring training, why would they make the crossover to root for the Rays?
    To make matters worse, WFTV-TV reported that politician Armando Gutierrez has discussed moving a baseball team to Orlando. The Milwaukee Brewers, who were mentioned as a possible option, have since refuted the suggestion of their potential relocation. But the possibility of a neighboring team poses even more turbulence -- and competition -- for the Rays in Florida.
    I'm thinking there would be some great tie ins with that great program Jersey Shore. I mean surely "Snooky" could throw out a first pitch. Maybe they could sign "Situation'' to play 1B right?

    In all seriousness, the passing comment at the end about the Brewers moving to Orlando seemed most odd. Orlando has to be territorial to the Rays right?

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  3. #2
    Public Enemy #1 Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Just when I leave Jersey, that's when they potentially get a team? Fail.


    Come to Charlotte, Rays.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  4. #3
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    I can't picture under any circumstances Jersey or CT being a viable option. Have they not seen what has happened to the Nets?? Granted, they suck, but people in Jersey root for either the Phillies or the Yanks/Mets. Too much competition. And CT would be worse with the Sox/Yanks. Any further east would be Sox country for sure. I think a better option may be to try for somewhere in North Carolina.

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    Member tripleaaaron's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    What about the obvious, just move the Rays to Orlando. Problem solved.
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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Mexico City Rays....
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  7. #6
    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Mexico City Rays....
    Dominican Republic?
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

  8. #7
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    The Dominican Republic has the fans, but not the money to sustain an ML franchise.
    Mexico probably doesn't even have the fans.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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  9. #8
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Havana Rays.

    Gotta open Cuba up first, though.

  10. #9
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by tripleaaaron View Post
    What about the obvious, just move the Rays to Orlando. Problem solved.
    I have thought that as well. I have spent a bot of time there over the past few years and the area was hit very hard by the housing crash and I don't know if they could or would support a Major League team. It would probably be a better option than Tampa though.

    Moving out of Florida is probably the best choice though...Charlotte, Portland, Jersey, Sacramento??
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  11. #10
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Having lived in Florida for a long while, he's got a point about the inherent "loyalties" difficulty of building a fan base, especially when so many teams train in the area. On the other hand, the Rays never gave themselves a chance. The first ten years was nothing but bad teams in a bad ballpark on the wrong side of the bay. One strong year isn't going to undo that.

    As for the Marlins, they were doing fine until after 1997, although the ballpark location was going to become an issue eventually. But having poisoned the well twice, they also have a long road back.
    Not all who wander are lost

  12. #11
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    we live in a global 21rst century world. i have said for a while that two teams that draw poorly could go to Tokyo Japan & Seoul South Korea. yes, there would be time zone issues but it could be huge for baseball.
    .

  13. #12
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Mexico probably doesn't even have the fans.
    With a population of 19.8 million, I'm thinking 30K a night isn't an unreasonable expectation.....
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  14. #13
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Tampa is a large metro area, if they can't make it there then Orlando and the rest of the usual suspects are out of the question too.

    Kill em off.
    Go Gators!

  15. #14
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    I'm for anything that dilutes the Northeast market, particularly if the teams stay in the same division.

  16. #15
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: The New Jersey Rays?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    With a population of 19.8 million, I'm thinking 30K a night isn't an unreasonable expectation.....

    But they would have to pay major league prices if they are paying major league talent. Otherwise they might as well stay in Tampa.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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