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  • #16
    Originally posted by aqib View Post
    I think there was one in 1997 when the O'Malley's announced they were selling. If I recall correctly they bid more than Fox did but were turned down.
    Any franchise relocation would come as an absolute last resort. MLB isn't going to let the Dodgers move unless no other viable ownership group is found in L.A.. If the team is taken away from McCourt and MLB owns the team you can bet that they will keep the team in L.A. until a local buyer is found. BTW, there are already at least 5 groups already lined up to make bids on the team as soon as McCourt is out.
    I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game.
    - Walt Whitman

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    • #17
      Oh I don't dispute that the only way you would see the franchise itself relocate anywhere is if there was some sort of natural disaster that made the city of LA borderline uninhabitable. I beleive thats how the story went in the book "The Man Who Brought The Dodgers Back to Brooklyn"

      There was a lot of hype in the NY area when Peter O'Malley announced the team was for sale, I recall a committee being formed to make a bid. I recall the NY Post having the headline "Bring 'Em Back" and a few editorials in the papers. Also it was the lead story on local news channels. The hype faded fast. Now I am hazy on the details because its been 14 years and if anyone has any better recollection of this please chime in. But from what I recall Governor Pataki appointed a few people to work on it. The committee included Roger Kahn and Bruce Ratner (who was behind the move of the Nets to Brooklyn). There was some talk that they had bid more than Fox did but Peter O'Malley had placed a priority on owners who would keep the team in SoCal.

      Now I think everyone agrees that the boat has long sailed on any opportunity for the return of the franchise to Brooklyn. It is damn near impossible for a franchise to move now, especially if there are interested local buyers and while NY could easily support 3 teams its doubtful that an NL franchise would be located in Brooklyn. If a team was moved to Brooklyn it would be an AL team (due to the Mets being right next door). I could see Tampa or Oakland making the move since they have stadium issues and both of those teams could be acquired on the cheap. If a team was to move to North Jersey it would be in the NL.

      However, while we all recognize that its not going to happen, whats the harm in harm in kicking around the fantasy for a few minutes in the midst of our stressful work days?

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      • #18
        The thought just hit me. I'm a fan of Soccer and follow the MLS as well as the Premier League. If baseball ran itself like the Premier League and the rest of Europe, all this talk about the Dodgers moving back would be mute since there'd probably be a Major League team in Brooklyn by now or at the very least a Brooklyn team trying to move up to "Major League status" in the top league. Imagine the fun it would be if say the Brooklyn Cyclones could advance to high A ball if they won the Penn League Championship. Then if they won at high A ball they move up to Double A and so forth until they made it to the top. Imagine the fan enthusiasm and passion that would generate.

        It's kind of a shame that MLB can dictate to fans and cities whether they are "major League" or not.

        I think baseball would be a lot more interesting if every professional team was really its own true business entity rather than just being a part of one huge company.
        New York (N.L.)
        1888, 1889, 1904, 1905, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1954, 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000

        Brooklyn (N.L.)
        1890, 1899, 1900, 1916, 1920, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956

        New York (A.A.) 1884 Brooklyn (A.A.) 1889

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        • #19
          Well I've been away and couldn't respond. Let me make it very clear, I am not an apologist or relative of Bob Moses. He was clearly a despicable human beingt who had a lot to answer for when he met his maker. But I continue to believe his role in the theft of the Brooklyn franchise is overrated for several reasons.

          1. I don't question he didn't like the O'Malley (very few people did). And would not have gone out of his way to help him but....what should a public servant do when he is asked to do something that is unlawful? Nobpdu ever says yes they understand NY eminent domain laws prohibited him from doing and meeting the O'Malley's requests.

          2.; Then there are those who say well he could have as he had violated these laws countless times in the past. I can't find one example where Moses condemned private property to hand to another private indiv idual against his free will. You can argue with the decsions Moses made but in each case they were for what he considered (and most wouyld have to grudgingly admit) were the public benefit in terms of the infra structure of this region.

          3. Even if Moses had agreed (and it is very interesting reading the defense he made in Sports Illustrated in August 1957 which can be found with a quick google search), the experience of Bruce Ratner show there would have been lawsuits up the gazoo holding up the project for at least 5 years. With the immoral LA offer in his back pocket, does anybody think the O'Malley would have waited?

          4. And while hind sight is always 20/20, was Moses really wrong that the best place for the Brooklyn franchise for its fans so many of who had moved to nearby Nassau County to fulfill the American dream of owning their own home witnh a 2 car garage or to Queens, that the best location for the franchise was Flushing Meadow. A very beneficial lease was eventually negotiated with the Mets; that should have been the Dodgers. And before this Madoff/McCourt madness started, the Met franchise was worth more than the Los Angeles National League team playing in Flushing.

          So before people say I don't know what I'm talking about, specific answers please or better yet specific opinions.

          The villains in the piece clearly were the O'Malley and the Commissioner of baseball who failed to act in the best in tertests of baseball at the very least by ruling the Los Angeles National League franchise was a new franchise and the records and achievements the Brooklyn Dodgers (and the New York Giants) were to stay in New York. Even today, it grieves me to hear the Los Angeles National League team, no longer controlled by the O'Malley family claim credit for Jacke Robinson. The O'Malley got rid of Robinson to the hated rivals the Giants. And it grives me despite his other shortcomings, and there are many, the villification Fred Wilpon gets over such things as the Jackie Robinson rotunda at Citi Field. The Mets have far more claim on Robinson's loegacy than does the LA National League team. And for those who criticize Wilpon for this, do remember several of tyhe newspapers criticized Wilpon for not naming the Stadium for Robinson and taking the deal from Citigroup. It is the Mets who have all the legacies of the NL players that performed in NY. LA is entitiled to its history and I'll even give them Drysdale and Koufax who had their best year in LA although they played in Brooklyn. But the Duke, Hodges, Furillo, Campy, Reese are BROOKLYN Dodgers while Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Christy Matheson are NEW YORK Giants and should be honored by the Mets who represent NY National League baseball. Both imposter organization on the left coast long ago gave up these legacies.
          Last edited by MATHA531; 06-29-2011, 03:30 PM.

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          • #20
            I have always believed that when O'Malley first decided that he wanted a new ballpark (probably started thinking about it in the 40's sometime before he even had full control of the club) that he probably wanted it in Brooklyn, but would have accepted the site the Mets eventually wound up with, the Shea Stadium site. As the years went by though... he saw the Boston Braves move to Milwaukee and enjoy monster success (in a much larger ballpark than most NL teams had) in the early years, he saw Ebbets Field get more rundown by the year, he saw the fans moving to Long Island and more and more of those depending on cars rather than public transit. Ebbets Field, from all I have read, had a very limited amount of parking spaces.

            I have always felt that somewhere between acquiring full control in 1950 and selling Ebbets Field to the Kratter Corp. in 1955 (which should have been an atomic bomb of a dire warning signal to the fan base ) O'Malley decided he didnt really want to build or stay in Brooklyn and decided to ask for things he *knew* Moses couldn't or wouldn't deliver. "Forcing his hand" in effect. Giving him the pretext he was really after so he could go to Los Angeles. He saw the "Milwaukee Effect" for lack of a better term, working for the Braves and figured whoever reached America's 3rd largest city (today second) with MLB and a new large ballpark first was going to get an even bigger bonanza, He couldn't have foreseen how the Mets would do in Flushing Meadow. There were no Mets. But what he COULD see.... he liked. And except for his pay TV fiasco, which was an idea ahead of its time technically, I am sure he never was sorry (financially) that he made the move.

            I know the team isnt coming back to Brooklyn but it would sure be interesting to see some billionaire with NYC-Brooklyn leanings put in a huge bid for the club if MLB succeeds in what they HAVE GOT to REALLY want to do badly, which is force McCourt out and get a stable owner in there. It's not like "Dodger" (insert new corporate name here) Stadium in LA would sit empty for long. It's a great ballpark for baseball and there is LOT that could be done to it that McCourt hasnt ever really done to make it more like a modern day "mallpark" (Not my first choice as a purist and traditionalist, but thats where we are today in baseball economics, unfortunately.) And I doubt most people in LA would even care that much if a different team came in and took over.

            It would be interesting to see someone sue MLB to overturn the ridiculous 1922 Supreme Court ruling that "baseball is a sport not a business, its not interstate commerce and is therefore exempt from anti-trust laws" (thats a paraphrase). That decision is totally laughable, I can't imagine anything that fits the definition of interstate commerce better than big-time professional sports. Without that exemption, I believe MLB would not be able to reserve and control "territories" such as NY-Brooklyn-NJ & shield the Yankees and Mets from competition.

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            • #21
              One other point is always omitted...Dodger attendance at Ebbets Field could hardly be described as poor despite all of its inadequacies. I believe their attendance was second in the NL behind Milaukee in 1956. And again with perfect 20/20 hindsight, we can see Milwaukee attendance was just a temporary spurt. But even more importantly, the Dodgers were still making more money than any team in baseball thanks to their tv/radio contracts and peripherals that went with them. People may not realize as most people alive today were not around in 1957 (my age is showing here) but in 1957, there was no cable television. There was no ESPN. There was no Sports Center. To watch television, you had to rely on line of sight (antenas)....and NYC had the most VHF television it could have namely seven channels (UHF had even less carrier strength). We had channels 2,4,5,7,9,11,13. We could not have more and crowd out the Philadelphia and Connecticut signals. In 1957, just like today, channels 2,4,5, and 7 were network flagships (channel 5 was the flagship of something called the Dumont Network which played a very strong role in the development of NFL telecasts and also carried my favorite show as a kid,k Captain Video and his Video Rangers. In any event, channel 13 was really assigned to Newark and remained for the most part outside the mainstream of New York television. That left only channels 9 and 11 for sports. And the Dodgers, just like two decades earlier with Larry Macphail, got there first. By the mid 50's, channel 9 and the Dodgers were synomous. All home games were televised as well as 2/3 of the road games. (Another 11 games on the road did not need to be televised as the Giants televised them from the Polo Grounds). Close to 140 of the 154 games were on FREE absolutely FREE television. Add to that Happy Felto's knothole gamg show before home games, his post game, the radio rights and the O'Malley was bringing in a pretty penny, something Milwaukee could not come close to matchng so don't give me this garbage about Dodger revenue as compared to Milwaukee.

              The Yankees and Giants had no choice but to share channel 11 for home games only. Thus we never saw a Giant road games except the 11 games they played in Brookyn televised on channel 9 and we hardly ever saw a Yankee road game (the Giants played a lot of mid week afternoon games and so the Yankees could squeeze in a road telecast from time to time). It's symboolic of the greedy nature of the O'Malley that he wanted to take the games off free television and make people pay for them to garner even more revenue (and of course as soon as he got to Los Angeles, he took all games off television, as a show of love for his new fans in LA and for years after that only televised the 11 games in SF.).

              Was Ebbets Field falling apart. Yes (although part of that was the Dodgers fault one would have to say). Was Ebbets Field well served by public transportation? I would say it was adequate but what is today the #2 and #5 subway trains stopped at Sterling Street, a short walk from EF and what is today the Q and the B stopped as Prospect Park a short walk from EF. There was the #41, #49 buses, the #47 and #48 trolley buses which stopped within a couple of blocks but.......there was no highway anywhere near (nor was there and remains so today near Atlantic/Flatbush).

              Well I'm really getting too old to keep engaging in all these debates; I know it's a losing battle. Too many people have come to accept the revisionist history about the wonderful, classy Wallter O'Mally making some very reasonable requests of Bob Moses (in his article Moses claims to have met the O'Malley's demands would have const $10,000,000 in 1956, today over $150,000,000 and that doesn't include the highways that would have had to have been built...was it fair to sock all of NYC's taxpayers with that bill so a greedy individual could haver his own ballpark (which incidentally would have been for the Dodgers only)?

              What NL fans in NY is their history predating the Mets. Pee Wee, the Duke, Gil, Campy were BROOKLYN Dodgers. Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Bobby Thomson were NEW YORK Giants. They have no more to do with the current left coast organizations than does Walter Johnson have to do with the Washington Nationals or even the Minnesota Twins or Texas Rangers. And does Jimmy Foxx have any connection with the Oakland Athletics? At least Johnny Unitas had the good sense to tell Mr. Irsay to go take a hike before he died and would have nothing to do with the Indianapolis Colts; he cast his lost with another set of carpetbaggers, the Ravens, but at least the Baltimore connection was there.

              And as I have further maintained, and will always do so,k the Commissioner of baseball, Mr. Ford C. Frick, the closet Yankee fan who told the Brooklyn fans a la Marie Antoinette to go eat cake (root for the Yankees) got his come uppance too. Although I cannot quantify it, the theft of the Brooklyn franchise (and to a loesser extent the Giants) helped pave the way for the accession of NFL as America's sport. How can I prove this. The timeline proves it. The NFL Giants won the NFL championship in 1956 and while I can't say nobody cared, it was not such a big deal. By 1958, note the timeline, the Giants had become very in with the advertisers on Madison Avenue. No doubt to some extent due to the many NY NL fans who became Giant fans and began flocking to Connecticut on Sundays to watch blacked out Giant home games. The timeline is there for anybody to see.

              Again, it's just too bad that so many people of today consider the Los Angeles National League team one of the class teams of baseball in describing their bankruptcy. Couldn't happen to a more classless organization. I wish them nothing but the worse.

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              • #22
                O'Malley taking games off of free TV for a pay-per-view system sounds exactly like what Bill Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, did in the early 90s with HawkVision (at $29.95 a month, no less). His father, Arthur, had taken all Blackhawk home games off TV to protect the interests of season ticket holders, and it wasn't until 3 or 4 years ago that they started broadcasting home games on local free TV.

                The Wirtz's did all sorts of things to cut costs, and the product on ice reflected that. I think Bill started to right the ship before he died of cancer in 2007, though.

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                • #23
                  I agree completely that the revisionism aimed at making Robert Moses the villain of the story is garbage. D'Antonio and Shapiro should both be forced to read Henry Fetter's chapter in "Taking On The Yankees" and come up with a straight answer for a change on how the economic reality of turning over Atlantic Avenue to O'Malley would have been something other than a corporate welfare sweetheart deal.

                  However, the modern day villification of Fred Wilpon for trying to promote Dodger history at the expense of Mets history is entirely justified IMO.

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