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The Expos: Five Years Later

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  • Paul Wendt
    replied
    There is a lot of optimism here.

    Have minor league and/or independent pro baseball expanded in Quebec province this decade? What about Ottawa and Northern New England? I would guess the opposite if forced to guess, but only if forced.


    It seemed ironic to me and many others about eight years ago, when SABR members in Quebec province finally organized a formal chapter of the society and greatly increased their number, after it was evident that the Expos would shut down --or would be shut down.

    It does seem easy to understand in retrospect. I've heard it said that sabrmetrics owes MLB thank you for the work of Tom Tango, at least for its dissemination by internet. Time is limited and losing a major league ballclub must provoke some fans to reconsider following the current season as a fan.

    Paul Wendt
    co-founder, SABR Boston
    (the left hand man of the founder)
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 01-07-2010, 01:41 PM.

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  • tinseltown
    replied
    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
    Canada doesn't end at the Manitoba border. Quebec and Southern Ontario are not all there is to Canada.
    Of course not, and that's why I was contradicting your statement that Canada is the Jays' "media playground". I was however acknowledging the fact that national broadcasters nonetheless choose to broadcast the Jays coast-to-coast, not necessarily out of interest, but because the relative sizes of the markets make that the most profitable choice. Put it another way: until recently, CBC had largely stopped broadcasting Habs games in Montreal and showed Leafs games. This was not an indication that Quebec was the Leafs' playground; it was just a decision made to save money.

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  • Imgran
    replied
    Originally posted by tinseltown View Post
    Yes, but I believe the most significant portion of the market share upon which the ad dollars are based is from southern Ontario. Put another way, the tiny handful of viewers from Quebec don't affect the national share number. Everything in Canada is scaled down from the U.S., including ad and regional sports network revenue. That being said, it's quite true the Jays need to do better at managing their talent.
    Canada doesn't end at the Manitoba border. Quebec and Southern Ontario are not all there is to Canada. I know there aren't a TON of people in Caanada, but there's more than in most MLB teams' media fiefdoms.

    Put another way, granted Canada is smaller than the US, but when the US market is broken into 29 pieces, Canada can probably compete favorably with any one of them if it really tries, right?

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  • tinseltown
    replied
    Originally posted by Bitter Fan View Post
    Toronto is owned by a gigantic media conglomerate and their games are broadcast nationwide
    Yes, but I believe the most significant portion of the market share upon which the ad dollars are based is from southern Ontario. Put another way, the tiny handful of viewers from Quebec don't affect the national share number. Everything in Canada is scaled down from the U.S., including ad and regional sports network revenue. That being said, it's quite true the Jays need to do better at managing their talent.

    Honestly if the Jays could ever put a good offensive year, a good defensive year and a good pitching year together at the same time
    I exaggerate a bit, but the difference is while most teams need almost everything to go right to be in contention, the Yankees and Sox need almost everything to go wrong to be out of contention (though one of the big things they need to do right is to do a half-decent job at selecting the player mix they need).
    Last edited by tinseltown; 12-31-2009, 11:03 PM.

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  • Bitter Fan
    replied
    Toronto is owned by a gigantic media conglomerate and their games are broadcast nationwide (including Kee-bec).

    There's really no excuse for their performance the last few years that revolves around their small-marketness and not around giving Vernon Wells one of the dumbest contracts in the history of baseball.

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  • tinseltown
    replied
    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
    Sure, the Yankees are hard to cope with and the Red Sox are as strong as they've ever been, but both teams are being competently led right now. At some point that will change.
    I suppose historically that's true (everyone who's up will come down someday), but I won't be holding my breath.

    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
    The Canadian dollar is as strong as it's ever been and they have a HUGE media market. Pretty much all of Canada is their media playground.
    Don't tell Quebeckers that -- they have no interest in watching the Jays! I'm not sure about the rest of Canada either, but the largest Canadian media market -- southern Ontario -- is Jays country.

    Yes, a team can, with competent leadership, compete and the expanded playoffs make it a lot easier for teams to win the World Series (relatively speaking). However, as expressed in the roundtable discussion I linked to, there are those who think it was a mistake for Montreal to vote with the other owners to allow Atlanta into the NL East, so if a new franchise got beat up by the Yankees and Red Sox during its first few years, it might foster a destructive cycle of defeatism. (Of course, given the Expos's last decade, a new franchise would have to be ready to deal with this negativity, no matter what its division or playing record.)

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  • Imgran
    replied
    Originally posted by tinseltown View Post
    Or Montreal could end up in the same fix as Toronto: unable to outspend their division opponents.
    Seeing that Tampa took the AL East division just a season or so ago, I'm not sure I buy that argument. Sure, the Yankees are hard to cope with and the Red Sox are as strong as they've ever been, but both teams are being competently led right now. At some point that will change.

    As for Toronto, I don't buy the economics argument. The Canadian dollar is as strong as it's ever been and they have a HUGE media market. Pretty much all of Canada is their media playground. Honestly if the Jays could ever put a good offensive year, a good defensive year and a good pitching year together at the same time they'd be right there with the big two.

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  • tinseltown
    replied
    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
    Of course, But it's no secret that the AL East is in a much better situation to support Montreal than the NL East is.
    Or Montreal could end up in the same fix as Toronto: unable to outspend their division opponents.

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  • JohnCropp
    replied
    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
    Rays and Orioles fans, should they speculatively exist, hate you now.

    I've said for awhile that I feel that this division structure is optimized for 36 teams. There's plenty of room for expansion.
    I absolutely agree. The easiest way to eliminate small market v. big market issues is to shrink the large markets by adding teams. TV money is king. Divide the kingdom (markets) where they are biggest and there will be room for others to thrive in time.

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  • Imgran
    replied
    Originally posted by tinseltown View Post
    Yes, I fully understood your previous statement. However, good attendance when three of the teams in the league are in town aren't enough to build a franchise around. Under the right economic conditions and with the right marketing plan, I do believe the Montreal market can stand on its own.
    Of course, But it's no secret that the AL East is in a much better situation to support Montreal than the NL East is.

    Regarding the Boston-Montreal rivalry, well, it isn't what it used to be, and "selling out the Bell Centre faster" is really a relative thing anyway -- home games sell out regardless of opponent.
    Both granted, but it will still help, especially if the Expos play in a stadium that's worth going to. Since Fenway's usually overbooked, and horribly expensive, even if the teams are indifferent Sox fans would go to Montreal to watch the Sox as long as ticket prices are reasonable.

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  • tinseltown
    replied
    Originally posted by aqib View Post
    Well in the first few years you probably need the rival fans in order to assure ticket sales. Plus when you are thinking of the economic impact, Sox and Yankee fans will generate a lot of activity when they drive in and spend money in hotels and restaurants.
    Yes, I fully understood your previous statement. However, good attendance when three of the teams in the league are in town aren't enough to build a franchise around. Under the right economic conditions and with the right marketing plan, I do believe the Montreal market can stand on its own.

    Regarding the Boston-Montreal rivalry, well, it isn't what it used to be, and "selling out the Bell Centre faster" is really a relative thing anyway -- home games sell out regardless of opponent.

    Leave a comment:


  • aqib
    replied
    Originally posted by Imgran View Post
    Rays and Orioles fans, should they speculatively exist, hate you now.

    I've said for awhile that I feel that this division structure is optimized for 36 teams. There's plenty of room for expansion.
    If you go with a 32 team MLB you move the Marlins to the AL and they join the Rays, Orioles, and ROyals in the AL South. Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and the Yankees are in the East. Cleveland, Chicago, Detoit, Minnesota are in the Central and the West stays LA, Texas, Seattle, and The A's (in either Oakland or Portland). I put the other expansion team in Brooklyn and put it in the NL.

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  • Imgran
    replied
    Rays and Orioles fans, should they speculatively exist, hate you now.

    I've said for awhile that I feel that this division structure is optimized for 36 teams. There's plenty of room for expansion.

    Leave a comment:


  • whitesox901
    replied
    I agree with the sentiment that Montreal should move to the east with New York, Boston and Toronto. If MLB expands and the AL gets two teams one should definitely be in Montreal. An AL East of New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto would be fantastic IMO.

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  • aqib
    replied
    Originally posted by tinseltown View Post
    You don't just want Yankee and Red Sox fans to come to town when their favourite teams are playing; you want to build up allegiances to the closest MLB team around to help with attendance for 81 games. That being said, in the current environment with ubiquitous cable, satellite, and Internet access allowing you to follow any team anywhere, and the Expos neglect of this area over its last decade, it would be a challenge to regain support in upstate New York (but one that any prospective club ought to undertake to improve its chances at success).
    Well in the first few years you probably need the rival fans in order to assure ticket sales. Plus when you are thinking of the economic impact, Sox and Yankee fans will generate a lot of activity when they drive in and spend money in hotels and restaurants. That may also be another source of tax revenue beyond just player salaries with which to finance the stadium. If New Expos have a $50 million payroll @ 8% you are looking at $4 million a year of player payroll tax it would take more to finance a stadium, so if you used sales taxes for a 2KM radius around the park and a bed tax from hotels on games, that would get you there.

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