As MLB continues to explore expansion opportunities, a few cities have emerged as frontrunners. Here in the Northwest, we’re very familiar with the work Russell Wilson is doing to bring MLB to Portland, which seems...weird? Now that I really think about it? Why does Russell Wilson care about bringing an MLB team to Portland? To answer that question, I read this article in the Portland Business Journal, which outlines RW3’s reasoning as such: 1) Because Portland is a place “sports fanatics get excited about.” Yes, unlike literally every other city that contains people who like sports. 2) Because Nike?; 3) Something about being a father??; and 4) Diversifying the game.
Aside from the last point—which could probably be better accomplished by putting money into some developmental baseball programs and creating scholarships so all kids could afford to play travel ball—these arguments don’t hold a ton of weight, in my opinion.
What I find more compelling about a potential MLB team in Portland is the natural rivalry it would create for the Mariners. Finally, no more fake rivalry with the Padres, no more dumb Vedder Cup (he’s a Cubs fan if he’s anything and I will brook no argument on this topic). A team in Portland would also force realigning the divisions; picture a division of Seattle-Portland-Oakland-San Francisco and, I don’t know, I guess the Angels. Or maybe Vancouver if MLB ever gets it together to put another team in Canada. No more Texas road trips to get rained out in Arlington or woo-woo’d in Houston. No more Astros. What a beautiful concept.
Speaking of putting another team in Canada, that seems to be a priority among the FanPulse voters:
Look, I love the Expos as much as anyone, but Canada having two east-coast teams seems like a real snub to the rest of the country. The margin isn’t huge, here, with just over 30% of voters preferring Montreal. Nashville slightly edges out the rest of the field with 20%, which makes sense because Tennessee fans are relegated to choosing between Atlanta (250 miles), Cincinnati (275 miles), or St. Louis (310 miles). [This map of MLB cities by drive times is interesting to study.] Vegas and Portland tied at 19%, with Charlotte bringing up the rear at 12%. I’d be interested to see how people ranked the cities, as well, given that most people probably voted with somewhat of a geographical interest in mind. I’d also be curious to know how Vancouver would have done in this poll. The Vancouver NWL (short-season A) team, the Canadians, routinely sell out their stadium, so it seems like fans up North are hungry for some baseball to call their own.
Assuming Portland has already been granted an expansion team, what other city should get one?
This poll is closed
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