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The Lion Theory of the Rays of Montreal / Tampa Bay



"I told them," We're going to play in Montreal for the half season!
Every self-respecting disciple of crazy Machiavellian gambits must be familiar with the theory of madness, Richard Nixon's strategy of winning the war in Vietnam. The theory, as Nixon N. Chaldemann's chief of staff said after leaving prison for his role in Watergate, was like this: "I call it" The Fool's Theory, "Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe that I have reached the point where I could do anything to stop the war. We will only tell them that, for God's sake, you know that Nixon is obsessed with communism. We can not deter him when he's angry – and he's holding his hand on the nuclear button, "and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris two days to ask for peace."

Historians will note that this was not the case

Which, of course, leads us to Stuart Sternberg and the current madness that takes the franchise in Tampa Bay Race. Last week, the Rays owner, who tried and failed and failed for years to get someone to buy him a new stadium somewhere in the Tampa Bay region, confused the world of sports by receiving the MLB's approval of persecution new stadiums, one in Florida and one in a nearby neighbor, Montreal. Playing games to the south when it's cold and north when it's hot, the idea went, Sternberg could maximize the readiness of two fan bases to leave the house to watch baseball and reproduce the adaptive strategy invented by the birds (though for We fanned our fellow friends apparently to the north and went south

This week, Sternberg doubled, holding a press conference detailing how this is not a lever, how serious it is to play home games in two cities divided by 130 0 miles and an international border, impervious to chocolate eggs, and how this would "provoke economic impact" by the Canadians who visit Florida in the spring, but somehow it is not an economic source from Florida who visit Canada this summer because

There are many, many reasons why this is unlikely to work – the construction of two new stadiums will cost more than one, even the annual pitch meant that they could give up roofs; two volatile fan bases would have even more reason to ignore the local semi-team if he packed his bags forever to leave; players will give up the need to take and move their families every June – most of which have already been exposed by Barry Pettsy last week. (FanGraphs Jay Jaffe also notes that no city has a record number of MLBs present, and Montreal already has a bad experience with a temporary use scheme for the team).

Sternberg does not need a two-state solution. It just needs people to think he thinks it will work. As Nixon was trying to do in Vietnam, he relied on L 'Affaire Montréal to serve less as a legitimate threat for half a move and more as a sign of how far he was willing to go to get what he wanted .

from the point of view of Sternberg. (For this exercise, please put your waistcoat open-throat and fill your wallet with a hundred million dollars.) In May 2004, the ex-supporter of the vampire squid spent $ 200 million to buy a controlling stake in the beams, which then were six years in an experiment to see if Florida's sports fans would turn out to see a team that never ended higher than the last.

Related to the terrible and inconvenient Tropicana field through a use agreement (as a lease but with bigger teeth), which forbid him even to talk to other cities in a punishment for court Sternberg swore: his only options were to negotiate a new stadium in urban fans who hated to travel to and who did not show interest in spreading it, or to wait until 2028 for 70 years and have flown to their middle ground age, looking at his baseball team in relative unremitting owl.

Option three would of course have been to spend his own money on a new stadium, but he could not be a million million dollars by spending his own money.)

Sternberg's first step was to turn the mayor of St. Petersburg Rick Criseman in a three-year window negotiating a deal for a Tampa Bay stadium in exchange for a small buy-in if he succeeds. In theory this was a great idea, but Sternberg's face broke out when it turned out that Tampa had no revenue to secure as much money on the stadium as he wanted (ie almost all), letting him crawl back Pete with more nine long years of Trop's lease.

Perhaps we will never know the name of the city lawyer who wrote this agreement in 1995, but it includes a clause that the city may demand a court ban even against Speaking on a move, that it would "lead to irreparable damage and damage that is not easily calculated" was a genius move that shifted the entire negotiating power of the city until the agreement was in force. But if the conversation with other cities was loathsome, the conversation was quite another story.

And here we go back to Nixon's madman: Sternberg should not be serious about splitting the time between two cities or even moving to Montreal. (It is difficult to compare American and Canadian market sizes, as the two countries calculate them differently, but the Montreal subway has about four million people, Tampa Bay – about three, and as already noted, both have poor attendance at Montreal would also have the disadvantage of selling tickets to moons, which currently cost about 76 cents a dollar.) Rather, he just has to make external observers think he's serious despite the seemingly obvious nonsense of such a move – and what better n to show the world that you are crazy millionaire than to hold a press conference where you talk about loving Sandy Kufax so much that you named your son after him and you love St. Petersburg so much that you would like to rescue the local people from having to watch baseball all summer?

So, what will happen next? Under normal circumstances, the team owner would fly to Montreal to eat some bagels and pretend to speak French so it would be better to move home how serious he is, given the part-time emigration . But this route would almost certainly lead to this banning clause – in fact, Chrisman has already noted that the rays can not move anywhere before 2028, without saying so, calling the current public noise " a little foolish "and then made his city prosecutor sit down and watch the video at the Sternberg press conference to see if the owner of the rays said anything to do. of Sternberg rather than sitting back and waiting. If nothing else, it can make Chrisman think he'd better take some money for buying and the right to re-process Trop's potentially valuable site than to get another eight years of that nonsense. and one day we remembered ExRays as another strange note in the history of shakedown on the stadium, along with the contraction of the Minnesota Twins and the floating stadium in San Diego Padres. Until now, the signs have been mixed – even if Chrisman broke the contract swords, he has also extended his offer to work at a new stadium "St. Pete "as long as Sternberg rejects this conversation with two cities But as any teenager or president of the United States can tell you, sometimes it is more important to attract attention and less important what kind of attention it is.


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