Daily Archives: June 1, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- At first look you might not think that Vancouver could support a Major League Baseball franchise, but there are a few things to consider. With a surrounding area population of 2.5 Million, it is one of the biggest cities in the USA or Canada not to have a team. Of course when you are looking at the viability of a franchise submission/or relocation, you must look at the facility that the baseball would be played in. With newly renovated B.C Place Stadium-(see http://www.bcplacestadium.com/,) and its $600 Million Dollar Renovations, it is one of the most impressive structures in North America now.
The building itself is estimated to be worth over a billion dollars. It’s clear, retractable roof, with an incredible look to detail inside the building with 22 inch stadium style seating has all of the modern amenities that a new age fan would want. The facility features several new Skyboxes for corporate suites, and brand new concession stands that would be an extremely good revenue generator. The stadium’s surface is made up of Field Turf, and could be converted to meet baseball specifications. This stadium is a turn-key situation unlike any other in North America when it comes to a baseball ready facility.
Major League Baseball has gained in popularity over the last 20 years in the Lower Mainland with turning out MLB’ers like Larry Walker, Jeff Francis , Ryan Dempster and Brett Lawrie all coming from this area. Also in Canada, you have 3 TV networks that have an all-sports format in www.thescore.ca, www.tsn.ca and www.sportsnet.ca that would gladly love to fill content on their networks by bidding for television rights on a new baseball team in Canada. There are enough talented sports personalities to fill in solid coverage. Read the rest of this entry
Friday June 1, 2012
Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): A couple of years ago the Minnesota Twins were talking about moving Joe Mauer to first base, to save his legs. Since he was such a great hitter, the Twins were looking to preserve his bat. That never did happen and the Twins are going down really fast and so is Mauer. The only thing Mauer has been really good for lately is making commercials for Head and Shoulders shampoo and one-liners from video game ads. Joe Mauer has played 9 seasons in the majors and does not have 100 career home runs. Yes he hits for a very high average. But he was supposed to be a great overall hitter. In my opinion, this home-grown Minnesota boy stayed behind the dish too long and now he will never be the same offensive player that he was in ’09. Injuries have taken their toll and the Mauer decline began far sooner than most expected.
The big question for the next two big young catchers is whether they going to stay behind the dish, or undertake a postion change to save their legs…and bats. Buster Posey and Matt Wieters are no doubt the best young catchers in the game right now. Some will look at Mike Napoli, Brian McCann and Alex Avila for that title. But for actual youth, production and potential, Posey and Wieters are the next big things. The only thing is how long will they actually be catchers. If I’m in either the Giants or Orioles front office, I move them as soon as possible. The catcher position is one of the hardest positions in the game and leaving either Posey or Wieters behind the plate too long could prove detrimental. Just look at Joe Mauer as an example of what could happen if you wait. Read the rest of this entry