Joe Madden is, without much hesitation, the coolest, most creative manager in professional baseball. Had he never come to the Rays in 2006, Tropicana Field might be a giant indoor dog park by now. That's because Tampa -- a city without much of a corporate presence to buy up their inventory of 82 home games -- routinely finishes dead last in average attendance. This year was no different.
Did the fate of the franchise weigh into Maddon's decision to leave? Probably. Is he headed to the Dodgers? Maybe. Are the Rays headed for Montreal? Peut-être.
(That's French for "Hell yes." We think...)
Apparently the move has been in the works for a while, with the biggest obstacle being public financing for a new stadium in the city of 1.6 million (metro area of over four million).
Pre-game conversation with a smart chronicler of the Rays, who believes team is finished in this market and eventually headed to Montreal.
Montreal, home to the Expos from 1969-2004, has seen a recent groundswell of support for a MLB franchise, typified by the Montreal Baseball Project which already has a great deal of corporate support (i.e. money). while the city hosted two Blue Jays-Mets games earlier this season (i.e. interest).
[MBP] Optimism and forward-looking thinking have replaced frustrations over past disappointments. Montrealers want to once again experience the thrill and excitement of baseball with their families. Montreal Baseball Project aims to turn desire into action by taking the necessary steps to see the game return to the city.
After losing to the Cardinals in the NLDS, Dodgers coach Don Mattingly is widely considered to be on the hot seat, despite a three-year extension signed in January. Knowing the Dodgers' new free-spending management, a buyout wouldn't be that crazy of an idea were Maddon to have interest in the position. Makes sense for both parties.
Also, the Cubs are still a thing.
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