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The Rays Will Not Be Contracted

Forbes released a piece today that suggested there's a "groundswelling building" in baseball to contract the Rays. While such a story will certainly draw in the readers, the author comes across as woefully uninformed. Simply put, contraction isn't coming to Tampa Bay.

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Don't believe me? Both Craig Calcaterra and Maury Brown are much smarter than me, and lay out great arguments why contraction won't happen. I suggest reading both pieces, but here's a snippet from Craig Calcaterra:

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As we've said time and again, contraction is not happening. Not now. Not unless or until there is a severe financial crisis in baseball, and we're on another planet from that right now. It would cost MLB owners over a billion dollars to pull it off in order to, what, save a few million here or there? It would lead to a knock-down-drag-out fight with both the MLBPA and multiple governments, all of which would severely impact the brand and potentially the cash flow of baseball at a time when everyone - even the people who run the poor teams - are getting rich. To suggest that the Lords of the Game would subject themselves to this now is beyond ridiculous.

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The MLB Player's Association would have a fit if Bud Selig even whispered about contracting a club (strong union and massive layoffs do not mix well), not to mention the uproar it'd create from the cities and cable networks that would be affected. "Contraction" is a threat that gets thrown around a lot whenever a team needs a new stadium, but MLB didn't even contract the Expos. The worst case scenario is the Rays end up moving to another city, but the franchise itself won't be contracted.

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.