Jackson: A Texas two-step at the expansion dance

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on May 14, 2019:

When the modern era of baseball started at the beginning of the 20th century, there were 16 teams and 76,212,168 people in the United States. With the population now creeping toward 330 million, one might suspect there should be, say, 65-70 teams today. Yet we have just 30 teams and major league baseball has undergone no expansion in the 21st Century.

So growth is due if not overdue. Nevertheless, Commissioner Rob Manfred has asserted that expansion will not take place till the stadium situations in Oakland and Tampa Bay are resolved. Meanwhile, informal handicapping of the candidate cities has been ongoing. The Hardball Times has looked at the contenders in depth here and recently offered a bold proposal involving many more cities.

More conventionally, the 2019 Street & Smith Baseball Yearbook contains an article (“Where to Next?” by G. Scott Thomas) rating the top 20 metro areas. More than 100 reporters and editors filled out a report card (using grades from A to F) for each contender. In ranking order, the results are: Montreal, Portland, Nashville, Charlotte, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Vancouver, Raleigh-Durham, Mexico City, Austin, Monterrey, San Juan, New Orleans, Indianapolis, New Jersey (i.e., North Jersey), Havana, Sacramento, Columbus, Orlando, and San Bernardino. I was a bit surprised to see Nashville rank so highly, but otherwise the top 10 more or less line up with the favored locales of other pundits.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/a-texas-two-step-at-the-expansion-dance/

Originally published: May 17, 2019. Last Updated: May 17, 2019.