Top 5 MLB Teams That Should Be Folded
Empty Seats Are Generally A Good Indicator That There is a Problem
Major League Baseball has a problem. They over-expanded. Opening up into smaller markets when the economy was booming might have seemed like a great idea, but now the league and the taxpayers are all paying for that mistake.
The talent pool, especially pitching, is watered down and spread too thin, and even quality teams in smaller markets aren't drawing fans. Perhaps commissioner Bud Selig needs to accept the fact that it's time for baseball to trim the fat.
The problem becomes, who gets the axe? Do you decide strictly on attendance numbers? Do T.V. ratings and the ability to draw big name advertisers come into play? Should geographic areas that are over-saturated with teams be thinned out? Those are all viable options, but I tend to look at it more from a fans perspective.
Attendance - Is anyone coming to see these bums play ball?
Marketability - Are the replica jerseys and licensed merchandise just sitting on the shelves?
Long Term Growth Potential - Have steps been taken to remedy attendance problems that seem to be working?
Historic Significance - Is the team really going to be missed by fans and rivals if they disappear?
When taking all these factors, as well as geographic location into account, I've come up with a list of five MLB teams that need to just go away. Let the talent migrate to other teams, and save cities the embarrassment of camera shots showing empty stadiums
And don't worry New York Mets fans...although I was tempted, you didn't make the list.
5: Miami Marlins, 2012 Attendance - 2,219,444
Yes, the Miami Marlins just built themselves a shiny new neon-clad home, but that didn't change the culture in South Florida. The Marlins fans were excited and showing up to Marlins Park...for about two months. Then once again, the seats were empty and the cavernous stadium echoed with the sound of every sunflower seed dropped in the stands. The Marlins have proven that you can buy and dismantle a championship team...twice. But they have yet to prove that they are going to remain a long-term contributor to the league. Mascot Billy the Marlin looks like he was attacked by a South Beach graffiti gang, and the technicolor barf paint scheme inside the stadium just burns retinas. Time to say adios to baseball in South Florida.
4: San Diego Padres, 2012 Attendance - 2,123,721
The San Diego Padres are one of the hardest teams to figure. They've been in San Diego since 1969, yet they have no world championships and only five division crowns, and two appearances in the World Series in their history. San Diego has some of the most spectacular baseball watching weather in the country, and yet they continue to draw ridiculously low numbers for the size market in which they reside. The Padres try hiding in ill-conceived camouflage uniforms, but unfortunately we can all still see them. Maybe Southern California simply has too many teams, and the Padres are the one that needs to go.
3: Seattle Mariners, 2012 Attendance - 1,721,920
This one is a pretty easy call. Outside of bringing us Ken Griffey, Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, and a memorable rivalry with the New York Yankees in the 1990's, the Seattle Mariners have been out to sea in the baseball world practically since their inception. Since entering the league in 1977, the Mariners have only four playoff appearances, and have never been to a World Series. Their attendance is comically low, due to a combination of ugly weather and uglier teams. Thanks for the memories Seattle, but the Pacific Northwest just isn't baseball country.
2: Houston Astros, 2012 Attendance - 1,607,733
I'd almost nominate the Houston Astros for contraction by their stupid stadium alone. Come on...a hill with a huge pole right in the middle of the outfield? Only the city that gave us Enron could have come up with such a ridiculous thing on a baseball field. Forget the move to the American League, just move on. Period. After 40 years in the league, the Astros still boast dismal attendance numbers and zero championships. Face it, the Texas Rangers own that state.
1: Tampa Bay Rays, 2012 Attendance - 1,559,681
Here's one that has me scratching my head. The Tampa Bay Rays are a GOOD team, with an excellent manager. They are only two years removed from the first World Series appearance in franchise history, yet fans still refuse to come see this team play. A lot of it probably has to do with that horrible stadium they play in, Tropicana Field. Tampa has shown they can and will support a professional sports team, as shown by the Buccaneers and Lightning, so it's puzzling why the Rays don't get the same love. In any case, all the Rays have become is a minor league farm team for bigger markets. Manager Joe Maddon would be appreciated much more in other cities anyway.