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Baseball in Orlando?

Jan 25, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

WFTV in Orlando reports that an exploratory committee has been formed with the purpose of enticing a team to relocate to central Florida. That’s not necessarily significant — I’ve formed a dozen exploratory committees in my life, most dealing with either bringing back “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and/or getting Todd Rundgren inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — but we’ll take it as news seeing as though we’re stuck in the horse latitudes of the baseball offseason.

Though any relocation is highly unlikely, you have to figure that there are really only two candidates who are even remotely likely to move: The Rays and the Athletics. The Rays would make the most sense inasmuch as they, you know, play right down the street from Orlando, have played a handful of regular season games in Orlando already and don’t yet have their stadium crap in order.  The A’s are far less likely, but assuming they don’t make San Jose work they’ll have to go somewhere.  It won’t happen, but the chances are technically not zero.

Which makes the sole candidate identified by reporter in the piece kind of nuts:  The Brewers. You know, the team with a big new stadium in Wisconsin? The team that has drawn over 3 million fans the past couple of seasons? The team with a clause in its stadium deal that assesses a gigantic financial penalty if they move? The team that was once owned by the Commissioner of Baseball — a man who rose from used car dealer to multi-millionaire sports mogul on the power of bringing baseball back to Milwaukee after the Braves left in the 1960s —  and is located in his home town? The team who laughed off the report as “beyond hilarious”?

That’s some sharp reporting there, Skip.

  1. Jonny5 - Jan 25, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    You’re wrong Craig, that was “WTF?” news in Orlando. LOL!!! there isn’t a worse place to have a baseball team than Florida… Well, maybe Alaska…….????

  2. Jeff J - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    You’re exactly right!!!!! There needs to be an exploratory committee to bring back Mystery Science Theater 3000.

  3. YankeesfanLen - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    ….And The Runt definitely need to be in the Rock & Roll HOF>

  4. Mike T - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I wish it would happen it would be great have a team here and not to have to drive to Miami Or St Petersburg but i think its just another pipe dream because Orlando is so Cheap they wont even build a spring training stadium much less a major league stadium most resident here are not from here and have no sense of community pride and do not care or support florida teams its easier for them just to wear thier old yankee hat than spend a tax nickel on the town they moved to for a better way of life

  5. lar @ wezen-ball - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    The only thing I can think of when I hear Todd Rundgren’s name is the first season episode of 30 Rock when Lutz calls Liz Lemon a name that “rhymes with your favorite TOdd Rundgren album.” It turns out it’s not Hermit of Mink Hollow…

  6. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Craig, you are aware that Florida TV is lowest rung on the TV-news ladder, right?

  7. Ross - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    It’s obvious they just pulled names out of a hat. Would have been funnier if they pulled the Yankees out of the hat instead of the Brewers. “One team that could be a candidate to move is, of course, the New York Yankees.”

  8. Moses Green - Jan 25, 2010 at 9:46 AM


  9. The Common Man - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Oh God, please bring back MST3K. Even before you add the inside-Upper-Midwest-only humor to that show, it was brilliant. Thankfully, there are a bunch of episodes you can watch online at Netflix.

  10. Rays fan - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    A Rays move to Orlando would only be a technicality, with Orlando being maybe an hour’s drive from Tampa (depending on where a stadium was built). The cities are close enough that the Rays would kick up a fuss over any other team moving there–unless they were bought off of course.

  11. Richard Dansky - Jan 25, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    I think it was Rich Lederer who pointed out that Todd Rundgren had more strikeouts than the Dave Clark Five or ZZ Top, more complete games than any inductee except Springsteen or the Stones, a better career ERA than Buffalo Springfield, and that his numbers are artificially depressed by having played for Utopia for a few years.
    Of course, Murray Chass then responded by pointing out that Lederer had never seen Rundgren live, and that he certainly was no Dennis DeYoung.

  12. The Rabbit - Jan 25, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    John 3:16a: “For God so loved the world, he didn’t send a committee”
    After a lifetime of committees, I just want to be a benevolent dictator; however, I would be willing to serve if it would revive “Mystery Science Theater 3000”.

  13. APBA Guy - Jan 25, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    If Florida TV reporting is the lowest rung on the ladder, Orlando TV fell off the ladder long ago.
    Be that as it may, the best bet for the Rays is a move closer to Orlando, maybe slightly East of Kissimmee (Disneyworld), in a domed stadium (retraction optional-it’s damned hot and humid when it isn’t raining).
    Based on the way the Giants snap up the turistas at AT&T, the Rays could do really well in that department as an entertainment alternative. What father wouldn’t kill to see a ball game as a break from amusement parks?
    And that location would be close enough that the 2 or 3000 full-time Tampa Bay fans could still motor over and see games.
    There’s plenty of room along I-4, and as long as they have parking and a dome it would be a tremendous improvement for the Rays.
    Of course, there’s that pesky long term lease with St Pete for the Thunderdome…

  14. Mike - Jan 25, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Any move outside of St. Pete would benifit attendance for the Rays. I live in downtown Orlando and can get to Tampa in 1-1.5 hours depending on the time of day. I go to Bucs games, the Ford Amp. and the Hard Rock Casino on the East side of Tampa when something is going on but I dread the drive to St. Pete. It is an additional hour each way when driving from Orlando so your 1-1.5 hour drive usually takes 2.5 hours. It makes a big difference especially with weekday night games. Baseball starts at 7 gets done at 10 and you do not get home until after midnight. If a 1pm Bucs game ends at 3:45 I can usually get back to my house around halftime of the afternoon games.
    Whether they move to Orlando or stay in the Tampa area they definitly need to get the heck out of St Pete.
    I would love to see them play in Downtown, think playing anywhere near Disney would be a mistake, but dont ever see this happening without completly being privatly funded. People are already feeling stretched with the New Arena and light rail here Orlando.
    Just my 2cents.

  15. Nora - Jan 27, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Induct Todd now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. ithastobe - Jan 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    You’re my hero! Bringing back MST AND asking for Todd to be inducted into the RRHOF… YES! I’ll join your committee.

  17. Alex DeBono - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    I keep listening to the news speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been

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