Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The MLB & Charlotte

Brethren: The hard-working fellers at Walk Off Walk swung the Interweb's ADHD attention today to the town that the Sports Brethren call home: Charlotte, NC. The reason? They see the QC as the most viable place for Major League Baseball to add an expansion team (along with Portland), to get the League to a nice round number of 32 teams.

Now, Nacho will get to the more hilarious side of this thing (that's his job) and probably show how adorably named this Charlotte MLB team could be named or talk about how not even this would make him become interested on a day-to-day basis in MLB.

I'm here to put the more pragmatic spin on this here idea. And alls I have to say is, "Ha. Ha."

While the boys at W.O.W. have as good as reasoning as any (the SouthEast is underrepresented in the MLB and the QC, while not a huge metropolis, is centrally located for lots of mid-sized areas), I'm not buying that as sole logic. First off, I'm not buying that MLB needs another two teams. I don't at all see how that's good for baseball. I understand the league is making more money, but I think a reinvestment strategy is better than using that cash to try to add out more teams. Baseball has a litany of problems it can address with their extra profits: bad PR from steroids, under-representation from the African-American community, spotlights only ever being shone on the New York teams and Boston, to name three. Methinks there are other ways to spend these newfound dollars.

More reasons why this is laughable and Nacho's thoughts, desde:

Brethren (cont'd): If we allow ourselves the notion that MLB will expand, let's then look at Charlotte as the number one destination. This is a town that is captivated by cars turning left, so one would think that ability to pay attention to the same thing (over and over again) would lend itself well to the baseball season. There's one problem: NASCAR fans are NASCAR fans because they've been raised that way and ain't no Yankee coming down to take that away from them. Being given a team as if we're supposed to be honored to have one? Let's just say them boys wouldn't take too kind to that notion.

More importantly, no one under the age of 35 is passionate about baseball in Charlotte. Lax has become the cool spring sport and young kids have been conditioned to think they have to focus on one sport to get ahead, and baseball sure ain't winning that game against basketball, football, lax, and yes, maybe, even soccer.

Having young, interested fans is crucial in bringing out the masses -- and I can almost guarantee Charlotte can't do that. I went to my first game of the 2008 season last night, attending Shea Stadium to see the Expos, err, Nationals play the Mets. The great booming metropolis that is New York City could not even come close to half-filling (the massive) Shea Stadium, with a division rival in town. This clearly won't be true for the weekend series against the Yankees, but it points out that even in the biggest of places, Tuesday night baseball just ain't all that popular. A team in Charlotte would only magnify that. Hell, look at our Bobcats attendance, and North Carolina is a helluva fine basketball state.

Finally, and let me be clear about this one: this is a selfish reason. But I am very convinced that Minor League Basbeball could kick ass in Charlotte. In fact, I see myself as the guy who, after building up some credibility in the marketing/advertising world here in NYC (and in the sports world with this here blog), returns home to his beloved hometown as the Knight in Shining Armor and resurrects the Charlotte Knights, building the model Triple-A baseball team. A downtown stadium. Enough Minor League Enterprise promotions to fill a schedule. Cheap beers and college nights. I have a vision -- a vision that is only going to be killed by a failing real MLB franchise.

So one of the few baseball fans born and bred in Charlotte has this to say to MLB expansion: Thanks, but no thanks.

Nacho: If you've made it this far, you probably don't have to be told what that giant, rashed anus is doing attached to this post, but I'll tell you anyway. It's the Gaffney Peach Butt and it's the landmark by which you know you're close to Knight Stadium somewhere outside Charlotte. I don't wanna do research for this, I wanna go off feelings, so I, not unlike Brethren, will be dishing the *truly* informed thoughts:

I'm with Brethren on this one, the Charlotte Soccer Moms wouldn't be able to contend for ten years, kinda like the Devil Rays. There'd be marginal interest in the game to begin with because baseball's only enjoyable in person, and even then, it's not a good idea to take an ADD/ADHD kid.

Besides, Brethren's right: Charlotte's an awesome place for Minor League ball, with it's penchant for whimsical "theme" nights and family/drunk-centric appeal. I could see a load of bankers descend upon a new Knight stadium for dollar dog night a lot more than I could see us fiscally supporting any sort of "serious" team. I don't want baseball to be taken so seriously, it's what makes Charlotte not Atlanta, and if there's anything Charlotte strives more, it's to not be called the New Atlanta. Let baseball spiral down the drain as it inevitably will, and let it do so without involving the Charlotte Wombats. Give us more time to focus on the important things, like the vinegar/tomato base argument for barbeque.


Fox said...

you're right. Everyone who lives in or around Charlotte must be rednecks, and must hate baseball.

We're not all toothless morons, dude.

Fox said...

and for what it's worth, the Gaffney peach landmark that is supposed to be close to Knights Stadium is an hour and a half away.