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Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Las Vegas Expos?

Yeah, you heard it right. Doug Pappas in Business of Baseball passes on a Bud Selig interview indicating just how desperate MLB is to unload the Expos: they're seriously considering gambling mecca Las Vegas:
"They've been aggressive," Selig said of the Vegas suitors.

Could baseball put a team in a city dominated by the gambling industry?

"I was raised in an era when it wouldn't have been plausible," Selig said, "but the fact of the matter is gambling is legal most everywhere today. There are a whole lot of hurdles out there, but Las Vegas is a viable consideration. Thirty years ago, we would have automatically eliminated them. It's different now. No decision has been made, but they are being very aggressive."

What might that mean for the Dodgers' 51's? Considering the big club has pressured the city to make substantial improvements to Cashman Field, it might make sense for Vegas city fathers to take the next step and move the Expos into town. The Dodgers would then have to find another AAA home, something that might end up a positive, considering the enormous disconnect between their major league park and their minors. (You can read more on this in this Futility Infielder article and here in Mariners Wheelhouse.)

On the other hand, it could just be a bargaining ploy to get Washington to pony up. That would be odd, considering the recent news that Washington, D.C. has proposed a $340 million publically financed stadium.


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