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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Since this site doesn't currently have one, here is a thread for realignment in the minor leagues of baseball.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:44 pm 
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My idea for realignment of the AAA level:

Expand the International League to 18, contract the Pacific Coast League to 12. Create 5 divisions of six teams each. Interleague play throughout to mitigate effect of imbalanced leagues.

Step 1: Washington Nationals relocate Syracuse Chiefs to Richmond, VA (former AAA city closer to Washington)
Step 2: IL expansion franchise granted to Hartford, affiliate with New York Mets (right between Sox and Yankees country)
Step 3: IL expansion franchise granted to Jacksonville, affiliate with Miami Marlins
Step 4: Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee) and Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis) move to IL from PCL
Step 5: Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate with Buffalo Bisons
Step 6: Minnesota Twins affiliate with Indianapolis Indians
Step 7: Toronto Blue Jays affiliate with Rochester Red Wings
Step 8: Las Vegas (Toronto) and New Orleans (Miami) of the PCL fold
* Also, Padres have plans to move their AAA team to Escondido, but those have not been finalized yet

Divisions:
PCL West:
Fresno (SF)
Reno (ARZ)
Sacramento (OAK)
Salt Lake (LAA)
Tacoma (SEA)
Tucson/Escondido (SD)

PCL East:
Albuquerque (LAD)
Colorado Springs (COL)
Iowa (CHC)
Oklahoma City (TEX)
Omaha (KC)
Round Rock (HOU)

IL Midwest:
Columbus (CLE)
Indianapolis (MIN)
Louisville (CIN)
Memphis (STL)
Nashville (MIL)
Toledo (DET)

IL Northeast:
Buffalo (PIT)
Hartford (NYM)
Lehigh Valley (PHI)
Pawtucket (BOS)
Rochester (TOR)
Scranton/WB (NYY)

IL Southeast:
Charoltte (CHW)
Durham (TB)
Gwinnett (ATL)
Jacksonville (MIA)
Norfolk (BAL)
Richmond (WAS)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:36 pm 
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I think the PCL will croak at its current rate. I'm not sure there shouldn't be 3 leagues, but the merger that expanded the PCL resulted from the 2nd time the American Association crumbled. Something to be said for that.

Escondido is not going to happen, at least not without a miracle.

However, U of Arizona strong-armed the Padres out of the better-located Tucson ballpark. Most people know that Tucson isn't long for the PCL. The media kept mentioning a guy who wanted to build a new El Paso ballpark, but that seems to be a pipe dream, and the PCL is now targeting the one burg in the entire West that seems to be seriously talking about building a bigger ballpark... Boise.

If Escondido had happened, there would officially be a trend in baseball. The Braves bought their AAA team, took them out of Richmond, and moved them to the Atlanta suburbs. Pawtucket and Tacoma get major renovations. Other teams would have started considering the notion of placing their AAA team in the same metropolis (or within perhaps a 2-hour DRIVE) as their parent club. That has stopped because the economy has started dictating that ANY new ballpark takes on too much debt for the team or city to cover.

Having said that, your idea to re-order AAA is good, but the assumption of simply moving teams around is ludicrous. It's a non-starter.

I think the minors have problems. Memphis sold private bonds for their ballpark and is now in forbearance. Fresno went all-in on public bonds to the tune of $45,000,000 for a ballpark that isn't half-full, the team keeps trying to weasel out of $1.5 million in annual rent (a ridiculous number anyway), so Fresno is in serious financial trouble. Reno has a pretty sweet ballpark and decent attendance AFTER the fudge factor, but the funding structure depended on nearby development that isn't happening, and that city is feeling it.

Put it this way- if you're claiming you've sold out every game for 5-10 years, you're probably right. Everyone else is lying about their attendance numbers, and substantially so.
Put this another way: Tacoma's ballpark renovation did nothing to the main stand, did install luxury suites... and REDUCED the capacity by 2,000, all for $28 million. All the new ballparks erected the last 5 years in AAA are downsized from their predecessors.

More rant to come...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:55 am 
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pounder wrote:
I think the PCL will croak at its current rate. I'm not sure there shouldn't be 3 leagues, but the merger that expanded the PCL resulted from the 2nd time the American Association crumbled. Something to be said for that.

Escondido is not going to happen, at least not without a miracle.

However, U of Arizona strong-armed the Padres out of the better-located Tucson ballpark. Most people know that Tucson isn't long for the PCL. The media kept mentioning a guy who wanted to build a new El Paso ballpark, but that seems to be a pipe dream, and the PCL is now targeting the one burg in the entire West that seems to be seriously talking about building a bigger ballpark... Boise.

If Escondido had happened, there would officially be a trend in baseball. The Braves bought their AAA team, took them out of Richmond, and moved them to the Atlanta suburbs. Pawtucket and Tacoma get major renovations. Other teams would have started considering the notion of placing their AAA team in the same metropolis (or within perhaps a 2-hour DRIVE) as their parent club. That has stopped because the economy has started dictating that ANY new ballpark takes on too much debt for the team or city to cover.

Having said that, your idea to re-order AAA is good, but the assumption of simply moving teams around is ludicrous. It's a non-starter.


Well, this was just an idea I had to create 5 geographically sensible divisions and place a few teams closer to their parent clubs. I probably should have looked at more concrete info like you posted, I should have known posting anything on this site without such info could bring me trouble. But let me take a closer look at some of my suggestions:

Jacksonville: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville_Suns
They have a stadium that could support it, and their Wikipedia article even mentions the possibility of moving to Triple-A in the future. It would give Miami a closer AAA affiliate than New Orleans (Jacksonville is currently the AA team for Miami).

Hartford: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_U ... ical_areas
They don't have a team or stadium, but they are a fairly large metro region. Look in the table and Hartford is in the company of several AAA cities. Also I thought it would be interesting to see the Mets have a AAA team right between Yankees and Red Sox country. Maybe in the right economy something would happen here.

Richmond: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Flying_Squirrels
Longtime home of the Braves' AAA team. My thinking here was that Richmond is larger than Syracuse (46th to 68th in previously mentioned table) and is closer to DC. Stadium is still large enough, and appears to have had some money put into it the past few years.

A closer look at a couple others:
Boise: http://www.ballparkdigest.com/201112224 ... ple-a-ball
Article quotes GM of Boise Hawks Single-A team, who says Boise can't support AAA. The article also says that another ownership group could move there anyway causing the Hawks to lose the market. IMO Boise would probably be fine. Metro size is comparable to Reno and Des Moines (and is one of the fastest growing in the country).

San Antonio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio_Missions
One city I hadn't looked at before. If the Padres are looking for a AAA home, why not look to their own AA affiliate? Stadium would need upgrades, but San Antonio is both large and thriving and could succeed under the right circumstances. Also would have a built-in rivarly with Round Rock (Austin suburbs).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:11 am 
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Article suggesting that the Blue Jays would like to move their current AA team to AAA (and get out of Vegas in the process), and locate a AA team in Ottawa:

http://jaysjournal.com/2011/11/01/doubl ... hampshire/

New Hampshire's stadium holds 7,500 which would be on the small side for AAA, unless they can expand it.

Ottawa would be geographically far from most other Eastern League teams, but affiliating with the Blue Jays could make them viable.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:33 am 
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Reno has now played three seasons in a nice little park. 6,500 seats + about 2,500 or 3,000 that can either stand around the park (there's a substantial beer rail lining a good percentage of the concourse) or sit on the outfield berm. They're settling into an average just below the number of seats.

Omaha's new park, just finished last year, also has 6,500 seats + about 3,000 for the berm and wherever they can stand. They averaged about 6,000.

What I'm saying: if the next AAA ballpark is built with over 7,500 capacity, it's probably too big.

The question in my mind... can people find a cost savings so that your favorite municipality isn't trying to throw $40 million into a project that will do well for 10 years, but nobody's sure what happens in the next 10? Especially when bonds of 20-30 years length have been kind of a standard (and, lately, a standard sinkhole)? Oklahoma City's team has issues, but at least they actually benefit from the park being built via a sales tax increase that also reconstructed a key part of downtown into something at least interesting (without which they'd never have drawn the NBA). I hear of smaller parks being readied in places like Altoona and Birmingham (speaking of Birmingham, they of all cities have no business funding it with bonds), but I doubt Boise gets a new park, and I'm not sure who in the PCL footprint inherits Tucson.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:58 am 
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AAA Minor league ball is already aligned well. They on't make huge $ so saving on travel cost is probably job #1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple-A_(baseball)#Current_teams

^^^^Great listing for those unfamiliar w/ the Minors

The only two problems I see are alignment with the MLB affiliate team, and divisions.

The alignment with the MLB affiliate team is not a huge deal thanks to the 24 hour call up rule but ideally you want to see somewhat close to the place where fan would want to go to a minor league game to see their favorite rookies/draft picks (I know AA is where the draft picks go) and pros rehab assignments.

I see a few that could realign better...

International League
Pro Location-Minors Location

Minnesota - Rochester, NY
Washington DC - Syracuse, NY
Chicago WS - Charrlotte (in SC)
Pittsburgh - Indianapolis, IN

What is could be...

Minnesota - Indianapolis, IN
Washington DC - Charrlotte (in SC)
Chicago WS - Syracuse, NY
Pittsburgh - Rochester, NY

While yes still not perfect (why 3team in West NY state?) it would be a start.

The Pacific Coast League looks great and while yes the AZ Dback could have the team in AZ, they want to expand into the untapped markets so I have no problem with any teams except the NY Mets affliate in Las Vegas, NV. That makes no sense. Stay in the Central time zone at least and give that to the Dodgers or Angels. I also don't like Miami in NOLA but no biggie.

The other problem is that the two leagues should be merged together right now the Pacific has 2 conferences with 2 divisions with 4 teams in each, but the Internaional League has just 3 divisions with 4 teams in 2 and 5 in the 3rd. That equals the number of major league teams but they have it so wacky that it get kind of crazy to follow.

Come up with a Pacific League and an Atlantic League and split into 3 5 team divisions just like the pros.

Move Iowa over to the "Atlantic" West, drop one school from the North to the South, and balance out the Pacfic and boom its perfect.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Just reminding myself about what sometimes constitutes a "pipe dream."

http://home.elpasotexas.gov/stadium-cam/


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