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A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club

It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.

Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.

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If you want to know what the effects of the expanded playoffs are, why not ask the NBA?

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audiencesend us your suggestion.

The additional playoff teams added to the mix this season might mean more money for MLB, as Jeff Bower explained by looking at the NBA's example in the piece reproduced below, which originally ran on January 28, 2003.



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A look at four players who have had an interesting physical journey through their career.

Have you ever looked at a player's listed weight and laughed, wondering just how he could expect us to believe that it was true? Or maybe looked back at a player's career and wondered how exactly he went from that svelte 20-year-old body to that vastly different 35-year-old body?

Listed below are four players who have had an interesting physical journey throughout their playing careers. Using the official height and weight stats found on the back of their year-to-year baseball cards, I've traced each player's physical changes from his debut to his final year. It's not surprising to see obvious discrepancies between the official and actual weights, but it is enlightening to see them side-by-side. We'll never get complete and honest weights (and heights) from ballplayers; at the very least, then, we should try and recognize how we're being fooled.

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July 29, 2007 12:00 am

The Big Picture: Gambling on Umpires

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David Pinto

Further thoughts on what's at stake in the Donaghy scandal.

On July 19, the news hit that an investigation of point-shaving by an NBA referee was underway. Preventing a team from beating the spread is an ambiguous way of fixing games. The person or persons involved in the deception don't want a team to lose a game, just not win by very much, so in theory, bottom line won-lost records shouldn't be altered by point-shaving, just the stats of individual players. That's very different from the Black Sox scandal of 1919, when baseball players actually played to lose the World Series. People involved in point-shaving might feel they're not really hurting anyone, since the actual outcome of the game should remain the same.

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July 27, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Fixing It

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Nate Silver

Could a Donaghy scenario happen in baseball?

Baseball must be toasting this week's sports pages over glasses of vodka and schadenfreude. Last Friday, NBA referee Tim Donaghy was implicated in a betting scandal. On Wednesday, Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen, under heavy suspicion of doping, was kicked out of the race by his own team. And on Thursday, Michael Vick was scrambling away from reporters in a federal courthouse, rather than opposing linebackers on the field.

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April 29, 2005 12:00 am

Handling the Steroids Issue

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Derek Zumsteg

What can MLB learn from the NFL and NBA's history of handling drug offenses? Derek Zumsteg takes a look.

There are no easy answers to these questions. But we can learn a good deal from the precedents set by other sports, specifically the NFL and NBA.

The NFL's steroid policy as we recognize it was instituted in 1989 after a series of legal fights, as the league attempted to impose a policy. It had, in a much weaker form, started in 1982, allowing the league to test all players once, as part of their pre-season physical. The league tried and failed to impose testing again in 1986 after the cocaine-related death of Browns safety Don Rogers. An arbitrator ruled they could not impose random drug testing for all league players. This led to a strange limbo for several years.

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August 25, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Mark Cuban

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Jonah Keri

Mark Cuban made his fortune through the sale of his company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in 1999. Rather than push his luck during the frenetic peak of the Internet bubble, Cuban took his cash and fulfilled a dream, buying the NBA's Dallas Mavericks for $280 million in 2000. With a risk-taking approach and a focus on marketing and investing in the product, Cuban has since presided over the Mavericks' transformation into one of the league's most successful and high-profile teams. Cuban recently chatted with Baseball Prospectus about the role of a good owner, labor relations in pro sports, and more.

Baseball Prospectus: Do you see pro sports franchises as bottom-line operations, or are they more the domain of the public, and come with a different set of rules?

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Early last week, ESPN.com published a column by Jayson Stark that proposed 20 rules changes for MLB, ranging from the cosmetic ("Toughen up the save rule") to the crazed ("But add the designated fielder"). Now, I'm not going to talk in particular about Stark's column today, except to say that I think many of his suggestions sound good until you give serious consideration to how they would affect the way the game is played.

Early last week, ESPN.com published a column by Jayson Stark that proposed 20 rules changes for MLB, ranging from the cosmetic ("Toughen up the save rule") to the crazed ("But add the designated fielder"). Now, I'm not going to talk in particular about Stark's column today, except to say that I think many of his suggestions sound good until you give serious consideration to how they would affect the way the game is played.

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Let's say, for the sake of history, that you've got more than a few gray hairs on your noggin, if you have any hair on the old chrome dome at all. (Of course, you could be using Grecian formula, but then you're also probably using Rafael Palmeiro's potion as well and are too busy pitching woo to have any time to think about baseball history.)

Let's say that you actually care about this stuff, that all of this talk about money and drugs and labor negotiations hasn't bugged you so much and made you so cranky that the national pastime no longer fans your interest. I mean, if you listened to the messages emanating from the game's bunker on Park Avenue, you'd think the sky was falling, the barbarians were at the gate, and that western civilization itself was in jeopardy, with the apocalypse nigh.

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