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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Yahoo: Triple-A Beavers say goodbye to Portland

The Portland Beavers played their final game at downtown PGE Park on Monday with an uncertain future ahead.

The Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres was left without a place to play when the city won a bid to attract Major League Soccer. After renovations to the stadium, the Portland Timbers begin play next year.

Except for a few scattered years, the Beavers have been a part of Portland since 1903. But because MLS wanted a soccer-specific stadium, that meant the Beavers were without a home.
...
The ballpark, with its ivy-covered outfield wall just below 18th Avenue and the frequent rumbling of passing streetcars, was packed with more than 15,600 people for the final game.
...
The Beavers were purchased—along with the Timbers—in 2007 by [Merritt] Paulson, son of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The younger Paulson said he believes that some day baseball will return to Portland.

“It’s too good a market not to have baseball,” he said hopefully. “So its really a question of when, not if.”

Oregonian: Merritt Paulson feels “a sense of loss” at Beavers leaving Portland

NTNgod Posted: September 07, 2010 at 12:37 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, padres

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   1. The young punks with new suits and Stubby Clapps Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:09 AM (#3634717)
No more Thirsty Thursdays. *single tear*
   2. NTNgod Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3634736)
Oregonian: Sellout crowd watches Portland Beavers win last game at PGE Park
The game, billed as a celebration of Portland baseball, drew 15,639 fans, only the third sellout since the Beavers returned to Portland in 2001. The other sellouts were April 30, 2001, for the first Triple-A baseball game in Portland after an eight-year absence, and July 4, 2009, for a holiday game that featured postgame fireworks.
...
Portland took the lead in the third inning on a towering solo home run to leftfield by Wily Mo Pena that landed outside the stadium amidst a sizable of group of fans watching the game through the fence.


Wily Mo Pena sighting!
   3. Rich Rifkin Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:43 AM (#3634738)
My guess is that the Padres affiliate will move to Tucson, which was abandoned a couple of years ago when the D-backs affiliate moved to Reno.

But I wonder if the Padres would consider putting their AAA team in Tijuana or Ensenada? I have no idea if either town has a fitting ballpark. But it's not unprecedented for AAA teams to play their home games in Latin America. The Havana Sugar Kings were a AAA club. The Cardinals AAA team played in San Juan, PR, one season, also.

The idea behind TJ is just because, being so close to San Diego, it might help build the Padre fanbase. However, if that is not a consideration, then perhaps a city like Monterrey in Nuevo León would fit the bill?
   4. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:54 AM (#3634745)
The idea behind TJ is just because, being so close to San Diego, it might help build the Padre fanbase. However, if that is not a consideration, then perhaps a city like Monterrey in Nuevo León would fit the bill?

Would a major league team perhaps be concerned about the security situation in Mexico?
   5. Justin T's pasta pass was not revoked Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:01 AM (#3634753)
Would a major league team perhaps be concerned about the security situation in Mexico?

Most minor leaguers already live in conditions worse than what would exist in a kidnapper's camp.
   6. jwb Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:37 AM (#3634775)
Monterey has a 27,000 seat stadium, but the Sultanes play there.
   7. bobm Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:53 AM (#3634782)
[3]
But I wonder if the Padres would consider putting their AAA team in Tijuana or Ensenada?

I wonder if they would consider calling their AAA team the Tijuana Beavers.
   8. Lassus Posted: September 07, 2010 at 03:13 AM (#3634794)
WTF

Lame, lame, lame.
   9. TerpNats Posted: September 07, 2010 at 03:40 AM (#3634804)
I wonder if they would consider calling their AAA team the Tijuana Beavers.
Would the team's yearbook be known as a Tijuana bible?
   10. Hecubot Posted: September 07, 2010 at 04:41 AM (#3634829)
Soccer, the mortal enemy of baseball.
   11. Rich Rifkin Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:05 AM (#3634838)
"Would a major league team perhaps be concerned about the security situation in Mexico?"

Yes, but most places in Mexico are safe.
   12. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:16 AM (#3634846)
Yes, but most places in Mexico are safe.

But the cities nearest the United States border seem to be disproportionately troublesome (which makes sense, since it's American narcotics policy which drives so much of the disorder in Mexico).
   13. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:19 AM (#3634850)
I sometimes feel as though my brothers and I were the only baseball fans to grow up in that town.
   14. xbhaskarx Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:24 AM (#3634851)
So does this mean that minor league soccer (most good MLS players get called up to European leagues) is bigger than minor league baseball?
   15. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:25 AM (#3634852)
So does this mean that minor league soccer (most good MLS players get called up to European leagues) is bigger than minor league baseball?

Maybe to those dirty, unamerican Pacific Northwest hippies/hipsters.
   16. Rich Rifkin Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:35 AM (#3634854)
"it's American narcotics policy which drives so much of the disorder in Mexico"

Yes, that's a big part of it. The most salient driver is our demand mixed with our Prohibition efforts. But another big factor is our drug war in Colombia, which had the unintended effect of moving the supply into Mexico.

But the Mexicans in two respects are also drivers. First, it is Mexican drug cartels fighting mostly against other Mexican drug cartels*. They seem to have an insatiable appetite for cruelty and violence. The Mexican culture--gangsterism, cockfighting, bullfighting, boxing, wifebeating, etc.--has always been very violent. But this drug gang mentality has brought out the worst aspects within that culture. And second, the Mexican government has cracked down severely on the drug trade. That has led to even more mass killings, shoot-outs, etc. between the cops and the gangs, and often times there are cops who are in the gangs. It's not as if narco-trafficking is legal in Mexico.

*If you stay out of their crossfire, chances are strong you will be safe.
   17. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: September 07, 2010 at 05:57 AM (#3634858)
*If you stay out of their crossfire, chances are strong you will be safe.

Sure, but that's not really a decision left up to people living in the areas with the most drug violence.
   18. beer on a stick Posted: September 07, 2010 at 06:11 AM (#3634861)
I'm not 100% sure, but IIRC, MLB honors Mexican League territorial rights, so going south of the border would probably be more trouble than its worth, not only from a legal, but from an economic standpoint. No franchise would want to spend the cash to buy up rights, when there are plenty of towns in the US that fall outside the MLB/MILB territory rules.
   19. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: September 07, 2010 at 06:35 AM (#3634865)
Maybe they can get some major league beavers in there instead.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 07, 2010 at 06:49 AM (#3634866)
So does this mean that minor league soccer (most good MLS players get called up to European leagues) is bigger than minor league baseball?

Maybe to those dirty, unamerican Pacific Northwest hippies/hipsters.


Seattle Sounders 2010 attendance per game - 36,155
Seattle Mariners 2010 attendance per game - 26,581
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 11:03 AM (#3634875)
The Mexican culture--gangsterism, cockfighting, bullfighting, boxing, wifebeating, etc.--has always been very violent.


Also, they're greasy, and their backs are wet?

Keerist.
   22. Autobahn Posted: September 07, 2010 at 11:29 AM (#3634880)
So they kicked out a minor league baseball team for a football team?

Yeeeah, they can forget having a major league team.
   23. xbhaskarx Posted: September 07, 2010 at 11:38 AM (#3634882)
Does comment 22 think Seattle should lose their major league team based on comment 20?


Seattle Sounders 2010 attendance per game - 36,155
Seattle Mariners 2010 attendance per game - 26,581


What about Cleveland Indians vs Columbus Crew?
Oakland A's vs San Jose Earthquakes?
That one might not be close because the Earthquakes don't have their stadium yet, but I bet the A's are below other MLS teams like maybe the LA Galaxy...
   24. Autobahn Posted: September 07, 2010 at 11:44 AM (#3634883)
Did i say that it was down to the football team having a bigger attendance than the baseball team?
   25. TerpNats Posted: September 07, 2010 at 11:52 AM (#3634888)
Well, if Portland follows Toronto's model, it will have MLB by 2020. (The Jays arrived in 1977, precisely one decade after the IL Maple Leafs -- then a Bosox affiliate -- had left for Louisville.)
   26. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 12:21 PM (#3634891)
What about Cleveland Indians vs Columbus Crew?

Cleveland Indians: 17,277
Columbus Blue Jackets: 15,416
Columbus Crew: 14,384

Not a ton lower than other non-NFL major pro sports in Ohio. The Reds are up near 26,000+ a game, but were down closer to 21,000 last year when they weren't a playoff team. The Cavs sold out the 2009-10 season, but they were down below 12,000 before the LeBron era started. I think it's reasonable to throw the Cavs out of the equation, given that nobody really knows what to expect from them post-LeBron. They sold a ton of season ticket renewals for 2010-11 before James left*, so attendance will be good for at least one more season.

* - Dan Gilbert may be an asshat, but he's nobody's fool.
   27. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 12:42 PM (#3634899)
So does this mean that minor league soccer (most good MLS players get called up to European leagues) is bigger than minor league baseball?

It's almost certainly more profitable. The economics of MLS are such that it's almost impossible to lose large amounts of money if you control your own stadium. Each team gets $1,000,000+ annually from an Adidas sponsorship that just got extended (and increased), the TV deal with ESPN is worth around $500,000 per team, Fox pays another $150K or so per team, Telefutura is worth another couple hundred thousand, teams get on average about $1.5M for jersey sponsorships. That's $3M+ in income per team before ticket sales. The salary cap is $2.3M.

There's a reason billionaires are lined up around the block to buy into the league.
   28. xbhaskarx Posted: September 07, 2010 at 12:45 PM (#3634900)
24: well yeah but that's not even a minor league baseball team, that's a major league team. That plays like a minor league team.
   29. Autobahn Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:03 PM (#3634906)
I'm not sure what you're driving at here #28.

My point that whilst the city managed to make room for a football team and even went along with MLS's demand for a soccer-specific stadium, they didn't have the political ammo (or appetite by the looks of it) for finding a place for the established baseball team.

If they can't find a home for the team and where willing to dump the baseball team that had played there for a decade for a MLS team, then that puts a big cloud over the local support for baseball and hence their suitability for an MLB team.

Each team gets $1,000,000+ annually from an Adidas sponsorship that just got extended (and increased), the TV deal with ESPN is worth around $500,000 per team, Fox pays another $150K or so per team, Telefutura is worth another couple hundred thousand, teams get on average about $1.5M for jersey sponsorships. That's $3M+ in income per team before ticket sales. The salary cap is $2.3M.


Whoa and in UK there's plenty of teams without any financial security. Where did you get those figures?
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:15 PM (#3634913)
Yes, that's a big part of it. The most salient driver is our demand mixed with our Prohibition efforts. But another big factor is our drug war in Colombia, which had the unintended effect of moving the supply into Mexico.

Of course, this wouldn't lead to rampant violence and kidnapping if the Mexican justice system, and really the whole political system, wasn't so rampantly corrupt.

The drugs have to move through AZ, TX, NM and CA too, but you don't see that level of violence in the US.
   31. OsunaSakata Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:20 PM (#3634915)
The Padres want their AAA team in Escondido.
   32. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 01:33 PM (#3634923)
Where did you get those figures?

Adidas deal worth $25M per season here, ESPN deal worth $8M per season here, Fox deal worth $2.2M per season here, Univision/Telefutura deal worth nearly $10M per season here, and jersey sponsorships here. Not to mention the profits from SUM.

MLS is very, very quietly a cash cow. They'd prefer you (and the players) not know that.
   33. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3634952)
Of course, this wouldn't lead to rampant violence and kidnapping if the Mexican justice system, and really the whole political system, wasn't so rampantly corrupt.


I wonder what drove making it so corrupt?

The drugs have to move through AZ, TX, NM and CA too, but you don't see that level of violence in the US.


LOL.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:18 PM (#3634959)
I wonder what drove making it so corrupt?

100 years of 50 families owning the whole country, and single party, quasi-socialist rule.

Mexico was corrupt long before it became a major drug route. They were just playing for smaller stakes.
   35. puck Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:37 PM (#3634975)
So, assuming a similar total of people come to the games (I have no idea on the Beavers' attendance, just saw some articles noting 360,000-390,000 lately), is it better to have that spread out over all days of the week and 72 dates, or mostly Saturday nights? Is there any sort of commercial area near the ballpark?

Interesting that the city essentially chose soccer over minor league baseball, esp. when you factor in the $20 million or so they supposedly spent to upgrade the park for MLS.
   36. Kirby Kyle Posted: September 07, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3634993)
The Mexican culture--gangsterism, cockfighting, bullfighting, boxing, wifebeating, etc.--has always been very violent.

On the bright side, it gives ESPN Latin America some great programming options.
   37. philevans3154 Posted: September 07, 2010 at 03:50 PM (#3635057)
The Mexican culture--gangsterism, cockfighting, bullfighting, boxing, wifebeating, etc.--has always been very violent.

Don't forget the horrors of cat-juggling.
   38. GregQ Posted: September 07, 2010 at 04:01 PM (#3635068)
#35 I am pretty sure that the team owners expected to get a new stadium all along. A number of factors hurt that including the recession, the Mayor's loss of power due to a sex scandal and his upsetting a lot of people by taking money from the sewer funds to build bike lanes. I cannot find the reference now but originally both MLS and minor league baseball said a shared stadium was fine. I think Paulson got greedy and figured he could get a second stadium. Now a local sports writer has (very late) taken up the cause for him and expect a growing drumbeat from politicians that we "owe" Paulson a stadium.
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 07, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3635097)
Don't forget the horrors of cat-juggling.


Honky culture can be at least as bad as anything Mexico has to offer. I mean, ferret legging? Fox tossing? Goose pulling?
   40. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: September 08, 2010 at 03:42 AM (#3635714)
This probably merits its own link - a nice bit by Neyer on a Beaver jersey he bought.
   41. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 08, 2010 at 04:11 AM (#3635723)
MLS is very, very quietly a cash cow. They'd prefer you (and the players) not know that.


The Seattle Times had an article last season on how much the Sounders players were making (or not making). Sure Freddie Ljungberg was making well over a million, but much of the team, including several players who had significant playing time, were in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, and some were as low as $20,000...
   42. Tuque Posted: September 08, 2010 at 05:11 AM (#3635753)
Huh. This makes me feel bad for only having gone to only one game since I was ten, if even. But the last time I lived there regularly I was in high school, and the problem with Portland is that all the kids are way too hip for baseball.
   43. puck Posted: September 08, 2010 at 06:20 AM (#3635772)
The Seattle Times had an article last season on how much the Sounders players were making (or not making).


MLS salary info is very much available: MLS players association. Check out the Red Bulls (NY) and the team ahead of them in the standings (Columbus). (Though to be fair, two of the NY's stars just joined the team.)
   44. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 08, 2010 at 07:00 AM (#3635775)
Sure Freddie Ljungberg was making well over a million, but much of the team, including several players who had significant playing time, were in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, and some were as low as $20,000...
The league's CBA was up after last season and the players made a big public show about how they were going to strike, but of course they caved.

The MLSPU has a huge problem in that their members, especially the foreign players and the higher-end American players, chose to play in MLS. Why would those guys vote to sit around and not get paid? They had other options and knew what they were getting into when they signed with the league.
   45. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 08, 2010 at 08:07 AM (#3635779)
MLS salary info is very much available: MLS players association. Check out the Red Bulls (NY) and the team ahead of them in the standings (Columbus). (Though to be fair, two of the NY's stars just joined the team.)


Thanks very much for that link.
   46. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 08, 2010 at 10:14 AM (#3635789)
One of the problems the Beavers have is that they're affiliated with a team from the other end of the coast, who nobody cares about. If they were a Giants or Mariners farm team, it would probably help.

But soccer has always been more popular in Portland than baseball, at least in a boots-on-the-field sense.
   47. ursus arctos Posted: September 08, 2010 at 11:28 AM (#3635793)
The MLSPU has a huge problem in that their members, especially the foreign players and the higher-end American players, chose to play in MLS. Why would those guys vote to sit around and not get paid? They had other options and knew what they were getting into when they signed with the league.


This has always been a major problem when it comes to "player power" in North American soccer. In the 70s, the NASL union authorized a strike and got initial advice that foreign players risked deportation if they crossed a picket line. When that advice proved to be wrong, the strike fell apart, with only a single game being contested by replacement players.

That said, the current setup dates from a time when MLS' ancillary income was nowhere near what it is now, and balance needs to be restored. Income differentials of 40 to 1 within a starting XI aren't healthy.
   48. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 08, 2010 at 11:51 AM (#3635798)
Income differentials of 40 to 1 within a starting XI aren't healthy.

Francisco Cervelli couldn't agree more. He thinks it's bogus that he's making 1.2% of A-Rod's salary this year.

In all seriousness, though, you're right that the low end of the salary scale needed to be raised. Even the MLS owners would agree, I think. The minimum salary went up nearly 18% this season and will increase 5% in every year of the current CBA. Hopefully that will be enough to prevent talented young players from choosing not to pursue careers in pro soccer because they'd like to be able to pay their bills.

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