Ex-MLB pitcher rips idea of Rays playing in two cities
The Tampa Bay Rays are exploring an unprecedented way to rescue their franchise from a lack of fan interest, and one former MLB player has a great point about why the idea seems unlikely to work.
On Thursday, the Rays received permission from MLB to pursue an arrangement in which they would play half of their games in Tampa and the other half in Montreal. Brad Ziegler, a former relief pitcher who played 11 MLB seasons, quickly pointed out how much of an “absolute nightmare” that would be for Rays players.
Splitting time between the 2 cities would be an absolute nightmare as a player… Potentially moving your family/pets back-and-forth, finding pediatricians, doctors, vets, paying rent on multiple houses, even when you’re not there. No thanks.
— Brad Ziegler (@BradZiegler) June 20, 2019
Ziegler makes a good point. The majority of Rays players probably wouldn’t “live” in both cities, so they would essentially be playing 40 or so more away games than players on any other team. That is one of the reasons Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the plan will never come to fruition.
If Montreal ever gets a new stadium, they would have their own baseball team without sharing the #Rays with St Pete. And if the Tampa Bay Area ever gets a new ballpark, they’re not sharing their team with Montreal. No chance of this happening, much less the players ever approving
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 20, 2019
The Rays have been trying to get approval for a new stadium in Tampa, but the embarrassing attendance they have had at games this year illustrates why they can’t get the money. Part of the two-city proposal is that they would play the first half of their home games in Tampa and the second half in Montreal, and that would eliminate the need for a roof enclosure on a new Tampa stadium. Still, the chances of it ever happening seem very slim.