No time for a long post tonight. Sorry. I’ll be writing more on this topic on Monday though.
One of the central tenets of journalism is don’t bury the lead. The other – unless you happen to work for the New York Post – is to avoid sensationalizing stories. In Peter Gammons’ latest blog post (Insider only. Sorry.), the esteemed ESPN writer may be trying to do the later at the expense of the former.
Gammons’ post is ostensibly a scouting overview of Spring Training so far. He focuses on the Indians and their chances for this season. After the main meat of his post, he gets to the good stuff: the notes from training camps. Halfway down the notes section is this tidbit:
One National League owner is telling employees that MLB has a plan to contract four teams, with a contraction draft already drafted.
To me, that screams out BIG STORY. This is the first time anyone has mentioned contraction in serious terms since before the latest round of bargaining in 2002. Contraction was off the table, and while the owners always had the potential to bring it up again this year, most baseball analysts assumed they wouldn’t for fears of risking a long-term war with the players’ union.
While this is still just a rumor from an anonymous source, Gammons tends to be among the more reliable writers on the net. My early take is that this contraction plan will be waved around and possibly even bantered around during the talks this year, but it is unlikely to pass.
On Monday, I’ll tackle the potential candidates for contraction. If I had to guess now, I would tag the Kansas City Royals and the Florida Marlins as two teams that could be headed for extinction.