It looks as though Bug Selig, the commissioner of Major League baseball, may have spoken too soon. This past off-season, Selig introduced a plan to contract two teams from the league. In his plan, these two teams would be the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos. Well, I guess Bud underestimated how much motivation his word would give these teams.
If you look at the baseball standings as of Tuesday night, you will see two things. First, look at the standing of the American League Central Division. You will see that the Minnesota Twins are in first place. Then look at the National League Eastern Division, and you will realize that the Montreal Expos are also in first place. Oops, Bud.
Of course, many critics will say it is early in the season, and that these standings mean nothing. Look at the Twins last year. They were in first place at the all-star break and had to win two out of their last three games at the end of the season just to remain in second place. There is always the possibility of this happening this year as well.
Other critics will say Selig is right to contract the Twins and Expos for economic reasons. Montreal continues to only draw 5000 people per game. Minnesota However has seen its attendance climb by twenty-eight percent from a year ago. Selig has helped the Twins in this aspect.
The Twins are still trying to negotiate funding for a new stadium. Stadiums don’t always help though. The Milwaukee Brewers, once owned by Selig himself, and now owned by his daughter Wendy, began play at Miller Park last season. They drew over three million people their first season in their new ballpark. This year things are not the same. On a clear cool spring night last Monday, the Brewers only had 3500 people show up for their game against Montreal. Winning is the only guarantee to bring people into the seats. This is what is finally happening in Minnesota.
At least this season these two teams have two nations behind them. Well, maybe not so much the Expos, Canada really doesn’t care that much. Minnesota is another story. Peter Gammons, baseball expert for ESPN, has coined the Twins “America’s Team”. There are many more baseball fans out there that are thinking the same thing, and not just in Minnesota.
While around the state of Minnesota the slogan, “Hey Bud, Contract This!” (followed by a lewd gesture), is quite popular, the Twins have gained many fans who would not ordinarily cheer for them. I mean, if you had to choose right now between the Yankees and the Twins, it’s a pretty easy choice. You always cheer for the underdog.
Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz puts the perfect spin on things when he says, “People are going to have a heart attack of they see us and Montreal in the World Series.”
Well, at least one person won’t be feeling so well. Right, Bud?