By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
I'm not the kind of person to say, " I Told You So ".......but, " I Told You So ",
Last week the Mayor of St Petersburg, Rick Kriseman, wrote a memo to his city council relating that the proposal to have the Tampa Bay Rays play half their home games in Montreal was essentially a dead issue.
Clearly stated, the memo said, "In accordance with the existing use agreement, should the Rays organization wish to continue exploration of the shared season concept with Montreal, that exploration must be limited to the 2028 season and beyond,"
The Rays and a Montreal group headed by Stephen Bronfman have talked about a " shared " season, with the team playing half of its 81 home games in each location.
The discussion was initiated and then promoted fully as the Rays, who play at Tropicana Field, had the second-lowest attendance in Major League Baseball this year, despite making the playoffs.
Montreal has been without a big-league team since the Expos left after the 2004 season for Washington and became the Nationals.
To me, a Tampa Bay-Montreal or St Petersburg-Montreal sister-city scenario was hair-brained from the get-go and seemed like something a writer might conjure up on a slow news day.
Two fan bases.
Two residences to maintain
Too many other issues to overcome to make it viable in my eyes.
Major League Baseball will return to Montreal...........sort of.
On Monday March 23rd and Tuesday the 24th, the Toronto Blue Jays will host the New York Yankees in a pair of Major League pre-season games.
And you can bet that will prompt a myriad of voices to proclaim that Major League Baseball belongs in Montreal and would thrive in Montreal.
Maybe. But I doubt it.
What I do know for certain is the Tampa Bay Rays are not splitting with Montreal, ...at least not until 2028.
I'm Fred Wallace