Last week, rumors spread like wildfire that Nashville wanted to poach the Rays from the Tampa Bay area. But after we showed that this was just a silly joke gone mad, we thought we had heard the end. Not if Jeff Wilson has anything to say about it.

Wilson is a columnist for the Dallas Star-Telegram, and he decided this was a great opportunity to devote an entire column to crap all over Tampa and St. Pete…

There’s a lesson to be learned, courtesy of the honorable [Nashville Mayor] Mr. Dean . Don’t joke about the Rays bolting town, because it doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to see that happening…Baseball remains on life support in Tampa/St. Petersburg, and there are no guarantees that it can survive…The franchise has been plagued by rotten attendance for years and plays in a lousy ballpark. Despite the Rays being the defending American League East champions and a 74-win team entering Saturday, they have the 13th-worst (sic) attendance in the 14-team league…A move north (sic) to Tampa would likely help, but a move north to, say, Nashville might end up being in the best interests of the franchise…[David] Price, a Nashville-area native and former Vanderbilt star, has no doubt that his hometown is a baseball town…It wouldn’t take much to be better than Tampa-St. Pete.

Actually, it would take much. That “much” being something that 99.9 percent of the cities in this country don’t have, including Nashville.

As Noah Pransky pointed out, a recent study ranked the top 59 markets without a baseball team and their prospects for supporting a big league franchise. Nashville came in 56th just behind Winnipeg, a city that has snow on the ground in August.

But hey, why would a Dallas columnist let research or little things like “facts” get in the way of a last-second story idea trying to fill his weekly quota.



  1. Neal says:

    North to Tampa, eh? He obviously knows the area well.

  2. Steve says:

    I can't think of an intellectual discipline which has regressed more than sports journalism over the past 30 or so years. The current bunch make their earlier predecessors seem like intellectual giants. The pressure to make the "half-baked idea" seem newswothy is part of the problem, but its also the pure abidication of any accountability by the writers themselves. As more people are getting better information from more diverse sources, sportswriters - - especially those from establishment sources like TV and print - - have met the challenge by increasing the amount of drivel they produce. As Yeats wrote . . . "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." I've said it before writing like this is the intellectual equivalent of graffiti.


Leave a Comment