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12-19-2013, 11:46 PM
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Many baseball insiders assume MLB will return to Montreal, but some -- like agent Scott Boras -- are pushing for an earlier return if the Tampa Bay Rays cannot solve their ballpark issues.

Boras was pretty clear about Montreal serving as a better home to the Rays, as reported by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

“The hope in baseball is you’d have a consistent product annually, you have a group of people in ownership that are putting winning baseball on the field, and you’d certainly have to say Tampa Bay has done that,” Boras said.
“My point was that baseball, collectively, to protect the game, to protect the market, and you have a product that is so successful and the market is not responding to it, what is the reason? The reason is not the performance of the franchise or the players. The reason has to be there’s a dynamic operating here that is not consistent with what other markets do in baseball.
“Clearly if you win and you’re successful, your fan base rewards. So my suggestion of New Jersey or Montreal or somewhere ... The idea is for the betterment of the game. I think we have to look at markets that aren’t rewarding playing the game at a high level.”

Now, Boras isn't the first person to suggest the Rays should look north of the border for a new home, but he's the one with the most knowledge of baseball's finances to say MLB would be viable in Montreal. The Rays would see an attendance jump playing at initially and temporarily at Olympic Stadium versus the Trop, to be sure, and given the state of politics in Tampa Bay, one could argue there's an equal chance of a new ballpark in both areas. And, one could argue that the economic future for an MLB is considerably brighter in Montreal than Tampa when it comes to TV contracts (Bell would be a natural partner) and media exposure. The trick would be turning that five-year honeymoon into momentum for a new ballpark.

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