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AJC: Thrashers fans coping with relocation six months later

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Old
12-15-2011, 12:39 PM
  #101
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Originally Posted by Duke49 View Post
Regardless, I understand what you're saying, but why are we comparing Atlanta to Winnipeg? They aren't comparable in anyway. Can we stop thinking that just because Winnipeg does well that Atlanta should too without considering all of the circumstances?
For me, this raises a question. Does the NHL see a worth, to go through all these special "circumstances" to make hockey work in a place like Atlanta? I mean, if you have places that do well with no intervention, modified expectations, or really any work required at all, why would you try to win the battle in places where there will definitly be a battle?

Basically, is anyone flabbergasted that the franchise in Atlanta didn't do well long term?

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12-15-2011, 12:49 PM
  #102
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Can we stop thinking that just because Winnipeg does well that Atlanta should too without considering all of the circumstances?
There's a bit of a problem here, and I'm not just trying to pick on Atlanta. Constantly on these boards, I see fans from the US south defending the existence of their teams by saying hockey belongs down there and throwing all kinds of numbers about the growth of youth hockey and blah blah blah.

If people are going to argue that southern cities like Atlanta, Phoenix, etc. are just as deserving of an NHL team than traditional markets in Canada and the northern US, then we have to stop with this double-standard.

If your city is a legitimate hockey market with a strong fanbase and a desire for hockey among local residents, then there should be absolutely no special treatment. Teams like the Coyotes, Panthers, etc. should be held to the same standard as teams like the Jets or the Oilers. You can't sell out an arena in the south? Why not? I thought (name of city here) was just as passionate about hockey as cities in Canada?

I mean, these are cities with enormous populations, so only a tiny fraction is needed to sell out an arena (many of which, like the Job in Glendale) are brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities. If (southern town) is just as good as (northern town), then why is it so difficult to get a mere 16-17,000 people out to watch a sport that is (supposedly) just as popular as it is up here, in a great facility, at extremely discounted ticket prices?

If we can't compare Winnipeg and Phoenix, say, then Phoenix supporters need to shut the **** up about their town being equally as deserving of an NHL team. Clearly they aren't. That's not a bad thing and it doesn't mean they shouldn't get the team they already have, or that they shouldn't be allowed to enjoy hockey down there... but they also need to acknowledge that their city is ****** for hockey.

If you're on par with teams like Winnipeg/Minnesota/Chicago/Edmonton/etc., then you should be selling out every game. End of story. If you're not selling out every game (especially when your fans are paying waaaay less for tickets), you're not on par with those cities in terms of quality as a hockey market.

I'm soooo sick of this "we deserve it" ******** from people in the south. No, you don't. You have to earn it.
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Old
12-15-2011, 12:56 PM
  #103
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I'm soooo sick of this "we deserve it" ******** from people in the south. No, you don't. You have to earn it.

Agree 100%, but the problem seems to be, you'd have some rich guy who knew nothing about what he was buying. But he'd buy a team on sexy talk and promisies from Uncle Gary, move it to some sexy place in the south, and watch the dollar bills come flying in...

Seems today, the NHL is interested in actually making money again, and isn't that what it's all about for a business?

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12-15-2011, 12:57 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Fidel Astro View Post
There's a bit of a problem here, and I'm not just trying to pick on Atlanta. Constantly on these boards, I see fans from the US south defending the existence of their teams by saying hockey belongs down there and throwing all kinds of numbers about the growth of youth hockey and blah blah blah.

If people are going to argue that southern cities like Atlanta, Phoenix, etc. are just as deserving of an NHL team than traditional markets in Canada and the northern US, then we have to stop with this double-standard.

If your city is a legitimate hockey market with a strong fanbase and a desire for hockey among local residents, then there should be absolutely no special treatment. Teams like the Coyotes, Panthers, etc. should be held to the same standard as teams like the Jets or the Oilers. You can't sell out an arena in the south? Why not? I thought (name of city here) was just as passionate about hockey as cities in Canada?

I mean, these are cities with enormous populations, so only a tiny fraction is needed to sell out an arena (many of which, like the Job in Glendale) are brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities. If (southern town) is just as good as (northern town), then why is it so difficult to get a mere 16-17,000 people out to watch a sport that is (supposedly) just as popular as it is up here, in a great facility, at extremely discounted ticket prices?

If we can't compare Winnipeg and Phoenix, say, then Phoenix supporters need to shut the **** up about their town being equally as deserving of an NHL team. Clearly they aren't. That's not a bad thing and it doesn't mean they shouldn't get the team they already have, or that they shouldn't be allowed to enjoy hockey down there... but they also need to acknowledge that their city is ****** for hockey.

If you're on par with teams like Winnipeg/Minnesota/Chicago/Edmonton/etc., then you should be selling out every game. End of story. If you're not selling out every game (especially when your fans are paying waaaay less for tickets), you're not on par with those cities in terms of quality as a hockey market.

I'm soooo sick of this "we deserve it" ******** from people in the south. No, you don't. You have to earn it.
Did you ever hear about the city that had an NHL team whose owner got hammered in his primary businesses during an ecomonic downturn and ended up having to sell his team to outside interests in another country? A few years later, a minor-league team at the highest level came along and was an immediate hit...year after year of passionate support, sending a clear message that, if the NHL were to ever expand or move a team, it would be able to support it.

That was Atlanta.

(Funny that you decry a "double standard", yet conveniently dismiss Winnipeg's horrid attendance in the 1990s...as well as the horrid attendance of places like Edmonton and Minnesota during the 1990s as well)

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Old
12-15-2011, 01:03 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Did you ever hear about the city that had an NHL team whose owner got hammered in his primary businesses during an ecomonic downturn and ended up having to sell his team to outside interests in another country? A few years later, a minor-league team at the highest level came along and was an immediate hit...year after year of passionate support, sending a clear message that, if the NHL were to ever expand or move a team, it would be able to support it.

That was Atlanta.

(Funny that you decry a "double standard", yet conveniently dismiss Winnipeg's horrid attendance in the 1990s...as well as the horrid attendance of places like Edmonton and Minnesota during the 1990s as well)
This. It's great that the southern markets have to prove it when many "northern" teams have already lost teams or had many hanging by a thread.

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12-15-2011, 01:10 PM
  #106
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(Funny that you decry a "double standard", yet conveniently dismiss Winnipeg's horrid attendance in the 1990s...as well as the horrid attendance of places like Edmonton and Minnesota during the 1990s as well)
Perhaps you're forgetting that Winnipeg and Minnesota actually did relocate, and Edmonton came perilously close.

Again, why does a team like Phoenix get special treatment? They're waaaay worse in terms of "horrid" attendance than Winnipeg ever was (we were always hovering around league average, which was lower then than it is now. The only really brutal year was the lame-duck season), yet the Coyotes have a successful on-ice team and a new facility, both of which the Jets 1.0 would have killed for.

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12-15-2011, 01:18 PM
  #107
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Oh, didn't you know? It's okay when people in so many of those cities stay away in droves because of continued mediocrity or poor ownership or any of a myriad of other issues....but anyone else doing it is inferior in every way.
I love how this always comes up. "But.. but Chicago had bad attendance once upon a time. Should we move them?"

**** NO.

Chicago (just using them as an example of a traditional team that often gets targeted with this garbage) is a team with proven success in the past. They went through periods of lower attendance and poorer on-ice play. It happens to every team. It's called a slump. Most teams (Chicago, for example again) pull themselves out of the slump and get back to their former glory.

PHOENIX HAS NO FORMER GLORY TO GET BACK TO. Neither do a lot of these other cities. If you've been struggling since day one, your ****** attendance is not due to a slump, it's because you ****ing suck and no one cares about hockey in your region.

There's nothing to lean back on, no dormant fanbase ready to jump back on the wagon once the wins start happening again. The fanbase in Phoenix (again, using them as an example) is the full strength of the Coyotes' fanbase. Those less-than-10,000 people at games... that's it. That's the difference.

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Old
12-15-2011, 01:24 PM
  #108
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Friendly warning:

This thread is beginning to veer off course, and is turning into more of a market vs. market pissing match than anything resembling the thread topic. I'm going to ask, from this point onwards, that further discussion in this thread be limited to Atlanta and the Thrashers. If you have other talking points that you want to get off your chest, I'm certain there's an appropriate thread for it.

This is a sensitive subject as we all know, so please try to exercise some restraint. Continue.

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Old
12-15-2011, 01:30 PM
  #109
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If you think it makes a difference or not, it's obvious when looking at just the attendance numbers that ASG destroyed the franchise. I've posted this before, so I'm really not up to list each season, but prior to ASG's takeover, the team averaged something like 16,500. From the '06 season on, the average went down about 700-1,000 each season.

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Old
12-15-2011, 01:37 PM
  #110
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Back on topic. Something I was wondering about, but the All-Star mural was in CNN Center, which isn't part of Philips Arena, and therefore isn't owned by Atlanta Spirit Group. Is this correct? If so, I don't see any reason why they would be asking Bob Williams in the first place. His response seems appropriate, although the wording is a bit insensitive to former Thrashers fans.

That mural sucked anyway. The removal of the SE division championship banner seems like a bigger story to me. WTF? At least, for historical purposes, keep it up. I really hope they didn't remove that banner and still kept the stupid widespread panic banners up.

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Old
12-15-2011, 02:05 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by Duke49 View Post
Regardless, I understand what you're saying, but why are we comparing Atlanta to Winnipeg? They aren't comparable in anyway. Can we stop thinking that just because Winnipeg does well that Atlanta should too without considering all of the circumstances?
Who said I was comparing the two
All I was refering to was attendance numbers dont say the whole picture.
Regardless of locations

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Old
12-15-2011, 02:36 PM
  #112
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I think everything plays a factor, especially Ownership & Fans....you can't just look at one isolated thing and say "that was THE REASON x y or z happened!!"

In Atlanta's case, it was just a lot of misfortune and unfortunate things mixed with some harsh realities, and some very real struggles

I do agree with everything Atlanta fans suggest was the reason: arena location, horrible ownership, struggling team, no market presence, etc...

but I also agree with everything others are suggesting: weak ticket sales, cheap prices, general lack of interest in market, etc...

Its not just one sole reason or another, its a myriad of factors that need to be taken into account.

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12-15-2011, 02:54 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
I agree with Gump, attendance numbers are for the most part meaningless. Actual ticket and suite revenue is what counts.
I believe the suites were tied to the ARENA, and not each TEAM. So, the suites were going to be sold for Thrashers hockey even if every Hawks suite contained people who never went to a Thrashers game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidel Astro View Post
I love how this always comes up. "But.. but Chicago had bad attendance once upon a time. Should we move them?"

Chicago (just using them as an example of a traditional team that often gets targeted with this garbage) is a team with proven success in the past. They went through periods of lower attendance and poorer on-ice play. It happens to every team. It's called a slump. Most teams (Chicago, for example again) pull themselves out of the slump and get back to their former glory.

PHOENIX HAS NO FORMER GLORY TO GET BACK TO. Neither do a lot of these other cities. If you've been struggling since day one, your ****** attendance is not due to a slump, it's because you ****ing suck and no one cares about hockey in your region.
Here's where you're wrong: By that logic and definition, ANY team that isn't successful FROM THE START needs to move because it's a failed market, including Winnipeg and Quebec. And that's a load of crap.

Success takes time. The more teams you have, the harder it is to build from scratch. Especially with the chumps who were available in the expansion drafts.

Blaming a MARKET for a team's lack of success is stupid. The idea that HOCKEY can't win people over is insulting to every hockey fan everywhere and the history of the game.

You can't label some relocated franchises as "failures" and others as "had their teams stolen." Take a good, hard look at exactly how you're classifying those teams. It's certainly not objective.

The Thrashers didn't fail. The Thrashers were EVICTED by their idiot ownership.

If your attendance is bad, it's because your team sucks. Chicago, Detroit, the Islanders, Pittsburgh, and virtually every other franchise proves that. If your attendance sucks WHILE you're winning, THEN you can say a market sucks.


As a Mets fan who absolutely hates the Braves, the whole "not selling out playoff games" is also stupid. MLB changed their TV contracts and starting putting playoff games to weekday afternoon games in 1996. And what they do is wait until the the matchups are set, and then figure out who's playing when to put the big markets at night.

Taking out the weekday afternoon games, the Braves basically had four pathetic playoff crowds. All game 1 or game 2 of series. When MLB's doing the whole "wait until the last minute to announce game times."

It happens to EVERYONE because baseball isn't like hockey, where all the playoff games are at 7 pm or 8 pm on weekdays. Remember Derek Jeter's Jeffery Maier home run that was stolen over the wall? Afternoon game at Yankee Stadium: Yeah, that wasn't a sellout, either.

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Old
12-15-2011, 03:04 PM
  #114
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When you consider that, ostensibly, ASG contacted True North while still in court (an illegal act) to sell the Thrashers, it makes this situation all more disgusting.

And unless a new arena is built in the suburbs of Atlanta, I can't see them getting another shot. But then, the market size for Atlanta may be just too great to ignore.

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Old
12-15-2011, 03:25 PM
  #115
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Blaming a MARKET for a team's lack of success is stupid. The idea that HOCKEY can't win people over is insulting to every hockey fan everywhere and the history of the game.
I don't think it's insulting to hockey fans in general that hockey isn't successful in some places. Seriously. It's not always going to work. There's no shame in that.

Quote:
You can't label some relocated franchises as "failures" and others as "had their teams stolen." Take a good, hard look at exactly how you're classifying those teams. It's certainly not objective.
Of course it's not objective. I've never claimed to be objective. I'm vocally anti-sunbelt. That doesn't mean, however, that my opinions on this topic are always just knee-jerk automatic "**** the south" type comments. You may have noticed there are some southern teams that I have said nothing negative about, and that's because they've proven they can be successful.

Also, I didn't say anyone's teams were "stolen." There are very legitimate reasons why the Jets, Nordiques and others were moved, just like there were legitimate reasons why the Thrashers (back on topic again, hooray!) were moved and why the Coyotes will eventually move.

Quote:
The Thrashers didn't fail. The Thrashers were EVICTED by their idiot ownership.
I've been saying it all along -- the Thrashers fans were mistreated by the team's owners and the NHL re: the way this all went down. However, they were definitely one of the teams that was brought up in the relocation conversation even years prior to the eventual move.

So it's not like it was unreasonable to think the Thrashers could potentially move and then all of a sudden the owners brought the axe down out of nowhere.

Quote:
If your attendance sucks WHILE you're winning, THEN you can say a market sucks.
OK, so we can agree that Phoenix sucks. Good to hear.

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Old
12-15-2011, 03:27 PM
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevFu View Post
I believe the suites were tied to the ARENA, and not each TEAM. So, the suites were going to be sold for Thrashers hockey even if every Hawks suite contained people who never went to a Thrashers game.



Here's where you're wrong: By that logic and definition, ANY team that isn't successful FROM THE START needs to move because it's a failed market, including Winnipeg and Quebec. And that's a load of crap.

Success takes time. The more teams you have, the harder it is to build from scratch. Especially with the chumps who were available in the expansion drafts.

Blaming a MARKET for a team's lack of success is stupid. The idea that HOCKEY can't win people over is insulting to every hockey fan everywhere and the history of the game.

You can't label some relocated franchises as "failures" and others as "had their teams stolen." Take a good, hard look at exactly how you're classifying those teams. It's certainly not objective.

The Thrashers didn't fail. The Thrashers were EVICTED by their idiot ownership.

If your attendance is bad, it's because your team sucks. Chicago, Detroit, the Islanders, Pittsburgh, and virtually every other franchise proves that. If your attendance sucks WHILE you're winning, THEN you can say a market sucks.


As a Mets fan who absolutely hates the Braves, the whole "not selling out playoff games" is also stupid. MLB changed their TV contracts and starting putting playoff games to weekday afternoon games in 1996. And what they do is wait until the the matchups are set, and then figure out who's playing when to put the big markets at night.

Taking out the weekday afternoon games, the Braves basically had four pathetic playoff crowds. All game 1 or game 2 of series. When MLB's doing the whole "wait until the last minute to announce game times."

It happens to EVERYONE because baseball isn't like hockey, where all the playoff games are at 7 pm or 8 pm on weekdays. Remember Derek Jeter's Jeffery Maier home run that was stolen over the wall? Afternoon game at Yankee Stadium: Yeah, that wasn't a sellout, either.
nice try, but it was a sellout.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...99610090.shtml

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12-15-2011, 03:28 PM
  #117
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And unless a new arena is built in the suburbs of Atlanta, I can't see them getting another shot. But then, the market size for Atlanta may be just too great to ignore.
This makes it sound like Atlanta has the exact opposite problem as Phoenix. Is that true? In Phoenix, they're always whining about the arena being way out in Glendale when it should be in a more central location... but Atlanta should put its arena in the suburbs?

I don't get it. Wouldn't a new Atlanta team just set itself up for the "it's too far, I'm not going" attitude the Coyotes fans seem to have?

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12-15-2011, 03:33 PM
  #118
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When you consider that, ostensibly, ASG contacted True North while still in court (an illegal act) to sell the Thrashers, it makes this situation all more disgusting.

And unless a new arena is built in the suburbs of Atlanta, I can't see them getting another shot. But then, the market size for Atlanta may be just too great to ignore.

I'm just curious, is there any indication of a rich American or Canadian out there that is willing to build a hockey arena in Atlanta and purchase an NHL team for what would probably be close to $200 million?

What were the Thrashers worth if staying in Atlanta, had to be way less than $100 million... I'm thinking they may have had a local buyer at like $50 million.

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12-15-2011, 03:35 PM
  #119
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the demograpics is what makes the NHL fail in atlanta. the NHL already does near to no marketing let alone trying to expand hockey. In fact nobody at any level wants to grow hockey.

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12-15-2011, 03:48 PM
  #120
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The owners of ASG will die eventually.

At least that's what I keep telling myself about Peter Angelos.

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12-15-2011, 03:51 PM
  #121
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Originally Posted by Fidel Astro View Post
This makes it sound like Atlanta has the exact opposite problem as Phoenix. Is that true? In Phoenix, they're always whining about the arena being way out in Glendale when it should be in a more central location... but Atlanta should put its arena in the suburbs?

I don't get it. Wouldn't a new Atlanta team just set itself up for the "it's too far, I'm not going" attitude the Coyotes fans seem to have?
My comment more had to do with the fact that if there is a third hockey team in Atlanta, I doubt it will be in Phillips/whatever it is called in the near future.

I'm not well versed with Atlanta traffic or Phoenix/Glendale traffic (though the last time I drove anywhere near Atlanta, we were stopped for two solid hours at 10 pm), so I would suggest asking someone else.

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12-15-2011, 03:52 PM
  #122
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What does this topic have to do with the BOH?

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12-15-2011, 04:33 PM
  #123
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I'm just curious, is there any indication of a rich American or Canadian out there that is willing to build a hockey arena in Atlanta and purchase an NHL team for what would probably be close to $200 million?

What were the Thrashers worth if staying in Atlanta, had to be way less than $100 million... I'm thinking they may have had a local buyer at like $50 million.
Vivlamore had said that there were a couple of offers for the Thrashers in the $40 million range but ASG was looking for $80-$100 million. Of course TNSE paid $110 million and $60 million to the NHL.

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12-15-2011, 05:25 PM
  #124
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That game: 56,495

Capacity: 57,545 (1980) • 56,936 (2008). I don't know that these numbers are "correct" since they had 58,432 as their game two attendance (But if game one was a sellout, how did they fit more people in for game two?)

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12-15-2011, 05:35 PM
  #125
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I will hate Jeffrey Loria and Bud Selig until I die.
Loria will have a mixed legacy especially if the SEC doesn't catch him and the Marlins win a second title. The man killed baseball in Montreal but somehow won a World Series in Miami.

As with ASG, what involvement Loria may have had in undermining the Expos/Nationals franchise after he gave them to MLB may never been known. It's known that he took the entire Expos scouting/coaching staff south and may be still scouting against them and I would not be shocked that he may have been in cahoots with Peter Angelos to hurt the Lerners when they bought the Nats to bring more pain.

Of course, the Lerners seem to fall victim to the Snyder/Leonsis syndrome of being business people that have no clue on how to function in the sports world. Owners with $6B in wealth shouldn't be spending $20M below the low end of what is "market appropriate" or having their team president court the fans of their hated rival to come invade their Opening Day.

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