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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  12:16:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I still expect a preseason Chicago Cubs exhibition game in March at Ameritrade Park.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  12:19:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by West O Mike

I still expect a preseason Chicago Cubs exhibition game in March at Ameritrade Park.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com



That is an excellent idea. I've been hoping for a MLB game of any kind in Omaha for years. Cubs vs. Royals would be the best choice, IMO.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  2:05:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't think it will be the Royals they are going to California prior to the start of the season for some exhibitions with the Padres.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  2:18:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
dang
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CaseyMav
#10

Botswana
2337 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  6:51:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We don't want a Cubs vs. Royals game anyhow. We already have minor league baseball.

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huskermavfanchuck
Sophomore Mav

USA
250 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  10:00:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the perfect fit would be an American Association team. The American Association formed when the major players in the Northern League saw the problems surfacing in the Northern League that eventually caused it's demise. One of the biggest pluses would be the toned-down travel costs. With the location of the teams in the new league that formed, I don't see how those teams are going to be able to afford the costs. The American Association, on the other hand, has a great deal of stability, and will be around for years to come. And the quality of the ball, on an equivalent of an A level, is a lot of fun to watch. We've always had a blast at Haymarket for Saltdogs games. Why the ownership group doesn't just pursue an American Association team is beyond me. Hope they're able to make American Association ball in Omaha a reality!

Family fans of the Stars, Mavericks, and various and sundry NHL teams! Happy to be here!

Please take a gander at my new blog, if you have the time! Notes and suggestions welcome. Crazy Corn, Bull, and Bird House
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  11:05:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm just not for a second minor league team in Omaha. I simply don't think the market can support two. In the end, I think the Chasers would win out over whatever team they put down there; however, it might be tough for both teams to make a go of it in the meantime. The market for minor league baseball has been well defined in Omaha as about 6-8k on most nights. This has been determined over 40+ years of professional baseball in this city.

It's the same principle as when we had the numerous hockey teams we've had in this area. I remember the angst on these boards when the Knights came into town about whether or not the city could support 3 hockey teams because, as we know, there's only so many hockey fans here. And, I attended every UNO hockey game during the two years that the Knights existed. The Knights never thrived, but you could see a hit for UNO at the turnstile whenever they both played on the same night. It was even worse when the Lancers, Knights, and Mavs all played on the same nights.

So, while I see any Indy ball team as a temporary situation, I think it will just be a bad idea. I can't even name a city the size of Omaha with 2 minor league baseball teams sharing the market. There's a reason for that.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  11:05:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CaseyMav

We don't want a Cubs vs. Royals game anyhow. We already have minor league baseball.




I'd love an exhibition Cubs vs. Royals game. I still miss the KC Royals yearly trips to Rosenblatt.
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huskermavfanchuck
Sophomore Mav

USA
250 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  11:16:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess my real thought on that, usey, has been that the best in attendance and competition seems to come into play when Omaha and Lincoln have competitive teams in the same league. I think the Stars and Lancers are proof of that. But then, it really does become dependent on the people willing to go to the sporting events. The only thing that I could see being different in that instance may be the locations of the facilities, and the proximity of the fans to the place. But maybe that wouldn't play into it as much I envision. As a Saltdogs fan, I think it'd make for a great rivalry, and I would hope the quality of play might draw the fans out. A risk to take, perhaps, and I certainly wouldn't want to take away from what the Chasers have developed, but the market may be there, and just hasn't been tapped into. Certainly a risk involved to it, but with a stable league behind them, might be a risk worth taking. The American Association wouldn't place a team there if they didn't think the market was there. That's part of the reason the American Association was formed, to provide fiscal stability and sensibility to the teams when it seemed like the Northern League had lost a bit of that.

But until the suit is settled, it won't matter much. And it likely wouldn't be there until '13 at the earliest at this point. We'll see what happens between now and then, but I can certainly understand your concerns.

Family fans of the Stars, Mavericks, and various and sundry NHL teams! Happy to be here!

Please take a gander at my new blog, if you have the time! Notes and suggestions welcome. Crazy Corn, Bull, and Bird House
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  12:32:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really doubt the Royals would play an exhibition game in Omaha now....ESPECIALLY versus the Cubs. Geographically this is a Royals territory, but the crowd likely would be neutral, if not stacked in favor of the Cubs.

As for the viability of an American Association team, there are a few differences between the Mavs/Lancers/OAK's dilemma... For starters, there's no way an AA team can market themselves as "best/best/best". (Well, maybe "best venue"... :-) And let's not forget the two venues are nearly 20 miles apart, not 8 blocks. We've already established that some people don't want to go downtown and some people don't want to go out to BFE.

I do think an AA franchise has a huge hurdle to leap to be successful. We know the Royals will be better quality baseball, but even Martie Cordaro and Alan Stein would concede that most of their customers could not care less. (Nouse and Greg care, of course.) What most people care about are the other things that make a night fun, and by all accounts, the Trailer Park does just about everything they can do to make it a fun evening. Outfield bar, grass berms, $5 merry-go-round rides, wacky promotions between every pitch. You name it, the Royals do everything they can do to maximize the in-stadium experience. It's going to be difficult to top that.

The one advantage of the downtown stadium is the location: plenty of parking, lots of nearby amenities (restaurants, bars, shops), and existing foot traffic. Thousands of people are nearby every weekday who are potential customers. I think an AA franchise (which it sounds like is going to go downtown once the Northern League nonsense finishes) has a shot, but any potential owner has to bring their A game because the Trailer Park is going to be tough competition.

And I understand why nouse doesn't want an AA team in Omaha, and respect that to some extent.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  1:27:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
that was a good post Mike.

Now, you suggested a Cubs preseason game. Can the Cubs play a preseason game here without the Royals permssion? I honestly have no idea, but would love to know the rules on that. This is Royals territory after all.

I will cede the difference between the OAKS/Lancers/Mavs in terms of distance. I still maintain that in the grand scheme of things complaining about the drive times in a city like Omaha makes us look podunk compared to Denver, Chicago, etc.

Also, you are right about the different teams probably appealing to different market segments Werner will be baseball purists/families with little kids and TD will be the young adult downtown/midtown nightlife people. I just don't think there's enough market to support both to where both franchises would thrive.

Whether they loathe coming out to suburbia, I've seen alot of hipster midtown looking types at Werner this year. Those would be the ones to stay home with an AA team in the mix.

You are right on another point, any team that comes in will have to bring its "A" game. The Storm Chasers have the in game entertainment factor down pretty well. No doubt about it. I've said it before, that ballpark isn't conducive to the minor league experience and they'll be competing against a team 15 miles away that has those amenities.

All they will be able to sell is location and the new ballpark. So, in a sense they will also be competing with CU even though their seasons don't overlap. CU is already selling that ballpark experience. Is there enough interest in TD to sustain that interest all summer, after the CWS, and while the Chasers are offering more entertainment down the highway? I am doubtful

I posed this in an earlier post, but does anyone know if there are any comparable cities to Omaha's size that have 2 minor league baseball teams? I can't imagine there are and I still think there's a very good reason for that.

If I thought for a second, Omaha could support 2 teams, I'd be all for this. As a baseball fanatic, more baseball is always great to me, but it's gotta make sense for our community and not jeopardize what we already have.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  3:17:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also have no idea if the Cubs can play an exhibition game in Omaha without the Royals permission. If the two teams did play it would be interesting to see how the crowd was divided. A lot of I Cubs fans make the trip to Omaha and I would expect them to do the same for the mother ship.

10 years ago it would have been a huge advantage for Chicago. I think that gap has narrowed considerably. With the Cubs playing so few dates now on WGN (do they even play 20 games on there any more?), and the Royals big new TV deal Fox with them now on 140 times a year, the exposure has completely turnded around. Plus throw in the fact that Dayton Moore is sending the top prospects to Omaha (versus jumping straight from AA), I think it has helped here.

As a diehard Royals fan in Omaha I can tell you that I've noticed a lot more Royals gear around town than before. In addition to the Storm Chasers gear you see at Werner you also see more KC Royals stuff in the stands as well. I do credit it to the rebirth of their farm system and getting to see players in Omaha then on TV with the Royals.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  3:34:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Royals gear has increased, but I think this is still pretty solidly a Cubs town. In fact, if I had to rank Omaha in terms of MLB fandom, I'd probably put the top 5 something like this (based mainly on the amount of gear I see sported around Omaha)...

1. Cubs
2. Cardinals
3. Yankees
4. Royals (distant 4th)
5. Red Sox

I've often said that part of the decline in the O-Royals attendance from the heyday in the late 80's-early 90's to the miniscule crowds in the 00's wasn't entirely connected to the stadium, gameday experience, W-L record of the team in Omaha, or price of tickets. A big part of it was affiliation. Omaha was a huge KC town in the 80's, but that died a slow death like their franchise. No one had any reason to wear their KC fandom on their sleeve and when that happens, you have less reason to support the minor league team.

If the Royals ever run off a string of a couple of division titles, with an exciting young team that all cut their teeth in Omaha, I think it'll have a snowball effect that we will feel at the AAA level. The on field record of the Storm Chasers this year was a good first step in that direction, but even if they win the PCL this year, it'll take a revival in KC to really get people involved in this franchise again.
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huskermavfanchuck
Sophomore Mav

USA
250 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  5:23:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can see the logistical problems with the two teams. But again, I think the rivalry aspect between competing teams in towns only 50 miles apart is being vastly underplayed here. When Lincoln started in the USHL, and Omaha had it's established team, I think that sparked a lot of interest on both sides. I think that continues to today, though some of that luster was lost when the Lancers were forced across the river to the Mid-America Center. I know of several Lancers fans that didn't want to follow the team after that jump was made. But I think if you can promote that, if you promote the Omaha v. Lincoln aspect, I think you can bring out the hometown pride aspect that the Stormchasers may not be able to tap into as much. Will be interesting to see if and when this attempt is made. I just hope they realize the North American League isn't the solution, and the ownership group takes a look at American Association membership, or another ownership group is allowed to take a crack at this.

Also, to address your note on the teams, nouse, I think it all comes back to passion from an owner spurring performance and being instilled in the team. Ewing's (sp?) death really hurt KC. Not sure why the group picked to find an owner ever picked Glass, but that was one of the worst moves the franchise could have made. Look to the KC MLS team if you want to see what a passionate ownership group can do for a team. That group now has a brand new soccer-only stadium out by Kansas Speedway, and have really built up the crowds coming to the stadium this year, along with putting an attractive product on the field. I think it at least in part takes an owner that actually cares about the product. And in minor leagues, that obviously comes with more doodads to interest people, but competition from the team helps. My two cents.. probably not worth even that. :D


Family fans of the Stars, Mavericks, and various and sundry NHL teams! Happy to be here!

Please take a gander at my new blog, if you have the time! Notes and suggestions welcome. Crazy Corn, Bull, and Bird House
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  6:29:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think for MLB interest in Omaha I think KC is one, followed closely by the Cubs then Cards. I think NY is fourth followed by Boston. With the lack of WGN games I don't think the Cubs will grow their fan base here any more...I used to follow them in high school and college and beyond because they were always on. Not anymore.

I don't really see a big Omaha Lincoln rivalry developing in Indy league baseball. It's just not a passionate fan base like the Lancers had and Stars have.

Glass was not a good owner when he bought KC but since he hired Dayton Moore I think he's been a model owner. I'm very happy with the direction of the club and where the money is being spent. Plus with the renovations to the K I know we'll have MLB in KC until my 60's at least (I'm in my 40's now).

G
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  6:41:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hard to say what kind of difference that made Chuck. I know the games between the Stars and the Lancers have generally been well attended through the years, but as someone that attended tons of Lancers games throughout the 90's, I can't say that the addition of the Stars did the Lancers any favors. In fact, I consider the beginning of the Stars as the beginning of the end of the Lancers dominance. I have no actual stats on this, but this is how I personally remember the attendance at Lancers games evolving...

I started going to games in 1992. I remember from 1992 until the Stars hit the scene, the Lancers were the only real outlet for live hockey in the entire state. There were season ticket holders all over the area. I remember many nights standing out in front of the AK trying to buy tickets from scalpers because the season ticket waiting list was a mile long and there were never single game tickets available.

However, the second the Stars came on the scene, I remember it just became a little easier to score Lancers tickets. For the first time, I remember being able to buy tickets at the box office for select games. My theory has always been that the Stars siphoned off a small percentage of fans away from the Lancers in 96.

The real body blow to the Lancers was in 1997 when UNO hockey began. Suddenly, there was another option for hockey in the area, and a good portion of the fanbase jumped on the Mavs instead. The sellout streak limped on until the spring of 98, but many of those sellouts that last year were much bigger buy backs and I remember alot more empty seats.

Those last few years of the AK saw dwindling crowds. The hard sell outs of 6100 were down to about 4k. The move to Iowa had some built in desperation already, IMO, it just happened to make matters much worse. Iowa immediately took them from roughly 4k a game to about 2k a game.

I think it's safe to say that for most of the last 15 years, there's been a true hardcore hockey crowd of about 8k in Omaha. You can get a few more or less depending on the night, who's playing, etc, but most nights you're mainly splitting from that group whether they're attending the STars, Lancers, OAK's, or Mavs.

Now, the last 15 years or so has proven you can draw about 6k-8k a night (give or take) for minor league baseball. I think that's pretty defined group. With 2 teams, you'll likely mainly just be splitting up from that core demographic. I just ultimately don't think competition is a good thing here.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  6:49:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greg S

I think for MLB interest in Omaha I think KC is one, followed closely by the Cubs then Cards. I think NY is fourth followed by Boston. With the lack of WGN games I don't think the Cubs will grow their fan base here any more...I used to follow them in high school and college and beyond because they were always on. Not anymore.

I don't really see a big Omaha Lincoln rivalry developing in Indy league baseball. It's just not a passionate fan base like the Lancers had and Stars have.

Glass was not a good owner when he bought KC but since he hired Dayton Moore I think he's been a model owner. I'm very happy with the direction of the club and where the money is being spent. Plus with the renovations to the K I know we'll have MLB in KC until my 60's at least (I'm in my 40's now).

G



It's hard to quantify Greg. YOu might be right. I'm only basing my ranking off of the amount of hats and shirts I see. Outside of games at Werner, I don't see alot of Royals stuff around Omaha or at least not as much as I see Cards and Cubs stuff. The Yankees gear could be mostly fashion, but I see more of that than Royals as well.

Heck, I'm sure someone is studying this that knows a thing or two. I was shocked the last year or two that we've had Cubs broadcasts on the radio in Omaha but no Royals games. That tells me something right there that 1620 thinks there's more money to be made in Omaha from terrible Cubs teams broadcasts vs. the Royals.

Same with the inexplicable clamoring from all corners of this city last year to "bring the Iowa Cubs to Omaha" and how people got all hot and bothered about that pipe dream.

Still, you could be right. Maybe the Royals are #1 in Omaha. It's just that most Royals fans are so beaten down by MLB reality over the last 20 years, they don't wear their fandom on their sleeves...literally.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2011 :  11:20:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Only 15k for the Nighthawks home opener tonight? Not good. I'm sure they were expecting 20k+ considering they averaged 22k per game last year. It's like I mentioned before, it's hard to buy into a team that likely won't be around next year, but the dropoff is larger than I expected.

I guess the lure of the new stadium and Eric Crouch wasn't enough to sway the public to come out like they did last year. hmmm.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2011 :  08:55:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nousefouraname

quote:
Originally posted by Greg S

I think for MLB interest in Omaha I think KC is one, followed closely by the Cubs then Cards. I think NY is fourth followed by Boston. With the lack of WGN games I don't think the Cubs will grow their fan base here any more...I used to follow them in high school and college and beyond because they were always on. Not anymore.

I don't really see a big Omaha Lincoln rivalry developing in Indy league baseball. It's just not a passionate fan base like the Lancers had and Stars have.

Glass was not a good owner when he bought KC but since he hired Dayton Moore I think he's been a model owner. I'm very happy with the direction of the club and where the money is being spent. Plus with the renovations to the K I know we'll have MLB in KC until my 60's at least (I'm in my 40's now).

G



It's hard to quantify Greg. YOu might be right. I'm only basing my ranking off of the amount of hats and shirts I see. Outside of games at Werner, I don't see alot of Royals stuff around Omaha or at least not as much as I see Cards and Cubs stuff. The Yankees gear could be mostly fashion, but I see more of that than Royals as well.

Heck, I'm sure someone is studying this that knows a thing or two. I was shocked the last year or two that we've had Cubs broadcasts on the radio in Omaha but no Royals games. That tells me something right there that 1620 thinks there's more money to be made in Omaha from terrible Cubs teams broadcasts vs. the Royals.

Same with the inexplicable clamoring from all corners of this city last year to "bring the Iowa Cubs to Omaha" and how people got all hot and bothered about that pipe dream.

Still, you could be right. Maybe the Royals are #1 in Omaha. It's just that most Royals fans are so beaten down by MLB reality over the last 20 years, they don't wear their fandom on their sleeves...literally.



The Cubs followed the Royals on the local radio market. The Royals were on 590 before 1620 got the Cubs, so 1620 did not have the option of the Royals. The Royals lost their radio in Omaha when 590 went to ESPN. I think they'll be back next year.
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2011 :  01:10:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations to the Omaha Storm Chasers. 2011 Pacific Coast League Champions!!!! First title for Omaha since 1990. What a magical year. From the brink of losing minor league baseball in this city to a new ballpark and now a championship!! What an amazing season!!! One more game to go!!!
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West O Mike
All-Star Mav

Christmas Island
5308 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2011 :  08:18:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the 1980's and 1990's, the Cubs were on 1490 AM for several years. Back then, the Royals weren't anywhere on the radio in Omaha.

Blog: http://huskermike.blogspot.com
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2011 :  09:31:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Late 80's and early 90's the Royals were on the local Spanish affiliate that I believe at the time was owned by Journal. I think they were only off the air locally for a year maybe two. During that period I listened to them on 960 out of Shenandoah.

Greg
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2011 :  11:56:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Chasers will be on Versus tonight.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2011 :  12:21:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BTW, I'll admit I was wrong on a couple of points from the past year or two.

1. I said the Omaha franchise would never be competitive with KC as their affiliation while pillaging the roster when players weren't ready. I advocted Omaha shopping to a different franchise. Well, KC did some pillaging this year and some guys weren't quite ready, IMO, but KC has put together a wonderful depth in their minor league system that allowed the Chasers to win a title anyway.

2. I said the name change would last a few years at most and then they'd go back to Royals. Well, I honestly think Storm Chasers is here to stay now. There has been way more OSC gear around OMaha than I'd ever seen in the past and now that the team has established a championship legacy under this new name, I see no chance of them going back.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2011 :  08:51:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great year for the Chasers. A PCL title, played on Versus, success with the new park. Several Chasers got called up immediately after the game last night. One was Herrera the relief pitcher. He's not on KC's 40 so I wonder if Kila gets taken off the 40. Might be time for him to get to another organization. With Butler and Hosmer in KC he's essentially blocked but they also have Robinson in Omaha for depth.

Greg
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2011 :  10:28:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It was too bad they lost last night. I would have rather seen them win than lose, of course, but that loss takes nothing away from the season. The AAA Championship game is kind of a joke. It's played on a neutral field and who decides any championship in baseball with one game against a team you've never played before?

No, the Chasers won the title that mattered when they sewed up the PCL last week. That's how I'll remember this season.

Proof to me that last night's game was mostly irrelevant was in the fact that the Clippers basically didn't even celebrate after they won. Also, KC called up Mendoza and Clint Robinson ended his season to have sports hernia surgery. Now, I'm sure he needed to have that surgery, but I'm guessing he gutted through the playoffs in terrible pain considering this injury was probably the same one that kept him out the last week of the regular season. The fact that he didn't feel the need to push it for one more game, pretty much tells me all I need to know about this one.

Still, great year with a PCL Championship!
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dartben
Sophomore Mav

404 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2011 :  4:05:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nousefouraname

The AAA Championship game is kind of a joke. It's played on a neutral field and who decides any championship in baseball with one game against a team you've never played before?


You mean like the CWS was for 15 or so years?
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nousefouraname
All-Star Mav

2307 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2011 :  4:08:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yeah. luckily, cooler heads prevailed and for the last 9 seasons, the one game playoff has been a thing of the past. There's a reason you don't have 1 game playoffs in baseball just like you don't do 3 of 5 in football.
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Greg S
All-Star Mav

4101 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2011 :  10:12:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah I'm glad they do the best of 3 at the CWS now.

Greg
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CaseyMav
#10

Botswana
2337 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2011 :  8:16:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dartben

quote:
Originally posted by nousefouraname

The AAA Championship game is kind of a joke. It's played on a neutral field and who decides any championship in baseball with one game against a team you've never played before?


You mean like the CWS was for 15 or so years?



Exactly. So?

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