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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Welcome to Portland, minor league baseball fans! Now get out.

The weather gods are not smiling on AAA minor league baseball. The two leagues at that level, the Pacific Coast and International Leagues, are holding their all-star game at PGE Park this week. The home run derby is scheduled for tomorrow and the actual game for Wednesday. It's been nearly 50 years since such an event was held in Portland. But today's chilly rain is doubtlessly dampening the spirits of the many who are arriving in town for the festivities.

The weather isn't the only thing for baseball fans to be bummed out about, of course. It turns out that the owner of the Portland team in AAA has decided to move the franchise out of PGE Park, and probably out of Portland entirely, so that he can upgrade his soccer team to the "major league" (by U.S. standards) level and make the stadium incompatible with baseball, forever. In just another couple of months, the sights and sounds of baseball will be departing downtown Portland for good.

This week was supposed to be a showcase of a great Portland tradition. Maybe in some ways, it is.

Comments (15)

I've always wanted to use the word "sardonic". Thanks for the opportunity.

This week was supposed to be a showcase of a great Portland tradition. Maybe in some ways, it is.

It's barely drizzling. In Portland, you don't call a game until the bases start floating away.

Besides, this little front is supposed to blow over by Tuesday.

It's supposed to be pretty nice by game time Wednesday evening. Things will probably be damp for the home run derby tomorrow, though.

Jebus, it's felt like October today. What a drag!

Thanks for the link. Weather should be fine for tomorrow and for AAA ASG. Could be worse... check with some that are in St. Louis for the MLB All-Star Game festivities. The Futures game had a long rain delay, and almost washed out the Celebrity Softball tourney.

you are an idiot, you know nothing about economics, or sports. go play kick-the-can on I-5.

Timbers for Life.

That pretty much says it all.

Glad I could be of service. Hey, as I said on conditional award for the Timbers... decouple the Beavers and the stadium would come. That pretty much says it all :-)

I have always found lemmings a fascinating animal. Now we have our very own unique species right here in Portland. They are also known as MLS fans.

Uh yeah, that speaks well of your economic philosophy ... get rid of two upper-minor league teams with a long history and replace them with ONE "major league" team in a questionable new organization and that will draw, at the owner's own best estimates, maybe 300,000 per year. Even the Beavers pull that off right now, and it isn't costing us anything!

The Beavers' announced attendance statistics, padded though they are from the reality of people actually in the stands, show 201,833 so far this year. That is for 40 home game dates. There are 29 more to go.

The Timbers, with seven regular season games and three other exhibitions, report attendance so far of 84,998. That is at mid-season.

If we had to guess, we'd say the Beavers will announce total attendance in the 350,000 to 375,000 range, and the Timbers will come in under 200,000.

Beavers tickets are a lot cheaper than "major league" soccer tickets will be, but there's no evidence that the soccer fans will spend more on food, beer and junk than the baseball fans do.

JB - Love your attendance stats for Beavers v. Timbers - Having been to one Timbers game a few years back - I have no desire to see another

Soccer's fine, and better soccer is more attractive than inferior soccer. But here we're going to spend tens of millions, give up 15 or 20 years' worth of rent on the stadium, and kick out baseball for the upgrade. It makes no sense financially, and it's an insult to the baseball fans.

"Timbers for Life."

Hey, what can you say about a bunch of grade-schoolers who have Dan Saltzman as a hero for being the swing vote?

Man, these guys are playing with less than a full side.

"Timbers for life"? Does anyone remember the North American Soccer League (NASL) - operated from the late 1960's to the mid-1980's, and when soccer first really started to become a popular youth sport in this country, in the mid-70's, the league had guys like Pele and Franz Beckenbauer playing in it. I grew up in suburban Minneapolis and remember going to Minnesota Kicks games. Its all just history now, and it seems more than likely the current manifestation of "pro" soccer will go the same way, and the curent version can't even boast the same level of play the old NASL did. This is still baseball nation, not soccer nation.

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