The notion of "contraction," back when Major League Baseball was going to eliminate the Expos, the Twins, both, neither, somebody, seems kind of quaint now. MLB is raking in cash, and pretty much every team at least has the ability to compete. The Marlins and the Rays are in first, the Yankees are almost in last, and there's something resembling equilibrium. It's a happy time in baseball. So hey: How about we expand?
Why not, right? What could possibly go wrong? Walk Off Walk looks at some likely candidates. You're in luck, Charlotte!
2. Portland - The Portland Willamettes would not have a huge fanbase to work with, but they've actually got a stadium plan in the works and less rain than you think. They'd be a nice fit in the American League West.
1. Charlotte - I totally stole my #1 from [Nate] Silver. I can't say this any better than he did:
"There is, to my mind, exactly one place that would clearly be viable for the 31st major league franchise, and that place is Charlotte, North Carolina. The South as a whole is underrepresented in the major leagues, which is what enables the Braves to control such a substantial TV audience. Charlotte is no metropolis, but it is conveniently located at the center of several mid-size markets, including the Winston-Salem/Greensboro/Raleigh-Durham corridor along I-40, and Columbia, South Carolina."
As long as the Charlotte team didn't combine the words "River" or "Mud" with either "Dog" or "Cat" as a mascot, I'll let them have a baseball team. Perhaps they should use the North Carolina state mammal as a mascot; the Charlotte Grey Squirrels would be a welcome addition to the American League East.
Who's with us, right? More baseball teams! Any excuse to bring Jose Lima back!