Mexico not Suitable Location for Major-League Expansion
It was near the end of my interview with commissioner Rob Manfred back in February and I sneaked in one of my last questions.
The question was in reference to Montreal and Mexico being touted by him as possible expansion sites.
Considering that Mexico isn’t a stable, safe country by any means, I asked him, “Are you concerned about the violence and drugs in Mexico?’’
Manfred came back quickly with a simple, one-word answer: “No.’’
Just recently, I read a story in the New York Times about the very situation I was talking about. When you hear about drugs, cartels, organized crime, torture, violence, disappearances, summary executions and extrajudicial killings, you shudder.
Then take into consideration that the average Mexican is poor or close to it so it would be hard to understand how Major League Baseball could consider Mexico as an expansion venue.
Montreal for sure but Mexico? No. Mexico’s human rights record is dismal and governors or their representatives for major-league teams will keep all of this in consideration if and when Mexico is being considered for expansion.
“I don’t know of anyone in baseball who would want to think about expanding to Mexico,’’ said one highly placed baseball executive told me last year. “It has problems of violence, pollution issues and so on.’’
I can’t see these team reps approving any expansion to Mexico. Do you think players from outside Mexico who are drafted by a team located, let’s say, in Mexico City of Monterrey would want to play/reside for home games in a scarred country like Mexico? No. I don’t think the MLBPA would approve of expansion to Mexico in any way, shape or form.
The MLBPA has no official say in how expansion would be approved but I doubt if executive director Tony Clark and his brass would be in favour of Mexico.
Montreal would clearly be No. 1 on any expansion list and there are other names being bandied about: Las Vegas, Austin, Tex., San Antonio Tex., Portland, Ore., Charlotte. N.C., and so on.
But let’s forget about Mexico. If it ever happened, I think it would be a short-lived exercise.