Page 2’s Howard Megdal is no stranger to waging Quixotic battles —- after all, he’s the guy who campaigned for the Mets GM job as though it were a bid for public office — but he already knows he’s got no chance of convincing Bud Selig that MLB’s pending takeover of the Los Angeles Dodgers represents “an opportunity to right a 54-year historical wrong .” However, in the unlikely event the only obstacle to moving the Dodgers back to Brooklyn is the Mets and Yankees’ territorial claims, Megdal’s already got it figured out :
In the case of the Mets, it should be pretty easy. Ownership needs money and could obtain it without having to sell any portion of the team. Better still, Fred Wilpon grew up a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, so in one fell swoop he could change his legacy from the man who bankrupted the Mets to the man who helped bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn. Now that’s amazin’.
For the Yankees, it’s likely to be a much tougher sell. But MLB has many more inducements available. In the best interests of the game, Selig can offer to waive the Yankees’ luxury tax payments for a certain number of years. He can provide them with extra draft picks. He could even give them a bye into the playoffs for a predetermined period of time.
Why would MLB be willing to dilute New York’s fan base? Because it would have a positive effect on competitive balance in the long run. Adding a team in a healthy market would open a spot in Los Angeles for a team with tepid fan support in its current home — for instance, the Tampa Bay Rays.
(No, we’re not hypocrites for stealing another team in pursuit of restoring the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Rays have never approached the level of support once enjoyed by the Dodgers in Brooklyn. Certainly, Los Angeles fans have an attachment to the Dodgers, but they would be be getting perhaps the most innovative ownership group in MLB. In time, they will learn to love leaving Rays games after the seventh inning, too.)