Jun 21, 2019

A 2-city plan to create the Tampa Bay Rays of Montreal

Kendall Baker, author of Sports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball to explore a two-city plan in which they would play the first half of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the second half in Montreal.

Be smart: Like self-driving vehicles and colonizing Mars, this international timeshare idea is certainly fun to think about. Sadly, there's almost no chance that it actually comes to fruition.

What they're saying:

  • "The news definitely surprised me," Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier told The Athletic. "We were talking on the bus today — it's weird to think about splitting games."
  • "Love it. Wouldn't it be kind of cool? Let's do a little 'European Vacation' in the middle of the summer, head north of the border," said former Rays manager Joe Maddon, before adding that he couldn't see this actually happening.

What we have here is a classic game of chicken: The Rays are trying to scare St. Petersburg into ponying up for a new stadium. But Mayor Rick Kriseman has already called their bluff, effectively closing the book on this until 2028, when the Rays' lease is up.

Between the lines: Consider all the challenges associated with a two-city agreement. How do you attract free agents when they know they won't be able to settle down in one city? Which city hosts the playoff games? How would broadcast rights work? The logistics would be insane.

Go deeper: What MLB expansion might look like

Go deeper

Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.”