Canadian Teams in MLB

Most MLB teams are from the US, correct? But we all remember the teams from Toronto and Montreal. My question is: Why are/were there Canadian baseball teams in Major League Baseball? If MLB is only based in the US then how do we explain the existence of the Canadian teams? If MLB encompasses all of North America then how come there aren’t any (AFAIK) Mexican MLB teams?

There was a team in Montreal, but they moved to D.C, so only the Toronto Blue Jays are left. The answer is simple economics. Toronto is large and wealthy enough to support a MLB team. Montreal was too, but baseball royalty screwed that one up. They have played some played some individual games in Mexico, but there simply isn’t enough people with large enough amounts of disposable income, to make a Mexican team viable.

I seriously doubt this. Do you have anything more than a general feeling to back it up?

Mexico City has a metropolitan area population of over 20 million people. Sure, there are plenty of poor people, but there are also quite a lot of rich ones, and a substantial middle class, as well as millions of television viewers. There are probably dozens of perfectly decent reasons why Mexico has no Major League Baseball team, but i’m extremely skeptical that it’s because it would not be economically viable.

I think there would be a lot of complications with a Mexican team in MLB. One would be financing a stadium that would be acceptable to MLB. Right now, none of the Mexican League Stadiums are even close. That’s going to run a couple hundred million bucks.

You have to have an owner willing to shell out baseball salaries. Even by Pittsburgh Pirate standards, that’s $25 million a year. And all that gets you is a perennially lousy team. You need to be able to get a TV contract and sufficient stadium revenue which could be a challenge. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Mexico isn’t quite as high on the wealth scale as the United States or Canada.

You would also have to convince Major League players to want to play in Mexico. For many of the Latin ballplayers this might not be as much of a challenge, but I think you would have a harder time getting most American-born players to move to Chihuahua or Nuevo Laredo for six months of the year.

The existing Mexican League might fight any attempt to expand into Mexico as well.

I’ve heard there’s some US teams in the NHL now as well.

Sure, those are all issues, but i still think that the economy of Mexico City could support a team.

The richest 20% of Mexicans control over 50% of the country’s wealth. Even if we assume that only the richest 20 percent of Mexicans can afford to go to a baseball game, in Mexico City, that leaves you with a market of up to 4 million people.

Let’s be pessimistic and halve that, leaving us with 2 million. That’s still comparable to quite a few small-market teams here in the United States.

So MLB does encompass all of the three major countries of North America and could, theoretically, include Mexican teams and more Canadian teams?

I suspect that this more than anything is the reason that Major league Baseball hasn’t tried to expand into Mexico.

As far as i know, MLB encompasses precisely the 30 teams that make up Major League Baseball. I guess it’s possible that they have some sort of charter or statement of purpose that delineates what nations they will and will not encompass, but i doubt it.

They didn’t encompass Canada, and then they did. It simply took a decision by the people in charge that having a team, or teams, in Canada was good for the organization as a whole. We’re not talking about an official state boundary, or a government entity with specific circumscribed areas of operation.

There’s nothing that probably keeps it out of the MLB - may have some regulatory issues, esp. with MLB’s anti-trust exemption (no clue though), but I doubt there’s anything keeping them from expanding (same deal with an NFL team in L.A. - no external forces preventing the occurrence)

But, practically, why would it?

*It’s kinda far away - 700 miles to the nearest team
*It’s in a country with a far more different culture and language than Canada is to the US. Sure, you get Espanol play-by-play in SAP, but routinely playing in a really foreign country probably doesn’t appeal to many owners
*The nation itself isn’t economically developed - just because you can fill a stadium doesn’t mean bubkus; you need the commoners to buy into it, buy Starter jackets, watch it on TV, etc. to make it a worthwhile investment
*The remainder of MLB’s national advertiser market probably wouldn’t integrate well into the Mexican Economy

Baseball isn’t popular in all of Mexico. It’s probably most popular in Monterrey, and there have been attempts to convince MLB to place a team there. The city has a population of two million, which is probably not enough to support a MLB team (the total population of the entire state of Nuevo León, of which Monterrey is the largest city, is a little over four million).

Baseball does occasionally play games outside the US: they will be a few in Puerto Rico next year (and have been some in the past) and quite a few years ago the season opened with the Mets and Cubs playing in Tokyo.

But no one has suggested full-time teams there.

Nitpick: Puerto Rico is not “outside the US.”

Not a big sports fan here, and not really knowledgeable about baseball, but if MLB were to decide that expanding outside of the United States into Latin America was a good idea, wouldn’t Venezuela or the Dominican Republic be considered? I know, they’re both poor countries, but both countries love baseball. Seems like money could be made there.

And then there’s Cuba, although I can see why there would be major obstacles to overcome.

Moved from General Questions to the Game Room, where baseball threads live.

Still struggling to understanding what you are asking. There are two Mexican baseball leagues, as well as leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico. MLB has not expanded into those markets for many reasons, one of which is that there are other existing leagues already there.

I don’t think that’s true… there are 16 teams in the Mexican League spanning the entire country, and there are another 8 teams in the Mexican Pacific League which plays in the winter. I think baseball is wildly popular in Mexico.


so even though none of the teams in the league’s first year was American, by the period prior to expansion (1942-1967), four of the six league teams were based in the United States.

It’s 700 miles from Miami to the Dominican Republic. 1200 miles from Miami to Venezuela.

In baseball, you play 162 games in 180 days. That’s 18 days off, taken (usually) when you switch between a home series and an away series. Sometimes away series are scheduled right after a home series, because there simply isn’t enough room in the schedule to acommodate it. Teams will schedule a bunch of away series together when they’re far away - here’s the Seattle Mariners’ 2010 schedule. Check out May - they play at Baltimore for 3 games, then at Tampa for 3 games, then play at Oakland the very next day. The schedulers then realize what they did, and give them two days off the next week to bookend a 2-game homestand against Detroit. Venezuela?!? No - it’s simply not feasible at all.

There are still plenty of feasible markets inside the US that would be considered before Latin America.

There’s this thing called “multinational corporations” that you might have heard of. You know, like where a business has been operating in one country and decides to expand into another country. Really, it’s not that big of a deal–you can find McDonald’s in Japan and Toyota cars in the United States.