• Mark Puskey

The Orlando Dreamers is a horrible idea

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

By Mark Puskey

On November 20th, Pat Williams, who co-founded the Orlando Magic, revealed his dream to start an MLB team in Orlando. He wants to call them the Orlando Dreamers. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

First of all, the name Dreamers is horrible. When I hear “Dreamers,” I think of the mostly Central American immigrants that came to America as children and qualify for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Not something you want to name a baseball team after.

Major League Baseball can not allow just one team into the league. There is already a perfect amount of teams. 30 teams, two leagues, three divisions in each league, five teams in a division. Everything is perfect and balanced. When the NHL added the Las Vegas Golden Knights, they had a plan to add another to make it an even amount of teams.

There are already two teams in Florida. Nobody shows up to either of their games. The Tampa Bay Rays’ attendance is so low they are threatening to spend half of their season in Canada. St. Petersburg, Florida is less than two hours from Orlando. Then there’s the Miami Marlins. Nobody goes to their games because they just suck. They are a little less than four hours away.

I’m not a basketball or soccer guy but I know the attendance for a Magic game and for an Orlando City game is only average compared to the rest of their leagues. There isn’t really a big demand for more professional sports teams in Orlando.

The MLB season is primarily in the summer. I’ve been to Disney World in the summer. Orlando in July is hell on earth. The average July temperature is 92°. If the Dreamers’ stadium doesn’t have a roof, the way stadiums should be, people will be dropping like flies in the stands.

If the MLB does add another team, it shouldn’t be in Orlando. So here are my ideas for better cities to have a team before Orlando.

1. Nashville, Tennessee - What’s more American than country music and baseball? There’s already a Triple-A team for the Texas Rangers there but a Major League team seems like a great fit. Getting some Barbeque, catching a ball game then going to the Grand Ole Opry sounds like the perfect day. The closest team is the Atlanta Braves who are four and a half hours away.

2.New Orleans, Louisiana - It’s kind of surprising that there isn’t already a major league team in NOLA. There was a minor league team for the Miami Marlins, the New Orleans Baby Cakes, but they left for Wichita at the end of last season. The Saints and the Pelicans draw in some of the biggest crowds in each of their sports. The closest team is the Houston Astros, five and a half hours away.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii - Why not go see the best game in the world in the most beautiful place in the world. It would be gorgeous for every game. It may be a little hot but that’s fine. The only problem is that east coast teams would have an about 12-hour flight for a series and the Hawaiin team would have to travel to the mainland for half the season.

4. Fargo, North Dakota - There is no team in the north-central region of America. You might say that’s because there’s no one there and no one would show up but Utah has a basketball team and I know for a fact no one lives there. The closest team to Fargo are the Twins who are three and a half hours away.

5. Anchorage, Alaska - You could make the same argument that no one lives in Alaska and no one would show up to a baseball game but I can guarantee you that more people would go to a game in the last frontier than a game in Orlando Florida. If this team made it to the playoffs it would be interesting with the October average high of 43°.

This next five are all outside of America. They might not be as practical because of the time it takes to travel to each but they would still be great cities for the MLB to have a club in. Most of them are more achievable than Hawaii or Alaska, though. Plus they’re all much better than Orlando.

6. Santo Domingo, Dominica Republic - The country that produces the most major leaguers besides the United States is the Dominican Republic. Players such as David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Sammy Sosa, Robinson Cano, Pedro Martinez and hundreds more are from the Dominican. Baseball is by far the most popular sport there. If any country is the most deserving of a Major League club it’s the Dominican. It’s always beautiful there. It wouldn’t be impossible for teams to get there either since it's only a two-hour flight from Miami.

7. Mexico City, Mexico - Of all the international club ideas I have this is the most likely to become true in the future. Mexico is only a two and a half-hour flight from Houston. Mexico just qualified for the Olympics in baseball for the first time ever. Baseball is the second most popular sport behind soccer. They have also produced the seventh most amount of players in the majors. To gain more fans globally MLB will probably try to take advantage of this all that’s happening with Mexico and baseball some point and start a team.

8. Caracas, Venezuela - Venezuela might not be the best country in the world but has been getting better in recent. Starting a team, opening a stadium, driving in tourists and bringing in billions of dollars with them might be exactly what the country needs. Venezuela is the third-highest producer of professional players. Baseball is one of the only South American countries where baseball is more popular than Soccer. Although it is the second farthest city from mainland America and the airport is not the best. It would be difficult for the teams to get their for their games.

9. San Juan, Puerto Rico - Technically part of America, Puerto Rico produces the fourth most major league players. It’s almost always beautiful there, but it’s farther than the Dominican Republic. The only real benefit of an “International” team here is that the players wouldn’t need to pull out their passports.

10. Tokyo, Japan - By far the most impossible of these teams but at the same time the most interesting. Baseball in Japan rivals baseball in the states. Japan produces the sixth most MLB players but that’s only because most players go to Nippon Professional Baseball, the Japanese league. To have an American team would be incredible. I could guarantee that every game would be a sellout. The only problem that the teams would have to travel halfway around the world for just three or four games. Maybe the MLB Japanese team could play the Japanese league but that’s a story for another time. Even if it is impossible for an American team in Japanese it’s still better than Orlando, Florida.

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