May 16, 2014 5:01 pm

MLB needs to bring baseball back to Montreal: ‘Sporting News’

Fans show their love for the Expos during a MLB exhibition game in Montreal in March 2014.

Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Major league baseball (MLB) needs to return to Montreal as soon as possible, according to an American sports columnist.

In an article published Friday, Jesse Spector of Sporting News said Montreal and Las Vegas are “obvious” choices for expansion teams.

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“Both have stadia that have hosted regular-season games in the past, and the cases for both are rather plain,” Spector wrote.

“The Expos may be more popular now than they were when they existed, and Stade Olympique was jumping for two Mets-Blue Jays exhibition games in March.”

READ MORE: MLB team in Montreal? Not any time soon, say economists

Spector made the case that expanding MLB to 32 teams would result in better inter league play and a better playoff system.

“With 32 teams, it would be possible to go to four divisions of eight teams each,” he reasoned.

“The playoffs could then place a heavier emphasis on divisional rivalries, with the second- and third-place teams in each division squaring off in one-game wild card playoffs, then facing the division winners.”

Spector asked: “Why wouldn’t a division of the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Phillies, Orioles, Nationals, Blue Jays and Expos 2.0 work?”

MLB has not added teams since Arizona and Tampa Bay in 1998.

“The time is right for the move from 30 teams to 32.”

In April, the Conference Board of Canada said Montreal would be hard pressed finding investors with deep enough pockets to bankroll a team that would likely sit in the bottom of MLB teams, in terms of salary caps.

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