|ESPN.com | MLB Index | Peter Gammons Bio|
Expansion was one of those ideas that sounded great at the time but left the game in six feet of snow. It's all been hashed and rehashed, but the last two expansions dramatically drove up the salary structure on the major-league level, fueled an unimaginable inflation of amateur draft dollars, left many teams unarmed by eliminating the threat of places to move, and eventually left the game with an aborted contraction attempt and the messes that remain in Florida and Washington.
That said, the four expansion teams of baseball's economic boom era all have had their own mountains to climb and crosses to bear. Sure, Florida and Arizona have combined to win more world championships than the cities of Boston and Chicago since the Black Sox Scandal, but the Diamondbacks nearly went bankrupt trying to pay off their debt, and the Marlins have twice had to restock their inventory -- and still don't have a future ballpark as they try to engage some community in meaningful stadium talks.