Telegram-PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Pawtucket Red Sox are officially interested in talking to other cities that might be equally interested in having the minor league baseball team in their community.
The team’s exclusive negotiation rights with the city of Pawtucket — described as “monogamous” by Mayor Donald Grebien during a May press conference have expired.
There have been what can be called “back channel” communications between the PawSox and Worcester officials, so some level of mutual interest has been established. The only face to face contact, however, has been through Worcester’s Canal District Alliance, whose new president, Gene Zabinski, made a recent visit to McCoy Stadium, where the team has played for years, to introduce himself as the guy who has mailed about 10,000 postcards to the team offices.
The latest Rhode Island proposal has the PawSox moving just about a mile from McCoy, to downtown Pawtucket overlooking the Blackstone River. The cost to build a new stadium there is estimated at $83 million, of which ownership would pay about $43 million, the state about $23 million and the city about $15 million.
The state, though, adjourned its legislative session recently without acting on a finance bill for a new ballpark, and there are no guarantees as of yet if and when it will take up any such bill, or if it would pass.
It would be a shame if the Paw Sox moved from Pawtucket solely because of how great of a name the team has. What would you call the team if they move to Worcester? The WooSox? The ChesterSox? Would the mascot go from an adorable polar bear named Paws to a Worcester native named Chester who just tries to bum cigarettes and spare fchange from fans entering the stadium*? Or I don’t know maybe move the team to Brockton, New Bedford, or Fall River as it seems like being a hotbed for criminal activity is a prerequisite to being the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox**.
It would be a little sad to see the PawSox leave Pawtucket, as the only other thing notable about the city is the record number of sketchy buildings that look like they could be a trap house*. In all seriousness there is a surprising amount of Red Sox history embedded into McCoy Stadium and the PawSox as they have been the minor league affiliate of the Red Sox since 1970. Countless Red Sox greats have gotten their start there. Roger Clemens, Dustin Pedroia, Nomar, the list goes on and on.
So while I make fun of the city of Pawtucket and their minor league baseball team, if plans to move to another location do come to fruition I will shed a single imaginary tear in their honor. Now, if the Portland Sea Dogs ever up and move, I’ll mount a full on protest. Miniature replica of the Green Monster located in left field and Portland has some of the best food and bars in the whole country. No better place to catch a minor league game.
*Apologies to the fine people of Pawtucket and Worcester.
**Annnnndddd apologies to the fine people of Brockton, New Bedford, and Fall River.