Part of the above article:The only ways Richmond could get another Triple-A club would be expansion
-- "and that's not on anybody's radar," Mobley said -- or for an owner to abandon one of the other 29 cities and relocate here.
And nobody else is looking to move, Mobley said.
"There isn't that weak sister out there who may be looking for something else," he said.
The Ottawa franchise, which had attendance problems, already is moving into a new stadium in Lehigh Valley, Pa., for the 2008 season. In that case, ownership decided to relocate the franchise.
No other team in the International League has relocated since the Maine Guides moved to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1989.Last year, Columbus, Ohio, signed a two-year deal to be the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Columbus said it might explore a new affiliation deal in 2009 with one of the major-league teams in Ohio.
If that happens, the Nationals would be able to move to a city with an existing franchise and an open affiliation. Richmond, though, would not have a franchise.Washington officials would not comment on the Richmond situation.
The future of professional baseball in Richmond may be in a lower level.
"That is a very real possibility, depending on the geography of the situation," Mobley said.
Moving to Double-A could present geographic issues. If Richmond were to join the Eastern League, it would be the southernmost team. If it were to join the Southern League, it would be the northernmost team.
The Eastern League stretches from Maine to Maryland and goes as far west as Ohio. The Southern League stretches from Florida to North Carolina and goes as far west as Mississippi.
Three closer options are the high Class A Carolina League, the low Class A South Atlantic League and the Appalachian League, which is for rookies. The Carolina and Appalachian leagues have franchises in Virginia.
John Hopkins, president of the Carolina League, and Lee Landers, president of the Appalachian League, could not be reached for comment.
Richmond has been without baseball before. The New York Yankees operated a franchise (the Virginians) in Richmond from 1954 to 1964. The Yankees moved their operation to Toledo in 1965, leaving Richmond without a club for one season.
The Braves came in 1966 and have been here since.
Contact staff writer Tim Pearrell at email@example.com or (804) 649-6965.