The joke of this is that if Portland had a baseball team...
Well no, that's not the joke. The joke is that urbane Portlanders' understanding of sport in general (and baseball in this case) is closer to that of theater or the arts than of actual baseball or sports.
Its also a slight nod in the direction of the off again, on again fascination some have had in Portland to bring a MLB team to Portland. Horrible idea, by the way, if you're a Mariners fan. It might also be a nod to the city losing its minor league baseball team, in effect because the city went all in for soccer.
That said, it isn't like there isn't baseball already in Portland. Baseball in there in the form of not one, but two independent wood bat adult baseball leagues.
- The Northwest Independent Baseball League (awesome name, by the way) plays in two divisions across greater Portland and will be starting its fourth season this summer.
- The West Coast Collegiate League also has an outpost in Portland, with the WCL Portland. This is a similar set up to our own Puget Sound Collegiate League where a collection of teams play in one or two locations.
I suppose my point is that when people talk about bringing a sport to town, they often forget about these independent and local outposts of the sport. Typically, these leagues are amateur efforts. But, to me, they seem a lot closer to the town ball origins of baseball that people are really trying to get in touch with when they make the effort to go to a minor league game.