So it looks like I get the honor of announcing the A’s move to Las Vegas. Fun.
Let’s be clear. There are no plans for a stadium in Las Vegas. There are “artist renderings,” which are not plans. Therefore, there are no cost estimates, or at least none that are worth anything. And the news reports have been very vague on who is responsible for cost overruns on the stadium as well as maintenance and upkeep over the length of the 30-year lease. Or even what happens if the A’s fail to draw the 27,000 fans a game MLB is claiming they’ll draw to pay for the stadium.
And because these reports are so vague — and because the county and state will own the stadium and lease it back to the A’s — I assume the taxpayers will be responsible for this, no matter how much MLB wants to pretend this won’t be an issue. I can promise you it will be.
Honestly, this makes the Dodgers and Giants high-tailing it out of Gotham look good.
- So the bill to build a new stadium for the Athletics on the Las Vegas Strip passed the Nevada state legislature and was signed by governor Joe Lombardo. It’s not a done deal because MLB still has to approve the move, but that’s considered a formality.
- In the interest of fairness, I’ll let commissioner Rob Manfred have his say about the deal in the house organ, mlb dot com.
- Tim Kawakami has a series of points about these developments, but he makes it clear that Manfred is the one behind the move. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- R.J. Anderson says that not only is Manfred lying about there not being an offer on the table from Oakland, but that he stoops to mocking A’s fans for caring about their team. Absolutely classless human being. And I guess I’m insulting human beings by calling him one. Remember, the A’s were demanding an entire shopping/business/housing development around Howard Terminal in addition to the stadium. They accepted just a stadium in Las Vegas.
- Maury Brown explains what a crappy deal this is for the taxpayers of Nevada.
- Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, the most famous Las Vegas native in MLB, said that the A’s moving there “was just not right.” Harper thinks Vegas should have gotten an expansion team.
- In a futile attempt to stem the tide, A’s fans had a “reverse boycott” on Tuesday night. Ben Clemens has the details of what went on at the game and says no matter what happens, the game and the protest was a “rowdy success.”
- Wendy Thurm writes that the “reverse boycott” proves that the fans weren’t the problem in Oakland.
- Gabe Lacques writes that the “reverse boycott” was no match for the greed of MLB.
- One non-greedy thing Manfred said was that robot umpires are probably not-ready-for-prime-time in 2024. So the umpires will have at least another year before they’re replaced by A.I.
- And in more corporate greed, Jesse Pantuosco writes that the layoffs at The Athletic are part of a vicious circle that has been killing sports journalism.
- OK. Now on to regular baseball news. Fun stuff. Or mostly fun stuff. Will Leitch writes that the Cardinals need to consider trading Paul Goldschmidt.
- Some suggested “ideal” trades by the deadline.
- R.J. Anderson has three reasons why the Mets should not be trading away players at the deadline.
- Mets pitcher Drew Smith has been suspended ten games for sticky stuff.
- Time for the butcher’s bill. Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. will miss the entire season after forearm surgery.
- Cody Stavenhagen writes about how the Diamondbacks went from losing 110 games in 2021 to leading the National League West in 2023. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Corbin Carroll has been a big reason for the D-Backs success. And Davy Andrews writes about how Carroll has taken his game to another level this year.
- R.J. Anderson has three keys to success for Marlins rookie pitcher Eury Pérez.
- Esteban Rivera writes that the Marlins outfield has been a surprising key to their success this year.
- Zach Crizer looks at how Rays infielder Yandy Díaz experienced a power surge this season.
- Tom Verducci looks at the strange slump that Mike Trout is in right now.
- Ian Brown interviews Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom about the state of the team.
- Will Leitch has ten players who should make their first All-Star Game this year.
- David Schoenfield judges how “real” the starts (both hot and cold) are for several players. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- MLB has released a study that found no correlation between the pitch clock and pitcher injuries. Anthony Castrovince has details.
- Top 30 prospects for the upcoming MLB Draft.
- Bill Ladson remembers the trade made 40 years ago that sent Keith Hernandez from the Cardinals to the Mets.
- Jon Greenberg talks with Michael Lewis on the 20th anniversary of Moneyball. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Rays pitcher Pete Fairbanks returned from the injured list with a black eye he got from dunking a basketball on his three year old son.
- The film Bull Durham was released 35 years ago yesterday. Daniel Brown has the story behind the famous mound scene. (The Athletic sub. req.) “Candlesticks always make a nice gift.”
- And finally, Sweeny Murti has the odd connection between Ron Shelton, the writer/director of Bull Durham, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton. No, the two are not related. Derek is related to his father, who was also named Ron Shelton. And Derek’s father Ron Shelton was a minor league teammate of future writer/director Ron Shelton. Yes, it was confusing.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.