Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says there was no indication the Oakland A’s were closing in on a land deal in Las Vegas, then she got a call at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
When asked at a Thursday morning news conference if the city could have done anything differently in its negotiations with the A’s, Thao placed the breakdown squarely on the team.
“Well, there’s many things that could have been done differently including bargaining in good faith from the A’s side,” she told reporters. “We came to the table and we said we were not going to negotiate through the media, we agreed on that. This is why you saw that we were very quiet. However, working on negotiations in one city where your home base is and then doing what you are doing in Las Vegas and then calling me at 6 p.m. saying we have a land deal without letting me know there was parallel track, that’s a bit disingenuous.”
Kaval said the team finalized a deal last week to buy a 49-acre site where the A’s plan to build the stadium close to the Las Vegas Strip with a seating capacity of 30,000 to 35,000.
The A’s will work with Nevada and Clark County on a public-private partnership to fund the stadium. Kaval said the A’s hope to break ground by next year and would hope to move to their new home by 2027.
“I think it’s a bittersweet day,” Kaval said. “We feel for our Oakland fans. We’ve had so many incredible memories here: world championships, World Series, Hall of Fame players – Rickey Henderson, Rollie Fingers – but by the same token, I think a lot of people, especially in the organization, feel a sense of relief that we have a direction because that’s something that we haven’t had for some time.”
After two speeches I gave this week, several audience members told me they struggled to understand why they felt like strangers in their own land.
They described feeling like a normal person: They work hard, volunteer, and hang out at neighborhood parties, not on Twitter. But they also felt trapped in the abnormal, toxic political and media world surrounding them.
Why it matters: New Gallup polling suggests they’re hardly alone in feeling estranged. Turns out, 49% now call themselves independents — the same amount as self-described Republicans and Democrats combined.
The A’s have attempted to finagle a new stadium since 2009. At one point, it appeared they had made progress toward a ballpark in Oakland located at the Howard Terminal site. Obviously that deal never came into fruition. MLB had set a January 2024 deadline for a stadium deal. In the past, the A’s had also been weaned off revenue sharing as a means of forcing the issue.
“We support the A’s turning their focus on Las Vegas and look forward to them bringing finality to this process by the end of the year,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement to the Review-Journal.
If and when the A’s relocate, they’ll become just the second MLB team since the 1970s to do so. The Montreal Expos, of course, became the Washington Nationals following the 2004 season. The Expos were, at the time, owned by the league itself. The A’s have played in Oakland since 1968. The franchise had previously spent time in both Kansas City and Philadelphia, though both relocations took place before the 1970s.
The A’s land agreement comes at a time when management and ownership have given up on building a respectable roster at the big-league level. Oakland entered Thursday with a 3-16 record on the season, having been outscored by 86 runs, or about 4.5 per contest. The A’s Opening Day payroll was a laughable $60 million, the lowest in the majors.
He mashed during his Triple-A rehab assignment
Players serving PED suspensions are allowed to play in minor league tune-up games leading into their return and in Tatis’ case, his minor league games served as rehab games following the shoulder and wrist surgeries. Tatis did what you would expect an MLB superstar to do in Triple-A: he hit .515/.590/1.212 with seven home runs, six walks, and three strikeouts in eight games.
At one point this past weekend Tatis hit six home runs in the span of 12 at-bats. His contact quality exit velocity, etc. has been exceptional as well. If nothing else, that suggests the shoulder and wrist feel good. Tatis looks very ready to step back into the MLB lineup and produce.
Tatis has a new position with the last five months the Padres have signed Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and Jake Cronenworth to long-term contracts. The infield is full, and as a result, Tatis is moving to right field. He has played the position briefly in the past 20 games in 2021, but this is a permanent move. Tatis did not play even a single inning at short in spring training or in Triple-A.
“I feel like I’m still gonna impact the game a lot that way, controlling the game from right field,” Tatis told the San Diego Union-Tribune recently. “I’m definitely looking forward to it. You don’t really see many outfielders who have a really good arm anymore. I’m trying to be one of those guys. I mean, 30 out of 30 right fielders in the big leagues used to have a cannon. They would control the game on the back end. I can be one of those guys.”
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