If you are a fan of the Oakland Athletics Staying in Oakland and disliking the newly instituted ghost runner, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has some bad news for you.
While interview with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on SiriusXMManfred expressed pessimism that the Athletics will be able to find a new stadium in Oakland, although he had something different to say about the Tampa Bay Radios‘ situation:
“I think the mayor in Oakland [Libby Schaaf] made a huge effort to try to make it in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen … I’m not positive about it.”
“I think the A’s wisely explored the Las Vegas alternative, given the lack of speed in Oakland. I think they need to look for an alternative. I see Tampa differently. I think a properly located facility in Tampa, that Tampa is a viable major league market. I have a lot of faith in [Rays owner] Stu Sternberg. I think they will find a place to build a stadium and I think baseball can thrive in Tampa.
When asked if Oakland could leave within the next five years, Manfred said “oh yeah” twice then added “something has to happen, we can’t go five more years in the Coliseum.”
The Athletics, currently playing in the widely maligned RingCentral Coliseum, have been looking for a new home for years. They landed on their current plans for a stadium at Howard Terminal back in 2018but progress in gaining approval for the project was slow, with one Oakland city council member recently saying he doesn’t see an official vote coming this year.
At the same time, the A’s followed a “parallel path” in Las Vegaswith Manfred giving them permission to explore relocation to a city that has welcomed an NFL, NHL and WNBA team in the last five years.
Judging by Manfred’s words, betting on Vegas seems to be where things are trending.
Rob Manfred sees ghost runner rule staying in MLB
One of the most significant, and controversial, on-field changes of Manfred’s tenure was the addition of an automatic runner on second base in extra innings. Some fans appreciate the faster endings. Others despise the artificial pressure.
Manfred told Russo that the rule would likely remain in place, claiming MLB clubs, players and a majority of fans liked the change (some players might disagree with that).
The ghost runner rule is currently used in the regular season only, with the old extra-inning rules reserved for the postseason.