MLB spells out Athletics move to San Jose
News leaked last week that Major League Baseball had told the Oakland Athletics what they’ll need to do to move to San Jose. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, who broke the news, didn’t provide a lot of details, but thinks the guidelines don’t say how much the Athletics will have to pay the San Francisco Giants to buy out their territorial rights in Santa Clara County.
Nothing is going to happen on this front anytime soon. The Athletics have agreed to a lease extension with the Oakland Coliseum through the 2017 season. so the earliest they would move is 2018. Even then, it’s going to be a tough road, because the Giants aren’t yielding their rights any time soon and it’s unlikely that 75 percent of the owners would vote to take those rights from the Giants and give them to the Athletics.
MLB mandates new, safer helmets
Spring training games have started and one of the changes is the head gear batters will use when they’re at the plate. The new batting helmets are the S100 Pro Comp model by Rawlings. The helmet is made of aerospace-grade carbon fiber and it’s designed to protect hitters from those 100 mph fastballs that are becoming more common these days.
Last year, the helmets were used voluntarily by about 200 players. This is the second round of safer batting helmets; a few years ago, Rawlings was given the task but turned out a helmet that was a little too heavy and bulky for the players’ liking. This new helmet is only an ounce heavier than a traditional batting helmet.
Durham to host 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game
Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, will be the site of the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2014. While there’ll be a five-day celebration, the actual All-Star Game gets some interesting television time because it’s normally played the day after the major league All-Star Game, when there’s not a lot of competition. It’s also nationally televised on the MLB Network.
This will be the first time Durham has hosted the game. This year’s site is Aces Ballpark in Reno. As in the major league game, the winner of the Triple-A All-Star Game gets home field advantage for the Triple-A championship.
Apartment owner creates her own stadium site
Sybil Kay Andrews-Wells, the co-chair of a non-profit that controls Tampa Park Apartments, has been getting the word out that she’d be open to selling her 21-acre property if the Tampa Bay Rays are allowed to move from St. Petersburg to Tampa. A few public officials have confirmed that it would make a good site for a ballpark. One potential snag for the location is federal restrictions related to HUD subsidies that the complex receives.
Of course, at this point it’s all talk. St. Petersburg has threatened to sue anyone who tries to interfere with its current lease with the Rays and that includes letting the team look elsewhere for a new stadium. Until this is changed, it’s going to be hard for any of this speculation to gain legs.
Jeffrey Loria speaks out
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria took out a full page ad in the three major South Florida newspapers. In the ad, he defends some of the fire sale trades he’s made, saying he doesn’t have unlimited money and citing the team’s 2003 World Series win as an indication that he’s a winner.
He brings up some good points but it’s hard to see them through all the noise. The team, which made some high profile signings for the 2012 season, has bailed on all of them. As far as I know, nobody at the top of the front office lost his job and you’d think an admission that things could go this wrong would also mean you’d see some turnover at the top.