Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Major League Baseball called the Los Angeles Angels last week to warn them that there could be riots in Oakland during this weekend’s series against the Athletics.
The reason: a verdict is due at any time in a high-profile trial of an Oakland transit officer who is accused of shooting an unarmed man on a train
platform. If the guy is acquitted there is some fear that violence could break out.
I know zero about that trial or the public sentiment in Oakland, but I always find that it takes me a minute or two to process stories in which baseball and ugly real life come together. On some level I operate on the phony assumption that baseball takes place in some virtual space. Most likely because I experience baseball through video screens 99% of the time.
The fact that I’m currently reading a book that takes place in some virtual reality-infused dystopia version of the Bay Area probably isn’t helping matters.
Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.