Baseball, union to meet on K-Rod today


Major League Baseball, union folk and enough lawyers to fill out an intermural volleyball team will meet today to chat about the grievance Francisco Rodriguez filed after the Mets withheld salary from him and purported to make his contract non-guaranteed for next season.

I wouldn’t expect anything notable to happen today, inasmuch as this is a required meeting in advance of the arbitration of the matter. Much like, back when I was practicing law, opposing sides were supposed to confer with one another over discovery disputes prior to calling the judge about it.  It usually went like this:

Me: Dude, I requested “every document relating to research expenditures for fiscal year 2005.”  You sent me a kid’s menu from Bob Evans. And two of the three tic-tac-toe games were already filled out.

Other lawyer: I can assure you, we’ve searched for everything you’ve asked for, and what you have is all we are going to produce.

Me: Wait, those two things you just said don’t even go together. They fully provide for the possibility that you searched for and found everything I want, but that you’re simply not going to give it to me.

Other lawyer: Lalalalalalalalalal I can’t hear you!!!

Me: [conferencing in the judge]: Your honor, plaintiff’s counsel will not provide me with relevant documents and will not give me a good reason why. I simply cannot defend my case unless I have his production.

Judge: [waking up] Er, um, yes . . . I am so tired of the lack of civility among lawyers these days. Clearly we can resolve this dispute without my need to issue an order, can’t we?

Me: Actually, no. That’s why I’m calling. They’re being unreasonable and are saying “lalalalalala.”

Judge: Thank you counselor, now, please try to work together. Oh, and your trial date has been pushed back six months because I have a seminar or a vacation. I think. Gosh, why do people insist on suing one another?  Oh well . . . Zzzzzzzz.

Me: [bangs head on desk; says “screw it” and blogs about baseball for three hours, hoping the boss doesn’t catch me].

The A’s are considering rising sea levels in planning their future ballpark

Oakland Athletics
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The Oakland Athletics ballpark saga has dragged on for years and years and years. They’ve considered San Jose, Fremont and at least three locations in Oakland as potential new ballpark sites. The whole process has lasted almost as long as the Braves and Rangers played in their old parks before building new ones.

In the past several months the Athletics’ “stay in Oakland” plan has gained momentum. At one point the club thought it had an agreement to build a new place near Peralta/Laney College in downtown Oakland. There have been hiccups with that, so two other sites — Howard Terminal, favored by city officials — and the current Oakland Coliseum site have remained in play. There are pros and cons to each of these sites, as we have discussed in the past.

One consideration not mentioned before was mentioned by team president David Kaval yesterday: sea level rise due to climate change. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Kaval mentioned twice that the Howard Terminal site would have to take into account sea-level rise and transportation concerns — and he said there have been conversations with the city and county and the Joint Powers Authority about developing the Coliseum site.

The Howard Terminal/Jack London Square area of Oakland has been identified as susceptible to dramatically increased flooding as a result of projected sea level rise due to climate change. On the other side of the bay both the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors have had to consider sea level rise in their stadium/arena development plans. Now it’s the Athletics’ turn.

Sports teams are not alone in this. Multiple governmental organizations, utilities and private businesses have already made contingency plans, or are at least discussing contingency plans, to deal with this reality. Indeed, beyond the Bay Area, private businesses, public companies, insurance companies and even the U.S. military are increasingly citing climate change and sea level rise in various reports and disclosures of future risks and challenges. Even the Trump Organization has cited it as a risk . . . for its golf courses.

Fifteen of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams play in coastal areas and another five of them play near the Great Lakes. While some of our politicians don’t seem terribly concerned about it all, people and organizations who will have skin the game 10, 20 and 50 years from now, like the Oakland Athletics, are taking it into account.