Selig to the Rays: don't improve Tropicana Field

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ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Bud Selig has instructed
Rays management “not to make significant financial investments in the
area until attendance indicators improve, suggesting the team could be
investing in potential relocation sites.” I’m assuming that means stadium improvements and the like.

I’d normally say something critical here, but it’s probably smart for Selig to say such a thing.  I don’t think there’s enough polish in the world to make Tropicana Field an enjoyable environment for baseball, and to the extent the Rays actually throw money at attempting to do so, it’s likely wasted money. And the Rays don’t have a ton of money to waste.

And I don’t have a problem with them relocating either. It’s a business. If they can’t make the business work where they are, they should be able to move it. Indeed, I wish there was more freedom of movement for baseball teams. If there was maybe we’d have another team in New Jersey or New England or Southern California, which would level the playing field a bit and force dumb businesspeople out of the baseball ownership game.

Ultimately, my beef is with using tax dollars for ballparks. Stay away from that sort of thing and anything else you do is pretty much your business.

(via Field of Schemes)

Report: Red Sox expected to hire Alex Cora after World Series

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox have offered a contract to Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora, though the deal won’t be officially announced until the conclusion of the World Series later this month. Cora has long been a favorite for the Sox’ managerial vacancy, and despite reports that he was being pursued by the Tigers, Mets, Phillies and Nationals, he’s expected to land in Boston after all. The team has yet to verify the report.

The deal is for three years, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Cora is coming off of a one-year gig with the Astros and has no prior managerial experience. More importantly, however, he stands out for his familiarity with the Red Sox’ organization, strong connection with players and analytics-driven approach.

The Red Sox are the second team to replace their manager this offseason after the Tigers snatched up Ron Gardenhire on Friday. The Mets, Phillies and Nationals are still hunting for replacements.