According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com the Dodgers are “closing in on a three-year deal” with Juan Uribe and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the contract is worth $21 million, which is remarkable for someone who had to settle for a minor-league contract in 2009 and then returned to the Giants on a one-year, $3.25 million deal this season.
Uribe didn’t have a particularly impressive season, hitting his usual .250 with a terrible on-base percentage and 20-homer power, but a player contributing a couple key hits on a World Series winner can make general managers do funny things.
He hit .266 with a .781 OPS in two seasons with the Giants, but prior to that he had a .718 career OPS that included a ghastly .295 on-base percentage.
Uribe is perhaps the heftiest shortstop in baseball history, but presumably the Dodgers plan to use him primarily at second base with Rafael Furcal around. That would mean not worrying so much about his glove declining during a contract that runs through his age-33 season–and could lead to the Dodgers non-tendering Ryan Theriot, which would be a good move–but Uribe’s bat is nothing special for a second baseman. His career OPS is essentially average for the position.
There’s a very good chance Ned Colletti and the Dodgers will regret this move.
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.