Angels owner says GM Jerry Dipoto “has complete power”

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In the wake of Tony Reagins stepping down as Angels general manager there were reports about how manager Mike Scioscia was truly running the show, but in introducing Jerry Dipoto yesterday owner Arte Moreno said the new GM “has complete power.”

Here’s what Dipoto said about Scioscia’s influence on roster moves:

I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering if I was going to get steamrolled by Mike. At no time did this become a sticking point for me. I’ve worked in this business my entire adult life, for 24 years, and what might look unusual outside the league is very common to me. I love the opinion of baseball people. I love talking to strong-minded people.

And here’s what Scioscia had to say:

Jerry will get opinions from me, sometimes strong opinions. Sometimes he’ll act on them, sometimes he won’t. That’s how we’ve worked for 12 years.

It’s interesting how the quote progression works there. The owner says the new GM “has complete power.” The new GM says he welcomes opinions from the longtime manager. And the longtime manager says he plans to give the new GM plenty of strong opinions. Not quite a disconnect, but Dipoto truly having “complete power” without any influence from Scioscia is a tough sell at this point.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.