The press is being kicked down the right field line in Anaheim

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The affects you almost not at all, but you will hear about it: the Angels are converting the press box in Angel Stadium to luxury seating, which in turn will push writers covering the team to a new press box down the right field line.

Needless to say, writers are not happy about it. Including the guy who will be president of the BBWAA next year:

Apparently this happened at U.S. Cellular Field a couple of years ago — the print media box is now down the right field line there too — and the consensus is that it’s the worst place for writers to cover a game.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer said that after the changes in Chicago, Bud Selig told writers that wouldn’t happen again. Hoynes suggested a BBWAA protest over it. Which, given that the BBWAA’s founding and, according to them, primary purpose, is to ensure reporter access to the ballpark, is probably the only avenue available.

I would expect such a protest to have approximately zero chance of success. Nothing that Bud Selig has done as commissioner suggests that he’s going to stand in the way of teams looking to maximize cash flow. And given that clubs and the league are less dependent upon the sporting press for publicity and information dissemination than they ever have been — and become less dependent upon it every day — what incentive do they have to cater to the ever-shrinking pool of sportswriters covering games from the press box?

In the meantime, know that if you snag some tickets on StubHub, you stand a much better chance of having a better view of things in Anaheim than the reporters do.  And, unlike them, you get to have beer and cheer too.

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.