St. Petersburg gives the Rays a chance to leave town. But only a tiny one.

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The central fact of the Rays miserable stadium situation is that they are contractually bound to St. Pete and the mayor there has threatened suit if the Rays even talk to anyone about a possible stadium in Tampa.  But there is now a glimmer of hope:

City Council member Charlie Gerdes placed a proposal on Thursday’s council agenda that would give the team three years to investigate new stadium sites in either Hillsborough or Pinellas counties in exchange for a payment equal to the city’s annual operating subsidy on Tropicana Field, currently about $1.42 million.

But it’s not much of a glimmer, as no one gives the amendment a great chance of passing.

But it’s something. It’s evidence that least someone on the St. Pete city council is amenable to letting the Rays out of their lease. Maybe, eventually, more people will come around to a negotiated solution.

Eric Hinske joins Angels as a hitting coach

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The Angels announced on Monday that Eric Hinske has joined the team to serve as the new hitting coach. Hinske had been the hitting coach for the Cubs since 2014.

Hinske, 40, spent parts of 12 years in the majors, though he never played for the Angels (or the Cubs). He put up a .762 OPS over his career.

Dave Hansen had been the Angels hitting coach since the end of the 2015 season but the Angels decided to part ways with him heading into 2018.