After three years of telling the A’s to hold tight, a special committee is looking into their desired move to San Jose, Bud Selig almost seemed to punt today when asked about the matter:
At the owners meeting Thursday in New York, Commissioner Bud Selig opened the door for the A’s to leave the Bay Area if they can’t resolve their territorial dispute with the Giants.
Selig said it’s up to A’s owner Lew Wolff to consider sites for a new stadium, even if that means giving up on San Jose and leaving the area completely.
Asked whether the A’s would consider other relocation possibilities, Selig responded: “You’d have to ask Lew Wolff. That’s really his decision to make.”
Selig added “they could be all over the world” if they wanted and that it just “depends where they want to be.”
Which takes a lot of chutzpah given that it’s abundantly clear where they want to be, it has been for some time and the league damn well knows it. If they cant’ go to San Jose, say so, Bud. Or at least admit that the past three years have been a giant stalling technique.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.