Brian Roberts is retiring


MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that infielder Brian Roberts has confirmed that he is retiring from baseball. Roberts played 14 seasons in the majors, 13 of which came with the Orioles. He spent the past year with the Yankees but had very little success at the plate, finishing with a .237/.300/.360 slash line along with five home runs, 21 RBI, and seven stolen bases in 348 plate appearances.

During his prime, Roberts was among the game’s best second basemen, earning two All-Star nominations while compiling 28 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference) between 2003-09, an average of four WAR per season. In that span of time, only Chase Utley (42.1) was more valuable at second base than Roberts.

The latter part of Roberts’ career was marred by injuries. He missed most of spring training in 2010 with a herniated disc in his back. During the regular season, he was out 91 games with a strained muscle in his abdomen. In mid-May 2011, he suffered a concussion sliding head-first into first base and missed the rest of the season. The concussion symptoms lingered into 2012, as he didn’t make his debut until June 12. He tore his labrum onJuly 1, ending his season. Roberts had surgery for a sports hernia in the off-season as well. Roberts played in three games to begin the 2013 season, but quickly went back on the disabled list with a torn hamstring that required surgery, keeping him out 79 games.

Sadly, Roberts was simply the unfortunate recipient of the injury bug and just couldn’t stay healthy. One has to wonder how many more excellent seasons he had left in him otherwise. We wish Roberts the best of luck as he puts his playing days behind him.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.