Rob Manfred says Joe Maddon tampering investigation is ongoing

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We heard back in November that MLB was officially investigating the Rays’ claim that the Cubs tampered before hiring Joe Maddon as manager. Months later, we’re still waiting for a resolution.

According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that the investigation is “ongoing.”

“Over would not be the appropriate word to describe,” Manfred responded. “There is an ongoing investigation. To the extent it’s concluded, one way or another, we’ll be transparent about that. We’ll let you know.”

When Andrew Friedman left for the Dodgers, Maddon used a clause in his contract to opt out of his deal and join the Cubs a week later. The Rays believe that he opted out of the deal with the knowledge that the Cubs wanted him. However, the Cubs insist that there is nothing to the tampering claim.

Rogers was told by a source that the investigation should be completed by the start of the season, but one rival executive expects nothing will come of the charges. The Cubs would presumably be fined or possibly lose a draft pick if evidence of tampering is found.

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.