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Rob Manfred says the Rangers are at “a competitive disadvantage” without a new ballpark

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Rob Manfred made a trip to the Metroplex yesterday to stump for the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark. A ballpark that depends on hundreds of million of taxpayer dollars which, in turn, depend on a ballot issue in the upcoming election passing.

So, obviously, having the Commissioner of Baseball tell voters that dire, dire things will happen if the Rangers don’t get that ballpark is a good idea. The Commish stumped, saying that the Dallas climate is a “competitive disadvantage” for the Rangers. You know, the Rangers who have won 90 or more games five of the last seven years and four division crowns in that time.

Of course, the Commissioner’s definition of “competitive” does not really refer to baseball. At least not in this context. It refers to financial competitiveness, and the Rangers new ballpark is all about maximizing the dough the Rangers can rake in if they get a new stadium.

If you doubt that, look at how the Rangers are touting the “Texas Live” complex, of which the ballpark will be a part:

Note: most of that is devoted to renderings of large, cavernous entertainmentplex-style bars and restaurants and clubs where people will pay top dollar to get into a place where they’ll be allowed to pay top dollar for food and drinks while watching the Rangers on video screens. Such is the way of the world with the modern “ballpark” experience these days, but the Rangers’ vision of this seems particularly detached from baseball and its typical aesthetic. Indeed, it looks like that crappy rave from the beginning of “The Matrix: Reloaded.”

But hey, at least the Rangers won’t be at a “competitive disadvantage” if the taxpayers of Arlington give them all that money to finance their real estate play.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.