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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.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.