On the heels of the stats revolution that popularized the use of the infield shift, ESPN’s Buster Olney thinks teams could soon utilize a four-man outfield in certain situations. According to Olney, some evaluators have considered the possibility as a means to curtail big innings in high-leverage situations.
Olney goes through several scenarios, suggesting that it would take a confluence of factors to make a team resort to a four-man outfield: the pitcher would need to be prone to giving up fly balls, the batter would need to be prone to hitting fly balls to his pull side, and it would likely have to be in a two-out situation.
Many scoffed when teams began implementing shifts on a regular basis, suggesting that teams were overthinking. I’d imagine many of the same people will scoff at the idea of a four-man outfield. I’m with Olney, though, in thinking that it very well could become a part of teams’ defensive arsenals.
That being said, the idea of a four-man outfield isn’t new. As Olney notes, then-Rays manager Joe Maddon utilized a four-man outfield against noted sluggers David Ortiz and Jim Thome. It hasn’t been used much since then, however.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Senate adjourned Thursday without voting on a financing bill for a proposed $1.5 billion Las Vegas Strip stadium for the Oakland Athletics, extending the special legislative session into the next week amid negotiations over whether to contribute $380 million in public funding to the project.
The measure can still be amended by lawmakers, and if it passes the Senate it would still need approval from the Assembly before going to the desk of Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has expressed support for it. Both the state Senate and Assembly are adjourned until Monday.
In a hearing that began Wednesday and stretched into the early morning hours Thursday, lawmakers peppered tourism officials and a representative from a firm partnering with the ball club with questions about the feasibility and benefits of financing such a deal.
Public funds for the stadium would mainly come from $180 million in transferable tax credits and $120 million in county bonds. Backers have pledged that the creation of a special tax district around the proposed stadium would generate enough money to pay off those bonds and interest. The plan would not directly raise taxes.
The A’s would not owe property taxes for the publicly owned stadium. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, would also contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.
A’s representatives and some tourism officials say a deal would further grow Las Vegas’ developing sports scene and act as an economic engine, but a growing chorus of economists and some lawmakers warn that the project would bring minimal benefits for the hefty public price tag.