Must-click link: a fantastic design for a new Oakland ballpark

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The Oakland Athletics have been trying to get a new ballpark for years and years and, finally, seem on the verge of getting one. All signs point to that park either being on the current site of the Oakland Coliseum or at Howard Terminal, on the Oakland waterfront. The team prefers the latter and, if I had to guess, they’ll end up getting that, sooner or later.

Given that the site isn’t even finalized yet, there hasn’t been talk of the park’s design. Oh, sure, we can guess what it might look like. For 25 years almost every new park has looked more or less the same. Retro-classic with lots of bricks and stuff, the charm of which somewhat masking the fact that they’re basically dozens and dozens of luxury boxes and a lot of expensive lower bowl seats designed more for extracting fan cash than for providing a great place to see a game. At least for those who can’t afford the boxes and the lower bowl seating, putting them farther away from the action than any fans had ever been back in the days of actually old ballparks and cookie cutter multi-use stadiums. We’ve talked about this before.

Against that backdrop, there is a fantastic story over at UniWatch today, in which Mark Anderson lays out the design for a new A’s ballpark he, Kolin Schmidt and Matt Bond came up with that is aimed at addressing the specific flaws of today’s newer parks. It’s must-read stuff with great renderings, all with a new vision of what a ballpark can be. The best part: Anderson and Schmidt got the chance to personally deliver their design to A’s president Dave Kaval as they took in a recent game in Oakland.

The upshot: an upper deck which hangs much closer to the field, a la Tiger Stadium and Comiskey Park, putting fans much closer to the action. Due to modern cantilevering and the reduction in lower deck depth, however, it eliminates the problem of view-obstructing pillars and overhangs which plagued the lower decks in those old parks. The park would seat far fewer people, but charging fewer people a higher rate is already happening in parks with crappy seats, so it’s not like it would be game-changing. If you’re already paying a week’s salary to take your family to the ballgame, at least in designs like this one you’d all get good views.

The piece references another theoretical ballpark: Armour Field, which was designed for the Chicago White Sox in the 1980s but which, of course, was never built. Back in April Dayn Perry of CBS wrote a fantastic, in-depth story about that imaginary park’s design, which inspired much of Anderson’s, Schmidt’s and Bond’s plans here. If the A’s aren’t going to go with what Anderson, Schmidt and Bond came up with they should just take the Armour Field plans and build it as-is.

Anyway: great post for ballpark geeks. Take some time to read it today.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.