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Rob Manfred threatens Oakland that Athletics might move to Las Vegas

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In a meeting last week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred threatened that the Oakland A’s would move to Las Vegas if the City of Oakland did not drop a lawsuit against Alameda County regarding a dispute over redevelopment of the Oakland Coliseum property. The threat was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. Today Oakland’s mayor confirmed the story.

The A’s, as you know, have been endeavoring to get a new ballpark for years and years. The latest plan involves them building a park on the Oakland waterfront. Part of their effort involves acquiring all or at least part of the land on which the city/county owned Oakland Coliseum currently sits and develop the land commercially. Alameda County, part owner of the land, was on board with this and moved to sell its ownership stake in the Coliseum to the A’s. The City of Oakland is opposed to selling to the A’s and has sued to stop the transaction. Manfred’s threat was, basically, drop this suit, Oakland, or the A’s will pursue other options.

This story brings together multiple recent developments, all of which have a big impact on Major League Baseball and professional sports at larges:

It also, above all else, plays out against the backdrop of Major League Baseball increasingly looking to real estate development as an important ancillary revenue source — and in some cases a primary revenue source — for its clubs. It’s not enough for them to be given public assistance to build new ballparks. They also want gifts or, at the very least, sweetheart deals on real estate too, so baseball team owners can also become developers of mixed-use business centers featuring bars, restaurants, condos and, er, um, elevator testing facilities.

Will Oakland call Rob Manfred’s bluff. If, indeed, it is a bluff? Guess we’ll find out.

Doubleheader between Cardinals and Tigers postponed

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.

MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.

The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.

St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.

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