Slumping Padres fire pitching coach Larry Rothschild

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The slumping San Diego Padres fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild as the franchise tries to stop its freefall in the National League playoff race.

The 67-year-old Rothschild has been with the Padres for the past two seasons. San Diego has lost nine of its past 11 games and has fallen to third place in the NL West, 13 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants.

The Padres fell one game behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second and final NL Wild Card after losing on Sunday.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said he’s discussed the struggles of the pitching staff – particularly the starting rotation – for a few weeks with general manager A.J. Preller and other front office staff.

But Tingler was adamant that the move to fire Rothschild was “100%” his decision.

“Instead of waiting and seeing what’s going to happen and staying stagnant, I thought the best thing to do for this team moving forward is to bring in a different voice, different message, different perspective right now,” Tingler said.

Ben Fritz – the team’s bullpen coach – will be the interim pitching coach for the rest of the season.

“He’s done a great job with our bullpen,” Tingler said. “He’s one of the reasons our bullpen has performed very well this year. With his experience, knowing the system, knowing the guys, being able to provide his perspective, ultimately I think is going to give us our best chance to pitch to our capabilities down the stretch.”

After a good start to the season, San Diego’s pitching staff has regressed, especially in recent weeks. The group has a 4.82 ERA in August.

Three of the Padres’ main starting pitchers – Yu Darvish, Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet – are currently on the injured list. So is Drew Pomeranz, one of the team’s top relievers.

Tingler praised Rothschild, saying he was the right hire for a young pitching staff in 2020. Rothschild has had a long career as a pitching coach with teams like the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. He was also the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays from 1998 to 2001.

“We’ve certainly had some injuries, there’s no doubt about that,” Tingler said. “But we’ve had some inconsistency on the mound. I just think at the end of the day, we haven’t reached our level of production consistently on the mound. With 36 games to go, we’re trying to give a different message.”

San Diego hopes improved pitching can complement one of the most powerful lineups in the big leagues, featuring Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth.

The Padres start a three-game home series against the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
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CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.