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Thursday Bantering: MLB Stuff

A’s moving, Atlantic League trying out new rules. Limiting contract length.

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

There isn’t much for Jays' news this morning, but some MLB news has built up over the past couple of days.

The A’s are going to Vegas. This will be the fourth city the A’s have called home in their long history. The team has ‘agreed to buy 49 acres’ north of where the Raiders play. The city and state will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build them a retractable roof stadium. Rich folks can always get governments to spend money. Poor folks? Not so much.

Oakland? The stadium is falling apart and being overrun by all manners of animals. And likely will continue to be overrun for many years to come.

For the A’s part, they say:

“For more than 20 years, the A’s have focused on securing a new home for the Club, and have invested unprecedented time and resources for the past six years to build a ballpark in Oakland. Even with support from fans, leaders at the city, county, and state level, and throughout the broader community, the process to build a new ballpark in Oakland has made little forward progress for some time. We have made a strong and sincere effort to stay here.”

“We recognize that this is very hard to hear. We are disappointed that we have been unable to achieve our shared vision of a waterfront ballpark. As we shift our focus to Vegas, we will continue to share details about next steps.”

Oakland’s Mayor:

It is clear to me that the A’s have no intention of staying in Oakland and have simply been using this process to try to extract a better deal out of Las Vegas. I am not interested in continuing to play that game - the fans and our residents deserve better . . . I refuse to compromise the safety and well-being of our residents. Given these realities, we are ceasing negotiations and moving forward on alternatives for the redevelopment of Howard Terminal.

I was talking to a friend about the Flames arena situation, and he said, ‘rich people don’t become rich by spending their own money’. Which he thought was a selling point for the city paying for everything.

And MLB is trying out some new rules in the Atlantic League.

  • Designated pinch-runner: A team could put a player in as a pinch-runner and then put the original player back in the lineup after. I don’t understand the thinking, but I'm ok with it as long as it doesn’t reach the majors. I'll be less than pleased if they do that in the majors.
  • Single Disengagement rule: Right now, the rule is that a pitcher can disengage twice per bat. It is a balk if a pitcher throws to first a third time and doesn’t pick off the runner. It will now be the second time in the Atlantic League it becomes a balk. The idea is to make stealing easier.
  • ‘Double-Hook’ DH: Clubs can only use the DH if the starting pitcher stays in the game. The reliever will go in his hitting spot when you remove the starting pitcher. I hate the idea. A pitcher has a rough start, his team is behind, and the league makes it harder for the trailing team to catch up. A starting pitcher gets injured in the first, and the team loses one of their better hitters. And with how rosters are set now, we are very limited on the pinch hitters. The Jays only have four bench players. But then it would get rid of the ‘opener’ idea. No one will put a pitcher to start the game they plan on taking out after an inning.

Rob Manfred apparently wants to limit the length of contracts teams can hand out. Teams have taken to signing guys for longer than they are likely to be useful players to bring down the average yearly dollar amount and make it easier to stay under the ‘we don’t call it a cap cap’.

Some owners want this because the Mets and the Padres are handing out big contracts, and the other owners aren’t happy.

I don’t know. I figure everyone believes in the free market when it causes trouble for other people. Owners are free market when it comes to people paying high ticket prices and left-wingers when it comes to paying for things.

Someone to police the opponent’s actions, and it is Madison Bumgarner. He ended up giving up four runs that inning.