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A’s still pursuing Oakland ballpark with eye on Las Vegas Boras says timing of MLB draft endangers player safety

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LAS VEGAS – Oakland Athletics continue pushing for new Bay Area stadium, general manager David Forst said despite baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s recent concerns about whether a deal would be made there.

The A’s, Forst told the baseball general managers’ meeting, are still looking for a new stadium in Oakland or Las Vegas.

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“Obviously I’m aware of the commissioner’s comments,” Forst said, before pointing out that team president Dave Kaval is in charge of the project. “I know that (Kaval) works tirelessly in both places. We’re just looking forward to a new stadium somewhere.”

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After the city of Oakland missed a key deadline last month with the A’s to complete an agreement on the $12 billion Howard Terminal project, Manfred said on the Sirius XM radio show that he doubted a stadium would be built there. He softened his stance somewhat during the World Series, but remains troubled by the “lack of pace”.

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“The pace in Oakland wasn’t fast at first,” Manfred said on Oct. 31. – The situation with the stadium is really unacceptable. I mean we need to do something to make a difference.”

Elections Tuesday in California and Nevada could influence further negotiations in Oakland and Las Vegas. The A’s weren’t satisfied with the terms offered so far in Oakland, and the Nevada politicians showed little interest in providing the public money the club likely wants.

Forst said the topic of the election was “honestly not my purview,” adding that Caval and “A” owner John Fisher are the ones who “have been involved in discussions at that level.”

A spokeswoman for “A” stated that “the club has no comment at this time.”

A’s lease at RingCentral Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. The club and Manfred said the aging site was no longer suitable for Major League Baseball.

“Obviously, you see a beautiful, sparkling new football stadium here,” said New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. “And they have been successful. I was at a hockey game with the Las Vegas (Golden Knights) so it was a hell of an experience. But where that market is going to be in terms of, well, the baseball franchise, they’ll throw it into MLB.”

With Manfred’s permission, in May 2021, Staff A began exploring potential stadium options outside of Oakland, with Las Vegas as the only other possible location so far. Caval made numerous trips to Las Vegas to see possible stadium locations and meet Southern Nevada officials.

Forst is in Las Vegas this week for a meeting with the CEO at a resort on the Strip near where a stadium could be built. He didn’t take the bait when asked what it meant to move to Las Vegas.

“I can’t go into details here,” Forst said. “It has always been a goal for me in baseball operations to have a new stadium. It affects how we operate in baseball operations, how it affects our payroll and our roster. So here or in Oakland, baseball teams are looking forward to a new building somewhere.”

LAS VEGAS. Baseball superspy Scott Boras on Wednesday expressed concern over what he called a player safety issue related to the timing of the draft.

MLB moved the draft from early June to mid-July last year to make it part of the All-Star Game celebrations.

“The advantage of a later draft is just a TV program,” Boras told the media during the second day of the Major League Baseball general managers’ meetings in Las Vegas. “It hurts the players. It harms intelligence. It harms the assessment.”

Boras said the later dates prevent clubs from giving new players an adequate chance to get used to the professional ball.

“We’ve had players come to camp after not playing for six to eight weeks after school season,” Boras said. “They are immediately asked to speak.

“It undermined the grading system because professional scouts don’t have the opportunity to rank the next market project for the summer. They are prohibited from attending all of the regular events they have attended before to get to know both character and performance evaluation.”

Boras said he would like a minor league level to be added that was above the rookie level for player development.

Boras also said that he was not opposed to the pitching hours being introduced next year at the major league level after the juniors experimented with the system, but argued that it would be a mistake for the playoffs. Pitchers will have 15 seconds if there are no runners on base and 20 seconds otherwise. Attackers must be in the batter’s zone with at least 8 seconds remaining.

“It’s a different scenario than in the regular season and we don’t want[players’]performances to be rushed,” he said. “We understand why they would probably do this during the season, for the sake of performance and what they see as a positive move for fans to reduce games. But in the postseason, we don’t want these people to be in a completely different emotional environment and where the scenery means a lot more.”

In terms of analytics, Boras said players are given so much information that they are often overwhelmed. He noted that it is no coincidence that two veteran managers Dusty Baker from Houston and Rob Thomson from Philadelphia took part in the World Series, because both understand the value of communication.

“To get a flow of information on a daily basis without a proper bridge for execution, we find a mess,” Boras said. “We find players who don’t work well. We’re finding players whose confidence levels are faltering.”



Source: mlb.nbcsports.com

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